Maribeth has been dating Ben for more then 6 months. I hear from her frequently with questions and updates on how things are going. She just went away for their first weekend trip and they really got along and had a wonderful time together. That’s good news!
But not good enough perhaps. Seems Ben just doesn’t have the affectionate nature that Maribeth desires. He’s honest, straight forward, has a good sense of humor, a strong s-e-x drive, is generous. But Ben gets just a "C" for affection.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting more affection. But what surprised me is what Maribeth was doing about creating this. Nothing. So I’m surprised to hear that she’s WAITING for Ben to be affectionate rather than initiating some affection herself. I asked her, if you want to hold his hand, have you simply reached for it? She said, "No."
Let’s get clear about dating protocol. After six months, you are not dating any more. You are in a relationship. All that holding off, holding back, letting the man lead stuff softens with time. Often the woman starts making the social arrangements and I would think initiating intimacy if desired. Why not affection too?
Turns out Maribeth has been totally letting Ben lead. She has not shifted into relationship mode but remains stuck in just dating. Maribeth is in her relationship, but hanging out on the sidelines. She’s still observing, critiquing and measuring. It makes sense to keep your eyes open, but what happens when you continually view your situation from the outside? You cannot be in two places at once. So Maribeth lives her relationship from the sidelines.
My suggestion? Jump in and get into the middle of the relationship. At a dance, you can’t fully experience the fun if you are dancing alone on the edge of the dance floor. Oh no. You want to be in the thick of the whirling swirling bodies, shaking and bobbing to the music. That’s where it’s happening. And the same thing is true for relationships.
If you are a woman who has been dating your guy for over six months, admit you are in a relationship. If it’s not the right relationship, then move on. If you are uncertain about the rightness, the best way to really know is to pretend you are happy to see what happens next.
When you hold back and watch from the sidelines, you will never really know how you feel. Because you are not really involved. When you hold yourself separate – the man will sense it. He will feel it. And if he is serious about you, you will start to make him wonder. That’s not what you want is it?
Take the chance. if the man you are dating is a good man, you have enough in common, you seem to want the same things out of life and you enjoy each other’s company, then open your heart and let him in. Jump into the middle of the dance floor of life and stop waiting on the sidelines being cautious. While I’m a big believer in cautiousness, there is a time and place for everything. Give the good guys a real shot at making you happy to experience the full potential of what the two of you can have together.