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Philippa Courtney



They Fall too Fast or Become Just Friends


Dear Philippa,

I have no trouble meeting men. They either get too serious right away and then go elsewhere when I tried to slow things down or they have ended up as long-lasting non-romantic friendships. I have twelve of these male friendships now. But I would like to have a long-term romantic relationship that encompasses a strong friendship. I don't know how to send out the "right" signals without making my male friends feel targeted. What is wrong with me?

�Gail, Normal, IL


Dear Gail,

Why is there anything wrong with you? You have men fall easily for you and you have men that like you as a long-term friend. That tells me you must be one, incredible lady. What you want is so natural and healthy it would seem that everyone else would want the same thing. But many people believe you can't have someone who is a wonderful friend, lover, and partner. I used to share this misconception myself, so I am able to see things from both perspectives.

The fact that you have the ability to maintain long-term friendships with men indicates that you really like men as people, not just romantic partners. Isn't that what you want for yourself, someone who gets to know you as a person and not just a romantic fantasy? So, you're looking for a man who truly likes women and who also has long-term friendships with women.

The guys that have fallen for you too fast probably didn't fit this description, did they? I wonder if they were the ones to pursue you and you were swept away by their attention? It's time for you to focus on what YOU want. If you decide to avoid men who don't see women as friends first, you can then direct your dating radar where it will work best.

I'm a little confused about all the men that you've had as close friends. Were you ever attracted to any of them? Were you afraid of ruining a friendship by crossing a line? If so aren't you doing the very thing that I talked about at the top of this letter�separating friendship from romance and commitment?

You say that you don't want your male friends to feel targeted. That perplexes me too. If a well-rounded relationship that encompasses friendship, romance and commitment is what you want, why would you be uneasy about talking about this with your male friends? If they like women as much as I imagine they do, wouldn't they understand what you are looking for and support you efforts to find this kind of person, if not consider the role for themselves? Are they all in other relationships and/or married?

I think you need to change your mindset and see that what you want is perfectly normal and healthy and this is what you deserve and can find. That will change the signals you are sending. Face it Gail you have it all�you are appealing to men, men like you, and you understand the meaning of a true partnership. The only thing standing in your way is your point of view, which need a little fine-tuning.

It took me too many years and lousy relationships to figure out what you know is right. Be proud of your self-awareness and be excited about all the wonderful possibilities out there. Avoid the ones that fall too fast and focus on what you want. You may not have to convert a friend to find a long time love�just your point of view. You are 100% OK�celebrate that fact and the right guy will too.




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