heartAre you feeling disillusioned in love because you find yourself attracted to ardent admirers who sweep you off your feet, move a relationship forward really fast, but before you know it its over or they are giving you the brush off? Recently I had someone ask me for advice what to do in this kind of situation. Here is the best advice I could think of:

1- Go slow and take the time to get to know someone on a deeper level

Sometimes a love interest may genuinely feel you are the “one” within the first few weeks of dating. However, sometimes this “in the moment” feeling does not last. Other times, I hate to say it, an ardent admirer may even be deceiving you. “Why?” People will ask me. “Why pursue me so ardently if they aren’t really into me?”  I know it’s a hard concept to grasp, but it does happen.  People do use others to get a romantic high, attention, admiration, sex, conquest, or other things.  Complicating matters, oxytocin (a hormone that creates the desire to trust and bond) when released after sex can affect women and men differently.  For men, the effects may only be felt temporarily. For women, however, they may experience the prolonged feeling that they have found the perfect mate.[1]

Your best protection if you find yourself being pursued by an ardent admirer is to take things slowly. If someone really cares for you they will see you as worth the wait. There is truth to the adage that if you move too fast your relationship might not last, and not taking the time to get to know someone before diving in too deep is the main reason this phenomenon happens.

2 – Court the other person for a while

For those who move too fast in relationships, on the road to finding love, there may be many green and red lights, but few yellow ones. Yellow lights, however, are what caution us to take the time to get to know someone better before hitting the accelerator. Thus, people who move too fast can get into all sorts of relationship “accidents” that can leave them feeling confused and bewildered. Unable to see the signs, and with so many people out on the road driving out of control, we start to feel we need to have an insurance policy on every new boyfriend or girlfriend we find ourselves drawn to.

Allowing yourself to court a potential lover can help you to slow things down a little. During this courtship phase, you can enjoy going out to public places together, holding hands, feeling butterflies (if there is an attraction), getting to know one another, and being returned home safely.

Avoid the pleas of players and commitment-phobes who their idea of the perfect date is to text you out of the blue to ask if they can stop by your house late at night. Their goal is not emotional intimacy. If they aren’t willing to court you properly, then they don’t really want to get to know you at a deeper level.

3 – Look for the right qualities in a person rather than someone who gives you “intense feelings”

People who attract relationships that start intense and end fast usually want to feel swept up in a whirlwind romance. While an ardent admirer can offer them a pseudo feeling of being loved, it also makes them pray to people who may wish to use them for a sexual or romantic high. The high may be felt on both sides, but that doesn’t signify it means the same thing to both parties or will be lasting.

The best way to overcome falling for the wrong type is to see clearly the type you are falling for without confusing intense feelings with love or meeting “the one.” Be aware that stable and lasting relationships generally move at a slower pace and are built on a foundation of trust, friendship, openness, and working through challenges together. This is not to say there is never passion or butterflies in healthy relationships, but such passion is less likely to be driven by fantasy or not truly knowing a love interest’s intentions.

4 – Know the signs your love interest is a player or commitment-phobe

Spiritually, we live in a time where we want to reject anything “negative” and are afraid of negative emotions. Culturally, we live in a time where sex seems everywhere and TV shows like “the Bachelor” shape our ideas. Personally, the traumas of divorce or infidelity can leave a deep imprint. All of this can contribute to commitment issues, fear of confrontation (causing people to pull disappearing acts), or patterns of sexual self-indulgence where people can be careless with others’ emotions. As a result, people seem to suffer from commitment issues and failed relationships more than ever before. If anyone you are dating exhibits even a few of the below tendencies, you might want to tap the breaks a bit to slow things down:

  • Won’t take you out places but texts you to see if you’ll let them come over
  • Takes an intense interest in you but this interest suddenly wanes
  • Treats you casually or tells you s/he is only ready/looking for something casual
  • Disappears for periods of time for no reason or doesn’t return phone calls until days later
  • Disappears at any sign of conflict, later reappearing acting like nothing happened
  • Comes on very fast, charming, cocky, or is calling you “babe” or pet names too early
  • Talks about having babies, marrying you, soul mates, or destiny, again too early
  • Uses unusual or hyper-sexual language or wants naked photos
  • Has a lot of opposite-sex friends on facebook (or other social media) where s/he is not very active other than possibly posting a few selfies
  • Is jealous/possessive too soon
  • It’s a huge flirt or ogles other women/men when you are out on a date
  • Doesn’t hold your hand in public or walks a few paces ahead or behind
  • Has been on a dating site for a long time or doesn’t leave despite saying you’re the one
  • Doesn’t have a good track record for lasting relationships

Can you change this pattern?

Yes! I’ve seen it happen. Just be willing to go slow, let go of desperation (to be loved), and recognize the type of relationship you tend to be attracted to. Also, recognize any patterns from your past that are involved (absent fathers, abusive ex-husbands, parents who never told you how special you are, etc.).

Sometimes women who it took courage to leave an abusive or controlling relationship go through a phase afterwards of dating commitment-phobes. I think this stems from their desire to be loved but a fear of getting too close in case they get abused. The loving words of an ardent admirer who puts them on a pedestal can be very seductive. Whatever the cause, commit to loving yourself enough to know when to leave something that isn’t good for you. Sometimes the support of a caring counselor can help as well.

[1] See https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-and-gratitude/201310/oxytocin-the-love-and-trust-hormone-can-be-deceptive