One of my dating coaching clients wrote to me recently about a guy she'd been in touch with for a month. Sheila and Todd had been engaging in a steamy texting exchange, complete with nude photos. Some pictures were just body parts, but others included faces. This was very exciting for Sheila and she was having a lot of fun with Todd from a distance.
Sheila had noticed Todd had started to slow down with his texting and she started wondering why. She would initiate contact and took certain photos to get a rise out of him. It always worked and they'd be off again with a new string of texts. Then things would slow down again.
Wondering what her next step should be, Sheila contacted me. She started thinking about this relationship and where it was going. They had still hadn't met, which was a little frustrating to her. Todd said he was super busy at work, but this was a great way to get to know each other until things slowed down for him and he could see her.
Sheila asked me how she could tell if Todd was actually interested in her, or just her nude pics? Good question. My suggestion to her was very simple, "Stop texting or sending photos and if he contacts you again, you’ll learn more about his intentions." Her response surprised me. Sheila admitted she knew exactly what would happen if she stopped texting him; he'd stop texting her too.
I had to tactfully explain if a man only texted her when she initiated contact, he was not interested. She probably had been keeping their interactions going with those risqué photos. This is also true when a man only texts, emails or calls, but doesn't have time to meet you or go on dates. Having worked as a dating coach since 2002, I’ve heard it all, so I know a man who is truly interested, WANTS TO SEE YOU in person. I told Sheila she should dump this guy and move on.
Then Sheila revealed her real concern. How could she get those photos back? Todd had a big batch and while most were only body parts, a few did show her face. She was worried about what he might do if she didn't stay in touch with him. Would he just delete the pictures or, horror of horrors, would he share them with others? Could her photos end up on the Internet?
This is the hard, cold truth about sexting — once those pictures leave your phone, they are now his to do with as he pleases. Sheila had put herself at risk for exposure and was not happy about that prospect. My hope for her was that Todd would simply lose interest with the photos, since he had already lost interest in her.
While sexting with a man seems like a hot way to connect, it's not the smartest dating strategy. I strongly advise not to send naked photos to a man you barely know (excuse the pun). If you need to get a man's attention this way, you're not going to find lasting love. You want men who pursue you and want to get to know you.
Sheila and I discussed how to play it smarter next time she met a man online. I talk with my dating coaching clients about the "Ballroom Dancing Method of Dating". Think about Dancing With With The Stars — the man leads and the woman follows. When you let the man lead for the first few dates (maybe 4- 6 dates), you'll learn a lot more about his intentions and what he'll do to win you over. You cannot discover this any other way. A man's actions are what counts, not what he says or texts.
Allowing the man to lead lets him to show his true colors. How much time does he want to spend with you? How long does he wait to contact you after a date or to schedule another? What kind of dates does he plan? Does he ask what you like to do and try to please you?
If you don't follow the Ballroom Dancing Method of Dating, you might be tempted to ask him out or call to find out why he hasn't been in touch. Every action or lack of action tells you something about the men you date. When you take over because things aren't going the way you want, you cut yourself off from discovering his intentions.
Don't worry; things balance out once you enter the relationship phase. Soon enough you'll both be initiating contact and dates. My clients have benefitted by following the man's lead — it clears up a tremendous amount of dating confusion like nothing else can.
So, if you're thinking of sexting to get a man's attention or keep his interest, think again. Wait to see if he asks you out, shows consistent interest, makes time for you and starts to include you in his life. These are the signs you want to see to understand if a man is genuinely interested or just wanting your naked snapshots.
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