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Parallax - Advice

October 21, 2002

Mr. Subtle?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I met a man who simply does not pursue women in a traditional sense. All of his friends tell me he is simply that way. He rarely calls, but says he really cares about me and wants a relationship. This feels strange to me. Is there really such a thing as a man not taking action to be with someone they care about? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Wondering,

Nope. No such thing. Lies, lies and lies. If he really cares for you, he would want to speak with you. You, you, you would be top of mind and he would not be able to resist yapping it up with you.

Now, this may be an early relationship and greater closeness may develop over time. Certainly, he could have the underpinnings of really caring for you and just not yet be there. All of this is true. But you need to decide if you'd like to wait it out. Couples don't 'rarely call' unless there is some extraneous circumstance—like different continents.

Also keep in mind that his version of 'wanting a relationship' may be your version of, 'I think I might like you.' I think you may be taking this one too seriously and you might want to back off a bit. You sound a bit demanding...a bit too early.

Why don't you see how this 'relationship' plays out for a few weeks? If he doesn't progress to more frequent contact, I think you'll have to move along or keep a halfway boyfriend.

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His view:

Dear Wondering,

A man who doesn't pursue someone he cares about? Who knows? Anything is possible. But why are you even asking?

If you care about him and want a relationship, why don't you pursue him? Is that beneath your dignity? Is that too non-traditional for you? Or are you too chicken to risk his rejection? He already said he wants a relationship, so there wouldn't seem to be much risk of that happening.

The more likely scenario, however, is that he is not really sure about what he wants. Men sometimes say one thing and mean another—that is also possible.

To me, he sounds insecure and indecisive at the same time. Perhaps he could use some additional coaxing to be drawn out... Or perhaps you should look for a more traditional man.

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