Dear Badger: Is He Falling For Me?

Guarded writes:

Hi All ,
My question is about my current BF of 5 months. We get along great we actually met in H.S reconnected 8 months ago. He tells me that I drive him crazy , he was fascinated by me..He can’t keep his hands off of me cuddling or sexual. He’s a type of guy who keeps giving he doesn’t get jealous at all, and only has been in love once in his life out of 13 relationships. He told me he really really likes me more.than what I know he wants to keep me happy & loves to cuddle..etc my question is could he be falling for me and I don’t realize it? All his friends know of me and I noticed his eyes twinkle when he kisses me. We have so much on common its ridiculous is this a bad thing? I guess I’m very curious but I will.not ask him because I don’t want to scare him I’m enjoying our casual relationship , because I feel so lucky to be with such a great guy. Any advice ? Thanks Very Guarded..

It sounds like he has fallen for you, and you do realize it. If he’s had 13 mostly-loveless “relationships” and he’s been seeing you for five months and telling you he is really into you, that’s practically a marathon and a huge positive sign. The only caveat would be if this is an act; I wouldn’t suspect it unless he had a history as a player or something like that. Most guys don’t talk about their emotions with girls unless they are really strong, and the number of guys who are sociopathic and can manipulate a woman’s emotions with their own is very small. The safe bet is that he’s quite smitten.

I will.not ask him because I don’t want to scare him I’m enjoying our casual relationship , because I feel so lucky to be with such a great guy.

You’ve asked if he wants something more. The thing I’m not seeing in your letter is whether you want something more. Maybe you do and you are afraid to say it, even to a blogger. Or maybe you don’t – despite cultural tropes, not all women are desperately praying to get into a long-term relationship, and because of cultural pressures they are loath to admit they don’t want what society tells them they should want. Or maybe you don’t because you fear that an overt “commitment” will kill the spontaneous, mirthful vibe you guys have (this is one of the legitimate gripes of men with regard to relationships and marriage).

There’s this thing that came up in popular culture called the “DTR talk”: Define The Relationship. It’s an absolutely essential part of any modern relationship experience – even if neither of you are actively seeing other people, neither side can or should assume they are exclusive until they’ve had the talk. Your anxiety is not atypical among young women, they are unnerved about pushing the issue for fear of making the guy feel boxed in or put upon.

But here’s the rub – if you don’t bring it up, it may never get discussed. Many guys have been burned by asking for commitment too early and looking needy, which drives women away, and there’s a subtle stripe of machismo in American culture that discourages and looks down on men who want relationships (which balances cultural pressures for women to seek “commitment.”)

There are a lot of cases where both sides want to have the relationship, but the girl doesn’t want to ask because she’s afraid of scaring him off, and the guy doesn’t want to ask because he’s afraid she’ll take him for needy or weak. And bizarrely, some of these couples split up even though they both want to stay together, because neither side wants to take the risk of capitulating by bringing it up.

In your case, the signs are positive – he’s not hiding you, he’s been open about his emotions, he obviously likes you. I would be surprised if he gave you some kind of “I’m just having fun/I’m not looking for anything serious” kind of response.

So you need to figure out what you want. If you are cool with having a “fling” – an intense, limerant relationship experience without any real stated expectation of long-term growth – that’s just fine. If you want to make a go at a long-term thing, that’s fine too, and you shouldn’t feel wrong in asking for it. But in any case, be honest with him about it. If you want to have a fling, and he wants an LTR, don’t try to “fake it till you make it.” You’ will break his heart, and he’ll be angry with you for what he’ll perceive as you leading him on.

We have so much on common its ridiculous is this a bad thing?

No, not at all. Not to say that opposites can’t attract either, but commonalities give a couple a shortcut to building a relationship foundation. The only problem can be if you are too much alike; in that case, one of you is redundant.

SHUTTER, DON’T FLUTTER YOUR EYELIDS

I can’t finish without commenting on this:

All his friends know of me and I noticed his eyes twinkle when he kisses me.

There’s an old line that you should never trust anyone who kisses with their eyes open – the joke being that you can’t tell if your partner’s eyes are open unless yours are too. :-o

I will say that one of my favorite experiences in the early dating process is giving a lady a nice deep kiss, then pulling away and opening my eyes to see hers still closed, with an open-mouthed halo of joy emanating from her face.

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22 Comments

Filed under dear badger, relationships

22 responses to “Dear Badger: Is He Falling For Me?

  1. …loves to cuddle…

    Men only like to cuddle with people they really care about.

  2. modernguy

    These people have been sleeping together for five months and they’re just now wondering if it might turn into love? They don’t even know the meaning of the word.

  3. *pulls up a chair*

    this is gonna be good.

  4. Rhahael

    She will leave him…

  5. 108spirits

    Badger gets it wrong. She’s about to deploy a giant LJBF on this bloke because he’s too intense too soon while she wants to keep it casual in case a bigger better swingin’ dick comes around.

    Your part on the DTR talk is off. He’s already brought it up. The dumb bastard spilled his guts, practically. What’s left to say from him, short of a bent knee and public proposal?

    He’s all over the place emotionally while she is mostly emotionally unavailable. If you switch the sexes, he sounds like a woman head over heels in love and she sounds like a semi-amused Alpha who’s warming up to this poor woman in love – perfect relationship. Too bad you can’t make that switch, so it’s going to end in serious pain.

    A Red Pill man should wince at this like when you see another guy getting hit in the nuts.

  6. Noeleve

    Maybe this girl is about to LJBF and leave him, maybe she’s genuine and stays, hard to say from the short email… The point is generic, for female readers, what are the genuine IOI’s girls get from guys (as in indicators of interest in them as possible LTR material)?

    Women project, and we think you’ll show us in certain ways if you care about us more than a short fling, and we often clumsily misread the real signals. So when you do something male that shows you actually deeply care (e.g. cuddle, mention any feelings) and we write it off not realizing that that’s big in the context of a guy, it’s… unfortunate.

    The guys who say all the things women want to hear (the things we project you should say) are often the least sincere. So we’re left with the pages and pages and pages of Cosmo articles to try to help us figure out if the rest of you actually like us.

  7. spirits, that’s exactly why I focused the post on what she wants and her options for getting it. Once I started to look for it, I was initially shocked about how many letters to advice columnists (and questions from women IRL) were all about figuring out what the man wants and what he can offer, without any enthusiasm about what she wanted. A lot of them are transparent setups for her to get the best “deal” in the relationship negotiation even though she may not love the guy.

    She can’t deploy an LJBF to a guy she’s been sleeping with for close to half a year. Given his very emotional behavior it’s certain possible she’s starting to burn out (a five-month fling is very long) and his cloying is pushing her away. It doesn’t sound like they’ve had a DTR, just a bunch of talk about feelings.

  8. I don’t read into her email that she’s looking for friends only. Her words, “I don’t want to scare him”, “very guarded”. To me she sounds like she risks losing him if she tells him how she really feels. If she’s guarded it’s possible she’s been dumped/hurt in the past. She also says she feels lucky to have him, she may perceive his value as higher than hers and is worried she’ll screw it up.

    I was interested to read what indicators men give from a man’s point of view. It’s confirmed my belief that my bf does love me. Nice. Thanks.

  9. Noeleve,

    “The guys who say all the things women want to hear (the things we project you should say) are often the least sincere.”

    Bingo. If you’re hearing all the perfect things, take a deep breath and ask if it might be too good to be true.

    Players are very good at pushing women’s emotional buttons. Beta-type guys usually can’t handle it, they care too much about the woman’s emotional state to intentionally disrupt it. It’s darkly funny to try to train a hard beta in teasing or ignoring a woman (e.g. to pass a fitness test), they are so hesitant to bump a woman’s emotions around in a conversation. They ask me “why would I want to do that?” “Because that makes it fun and exciting for her.”

    This despite the fact that deference has gotten most beta guys absolutely nothing from women except bored, dry reactions. Old habits die hard.

  10. aoefe,

    Welcome, thanks for leaving a comment.

    “I don’t read into her email that she’s looking for friends only.”

    Nor do I – my question is does she want to go further than the fling they are at now.

    “Her words, “I don’t want to scare him”, “very guarded”. To me she sounds like she risks losing him if she tells him how she really feels. If she’s guarded it’s possible she’s been dumped/hurt in the past. She also says she feels lucky to have him, she may perceive his value as higher than hers and is worried she’ll screw it up.”

    That is the most obvious way to look at it. It just gave me pause that she didn’t lay out “how she really feels” in the comment. I am guessing she’s a bit uncertain about the whole thing herself (flings are intense and can be scary, that’s part of the fun) and is looking to him and his signals for guidance on where the relationship is going.

    “I was interested to read what indicators men give from a man’s point of view. It’s confirmed my belief that my bf does love me. Nice. Thanks.”

    The Badger Hut – bettering the lives of men and women, one comment at a time.

  11. susanawalsh

    @Badger

    Great job here. I know it’s true, because I feel defensive and threatened reading it. I need to get this panel of experts at HUS going asap.

    I agree that she needs to be honest about what she wants. The months and even years spent in “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationships are often a total waste.

    For the record, the first time I ever realized a guy was keeping his eyes open while kissing was a total turnon. It was just so intense – like he couldn’t look away from me. The same guy once kissed me and released all the wine in his mouth into mine. That was the biggest tingle/stomach flop/clit twinge I have ever experienced. FWIW.

  12. Stephenie Rowling

    Oh Badger I have a personal anecdote.
    In my new job (I am a productive member of USA society now, I might even pay taxes now yay me!) I eavesdropped a guy saying to his coworkers that he is always the rebound guy he said you are not supposed to look for love but to stumbled or fall in it and that he is waiting for the right girl…it broke my heart :(.

    For the looks of it all this most young guys were I work are in the same situation working low paying jobs waiting for the right girl to love them for themselves… I feel like writing your blog address in a piece of paper with a sign that says: “if you want to stop being the rebound guy read this blog” and drop were he can find it…But I’m new and I’m pretty sure I would get caught. Any advice?

  13. 108spirits

    The reason I pulled the alarm is because he sounds like a man in love and she is very much not. You can sense that knee in the nuts coming soon. I assume they’ve already slept together, so there is no reason for him to lie and just say these things to get into her panties.

    “She also says she feels lucky to have him” – those are the words, but a woman in love doesn’t actually use them to express it. It’s a woman who doesn’t feel that way for a man but thinks she should who would say such words.

    “She can’t deploy an LJBF to a guy she’s been sleeping with for close to half a year.” Oh Badger, she certainly can! The most devastating LJBFs were done to guys by their girlfriends that they’ve slept with and most importantly, are in love with, not by some chick to her beta orbiter. It’s all about the amount of emotional investment. One of my friends has been in the dumps for over 3 years now since his ex-GF LJBFed him. It’s only recently that we’ve managed to get him out of the house on a semi-regular basis.

  14. I was probably transferring some of my own experiences when I interpreted her letter now that I think about it. :) Women underestimate a guys interest because we don’t really understand it, and I think we’re too quick to dismiss men from our lives because we don’t think they ‘feel’ as strongly as we do, or at the very least they’ll get over it quickly. It’s a lack of understanding between the genders to be sure.

  15. 108spirits

    aoefe, that is a crucial point. A lot of modern women seem to think we men don’t have feelings or they aren’t important to us, just because we don’t vomit them up on a regular basis like their girlfriends do.

    This wasn’t always the case. As a kid, I remember my mother teaching my older cousin about men and saying something along the line of “men’s feelings are like the well; it doesn’t look like much at the top, but it is much deeper than you think” (she said it a lot more eloquently). I guess modern women don’t have that kind of mentoring from older women anymore. Something I’m sure Susan Walsh is trying to re-establish.

  16. detinennui32

    I sense there’s a critical and often overlooked point emerging from the astute comments of spritis and aoefe. What IOIs do men give women? This seems to be at least as important to women as to men.

    First there has to be a distinction between the stages in the interactions. The initial male to female IOI is the approach, of course. Some are vastly better than others. In the end, if a man is approaching a woman, he’s interested in her. By contrast, men are looking for IOIs immediately during the approach and in the 15 to 30 minutes thereafter.

    Women, it seems, would look for IOIs in the days and weeks following the first date. A man dropping too many IOIs is going to turn her off as too beta and supplicating. Better he drops a crumb here and there.

    The typical IOIs for men looking for LTR are:

    1. cuddling after sex (of course)
    2. revealing feelings
    3. making plans for future dates
    4. inviting her to meet his parents/family
    5. inviting her on a trip

    Number 4 is a biggie. It’s a cliche, but for an LTR you want to be the kind of girl he brings “home to mother” (Badger, cue up Superfreak by Rick James). If I wasn’t interested in a girl for an LTR she did not get to meet Mom and Dad, or be subjected to the klieg lights and withering judgments of my sisters.

  17. Noeleve

    Thanks for the list Detinennui (and Badger and Spirits! The stage thing helps. A (cliche) follow-up question… what about at the IOIs at the mid-LTR stage (maybe 8 months to 2 yrs) where you’re looking for indictors of interest in marriage (assuming he’s a type interested in marriage in general)?

    A lot of women (the ones who are crazy about the guy they’re with) start to wonder around this stage if he’s into her enough to consider her marriage material or just killing time/is getting stir crazy. Especially if he’s more the “strong silent type”. Not necessarily IOIs that he’s sure he wants to marry her, just IOIs that he’s considering her potential for it. (I like the ladder theory explaination of how guys consider it, I’m just curious what the indicators are for where you are on it :) )

  18. Susan,

    “Great job here. I know it’s true, because I feel defensive and threatened reading it. I need to get this panel of experts at HUS going asap.”

    Well, one school of game is about fomenting jealousy and anxiety in women, I must be getting skilled, maybe not in the right ways :-o

    “I agree that she needs to be honest about what she wants. The months and even years spent in “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationships are often a total waste.”

    I have a theory on a lot of these female letters. The girls aren’t really sure what they want in part because they don’t want to be the one making the decision. They want to figure out what the man wants so they can follow his lead. Lke in other parts of relationships, they want the man to lead, because the accountability of making the decision is exhausting – whether it’s where to go for dinner or whether to go long-term.

    “For the record, the first time I ever realized a guy was keeping his eyes open while kissing was a total turnon. It was just so intense – like he couldn’t look away from me. The same guy once kissed me and released all the wine in his mouth into mine. That was the biggest tingle/stomach flop/clit twinge I have ever experienced. FWIW.”

    Huh. If the wine is French is that a double-French kiss?

  19. Stephenie,

    You are sweet to be so concerned for a guy you barely know. I’m quite flattered you were going to refer him to me.

    “Any advice?”

    Yes. First, he needs to give up the idea that love just happens while you’re living your life. Many women, and guys who are naturally attractive to women, sometimes have this idea that they aren’t doing anything special, people are just drawn to them. And other people see them having success in the SMP and think it’s just a matter of living long enough to coincidentally bump into your soulmate. But whether everyone wants to admit it or not, the successful ones are (constantly and often subconsciously) executing strategies to attract and court the opposite sex. Like salesmen, they are out in the market, generating leads and moving on them.

    There’s a lot of debate inside and outside of the Manosphere about game, PUA, the Venusian Arts, etc – the core point of all the discussion is, how can a man actively steer his love life, instead of simply responding to chance events?

    A long long time ago (I can still remember…name that song) America had a somewhat formalized dating culture which gave people a structure within which to signal attraction, interest and escalating “commitment.” That culture is basically gone now – the college hookup scene is only the most crass exampe of a society-wide mating market that eschews protocol and puts sexual intimacy before emotional intimacy.

    The end result is a minefield for people who earnestly seek a well-matched partner. It’s often mentally easier to fall back into the “wait for my soulmate” mindset, not to mention culture sells us on false romance fairy tales.

    That is the condition I was in years ago when I first started to look for tactics and strategies to build attraction and better my social toolbox. I’m guessing he’s in a similar frame that I was – desperate to be loved and accepted, which pushes lovers away, and no idea how to change that. Women are paralyzed by emotional neediness in men.

    In addition to failed ideas about the dating marketplace, I’m guessing your workmate has pedestalization problems. A guy with a healthy self-respect doesn’t stumble into hurtful rebound scenarios. To undo that, he’ll need to learn how to approach women without being overcome by the fear of judgment or rejection, how to playfully push their emotional buttons, how to say no to them, and how to be bold and calm.

    That’s not to say he’s a wimp; many otherwise-strong men have points of weakness when it comes to women. It amazes me how much game and PUA advice can be re-framed to simply say “treat women like you do men,” which is to say don’t let them insult you, don’t be afraid to call them on BS, don’t get anxious that they are fragile and breakable.

    Since you mentioned young guys in low-paying jobs, he may also have a fundamental lack of confidence in his life status. All one needs to do to break out of that is to recall how many women go nuts for starving artists and musicians. You can land good women without being loaded, so long as you draw your confidence from another aspect of your life and act like not being loaded is no big deal.

    Not sure I gave any solid prescription, but that’s what comes to mind.

  20. “aoefe, that is a crucial point. A lot of modern women seem to think we men don’t have feelings or they aren’t important to us, just because we don’t vomit them up on a regular basis like their girlfriends do.”

    Or, as I have seen too many times, they think male feelings are silly and wimpy and can be ignored. It’s a strategy to ensure they are always in the emotional right, that he’s not allowed to have any feelings.

  21. By popular request…

  22. Stephenie Rowling

    “Stephenie,
    You are sweet to be so concerned for a guy you barely know. I’m quite flattered you were going to refer him to me.”

    Thanks but I would do the same for anyone else that needs help and I have the smallest chance of being able to help. I’m not sweet I just enjoy being helpful and I have a freaking EQ too high for my own good…stupid genes. :)

    Also Athol is the man to go for married people, but I think you are the man to go for single men. You use game but are not around hunting women and you have a plan. You are the kind of game Susan and me we will like to get spread. Learn how to catch a good woman instead of learn how to bed hundreds of “less good ones” ;)

    “Not sure I gave any solid prescription, but that’s what comes to mind.”

    You think I can fit all that in a post it? :p Is okay I will figure it out if there is an opening I will take it.

    “Or, as I have seen too many times, they think male feelings are silly and wimpy and can be ignored. It’s a strategy to ensure they are always in the emotional right, that he’s not allowed to have any feelings.”

    That is another instance of wanting to control men,90% of feminist claims are about how a woman feels: discriminated, ignored, raped and so on if they give men the same treatment they would lose a lot of power.If a man feels discriminated for a woman calling him a creep you they will lose a very powerful shaming weapon, not gonna happen that fast.
    You know I keep telling to the MRA’s that the best strategy is use feminist stupid laws against them, they are writing PC with both genders being technically protected by it because they know men won’t dare to use them against them. But I’m pretty sure that once a couple of fat/ugly mean women start to get restriction orders for daring to express interest in a guy the sisters are not going to be so eager to do the same to unattractive males. But that is another thing that is not going to happen any moment soon,

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