Best-selling author and founder of anewmode.com Sabrina Alexis recently hosted a Reddit iAmA where she answered a host of questions about dating and relationships.
1. We’re hardly dating, and I feel him drifting away.
Carcar85: I’ve been dating a guy now for 2.5 months, and I feel like he may be starting to pull away. We just spent our first weekend together last weekend and I haven’t seen him since (blizzard, etc). We have plans this Tuesday, but he’s being way more casual about it than he has in the past. How should I handle myself, handle him, and should I say anything?
Sabrina: First, try as hard as you can not to stress and obsess over it. Some guys just need space and pull away in response to a whole host of things. Don’t take is personally and don’t worry about it. Worrying will cause more problems than it solves. Take the time to focus on yourself and doing things that make you feel good and give him a little space to breathe.
Maybe he feels a certain kind of pressure coming off you, like you want things to be more serious, or maybe it has nothing to do with you and he needs time to work through whatever it is on his own. But again, DON’T STRESS, the more you analyze and obsess, the worse things will get. If it continues for another few weeks, then bring it up but not from a place of neediness. Be confident in yourself and confident in how he feels and don’t worry about it too much.. these things work out as they’re meant to.
2. I guess I really need help with helping a guy feeling needed.
Sambf: I was seeing someone and timing wasn’t right so we didn’t really pursue much due to location and timing. However, I have friends telling me to say how I feel but I thought I made it obvious already by dating them.
On the other hand, my friends have told me I come off as confident and being this bold, I’m pretty intimidating and make guys nervous. So how do I combat that while maintaining my personality? I don’t want to have to change for a guy but I also don’t know how to really tone it down either. I need a good balance. For someone like me to admit they like a guy, it’s really hard. How would you advise this?
Also, I bought your book and I loved it.
Sabrina: Glad you enjoyed the book! First, you should never have to change who you are for a guy. I also have a loud, strong personality and I also used to be afraid that it would get in my way and scare guys away. At the same time, I did need to develop a sense of self-awareness. When I started dating my husband I realized that I could be a bit dominating and it caused issues in our relationship, I also thought he was a bit quiet and shy but it turned out he wasn’t at all, I was just so dominating I didn’t give him a chance to speak! When I stepped back, he stepped up and was suddenly this confident, animated, amazing, outgoing guy.
I didn’t change myself, I contained myself and made space for him. Wanting a guy isn’t a bad thing. What’s at play is your fear of being vulnerable. But being vulnerable is an essential part of being in a relationship, it’s what helps you connect and create a meaningful bond. Yes, it’s scary, but you have to take that risk in order to get the love you want.
3. My boyfriend and I separated in August. He spent 3 years accusing me of cheating. Something I never did.
Brookej34: We have 3 children combined and sometimes he wants me back but others he wants me gone. Do I try to salvage the relationship? If so, how can we move forward when he’s so constantly accusational? He was cheated on in his previous relationships and even cheated on me. Am I being naive to think this man is worth it?
Sabrina: That is a tough situation, especially because you have kids in the mix. It sounds like he has a lot of issues that are his to solve. His trust issues run deep and I don’t think there’s anything you can do about it. I think this is a case where he needs therapy, or maybe you could try couples counseling.
4. I’m 24 and have been in a relationship with a good man (he’s 29) for 3 years.
jackofhearts23: He doesn’t feel as sure as I would like him to about our future (engagement, marriage, etc) so I’m debating on ending it.
Relationship advice I’ve read suggests to hang onto a good man like him instead of wasting your best years “playing the field” and “riding the carousel” with bad/player men. What are your thoughts?
It’s really tempting to want to jump into the dating scene, but at the same time I feel I may not have gotten enough clarification from my current boyfriend to make a decision. Hope this makes sense!
Sabrina: Yes, it makes sense and I think you’re being very reasonable about this whole thing. 3 years is a long time and he should have some idea of where things are headed. I think you should just talk to him honestly, be clear about what you’re feeling and just try to gauge where his head is at. If he’s unsure, try to uncover what his fears are, maybe he wants to be more established in his career, maybe the idea of marriage scares him, maybe he just doesn’t know if you’re “the one.” Whatever it is, try to hear him without judgment and without reacting too much, give him a safe space to talk about what he’s feeling and try to get on the same page.
5. I’m in a relationship with a 27 year old man. I’m 28 myself. He has not been in a relationship for 6 years.
suebiedoobydoo: We have been together for 3 months and things are great except it’s someone blatantly obvious that he doesn’t know how to be a boyfriend. Most of the time he treats me like a female friend. We do have sex in our relationship and do couple things and he’s very affectionate but sometimes I feel as though he doesn’t know To say and do the romantic things.
How can I fix this? What do I need to be considerate of when being in a relationship with a man that hasn’t been in one in his adult life? How do I get him to open up? How do I get him to be more “in relationship” and not friends?
Sabrina: The best way to encourage a man is to make him feel good about doing the things you like. Whenever he does say something romantic or if he is affectionate, acknowledge and reward him for it. Let him know that you appreciate it and how good it makes you feel. Use your feminine sexuality to get the message across, because that is certainly something men will hear! Convey it in your voice, your gaze, your body language, and your touch.
If he rarely does things you like, tell him “You know, I really love it when you say romantic things, it makes me feel amazing,” and then give him a gentle caress. You can also just try and do a relationship touch base session where you ask him if there’s anything he needs from you in the relationship, when you can do more of that will make him feel good, etc., and then turn it to him and explain the things that you would like more of.
6. I recently started talking to a guy that I met on Tinder.
ikkyjan: We get on really well, I’m abit fiery and he says that he likes that 😂 But I’ve been out of the dating scene for so long. I don’t know anything about dating. I feel useless. I don’t know how often I should iniaite contact with him? Do I always wait for him to take the lead? Dating is just SO scary and I feel like I’m rubbish at it!
Sabrina: First rule in dating is: Don’t stress over it!! Remember, stressing doesn’t lead you anywhere good, it feels like you’re doing something productive but you’re not, you’re just making yourself crazy. In terms of initiating, yes I do think a guy should initiate most of the time…mostly because that’s just the usual order of things and guys typically like to take the lead. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever initiate.
What matters is the place you’re coming from internally, if you come from a place of confidence nothing you say or do will be off putting. When you come from a place of fear and neediness, that’s when it becomes a problem. Rather than focusing on how he feels, focus on finding ways to feel really good about yourself.
7. I recently found out that a man I had a crush on and wants me for only for sex.
fitfatandfamous: Despite being interested in me while we were on a “date”. Apparently he wants nothing serious with me. I’m slightly humiliated and now whenever I see him at work functions I am unable to look at him in the eye. I tell myself to act naturally but each time I see him I become extremely flustered and old feelings come creeping back in.
I know that he does not deserve me (he told me he’s dated 50 women and uses sex as the basis for relationships) but whenever I see him I start debating whether or not I should reach out to him, sleep with him, or do anything at all to get him attracted to me again. It leaves me emotionally conflicted and drained. Although we work in different departments and I see him only at work meetings, having to work with him means that moving on is very difficult because its like picking at wounds and reminding me of my humiliation. I even went back to his apartment – I wasn’t thinking!
I feel awkward around him and sometimes avoid work parties because he will be there as I know I will be very distracted by he sight of him (he’s a looker for sure). How can I move on and forget about him?
Sabrina: Don’t give him so much power over you and you emotions, he’s not worth it! You get to determine your worth and how you feel, not him. Find ways to feel good about yourself and try to forget about him, he’s clearly not worth it.
8. Basically, a boy at my school is always teasing me, nudging me, pushing me everything a boy does if he likes you
Blehblahbleh231: He asked me out to prom, now of course I said yes cause I have fallen like a rock but what does this mean, are we in a relationship? If not should I ask him to be my boyfriend?
Sabrina: It means what it means, don’t overthink things. If he wants to be your boyfriend, he’ll let you know, no need for you to ask.
9. On your A New Mode blog, you and Eric talk about letting a man chase you during the dating phase
Roshell95: Because, in your words, “you’re forcing him to realize your value.” Does this advice still apply when two people are an official couple, or is it okay for me to initiate communication with my boyfriend sometimes?
Sabrina: Yes, it’s definitely okay to initiate contact. Try not to obsess over the right things to do and instead come from a place of confidence and realize that he does care about you and feel strongly for you. “The chase” isn’t about playing games, it’s about not letting a man determine your worth and not waiting around to see if he chooses you.
10. So I am a new single mom, and when I was pregnant with our second son my ex and I got in a fight and he abandoned me and our unborn child and got a new gf.
Akcunningham87: It’s been really hard and horrible and I have been struggling with loving myself and stuff and since then I have been dating and I guess I just wanted to know do guys really care if you have two kids, like is that a date/relationship killer? I’ve been struggling with the whole I’m Damaged goods thing and I definitely don’t want to settle with someone because of that either.
Sabrina: The right guy won’t care, I know someone who was left by her husband and she had the same fear and within 2 years she found a new guy who adores her and is now re-married. Don’t get caught up in what you think guys will think, this is your situation and things will work out.
11. I’ve been seeing someone special for 2 years. We’re both divorced.
lisalisaredhead: I’m 44, he’s 46. He’s very quiet, but very sweet, respectful and affectionate, and we always have fun together and enjoy each other very much. How do I know for sure if he loves me? Besides the obvious, what are some hidden signs?
Sabrina: Typically, when a guy loves you it’s pretty obvious, you just know. You can tell in the way he looks at you, talks to you, the way he factors you in. I could go on and on but I actually recently wrote an article on this that will help- http://www.anewmode.com/dating-relationships/signs-he-is-in-love-with-you/
12. A guy I’ve known for about 3 years contacted me recently.
TiffanyAO: He lives on the East Coast, I live in the Southwest. We have been trying to start a relationship but its hard long distance. I am willing to try. What is the best way to approach this? Keep him interested?
Sabrina: Distance is hard but you can make it work. Just focus on building a connection and on finding ways to make it work. Come up with a plan for how often you’ll see each other, how often you’ll talk, at what point will someone have to move, etc.
13. My guy and I finally became exclusive in December after dating for 10 months.
FutureMrs2016: Since becoming exclusive we have not spent much time together for several legitimate reasons and because of my frustration, I deleted his number. He doesnt know. I saw him a few days ago and he came on really strong, it was almost as if he knew I was distancing myself from the relationship. However, I havent heard from him through the whole blizzard. Seems like he blows hot and cold, but it also seems like the distance I placed between us made him come forward. I dont understand why he seems to wait for me to initiate contact all the time. I deleted his number for 2 weeks now which has kept me from initiating contact, and I think he felt the “distance.”What should I do to get this man to initiate contact and show more interest?
Sabrina: Stop initiating contact with him and just back off. He sounds confused and like he doesn’t know what he wants or how he feels. I think you should take space and figure out how you feel and if you really want to be with someone who doesn’t even reach out to see how you’re holding up after a huge blizzard!
14. My boyfriend and I broke up 1 and a half months ago. We were best friends before dating.
benfan1905: We dated for 3 months but then he started to pull away. When we talked, he said he wasn’t feeling the same way about me as he used to, and instead of breaking up with me right at that moment, he suggested that we need to give each other some time. It has been more than 40 days now and we haven’t spoken a word since then (only some casual greetings). Now I suspect that he’s seeing someone. What should I do to get him back?
Sabrina: First, I think you need to reach out to him and have an actual talk about what’s going on. You share your feelings, he shares his. See where he’s at. It sounds like he has moved on and if so, it’s best for you to do the same. There is no point pining away for someone who doesn’t want you (at least not at this moment). Focus on yourself, focus on moving on, focus on feeling good. These things will not only get him back, but will help you live a better life overall!
15. Me and my ex broke up a couple of months ago and I’m still not over it.
Amber_901: He was the first guy that I ever really loved. But now he was a girlfriend and he seems happy. I don’t wanna ruin his happiness but I miss him I just us to be friends like we used to be and nothing more but I’m afraid to text him because i don’t know what his response will be so should I take the chance and text him or no?
Sabrina: I’m going to say no because you’re still not over it and it will only hurt you. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself you just want to be friends, but that’s not really what’s going on…you want him back. I know it hurts, I know it’s hard, I know it sucks and it’s unfair….but it is what it is. He is with someone else and that won’t stop hurting, not even if he’s back in your life as your “friend.” You need time and space, focus on yourself, get out there and start dating, move on. If you want to be friends in 6 months, then you can re-assess but I really don’t think it’s a good idea right now.
16. I’ve been living with a man for 2 years. The last 3 years he hasn’t touched me nor kissed me.
Correia42: We have been together for 8 years but we both made some huge mistakes in year 4 (me) and year 5 (him). I know it’s time to end things but I seem to make things seem like it’s ok to be this way. How do I become a stronger person? How do I walk away when I love him so much? I read your emails daily. In hopes I can figure it out.
Sabrina: That’s a tough one. Have you talked about it? Have you tried counseling? Are you still attracted to him? It’s hard to say what’s going on with key information missing but it sounds like there are issues that may not be able to be fixed. If you haven’t yet, I would suggest trying therapy to solve things. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to really assess what you want. I think what you want is to move on but it’s just hard to do it…
17. This guy and I have a really good time when we hang out; however our texting/talking communication between when we see each other isn’t so great.
ebeth00: I would love to know: How can I get get him to text more between hang outs? And, do you have any tips for having clear communication via text (i feel like we have a lot of misinterpretations when we text). I keep feeling frustrated by our communication between hanging out and I don’t want it to impact our relationship.
Sabrina: Guys don’t measure a relationship based on the quantity of texts, they measure it based on the quality of the time they spend with the other person, so first, he probably doesn’t realize what a big deal all this is. Some people just aren’t very big texters. Maybe he’s busy most days, maybe he’s not good at multitasking.
You can try to encourage the texting by showing him appreciation when he does it and explaining how good it makes you feel and how much you enjoy hearing from him. Try and find ways to reward him when he does things you like. And in terms of communicating clearly through text, that’s tough! I would just say save the serious talks for the phone and in person and keep texting light and about fun things or making plans.
18. I have been seeing a guy for almost 3 months. We haven’t had sex…
jbush9m: But Thursday we did do some oral. Since then it seems he’s become distant. he hasn’t text me and i’m not sure what went wrong.Why is he becoming distant?
Sabrina: I’m not sure but that isn’t a good sign. You can try asking him, but only do it once. After that, just back off and give him space. He’ll come back if he’s serious about you. If not, then you dodged a bullet!
19. I like my guy friend and I know he likes me.
marcysmelodies: We’ve talked about it before and he told me he’s just not ready for a relationship right now(he just got out of a 2 year relationship in August), he also said he was unsure if we’d ever be in a relationship. Since then we’ve continued hanging out and we’ve been getting closer. I still really like him and I know he still likes me so should I wait for him or just give up and move on?
Sabrina: I say give up and move on. I’m not saying there’s no hope, maybe he will come around and be ready, but right now he isn’t and you need to take it for what it is. Focus on enjoying your time together but don’t read too into it and don’t dismiss other guys and hold out hope for this one. Take the situation for exactly what it is right now.