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Dear John,

     I've been dating a great guy for 9 months now, but recently he said he wanted to "slow down" what I thought was a blooming relationship. I didn't know how to react. We'd been spending every moment together when he was in town (he travels a ton) and the subject of marriage had come up a few times. Needless to say, I was devastated. What I think happened was he got scared about the prospect of being tied down; so I backed off and assured him I did not want to get married in the near future (one day maybe, but not any time soon). Since that time he has seemed to come to his senses, and last weekend we spent a fabulous forty-eight hours together. Now he has made plans for us for the next 3 weekends and I'm concerned that so much togetherness might make him freak out on me again! What should I do?

Warm Heart/Cold Feet

Dear Warm Heart/Cold Feet
     Sometimes when a guy says he wants to "slow down" a relationship, he really means he wants to end it. But in this case, I agree with you that your great guy might only have a dose of commitmentitis. Working with this premise, I understand your concern about seeing him the next three weekends in a row.

Obviously, no more words about marriage should be uttered, at least for the time being. Just as a blanket near a flame has chance to catch fire, one over a flame smothers it, and now's a time to pull the blanket away as a way to fan the flame. Gracefully bowing out of one of the next three weekends could be a good idea. I realize you'd prefer being with him, but backing off might very well spark the relationship.

Men claim to want their freedom, but when a woman we like plays hard to get, that's when we get hardest. Cooling things down will keep him heated up, while putting needed mystery back into the relationship.

The long and the short of it is... if you want him longing, sometimes cut him short.

Thanks for playing,

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