Dating is a hard game to play, and unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier as you get older. If you’re dating older men, have you ever fallen victim to the dreaded “first date curse” where you meet an intriguing prospect, go on a great first date, but then you never hear from him again? Research shows that you’re not the only one—the results of a recent dating survey revealed that approximately 72% of first dates don’t lead to a second date.
If you’re a younger woman dating an older man and your relationship has been lucky enough to survive the first date curse, you may not be out of the woods just yet because it isn’t uncommon for men to pull away after a few dates, or even after several months into the relationship. So, what’s the problem? According to one theory, it might be you.
The problem lies in the differences between the way men and women are raised. Most men grow up learning that they need to be tough and keep their emotions in check. This is especially true for older men who probably grew up in more traditional households. Women, on the other hand, are usually raised to be caring and nurturing.
Here’s how this will play out in your relationship with an older man. When he experiences some kind of fear in the relationship—whether it’s a fear of commitment or failure—he’ll pull away emotionally, and probably physically, because it’s easier than having to deal with his feelings. You, being the caring woman, will swoop in to try and help him; you’ll do everything you can to find out what’s wrong with him so that you can fix it. The problem is that the more you pry into his feelings, the more he’s going to pull away from you. Instead of fixing the relationship, you’re just making it worse.
So what should you do if your older man is starting to distance himself from you? “Nothing,” says renowned dating and relationship coach Jonathan Aslay. “Women are emotional connectors and when a gap appears, their fear fills the void. Men, on the other hand, use this void to gain strength.” The best thing you can do as his partner is to let him deal with it on his own, rather than assume that by pulling away he’s asking for help—when he’s ready, he’ll let you know. “The best solution, strangely enough, is to leave him alone or even encourage his alone time,” says Aslay.
What do you think: Do you agree with Aslay’s relationship advice? Do you have any tips of your own about how to deal with a man (or woman) pulling away from the relationship?
Crowe, D., “Why Men Pull Away: Why Women Unintentionally Make it Worse,” Newswire web site; http://goo.gl/hLL8e, last accessed July 16, 2013.