Give Her Space?
Q: I work at a seasonal job, and last season I met a girl who was five years older than me. Although she had a boyfriend, she flirted with me, and I was immediately attracted to her. We parted on good terms and lost touch. This year we both came back to this job, and so did the attraction. She was single this time, and she was really into me. In a few weeks I took her out for dinner, and a movie at her place, that we didn't end up watching. I've been to her house a few times since and everything is going well. Now, she has told me that she needs time to decide if she wants to date me, and we shouldn't go so far so fast. I really care about her, but I feel as though if I give her too much space we may lose touch again. What should I do? -- Chris, 20
Dr. Susan: You act as though it's entirely up to you. If a woman asks you to slow down and give her space to decide what's next, you really have to hear that. It's possible that this relationship has already run its course in her mind. She may find you a fun and pleasant date but not long-term relationship material. It could be that those five years age difference matters to her more than to you. Or maybe not. Your only real choice is to back off a little and see if she makes a move in your direction. If she doesn't do that within a reasonable length of time, say two weeks or a month, then make contact and ask her very nicely if you should forget about her. As hard a lesson as it is to learn, you can't win them all.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.