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How To Get the Flame Back

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Dear Mona Lisa:

I'm 26 and jobless, seeing a guy who is a 30-year-old engineer. He's the first guy I've ever had in my life, but he's had tons guys before. Both of us live in a Middle-Eastern community, in two different cities almost an hour apart. Not to mention we are from different social-economic classes.

The thing is, we met on a gay networking website and exchanged numbers and started talking over the phone for almost a month before we decided to meet up. In the very beginning and as a zero-experience guy, I was so embarrassed, anxious and not-determined about it. But he was so tender and affectionate, calling, texting and this sort of thing. I was over the moon.

We've made out, but have not had any sort of sex or have even gotten naked because I rejected this as a conflict between what I want and how I was raised. Anyways, he was so patient and never pushed me for anything.

After awhile I felt secure and connected and we eventually had intercrural sex and I was very happy and he said he was as well. I knew beforehand that once you show interest or have sex, you're done and the other guy will stop seeing you. But at the contrary he didn't go this way, but the thing is, he isn't the same.

After couple of dates and some talks, he asked me if I do love him and I said yes and he replied friends can love each other as well and he added that he loves me as well more than a friend, but less than a lover and he said that he's not looking for a relationship. While seeing me he's talking to different guys on iPhone apps and other websites plus he sleeps with other people as well and it made me mad and frustrated. He said several times that he doesn't wanna lose me and he wants to know me more, but the problem is that I don't live in the city and that we don't see each other on regular basis and I guess this is lame cause it's the same thing from the very beginning and wasn't an issue.

I beg you to help me out. What should I do? how should I think? How can heat the thing between us up again?


Well, unfortunately, there's not much you can do to heat things up in this situation. I know this isn't the most promising news, but it comes down to staying open to and trusting what you already know and that is: although he has given you attention (and affection), it isn't complete attention. You've been sharing him with the other guys he's, as they say, showing his true colors.

But instead of focusing on the negative news, I want to turn this situation around so that you can grab the positive and encouraging elements from this situation. No, you can't read his mind nor can you control how he feel about you. You can, nonetheless, congratulate yourself on an important discovery.

Most people get lost in trying to please other people and end up getting hurt in the end. You stuck your ground by setting boundaries for how you feel and what makes you comfortable. You wanted to wait before being intimate and held to that before going further. You knew what you wanted in a guy (affectionate, caring, endearing) and you kept with that plan. The problem was he was all of those things and then took a turn into someone that you're not really compatible with.

This is not your deficiency; it's just an incompatibility. Some guys with long lists of men, like the guy you are seeing, too often see guys that have personal boundaries (like you) as a difficult pass. You shouldn't interpret this as something you did wrong. Quite the opposite. You should hold on to this and instead let the things run their course. If the flame has died, what you'll find is that he wasn't the guy you thought he was and that it wasn't your standards that drove him away, but his lack of readiness for those standards.

Part of getting to know someone is understanding their needs and having them understand yours. This is a part of determining your compatibility. What makes dating tricky is this isn't always apparent when you first meet and there are often many good times in the process of figuring it out.

Look at the signs. Sure he was patient with you in the beginning, but wasn't fully invested. If he were he wouldn't have been as blatant as looking for other guys, especially not in front of you. What he was doing was sending you a (not so) subtle signal that he's not ready to commit. He knows you are and is therefore pulling away.

Instead of asking how you can get him back, a better question is asking yourself is that really the type of guy you want to be with. Embrace what's great about you: Class doesn't matter, distance doesn't matter, and so on. You have very specific and admirable needs: someone who is willing to give you the respect and patience that you desire. He may be a sweetheart, but ultimately he's not the one you really want. If he were, he would continue working to keep the heat going and you wouldn't have to wonder who's sharing his attention.

Ultimately, stay true to who you are. Neither you nor I can predict what's driving him away, so all you can hold on to is that he's just not the one for you and that's not your lack, but his loss.

Best in love,
Mona
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