DATING ADVICE: How to avoid pushing someone away

dating advice

by Rebecca Twomey |
Published on

Closer’s dating columnist and expert, Rebecca Twomey, tries and fails to establish the delicate balance between protecting your emotions and not pushing someone away entirely

Feedback doesn’t usually happen after a date – you just have to accept you’ll never know the real reason why you didn’t hear from him again. But never before have I received a critique mid date, until last week that is.

It all started off perfectly pleasant, we matched on Bumble, exchanged a few messages then arranged a drink. Initially the conversation flowed and even though we had very different views on politics, travel and friendships I thought we’d had healthy debate.

Dating advice pub beer garden

But perhaps he mistook our clashing views for romantic chemistry. After some drinks – and perhaps a few too many, he constantly wanted to stroke my leg and kiss me in a crowded beer garden.

None of this is bad, it’s just I struggle with PDA, I live alone and can go at least a week without touching another human being so physical intimacy, even hand holding, feels a bit too much with a stranger I only met a few hours ago.

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Chris Hughes1 of 6

Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes managed to make it to the final in 2017 and has given simple advice for new contestants: "Go in and be open to finding love."

Sam Bird2 of 6

Sam Bird

You want to know what Sam Bird suggest for Love Island?"If you get on to Love Island be honest and don't hold back. Don't be afraid to show your feelings because you haven't got long. "If you like someone just go for it and if it doesn't work out at least you tried because you haven't got long."

Kendall Rae Knight3 of 6

Kendall Rae Knight

She may have been the first contestant voted out in 2018 but Kendall Rae Knight has still given some good advice to any Love Island wannabe."Be yourself because that's what I did. I was just normal, I hadn't done anything like that before in my life, just be yourself."

Samira Mighty4 of 6

Samira Mighty

Samira has said to expect nothing and have a laugh while you're in there."Have a lot of personality because you're not going to get anywhere with no personality."Also go in expecting the unexpected. Don't expect much. Don't go in and be like 'I'm going to win' because you just need to have fun."It's serious in there but have fun and when you go to the interview just be fun. Be yourself."

Alexandra Cane5 of 6

Alexandra Cane

Alexandra has actually hinted about the Love Island audition process and given a few tips to win over the producers."If you're going to do a show reel for the show make it really fun, eye-catching."Do it in a day in the life of you, so they can see every aspect of you. From the minute you wake up to the minute you go to sleep and a typical night out. "So they're seeing all sides of your personality. I think it's a great way to get their attention."

Camilla Thurlow6 of 6

Camilla Thurlow

Camilla Thurlow may not have won Love Island back in 2017 but she's one of the only contestants who is still in a relationship following her time on the show.The nation sweetheart has advised everyone who applies for Love Island to not put on an act. She said: "Just be yourself because if you're going to spend eight weeks on camera in Love Island everyone will see you exactly how you are."There's no way that you can put on an act for that amount of time so just be yourself."

Date beer garden

After misreading dates and relationships I thought were going somewhere multiple times over, I’ve become very cautious about investing my emotions as I can’t cope with repeatedly having expectations and hope only for them to crumble when I’m ghosted.

I explained politely to my date that I’m a slow burner and don’t like kissing in crowded places, but he launched into a character assignation, telling me I was ‘cold,’ ‘jaded’ and that there must be ‘someone else I like.’

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The irony is, I’d already explained to him I’m like to let thing develop slowly – explaining how I’m not someone who will WhatsApp all day long and can’t reply instantly. But his patience ran thin in real life when he wanted the magic spark and excitement within minutes of meeting, and for me to kiss him within minutes and I’m afraid I couldn’t give him that.

Perhaps it was him. Perhaps it was me. Maybe years of heartache and disappointment have made me so guarded that I’m now pushing people away.


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But I do believe in balance, there’s a fine line between trying not to get hurt and coming across as disinterested. The best dating armour you can have, is time. Take your time and slow things down – don’t message non-stop all day, maybe just once a day, meet up once or twice a week not for a whole weekend within days of meeting, and pace yourself when it comes to physical intimacy if you’re the type of person who invests emotions quickly.

I just hope the right man for me will be happy to go and my pace. My emotions are precious and I’m only going to invest them wisely.

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