Great(ish) Expectations

Advice From A Random Stranger

Social Butterfly

Dear Margo, here is my dilemma:

I am dating (and living with) a guy who is a homebody, not a talker, and not super affectionate (especially in public). I am a social butterfly, loquacious, and a snuggle bunny. I really care about him, but it’s really becoming difficult for me lately. I recently sat him down and told him exactly what I needed from him and he’s really making a concerted effort. But, like I said, it’s been pretty inconsistent. I’m not sure how long I should give him to show me he is willing to compromise (or at least discuss the situation with me and explain what he’s willing to do/needs me to do to meet these expectations).

Dear Social Butterfly,

There’s that word: Expectations…

I think it is great that you sat your man down and told him what you needed. Men don’t respond to nagging, or melodramatic whining. If you want to express something you need from your man, than sit him down, spell out exactly what it is you want from him and why, and try to leave out most of the “feeling words” we women are so fond of. So you did that. You sat him down, talked it out with him, and from what you said, he understood since he “really is making a concerted effort”. Then here’s the kicker…

You can’t change a man. Can’t do it. But you can change some behaviors by simple reinforcement. The fact that he listened to what you had to say, and is making an effort, is a great step. It is going to be inconsistent since these things that you ask of him are not in his nature- and they probably never will be.

Encourage him when he gives you affection, by giving it back and showing him how happy it makes you. When you can get him to go out with you, make sure not to be over-affectionate with him in public, since he seems to be uncomfortable with it. Instead, try simply putting your hand on his back while sitting or standing next to each other.

This is a low-key way to keep the connection between the two of you, and he might even warm up to the idea of PDA’s, because he’ll like the feeling of closeness the two of you have when you go out. He’ll associate positive feelings with going out with you, and as a result, he may want to go out with you more often.

As for your question of how long you should give him for these changes/compromises to take place, who knows. It all depends on the dynamics of your relationship and how these problems affect your overall happiness. It sounds like you’ve got a great guy though, who just needs some encouragement in the right direction. Guys respond to positivity rather than negativity or criticism, so try not to lose your patience. I’d love to know if this advice has helped at all, and please keep me posted! Thanks for writing in!

If you have a dilemma of your own, big or small, I’d love to hear from you! Write me at


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This entry was posted on August 2, 2011 by in Advice, Relationships and tagged , , , .


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