I’ve been in two imaginary relationships. Both times I was head-over-heels in love, and both times I ended up dumped for another woman.
See, in both relationships, things started out casual. There were no strings attached and we were just having fun. At first, I was happy about the arrangement, because I didn’t feel smothered or pressured into making big decisions about commitment or accountability.
Then, after some time, with both men, I started falling in love. In hindsight, I know that I was very aware, from the jump, that I was falling strong for these men, but I never allowed myself to worry about the outcome until it was too late.
While in these sexual arrangements (friends with benefits or whatever you want to call them), I was delusional. Or at least I chose to be. I was determined to believe that these men were serious about me and were envisioning a future with me. I chalked up their “We are just hanging out” claims as ways not to feel too smothered. After all, I knew what it was like to feel smothered, so I just assumed they liked me the way I liked them and we were both just going about commitment in a back-door fashion.
Well, they didn’t feel committed… because in their minds, they weren’t. It didn’t matter that I met their families, their friends and their pets. It didn’t make any difference that they spent loads of money on me and shared intimate details of their childhoods with me over cozy, snuggly pillowtalk.
Both men even told me that they loved me.
Both men ALSO told me that they weren’t in love with me. And boy, should I have listened. I ended up dumped and with nothing to show for it. I cried both times and both guys looked at me, hugged me and said, “You knew what we were.”
All my friends told me that they had told me so and I even got a lecture from my own mother about commitment-phobes. I was a wreck. I had been a pit-stop, a stepping stone, a ‘for now’ girl, and all the time I had forced myself to believe that I was a wife-in-making.
I was so angry, too. I was so mad that I had given so much of myself and had been basically told, “Sorry, your best efforts aren’t enough to get you loved.” I felt used and worthless.
You Can’t ‘Love’ Him Out Of An Imaginary Relationship
When you are in an imaginary relationship, you can’t really say you are being used. The truth is that usually guys let us know up front (and throughout the relationship) that there's no possibility for long-term love. We just choose not to believe. We have selective hearing.
So, there you are, with selective hearing, set on making him see the light. You do EVERYTHING you can for him. You cook for him, give him sex when he wants it, play therapist and even become his best buddy. You work so hard for his attention and his devotion. You slave and service while chalking up his lack of availability and commitment as wounds from childhood that left him scared and shy.
You make every excuse for him. You think that if you just love him enough, he will finally know the care and touch of a real, loving woman. You think that if you cater to him and be the best sex he’s ever had, that he won’t know how to live without you.
But he will. Even if the sex is amazing, he’ll still move on fine without you. In fact, the guys I was dumped by both called me months after the fact for hot sex. Of course I declined, but that just showed me that I wasn’t dumped for the sex, I was dumped for some who-knows-what reason that I’ll never know. Not to mention how I wasn't even respected enough to be left in peace.
The point is that you can’t try and be amazing just to get the guy to commit. He has to have that unexplained attraction to you, and if he doesn’t now, he never will.
He’ll appreciate your efforts, he’ll care for you, he’ll even be there as your friend for life, but no amount of chasing and catering will make him love you more.
Get Out Of The Clouds & Put Up Some Personal Boundaries
If you are in an imaginary relationship, wanting to believe that you two are a couple but knowing deep down that you aren’t, stop filling in the spaces where he has a lack of interest in the relationship. Stop compensating for him and instead make a list.
Make a list of all the things you want out of a relationship. Do you want to be cherished as a priority? Do you want to feel emotionally safe and loved unconditionally by a man who has given you a verbal commitment?
Once you have your list, get strong and tell him what you want. When he calls you, tell him exactly how this ‘arrangement’ makes you feel inside and why it isn’t working for you; “I feel uncertain and insecure. I don’t want to be in a sexual arrangement with a man. I want a serious commitment with a man who knows for sure that he loves me and wants to be with me.”
Then say no more and wait to see what he tells you. If he back-paddles or flat-out tells you that he’s already told you “no”, turn that imaginary relationship into a no contact situation.
I know you’re thinking, “But I love him”. But guest what? You’re stronger than you think and you deserve more. There's so many men in this world and there's one just waiting to love you, commit to you and never let you go.
If you don't believe me, maybe you don't have a right to argue. Like I always say: People who only go out at night have no right to claim that the sun has left them, and if you waste your time with men you know are commitment-phobes, you have no right to say that there are no emotionally available men.
Check out my eBook, Red Rose Woman: The Enchantress Inside You to learn how to put up personal boundaries without being off-putting, demanding or brittle. Men are attracted to women who let them hunt and conquer. They're enchanted by women who stick up for what they need and accept nothing less than honorable intentions from a man.
Sign Up For Kristina Marchant's Love Advice Newsletter & Learn Her 5 Goddess Tips That Will Change Your Love Life Forever!