by Aaron Traister, REDBOOK
DEAR WHYS GUY:
I've been talking to a guy for two months and seeing him for a month. He seems very interested and has sent me lunch and flowers, picked me up from work, and driven hours to my company and home just to see me or give me a kiss. The problem is that he only comes to my 'hood. He never takes me to his work, home, or even neighborhood. He lives in Manhattan, and I live in Brooklyn. Is he hiding something? -Janie
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DEAR JANIE :
If it's only been a month of dating, I wouldn't sweat it too much. A month is nothing when you're getting to know someone. After a month of hanging out with my wife Karel, I don't even think she knew my last name. But even though there were huge gaps in our knowledge about each other, it all worked out, and we were married a year after we met.
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But it feels a little like you're asking me to see the future, and as my bookie, Angry Pete, knows, I'm terrible at predicting the future. Getting to know someone romantically is all about risk and reward (which, incidentally, is exactly what Pete tells me about betting on college basketball). You can't worry about wasting time if you think you might like the person (just like I can't worry about the buck I put on Temple in the opening round of the A-10 Tourney).
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As for the more practical question about whether it's weird for a guy to keep you away from his life as you start dating: I think it's totally reasonable for a guy to not want to have the headaches of his everyday life cross paths with someone he's becoming interested in. Maybe he's embarrassed by his friends and family and he doesn't want you to turn tail and run. Maybe he's battling a flea or bed bug infestation at his apartment and is nervous about telling you. Maybe he just isn't comfortable allowing you access yet. Some guys feel much more comfortable playing on the road than in front of a home crowd. Maybe he thinks it's easier to get to know you on your terms than it is to get you mixed up with whatever else going in his life (like increasingly unpleasant messages from a man named Angry Pete).
However, with that said, if you feel like the relationship is starting to get serious and he's still keeping you away from his life, then that's probably a red flag. Or maybe you're just dating a superhero with a secret identity, like Aquaman. Are you dating Aquaman?
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Need help decoding odd male behavior? Redbook columnist Aaron Traister, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids, is our resident male who is happy to answer any questions you might have about the mind of a man. Either leave your questions in the comments or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with Whys Guy in the subject. Letters, emails, and comments may be edited for clarity and length.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.