One of our beautiful readers, who has called herself AV, sent me an email with several questions regarding texting vs. calling, how to know if he'll commit, and when to be intimate.
I've heard similar questions from so many of you at different times that I thought this would be a great chance to address each of these common topics in one post.
First of all I want to say that I love your articles!
I have some question about dating a new guy and I need your advice.
- What to do if he keeps texting and not calling? I mean if the communication is through messages and facebook. I thought of calling him back when he texts me to show him that I prefer calling but I never did it because I thought that maybe I disturb him. And maybe he feels the same I don't know. I don't want the texting to stop, I just want him to also call me.
- How can I test him somehow that he wants a relationship? And that he is not afraid of a committed relationship? We are dating for a month. I really like him. I am afraid because of other guys I was dating and who were very enthusiastic and then for some reasons they didn't feel like it. I never understood what made the process cold down.
- Can you give me general guidelines about sex? I want him but I am afraid. I don't want him to lose interest.
Thanks a lot in advance
Thank you, AV. I'm so glad you're getting so much out of my articles! Your questions are some of the same topics that come up so often in my coaching sessions and in the comments and letters I receive here, so I'm happy to answer them here for you.
1.) If he's only texting and not calling
The most important thing to remember when you're dating someone new, is that you really don't know him well enough yet to know if he is "all that". We can be so quick to put someone on a pedestal simply because of the potential we see in them, or some trigger they've set off in us – or because of an aloofness they give off that gives us the impression they can take or leave us. That's when we start to forget about what we bring to the table.
So when you say you thought of calling him back to let him know you prefer calling, but you didn't want to disturb him, think about that statement for a moment. What you're really saying here assumes that you could possibly disturb him and puts you in the position of deferring to him, instead of coming to this new relationship from a position of your own power. So I want to address this point as much as your actual question.
If he's only texting you and not doing any calling, there's a reason for this. It's because it's what's he comfortable with and it's what works for him. Most likely he's discovered that texting allows him to be more emotionally distant than calling, and that's why he's choosing to communicate this way with you at this point in your relationship.
It makes sense that you want to talk via phone instead, because it's hard to get to know someone solely through texting or social media.
There's only so much you can get a feel for someone without actually talking to them. And of course, he knows this, too. But if this is what's working for him and what he's comfortable with, then he has no reason to change this unless you let him know you'd like to talk to him over the phone by saying something like "I personally prefer getting to know someone over the phone as well as by text", and see if anything changes.
If he starts to call you, then you know that what you have to say - and your preferences – matter to him. If nothing changes, then you know what he prefers and now you have a better understanding of why this is.
It could also be the case that this is how he prefers to communicate only in the very beginning as he likes to take his time getting to know you better, and that he will begin to call you on his own as time goes by.
If he continues to only text you, then you can decide whether this is going to work for you going forward or not. When you can take your own time to get to know him and always remember in the back of your mind that this is the stage where all you're doing is deciding whether he's worth getting to know better, you'll have an easier time not jumping ahead of yourself before you really know who you're getting involved with.
This includes deciding if he is worthy of you and all you have to offer; not the other way around.
2.) How to "test" him
You don't ever need – or want - to "test" someone to see if they want to be in a relationship or a committed relationship. Time will always tell.
What you do want to do is take your time getting to know someone well enough so that you can observe who they are and what they're all about before jumping to any conclusions about them being the "one" for you.
This is where so many of us miss the perfect opportunity to really see if someone is consistent in their behavior and if they are really compatible with us in the ways that matter, because we get so caught up in the feelings they elicit in us that we focus on everything except the things that matter!
Like how they treat us, like how they treat others, like what their true character reveals about them, like how reliable and consistent their words are with their actions, and most of all, how emotionally available they are to have a relationship with you in the first place.
There is simply no substitute for time. Time always reveals someone's intentions, their true nature, and their very ability to be in a committed relationship if we allow that time to unfold naturally on its own. But so often we don't! Our impatience, our anxiety, our need to know gets the better of us and we want to know sooner, rather than later. So we push for more, we rush in, we give away far too much of our hearts and souls – not to mention our sacred bodies – to someone who should never be trusted with what we're so quick to entrust them with!
A final word on this one is that if you feel the need to "test" him, there's probably something you're picking up on that's giving you reason to feel that he might not commit that you need some kind of a test to know where he stands – because he's not giving you enough of himself to figure this out naturally. This is a huge red flag. With someone who's on your page, it will flow easily and you won't have to wonder; he'll want to make sure you know.
3.) What about sex?
And finally, what to do about the question of sex!
I'm so glad you brought this up, AV, because there are so many misconceptions around this subject. If/when, how soon, how to know if you're ready, how long to wait, and all those other questions we wonder about in this confusing time when we have every "right" to have sex as much and as often as we want, but when the repercussions of exercising that right are never what we're prepared for after the fact.
The reality is that we women are affected on a far deeper level than we ever think we're going to be when we give ourselves away sexually.
We may think it will bring us closer together; that it will take it out of the question and allow us to really get to know someone better, but it rarely works that way.
Too often, regardless of how we planned to handle the when and how, we get caught up in the moment and end up becoming more intimate than we ever intended to. And when we realize after the fact that we're not on the same page as we thought we were with someone and they are no longer as interested in us as they used to be, the way we treat ourselves, the way we beat ourselves up for not being stronger or waiting longer only makes us feel worse than we already do about ourselves.
The answer is to first get clear with yourself on what you can live with and what you can't and don't let anyone talk you into anything you're not sure about.
Wait as long as you need to know for sure that he's not just looking for sex from you. If you have any doubt at all that someone could lose interest in you because you've become intimate with them, don't go there. Any doubt.
This is where your gut instincts kick in. You need to be comfortable with having a conversation with him about birth control and STD protection because those are realities that are all too real. It's the loving thing to do to protect yourself, even if he isn't worried about these things.
Don't rush it.
When you wait instead until you've gotten to know someone well enough to know that he's on the same page as you – not just because he says he is or you want to believe he is, but because he shows you by his consistent actions and behavior over time that he is, you will be so much better off for waiting.
This isn't about what anyone else's timeline is; this is about you. And while I understand there are no guarantees that someone won't still surprise you after you've become intimate with him, the longer you wait, the more you get to know him better, the less chance there is of him only being out for one thing. Guys that are only looking for one thing don't last very long.
The bottom line, AV, is that if he really is all that, he won't balk at your slowing things down to take your time to get to know him better. He'll respect you more for it. Any other response will tell you everything else you need to know.
I hope this helps give you some clarity.
What do you have to add? These questions AV has asked about are some of the same ones so many of us struggle with. I'd love to hear your thoughts and what you've found to resonate with you in your own experiences. Share them with us here in the comments.