Dear Sharideth, I’m not sure what happened…


Dear Sharideth,

First let me apologize because this is probably a long email. I have read a bunch of articles on your blog and find them very insightful.
I must say, I perfectly fit the nice guy description. I frequent a small local book club, where I would usually just go in participate in the discussion and leave. I was friendly but did not really converse much with the other members. One of the girls approached via Facebook to chat, and pushed me to hangout. I figured I would hang out with her casually, since I was not sure I was interested in her, and took her to a movie that we both wanted to see. She came on a bit strong, but I felt like I should see where things go considering how much we got along and how much she liked me. The truth was, I enjoyed that she made the first move since I am usually shy and timid. From what I later understood, she was intrigued with me because I seemed a little mysterious, always had the best insights, smart, well dressed, but distant to the rest of the crowd.  
It was great, she fit the description of the girl I was looking for: outgoing, active intellectually and physically, a go getter, a nerdy quirky side, and one from an upstanding family with the same values I had. We had great chemistry and I could just take off my glasses to turn her on. The relationship moved forward, I tried to balance wanting to hang and talk with her all the time with taking it slow and not rushing. After a month an a half, I seemed to be getting signals from her that she wanted things to get more serious; she asked to be exclusive, and to be somewhat physical (not sex or anything sexual, but from a religious community and me being particularly religious this required a lot of effort). So I began hugging and snuggling with her, going out or talking more often, hanging with her family and so on. I knew it bothered her that she had to prod me to snuggle but I felt if I was going to show physical affection it would only come hand in hand with me feeling that this relationship was the real thing. 
One night after hanging out, she gives me an ultimatum, I need to start opening up to her emotionally or else she can’t see things going forward. She simultaneously lets me know that a guy friend let her know he was available and that he was already emotionally open with her. I told her that I was a closed person, but I made the effort and really opened up to her that night. I made an effort to still do this, all the while hanging out and having the relationship move forward further. I continued getting signals that she wanted to be more intimate with me, and one night she even asked me to kiss her while we were snuggling. I told her I was not ready but to show her how I felt, I took her hand and kissed it.  
A couple of days later she calls me to come over and tells me she needs a break. I was stupefied and did not know how to answer. She tells me, “How do I know that your “the one,” and you’re amazing and different from any guy I could have imagined going out with.” I thought she just needed space. I said ok, gave her a hug, and as she left she said, “Don’t be afraid to call me in a month.”
A month passes and she passes me by and says very coldly, “Hey!” I text her hows it going and she tells me that shes happy and does not want anything to change. I was devastated. I sent her a few harsh texts about how she was not forthcoming with me, and finally we have the chat. She tells me I’m just not the guy for her, I don’t speak to her personality, and that I’m not exciting. I say how do you know, and she tells me that she went out with that friend and though it did not work out, she didn’t feel nervous as she would with me. We finally agreed to be friends, but it’s obvious she was just trying to make me feel better.
Unfortunately this brought out all my insecurities on top of the fact that I cant get over her. We never even had any bad times that I could reflect on since it ended so abruptly. 
I would really appreciate your insight on how I can move forward.

Confused and hurt

Dear C & H,

I’ve thought about this off and on quite a bit since you first emailed me. And thinking about anything a lot is not my general MO. I could take your email line by line and break it down, making this the longest post ever on my blog, but honestly, all that would still lead to one simple answer.

The two of you are not compatible. Like, a whole lot of not.

And jut so we’re clear, I don’t think your position on physical relationship is wrong. I respect it. I don’t think hers is wrong either, but the two perspectives are definitely square peg round hole.

You both approach relationship very differently. So differently, that they don’t even resemble one another in practice. That just doesn’t work. It won’t work with anyone except a girl with same value system you have in regards to physical relationship. Or at least one who respects your position enough to wait until you are comfortable with moving in that direction.

This is not the end for you. Take it as a The More You Know lesson and look for girls with your same value system.

Oh so sincerely,


Any other advice for our friend?


7 comments on “Dear Sharideth, I’m not sure what happened…

  1. visitingmissouri says:

    I think you nailed it. To be honest, I have a harder time understanding his frame of reference than hers (although respect is there nonetheless), but somewhere towards the end, I thought: ‘If you’re that clearly not going to kiss her, you should go after a girl that doesn’t want to be kissed.’ So, not really other advice. Maybe actively go after them would be other advice; although not really new.

    I have, however, run into the mysterious guy that stays mysterious for too long paradigm. I was dating a girl that liked the same qualities in me that miss Kiss ascribes to C&H. And after a while, she realized it wasn’t so much being mysterious as it had to do with how much I would ever show of myself. She was not the first to notice, but the first to take the time to wait, but I had to actively get working on how to express myself and how to get to a deeper emotional level. We all need to fix different parts of ourselves, but it might prove to come back again in a later relationship; in that case it’s worth looking into how to better get in touch with your emotions (in a more manly way than it sounds).

  2. Becky says:

    I just wanted to encourage C & H that I melted a little when you said you kissed her hand. That is just so absolutely charming, and the right girl will find that kind of romance irresistible.

  3. bubbs says:

    Sorry, my drinking a cup of coffee avatar is broken, but I digress…

    It’s worth noting that she was drawn to Mr. Mysterious for the intrigue, but then was left wanting when he didn’t open up to her emotionally. This would have been an issue going forward. Like, forever forward. I’m not saying it would have been an impossible match (mark me down as opposed to “the one” philosophy), but this sounds like you’re both better off looking elsewhere.

  4. Clint says:

    This sounds very much like a situation I found myself in 1 year ago. Your description of yourself and “her” is very comparable to me and my “her”. Perhaps the one difference is that I moved a little quicker with the physical side of the relationship, although she did prompt a little bit. (She came from a very touchy family and my family never hugged, etc.) However, we never went beyond the line we were comfortable with.

    Moving on, our relationship grew and died much the way you described and I was left miserable trying to figure out what went wrong for 6 months after. I freely admit I may be wrong, but this is what I think happened in our relationship and what may have happened in yours. (I may allude to some PUA/Game theory here.)

    She was drawn to your mysterious persona. In that book club setting you came across as an alpha or sigma. You were the quality guy in the room. You were the mysterious stranger who played by his own rules. Naturally, she would feel drawn to you. Even attracted to you. However as she got to know you, she found out that in the real world, you were a beta. A nice guy. Nice guys aren’t bad, but they don’t create attraction, they create comfort in a relationship. She realized that you weren’t the mysterious alpha/sigma she was attracted to. You were a nice beta. Her constant pleas for you to “open up” was her way of trying to see if you were the alpha she thought you were or the obvious beta that she now knew. Her prompts to be more physical was her (subconscious) way of trying to get you to behave in the way an alpha would. I think she was trying as hard as she could to see you in the way she first did, when she was attracted to you. Unfortunately, as she got to know you, and she did get to know you, she found that there was no alpha in beta’s clothing. You are who you are, and once she got to know the real you, she wasn’t attracted to you any more.

    Don’t be disheartened. I was devastated too, but I learned from my experience. I grew as a person. I started to learn about the “Christian” version of game. I gained confidence. I improved my physique. I worked very hard on becoming a more well rounded individual. The great thing we Betas have going for us are the qualities that lend themselves to long term relationships. The area we need to improve on is attraction. (To exhibit some sort of alpha traits, at least some of the time. I promise they are inherent inside you, somewhere.) You can see in the comments how some women like who you are, although in person they may not find themselves attracted to you, they desire a relationship with the person you are. All you need to do is build the attraction factor, and the relationship(s) will follow.

    Unfortunately your relationship probably wouldn’t have stood the test of time. She would always be nagging you, which you would eventually find annoying and demeaning. You would always be submitting to her, which she would find pathetic and repulsive. She needs someone more dominant than her and you need someone more submissive.

    If you want to know what you did “wrong”, my answer is nothing. In fact, I bet she would say she couldn’t think of anything wrong either. She had to resort to excuses to justify her reasons for ending a relationship with someone so “nice” because she probably couldn’t understand the reasons why she felt the way she did.

    Your problem is that you didn’t do some things right. (And I’m looking at my self when I say this.) She wanted you to take the lead. She wanted you to be in control. She wanted you to initiate and escalate and dominate. She may have got the ball rolling but eventually she wanted you to run with it, and you never did.

    What could you have done differently? A lot, but I guarantee that they things you would have had to do would not have come naturally to you, at that time anyway. You would have been exhausted trying to go against your nature to please her. You could have walked up to her out of the blue and given her a passionate kiss for no reason, walked away without looking back, and told her you’d pick her up at 8. You could have called her and told her to wear a pretty dress that night but not told her why. Then show up and take her somewhere unexpected. You could have started working out and putting on a little bit of muscle. I have no idea what you look like but I’m going to hazard a wild guess and say you could stand to lose a little weight around the middle and gain a little in the biceps. (No matter what women say, they are attracted to physical appearances, just not as much as men.) You could have picked up another hobby, or two, and worked on mastering them. Women like guys with “skills”. (Thanks Napoleon Dynamite.) Stuff like that.

    That’s my opinion anyway and I admit I may be 100% wrong. I’m speaking to my former situation just as much as I am to your current one.

  5. C&H says:

    I must say, I find the responses encouraging. Especially Clint’s analysis. I think some might have made to much of the physical aspect of the relationship, but it was just a symptom of me not being an alpha. That might explain why she continued to feel nervous around me. I would add, that I think she was also not ready for a real long term exclusive relationship. The fact that it really meant something that I held her, and was not just me being a “guy” scared her, I think (she is a bit younger). The truth is, a lot of those suggestions you gave in the end were things I wanted to do (I do want to be spontaneous like that), and even thought of just walking up to her and giving her a kiss to win her back (thankfully I didn’t). It’s clear to me that this was just something I needed to go through, and that experience to grow as a person.

    PS, physically I ain’t that bad looking and I’ve always been thin and fit (though I actually got into a regiment to release the stress I was feeling)

    Thanks everyone!

  6. robertdyson says:

    Initially, I too thought of all the things you could have done to salvage the relationship (IMO). But, as the host of this blog pointed out, it wouldn’t be you – it wouldn’t be a good fit. Instead of forcing it by being someone you’re not, accept the idea that this was for the best – even though it felt uncomfortable. Now, that being said, I do think there are times we can be a better version of ourselves. Maybe we’re uncomfortable making a move and need to courageously assert ourselves. Or, being afraid of vulnerability, we stay closed off, when opening up could have been the biggest factor in bonding (got that from Brene Brown – the Power of Vulnerability, youtube it, it’s awesome).

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