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Ever wonder why guys lose interest in relationships? Things can seem so right one moment, and the next -- there he goes! To get the lowdown on this less-than-appealing behavior, we turned to the people who know best -- gay men. In this excerpt from Straight Talk with Gay Guys, author Daylle Deanna Schwartz asks men who've been both victim to and guilty of this behavior to explain what's really going on behind the scenes.
Have you had an amazing evening with a guy, shared feelings about a variety of interests, felt intense attraction, perhaps shared some intimacy, and then never heard from him again? Or, he came on strong for months, saying everything you wanted to hear, being the perfect mate for you -- then turned cold and distant, or just ended it. Carl explains:
"It's the thrill of the chase, which must be genetically ingrained in the male species. And the run part? Well, that's the old fear of commitment issue. Many men outgrow this stuff as they grow older, but some don't. Learn how to recognize the confident, stable men who don't need to give you a bunch of lines when they first meet you, only to disappear after Date No. 2."
Learn to Smell Fear
Guys are brave when it comes to killing bugs and watching scary movies. They're chickens about intimacy and getting too hooked. If he's not ready to commit, he may bolt in a way that leaves you reeling and asking what's wrong with men. Michael T.F. has observed that some men go in and out of relationships through a revolving door because they don't want to lose the initial rush and ego boost of connecting with someone new:
Don't Give Him Everything
"With most guys it's about making the conquest. They want to know that they can have you. Once they get you, they don't need to prove anything so they move on to the next woman who will prove to them how attractive, smart, funny and all-around perfect they are. The biggest myth about relationships is that men are afraid of commitment. What men are really afraid of is losing the rush they get when a new woman finds them irresistible."
So how can you minimize the chance of getting caught in his nonsense? TAKE IT SLOW. Keep the chase going. No one should give everything away in a relationship. Ever! If he comes on strong with a desire to see you constantly, don't succumb, even if it feels delicious to be desired. Hold your ground and keep some distance by continuing to make plans with friends and scheduling solo time. Get friends to tie you down if you begin to revolve around him. He'll be too preoccupied with wondering if you'll stay to get scared of going too fast. Michael McD. explains:
"People jump the gun, find themselves in something quicker than they wanted and get scared. Their reaction is to run away, rather than confront it. When you take it at a slower pace, there is more communication, which is 100 percent key for that, and you can talk about issues as you go. At the beginning it's all easy, but then the issues start to come up. Then people start to run. That's usually someone who's not emotionally available. If you're looking for people who are emotionally unavailable, that means you're emotionally unavailable. Something is going on that makes you rush it."
Don't Go to Extremes
When you have other things going on besides him, he doesn't feel as suffocated. Don't fall into the Fantasy Island trap -- getting carried away by his enthusiasm. Keep a slower pace. Men who can't control their fast pace begin to feel out of control fast. If that happens, he may leave as you float on the exhilaration of finding the "perfect" boyfriend. Save yourself the pain of the dump and the questions you and your friends will have about "How could he leave when he was so into me?" Rick warns:
"Any extreme reaction at the beginning has to really be examined. You have to be able to take a step back and look at that. As delicious as it might seem, if it's someone you are attracted to, you are sort of welcoming that attention. A wise person would take a step back, look at it and think, 'This is coming from someplace else and I have to figure out what this is before I jump in.'"
I used to ask why men are such clones of each other when I should have taken responsibility for allowing myself to fall for the double dive at the beginning. It takes two to dive into a relationship. We always blame it on him. But if you're needy for a boyfriend, it's easy to ignore obvious patterns and enjoy the initial ride. When you work on controlling yourself, you won't jump in without thinking. Often when a guy rushed into something, he has a problem. David advises you to keep the brakes on as much as possible, no matter how much you'd love to dive into the goodies he offers.