A gal pal recently asked me why I thought a man would go poof after expressing great interest in a woman. The obvious answers would be:
- he was a player and said he was very interested in every woman
- something happened for him to lose interest (e.g., she said/did something that was off-putting; he got more interested in someone else; he got busy with work).
However, I think there is another, less commonly discussed possibility:
He decided that if the relationship worked out, he would have to change his life patterns too much and he liked his life pretty much as it was, thank you very much. Even with the carrot of regular sex, it would be too much adjusting to get to that point. And besides, if a new relationship would be anything like his former one(s), he wouldn’t be getting that regular sex for very long before he’d be putting up with an unhappy, nagging woman who wanted him to change for her to be happy.
The other day I’d learned that a long-time single friend had finally found a beau whom she dated exclusively for six months. However, he told her last week that he’d decided to focus on his competitive bridge (the card game) playing and therefore wouldn’t have time for her. They broke up.
So this man decided that playing bridge was more of a priority than a relationship with my friend.
Keep in mind that my friend is an attractive, loving, intelligent, caring, woman, not some controlling, nagging shrew. But I have no idea if their relationship was contentious or not. For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume they had an enjoyable time together, they liked hanging out together, and they liked enough of the same activities to make them compatible. But bridge wasn’t something they shared. So he decided he had to choose.
We could say this was a sign he just wasn’t that into her. Or it could be a sign he was clear what he wanted, and spending time in a relationship wasn’t as important to him as mastering the game of bridge. I don’t judge him — I think it’s best to not try to lie to your partner about your priorities and make him/her think you are willing to invest time in the relationship when you aren’t.
In Date or Wait: Are You Ready for Mr. Great? we explore are you ready for a relationship? Are you willing to invest time in growing the relationship? And if you know you only want something casual, do you clearly communicate that to potential suitors, so those looking for a LTR don’t waste their time and their heart in you?
And if you know you have a hobby or work that you want to focus on, don’t pretend you will make the time for the relationship when really you won’t.
Have you ever broken up with someone when you realized you’d rather be spending time on a hobby, sport or work than with them? Or have you ever been on the receiving end of this decision? If so, how did you feel?