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Everywhere I go, I see women overfunctioning. I can spot it well because I too used to overfunction. It’s very easy to do. You like a man you want to do everything for him.  From the beginning of your first date, you want to plan where you’re going. You’re event willing to drive over to his part of town to meet him, arranging all the details so everything is perfect…….for him.

Unfortunately, all this does is turns him off and pushes him away. It makes it way too easy for him and you never allow him to do anything for you.  When he becomes distant, stops calling and texting, you freak out and put overfunctioning into overdrive. Your mind goes crazy, Why isn’t he calling? Why isn’t he texting? I’ve done everything right, been perfect, planned our dates flawlessly; sent him sweet messages every day, what’s wrong?

What’s wrong is now you’ve turned into a hair short of a crazy stalker. You have pretty much pushed him away and over the edge, completely squashing any desire he had left inside himself for you. What you need to do is RELAX. Stop everything you’re doing for him and start concentrating back on you. Stop calling, stop texting, stop sending Facebook messages, stop everything. Get back into your routine of working out, hanging with your girlfriends, work, going to the beach or getting manicures.

Stop obsessing about him and start taking care of yourself and he’ll magically all of a sudden start taking interest in you. He’ll start planning dates for you, asking how your day was and sending you sweet messages. If he doesn’t, then he wasn’t worth your time anyway. He was just hanging out with you because it was convenient for him.

The other day I was at a baseball game with a guy I’m dating, and we were sitting next to another couple. At first, I had no idea if they were married or just dating. During the game, we chatted a little bit and I noticed the man wasn’t wearing a ring. As I watched the game, I also monitored the couple’s interaction. When the guy walked to the concession stand, I struck conversation with the woman. I learned she was living in Boston, and he lives here in Florida. She came down to visit him and see the Red Sox and Rays play.

They are in the early stages of dating, but I’m not sure how long they have been together. My interest was piqued more because this is obviously a new relationship for them. I had noticed previously that she was always getting up, going to the concession stand and bringing them back beers. First time, no big deal. Second time she’s nice. Third time, wow she really likes this guy. Fourth time, OK honey, you’re dramatically overfunctioning! Not to mention the beers at the Tropicana Stadium are $8 a piece, and every time she was getting up she was dropping about $20.

The girl was about my age (early 30s) with a pretty face, a nice figure and a sweet disposition. You think this guy appreciated the fact that she threw down $100 for him and basically waited on him hand and foot bringing beers the entire game? Nope, not at all. He was actually rude towards her. The last time she served him beer, he uttered in a condescending tone, “Really more beer?” ­I turned to my date and told him, “That couple over there, it’s never going to work out!”

Overfunctioning does not discriminate age, race or creed. On the Fourth of July, I witnessed another woman overfunctioning on a first date. My friends and I were sitting at a beach bar having some drinks, listening to a live band and waiting for the fireworks.  As nightfall grew closer, the bar became more packed and sitting room was at a premium. A couple in around their early 50s walked by us and found a table with only one chair. The man just stood there drinking his beer doing nothing. The woman went off in search for an additional chair for him to sit.  We had a few extra chairs so she came over to our table and asked for one. I said sure, and she responded that this was the first date she had been on in 10 years and she wants everything to go perfect. She carried the chair back over to the table herself, the man sat down in it and then waited for her to buy more drinks. Once the fireworks started and everyone at my table was cuddled up with their dates, oooing and awing, this overfunctioning woman was sitting at their table alone.

Once you stop overfunctioning, you allow the man room to breathe. When you do too much for him, you are smothering him. You are doing the chasing and most men do not like to be chased. The ones that do are lazy and that’s not the kind of guy you want to have a long-term relationship with. Men need the chase. They want the one woman that no man can tame or catch. If you make it easy on him, then he loses interest. If you’re a valuable prize that he needs to compete for, he will treat you like gold and take care of you because he knows if he did no less, someone better out there would claim his prize.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.