Highlanders Anonymous: Men are confusing, and so are women

This guy I’m currently talking to is really confusing. He and I have been talking for about a month now, and he’s showing quite a bit of interest in me; however, I’m a little afraid he’s only doing it because I put out! What’s worse is that I really like him and could get really hurt if things progress. Help me?

Step one: calm your crazy.

This means you should quiet the voice in your head telling you this is too good to be true. It’s not. Sometimes you meet really nice guys who turn you on. Relationship progression isn’t set in stone; perhaps some guys will view you as being worthless than you are because you “put out,” but if he were like that, he would have probably stopped talking to you.

Women tend to look for flaws and holes in everything. It’s a protection mechanism, and in some cases it can actually save you from getting used or hurt. You have to have enough maturity and internal dialogue to ask yourself whether your fears are rational – or whether you’re just being dumb.

No man wants to be interrogated. If you have to push him in order to find out how he feels, maybe you should take a step back and see whether he’s really worth all the drama. Uncommunicative guys can rarely handle a good non-romantic arrangement, let alone anything resembling romance. By the same token, girls who won’t accept genuine interest as honest or legitimate have self-esteem issues that can turn into a hydra of jealousy, phone creeping and insecurity. You need to figure it out if this doesn’t resolve itself.

A simple rose to show someone love. Image from Creative Commons.
A simple rose to show someone love. Image from Creative Commons.

My girlfriend and I are having problems because she’s stopped showing physical affection. Forget sex – she doesn’t even hug me anymore. Help?

There are plenty of reasons why this might be the case, but I see three potential causes. These are pretty common, but all have somewhat negative things to say about your relationship.

Your girlfriend might be detaching from you. If this is the case, you need to talk to her about it. It’ll be hard, and it’ll likely end your relationship, but if this is the case, your relationship is going up in flames anyway – and you probably know that by now.

Your girlfriend might be reacting poorly to birth control. If this is a recent thing (you don’t clarify whether it is or not), then the birth control might be messing with her endocrine system. When this occurs, you sometimes get very bad side effects; sometimes it makes a woman avoid human contact because it actually causes emotional pain. If this is the case, get her off of the birth control. It could take a few months to fix this. This can also happen naturally; women go through cycles where they experience varying levels of physicality.

Your girlfriend might be suffering from some sort of recent mental illness. The onset of depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD can happen during a woman’s late teens or early twenties. She may be suffering from a radical change in her brain chemistry. You didn’t sign on for this when you started dating her; while it’s sad to say, if you’re not equipped to handle mental illness, you either have to work on becoming equipped to handle it or move on.

If you decide to do the former, you’d better make sure she’s worth it, because it is a lifelong endeavor. If you decide to end it, she’s liable to wind up very hurt and insecure. You have to understand that being in a relationship you’re not equipped to sustain doesn’t do the other person any favors. The physical symptoms will likely improve with medication, but no medication has a permanent effect and can result in problematic side effects.  You should never provide someone who is mentally ill with a sense of false stability; it ends badly if you’re not honest.

I’m confused. This guy tells me he doesn’t want a relationship right now, which is something I completely agree with. When I am with him, however, he calls me “Baby,” and one day he went so far as to tell me I’m the only one he’s focused on. I’ve tried talking to him but he keeps doing the same thing. Help?

Dump him.

There are only two real reasons why this could be happening, and both are things you don’t want to experience in a dating scenario.

1.) He’s lying to you and trying to keep you emotionally interested, in which case he’s a manipulative jerk.

2.) He’s unsure of what he wants, and he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too (i.e., have his freedom and have a relationship).

Both of these point toward a man who is immature and unable to sustain anything. You’re not that interested, unless for some reason the whole “I don’t want a relationship” thing is a bluff. Walk away before you get stalked or wind up with a broken heart.

See you guys next week! To ask a question, go here.