Coming On Too Strong?


I thought things were going amazing when she out of the blue called it off. What happened?

Hi Rosie and Sherry,

First off, I really enjoy your articles on! They are a true inspiration and the advice is very well worth listening to. Thank you!

I just experienced a truly unique dating situation. Can you please help me understand what happened after only a few dates? The story starts a couple weeks ago when I was introduced to a young lady by a mutual friend. We’re both in the same profession and the setting seemed perfect for a relationship. I eagerly agreed to meet her.

We went out for coffee for the first date and things seemed to be going well. We discovered a mutual passion for our Jewish heritage. We even discovered that we had gone to the same Jewish summer camp. Our activity levels were the same as well and since I like living as full a life as possible, that was important to me. I thought we were perfect for each other!

After another date, I offered to take her out to dinner to celebrate her passing her professional licensing exam and she seemed appreciative and excited. I even got her a small gift. A couple days before our planned dinner, she sent me a text out of the blue saying she wanted to stop seeing each other. I told her I respect her decision and that I hope we can stay in touch. Now I'm stuck feeling disappointed and rejected.

This was a tough blow because I was dating patiently for the last couple years. I live in a small city and often to meet Jewish singles, I would have to drive over an hour to Philly or New York. Usually, the relationships I did have couldn't withstand the distance. I also felt like I couldn't truly get to know someone. I was so excited to meet a like-minded person who lived so close by. I'm worried I came on too strong because of my excitement. Plus, she’s just beginning her career and I’m more established. I am further along in my career than she is. Did she feel overwhelmed by the prospect of dating someone more mature?

I still have feelings for this girl. Is there any chance we can work it out? Should I try to contact her again after we both cool off? Can you give me some advice so that I don't make the same mistake twice?

Kindly appreciated,

Hopeful and encouraged! Down but not out.

Rosie Einhorn, L.C.S.W. and Sherry Zimmerman, J.D., M.Sc.

Rosie and Sherry's Answer:

Thank you for writing to us. There could be a number of reasons why the dating that seemed so promising to you ended the way it did:

She may not feel ready for marriage and realizes that you are.

Your enthusiasm may have scared her; you were coming on too strong. Many times when one person quickly develops positive feelings about their dating partner and the other person feels more neutral, the more neutral dater gets scared off. They don’t know how to handle the difference in

emotions, worry that they may never get to the point that they feel the same way, and think that it’s not right to continue dating because of this.

You may have "pushed a button" that turned her off at some point. She may have decided that you aren’t what she's looking for, even though you have a lot in common and your dates were positive.

We understand that you’re disappointed because you liked her and saw potential she may not have seen. Even though you only went out twice, it will take a little while to work through your feelings of rejection and disappointment. It's important to realize that things might not have progressed simply because you are not right for each other, and to learn what you can from what happened.

What can you learn? First of all, if there's one woman who has a lot of the qualities you’re looking for, there's got to be another one. The fact that you connected so easily can be a bit of an ego boost for you if you’re had your share of slow-starting relationships. (The right relationship may end up being a slow starter, but it is nice to sometimes have a very positive experience on the first two dates.) We hope you also learn not to take this personally; the reasons for her breaking things off are probably completely out of your control.

It is a good idea, in the future, to hold back your excitement and enthusiasm a bit. You may be able to pace yourself better if you had a dating mentor to speak with about this.

Finally, it's important for you to be able to move on at some point and not carry around the hope for what could have been. It may be a good idea to wait until you've processed your feelings a little more. Then you can decide if you'd like to have a third party ask your former date if there is an issue relating to the reason why she ended things that you can address so that she'd be willing to out with you again. If the answer is no, then accept the fact that you have to move forward. If the answer is yes, then we suggest you talk about what you can do differently with a mentor.

All the best,
Sherry and Rosie

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