Life Advice



Ask Amy: Dater fears he will never be a player

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

What the heck does that even mean?

Not long after that she showed her character by ghosting me, so I’m comforted by the fact that I didn’t lose much.

– Confused by Women

Dear Confused: You seem to excel at the mechanics and dynamic of wooing: (Third-date dinner and a play? Well done!)

I can’t speak for all women (or even some women), and yet – the dynamic you describe as baffling seems – to me – to be simple human nature. When you retreat a bit, creating space, another person will instinctively move forward.

All the same, developing a sexual/romantic relationship can seem like participating in a tennis match choreographed by Twyla Tharp. You volley, she returns. You advance, she meets you at the net. You step back, she does a grand jete.


You have done nothing wrong. You noticed a pattern and communicated about it. She then told you exactly what you needed to know: when you held back, it created a desire in her.

Her return text might have brought on a round of fun flirtation. Instead, you seem flummoxed.

There are times when two people simply crash together. This is rare and wonderful.

For all of those other times, I suggest that you initiate less kissing and instead do more … leaning. Physical closeness, eye contact, a touch on the arm will telegraph your interest. If she’s into you, she’ll show it. You should let her.


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