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He's Amazing and Still Single . . . and What She Can Do about It

Alisa Snell - Dating Coach - March 12, 2012

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Almost everyone knows an amazing woman who has so much to offer, yet the good man she is dating can’t seem to commit. Despite all the right signs, they not only don't get married, they break up. But a woman can do many things to help avoid this.

Last month’s article, "He’s Amazing and Still Single! Why?", described a group of highly eligible, attractive, and socially skilled men who, in spite of the fact that they date great women, remain single year after year.

The women who date these men also have common traits. They are often educated, attractive, confident, and socially skilled women. They are patient, kind, good listeners, and willing to do their part in relationships. They don’t react dramatically or inappropriately. They’re not excessively nagging. They are quick to read books on relationships and apply what they learn. And they don’t have many undesirable issues in their past. 

Thus, these men often describe the woman they’re dating as “perfect.” Unfortunately, they often follow this up with, “But I just don’t feel an emotional connection." 

What is going wrong? Is it her, him, or both of them together? How do these amazing women help these men to feel an emotional connection? If these men can’t commit to such wonderful women, then what hope is there that these men will ever marry, and what will become of these great women who, despite their best efforts, remain single year after year, too?

He needs to be the hunter, not the hunted.
One of the first things I teach women in this situation is that it works best for both of them if he is the pursuer of the relationship. This means he needs to initiate phone calls (and texts) three to four times more often than she does. He needs to ask to see her (which allows him to miss her and seek her out) rather than her dropping by his work, popping in to see him, or asking when they’re getting together. He needs to ask her to be exclusive rather than her immediately seeing only him and assuming that he feels the same. 

To encourage and keep him in the pursuit role, I recommend that women use their warmth, femininity, appreciation, kinds words, and touch as positive reinforcements of the things he does, rather than giving gifts, making meals, or offering to pay for dates. Once she has done her part, she needs to sit back, relax, and trust that he sees what she has to offer and that he will pursue her and invest in the relationship. 

He needs to sacrifice to feel love and have fun to feel connected. 
The more deeply he sacrifices the more deeply he loves and making physical sacrifices (like phone calls, picking her up for and paying for dates, doing things for her, and meeting her needs) are things these men are willing to do. All he wants in return is to enjoy her company and have fun. As a matter of fact, he needs to just relax and have fun for at least the first two to four months if he is to develop a strong emotional attachment.

Once he begins to worry about: 1) what she is feeling or thinking, 2) if she is too into him or too anxious for commitment, or 3) if she is hurt and disappointed by his slow (but consistent and persistent) efforts to pursue her, then he will feel anxious and even trapped. 

It’s not that he wants out of the relationship. It’s that pressure for commitment causes him to analyze very closely what he’s feeling (or not feeling) and anxiety impedes his ability to have spontaneous positive emotions. When he is having fun these complicating emotions are kept to a minimum.

They need to fight the pressure together.
Pressure and anxiety are inevitable in all relationships, but a woman can talk with him about the situations that cause him to feel pressure (i.e., meeting the family, going to work parties, holding hands at church) and express a willingness to come up with solutions together to fight the pressurebecause she isn’t the problem and he isn't the problem—the pressure is the problem. 

She doesn’t need to take the pressure away. She just needs to show him that together they can reduce the pressure, which will also deepen their emotional attachment to each other, versus him trying to reduce the pressure on his own by withdrawing from her and the relationship.

They need to resolve her feelings and needs together, too.
If a woman does not express her feelings and needs to him with positive solutions that will resolve the situation, she will begin to feel stressed, alone, and impatient with the  slow-moving reality of their relationship. (Consequently, she will be more likely to push for commitment or break up.)

All men are repelled by criticism and nagging, but a man does value and appreciate when a women expresses her feelings and needs while also communicating her faith in his goodness. He wants to help, he just doesn’t know what to do unless she tells him and explains how much it means to her. To do this, she can simply state that just as they’re fighting the pressure together, she needs the two of them to work together to make her feel more secure in the relationship. She can then give examples of what he could do that would help resolve her fears. 

The more the two of them work on these combined issues, the more deeply they will feel bonded. This is a more useful conversation and goal for them to work on together than her talking about when they are going to get married and what’s wrong with him or her that he feels like withdrawing every time the conversation comes up. 

With a secure attachment in place and a pattern of resolving problems together, it will be easier for both of them to feel more secure and connected, and as such more inclined to more forward with marriage. 


To learn about the additional complicating factors that contribute to this pattern, and to listen to a one-hour audio in which I discuss this pattern (and what singles can do to break it) with three men and four women who struggle with it, visit itsyourtechnique.comThere you can also get instant access to FREE dating advice, articles, audios, and videos from Alisa Goodwin Snell. Her love-changing theories and techniques will make dating easy and fun. 

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Alisa Goodwin Snell is a licensed marriage and family therapist and dating coach with 17 years of experience. Alisa is the author of the “It’s Not You—It’s Your Technique” dating system.

© LDS Living, 2012.
Comments 6 comments

derblitz said...

12:01 AM
on Mar 16, 2012

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The premise of the article is interesting, but the advice appears to be off base. All the rules of thumb need to be thrown out the window. Every relationship is different and should be treated as such. A guy is going to worry about where the relationship is going prior to 2-4 months of "having fun". By the end of the 4th date (usually within 3 weeks of the 1st date), most guys have gone in for the first kiss which is going to be a pretty good barometer of reciprocity. "Sit back, relax, and trust" is another bad rule of thumb. I really wish women would stop perpetuating this notion. While it's possible that a few guys want to carry a relationship forward, I would guess the vast majority would be happy if she took some initiative to make contact and not just 20% of the time as you suggest. A little balance is not a bad thing. I agree, however, that a guy should be doing the asking and be the primary pursuer. That doesn't mean she can't communicate frequently. Some of these opinion articles I think could be more accurate by polling a larger quantity of singles. My perception is that you took 2-3 examples of guys who have similar views and then extrapolated the conclusions over a larger demographic.

woodhead said...

07:45 AM
on Jun 03, 2012

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As with all things, there needs to be a balance. The ratio of contact might be appropriate, but the content of the contact/interaction must be managed. For example, I was friends with an individual. When we were at a function together, she would do things like grab a bottle of water for me when she felt I needed wanter. Treating me like I am incapable of doing these things for myself repelled me. Asking would have been fine.

pollypocket said...

04:27 PM
on Jul 16, 2012

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Dear wood head, (fitting). She was trying to be kind by getting you water.

penka12 said...

01:17 PM
on Aug 14, 2012

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How long can you possible wait for someone who just can't emotionally connect? Wouldn't it be be easier, if you find an emotionally available man, who will be affectionate and giving?

idsmith said...

11:54 PM
on Sep 04, 2012

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Good advice in principle at least, but an all one sided effort is called "game playing" both should make and effort and when it becomes to one sided, back off and give the other person a chance to repsond. Its called calibrating.

idsmith said...

12:04 AM
on Sep 05, 2012

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Is there and article out there for just the opposite. The women who have trust issues and want to date for 1- 2 years and still can't commit may not be as common, but they're all to common. Here's a comment left from a woman that recently ended our relationship: "Sorry I'm so emotionally unavailable and operate on such a different level. I have some things to work on. I care about you and hope you'll forgive me if I just want to be friends from now on. I don't think dating me is in your best interest. Please know, I say that in a spirit of love. I spent the last two years standing at the edge of commitment with a man who didn't deserve my waffling. I don't want to put you or anyone else through that. Not that you would put up with it or even want a commitment from me, but I feel like I've taken seven months of your life and given very little in return. I know I have some serious issues. I'm the first one to admit it. I keep trying to push through, trust in God, move forward, claim the blessings H.F. has in store, but my feet seem to be cemented in the ground. As much as I would love to date you, it wouldn't be fair to drag you into my web of insanity. You deserve better!! The guy before the first took his life after she ended it with him. This is one of the finest LDS women I've ever met. And she desperatley wants love and affection and is out there the next day, trying to find a date and saying the dating game is so scary.. sad. Can anyone offer any advice?
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