Written for Soulmatch

Dating Q&A #3:

Can an Outdoor Gal Find Happiness Dating an Indoor Guy?

I just started dating a guy who loves to dress up and go out. Sometimes I enjoy that but I prefer to go camping, play outside, and get dirty. I realize there will be compromise in any relationship. Maybe we can alternate with camping one weekend, clubbing the next. I just wonder if we’ll really be happy with that or am I trying to delude myself because I really like him? – Outdoor Gal, Tyler, Texas

David Wygant answers: This is a conversation you need to have right away before you get involved too deeply with your feelings. You need to ask him if he is interested in the things that you like to do, and it’s only fair that he at least try them with the same gusto that you have shown towards his likes. When forming a relationship it is important to find out as much as you can about someone before you fall for the wrong guy. Have a talk, and then see how he reacts to your preferred interests over the following weeks.

Compatibility is a huge factor in the success or failure of most relationships. I assure you: It is much better to establish compatibility sooner, rather than later!

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: Compatibility is amazingly important in a love relationship, and the longer you are together, the more important it becomes. So, talk about it. Find out if he likes the things you like. He just may not be the “get dirty” type and, if he’s not, then you’re right about fooling yourself. It’s time for you two to have an honest, factual discussion about your likes and dislikes. On the other hand, it is possible that the two of you can learn to like each other’s favorite ways to play, and thereby broaden both your options. Communication is the only thing that will work here.

The Insightful Dater answers: Deluding oneself is a popular activity among mismatched couples. But if you just started dating, you’re not there yet. What you need to do is be really open about the fact that you like to camp, but that you also like to go clubbing with him. Your give and take idea is a great one – just stick to your guns. There are just as many fun, flirty and playful things couples can do on a camping trip as there are when they’re out dancing, so it’s not like you are sentencing him to solitary confinement. If he goes with the flow and keeps up his end of the deal by participating and enjoying both pastimes with you, you’re golden. If he ends up thinking the rotating glitter dance ball is more attractive than a view of the Milky Way from a secluded campsite, then, for you, he’s probably not worth the pain of dancing in heels.

Instant attraction or else

I’ve met two men from Yahoo! Personals and I dated them for a short while. Both of the men ended the relationship by telling me that they find me very attractive, intelligent, funny, and grounded, but they don’t have any deeper feelings for me and do not believe they will love me in the future. One of the men I dated for only one week and the other was only for one month. Do men really feel that they have to fall in love in such a short period of time? – Slow Down, Tampa, Fla.

David Wygant answers: Absolutely not! In fact, any man who considers a woman to be “very attractive, intelligent, funny, and grounded”, but won’t give more than only one week or one month to a relationship, was never looking for one in the first place.

Look on the bright side: at least they were upfront with you, and now you can move on to bigger and better things. You sound like a great woman, so keep up the dating and don’t be discouraged. The entire key to dating is persistence – do that, and one day you will mutually connect and have that fantastic chemistry you’ve always wanted.

Real chemistry is what dating is all about!

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: Not all men. I can’t tell from your question, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you may have been pushing for a commitment, and this is the response you got. If that’s not true, then you just found two men who were nice enough to let you down easy when they decided they were no longer interested. You’re right that it’s too short a period of time to know you’re in love, but it may be enough time to know they really don’t want to date you any longer. This is difficult for you, I realize, but you just have to accept your losses and move on.

The Insightful Dater answers: Well, everyone’s timing is unique, but I think the key here is that you say they found you to be “grounded.” Perhaps to them this groundedness was a lack of excitement over them or the relationship. It’s not necessarily that men think they need to fall in love within a short time, but I do think there is sometimes an expectation that you might. Often people expect fireworks right away and mistakenly think when they aren’t there that deeper feelings are not possible. Your expectations seem to be more in line than theirs; true intimacy is not something that happens in a week, or even a month. My advice is that you chalk this up to some good ol’ fashioned dating experience and continue your adventure. Try to find some gents who note in their profile that they want to take their time – these catches aren’t looking to fall in love right away or simply for someone to be excited about them, they are after someone to share time with and get to know slowly. That’s a scenario where you both can allow sufficient time to know if a deeper connection is possible. Take your time and good luck!