Feeling smothered

by Dating Goddess on December 8, 2010

When someone likes another, the “liker” wants a lot of contact with the “likee.” However, if the ardor isn’t equal, the likee can feel smothered.

Case in point: I’m getting to know a new guy, thus far only by phone. He calls several times a day. Recently, I called him back from an airport and he asked me to call him when I got home so he knew I’d arrived safely.

While I appreciate his concern for my safety, I haven’t had to check in with someone about my safe arrival since I lived with my parents. So I didn’t. He left two voice mails when he thought I’d gotten home. I returned them the next day, as this wasn’t important to me and felt like a chore, not something I relished.

When one hasn’t yet even met a person, I think one call a day is sufficient — and even that can be overkill. I’ve been drawn into extensive text and IM conversations with guys before I’ve met them and have learned it’s usually a time sink. Yes, it can be fun and flirtatious, but if there’s no chemistry when you meet, then it’s all for naught.

The challenge is to assert one’s needs for not-so-frequent contact without hurting the other. If I’m not yet comfortable saying it outright, then I wait to respond, rather than replying instantly. Although if the liker isn’t astute enough to understand that too-frequent communication can be off-putting, he is not likely to get the subtlety of tardy responses.

When I am the stalker, er, I mean liker, and make too-frequent contact, I surmise that less-than-quick responses mean to lay off. I may be misinterpreting this as perhaps the person has been unable to respond. So if he responds enthusiastically, and with “I’m so bummed I couldn’t respond immediately,” that quells the doubts. But without that feedback, I look for the subtleties.

Have you felt smothered by a potential sweetie? If so, what did you do to dial it back a bit?

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Want to understand more signs that tell you a lot about a man before even meeting? Get your copy of Check Him Out Before Going Out: Head Off Dud Dates.

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