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I am currently dating a girl (19) who I (21) really like. She really does look good and has a great character. But one thing I actually at first really liked is turning kinda sour for me right now.

She, as we all, has had bad experiences because she went into a relationship too fast, and therefore she wants to get to know me really before moving on to the next steps. Which is totally cool for me, as I made the same mistake the last time as well.

We have met 4-5 times over the last month, approximately once a week, and when we met we had a great time. But the furthest we've gone is cuddling during a movie night at my apartment.

The thing is now, although we have a great time when we meet and write everyday, I'm kinda starting to lose interest because everything is going too damn slow. I really am not into just having sex, because (we talked about it) we both are looking for a long term relationship so I have no problem with patience, but it's going too slow, and she somehow does not want to meet more often than ~once a week and you cannot build a connection when you spend no time with each other.

How could I communicate to this person that I really like her but that I am starting to lose interest because of the insanely slow pace of the relationship? The goal is to do so without burning bridges and preferably to get her to get in touch more often.

I want to clarify that this is not about going further on a physical level. I don't need sex asap. That is not a priority for me. But that she would be more open to meet more frequently to be able to build some connection (or not).

Additional information

  • She seems to have loads of time; I can't make out why she can't meet more often.
  • I've already asked her out multiple times, both directly and indirectly, but there were rejections. If I asked "What are you doing this evening? I don't have anything to do today," she sometimes said stuff like "I'll be reading, or watching TV." This means to me that she has free time but wants to spend it alone. It could also mean that she doesn't have any plans.
  • I am used to spending time with a person to bond. I don't like to talk about deep subjects while messaging - although I would like to do so personally - and so there's a lot of small talk, and so I get bored. I have the feeling she feels the same.
  • How much time do you spend writing each day, and what is the ratio of empty smalltalk versus real "get to know each other" content of these conversations? Do you actually enjoy the discussion? – peufeu Feb 19 '18 at 18:03
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    How much communication is there outside of going out together? Do you talk on the phone, or talk on any kind of chat? My now-wife and I couldn’t see each other even as much as you describe for quite a long time in our relationship, but we spoke on the phone at length, often (an hour or more a day was typical). We were in high school and college then, so we had more time for that kind of thing, but it definitely was absolutely crucial to our relationship. – KRyan Feb 20 '18 at 2:56
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    I think you need to explain why 5 dates in a month is "insanely slow". – curiousdannii Feb 20 '18 at 4:22
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    Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes. – user58 Feb 20 '18 at 14:38
  • Hi, MansNotHot. I've edited in some information you gave us from the comments, but there are still some questions from folks that you might want to answer to make things clearer. – HDE 226868 Feb 20 '18 at 14:56

10 Answers 10

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First, something needs to be done about this:

There were pretty often rejections or when I asked, "what are you doing today evening, I don't have anything to do today ^^"

To be honest, the way you say it is quite cringy. You sound very much like "I don't have anything better to do, so let's see each other." This is not flattering for her, as it makes her your fallback plan for when you have nothing else to do. You sound needy and bored, which is not attractive. Also, you ask her what she's doing, which makes you sound controlling, which you go on to kinda confirm:

she sometimes said stuff like: "ill be reading, or watching tv etc" which means to me, I HAVE free time, but I choose to spend it ALONE

This comes off as: you decided for her that she should spend time with you rather than reading her book. She might not agree with that attitude. I'm not surprised by her reaction, as I immediately ditch anyone who displays a tendency to think they're entitled to make decisions for me.

There are much better ways to say the exact same thing, even this old, very simple one:

"I'm going to watch [movie title], would you like to join?"

You're not bored: you are going to watch a movie. You already decided which one. Feel free to substitute with any other activity, like bowling with friends or anything else. You're asking her out because you'd like her to be there and value her company (not because you have nothing better to do). The idea is that you have a life, and you're inviting her in. You're not pressuring her to say yes; if she says no, your plans don't change. It doesn't sound controlling because it isn't.

This is what Rachel said in her answer:

Make yourself happy (love who you are and others will love you too)

If the activities involve some of your friends, this also conveys important information to her: you have friends, and you're not afraid or ashamed of your friends meeting her. It says you value her, your friends seeing you with her would be okay, and her meeting your friends is also okay, they're not unwashed creeps, they're just normal people, you think she'll like them, and you think they'll like her.

If she says "no, she will stay home and read a book", then the next day you can ask her if she enjoyed it (good point for you! you listened!) and you can talk about the movie you watched or whatever you did.

Something no-one mentioned is that she might be very introverted. Handling introverted people is a subject in and of itself, but I'll just say that they have a set amount of energy per day and interactions with people consume that energy at a rate that depends on the stakes, potential for conflict, number of people around, etc. Once the energy is drained, the introvert needs to curl up at home with a book and recharge, and especially not be bothered. If this is her case then you need to adjust accordingly and update your question.

The thing is now, that although we have a great time when we meet, and write every day, I kinda start to lose interest because everything goes to damn slow.

This is a bit like a long distance relationship then, since you only meet once a week.

Unless you are having deep philosophical discussions or other kinds of conversations that you enjoy enough to keep you interested, spending a lot of time every day writing to each other can result in boring and uninteresting small talk about each other's daily lives.

Smalltalk does not fulfill your goal of getting to know each other. So, review your conversations and try to assess the proportion of small talk versus actual content (like: talking about past life experiences, philosophy, travels, dreams, life goals, tastes, etc).

Then, rethink your interest in her. When re-reading your conversations, if you are bored into oblivion, then let's be honest, this doesn't look like it'll end up in a satisfying long-term relationship...

If however, you find her interesting, then do less small talk and explore the interesting subjects in more depth. Just don't talk about your day at all. Pick something interesting she said, and start a conversation about it.

So, to answer your question: write less often (not more). Cut it down from once a day to twice a week. This will increase the interesting discussions versus small talk ratio. Wait for her to initiate the conversation. Do not ask about what she ate, but if she cooked the recipe she learned from her grandma, then ask her all about the grandma.

Also, have her plan the next date instead of trying to control everything. If she does not, then you know she's not interested. If she plans an amazing date, then she will get you interested, which solves your problem.

In any case, NEVER say something like "I am losing interest". This is like watching a movie with a voiceover that explains in excruciating detail all the stuff that you can already see on the screen. If you are losing interest, then simply communicate/text/mail less often. If she is interested, she will then restart the conversation.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Catija Feb 21 '18 at 22:12
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Personally, I feel that that starting a long term relationship after meeting 4-5 times over a single month is "fast" rather than "slow".

Since you've already started to lose interest after 4-5 dates, my first suggestion is to look for other opportunities that align better with your current needs. My personal experience (different people work differently) is that, if I really enjoy someone's company, I gain interest during the first few months of dating. No need to force it if your expectations don't align.

If you were simply afraid of losing interest, but actually still very interested and committed at this point, I'd recommend trying to take the relationship a step further by telling her the truth:

I really enjoy the time we spend together, and find that I like you a lot. It would make me very happy if we could take our relationship a step further.

You don't need to specify outright what that step should be. As long as you don't say this while in the bedroom, that "a step further" can be kissing, holding hands, calling each other boy/girlfriend, or many other things.

If you say the above it has to be truthful, or it would be highly manipulative. "I like you a lot" means much more than "You look great and you're not crazy". If it isn't truthful, my advice is to do the honorable thing and let her go.

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    nice answer but to clarify, we talked and we are both "looking for" a long term relationship. Does not mean we want one already with each other. And yes this is the point, that i want to spend more time with her to get to know her and gain interest. Its impossible for me to gain interest if i dont get to meet her, but she only seems to want to meet once per week~ which is not a lot to me imho. Thats the point of the question :) – MansNotHot Feb 20 '18 at 12:53
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    I think this is a big red flag for me too. My wife and I met once a week for three or four months. Seems "normal" to me. – coteyr Feb 23 '18 at 14:15
  • This. Not sure what OP's definition of "long term" is for a relationship, but given that many people stay together for multiple decades (I know several couples married for over 60 years), a single month is just a flash in the pan. Or consider a working couple with kids and alternating work shifts - they may see even less of each other than OP does his 'absent' love interest. – brichins Feb 24 '18 at 23:21
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Unfortunately I have been this girl before so I am speaking from a place of experience. If you have never seen it then you probably should go watch the movie 'He's just not that into you'. It might help you at least realize you aren't alone in this situation. I'm currently 34 and have more relationship experience than I care to admit but hopefully I can help someone else to learn from my mistakes.

First you must be happy on your own. If the girl you are dating doesn't have enough time for you then go hang out with your friends. Realize that you don't have to be smothered to feel secure in a relationship. You won't be able to have a healthy pleasant relationship with someone else until you have that relationship with yourself. Build your self esteem in a positive way and enjoy taking some 'you' time. This is just generally a good thing and as a side effect it will make you more attractive as a companion.

You also should have a clear honest understanding with the girl you are dating. You should ask her if she is dating other people. It is not unusual for people to date more than one person at a time. I personally don't see anything wrong with it as long as you aren't being intimate with any one of those people. Most people have multiple friends that they hang out with and there isn't jealously involved so if you are at the getting to know if we can be friends stage of dating don't panic if you find out that she is seeing other people.

You want her to choose you not be stuck with you. If you need more time than she can provide then maybe you want to date other people. You are both very young and should try to avoid falling into the trap of co-dependancy.

I have a great friend who was dating a girl and they were both dating other people and very honest about it with each other. (I happened to be one of the other people he was dating) He told me that him and this other girl decided to be exclusive and I was totally respectful of that. I still wanted to remain friends with him but I don't do anything to undermine their relationship at all. They have been together now for almost a year and recently moved in together and seem quite happy so it can work out but there must be mutual honesty and respect in order to be able to date other people with the hope of finding the right one for you. If there are lies in the beginning of a relationship it can come back to bite you later. Better to cause a little disappointment or pain up front than lie about it and break someone's heart later for something that was done months before.

I had a boyfriend who about 8 months into the relationship I found out that after we started sleeping together he slept with his ex. Now as soon as we were intimate I told him that I expected him to just be with me and I would show the same respect to him and that if that was too much to ask now is the time to tell me. He completely agreed and then a week or two later slept with someone else. Had he told me at the time it may have ended the relationship then but finding out about it 8 months later was devastatingly painful for both of us because at that point he loved me too and was pained by what I found out. I never was able to trust him again and eventually we went our separate ways. You must have that mutual honesty so even if you don't want to hear her answer you need to give her the opportunity to give you an honest answer otherwise you are just blind to what is really going on.

Key points:

  1. Make yourself happy( love who you are and others will love you too)
  2. Be honest and encourage honesty from her
  3. Be nice (the best relationship advise I've ever gotten, from my mom who has been mostly happily married to my dad for 40+ years)

Be nice to your partner.

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    Although I agree with everything you said, I don´t see how this answers the question... – user6109 Feb 20 '18 at 15:04
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    I can see where you're coming from @Daniel but its not a question that has a simple answer. To boil it down into simple actions would be to 1.Focus on yourself - This helps you long term and should cause you to give her some space 2. If she is given a chance to miss you perhaps she will make more time for you. 3. When you do see or talk to her be nice. Don't guilt her about not being available all the time just make the time spent together fun. That will get her coming back for more. – Rachel Riley Feb 20 '18 at 19:00
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    @RachelRiley I think "actionable" points should be bumped up in the answer. The original question is "how can i communicate" and you do answer that. – Oct18 is day of silence on SE Feb 20 '18 at 19:29
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    +1 for answering the question and diagnosing the problem. It is impossible to say for sure, but this girl is almost certainly seeing other people and probably isn't incredibly into OP. It would be a good idea for them to talk about that since it seems like the two of them are on different pages. – BlackThorn Feb 20 '18 at 21:43
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    @Daniel It says my answer to this question right at the start: He's just not that into [her]. – Dronz Feb 21 '18 at 5:47
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As soon as you say "I'm losing interest in you" you are burning bridges.

Instead try to focus on what your needs are and try to work with your partners to try to come up with a solution that meets both your needs.

It seems like your want is that you'd like to see them more often. Start a conversation about how this is a thing you want and ask for their input on how to address this want. The more flexible, creative and adaptable you are the likelier it is that the two of you can come to a solution that you are both happy with.

If you can't find something that works for both of you, recognize that now is the time to break things off.

13

Let's suppose her name is Nia.

Nia, I don't know about you, but the more I get to know you, the more I like you! And I feel like we're getting to a turning point in our relationship: to go forward we should move to the next level. I don't mean romantically -- although of course I'm looking forward to that [you may give her hand a squeeze at this point if you like] -- I mean spending more time together, focusing more on each other. Is this a good time to do a check-in? How are you feeling about how things are going between us?

Features of this approach:

  • You are expressing positive feedback without overwhelming her;

  • You are giving her an I-message and giving her the opportunity to do the same -- but without pressuring her to do so;

  • You are laying it on the line, that you feel that the relationship is at a fork in the road.

Everyone gets frustrated as some point in their lives. That's only human. The key is to find a way of conveying how you feel, while preventing her from feeling smothered or chased.

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    Can you also explain why you think this is a good approach? – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica Feb 19 '18 at 21:42
  • @AnneDaunted - See what you think.... I'm not actually sure my edit really added anything to my answer. – aparente001 Feb 19 '18 at 21:50
  • The edit explaining the basis of the approach makes the answer really strong @aparente001. The reader needs to know why you are recommending this approach. Please consider undeleting the other similar answer you recently posted, deleted and edited-in the 'features of the approach' elsewhere on IPS.SE (it has 2 undelete votes including mine but you can undelete it yourself anytime.) – English Student Feb 20 '18 at 11:32
  • I like this answer, it might be improved by mentioning something like "it's important for you to take a good look at your relationship and decide whether you're getting bored with her or whether you actually just want to see more of her". This answer assumes it's the second case, but if it's the first case then the approach is different (if you're losing interest you should let it go, if you want to see her more, communicate that you want to see her more because that's positive, as per the answer) – Cronax Feb 20 '18 at 12:49
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    I mistook it as self-deleted but it was actually deleted by 3 users @aparente001: now that you have edited in the "reasons for recommending that approach" you have 2 undelete votes including mine and someone will soon cast the third vote. Question: interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/10621/… Your answer: interpersonal.stackexchange.com/a/10633/381 – English Student Feb 21 '18 at 5:37
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You are both relatively young and may not have the same expectations in a relationship.

She also might also have not the same values as yourself into what comes being close to her family, about what a boyfriend means to her or about her free time.

If you want to meet her more than a week, there might be a way around it. You do not have to have full blown dates all the time. Have a quick coffee for instance once a week for starters to gauge how she reacts to the idea/routine.

Be prepared that her priorities, or with what she sees as her "normal" at this time of life, to be studying/working and be with the family at weekdays, and meeting you only at weekends.

Complementing the answer with my personal own experience:

I was in such a relationship for many years with someone who gave more importance to the father, family values and school; I dropped her once when her only idea of dating was we meeting once every three weeks, but made the mistake of coming back to the relation, also due to family pressure ( they liked her a lot, they still talk with her).

I eventually outgrew the relation, and found someone else after she refused to move in with me after she lost her job, and had to return to her home town; it was for the better and a conscious choice: she was a nice person, however our backgrounds, core values and needs were way too different.

I was also on the other end with my 1st "official" gf, she wanted so much more than weekend meetings and enjoying some time together, and at that point in life in my (very) early 20s, I was not emotionally prepared for it.

  • To the last part, I was already in a mature relationship for 2 years (with living together for almost 1) at the age of 19-21 so this is not a problem. But yes i like this answer because it adds some valuable experience. +1 ! – MansNotHot Feb 20 '18 at 12:50
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Besides the all the really good general advice for pursuing relationships in general you get in other posts, I want to try to actually answer the Question:

First you can start by making your wishes more visible to her.

Instead of asking: what are you doing? ask things like: wanna meet tonight? When you are on a date, talk about when you´ll be seeing each other again and set a date right there. Don´t push or smother her though. Let a no be a no and if she´s only offers to meet next week don´t argue.

Second, reduce the noise. By that I mean stop texting so much small talk. Make this more about coordination. If she wants to get to know you, shell have to do it in person. Reduce you availability to non-personal exchange.

Third be open about your feelings - but in a positive way. Tell her you´d like do see her more often. Tell her that you are not comfortable to have deep conversations over distance communication. (Don´t tell her you are loosing interest)

See where that goes and give it/her some time. If you feel that it is still imbalanced after a few weeks, maybe this is not the one for you. Don´t try to play her by acting extra hard-to-get etc. While this may work for a while in getting her attention it will also ensure you will not get what you really want (assuming: mutual long term partnership).

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Since you updated your first post that she rejected requests to see her more:

[Y]ou can start the path of negotiating this desire by telling her similar to what you've told us - you don't feel deep connections with infrequent visitation. She has every right at this point to say no of course, and you have to decide whether you want to continue with someone like her or not.

Think about the length of time you've been together and consider that she may not be open to more time together - though trying to negotiate this is not out of the question. Set realistic expectations here; to some people, you ARE moving fast, even if you don't intend to. If she's learned to take it slow, this may be the pace she's most comfortable with now and you'll have to ask whether you'll accept this pace.

Rather than give an ultimatum, you can first suggest a more frequent schedule of seeing her and see how she responds. If it's she negates that suggestion, then second you can start the path of negotiating this desire by telling her similar to what you've told us - you don't feel deep connections with infrequent visitation. However, this is a new situation for both of you, so it's very easy for either of you to walk away. And she may believe you've seen each other a lot! You have to realize that she could easily reject your request, as you haven't know each other that long.

The good news is that it's as easy for you to walk away from as her. You know what you want, so you can request it and let the chips fall where they may. As for burning bridges, provided you give her a chance to accept or deny, she may increase the frequency of seeing you. If she chooses not to, you can negotiate and if she still says, be respectful and go your separate ways.

3

Having given this some thought...

You're not going too slowly, you're at a good pace, but the physical part of the relationship is not the only thing you want to build slowly. Dating is about learning about the other person, and you need both the time with, and time without the person to form a clear idea in your head and heart to know if this is indeed someone you want to spend a long time together with.

If you are afraid that not seeing someone more frequently than once a week will make you lose interest, then first ask yourself why, and if that would be the case should something come up in the future, such as having to move for a job, or being tied up with family emergencies.

When a relationship is new, there is the urge to spend every waking moment with that person. It's actually best that you haven't been doing this because you get a contrast between time spent with and time spent away from this person.

It's easy to think long term when you're with someone constantly, harder if you have breaks, and that's the point. If, when you're apart, you can't wait to get back with the person, then that's a good sign, if you start to lose interest, then that's a sign too.

What you want is a clear sign one way or the other, and if you don't like the one you're getting, changing the frequency won't help the problem, it may just mask it for a while.

  • @Agent_L Feel free to provide an answer of your own that we can vote on. – user4548 Feb 22 '18 at 14:27
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    @Agent_L comments are not for debate, please see the help center – user4548 Feb 22 '18 at 14:39
  • @Agent_L, no you are posting an opinion, and an incorrect one. Please feel free to provide an answer of your own. – user4548 Feb 22 '18 at 14:47
  • I've removed my comments as you've seen them so they've served their purpose. Maybe you're right, maybe I am. Certainly, they way I expressed my concerns was wrong and for that I apologize. – Agent_L Feb 22 '18 at 14:53
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How could I communicate to this person that I really like her but that I am starting to lose interest because of the insanely slow pace of the relationship?

Your problem is not with communication. Your problem is that the woman in question is simply not that interested in dating you. Think about it: if you were {insert name of Hollywood star}, would she find time to spend with you? Of course she would! But according to your own post she won't even bother with finding an appropriate excuse for herself:

She seems to have loads of time; I can't make out why she can't meet more often.

I would also wager that she's seeing other guys in the process and you're just one of the many options until she decides which date to pick for the long-term. Therefore your options are:

  • Stop seeing her, or...
  • Stop caring about the interval of meetings, or...
  • Start seeing other women in parallel while she's making up her mind

The last solution is what most young people in Western countries do nowadays as it solves the problem of putting all your eggs in one basket: if one date doesn't pan out for some reason there's always many more in the weekly queue.

protected by HDE 226868 Feb 20 '18 at 14:58

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