We know what you're thinking right now. “Of course, I'm ready for a relationship. It's what I've been waiting so long for! I just need to know how I. If my love interest isn't ready for a relationship, how long do I wait? However, waiting is also something I'm not good at. We've had a Now, bear in mind this is just one man's opinion, and an old-fashioned man at that. There are some classically enduring lines we use when it comes to relationship. “ It's not you, it's me” comes to mind as one of the top sentences.
And an explanation for why seemingly good matches fall apart or never come to fruition. Perplexed by her own dating struggles, Birch dug into research and spoke to about men and women about why it's so hard to find the relationship they desire. She does more than blame online dating's flakiness and an abundance of choice - which singles have been living through and reading about for years.
Rather, Birch finds an explanation in the enduring pressure men feel to be providers, even in an era when, in about a third of married or cohabiting couples, women bring in half or more of the household's earnings. Until men can provide for a family, Birch finds, they don't feel comfortable dating seriously or making a lifelong commitment. And no matter how much men say they want an equal partner, a woman who's smart and independent, studies find that such women often make men feel emasculated or inferior.
Birch and I spoke about her book last week; the following interview has been edited for clarity and length. How did you decide that this was the question you wanted to interrogate?
There's a lot of survey data that said men were really into these smart career women. But I looked around at who was struggling with dating, and they tended to be that type. If this type of woman is the dream girl, then why are they having so many problems? That was a big guiding question from the beginning.
If my love interest isn’t ready for a relationship, how long do I wait?
And then Lora Park had research that came out in that showed psychological distance matters a lot. What does "psychological distance" mean?
For example, there are a lot of pros to smart, independent career women.
They have that second paycheck; they're intellectually in the same plane and they are similarly educated. All things that we know produce good relationship partners. But when it came time to close that distance and men had to interact with these women face-to-face, they started to lose interest. How does that play out in real life?
I would get on dates where a guy would be so excited about the date, we'd have intellectual sparring and then we'd get there and it started to be a competition.
I've had guys get into one-upping matches with me on dates. It can be a little bit difficult. Why do men have trouble committing to women who seem to be the whole package, or as you call them: Women who are "End Goals" are those who really have their lives together; it might be the partnership that these men ultimately want, but they're just not there yet, so they can't commit.
I wanted to reassure women that if they were having these problems, not get a complex about it. Just wait until they find an investment they really want to make or someone who is special.
How have you seen this disconnect in your own dating life? I had an ex-boyfriend tell me that I was so sure of myself that I was going to scare guys. I also am worried about meeting someone along the way, while I wait. What do you think?
'I'm just not ready for a relationship'
Should I wait or move on? Now, bear in mind this is just one man's opinion, and an old-fashioned man at that. I am aware that many people these days okay, yes, millennials, I'm looking at you, a bit seem content to lurk in the grey area between "hanging out" and "hooking up," who love to pay late-night visits to their "friends with benefits" on the booty-call side of town, and, even while on a first date with someone, are swiping through apps on their phones looking for fresh prospects.
But I don't like the sounds of any of it! I would go so far as to say I don't believe in it. When, after wandering lonely as a cloud in the wilderness of singledom, you finally spot someone you're interested in — when, as they say in the military, "the target has been acquired" — knock back a glass of chardonnay, or better a shot of tequila, and cha-a-a-rge!
Go strong to the hoop, in other words. To mix sports metaphors: How else are you going to punch above your weight? I went strong to the hoop, and notoriously punched above my weight — to the point where people will come up to my wife with me standing right there and say, their faces alight with "sociological interest": I'll tell you one thing, though: I was never in any doubt he was interested in me.
In your case, I get no real sense of momentum or exclusivity — or even interest, particularly. Where is his fear of losing you, for example, of letting you slip through his fingers because of his ambivalence and wishy-washiness?
If my love interest isn’t ready for a relationship, how long do I wait? - The Globe and Mail
You have to make that call. But sounds to me like he's stringing you along. If he were really into you, I can't help but feel he would set aside all his "haunted" and "damaged" feelings and allow you, Dr. Love, to heal him with the power of your affection. That's what I'd do.