Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D., relationship psychologist, dating coach, and founder of MySoulmateSolution.com, says it's common in a new relationship for one person to feel more in love than the other, while the other takes some time to catch up. But if it lasts more than three to six months, the relationship may not be destined to last.
"The way to deal is to limit the amount of contact and the depth of contact for a period of time," she says. "So, you go slow and keep your interests in other areas of your life active, say only calling a couple times of week (instead of every day), not emailing constantly, only going together for a date once during the week and once during the weekend (rather than the whole weekend…)."
She says giving into your love obsession and pursuing the man can cause him to withdraw. If you instead create space, it'll act like a magnet to draw him back. "So, you also hold back on so much showy displays of verbal and physical affection as well, or talk of feelings. Allow him to come to you. Allow him to instigate contact, affection," she says. "This will give him enough breathing room and if it’s meant to be, he’ll move towards you. If he doesn’t--he’s not the one."
Okay, so what if it's the opposite? He is smitten by you and you're getting turned off by his intensity? Dr. Jenn says it's important you set boundaries right away. "Feel free to ask for the space you need, without blaming him or putting him down or slamming the door and running away. Help him understand that’s just a part of who you are," she says. "Give it some time to see if your feelings end up growing to match his, but with time and space."
And if the unequal feelings stick around for a long time--no matter if you're the one who loves more or less? Dr. Jenn suggests you re-evaluate the relationship.
"These kinds of relationships are uncomfortable and painful for both parties- for the person who is always pursuing, feeling hurt trying to get needs met- and for the person who is always withdrawing, feeling smothered and guilty that he/she can’t give the other person what they want," she points out. "Ultimately that kind of relationship takes too much work and causes too much pain. Why not go find someone with whom it is easy and feels good most of the time!"