Does the man you love remind you of water—dripping out of your hands the more you try to hold onto him? I know how frustrating it can be to be madly in love with a guy who doesn’t reciprocate; it doesn’t matter how often you contact him, try to force heart-to-hearts, offer solutions or try to prove to him that you aren’t going to hurt him. You break your back trying but sweat and tears just don't help you keep your man. It sucks.
In my own life, I remember one relationship where I found myself ‘selling’ the relationship to him like I was presenting a project to investors at work: “Don’t forget how much we laugh together”; “I promise to cook more for you on the weekends”; "Maybe you need to look at us from this other angle." It was awful and it felt so demeaning. Yet I couldn’t stop myself because I was hooked on the ‘if only’: If only he could see how easy and amazing it could be; if only he just gave in, our life together would be fabulous; if only I could convince him of my love and prove to him that I wasn't going anywhere.
If you want to keep your man, you’re going to have to let go of the ‘if only’ and risk losing him entirely. If you want to keep your man, you’re going to have to trust that he knows what’s best for him and not try to control his feelings or his actions in the relationship.
To Keep Your Man, Communicate Your Feelings Instead of Analyze His
Imagine the shoe on the other foot and you are in his position. Imagine you are seeing a guy, and, for some reason that you can’t quite sort out, you aren’t really feeling him anymore.
Now imagine that he senses your distancing and starts to try and pull you toward him. He starts appealing to your feelings and compromising his needs in the process. He makes wild promises of unconditional love and says he will jump through whatever hoops he needs to in order to keep you. He calls often and brings up the relationship every chance he gets. He experiences waves of sadness, anger and neediness and all the while he just wants answers.
This behavior would probably make you feel guilty and smothered.
But what if intstead he tells you how your confusing, mixed messages make him feel? What if he communicates to you all the pain you’ve caused him and that he’s not going to put up with it anymore:
“I love you and care deeply about this relationship but right now I’m lonely, confused, angry and lost here. I don’t want to lose you, but I don’t want us this way either. If you can’t talk with me about what’s going on with you, I understand that, but I can’t be part of this pain anymore. When you know what you want or are able to talk with me more about your needs in this relationship, let me know and we can see where we both are at that point.”
Wouldn’t you feel more pressure to figure out your feelings and decide if you want that relationship? Wouldn’t you respect him more and see that he’s the kind of diplomatic, caring-yet-confident person that you might not want to lose?
To Keep Your Man, Face Your Fears Of Losing Him
You probably want to tell him 'goodbye.' You probably dream of having the strength to call him out on his wish-washy behavior. But your fears of losing him get in your way. It's time to think about the worst case scenario so that you don't end up with a self-fulfulling prophecy.
What would happen to you if you ended up losing him? Would you spiral into depression? Would you experience anxiety about being alone? It’s time to journal your feelings and fears.
Once you face the reasons why you hold onto him, you can start to unclench the fist that you have around this man. Right now, he feels your white knuckles squeezing tight and it scares him. Not to mention, your tight hold on him isn’t helping you!
You can’t control another person’s feelings, actions, words, etc. You can’t control the future. The more you try, the more angry, sad and hopeless you will feel!
You can control your own personal development. You can control your self-confidence and level of happiness. You can control the type of love life you have and the kinds of bad behaviors you aren’t willing to tolerate.
He Will Love You More The More You Love Yourself
An emotionally healthy man falls in love with a woman to the degree that she falls in love with herself. When a woman has strong, vibrant, respectful, calm and grounded energy, an emotionally available man is drawn to her like a magnet. When a woman knows her boundaries and doesn't let a man's confusion penetrate and plummet her self-esteem, an emotionally available man feels safe getting closer to her.
Focusing on you and your life instead of on changing his feelings and behavior will also give a man the emotional space he needs to not feel smothered in a dating relationship. When you worry less about accommodating him, you will give him a chance to straighten up on his own, without feeling like it's a demand from you.
If you want to learn how to unclench your death grip and keep your man in love with you, please sign up for my Goddess Advice Newsletter. My eLetters are choke-full of valuable insight and tools that will change your life and the way men treat you.