Ask A Dude: I Run Away As Soon As He's Interested!

Dear Dude,
Today I was in two situations where I was talking to cool, good looking guys, which SHOULD be a dream come true. The problem is, next thing I knew, I was ending the conversation and leaving. It left me wondering…why?! I mean they were both unrealistic situations where nothing was going to be able to happen with these guys, but I don’t see why I couldn’t have enjoyed it a little longer.
This fall I’ll be a freshman in college and I’m scared my habit of being “a runner” from guys (which I have honed after many prior experiences that were WAY more legit than these two) will continue. Is there ANY way this quality of mine could seem more endearing and less strange to guys there? I usually don’t play games but I almost feel like I either have to give up on guys or embrace the running and use it as a tool. (Wow, now I feel like I AM a tool.) What’s wrong with me?! (And is this ok?)
The Runner.
Dear The Runner,
Hang up those cross trainers and plant your feet. It’s not going to be easy but it’s necessary if you want to break the habit of rabbiting out on every guy you meet and/or want to get next to. At first, a guy might just think you’ll be playing hard to get. Do it on a regular basis and…well he’ll think something less flattering about you. He’ll probably just give up on you and turn his attention to someone willing to finish a thought.
Running away from a used and abused bed is one thing, running away before he even asks you to go somewhere with less people, that’s about fear.
So, what are you afraid of? Is it that things will keep going? That you won’t be able to change your mind later? That you’ll screw things up so get while the getting’s good? Or that he’ll turn out to be a regret? The first thing that has to be done in order to help you keep your spot is to go through the possibilities and see what’s springing your step.
In the meantime though, you’ve got to go through the process of breaking the pattern. The first step is recognition, which you’ve accomplished. The second step is seeking out some help, which you’ve accomplished. Now comes step three, making an attempt. This one’s where the cliché “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again” comes out of.
The next time you’re having a good time with a guy and you get the impulse to scram, don’t. Take a deep breath and relax. Stay there for just two minutes longer. Two minutes, that’s all. Once the two minutes are up, if you still want to leave then leave. If you can last for two minutes, then next time aim for five, and so on. This is a more cognitive therapeutic approach.
Asking yourself “why” and making the attempt not to give in will compliment each other. And if you feel like you can’t stay put when you want to leave, don’t be too hard on yourself. Next time try again. Doing nothing and letting yourself keep running away is what’s going to make things worse. Failure is the failure to try.
Granted, if he’s asking for the children’s menu and orders a child I’m not suggesting you give him two more minutes. In fact, I’d leap out of the chair before the waiter could ask if he’d like fries with that. But I don’t think that’s why you’re asking for an opinion.
The reason you’re asking for advice is because your running is a hindrance, not a help. It’s a brave move forward. Shame is what generally keeps us stuck. You’ve got to work through the fear, step by step, and then the decision to leave him by the bar will be your decision and not your compulsion.
Making a stand,
The Dude

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