He is Coming on Too Strong!

Posted by in dating after divorce, dating in midlife, online dating after 40, red flags in relationships | 3 comments

he is coming on too strongDear Sandy,

I had three date with a very nice and kind man. How do I tell him to slow down and don’t get so excited so fast that “this is it”? I’ve never had this happen before! He is very, very sweet. I am a PDA person, yet he is coming on too strong for me.

This coming weekend, he is taking me to a very nice restaurant on Saturday night.  ARGH.  I am happy to go. We have had fun on our last three dates, but I do not know how to get his expectations in check. What should I do?



Dear Linda,

I have been down this path before. A nice guy moves too quickly, and attraction takes a nosedive. Here’s the deal: men who tell you ‘this is it’ before they know you well can be a big turnoff. They are often needy. I don’t know much about your date, but if he is coming on too strong, he is probably not seeing you clearly, but projecting an ideal onto you. If you’re a healthy individual, that type of projection and adoration can feel stifling, not flattering. There’s a feeling of ‘leeching’ that you can get with men like this, like they’re glomming onto you, and you can’t breathe.

Warning signs he is coming on too strong

1. Too much phone/text/email from the start. I recently got three emails in a row from a guy who was pursuing me online. Too much!! He was planning our amazing over the top first date, and I hadn’t even responded to a single email yet. Take it slow if you want to get her attention. You are building a relationship one step at a time, not running a race to the altar.

2. Too much praise too soon. If he says these things on the 2nd date, he is coming on too strong: You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. Wow, I’ve never met anyone like you. You’re the one! (I had a guy say ‘You’re the one!’ on a second date. I wasn’t. Neither was he.)

3. Planning the future before there is one. If you’ve had two dates and he’s planning: a) your vacation together, b) an event he’d like to take you to a few months down the road, or c) when to introduce you to his parents or children, he’s projecting a future before there is one. I once had a guy tell me on a second date that he was thinking of relocating, but he couldn’t move into my house because I didn’t have enough room for his books. Huh? I didn’t remember inviting him to move in with me.

4. Too sexual too soon. If a guy puts the moves on too soon and you’re not comfortable, tell him to slow down. If he doesn’t listen, that’s not okay. You want a man to respect your boundaries, whether it’s sexual or emotional. If he doesn’t, you should leave him and find someone who respects and cherishes all of you.

The bottom line is, this behavior is a type of codependency. This type of guy doesn’t have clear boundaries and his identity is defined by you. In other words, his ‘me’ is made up of ‘you’. You ask how you can ‘get his expectations in check.’ You can’t make anyone do anything. With a healthy man, you can communicate your feelings and concerns and see what he says. If he is truly codependent, you can’t do much to get through. That’s the job of a good therapist, but only if he sees that there’s a problem and wants to help himself.

I suggest you set a boundary and tell him how you feel. See how he responds. If he gets defensive and makes you wrong for slowing down, it’s time to move on. Nice guys are great, but ‘nice’ is not enough. If a guy is smothering you, use that magic four letter word in dating…NEXT!



P.S. If you want to find love this year, there’s nothing like group coaching to keep you accountable and give you dating tools that really work. The Woman of Value Club is my monthly membership group with a one-hour monthly topic-based master class about dating over 40, and a private forum for women to connect and share their experiences. All calls are recorded, and you get a free article and exercise every month to deepen the learning. Check it out and join here.



  1. I move fast into relationships, and if a woman can’t keep up with my pace, my interest cools quickly. In fact, I consider the phrases “let’s take it slow” or “you’re coming on too strong” to be major red flags for me.

    The best relationship I ever had lasted 10 years. We slept together on date 2 and were living together after date 3.

  2. If that works for you, that’s great. But you may be missing out on opportunities to have relationships with women who need a little more time to build trust and intimacy.

  3. True, but the women who need a little more time to build trust and intimacy are missing out on a relationship with me.


  1. How to Pick Up on Red Flags on the First Phone Call - - […] compliments. He said he REALLY liked me, and he started making travel plans. With me, his ‘future girlfriend‘. […]

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