Understanding Men: Flirting and Attraction Don’t Mean Anything

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Understanding Men

Do you have trouble understanding men?

This question came in and I wanted to share it my blog readers because it’s such a good one. Many women fall victim to these mistakes and need help understanding men. Read on to find on what you can do to avoid these emotional pitfalls.

Hi Ronnie,

I’ve been friends with this guy for more than 30 years.  We both left long-term relationships at the same time at 35. He wanted to go out with me at that time but I wasn’t ready. We separated ways, then ended up in the same city again. We got together as friends but he was again coming out of a relationship.

Over time he became affectionate and wanted to sleep together (we did once).  I asked him about this other woman and he said he hoped she’d take him back. I thought it best we just remain friends.

He moved away for a year and then contacted me saying that he and his 15 year old son needed a place to live. I had a basement suite available in my house, so they moved in downstairs. After a few months, we chatted and flirted but he made no moves on me. One night I told him I was attracted to him. He said he felt the same, but that he liked the way his life was and didn’t want things to change. But the next night he came over and we slept together. He initiated it and it was great!

I went on holidays for 10 days and the night before I left he came up and we had another wonderful evening together. When I got back he picked me up at the airport and from reading your posts I believe I made a big mistake!! I told him not to make plans for Saturday night as I was going to make him dinner and give him a massage. He said OK. But the next morning he called and cancelled, saying that he was not into socializing because he has a work deadline to meet and he felt too stressed.

We have a lot in common, have gone through a lot together and are the same age so I think we could have a great relationship at some point. I hope I can get things back on track, can you give me some advice on what I should do now. Is it best for me to give him distance or should I go talk to him about it?


Dear Hopeful,

Midlife dating is not easy and neither is understanding men. Most women think things should be obvious and that you can be direct with men. But the truth is, that doesn’t really work very well.

I’m so sorry to tell you that there is nothing you can do to get things back on track. The main reason is because (and I know this is the hard) there is nothing to get back on track. You are long-time friends with occasional benefits. Let me explain so you can start understanding men:

  • He specifically told you he didn’t want things to change- when a man tells you this, please  listen and believe him
  • You told him how you feel about him first, when it’s best to let the man make his intentions known first so you don’t seem desperate
  • Telling him you felt attracted to him, might have lead him to believe you were open to sex
  • You mistook his flirting, attraction and interest in sex as an interest in having a relationship with you. Flirting and sex are not always meaningful to men –  just fun
  • You asked him out and offered more sex (dinner and massage), assuming he’d want to do this as much as you do
  • You assumed his living under your roof gave you access to him emotionally

In the past you did the right thing, turning him away because he was not emotionally available. I don’t think his emotional availability has improved, since he told you he doesn’t want any change. He does not want a relationship right now. It may have nothing at all to do with you – just how he feels.

As your dating coach I also have to say this man has exhibited poor judgement sleeping with you when you are his landlord. Now you will  have this uncomfortableness and constantly have to see each other. That’s just dumb on his part.

If you want to find love, get out there and meet some new guys. If any man tells you he doesn’t want a  relationship, please take him seriously and walk away. Do your best to be warm and friendly, but let the men pursue you. I have two other posts that really help clear up a lot of the mysteries about midlife dating and understanding men. I hope you’ll read them and catch on so you can date smart, guard your heart, and find the love you deserve.

Dating is Like Ballroom Dancing

Recovering from disappointment

Wishing you love,

dating coach, find love, meet men






Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony, MSN.com, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

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