Recently, one of my good buddies went from touching the sky to (trying) to pick himself up from one of the longest and hardest falls in his romantic life.  I really feel for “Damien” because he’s a great guy, with good intentions.  He’s got that proverbial “heart of gold.”

Let me explain what happened.  Damien met this masculine, attractive guy, who’s rather “easy on the eyes.”  According to Damien, they seemed to have quite a lot in common—similar backgrounds, characteristics, interests, points of views.

2 men. couple. sitting outside on the street. happy.

Damien was walking on Cloud Nine, in a state of euphoria!  He talked about “Winston” almost ad nauseam.   I advised, “C’mon now, slow down!  Take it slow and easy, and enjoy the process of getting to know one another.”  I added, “The process is like peeling back an onion, stripping back each other’s layers.  That’s so crucial!”

Unfortunately, he didn’t heed my warnings.  Instead, Damien made himself just too dang available.  He was “up under” Winston too much, not giving him enough  breathing (and thinking) room.

Damien made too many phone calls; sent too many texts, emails, IMs.  Translation:  he was “sweatin’ tha “brotha!”  As well, he let Winston know how he felt about him “wayyyyyyyyyyy” too soon—and revealed too much (too soon).

Damien, with sparkles dancing around in his cold-black, expressive eyes, kept smiling, “Winston’s my soul mate!  I just know he is!”  Shaking my head I mused, “Is there really such a ‘thang’ as a soul mate?”  And, two weeks into their dating experience, my buddy broached that (can be) touchy subject, which is spelled:     R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P. 

And soon, Winston began to pull away.  He wouldn’t answer Damien’s calls, texts, emails, IMs.  He just faded away, disappeared!

Needless to say, Damien was devastated.

Thankfully, Damien is recovering emotionally, albeit slowly.  His is the text book case of The Mistakes Nice Guys Make That Ruin Relationships.  Actually, this is the title of an article written by Jerry Plaza for 

    As a journalist who has written about romance, I found this article interesting on various levels.  I’m going to recount Plaza’s “Mistakes” in two articles.  And at the end of the second article, I’ll clue you in on the ones I personally believe you definitely should not make!

So, fasten yo’ seatbelts!  Here are his first ten…..

  • Too Much Interest.  No one should feel too wanted.  No matter how many times we say we want that kind of thing, it often makes us feel uncomfortable.  There’s a difference between cooking a nice dinner in your apartment and sending him bouquets of flowers to his work.  One is pleasant and romantic, the other “stalkerish” and creepy.
  • Letting him know how you feel too soon can come back to bite you later.  It’s more than just expressing interest.  Overkill on “how great this date is going” or how “comfortable you feel” around him might create an uncomfortable cloud.  It lets your guard down, which prevents him from sensing further compatibility, not to mention it translates mystery into words.  Enjoy the moment privately, but don’t let it become a public confession.
  • Too many compliments.  You might be the most confident person in the world, but over complimenting can build an unhealthy habit that damages your well-being.  Just because he’s gorgeous doesn’t mean he has to know it 24 hours a day.  Eventually he’ll start to lose his sense of wanting to please you because it’ll be clear how easy it is.
  • Playing the “boyfriend” too early.  Dating should be fun.  If during the first few dates you’ve started treating him like a boyfriend, chances are he’ll start to distance himself.  Relax, you’re still dating.  While it’s okay for him to feel how sexually interested you are, you never want him to feel like you’re his husband.
  • Making yourself too available.  You don’t want to spend every moment with him, especially when it requires altering important plans.  He’ll start to understand the power he has, which can be dangerous.  You might really like him, but your plans should still take precedent.
  • Cliché movie moments.  There’s a fine line between being romantic and being corny.  Making your relationship into a movie cliché can easily backfire and more often than not, become irreversible.
  • Dream-making.  You’re not in the profession of making dreams come true.  Just because he mentions on the first date how much he loved Disney movies doesn’t mean you ought to pay your friend (who works at Disney World) to let you have a private tour of the backlot led by Mickey himself.  Sometimes the things we say on a date shouldn’t be fundamentally ingrained in your memory.
  • Listening to your friend’s advice.  No one is inside your head but you, so the only voice you ought to pay attention to is your own.
  • Texting immediately afterwards.  There’s something sexy in knowing that a man has his own life, but makes time for me.  This generates attraction.  I’ve dated guys who’ve texted me three seconds after I send him a message.  Clearly he was sitting by his phone waiting for me to text him back.  The last thing you want is for him to think you’re whipped.
  • Lack of competition.  When you’re too easy to snatch up, you lower your value.  We’re men, which means we enjoy having mental competitions for affection.  Hot guys can have sex whenever they want with horny men, but when they find someone who doesn’t need them, it becomes a driving force that brings them closer to you.

Food for thought, eh?  Part Two is upcoming.