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Is She Neurotic or is He Just Not That Attracted to Her? - Relationship Advice

Updated on February 26, 2011

Dear Veronica

I really enjoy reading your advice you give to others. I've recently started dating someone (1.5months) - he just broke up with his ex and I just broke up with mine, and we met online. I really enjoy spending time with him - he is a very busy guy with work and sports. We see eachother about once a week - he has introduced me to his family and coworkers, he tells me he's excited for our dates, and makes plans with me on the weekend (usually books me 2 days in advance). However this voice in my head keeps telling me I am going to screw this up and I really like this guy...the voice keeps convincing me he doesn't like me. Sometimes I'll add in a flirty comment in an email and get no response from him. I guess the one part I'm having a tough time with is I am a little shy. He ha s held my hand in public once or twice, but I just can't make the first move. I just want to take this relationship to the next level - but given we both just got out of relationships, maybe it's best if we take it slow? We have already slept together, I just find it hard to be affectionate with him (I usually date guys that make all the first moves, and this new guy is a gentleman). Any advice? Am I just being neurotic?


Dear Janey,

One thing about being the aggressor in a relationship, is that once you establish that role, that's it. You're the aggressor. He won't make the moves. If you're shy and don't want that role, then don't assume it.

He's held hands a couple times, that's very good. But you've already slept with him. Was it just once? Was it awkward? Was there affection before you slept with him, and then that went away afterward?

I actually like that you met online, and moved relatively quickly into real time. Did you meet in an online forum designed to meet dates? If so, then even though there's recent ex's for both of you there is also intent to move on and date someone new. If that is mutual, then that's a good sign.  

It is possible that in that little push to get back out there after a break up, you moved too quickly. Maybe the sex happened a little too soon. That may have knocked him off kilter regarding his physical relationship with you. It's normal, natural, and human to have sex, and certainly we've all been there, leaping in a little early. It doesn't sound like it ruined anything, so don't worry about it, but just consider it as a possible factor as to why the physical part of this relationship seems to be a little off.

If he slept with you, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say he finds you attractive. If he's still calling and dating you, then I really don't think you have to worry about his being a gentlemen.

I want to ask about the voice in your head. You don't actually hear a voice that tells you these bad things, right? Things like that you're going to screw this up, and that he doesn't really like you? 

Of course I'm thinking you don't actually hear a voice that tells you mean things, but I'd like to make sure. 

If you are uncomfortable just letting this blossom or re-bloom at his pace, maybe you could try to talk to him about it. I realize you're shy but maybe you try. It doesn't have to be confrontational or accusing. You could say it smiling and in a fun way. Or you could do it in one of your emails. Next time you say something flirty, and he responds without mentioning it, write back and say "Hey I hope it's ok that I said this "x" flirty thing." Then you have a great opener for the subject next time you see him. 

Since you told me you're shy I based some of my advice on what I thought would be appropriate for you. But if it doesn't feel right, by all means just be yourself. If you feel like taking a hold of his hand, take it. If you feel like asking for a kiss, ask. If you feel like stepping things up yourself, go ahead and lead the way. Maybe he's actually more shy than you are, and you're not seeing because you're seeing him as a gentlemen. 

I don't think he'd be setting up dates a couple days in advance and introducing you to key people in his life if he wasn't attracted to you. But I really don't know why he's moving so slowly with the affection side of things. Does he know how attracted you are to him? Maybe letting him know in a sweet whisper next time you see him will help encourage him to make a move. Or maybe a more intimate date setting suggestion? You could offer to cook for him. If you're not a cook, maybe next time he asks you to dinner you could offer to make dessert special for him and have it at your place afterwards - it's not too hard to make a cake or something, so it's not a lot of pressure. 

Don't listen to any voices that say negative or mean things. I can promise you, those voices are lying. 

Do you have a relationship question? Email me through the link in my profile. Thanks!


Submit a Comment

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Thanks Shouraku!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Dicky lol! I am so glad to hear that I am not the only person who used that term.

    I think that you posted your comment at the same time as I did mine, and I have to say that I think that you have a much better grasp of the situation then I do. In my opinion I think that I project too much.

    Five star. Please keep writing as you are helping many!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Hi Veronica. I do enjoy reading your Hubs. I found you when I was researching a Hub/article I was writing on wedding rings.

    Normally I am not one to comment, but in this case I feel compelled.

    I have to ask Janey, when you say that your boyfriend is a “gentleman”, what exactly do you mean? Do you mean that he is generally courteous and respectful, or do you mean that he observes a more traditional set of good manners?

    In other words, does he hold the door for you? Pull out your seat for you at the table? Take his hat off when he enters a building? Put his napkin on his lap before he eats? Keeps his elbows off of the table?

    The funny thing about traditional manners from the early to mid nineteen hundreds is that they were preached and indoctrinated like a religion. People were raised from the time that they were very young to follow the strict practices of traditional manners, and public deviation from said practices was like committing heresy, it just looked and felt wrong.

    I mention this because, as Veronica would say, I see a few “tells” in your letter. First, that he avoids showing you affection in public yet has slept with you. Second, that he does not respond in kind to flirty comments that you make threw email. Also the fact that he books you a few days in advance is significant.

    Normally I would say “it looks like he is just not that into you”, However, in this case since he has introduced you to his friends and co-workers and sees you as frequently as he can, I think that there is something else going on here. I think that he may very well be a traditional gentleman.

    There are still people today who have been raised under the manners and courtesies of the early part of the last century. I know, I am one, and though it is outdated and many times does not fit will with the rest of society’s expectations, I have been indoctrinated like a religion. It is a part of who I am.

    In the early to mid nineteen hundreds most people did not touch their significant other in public. There were the rebels who defied this, but traditional manners dictated that public touching was very rude and inappropriate. Love letters were somewhat of a debated topic, some people had no problem writing very romantic and detailed letters while other would never dream of saying anything so personal unless it was behind closed doors.

    Honestly, it is extremely difficult for me to touch another person in public. I don’t have a problem seeing others touch; however, since I never saw anyone in my family do so, it was not even on my radar as a possibility. I wouldn’t even think to consider it. When my past boyfriends would hold my hand or in some other way touch me, I would never resist as I understood that they were just trying to show me affection, yet it made me feel very awkward and is not something that I would volunteer to do.

    Same with flirty emails, I appreciate the sentiment, it makes me feel loved, valued and desired, however, it would be very awkward to me personally to express those feelings anywhere except in person and away from the public.

    Seems ridiculous doesn’t it? I’ll tell you it can be a pain sometimes in ways that most people can’t even imagine. When I see someone drink the last of their soup directly from the bowl or lick a piece of food off of their teeth instead of turning away and using a napkin, the sight actually makes me physically dry heave with disgust (I am not exaggerating). I don’t look down on them for their behavior, it is just that I have been raised to behave differently.

    The good news is that contrary to popular believe most people with traditional manners are willing to compromise to make sure that their partner gets what they need. However you are going to have to ask him about his behavior and encourage him to discuss it, otherwise he is probably just going to continue to remain in his comfort zone.

    I have found that usually once I introduce my partner to my family so that he can see where my manners come from, then he usually begins to understand that I am not trying to deny him affection or suggest that I am not attracted to him, but that my observance of traditional manners is my way of showing him that I love and respect him.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY


    You're welcome, and thanks for commenting.

    Yes, you need to make second moves. Absolutely. I think if this has been what's going on he may feel a bit thwarted. Make a gesture, like inviting him for a home cooked dinner or dessert. A gesture is different than a first move. A gesture just sets the stage to say to him - hey make a move! lol.

    The next time you kiss, after the kiss give that positive reinforcement and smile and say, "I love the way you kiss. I love kissing you!" Or something like that, that encourages him to do it more. Or hand holding, or just hugs. Just acknowledge it next time he does it in a very rewarding way, so he knows this pleases you and he should do it more.

    Guys can be very dense about things. Nothing you said sounds dicky, I think more he's just trying to figure out what to do. Clear positive signals are the best way to communicate that he's doing great.... and can do more.

    Good luck.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    You know what after reading this it all makes sense what happened. I met him on a site similar to "Lavalife". We slept together on our second date (I know bad!). We kiss a lot in foreplay...and normally if we are watching a movie and things we cuddle, but usually only kiss "goodbye". I remember a couple things he said on the first date like "no better way to move on from relationship to get into another" so I think I have a big fear of being the rebound - even though I'm in the exact situation as him. I think he has tried making first moves, but then I have never made a "second" move, so perhaps he thinks I don't really like that. Maybe I will try making some "second" moves and reassure him I like him just as much! I'm just worried it's still a little awkward at 1.5 months, but then again, we only see each other once a week, so it's tough to jump right into a very affectionate relationship.

    I don't actually have a voice in my head, it's more self defeating thoughts, I need to change that ASAP!!! I also had a bad experience with my ex, so I'm probably expecting this guy to act in the same manner, even though I KNOW there's 360 degrees difference in them. Thanks for your help!


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