Dear Doc:

I am 20 and the longest I have been in a relationship is 10 months, but I have noticed a pattern in all of the girls I have dated. When I first meet them, they seem to be head over heels for me, they seem to love my charm, since of humor and look and things go okay for about a month or two. I am what you would call a gentlemen type of boyfriend. I always pay on dates, open the door for the girl, see what movie they want to see, so on... and later in our relation ship I am very affectionate, telling them I love them when we get done talking on the phone, and holding there hand in public, etc.

I start noticing a pattern: the more interest I show in the girl, the more they start to distance themselves. I always figured that to show a girl I am interested in her, I had to pay a lot of attention to her, but I think that it turns them off. I think maybe they think I am to "clingy".

My friends say I need to start acting like a jerk to them.

I just wanted a second opinion on the matter, a more professional one.



"Clingy" is far too simplistic a concept to explain all of this. No, it's not that you're clingy, it's that you're not allowing - or expecting - these girls to invest in your relationship. You never give them that chance, so after 10 months (or so) of this, they begin to realize this fact and go off to find someone that knows better.

Yes, IN A WAY girls like "jerks". The problem with this concept is that it's a very subtle thing and frankly, very few guys can pull it off properly. Trust me on this one: you don't have the experience nor example to do it.

What you think is being diplomatic actually comes off as weak and disorganized to women. The best example I can give you is your own statement about being a "gentleman boyfriend". Specifically, " on dates, open the door for the girl, see what movie they want to see..."

This is the pattern that's killing you. You're making the girl the focus of the relationship. She doesn't want to be this - she wants YOU to be this.

There's a difference between basic courtesy and over-giving. For instance, you should always open the door for a woman. Why? Simple: you're bigger than her (most likely) and many doors are just heavy to move. You walk out the outside of the curb - toward the street. Why? Because you're bigger and easier to see by on-coming traffic.

These forms of courtesy not only let her feel more like a woman but they have practical reasons for being as well. This isn't your problem however.

You need to assert yourself - your desires, your wants, your plans, etc. - into the relationship early-on and keep them going. You're not doing that, I can already tell.

You're asking her what she wants, what she expects, etc., and then trying to jump through hoops to give them to her. That's your mistake.

Instead, you need to first decide what you want (the hardest part for nice guys like you by the way) and then to not only tell her, but expect her to comply with it - which she will, happily - in HER language.

Women are complicated, wonderful creatures. They are flexible in ways you and I can only hope to be, but trust me on this one: they don't want to be the one that has to decide everything. They'd far rather follow the plan - if only you can decide what that is and communicate it to her in her own language.

Herein lies the problem!

I know I've left you confused by this because you can't turn to some movie or TV show you've ever seen to extract an example of this behavior. Unfortunately, your education about women - what they want, who that are, etc. - is wrong. Totally wrong.

You need to rebuild that education if you ever want more than 10-month relationships, because women just aren't here to teach you how to be a man. They expect you to already know. If you prove to them you're not one (which you do through your "program" of being the nice guy) they bolt looking form someone like me.

[Man! Am I an arrogant jackass or what!???]

I strongly recommend you seek out that education you so badly need. There's no reason why you can't learn to keep these things going properly and to even grow them, but YOU have to decide to seek it out. It doesn't come to you, and trust me, it's not just floating out there for you to absorb. In fact, it's rather hidden.

Seek it out and change your life. It's that simple.

Best regards…

Have a love, dating, sex or relationship question? You can write to me or get more information about “Being a Man in a Woman’s World tm” by going to: Be sure to check out the new BAM! TV at Follow me on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Copyright (c) 2009, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. He has written 14 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World™" series) and is working on 2 others. He's also written hundreds of articles, answered over 26,000 reader/viewer questions and has been on over a thousand radio and TV shows. "Dr. Dennis" is funny, direct and intuitive and has a unique ability to get right to the heart of the issue.

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