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Chasing Cheerleaders

Dear Philippa:

I'm back dating, after a recent divorce, and I feel like I'm fourteen again by asking this question, but how does a guy know when someone is interested in him? There's this young woman in my condo complex that I like a lot, but I seem to be getting mixed messages from her. I knew she was seeing someone, but it couldn't have been that serious because she's always flirting with me. She invites herself over all the time. She even kissed me. I have bought her little presents and dropped hints about being interested in being more than friends. Then she disappeared with some other guy. Now she has ended that relationship and she's spending time with me. We are still friends but I don't know if I should make a move.

�Paul, Seattle, Washington


Dear Paul:

Trying to figure out someone else's intentions and interest level is always a challenge, no matter what age you are. They don't call it the dating game for nothing.

Start by asking yourself how you feel when you are around this woman. Are you excited? Off balance? Frustrated? Now, imagine yourself with women you're attracted to, with whom you feel relaxed and playful, accepted, women who you never have to guess how they feel about you. Get the picture? Aren't these the kind of relationships you would enjoy experiencing? You seem to spend a lot of energy concentrating on what this one woman does or doesn't want. Ms. Condo sounds like she's enjoying life and having fun. How about figuring out what you really want and then finding someone who wants the same thing?

Be gentle with yourself. Recovering from a divorce takes time. Try and put yourself in situations that are going to reinforce your confidence with positive outcomes. Ms. Condo reminds me of the high school cheerleader the guys always wanted to ask out. So, let her shake her pom-poms, and remember, she's just playing the game.


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