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Dating advice: when a guy comes on too strong

Guy coming on too strong is making woman sick
Guy coming on too strong is making woman sick
creatista / 123RF Stock Photo

Dear Deborrah:
When a guy come on too strong, what does that mean? Should I run from him?

Angel of the Bay

Dear Angel:
There are a lot of possibilities here, and you didn't give me much to go on. But I'll do with it what I can.

First order of the day is to communicate clearly how you feel. He is not a mind reader and won't know that you feel pressured or that he is coming on too strong if you don't tell him.

Typically when women say a guy is coming on too strong, it means he is calling or texting too frequently, dropping by all the time so you feel spied on, wanting you to spend every waking moment of your free time in his face, pressuring you for sexual involvement before you are ready, or he's pressuring you to commit to being in a 1-on-1 relationship right off the bat. But again, maybe other women in his life haven't felt pressured by his behavior and he's clueless about how he's coming across. So you need to outline his behavior so he will know exactly what you mean. For example:

"X, calling me once maybe twice per day is plenty. Remember, I'm busy with work and school. I like hearing from you but I can't be on the phone with you all the time. I have things I need to take care of and responsibilities at home and on my job. Back off some and give me space to miss you."


"Though a serious relationship and marriage are definitely something I want in my life, that doesn't mean I want it right now, and it doesn't mean I want it with you. Your attention is flattering, but you don't really know me yet neither do I know you. Marriage is a serious commitment and I must take my time getting to know a man thoroughly before I would even think about feeling comfortable with a decision of that magnitude."


"X, you are trying to rush me into a situation that I am not prepared to be in yet. I don't know you. I need to take my time and get an idea of the man you are before I make any sort of commitment to you."


"X, we need to slow this down and let things happen as they happen. No pressure on either end to do or be anything. You're a cool dude and I am interested in getting to know you better. But this can only work on a time schedule that meets both of our needs for closeness and space."

Now after you spell this out for him, he may apologize and back off to where you are comfortable, OR he may get resentful and accuse you of "not knowing what you want" or being "like all the other women who don't know a good man when they see one" or of being "a typical woman that only wants to date a thug, not a nice guy" like he claims to be, or he says "but I love you so much I can't live without you. I can see us being married!" after dating only two weeks.

Should any of those things happen, THEN you need to run. Fast.

Because what you have is a man who insists on getting his way with no regard for what works for you - the other 50% of the relationship he is hoping to build. What you may also have on your hands is a very insecure, needy, controlling man. These attitudes run the gamut from being an irritating nuisance to being downright dangerous.

Insecure men can't stand for you to be out of their sight, and they need to know where you are and who you are with every second. They are jealous of any and everyone, and often make snarky, hurtful comments to bring you down a notch or two. Seeing you hurt and feeling small makes them feel large and powerful, and therefore more in control. If words don't work well enough, insecure men often up the ante and become physically abusive as well.

Learn to listen to that little voice telling you that this guy is not right in the head, not the right guy for you, someone to stay away from. Never, ever doubt or second guess yourself about the red flags of warning you perceive about a man. Remember, you are under no obligation to "be nice" and remain involved with any man if you (for any reason) feel that your safety or health may be at risk, or something about him isn't your cup of tea.

Be very clear with any man "coming on too strong" that he needs to back up and respect your boundaries and timeline, or the relationship will suffer the consequences. Then stick to your guns; whatever you say the repercussions are for his continued negative behavior, you must execute them. If that means breaking it off, then so be it.

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