Hi Dr. NerdLove,
I’m 23 and looking for love in the Big Apple. I recently stumbled onto your blog, and I’ve really enjoyed it/found it helpful. I would like some advice. My problem isn’t actually getting girls. I’ve had a couple of girlfriends and can get a date. My problem is pushing them away because I come on too strong.
Here is my most recent “failure.” I met this girl at a bar about a month ago. She was very good looking and we bonded over singing “Jessie’s Girl,” being nerdy, and similar experiences with Greek Life in college, among other things. We talked for a long time, and I was smitten. I got her number and asked her out the next day, and she responded positively. We texted just about every day for two weeks until we actually went on the date (she was busy the weekend after we met so we had to wait). She told me she was really looking forward to it. I was too.
The date started out really well. We took an hour to order food because we couldn’t stop talking to each other long enough to look at the menu, and never ran out of things to say throughout the meal. We had similar interests and personality quirks, so there was obviously chemistry. She told me she was having a really great time near the end of dinner. She offered to pay for part of dinner, but I picked up the check and said, “Maybe if we do this again…” and she cut me off immediately and said, “When we do this again.” And after dinner, I took her to a romantic spot and we kissed, and it was mutually wanted (we both leaned in for it). And I think it was a fine kiss too, before you ask. So all good signs.
And then…I held her hand for like 30 seconds and said I was glad I had met her. And I asked if I could put my arm around her and she said she was okay with it, but I could tell it was awkward. In fact, the whole mood of the date had changed after the kiss and she just seemed more out of place. So when I asked her out again, she told me no because I had come on too strong and it made her freak out.
A month later, I’m still kind of bummed about it. She seemed so into me, and now, I have nothing to show for it. And she was really great, and she was the first girl since my last girlfriend a year ago that I really felt this strong a connection with (and I’ve gone on other dates, but not one this good in a while). So yeah, I was really into her, and I guess that’s my problem: I had fallen head-over-heels for this girl who I had only met twice. And I think even if my acts were relatively tame (I mean, some people have sex on the first date, holding hands shouldn’t be such a big deal), my feelings had shown through.
It’s a common thread too. It’s why online dating is hard for me because I get attached so easily. I’ve said “I love you” fairly quickly in my previous relationships, and my aforementioned last girlfriend had a problem with me doing too much in the relationship, or making too big romantic gestures. That’s not a humble brag, by the way, it’s real problem. I fall for girls very quickly, I give too much or come on too strong too soon, and I end up getting hurt. And it seems the longer I’m single, and even though I have other pursuits in my life to make that time more fulfilling, it becomes harder to reign those feelings in because I just get more excited each time about the prospect of meeting someone.
So I guess my question is this: how do I keep my feelings in check? How do I not get so attached to someone I’ve just met, even if I think they’re an amazing person? How do I care less? Thanks for your advice.
Wannabe Ted Mosby