He's Pushing Her Away From a Relationship

Last night I talked to a close friend of mine. She wanted some advice about a guy she was dating. They met about three weeks ago on match.com. He’s pushing for a committed, serious relationship. After three weeks.

She is about to run away.

The frustrating thing is that she likes this guy, but he is being very pushy. I know he is probably well intentioned too, he’s not just a prick. At least, not intentionally.

My friend deserves the best. She is cute, sexy, fun, loving, giving, empathetic, and, did I mention, cute and sexy? She would probably really like a relationship with this guy, if he would just RELAX.

What is happening is that he is trying to get her to commit to a relationship, but this is totally the wrong thing to do. I think I know what is going on in his head. He met a really cute girl on match, and now he feels like he has to get her committed as soon as possible so he doesn’t lose her. He probably feels like this is about as good as a girl as he could get, or possibly maybe even a little better than he thinks he can get (he’s probably right).

He is making two mistakes.

First, he is being way too pushy, and expecting way more commitment than is appropriate given the ACTUAL level of involvement they have together. This is pushing her away, and if he keeps it up, he is never gonna get her.

Second, he is wrongfully thinking that once he gets her “commitment” to a relationship, then everything is nice and settled. Way too many people get complacent when they are in relationships.

When a man is in a relationship with a woman, he should constantly be building attraction and building intimacy. Let the amount of attraction and intimacy define the relationship, not some sort of agreement.

Ultimately what this guy needs to do is relax, and give my friend some space to let them get closer over time, not to force it do to his poor ability to create a relationship.

In the end, I gave my friend two course of action that she could follow:

1. Break it off now with this guy, because this kind of behavior is really a red flag. If he is pushy and can’t understand her and the relationship now, how will he understand her in a month? A year?

2. Stay in the relationship, but stick to her guns about the level of commitment she wanted, and tell him he can take it or leave it. Even if it ends badly, she will benefit from the experience and knowledge about men that she will gain from dating this guy.

I wish her the best.

And to you reading this, don’t be like this guy.

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    5 thoughts on “He's Pushing Her Away From a Relationship

    1. David Clare

      I am very curious about two things myself:

      1. What, exactly, is “the ACTUAL level of involvement they have together”?


      2. Does she think that sticking to her guns about the level of commitment, and telling him to take it or leave it, will result in a viable relationship? That is, will she still be attracted to him “in that way” if he accepts her “early frame announcement.”

      No need to answer these questions… just something to think about.

    2. sean

      There was another aspect to this discussion, which was how she felt from talking to me. I still care to create good emotions with this girl. You have never met this friend, David, but I have talked with you about her.

      I did think about these questions, but the answers are better suited for an offline discussion.

    3. Pete

      I learned abou you thru your Pickup Podcast interview.

      I agree with you Sean that attraction and intimacy define a relationship more than “the talk” in the early stages; however, the story doesn’t give examples of the man’s “pushing” behavior. There is plenty of PUA material on dealing with resistance that applied to a woman could feel like “pushing” to her. Perhaps the man is needy or perhaps the couple has gone out numerous times in the 3 weeks with good conversation, fun activity, physical affection and sexual touch, and the man just has the mindset of one seeking a long term relationship. You use the terms committed and serious to describe the relationship that the man wanted but I wonder what he said? Perhaps he just said “I want us to see each other exclusively” and your lady friend got nervous for whatever reason. There appear to me to be many couples who start dating exclusively after a short time and this tendency seems more prevalent the older people become. In my experience commitment to being exclusive allows people to invest more without fear. One can push too soon but commitment really is needed for long term growth. There is a risk of complacency with exclusive dating but exclusive dating ideally and in my experience is more like a beginning for fuller self disclosure along with increased connections with families and friends. I enter exclusive dating with the thought that I am going to focus on one to see if we are a fit for a LTR, in my case marriage. If it isn’t a fit then for your sake and the woman’s sake then break it off. Don’t keep a relationship for convenience. Dating exclusively has the cost of not seeing others but it is not a life long commitment. In other words, relax girl! But maybe I’m missing something and the man wants to live with her or marry her?

      Without examples of his pushing and without knowledge of the number and quality of their dates it is hard for me to following the breaking off option of you advice. Negotiating needs and wants is apart of relatng even very early on. The issue is not that he wants something she doesn’t but does he communicate to her with respect. Disrespect is a red flag. I believe people can passionately present their views and argue and still maintain respect by not attacking personally or later punishing for disagreements with subtle or overt hostile behavior. In the long run couples negotiate about all of life and negotiations on some things may take a long time. She wants to consider his pattern of negotiating to see what kind of partner he’d be long term. He’s a man so he wants to lead but does he consider her feelings or does he attack her when she disagrees?

      I wanted my thoughts out there and am not looking for a response on an older post.


    4. David Clare

      (For future passers by…)


      Actually, what I alluded to in my comment is that they were not yet sexually involved and she was not really attracted to him, even though she is looking for a husband and he looks very good “on paper.”

      I can’t remember what, if anything, I discussed with Deacon about this out of band.

      But how I read this now is the same as then: he never sealed the deal.

      And her window is closed.

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