Dr. Neder,

My good friend has asked you a few questions and spoke very highly of the advice you've given him and the results he's received. I’ll take his word for it, and try to keep this brief, but I do want to give you the some background.

I’m 23 and have a good degree and career. Two weeks ago, I went on a first date with a young woman. We live about an hour away. I have known her and her family for 6 years – she is the younger sister of my best friend; also a girl. In fact, I’ve spent many weekends with their family, was in my best friend’s wedding party, and adore the parents. I think the feelings on that are all mutual.

My date, who is 21, was dumped by her long-time boyfriend six months ago. Before the date, I was warned by that “…she still has some feelings leftover from that.” It became clear on the date that she was still hurting over it. I was getting mixed body language from her about “making a move” and decided that no one has ever been pepper sprayed for trying to hold hands – and so I went for it. She got a little uncomfortable, pulled her hand away, and we kept on chatting.

The next morning, my date called her sister and told her how wonderful of a time she’d had with me, but felt uncomfortable that I’d “made a move” and didn’t know what to do. Knowing me as well as she does, my friend told her to talk to me about this, and assured her that I’d understand, and would really appreciate the openness of communication. She told me she DID want to keep spending time with me, on the condition that I understood she’s in a “romantically anxious place right now,” and that this isn’t going anywhere “right at this very moment.” I assured her we were on the same page, that I too wanted to continue ‘getting to know her,’ and that – unless she gave me a painfully obvious “HOLD MY HAND, DUMMY” sign, I’d keep my hands to myself.

Since then, we’ve communicated almost every day. While this is great, our communication has been exclusively electronic. We’ve only talked on the phone once, which was when I called to tell her I was heading over to pick her up. I’ve tried calling her in the past and she’ll respond to a voicemail with a text. We text, we talk on AIM, we talk on Facebook. She’s forcing some distance – but she’s told me why. For the time being I’m trying to swim WITH the tide, rather than against it.

So, here are my questions.

1: I’m going to be in her town next weekend. How far in advance should I let her know I’ll be there? I don’t want to seem like I’m planning my trips around her.

2: What should we do? Our first date was dinner and drinks at her favorite bar. Since this one is an “un-date” should I do something that won’t FEEL like a date, or is that not a bad thing? Should I propose something in the afternoon? Lunch and butt sex, perhaps? (Oh wait… that’s what I’m NOT supposed to say to her. Right.)

3: I’m desperately afraid I’m going to wind up in the friend zone with her. How do I toe the line between “just being friends for now” and “just being friends forever?”

4: Is it wise to swim with the tide, and not push the 'phone call' thing?

Thank you for the wonderful service you provide here on All Experts. I greatly look forward to the sage advice my friend speaks so highly of.



Your friend spoke "highly" of the advice he received here? Hmmm...maybe he didn't understand it then! ;)

Now, wait just a damn minute here. Holding hands is "making a move"??? Seriously? Come on here, what are you two, 12-years old? Holding hands isn't much of a "move" at all! In fact, kissing isn't a "move" either! These are very simple, minor-as-hell things that people who are enjoying each other's company do. Let's keep things in perspective here!

If she's uncomfortable about this, how uncomfortable do you think she'd be about sex; let alone a relationship? If you give this any credibility whatsoever, you're simply reinforcing this ridiculous issue! Don't do that - treat it as the non-issue that it is!

Now, let's deal with this "romantically anxious place" crap. So what? She's still having problems with an ex-boyfriend 6 months ago? Seriously - SIX MONTHS AGO??? Further, why in the hell are you expected to be this girl's therapist? Why all the pressure on you to walk on egg shells here - and none on this girl to grow the fuck up already?? You are both ADULTS here! You're not children. If she thinks she is, she is NOT ready to be in ANY relationship - not even the one that broke up 1/2 a year ago!!!

You are giving all of this far too much credence and therefore, creating a problem rather than expecting everyone to start acting like adults already. What's going to happen next, are you and your friend going to make a pinky-swear that you won't try to hold hands with this girl ever again??? Come on already!

STOP being "Mr. Sensitive" here and start being the man in this situation! Do you think this girl (or ANY girl) will ever feel safe and secure with you if you actually put up with this ridiculous child's game? Answer: absolutely not! They'll go find some guy like me that knows better and will dump your ass for being so dumb. Don't be dumb!

Whew! That felt better...on to your questions:

1) Give her 3-4 days notice. No more than that.

2) DO NOT go on an "un-date"! DO NOT go hang out with this girl! If she's now going to be your buddy, she'll never be anything else to you. Don't waste your time, money or resources on that. Lunch and butt sex would be FAR better than this! Instead, if she has psychological issues, tell her to go get some counseling, but to grow the hell up before you get there - and go on a REAL date one of the nights you're there. That means you're going to hold her damn hand and kiss her like real adults on a real date. If she can't handle that, don't waste your time with her - give her another 20 years to grow up!

3) You're already there! This needs to be how you're going to get out of it, not being afraid you'll wind up there! You can't be friends now and something else in the future. If you really get into that situation, it's game over.

4) Look. I've spent a lot of quality time in your state. I've done hunting seminars and taking packs of guys out to meet some incredible girls. You guys are no different there than we are over here on the "left coast". YOU on the other hand want to think somehow you are!

There's no "swimming with the tide" going on here - this is all about YOU swimming up-stream!

Dating and building a relationship - even a potential one - is your job, not hers. If you don't know how adults date or what your roll should be or any of 1001 other important points that would make you think any of this is ok, then I strongly encourage you to read my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World I & II" and learn how things REALLY work.

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: http://BeingAMan.com. Be sure to check out the new BAM! TV at http://BeingAMan.tv. Follow me on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/cas4w9) and Twitter (http://tinyurl.com/d3pecs).

Copyright (c) 2010, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
All rights reserved.

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 30,000 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.

Do you have a burning question that needs an answer? Are you a man that wants to better experiences with women, or a woman that wants to better understand men? To learn more, go to http://beingaman.com and http://beingaman.tv. You can also follow his micro-blog at: http://twitter.com/dwneder.