RK, a reader of ApproachAnxiety. com, asks:
Could you give some pointers about how to behave when she admits she’s dating someone else but obviously has an attraction for you. I’m regrettably facing this right now and don’t know if I should play along or show my irritation.
Regardless of what she tells you, you want to assume that there are other people in the equation and proceed as such. If she’s an attractive girl, there will always be some flotsam and jetsam in the vicinity, no matter how much she is into you.
A verbal commitment or even marriage is no way to guarantee that she will not hook up with other guys or–more importantly–that she will not lose attraction for you. You must continue to keep her interested at all times.
One of my basic tactics for relationship management is that I assume there are two other dating prospects for her in the picture. I talk about it here:
My basic assumption is that she is seeing two other guys who do not have any game. This basic assumption keeps me on my toes without making me jealous. I make sure I don’t stop being flirty, sexual and funÂÂ«Â¤?Â¡Ãˆor those other guys will move in. At the same time, I assume those other guys have zero game. I don’t need to play my game hard with this girl, but I can’t turn into a needy guy or else she’ll run to someone else.
When you assume this from the start, it makes it a lot less likely that if you hear about another guy, you will all of a sudden start to get jealous and insecure.
However, it’s still possible to feel jealous.
What to do if you do feel jealous
It’s almost always a bad sign when you have to ‘show your irritation.’ If you’re getting upset at something she’s doing, you need to ask yourself what you did wrong and what you could do differently next time.
Maybe she’s nagging you and it’s pissing you off. What could do to cut off that behavior from the start, without getting upset?
If she’s making you jealous, there’s a good chance that she’s losing attraction for you and not giving you enough focus. It’s possible you did something earlier on to make her lose attraction for you.
Maybe you got needy or showed too much concern about other guys in the picture. Maybe you pushed the relationship forward too fast and made her feel crowded instead of letting her come to you. Maybe you let her take the lead once too often. Maybe you didn’t tease her enough or weren’t sexual enough and she got bored.
These are the root causes for women cheating. It’s rare for a woman to cheat when she’s in a happy, contented relationship with a dominant guy whom she feels attracted to.
Jealousy: Don’t Drink a Fatal Drop
Guys can also make themselves jealous in relationships without any cause. It can come from insecurity. Or sometimes it can come from simple curiosity.
You see her texting on the phone and you wonder, is she texting a guy? Maybe you don’t care too much but you are simply curious. So you’re tempted to look at her phone when she’s not in the room.
A while ago I was dating a girl and stumbled onto her online dating profile. I was very tempted to check how often she logged on and other things. But I didn’t. Even taking one step in that direction is suicide.
I’ve been down that road before and it’s deadly. It’s like the dark side of the force: once you go down that road, it is near impossible to turn back. It leads to more checking.
You start wondering who she’s seeing, who she’s hanging out with. You become needy and try to account for her time. Who was she with?
She mentions a guy at work and so you interrogate her about it. Who is he?
There’s no way you can account for all the time a girl spends away from you. Even if you could, she could still find some way to meet with a lover without you knowing if she wanted.
It’s an endless chase down the rabbit hole. Your mind creates imaginary possibilities.
The worst part is that it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. She sees your insecurity and starts to lose attraction for you. Or she feels crowded by your jealousy, and so she does cheat on you.
Or she uses your expressions of weakness and jealousy as a wedge to get what she wants from you before leaving you.
What to do instead of getting jealous
Instead, when you are tempted to check her phone or interrogate her about every minute she spent away from you, think about how she is when she’s with you.
If she is 100% focused on you, then things are generally fine. Yes, she could be cheating on you or she could be dating other people, but you generally don’t have too much to worry about when a girl is 100% into you.
Some indicators of whether she’s 100% into you:
- How she reacts when you invite her out How much she calls and texts How much she takes initiative with you to invite you out How much she indicates she’s happy in the relationship How much she is focused on you when you’re together (looking at you versus looking around at other people) How much she touches you How much she wants sex
Even a verbal promise of exclusivity is a worthless indicator compared to how she acts around you. What she says with her words do not in any way necessarily correspond to her actions. Often times they are a smoke screen. Her words can almost always be safely ignored in lieu of her actions.
If she’s not 100% focused on you, then you have a problem, regardless of whether she’s seeing other people. In this respect, other people are not your concern, but how she’s treating you is. If she isn’t treating you right, then you have an issue on your hands and must deal with it.
How do you pull her in if she’s not 100% focused on you? You can start with some of these articles.
No doubt there are people out there who can happily see more than two people at once. But once you start to see each other regularly (more than once a week) and text or talk on a daily basis, other people generally fall to the wayside in one way or another.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should be completely blind to signs of other guys on the horizon. Maybe she talks about hanging out with other guys but is really into you when she sees you. That can be a problem too.
But the correct response to this isn’t to show irritation, or to show any type of emotion at all. The correct response is to pull her back in until she is completely focused on you.
She should be scared to death of talking about other guys around you, not because you’ll get upset, but because she doesn’t want to lose you. When she’s completely and utterly in love with you, she’ll be extremely hesitant to talk about other guys around you because she doesn’t want to push you away.
1: Send out random photos of their a**hole. I’ll admit it: I’m a butt guy. I can look at gorgeous rear ends all day, and anyone who wants to send me a photo of their perky bottom has my blessing. But a butthole? Am I missing something? It doesn’t have an adorable look or a cute personality like a penis or a bunny rabbit does. It’s just there, resembling a drain or a black hole or something else I don’t want to get lost inside. Yet gay men send them out, in close-up and sometimes stretched out so I can get a better peek. Don’t even get me started on the names people give them, because that only reminds me of why I’m gay in the first place.
2: Write things like “Not looking” on their hookup profiles. Um, then what exactly are you doing on these sites? Checking out the inspirational quotations? Seeking selfie photo tips? Or, my favorite, networking? Because we all know the headhunters are searching Grindr for new talent. It’s almost as baffling as the dudes who post a headless torso and write, “Will not respond unless you send a face pic.” These guys are actually auditioning heads to match their body. The most puzzling are the men who add things like “Have boyfriend, so don’t ask me what I’m into.” To play devil’s advocate, I have to ask: If you were looking at an earlier time, why not simply delete your profile until further notice? This way you won’t need to send out nasty responses to all those horny bastards who assumed you might want to meet up, since you’re probably half-naked in your shot and listing your sexual proclivities. Gay men are so presumptuous.
3: Over-pluck their eyebrows. I get it: These days we’re all about trimming our beards, our bods, our backs, our balls. But if your eyebrows make Julianna Margulies’ caterpillar brows look natural, you’ve gone too far. And even the Good Wife’s brows have an arch. I’m seeing eyebrows that stick straight out and are clumped together, like someone covered them with plaster of paris and a Sharpie. They don’t look so much like caterpillars as they do scary black leaches clinging on to guys’ foreheads. Unlike in those coloring books we had as children, men should feel free to draw a little bit outside the lines.
4: Post photos of themselves on dating sites with guys who are infinitely hotter than they are. You get a notice that says, “Someone likes you,” and you are thrilled when you see how great he looks in shorts and sunglasses. But wait, that’s not him. That’s his “buddy from Fire Island last summer.” Your “match” is the dweeb in the background, wearing crocs and a Margaritaville T-shirt. Even more perplexing is when the guy posts a group guy photo and gives no clue as to which one he is. “The gang at P-Town,” the caption reads, offering no hint as to where he stands in the lineup. Generally, the main profile photo doesn’t help either, as it’s usually a city skyline or a puppy, and it’s usually upside down.
5: Call every female singer a gay icon. Entertainment sites aren’t helping, but how is it possible that every new female singer who’s ever auto-tuned a hit single gets this label? Because if Carly Rae Jepsen is a gay icon, then I’m the queen of England — impossible, as Elton John already has that job. The term “diva” is overused too; it used to mean a female in the opera, and now it means any female who’s never been to one. And let’s not forget “living legend,” which, as I read awhile back, includes Rihanna. What are they going to call her when she turns 30? A myth? This phenomenon is not unlike referring to any guy who’s done adult films as a “porn star,” even if he only did one film and his face never made the final cut. Let’s save “gay icon” and the rest for those who’ve really earned it, like Betty White.
6: Label themselves. Weren’t “faggot,” “cocksucker,” and “sissy queer bait” bad enough growing up? And isn’t Pride about the thrill of being an individual and not being reduced to a stereotype? We now have more labels than a designer showroom: twink, twunk, pup, bear, cub, chub, bicurious, gay-curious, wolf, bull, daddy, daddy chaser, geek, jock, gym bunny, gym rat, power bottom. (That last one might make sense, even if it does sound like something that you purchase at Best Buy.) As complicated and confusing as these names are, accidentally label a chub a “bear” and you’re likely to get his otter boyfriend in a tizzy. The acronym “LGBTQIA” is confusing enough without adding more labels to “define our unique identity in the community.” With all these initials, we’re starting to look like a vision test for a gay driver’s license.
7: Watch any of those Real Housewives shows. And people made fun of me for loving Desperate Housewives, which, admittedly, wasn’t quite as scripted or include as many plot twists and deaths. Try as I might, I cannot understand the appeal of any of these programs. Is it the cloned faces, the cloned hairstyles and outfits, the touched-up foreheads and Frankenstein-monster body parts, or the inane conversation and petty catfights? Because, if so, wouldn’t the weekly bitch brunch suffice? Unless you have a secret crush on Andy Cohen (who gets his own label, sugar daddy!), watching any of these reality-TV shows is the equivalent of viewing the Reichen sex tape; it looks like seductive on the outside but turns out to have very little meat to offer.
8: Refer to themselves as “straight-acting.” In case you didn’t get the pink memo, if your legs are in the air or your rear end is arching outward and another man is penetrating you, you are not straight-acting. As soon as your lips attach themselves to another man’s penis, you are not straight-acting. There are no exceptions. That means that you can watch sports, you can drink beer, and you can make sexist remarks about Hillary Clinton, but if any part of you is inside a man’s anus, you are not straight-acting. Until you start salivating over a clitoris and craving cunnilingus, you are gay-acting. Learn to love the label. All your boyfriends have.
9: Practice their inclusive life by excluding others. You were bullied in high school for being different, you were ignored by the popular kids, and you were never invited to the cool parties. So now that you’re all gay grown-up, you only hang out with guys who look like underwear models, you don’t invite anyone to your summer share unless they look great naked or are rich and connected, and there’s nothing that upsets you more than when a lesbian, transgender, or straight person sits down next to you at a gay bar or tries to talk to you at a party. Sense a pattern here? High school without girls is still high school, and everyone needs to graduate. As for those heteros you avoid, think back to all the straight places you’ve boycotted or complained about because they didn’t like it when gay guys bombard the place. Then think again.
10: Hit clubs and bars with friends and stay on their phones all night. If this practice keeps up, conversation will soon be a lost art, like writing letters or steam-room sex. Grindr found a guy 300 feet away who likes you? Huzzah! But if you lift your head up for a couple of seconds, you might find a guy three feet away who likes you! I know, it’s medieval, this practice of actually conversing with real men. I understand the need to text at a bar, to connect with a friend or let him know where you are. But if you’re at a bar to meet men, go meet them! If you’re at a club to be with your friends, be with your friends. The only thing sadder than seeing two friends sitting together at a club staring into their phones is picturing the poor saps they’re texting in hopes that they’ll join the fun.
11: Cheat on their partners and think they’ll get away with it. It’s the oldest deception in the world, and it doesn’t work, especially in today’s world. Between friends telling friends they saw you on Scruff and Manhunt, accidentally leaving the apps on, browser history, the history of STDs, the basic fundamental principal that says lying fails unless you’ve got all your basis covered plus one or two extra, gossip, emails, unintentional heartache, attachments, and guilt, it just never works. Trust me.
12: Summarize everything with a Top 10-like list. Hey, I didn’t say my actions were any less baffling than those of other gays. Do as I say.
If your guy has been putting his friends first, and they are negatively influencing him, keep reading and learn how you should handle this situation.
You are the sum of the people you hang out with. Frat-mentality is a real thing, and girls do things to impress other girls, such as dress trendy, and guys do things to impress other guys, such as lift weights, or challenge one another to beer chugging contests.
There are hundreds of reasons as to why one seeks approval from others, and although it might seem silly, or immature, it happens all the time, and at any age, and in both men and women.
The friendships we form have a huge impact on our lives, and can greatly affect how we act and treat others around us. Unfortunately, the negative aspects of the people we hang out with can sometimes end up being absorbed by us, without us even realizing it!
What if his friends are a bad influence?
If you find that your guy always hangs out with unsavory company, here are some things you can do to make sure their mentality doesn’t rub off on him.
#1 New faces. One way you can handle the energy vampires whom your boyfriend happens to call friends is by keeping him busy with activities that involve meeting new people. Ideally, you will already know the new faces you introduce him to, which means that you know they wont be negative influences on him or you.
If you introduce him to new people, and you both make new friends, then the less time he will have to spend with the friends of his that are taking him down the wrong path in life. Obviously, it’s up to him at the end of the day to hang out with new faces or old, but if he’s serious about you and values your relationship, he’ll have no problem trying new things.
#2 Express yourself. No one likes a nag. However, there are many ways you can express your thoughts and concerns to someone you care about, without sounding like their mother or coming across as a Debbie downer. If your guy has been hanging out with his friends, and you feel that they are a negative influence, one way you can handle the situation is sitting down and talking to him in a mature way.
The key to doing this is making sure you don’t come across as someone who is giving him a lecture. You don’t want to sound like you’re teaching him D. A.R. E. or talking to him as though he’s a child. He’s not. In a calm, mature way, express your concerns and give examples to show the negative influence you’ve been witnessing take place when he hangs out with certain friends of his.
If he loves you and cares about your relationship, then he will value your opinion, and realize that you care about him so much, otherwise you wouldn’t take the time to communicate and express yourself.
#3 Copy. Actions speak louder than words. Sometimes in order to get your point across and make others see things from your perspective, you have to literally put yourself in the situation you’re trying to describe. If you aren’t fond of your guy’s friends because you think they are negatively impacting him, then treat him the way he’s been treating you.
What he will realize is that you’ve changed. You dress differently, maybe you started cussing more, or maybe you’ve stopped calling him to see what he’s up to when you two aren’t together.
Once again, if your relationship is important to him, he’ll definitely notice that you’ve changed, and he’ll want to know what’s going on, because he’ll want to fix it. Once you explain to him that the way he feels about you now is exactly how you are feeling, he will probably have the light bulb go off in his head.
#4 Fade away. Although this one is probably not going to be your first option, it is an option nonetheless. If you honestly don’t believe that there is any getting through to your man to help him realize that the people he’s associating with aren’t looking out for his best interests, then you can simply fade away.
Stop being there for him, and stop worrying about him. If you really want to find out if your relationship is important to your guy, then one way to know for certain is to quit holding his hand and doing everything for him.
Along with this, that also means quit trying to make him see his friendships and behavior from your perspective, and instead just stop trying and walk away. Remove yourself from the equation. He’ll notice that you’re no longer there for him during lulls, or to listen to him when he wants a shoulder to lean on. He may start to realize that your presence is more important to him than the people he calls his friends.
#5 Intervene. Interventions aren’t only for highly addicted drug users. If you really care about your man, and you feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get through to him, and get him to realize that the friends he’s hanging out with are negative influences, then one way you can handle the situation is by setting up an intervention. If you have noticed a change for the worse in his behavior, more than likely, his family has too.
Talk with them to see if they have noticed these changes, and once you are all on the same page, figure out a way to sit down with him and talk out loud. Express your concerns, and as always, give examples to help emphasize your points. He may not like that you have confided to his mom and dad, but he’ll realize you all did so because you care that much for him.
#6 Politely pretending. We are all familiar with the saying “kill them with kindness,” and no matter how hard this might be to do, it is one way to definitely handle an uncomfortable situation, especially when it involves your boyfriend and his friends. If you are always polite, and kind to his friends, even when it takes everything inside of you to be, then they will never be able to complain about you to him when you’re not around.
By being polite, it gives you the power, and it also is a way to make sure that your boyfriend thinks of you as a sweet daisy when you aren’t around him and his friends. The less ammo you give his negative friends to use when talking about you, the better. Of course, this one is hard to do, but sometimes it’s worth doing, especially when you are caught in the middle of having to share your guy with others that you want nothing to do with.
#7 Create rules. This one is not my favorite, but sometimes, desperate times call for desperate and drastic measures. No one likes feeling like they are trapped, or being told what to do, especially your boyfriend. I mean, would you really want him to tell you who you can and can’t hang out with? Probably not.
But you would respect his opinion, and probably consider abiding by some guidelines when it comes to hanging out with certain people, especially if he expressed his concern to you about why he does or doesn’t like certain friends of yours.
Despite the fact that your guy may have been friends with these guys since they were kids, you, as the current girlfriend, have every right to let him know when his friends aren’t good for his wellbeing. Sure, at first he may think you’re just jealous of his friends. But when he realizes that you’re just looking out for him, it won’t be long before he realizes you’re right.