READER’S QUESTION: “I recently just entered into an official relationship with this guy. We met on Hinge and started talking a lot, and he drove several hours to take me out for our first date, and we had a blast! We have all the important things in common (good Christian, conservative, makes good money, etc.), and there aren’t any big red flags.
There are some small things that could be somewhat problematic, but they’re the kind of things I’d casually bring up later. For instance, he needs some help with good table manners and could use some encouragement to be a bit more chivalrous. But, hey, men don’t know what they don’t know!
Here’s the real problem, though: We have the foundations for a great relationship and he checks all of the boxes, but I don’t yet feel that real attraction or connection with him. When he asked if I wanted to make things official, I was really honest about this. If he didn’t live two hours away from me, I could see us hanging out in a group setting and becoming closer friends. But he does live far away from me, and still, I want to get to know him intentionally. I also don’t feel right talking to anyone else but him at the moment. He said lots of really kind things about how he really wants to get to know me intentionally and that the other parts of a relationship will grow. He encouraged me to take a leap of faith and trust him in this. I truly didn’t have a real reason to say no, so I said yes.
The other thing is that if we decided to just be friends for now, how would we still make an effort to get to know each other as friends? In my opinion, friends of the opposite sex don’t intentionally set aside time to drive a couple of hours to spend time together. That’s something a dating couple does.
I’ve told myself that I’ll put an honest effort into this relationship for at least a couple of weeks and see what I feel. I’ve got to admit, however, it’s really not fun being in the beginning stages of a relationship and NOT having butterflies. I know love at first sight is rare, and I don’t want to miss out on an amazing guy because I’m waiting for that to happen to me. I also wonder if I’m just nervous, and that’s why I don’t feel completely excited yet.
Do I ride it out? Was it right to make the relationship official in the first place? How long should I give myself before I make a decision?”
EVIE’S ADVICE: Not all relationships start off with warm fuzzies. Some start off with taking a chance on someone and being surprised by that someone as you get to know him. And not all butterflies are good butterflies. Sometimes butterflies are just nerves or anxiety or a sign that you don’t feel comfortable around this guy. If you don’t feel butterflies, then what are you feeling? Content and safe in his presence? Bored and unengaged? Or just nothing? Your feelings are indicative of the information you’re taking in, but they’re not necessarily the end all, be all of your decision. You might just not know your new boyfriend well enough yet to be feeling anything specific or strongly.
It’s really hard to feel a physical connection with someone you’ve barely ever seen in person.
It’s really hard to feel a physical connection with someone you’ve barely ever seen in person. How can you feel dazzled by his smile or fall in love with the way he belly laughs if all you ever do is text each other? How can you be thrilled by your hands brushing or feel giddy when he tucks your hair behind your ear if you only talk over FaceTime? Feeling a real-life physical connection requires a real-life physical presence. That being said, it’s a really good sign that your first date was “a blast”! Having fun together is a step toward developing chemistry.
It’s also a good sign that this guy is upfront about his desire to get to know you. He’s not wasting your time and emotions, and he has made it clear that he is very interested in you and is willing to pursue you and encourage you to give him a chance. And the fact that you are inclined to continue to get to know him and you don't want to talk to other guys right now is also a positive sign in favor of your relationship.
All things considered, we recommend you stick with the dating exclusively situation for the present and maximize face time, preferably in-person. Spending time together in person will be the easiest and most effective way to get to know him better and to allow for a connection to build. If, after another four or five in-person dates, you still don’t feel any chemistry or connection, then that’s most likely a sign you’re not physically attracted to him. Physical attraction to your boyfriend is absolutely necessary for a healthy, long-lasting relationship, especially in the beginning stages. A man can be a good guy and even a good fit for you on paper and still not be the right guy for you.
Have a question you want our advice on? Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.