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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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Looking for Intimacy

October 2006

Dear Dr. Michelle,

I saw your expert advice on commitment.com and wanted to email you about my situation. I have been dating a wonderful guy for seven months. He and I have lots in common and are compatible in terms of interests, values, and life goals. He has introduced me to friends and family and vice versa—Again, a very good fit. He is unlike most 34 year old men, however, in the fact that he has never been in love and he is a virgin. He came out of the blue the other night and said that he was worried that he wasn’t going to be able to develop more intense feelings in the next couple of months and that he didn’t know what to look for when it came to knowing what love is. I suggested that we continue dating because we are so compatible (we have never even had an argument!) and give it more time. He agreed and even when I asked him a couple of days later if he was comfortable with the decision to continue dating, he agreed. It as if it was a blip on the radar because he is planning weekend getaways to his parents’ and other places months in advance. I am 29 and feel that he is the one but I don’t want to waste my life into someone that may never commit beyond just dating. What should I do? What are the signs that I should be looking for that he is becoming for committed?

Thanks for your advice,

Wanting Commitment

Dear Commitment,

I am concerned that at the age of 34, he has never been in love or been in a committed relationship. It may indicate an inability to be in an emotionally or physically intimate relationship. Actually, even the idea that you have never had an argument may reflect a lack of intimacy. He may not be close enough to really care one way or the other. Look for signs that he is creating intimacy with you. Does he talk with you about things that are difficult or painful for him? Does he share his hopes and fears with you? Does he share his dreams with you? Does it feel that he shares things with you that he wouldn’t share with anyone else? Also look at how he deals with you when you try to create closer intimacy. Does he want to engage in your conversations or does he switch the subject? Is he comfortable hearing your hopes, dreams, fears? Does he end the conversation without ever really becoming engaged in it?

Evaluating all of this will take time. Look for patterns. Don’t judge the whole relationship based on one conversation. Talk to him about this. See if he is open to these types of conversations. Make a decision for yourself how long you are willing to put into this relationship if you do not see a progression towards increasing intimacy.

And believe in yourself!


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