Hi, Dr. Dennis

I am a 34 year old woman who is insanely attracted (you could even say devoted) to a 56 year old man who still makes me melt after almost 4 years of knowing him. We have seen photos of each other, but our only contact has been via e-mail and telephone – never in person.

I met this man while I was still married. Our business relationship turned friendly, and after a year and a half of a friendly relationship, our talks led to more intimate and personal subjects - I can honestly say I was the one who was curious about his sexual likes and dislikes...he has always been a perfect gentleman and has never placed an emphasis on anything sexual (that is INSANELY attractive to me).

After a year of a VERY intense emotional relationship (this man had proven to me that he would wait as long as he had to for me), I had beat myself into an emotional frenzy because I felt I was cheating on my husband, so I ended our "romantic" relationship. I love the man dearly - he has my heart - so I explained that I wanted to still be friends. He wanted to have contact as friends once or twice a month, which I could not have lived with, so he said he needed a couple of weeks to get used to the "new order of things" - going from a very intimate friendship to a platonic friendship, then he contacted me at the end of a "2 week hiatus".

That was 1 year ago this month, and I have since divorced my husband (for narcotic addiction - not because of my feelings for this other man). I poured my heart out to this man a couple of months ago, basically telling him how much I still care for him, and I wish he would give our romantic relationship another chance - at least meet me in person before he gives up on us altogether.

This was a man that was absolutely CRAZY about me last year, but he told me recently that he did not see a future with me, even though he has a "great deal of affection for me that he cannot deny". Lately, he has been growing more distant - his phone calls are down from 8 a month to 3 or 4, and his emails are only 1 per week now instead of 3 or 4. My divorce will be final in 2 1/2 weeks, and I am wondering if he is trying to distance himself from me now in an attempt to build attraction since we plan to visit in person soon after my divorce is final?

I keep reading all this advice to men to create distance from women to build attraction while still leaving them on her agenda. I feel he is doing this to me - or maybe I am just HOPING that is what he is doing.

Could he be trying to get rid of me altogether since I am about to be divorced because he would think I was "needy" or something? He said he is very attracted to my physical appearance (I was voted best-looking in high school and have held my own over the years), my analytical ability, my positive outgoing attitude, my intelligence, and my devotion to my family and friends - those are his words, not mine. Could a man throw away a woman who was once the woman of his dreams? We have stayed such good friends since the "romantic breakup", but now he is creating all this distance - it's not normal for him.

And for all you men who have read this far, here's a tip for you - this man made me fall HARD for him because he was a perfect gentleman who truly listened to what I said and could even ask me questions about it later. He is VERY intelligent and well-spoken, and has a genuine interest in every facet of my life. And yes, I love him because he stands his ground and did not let an emotional outburst I had get to him - he is very strong emotionally without ever having walked all over my emotions. He is very optimistic and supportive of me which goes a long way.

I want this man, and without sounding too conceited, I just cannot understand why he would not want me, but it appears that way right now. Do you have any idea why he is creating all this distance from me right before we are supposed to meet?

He KNOWS I would not sleep with a man that was not devoted to me long term, so him telling me he does not see a future with me is not promising. Maybe he just wants the sex and is being honest with me about his standing on a long-term commitment since we are good friends. Or maybe he can't say anything about a long-term commitment since he has not seen me in person yet? I know men are visual creatures like that.

Do you have any suggestions on what I could do to show him that I would never leave him again now that I am soon to be legally divorced? I completely crushed this man (and myself) last year and I beat myself up for it daily, but I want him to feel secure with me again now that I am free to be with him.

I would really appreciate any help you could provide. Thanks.


First - to any guy that's reading this, I strongly urge you to NOT use this as an example what to - or not to - do. In fact, you should never take relationship/dating advice from women unless they're lesbians and even then, their target market is rather different from yours! Buyer beware!

Sorry - this may work for you, but trust me, your situation; like your relationship, is very different from the "norm". Any guy that believes this will work is going to find out the hard way that it won't. Then, they're going to write to me, very unhappy with the results.

Yes, I can tell you exactly what's going on here. You've spent the last 4 years building up an emotional connection that frankly, only exists in your mind. Your brain actually takes in information at over 60,000 impressions PER SECOND. That's a tremendous rate of information, and if your brain doesn't have access to the real information, it "fills in the gaps" by giving you whatever it is that you want. In your case, you filled in the gaps with all the intellectual/emotional "chemistry" without having the actual impressions to work with.

Consider this: when you're "in person" you get not only the verbal part of communication, but a much bigger part is missing: non-verbal. You can't watch the tilt of his head, the almost instantaneous, impreceptable movement of the corner of his mouth and the slight changes in his complexion. Instead, you've spent many hours on the phone and via email getting none of this! Your mind has "inserted" this information for you since it wasn't there. I'm sorry to say that you are (in effect) in love with a ghost!

While you've been building all of this up and creating all the things you need to want this man, he's been denied what he needs! Even worse, you've now required that he create something that doesn't even exist to get it! You demand (as you stated) that he "devotes" to you when in fact, there is nothing there (other than huge phone bills) on which to base such an expectation.

Here's something you really need to understand: men and women use sex and physical intimacy VERY differently; at least in the beginning of the relationship. You (as a woman) use sex to create bonding and inimacy. Men on the other hand use sex to determine if we WANT TO create bonding and intimacy! This period only lasts for a short while and if you miss it, it's very difficult to get back - almost impossible.

Go back and re-read that paragraph until the idea really sinks in. You need to understand why; while getting what you want, you've also shot yourself in the foot by denying him what HE needs in order to be where you are!

In effect, he's passed through all of the phases that you've been building up to. He may very well have been where you are now years ago. However, by not having the physical aspect of a relationship with you, his mind decided to relieve this pain by taking away his need for you. In effect, he's fallen out of love with you and has become nothing more than a friend and maybe even less than that.

Right now, his contact with you is probably more out of habit than out of need. By putting such huge requirements on him in order to even build anything from this point forward, he's probably just given up and is moving on emotionally if not mentally. This is why he sees no "future" with you. It's based entirely on your past together.

All people interested in relationships need to understand this point: all relationships have a "window of opportunity" where both people's needs coincide. Many women (and sometimes men) try to artifically manipulate this window by saying things like, "Let's take this slow" or in other ways like preventing or putting of first meetings (as in this case). What this does is to destroy the chance for the relationship to begin to ripen. It never leaves this "proto-stage" and eventually withers and dies.

I regret to say that this is likely where things are for you now. You've spent far too much time "selling" and no time "delivering". While this may have worked well for you, it absolutely didn't work for him. I can say this with great assurity; both from being a man and having talked to many, many thousands.

At this point, I'm not very confident in your ability to "right" this situation. I'll bet that on top of all history here, you're also at some distance away from each other - maybe hours or even days. With this added problem you aren't going to "fix" things here unless one of you moves and even then, you still have to get past the history!

If you two are local enough to get together regularly (like instead of calling), I strongly urge you to do that right away. Without being in person, you're never going to work this out, and frankly, I doubt it even then.

Best regards...
Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to me by going to: http://beingaman.com/ask_question.asp for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's Worldtm" (volumes I & II), and other products visit: www.beingaman.com. Check out the discussion group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beingaman.

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