Is She Just Filler for Him?

Q: I dated a man for a month, maybe six weeks. We had nice fun dates - nice and slow - then he fell off the radar screen! Two years later he called me out of nowhere, then I dated him some more. Again more fun dates, and then, again, he fell of the radar? Am I in the twilight zone? Kisses on cheek or forehead with a goodnight hug....only! Is it my fault for not asking where he disappeared to the first time? Guess I didn't want to cross-examine, or worst of all, God forbid, look desperate! -- Ellen, 52

Dr. Susan: Speaking up is not a desperation move. In fact, keeping silent when you're dying to know something, now that's a sign of desperation. As though you're afraid that if you say what's on your mind, he'll think you're too much trouble and walk out. I get the feeling this guy is using you for a space-filler. Someone to hang out with when he's temporarily out of options. He likes you, but not that much. Enough to date and have fun with, but not enough to be honest with or stick around with, or take the next steps toward intimacy with. I mean, not even a single real kiss after several dates?! Next time, when he shows up again or this happens with someone else, keep in mind that asking a genuine question ("What have you been up to since we got together the last time a couple years ago?") is not cross-examining. And no, I don't think his disappearance is your fault, though men do like it when a woman shows she's interested.

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