Escalating a relationship, differences between man and boy, long distance relationships

Ask Mary Jo

Our questions today deal with dating challenges. How to progress into a more physical relationship, how to know if the guy you're dating is a man or a boy, and how do you keep a long distance relationship alive? Great questions, thank you to all my viewers.

Hi Mary Jo,

I have a question. I just started dating this girl and I want to take it to the next level. We've been going out for a little while, nothing more than kissing. I want to go further. What should I do???

Mary Jo: Since you're asking this question I know you really like her and don't want to lose her, so to avoid embarrassment or get rejected I would talk to her about where she is in the relationship. Does she feel as you do? Usually this conversation goes better when you think ahead and get clear in your mind about possible consequences. Are you ready to commit to being her only boyfriend? What other things will you have to give up to make her feel special? Since she's special to you, make sure your friendship is strong before you take things further physically or you may blow the whole thing.

Dear Mary Jo,

I want to date a man, but I often times find that I'm dating a boy, even at this age. What are some indicators that a man is a man and not a boy? Thanks.

Mary Jo: Indicators that you have a man and not a boy are things such as:

1. Does he work?

2. Does he accept responsibility?

3. Is he polite and does he treat you well?

4. Does he depend on his family too much?

5. Is he serious about your relationship?

6. Does he have goals; and if so, what are they?

It may also help to check what vibes you're putting out. If you're constantly attracting boys, you may want to reinvent yourself and get more passionate about your interests. Men are more attracted to the relationship component.

Dear Mary Jo,

How do you keep a long distance relationship alive and fresh when you can only see each other every once in a while?

Mary Jo: a long distance relationship demands more meaningful communication than face to face. Knowing what makes them feel loved is crucial. For example, do gifts or words or acts of service matter most? Other ideas that will help are:

1. Video chat every day.

2. Send as many photos as possible.

3. Always have a plan to meet and make it a big deal including a countdown as the time draws closer.

4. Flirt all day.

5. Send them an over-sized shirt with your perfume or cologne scent.

6. Do something at night before you go to bed that makes them feel special (or in the morning when they first awake). Read to them, sing to them, or do something over the top that they would miss if you didn't do.

Long distance relationships do thrive and grow if you both are willing to put the relationship first and become creative with communication.