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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Office Hours with Dr. Jim > Updates Profile After Date

Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.

Guy Goes on Date then Adds Pictures to Profile After Showing Interest in Date

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Guy Adds Photos to Profile After Date

I'm in the San Francisco area. The guy I'm dating (actually only two dates so far) is 49, divorced, and lives in S.F., but he’s working in Alaska two or three weeks of the month. He's shown appropriate interest in me, I think, as evidenced by his inviting me on return to California to a museum date the following weekend and then suggesting we meet up midweek as well. (I wasn't able to meet him midweek because I had a midterm coming up, so we actually only met once.) In addition, he asked me for my address so he could send me some tapes of authors he likes. Finally, he gave me a kiss when he said goodbye on our last date, then e-mailed me to say he hoped I "in the future [I'd] feel like getting together again." I e-mailed back, indicating I'd like to see him again on his return from Alaska. 

What appeals to me about him is that he is intellectually minded, as I consider myself to be, although I am clearly not as well read as he is.

Here's my question. We met on but are no longer communicating via Since our date last weekend he's returned to Alaska and is also shown to have logged on to a few times in the last few days and has even added photos to his profile. What might it mean that he’s showing interest in me but is nevertheless going on fairly regularly? (Since his base is in San Francisco, where he has a 7-year-old daughter, and is in a remote area of the Arctic when working in Alaska, I'm pretty sure he's not looking to date women in Alaska, but I can't be sure.) I guess it may be normal to pursue more than one woman at the same time, but it is not in my nature to do the same -- that is, to pursue other men when I feel genuine interest in him. Do you think he's just keeping his options open? Could he be going online to see if I'm going online?

I don't want to overanalyze things, but I was pretty badly burned by my last relationship (with a man in France) that ended two years ago, and I don't want to make the same mistake here if there are warning signs I should be heeding.

Your guy sounds nice and straightforward, so I wouldn’t be terribly worried right now. I feel you’re reading more into his behavior than is really there. You’ve only had two dates, and it sounds like there’s been no discussion of exclusivity at this point. In truth, it would concern me a little if you two had decided to be exclusive given you’re still getting to know each other and aren’t even in the same location to make a relationship work well had you wanted to make it so.  It’s perfectly normal for a guy to explore his options -- especially if he’s just getting back into the dating game for whatever reason. It’s also normal considering he’s quote isolated where he’s working, and online dating is likely a social and entertainment outlet for him at this point. I don’t think he’s checking up to see whether you’re using the dating service or not.

Still, you have a right to wonder whether this budding romance has the potential elements for a strong relationship in the future. I would have more regular talks with him to build on the momentum you feel might be there. Email and call him regularly and take time to occasionally send him letters. Keep signaling your interest, but don’t pressure him for exclusivity yet. Wait to make a decision on that until he’s truly accessible to you. In the mean time, have open and honest discussions with him about what he wants from a relationship and how he thinks about pacing relationships. That’ll give you the best insight into what he’s thinking and what he’ll likely do in the short-term. You seem to be feeling as if you’re in a long-distance relationship of sorts, so now is the time to gradually feel him out to see if he feels the same way. That all said, you shouldn’t feel tied to him to the extent that you aren’t permitted to go out and meet new people. I understand you feel interest in him, but my understanding here is that there are no expectations for exclusivity. Therefore, I encourage you to continue to make friends and explore your own options. You may well find that there are many other people who are very compatibility with and more accessible and ready for something more steady. Remember, you’re in the dating game to meet your needs, not just the needs of someone else.  Be honest with yourself about what you want and need, and whether someone can eventually deliver on that.


Dr. James Houran's "Office Hours with Dr. Jim" column is published every Monday.

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