I have enjoyed reading your column and learned a lot – now I need your help! I met a gorgeous man, let’s call him Johnny, two years ago, and the chemistry was electric. We flirted for a year, became friends, and finally became intimate – it was great! He told me “I am every man’s dream woman – successful, smart, pretty, sexy, and fun.” I am a few years older but that doesn’t concern him. The problem is, he won’t ask me out for a date, or see me outside of the dance club where we met. Johnny’s friends and family who I’ve come to know and like me, say he isn’t dating anyone else, that he really cares for me, but he seems intimated. I have only been friendly, down-to-earth and open with him, and I can’t understand why I intimidate him. I saw him two months ago, he asked me for lunch date, than never called. I started dating someone else. The chemistry isn’t the same, yet he really treats me well. I saw Johnny again recently, and once more, he professed how much he cares for me with a hug and a kiss, and then said “it’s not you, Renee, but I have been so hurt in the past.” What’s up with that, Riana? Does he care for me, or does he not?
Renee from Margate
I know how confusing and frustrating this can be! Johnny must come to realize for himself that great love takes risk. You cannot force him into being with you; he must be mentally and emotionally ready, and mature enough to give your relationship a try. You said he is a bit younger then you, and that you are successful – perhaps he feels he’s not in a place where he can “step up to take care of you” in a way that a man’s ego wants to. That can feel intimidating to him; and that has nothing to do with you. His career may not be in a place where he can “relax” and take time for love. Or, he may be so afraid of getting hurt again, that he’s not yet ready to risk falling in love. Soon, Johnny will come to realize that life is pretty lonely without love, the dance clubs become boring, and life is quite dull without a fabulous partner and a degree of risk and change. Johnny must understand, we ALL get hurt in love, but must learn to look at the challenges in our past relationships as lessons. It’s easy to blame your past partners; but with maturity, Johnny will look as his part in why his relationships didn’t last. NO relationship should be considered a failure; each one is an opportunity to learn to become a more evolved person for the next partner. Meanwhile, you cannot put your life on hold for a man who is not ready for love. It sounds like you have a great guy – even if Johnny came around, he may not be as caring, attentive, or loving as the man you have now. He has a lot to prove. A relationship must be strong in trust, respect, communication and friendship first, because chemistry will not last without those core qualities. If he is too afraid to talk to you about his feelings in a quiet place, then he just isn’t ready. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for you, or one day he won’t be ready — but the key question he must ask himself is; when he’s ready, will YOU be available? Life is short, live for today – enjoy your current relationship, and trust that your answers will unfold as you live YOUR life to the fullest each day.