Are You Coming On Too Strong?

Among the many "rules" my girl friends tell me to follow:

guy with flowers
(Image credit: M. Sharkey)

My friend John met a girl named Stacy in a bar, and the next day she texted him asking if he wanted to hang out that night.

John told her that he didn't feel like going out that night because he was dealing with a traumatic situation with a friend. Stacy replied that she was sorry and hoped things would get better for him.

Then Stacy descended into madness that would have made an Edgar Allen Poe protagonist proud.

She began assaulting John with texts explaining how embarrassed she was that she bothered John while he was feeling so down.

John's answers, cordial in the beginning, eroded into one-word answers.

Stacy's texts piled up on each other as John answered less frequently, trying to end the discussion.

And Stacy was still obsessed with going out with John. She sent some of these:

"So...if this traumatic thing wasn't going on, would you want to go out with me?"

After John stopped answering completely, Stacy managed to get even more bizarre, explaining her strange behavior as a sort of "disclaimer":

"I just got out of a relationship, so I'm a little rusty at this sort of thing."


By the end, Stacy had entered full-on psychosis, talking to herself within texts that John wasn't answering:

"I mean it's not like I'm really texting you that much, or being that invasive."

Eventually, John was completely spooked, so he texted her:

"Wow, please stop texting me."

And, with that, it was over — but not without her getting the final word:

"Wow ur an a-hole. Bye."

So...Stacy came on too strong, and my friend was right to get creeped out. One annoying thing about dating is that guys who don't act anywhere near as obsessive as Stacy get labeled as "coming on too strong" because women are very sensitive to this in the beginning.

Trust me, by now I've learned to just text/call once and then give up so that I don't overwhelm in the early stages.

I get a lot of hand-holding from my girl friends behind the curtain: They tell me to tread lightly in the beginning so that I don't look weird.

Among the many "rules" my girl friends tell me to follow:

In addition to the advice given to me by my many female handlers, I've heard from these same girls things guys do to come on too strong:

There must be a point where it becomes acceptable to start giving a girl more attention, and I guess it varies for everyone. I never know when it's the right time for this.

Here's the frustrating part: I hear women complain that a guy is coming on too strong...and then complain that a guy is not giving them enough attention. There's some magic (and usually impossible to find) button in the middle somewhere that a guy has to push.

Sadly, I'm at the point where I know my chances are best if I look like I'm not thinking about a girl too much. This is my default move, because I know if I come on strong, or tell a girl I actually like her, my chances will die.

Maybe the guy who comes on too strong kills all his mystery — and I admit we all like a little mystery.

Is it boring when it's "too easy"? Do we all expect a little game to be played? Is it necessary to be vague to compel a girl in the beginning? Why do you dislike when a guy comes on too strong, and what are things they do to come on too strong?