Tuesday July 29th 2014

How Much Contact Is Too Much Contact?

Question: She’s 46, I’m 33. We’ve been having really great dates and getting closer slowly.  I’m falling for her an she said she was very  attracted to me. But I think I may have also started acting a little needy and contacted her too much because on one date she said her ex-husband was too insecure and needy and she’s not looking for another needy man. Soon after that she seemed to have stopped all contact with me. I called her cell phone it was turned off. I called her at work but she seemed busy and said she would call me back and I said ok. She didn’t call back. I called her on her cell phone when I got home and left her a message just saying hi but she did not respond.

I checked her facebook page two days ago and she had posted some photos of her and some other friends. I checked it yesterday and there was a message on her wall, “Don’t make the same mistake twice.” I don’t know if the message was for me but she had also left a message on my facebook, some nice comment about a photo I had posted. I responded to it but that’s all I’ve heard from her.

I don’t want to pressure her but she’s leaving for a two weeks vacation and I’ll be away for another two weeks by the time she returns. I would just like to talk to her before we both go away. But maybe I should just leave it until I come back, as I might end up saying something which will hurt my chances with her. And maybe the time away will let her think about things. It may even be a good time to just let her start calling me.

The Love Doctor’s Answer: She said she’ll call you so why are you calling her at work on her cell phone? It’s like you’re chasing a simple phone call (“Hey! you said you’d call but you didn’t that’s why I’m calling you, please call because you said you’d call!”). So very desperate!

It’s not like she does not know that she’s going away on vacation and when she returns, you’ll be away. If it’s important to her that the two of you talk before you both go away, she’ll contact you. If not, give her space and time to process her emotions without you intruding in because you panic and think you should do more. Some Psychologists say it takes someone 48 – 72 hours to complete processing an emotion. If you impact someone emotionally they subconsciously start processing that emotion (how do I feel?  who made me feel this way?  why do I feel this way?  what will I feel next? etc). But if you keep intruding into the process with constant contact you interrupt the process and either the person has to start all over again or you create another emotion which may not be as positive as the last one. The latest emotion is what they process. So if you had a great time, best thing is to pull away a little and let her complete processing that emotion. If she likes the answers to her own questions, she’ll be motivated to contact you because she wants to feel that emotion again.

For now, to get to that “balance” of not too little and not too much, ask yourself if your reason for contacting her is urgent, important or interesting. If it’s none of those and you’re just contacting her because you feel insecure or afraid that you might lose her, you’ve crossed to the “acting needy” side. When you start to feel stressed out or fell a sense of “panic” in your belly, you’ve crossed to the “acting needy” side. If you find yourself contacting her about a contact you made that was not responded to, you’ve crossed to the “acting needy” side. When you’re trying to “manipulate” an outcome and invested too much – time and emotion – on the outcome, you’ve crossed to the “acting needy” side.

Also you don’t want to give the impression that all she has to do is make a comment on your facebook wall and your all over her as if it’s a come-on signal. My advice for you is to slowly cut out checking her facebook page.  I’ve seen this with my clients.  They look like they are “managing” to refrain from desperately contacting someone, but all they do is replace one “needy” behaviour with another. For example they stop obsessively calling only to start obsessively emailing or they stop obsessively texting only to start obsessively monitoring the person’s facebook/my space page.  You are not really changing anything.  Sooner or later the other person will figure out where the obsession has shifted and lose interest.

Readers' Questions and The Love Doctor's Answers...

10 Responses to “How Much Contact Is Too Much Contact?”

  1. eves_seton says:

    I have no trouble stepping back and let women chase me a bit. But with women I that I care so much about, it’s hard to act like I don’t care when I do.

  2. It’s not about “act like I don’t care when I do” it’s about CARING ENOUGH not to overwhelm, crowd or piss of the person you say you care so much about. If your “caring so much” is making the other person “uneasy” and you insist because you care so much that you don’t care how the other person feels, then whatever you’re doing isn’t in the best interest of the other but all about you. That’s not caring.

  3. POHSOPH says:

    Let me speak from experience… I used to think that if you love and care for someone you should be able to spend every breathing moment with that person. As a result I always had someone, or was always looking for someone and would not break up with someone unless I find someone new. Until I learned to be happy by myself, I had no idea how irritating my needy and clingy behavior was to others.

  4. Corbor says:

    I want so bad to call or email her but she told me not to call, email or text her. Should I just respect her wishes and leave her alone or ignore what she said and call or email?

  5. I don’t know what led to her telling you to not call, email or text her, the dignified thing is to respect her wishes. If she wants to have contact with you she’ll call or email you.

  6. ogle says:

    In your e-book on Dating Your Ex, you don’t discuss rebound relationship by a woman soon (less than three months) after break up, its significance (pros and cons) to the one who was dumped, whether a rebound relationship of this nature lasts or fails and how long before it fails, and what the dumped can do to win back his Ex in this situation. Should the dumped be worried if the Ex-girlfriend starts seeing someone else? Or at least she says she has met someone and whilst nothing has happened yet, she is interested in getting to know him. Or is this, after a series of mixed messages, her way of trying to hurt the dumped as pay back, or just another part of her confusion, or is she saying to the dumped that she wants him to chase her? What’s your reading/experience of this, please?

  7. There are thousands of relationship specific scenarios that I don’t cover in my eBook because it’s just not practical to cover every single one of them in one book. Rebound relationships alone is another whole book may be even two – one for women and one for men. Even that won’t cover the whole topic because each relationship is unique and many factors come into play in determining whether or not the new relationship will last. That’s why for relationship-specific type scenarios, I offer one-one coaching. Most people find this more helpful than going by general guidelines that may make things worse.

    Since this is a topic on how much contact, I’ll see if I can in the future write a post/article on some of the questions you raise that relate to rebound relationships. The other non-rebound relationship questions i.e. Should the dumped be worried if the Ex-girlfriend starts seeing someone else? Is she saying to the dumped that she wants him to chase her? are covered in the eBook:

    1) Pg.114 – Some Common Barriers And How To Remove Them (if your ex says he or she is seeing someone else)
    2) Pg.152-158 – The Waiting Phase
    3) Pg.159 – 165 – Being Friends to Start With

    And if you type a search word on my site or blog, a series of posts/articles that cover those two questions will come up.

  8. jdm says:

    I have the same thing in mind as the previous poster ogle stated about rebound relationship.Following the advice in your ebook, I have maintained meaningful regular contact with my ex-gf and can say that I’m in the waiting phase with barriers. Since she honestly admit that she is seeing another guy but she has also told me that she does’nt know what she wants right now. We also see each other once in a while and I’m getting mixed messages. I’m really looking forward to your reboud relationship article as I’m getting confused on my next course of action.

  9. I just posted a new article on rebound relationships. You might want to check it out.

    Facts About Rebound Relationships [Will It Last And Can You Get Back Your Ex?]

  10. Please do not leave comments that are unrelated to the post. I’m trying to make information/advice easily accessible to all users. Questions/comments that are unrelated to the post make the blog look messy and user-unfriendly. Any comments not related to the topic of this post (e.g. ones about rebound relationships or an ex) will no longer be approved. Only comments related to How Much Is Too Much Contact (in a current relationship) will be approved.

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