Ask Elizabeth: Why is he so Boring?
I’m excited to be in this group, and I need aTON of help! I’m 47 years old, married for a year at age 23, ended a 5 year long serious relationship 10 years ago. Both relationships ended as they cheated and I can’t live with that personally. I don’t date much. I’m very confident/successful in my career but opposite in my personal life. Recently I met a very nice guy online. He is financially responsible, has a good relationship with his family, no children, never been married, not bad looking; seems to have his life in order. He seems like a very nice, kind hearted guy. He said he doesn’t date much either and has only had one serious relationship which lasted 5 years. We’ve been on 3 dates. Coffee, Planetarium & dinner and dinner. He plans the dates, picks up the bill and everything. He has manners, opens doors for me, users a handkerchief, doesn’t say anything crude or rude; which is refreshing. The problem is he has no game! I hugged him good bye on the first and third date, I left the second to him, and it was a semi awkward verbal “goodnight”. I know he is taking it slow and not in a hurry, but I’m afraid it’s going to get more awkward, as we don’t touch each other or anything, like not even a hand, not even a brush on the back or ANYTHING! I would like to keep seeing him, but frankly, it’s not very exciting. I’m not opposed to stepping it up a little, I just don’t want to be out of place. And I’m fully aware that I may not be sending the right signals, but I don’t know what it is I’m doing wrong to change. Any suggestions?
Thank you for your question
There have been a few answers in our group Relationships and Dating Advice for Women to this question, and the reason I asked you if I could answer your question via Facebook live and on my blog is that there is one aspect of this question that hasn’t been answered that I think you will all might find really useful and that is……
Why is he so boring…..
I am wondering if this describes exactly how you are feeling. Here you are with a guy who is respecting you. Waiting to see how things go planning to take you out doing what he says he will do when he says he will do it. I wonder if for you this feels foreign. You have said your last two relationships have ended because the guys have had affairs. This tells me that the guys that perhaps you have dated in the past have been men who play games. Or even are men who cannot properly engage in a relationship and be honest about how they feel. So when the going gets touch rather than turn towards you for resolution, they turn away and look for someone else. Men who have a pattern of being abusive or unavailable often have affairs. They treat you with disrespect and the girl they are having the affair with their disrespect.
So why do you experience this guy as boring when after only three dates you want to liven up the action. What can happen is we can find ourselves experiencing nice guys as boring because we are used to working so much harder to have a relationship. We want some action, some intrigue, maybe you want him to be suggesting there is the possibility of so much more without giving you a commitment, so you are left wondering.
All this happens because we learn how to be in a relationship from the relationships we have had as children. If you have had a mother or a father or someone else significant in your life make being with them hard. If Mum or Dad kept you wondering about what they really felt or made it hard for you to communicate with them. You can find the feeling of constantly worrying about what mum or dad means or what they want from you as your normal way of being in a relationship. Mum or Dad can be there for you physically but you might not have had your emotional needs met. This can make you want to try really hard to be loved. As a child we can get very used to filling our minds with wondering about what Mum and Dad really want from us.
So when a guy comes along who treats you with respect, who does what he says he will do and means what he says. Who doesn’t turn on the charm because actually 3 dates might be too early to know, and he wants to take time to know you because that first kiss, he wants that to mean something and he doesn’t want to hurt you. This can feel boring. He isn’t sweeping you off your feet, or making you wonder what he really means and so because you don’t have to try hard, you actually just have to be yourself, it can feel terribly odd. So rather than say. I feel anxious because this guy is so different to what I am used to, we label the feeling as boring.
This anxiety switches on because you aren’t following the familiar pattern of being with a guy that presents in a way that allows you to recreate the old familiar pattern you are used to experiencing as a child that means you are loved. Although that old familiar feeling is toxic we crave it because although it is toxic it feels familiar. So when a guy comes along that is giving us the opportunity to build a healthy relationship, slowly with the opportunity for real intimacy we think eeeek this is not what I am looking for, he is too boring for me and end it.
It is interesting that consciously you cannot abide cheating and yet twice you have chosen a guy that has had cheating on his agenda and that is how your relationship ended. This tells me that there might be something going on in your unconscious where you are attracted to men who allow you to repeat the emotional connection you struggled with, with either Mum or Dad. Our unconscious seeks to repeat the pattern in order to resolve it. You create the same emotional interactions in order to resolve them. This time he will love me or listen to me or care for me or notice me.
If you are anxious what can also sometimes happen is that a bad boy allows us to fill our mind with what he is doing and thinking, or what he might do next. This intrigue means we don’t have to think about and be intimate with ourselves. A nice guy being predictable leaves emotional space that can cause us to have mental time for ourselves – and that space can also make us very anxious and cause us to label a guy as boring.
Of course, this guy might be shy, or he might be awkward. However, it sounds to me like he is treating you with respect and taking his time to get to know you before moving forward in the relationship. That is what healthy guys do.
The only way to interrupt the pattern and stop kissing toads is to bring the emotional interaction patterns you are following into awareness. This means doing the hard work to look at your family patterns, and to look at yourself and the choices you are making with your life partner. If you feel an attraction and connection with this guy, I would encourage you to continue with this new relationship and see where it takes you. I would encourage you to do the hard work on yourself to think about why you are feeling that the relationship is too boring rather than labeling him as boring.
If you can understand the interaction patterns that you have with men, if you can understand yourself better you give yourself the chance to make a different more healthy choice in life partner. You give yourself the best chance to Stop Kissing Toads – Pucker Up And Find Your Handsome Prince. Please click the link to have a look at my book I think you would find it very helpful to understand why we make the relationship choices we do, where we go wrong and what to do about it. A blog post on my website you might find very helpful is Are you mistaking Intimacy for Intensity in your relationship.
You mention also that you find your professional life to have been very successful but your personal life not so much. This is something I have seen very often with women who struggle with relationships because emotions in your professional life are very predictable, if you are in a corporate environment there are rules, it is our personal life where feelings make things complicated and life can become very unpredictable.
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