Listen up, pay attention and you can learn a lot about love

Dear Harlan:

About a month ago, I met a great girl. We get along wonderfully. We started hanging out more often, and eventually she started sending me mixed signals. I asked her about the mixed signals and she said she didn't know what she wanted but didn't want to jump into a relationship. So, I kept flirting with her and we got pretty close. Then, about a day ago she started being distant. She said she was busy and that she has a few tests this week. I haven't heard from her in a day or so. I'm very confused. Did I do something wrong? Did she just lose interest? What do I do? I really like this girl and don't want to lose what I've already built up. Any suggestions?

Confused and Worried

Dear Confused and Worried:

I have a hunch: She doesn't know what she wants, and doesn't want to jump into a relationship. How do I know? She told you. You were too busy not listening. Not listening is not attractive. Give her space and time to figure out what she wants. If you're too afraid to give her space because you think she'll lose interest or find someone better, then you aren't in a place to date her.

While she figures it out, you need to explore other options. If you don't think you have other options, then put yourself in more rooms with more people and find more options. Tell this girl that you enjoy spending time with her, but you want to give her room to figure out what she wants. You can't persuade her to want you or talk her into a relationship. She has to convince herself. For all you know, she might be back with an ex, struggling with a personal issue or too attracted to you but afraid to be in a relationship.

The most attractive thing you can do is listen, respect her and give her an opportunity to enter this relationship when she's ready. This means staying cool, calm and comfortable. Not listening and pressuring her is not cool and not comfortable.

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