Is She Worth Pursuing?
Q: I have a bit of a quandary. I'm currently seeing two women, both of them intelligent, attractive and interesting. On the surface, woman A seems to have far less baggage, less drama and is much more settled in life than woman B, and from the outside, would be a far more logical choice to pursue. However, woman A has declared, "I never pursue men," when I asked why she has never called me, hasn't even e-mailed me except a brief response to an e-mail I sent to her. Woman B, on the other hand, calls, writes and invites me for dinner (including paying for dinner) on a 50/50 basis. I'm not in love yet with either woman, but I like them both. Both seem very interested when we're together, but only woman B seems like she's trying to get my attention. I feel as if I never called woman A again (I did that for a week or so and never heard a word), she'd just let it drop. We are in the 21st century, right? Being a direct person, I spoke to woman A about this and she prefers to maintain her stance of no "pursuit." What do you think? Am I asking too much of woman A? If I pursue her, am I looking at a relationship where I will have to initiate everything? I've been there and don't want that again. -- Leo, 50
Dr. Susan: A good rule of thumb for dating is to assume that what you see is what you'll get from here on out. Woman A considers ordinary modern reciprocity to be the equivalent of pursuing. Be forewarned. She may have some hidden baggage you haven't seen yet that's causing her to fear reaching out. It's either that or she's living in another century, and either way, that can get boring fast. You mention that she's much more settled in life. That can be a very good thing, or it could indicate rigidity. Can this woman compromise enough to make a life with a new person, i.e., you? So if you want to do all the work, at least all the initiating and maybe a lot more of everything else keep going after Woman A. But I'd suggest you put your attention on Woman B for a while (Woman A will just sit and wait, apparently). Get to know her better and learn whether her baggage and drama are serious impediments to a happy life. I know, it sometimes seems as if your choices are limited to "too needy" or "too distant," but that's not so. Woman C, who is "just right," may be around the corner.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.