Those who snoop must be prepared for findings
: I’ve been single for about a year now and am dating quite regularly.
Sometimes I will meet someone who ticks off all the boxes (stable, employed, emotionally available, etc.), but I just don’t feel that first-date spark that I’ve felt in the past when I first met previous long-term partners.
I’m generally quick to let the person know that I’m not feeling it, so as to save them time and energy. But I’m starting to question whether I’m taking leave too quickly, perhaps missing out on something good.
How much weight should my gut feelings hold when it comes to agreeing to date two or three times?
I’d be happy to get to know someone a bit better, but I feel pressure to make a decision about it sooner rather than later, to not lead anyone on. — Ship Jumper
A: Your sign-off “Ship Jumper” reveals something you don’t actually say: Dating frightens you.
It’s more a race to the finish line, than a journey for youÖ and less about concern for leading someone on, than about getting hopes up yourself.
You don’t like making a mistake, so won’t give anyone a second chance if those bells and whistles don’t go off at first meeting.
Yes, gut feelings matter, but you’re listening to a nervous gut rather than letting it relax.
Of course, if a date is totally off-putting - someone who talks only of himself or herself, asks no questions about you, is rude to you or others, has obnoxious habits - that person’s a write-off.
(Note that you’re the one who’s made gender irrelevant in your question, by not being specific. That’s fine with me, but it’s another clue: You’re not forthcoming with details about yourself, which may also be why you’re a one-date sampler.)
My advice is to relax. A first date is only an introduction, with both sides likely to be somewhat nervous.
Humour and personal history are more likely to start to be revealed when you meet someone a second and third time. Besides, even if not a match, the person may have a friend for you who is. Q
: My boyfriend and I moved in together a month ago.
I picked up his phone and opened a browser and he was looking up personals on Craigslist for women.
I then discovered he was a member of over three open sites.
I really love him but I need to know if this is normal or do I need to end it now even though it will hurt? — Upset
A: You snooped and found. Something prompted it – curiosity or a suspicion?
You can rationalize this “discovery” with maturity, by realizing that, after only a month of the commitment to live together, he hadn’t gotten around to clearing his contacts with dating sites.
In that case, you could ask him if he’s cut off connections with personal dating ads, and dating websites, as (presumably) you have done.
If he says Yes, you have a problem which you created. You’d have to either trust him, or snoop again.
OR, you could admit to him right now that you found this on his phone and you want reassurance at this still-early stage that he’s not still seeking other women through those sites.
Otherwise, you’ll be checking up on him repeatedly, which is no way to keep a relationship.
Is an interest in other women “normal?” Of course. But that doesn’t make it acceptable to a partner with whom someone’s agreed to start sharing a life together. Tell him so.
: Finding appropriate help has been overwhelming and incredibly discouraging.
Please recommend some individual members of the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and/or Psychologists.
I’m having issues rooted in developmental health (Aspergers’) that are wrecking havoc in my marriage, which has nearly collapsed. — Desperate
A: While I cannot name and recommend particular specialists, your pursuit is personal, and the right questions can only come from you.
When you contact professional associations of marriage counsellors or psychologists, be clear about your particular needs and concerns.
Example: Of different approaches that therapists apply to marriage therapy, what’s best for your situation? Ask about costs and time involvements.
Contact your local Aspergers Society, too, for guidance on how developmental health problems affect marriages.
Support groups are also helpful, especially regarding changes to watch for during a lifespan with someone with Aspergers.’
The Society and the specialist who’s made the diagnosis can direct you to local groups.