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“What Went Wrong?” Dating Problems, Explained

February 27, 2014 | Categories:

We talked to 10 women who found themselves in complicated dating and relationship situations that they’re still confused by and got tip from dating experts so can learn from their mistakes and dodge future dating disasters.

The long distance disappearing act.

Her take: “While out with friends, I met a guy who lived 100 miles away. We talked, texted, and connected online almost daily until we could see each other again two months later. After he arrived at my place, he got a phone call saying his grandmother was being sent to the emergency room. He left quickly, and we texted a bit for two days. When I went onto Facebook within a few days to see how his family was doing, I noticed he changed my status to ‘limited profile,’ so I couldn’t access everything on his page. After that, all communication from him died.” -Allison G., 26

Expert take: Social media can create transparency and a false sense of familiarity, says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., co-author of The Good in Bed Guide to 52 Weeks of Amazing Sex. “Allison may have had a sense of intimacy that was never there in the first place, while he was probably dating other people,” he says. Don’t assume someone is going to be committed unless you’ve talked about it.

It’s also easy to build up a fantasy of what someone is like when you’re long distance. “The weekend didn’t live up to your expectations—but what really happened is that this guy didn’t live up to the expectations that you had created over the prior few months,” says Lissa Coffey, relationship expert and author of What’s Your Dosha, Baby? Discover the Vedic Way for Compatibility in Life and Love.

 

He lets you take care of him.

Her take: “The first guy I dated when I moved to New York let me take care of him, which I thought would lead to a relationship. I was doing things for him like baking cookies, redecorating his place, and having lots of sex, but I found out he had no intention of commitment at all.” -Kate, 28.

Expert take: A lot of guys have two categories of women they’re dating: the women they just want to have sex with and the women they’re interested in having long-term relationships with, says Kerner. In this situation, Kate might have been giving too much too soon. “The more there’s courtship and the guy is pursuing a woman he’s interested in, the more powerful the reward is of actually being with that person is. If a guy gets everything up front, it’s quite possible his interest and that reward mechanism aren’t going to kick into gear,” Kerner explains.

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