Dear Wendy: “I Moved Too Slowly And Lost The Girl”

I’m 18 and have made the mistake of taking Mr. Nice Guy too far. Like so many men, I use my manners, and my charm, even my flair for romantic gestures (I write poetry and love sending flowers), as a shield. Actually, it takes me a long time to open up at all to people and, get this, I can’t go anywhere physically (even a simple kiss) with someone I don’t trust. I take things slow, and eventually they work out … usually. But my most recent relationship just fell apart. We’d been seeing each other for 5-6 months, and I felt we were really starting to get somewhere. We haven’t even kissed yet though, and her friends were beginning to wonder if we were really seeing each other. So, I called a “Talk” to really open up, let her know that there was a reason for things going “slowly,” and that I really wanted to take things to a more tangible level with her. She then informed me it wasn’t going anywhere in her opinion, we were just friends and ought to stay that way. That set me back into polite mode, and I told her that would be fine and I was okay with that. Then I cried for hours after she left. True to her word, we’re still friends, but the feelings I worked six months to feel are still here and our conversations are as intimate as they’ve ever been. More, she seems sadder than ever, and some of her friends have hinted that breaking up wasn’t what she wanted to do. Worse, my newly dawning sexuality says it rather wants to get closer to her in every way. Do I take the plunge and just kiss her? A lot of me wants to show her how I feel, but I’m so afraid. — Shy Guy

Yes! Yes, yes, yes, kiss the girl already if you really want to! My God, after five to six months without even a kiss it’s no wonder the girl didn’t think things were going anywhere. I’m sure she was frustrated, confused and hurt and probably ended things because she couldn’t bear another five to six months (or more!) of those mixed emotions. And I’m just going to come out and say it: I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s a little concerned that you might be gay.

Are you gay? It’s totally fine if you are and nothing at all to be ashamed of, but when you say things like you had to work six months to feel something for this girl, it makes me wonder if you’re working so hard to cultivate physical feelings that may not exist for you. I won’t press the idea — maybe you’re just a super, super shy, sensitive guy with some hangups on sex and physical intimacy — in which case you need real experience and maybe some therapy to get over it! — but if there’s a chance you might be gay and having a hard time coming to terms with it for whatever reason, I want you to know there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s so OK to be gay — or simply confused about your sexuality — and you don’t have to force yourself to be something you aren’t.

But! If you truly feel physically attracted to this girl you recently broke up with and it seems she’s missing your company, too, and wants you back, don’t waste anymore time! And don’t talk about your feelings anymore. Enough talking! More action! Kiss the girl! Take her in your arms, pull her into you, look her in the eyes, and smack one on her! Then do it again! And again! And again until it feels natural and organic and wonderful. There’s nothing better than acting out young love — in the spring! — so have at it already. Time’s a-waistin’!

I started dating a long-time guy friend of mine that is shy with women. He really is a sweet guy — just a little inexperienced. I tried to be very patient with him but I became a little exhausted after three dates without so much as holding hands. I know people will say that I should make the first move but I thought that it was really important for him to do it so he could establish some confidence. I tried to be supportive and show that I like him so he would feel comfortable making a move, but it never happened. The other problem is he never called — only texted because he said he only talks to his mother and grandmother on the phone and he “didn’t want to put me in the same category as them”??? The last straw was recently when he drunk texted me at 2:30 AM. The text was actually very sweet but I had been struggling to fall asleep so being woken up infuriated me to the point that I couldn’t go back to sleep until 4 AM and I overslept an hour for work (where I was applying for a promotion). The time that we spent together was a lot of fun but I got fed up with all talk and no action, and I was really pissed about the text message. I told him that I needed him to take charge more in the relationship or I was going to move on. I also said that I’m not okay with being the girl he only drunk texts. He said he really likes me and wants to make it work. I told him to call me when he was ready but I haven’t heard from him in almost two weeks and I’m pretty sure it’s over. I thought I was doing the right thing in making my needs known and hopefully giving him a push in the right direction. Was I too harsh or did I do the right thing? — Ego Pumper

I’m guessing after being pissed over the whole drunken text thing — which, btw, seemed a bit of an overreaction — you didn’t exactly approach your new boyfriend gently. Judging by the tone of your note, I’d say you were probably a little aggressive, which, given the frustration you probably felt after three dates without so much as a G-rated hand-hold and the whole weird “no calling” thing because that’s what he does with his mom, I can understand. But, I think you could have found a more proactive, healthier way to release that frustration. Like, just kissing him already! Geez, what’s with all this waiting around for the guy to make the move?

But, if you’re someone who really has to be with someone who has a little — or a lot — more confidence and experience, that’s understandable and totally your choice. I mean, you told him how you honestly felt, right? That you needed him to take charge or you were going to move on? Well, I’d say his silence since means he isn’t ready to take charge. You pushed him in what you thought was the right direction, and it was either a direction he wasn’t interested in going down, or your push was too hard for him. Either way, it seems like he wasn’t really a great match for you and you’re probably better off finding someone who doesn’t need as much coercion to make a move.

*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at [email protected]