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How do I know if he is interested?

Dear Dr Nekia,

There is a guy that I'm interested in that I work with (not in a corporate environment) and we have great chemistry and fun together. We talk about stuff on a serious level as well and we've hooked up a few times.

He says he is single. The problem is I don't know how he feels about me (yes, I know I should've established that beforehand) and now I'm nervous to ask because if he says he isn't interested in taking it further, working together may become awkward, which I don't want.

I know they say if a guy wants you he will pursue you, but suppose he is just as scared as I am to say anything? How do I know for sure without actually asking?

Sincerely,

Confused

Dear Confused,

Fear can motivate us to act instinctively or it can motivate us towards inaction. You have so much fear regarding the situation that you are projecting that fear on to him, using the internally created possibility to justify why he has not pursued you.

People tend to do this sort of thing when a desire goes against a core belief that they may have. Your desire is for him to reciprocate the fond feelings that you have for him; your core belief is that a man who is really interested will show you that by pursuing you.

As a result, you have a degree of fear and anxiety towards finding out the truth and have used this fear to rationalise why there is a discord between desire and reality. It is true that most men will pursue a woman if interested and it is also possible that he has some reservations or nervousness about revealing his feelings to you.

You could try asking indirect questions to find out how he feels, but first offer him some insight into how you feel. You do not have to go into detail, for example, you could say something like, “I really have enjoyed our time together, and I was hoping that things would continue. We are both single so who knows where things could go, right?”

Say it lightheartedly and with a smile. This makes things more casual. Give him a bit of your soft side and he may be more inclined to share his.

However, be aware that this may have the opposite effect if he does not share your feelings. In that case, it might make him want to run for the hills. Sometimes this is out of fear and sometimes it is simply because they do not want the attachment.

But at the end of the day, if you would like a straight-up answer as to whether or not he cares for you, you will have to come right out and ask him. Keep it light.

Let him know you enjoy being with him and want to know if it could possibly develop into something more. Offer a smile while saying this and wait to see what response he gives you.

Try not to show your disappointment too much should he not be interested. Just remember that a rejection is far less tortuous than going through the motions of trying to figure things out in your head.

Dear Dr Nekia,

My boo and I spend a lot of time together, but I can't help but feel unsatisfied. It feels as though our relationship is boring and is not growing. He says I should be thankful that I have a man who stays home and wants to spend so much time together when so many men are out there with other women or hanging in bars. We go out on dates every so often but mostly stay home watching TV. Why am I still not satisfied?

Sincerely,

Unsatisfied Woman

Dear Unsatisfied Woman,

Unfortunately, we live in a time where there are a lot of unmotivated men who believe it is enough to simply be physically present in a relationship.

Although in comparison with other guys living less than honourable lives, these men are good catches; here lies the problem: if we compare ourselves with others it is always better to do so with those who achieve more and are more successful. This gives us something to strive for, which creates growth.

If not, we remain stagnant because comparing ourselves to others worse off gives us a false perception that our mediocre existence is good enough and we miss out on being the best partner we can be.

So many couples fall guilty to the trap of quantity time over quality time. Turn the TV off and put down your cell phones to see how the two of you connect. If you find yourselves having stimulating conversation and enjoying other activities together, then great, you are on your way to revamping your relationship.

If you find yourselves sitting in silence, falling asleep, or doing something separately, then you've most certainly got some relationship work to do. Sitting next to someone on the couch watching TV day after day is not spending time with that person.

What you are really doing is spending time with the TV and the other person is simply in the room with you. Set TV boundaries to create balance in your life and to give you the chance to reconnect.

It might feel awkward at first, but change of any kind usually involves an initial period of discomfort. Meanwhile, keep in mind that you should never be satisfied with “just good enough” or a relationship that is empty and being measured up to infidelity. You need to bond with your man in ways that involve more than just his physical presence.

The most fulfilling relationships thrive off a balance of comfort, security, stimulation and challenge. We need to be secure enough to be grounded and content, yet challenged enough to keep us wanting more of one another.

Many relationships and marriages grow stale inside and out of the bedroom because, over time, they begin to lean more heavily on security and comfort.

Get him out of his comfort zone, and become a more actively involved couple. Even if actively involved means coming together as a team to exercise, volunteer or complete household chores.

Go about it with a fresh and positive attitude so that even the most laborious or mundane tasks become opportunities to create memories with one another.

Want relationship advice? E-mail nakedtruth@royalgazette.com

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Published May 03, 2017 at 9:38 am (Updated May 03, 2017 at 9:41 am)

How do I know if he is interested?

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