Dear Dr. Chani,
I have a question about a girl I am sort of dating. It might sound strange for me to say I am “sort of” dating her. That’s where I could use your help.
I sometimes use dating sites in order to find potential dates. I was matched with a girl and we both accepted the match. We spoke a couple of times and we also texted each other. I noticed that I was doing most of the talking in the phone conversations. I tried to encourage her to talk by asking her thoughtful questions about herself. I also provided plenty of opportunities for her to express interest and inquire about me. Unfortunately, she did not initiate or follow up on any of those conversations.
My initial thoughts were that she prefered to listen, rather than talk. I wanted to help our new relationship along so I also texted her something and shared a meme with her. She did not react altogether.
Her lack of responses leads me to believe that she is not really interested in me. But that is confusing to me. If she is really not interested, why does she not just close the match out?
How do you think I should deal with this scenario? If it is not happening, then I prefer to close it so I can be available for the right one. On the other hand, maybe I am giving up a relationship that can flourish?
What do you suggest I do?
The question you describe about dating reflects a common dating difficulty. You are serious about getting married. You would like to find the right person as soon as possible and develop a healthy relationship. You do not want to be strung along. Not only might it be unpleasant to be in a relationship with someone who is not really interested in you, it also hampers your ability to proceed with finding someone you can create a relationship with.
You have a sense that the girl you are matched with is not interested. On the other hand, you are not sure and you do not want to close the match if it might develop into something. If she is not serious about continuing, you would like to know sooner rather than later so that you can move on and find a person who is right for you.
It sounds like you have given the relationship a chance to develop. You reached out to speak to her a couple of times over the phone. You shared something you thought she would appreciate via text. Unfortunately, you have not received much from her in return. It makes sense for you to draw the conclusion that she is not interested in you.
You are wondering why if this is true, why does she not simply close the match on the dating site? This is an excellent question. She seems to be dragging out the process of moving on. It makes you confused.
It is possible that she is reluctant to close the match with you because she would like to keep her options open. On the one hand, she doubts that your relationship has a future. On the other hand, she might think to herself, “Who knows?” She may not want to be decisive and take an active role in breaking off the relationship. Why should she take that gamble? It is safer and easier to leave the ball in your court. She may be waiting for you to take that step instead.
There is another way to explain why she is remaining reserved and reticent. Sometimes a person you date might see some potential for a relationship with you, but still hold back from moving forward in the relationship. This can come from her having an “all or nothing” approach to dating.
People who take an “all or nothing” approach to dating tend to critically analyze the person they are dating, especially in the beginning of the relationship. They want to make sure that the person meets their standards before they develop a relationship.
The “all or nothing” approach to dating can be described as going to extremes. People who date this way tend to show “nothing” or very little interest in you in the beginning of a relationship because they are uncertain. They want to wait until they get to know you well and feel comfortable with you. When they get a strong feeling that you might be the right one for them, then they will become more responsive to you and invest their “all” in the relationship.
This may explain why the girl you are dating is not allowing you to get to know her even though she may see some potential. She may be holding off on showing you any interest until she gets a clearer picture that she is absolutely interested.
When you are dating a person who takes an “all or nothing” approach, it can be emotionally exhausting. Even though you are initiating and investing in the relationship, the person you are dating holds off from reciprocating. When you are dating a person with this approach, it is hard to know in which direction the relationship is going to go.
Dealing with someone who is being unresponsive is quite difficult. You might sense that she has a latent interest in you and you keep on pining for her to show it. Understably, you ask yourself why you should let go? Isn’t it possible that she will eventually come around and build a relationship with you?
Even if that potential exists, I advise you to use your own internal compass to determine what is best for you. Ask yourself, ““How does this relationship make me feel about myself?”
When you think about that, you will observe that dating a person who is not reciprocating and is giving you an impression that she is not interested in you, will leave you feeling unappreciated. This is probably going to lower your sense of self and make you feel less hopeful about your future dating prospects.
You sound like you are willing to invest in a relationship and you are ready to make a commitment to get married. It is critical that you maintain your momentum and positivity so that you will find a girl who is likewise ready to invest and commit to you. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to let go of this relationship so that you can take the next step to identify a wonderful girl who will recognize your strengths and appreciate you.
Wishing you much success,