“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were."
~ Richard Bach
You find that you are in a relationship in which your feelings are much stronger for him than his are for you. Do you find yourself feeling fulfilled? Do you feel that this relationship is meeting your needs?
1. Know your worth.
Prior to entering into any relationship, I suggest determining what your needs are in a relationship. What are the things that help you feel loved? Are these needs currently being met in the relationship you are in? If not, why not?
Your needs are important and should be given the same importance that his needs are being given. If your needs are not being given the same importance, take some time to determine your needs, write them down, and communicate them to him. Fight for what you need. This is what will ultimately make a relationship fulfilling for you.
I love the idea of a “love tank”. It is kind of like a gas tank, except we fill it up with love. Often times, this love tank is filled through our significant other meeting our needs. It is important however to know what best fills this love tank. What do you need out of a relationship to make you happy?
When your significant other is attuned and willing to meet your needs, you will find that your love tank starts to fill. When the needs aren’t being met and the relationship is one sided, you may find that you don’t feel as fulfilled.
2. Don’t let him determine your value.
Sure, maybe you have determined that you have stronger feelings for him, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve for someone to be madly in love with you too. Are you letting him determine what your value truly is? Do you feel like you are settling, because you may not find someone who treats you better? Do you find yourself wondering if you are loveable? Don’t let someone determine that for you.
You deserve to be loved and valued in the same way that you are willing to love and value him. Love yourself and know your value, and girl, fight for it! You deserve the best. You have value and if he is not seeing that, he is missing out. Don’t be afraid to fight for what you need and deserve in a relationship.
You are valuable and you taking the time to truly understand this is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Know what you are willing to deal with and what you absolutely need out of a relationship. Don’t let someone else determine how much you deserve.
3. Be happy within yourself.
Don’t let another person be solely responsible for your happiness. You ultimately need to take care of yourself and tend to your needs. Self-Care and Self-Love are so vital to a thriving and successful relationship. If you are not taking care of yourself, there is no way that you can be a good partner, nor can you expect someone else to do for you what you are not even willing to do yourself.
It is important that we determine how we can meet our needs and find our own happiness within ourselves prior to expecting someone else to make us happy.
This is just a bonus! Find ways to fulfill your needs and be willing to do that for yourself. Be happy within yourself and anything that he gives you will feel like the cherry on top. Be willing to take some time alone to journal, take a walk, meditate, get a massage, take a bath, or whatever feels fulfilling for you. Take care of yourself.
Ultimately, you need to decide if this is the right relationship for you. Yes, you may have strong feelings for this person, but are they fulfilling your needs in the relationship? If this relationship is purely one sided, it is eventually going to be something that burns you out and exhausts you. You are going to find yourself feeling so unfulfilled.
Fight for what you deserve. You are worth it!
Brittany Wingfield, MS, LPCC – www.nurturedheartscounseling.com
Most relationships are not totally equal.
By that I mean, one person is more dependent on the other and may be needier, wanting more assurances that they are loved. This feeing of imbalance depends on how you interpret your past experiences, past relationships, past decisions and past successes.
What can you do to change this imbalance especially if you like your partner more than he likes you? The answer is not much. After all, you can’t force anyone to like you, but you can show your partner your finest, most authentic qualities that will endear him to you more favorably.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Be the best you can be. That means you should display your charming, funny, attentive, caring and genuine side, so he’d see how great you really are.
2. Be insightful, understanding that when you are feeling insecure, uncomfortable, questioning or suspicious of your partner, it puts a strain on the relationship.
3. Be open and receptive to behaving another way around your partner. Are you the one chasing him? Or are you allowing him to be the masculine energy pursuing you?
This may help to change the dynamic of your relationship, but maybe the guy is just not on the same page as you.
He may want to see you because he enjoys hanging out, but is there enough effort on his part? Is he really capable of giving you what you want or need? So here is the red flag you simply shouldn’t ignore. Nothing you say or do will make a difference because this relationship is probably going nowhere – and no matter how much you hope and pray things will change, it may never!
The reality is that you have to move on from this relationship and find the guy who really likes you, someone who does make the effort to show you what you mean to him. You deserve that and more!
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
You’ve texted him 3 times it’s been 5 days and no response… you’ve tried to wait patiently but now you find yourself pacing the room, every few minutes you flip over your phone, that you equally parts don’t want to look at and simultaneously do. I’m sure we’ve all been there at one point or another in our dating lives… so what do you do when you are super into a guy and he is clearly just not as into you?
First things first… remember that men experience love in a different way than women do.
In general it often takes them a little longer to get there. Oxytocin i.e. the Love Hormone is released when we are relating and really getting into someone, this has a very opposite effect on the body than testosterone does. This in general can cause men to pull off and seek sources of testosterone such as competition, sports, adventures, “hunting” either literally or figuratively in the sense of seeking out new opportunities to bring “food” to the table.
Additionally, when a guy feels that you are super into him, this can cause him to feel panicked and trapped as men never want to lose their “freedom”. This doesn’t mean that healthy men don’t want to be in committed relationships, on the contrary, research suggests that most men do (also subject to them being mature enough which happens at all different ages for men but most commonly in their 30’s, and ready for love and commitment).
This just means that a man is going to make sure there is a healthy balance of love and connection along with personal freedom and self expression which let’s be honest, is healthy, the key word being a BALANCE of.
I like to use the analogy of fire and air… to much air on a fire and it goes out, to little air on a fire and it goes out…. Similarly to relationships you have to be present and then also not…which brings me to the next point for you, ladies;
1. Practice the art of self love… take a deep breath and bring it back to you. What could you accomplish if you channeled that same energy you are giving to their reaction, into something you love, something that inspires you, something that feeds your soul? In order to remain in that healthy balance of connection and separation, we have to be whole within ourselves. It’s that inner stillness and satisfaction, it’s having those passions and actively living them that gives us the confidence to be ok regardless of what is happening.
To be vulnerable to give be open and love if and when it feels good, to appreciate the guy and just get to know him, to enjoy them and the journey, without placing our expectations, stories, attachments and demands on the situation. You are allowed to have deal breakers, you’re allowed to have boundaries, and you’re allowed to communicate your wants, needs and desires….yes.
To be very clear I’m not suggesting self suppression… the opposite, self expression, authenticity, and LOVE …. but not with conditions, or societies stories or timelines, or your own. You just showing up authentically and seeing where it goes.
2. Give him time and space to come to you and also to be him; as women when we reach out to much or try to connect to much what you may not realize is that energetically you’re actually pushing away… you are probably feeling afraid that they aren’t into you, or feeling them pull away so you think ok let me be sure they are interested or, show them how funny or smart etc etc etc.
I am… so you reach out, you call, you text, you go to their show….instead of pulling them in you are actually pushing them away. I want you to physically take your hands in front of you and reach out, feel how you are pushing away energetically? Now, when you can take a deep breath, step back, do you, that opens space for them to come to you… take your hands and just leave them open in front of you no movement… see?
You in that place are OPEN for them to come to you. Men desire to know a woman is interested for her to be present and vulnerable and open, but they are also interested in pervading the dance, just think of the act of physical intimacy the masculine penetrates the feminine. Believe me if a man is interested he will notice how witty, smart, beautiful, etc. you are just by you leaving that space and being really authentic.
Remember that you have nothing to prove and everything to BE.
Which brings me to my last point;
3. Trust the journey, enjoy the ride.
I think after a certain point when you’ve experienced enough heartache, or lost enough that you realize you never actually “have” anything, you just get to experience things for a time, sometimes short and sometimes if we are lucky, for a lifetime and beyond. Every experience is an opportunity to learn lessons and move deeper in love. We are better every time we love, regardless of the outcome so… you can then just trust the process… let go, relax enough to enjoy the ride.
If it’s the right guy and the right time, he will respond, you will go deeper at your own unique pace and it will be awesome.
If it’s not? It will naturally end and you can get excited because now you’re in alignment to meet whoever the right one is, meanwhile in a love affair with yourself and all of life. So, with the windows down, arms up, hair in the wind, and love in your heart, stay open minded and enjoy the ride.
Ashley Davene, Relationship Counselor - www.twitter.com/ashleydavene
Everyone gets needy once in a while.
There is a distinction between being needy and having your needs met. Being needy might be the expectation to see him every day or needing him to say “I love you” every time you speak to him. Being needy might look like the need for constant contact and validation. If you have specific needs and express them without a response; that is different.
If a man has been alone for a while, it may take him some time to ease into a relationship.
If he is slow to start, he may be setting boundaries to establish a pace that works for him. If you want to see him every day and spend all your free time with him, he may pull away and seem distant because you are overwhelming him. If you check in with him for every decision or require his validation at every turn, that is being needy and it might be too much for him.
Take note of your reaction if you are unable to reach him immediately.
Where does your mind go when you are unable to get a hold of him? What do you say to him when you finally get a hold of him? Do you put him through the ringer or ask if he is having a good time with friends?
You might come across as needy if you freak out and start blowing up his phone because he does not respond quickly enough for you.
A healthy sense of self starts with the ability to internally validate.
Healthy space in a relationship means that when you are alone, you can function without constantly asking yourself if he likes you. If you are constantly questioning whether he likes you when you are apart or you become distressed because he does not return a call or text, that comes across as needy. In a relationship with a healthy dynamic you should both be able to do things alone and apart without needing to constantly check in.
Communicate how you are feeling and observe his response.
There might be something else that he is working through. Be mindful not to automatically assume that it is you. Evaluate if what he says is congruent with what he does. At the same time, evaluate your own behavior and ask yourself if you are being needy. Are you needy with friends and family? Is this a pattern in your life? You want to distinguish if you are being needy or he is emotionally unavailable or it is both. Being needy won´t make him less distant if he is emotionally unavailable.
If he is emotionally unavailable, it might look like a lack of empathy or compassion regarding your physical and emotional needs.
For example, this might be a situation where you are sick with a cold and he expects you to go on the trip as planned without any regard for how you are feeling. If you are sick and he gets upset that you cannot go with him and he decides to go without you; that might be a red flag. If he sees that you are sick and makes no attempt to acknowledge your needs, this is a red flag. If he is demanding and pressures you without any regard to what might be going with you, he lacks compassion and is emotionally detached.
A lack of compassion and empathy is a sign of a narcissistic personality.
If you attempt to talk to him about your needs or how you feel about something and he moves on without attending to what you just said, this is a huge red flag. Being in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable usually feels unpleasant in the sense that your partner expects his emotional and physical needs to be met without any regard for yours. Some people find themselves in a toxic cycle trying to change their partner and the situation only gets worse.
The desire to have your emotional needs validated in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable can create a vicious cycle.
If he is emotionally unavailable, you might end up feeling needy because he is just not present. The more you feel disconnected, the more you need his validation. The more you seek his validation and don’t get it, the more desperate you might seem because he is just not responding to your needs. The more you keep trying to get someone who is emotionally unavailable to engage with you, the more you will engage in behaviors that try to get his attention.
These behaviors may be out of character and make you appear desperate.
At the core of this desperation is the need to feel connected. A relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable can be very stressful and frustrating. In this kind of relationship, your partner might tell you what you want to hear but he does not follow through with his actions. This can be confusing because he is saying something different than what he doing. This includes denying that he is ignoring your needs.
Take a step back.
When you become desperate, you can become needy and ungrounded. This is what makes it so important to determine if he is emotionally unavailable early on so as not to fall into this kind of vicious cycle. Sometimes knowing when to quit is a win if he is emotionally unavailable. It will save you heart ache to cut your losses and let him go sooner than later because you will not be able to change him. And your needs will not be met in the relationship no matter what you do.
If this is a pattern in your relationships, it is extremely important that you address and process what keeps you repeating these patterns.
Talk to a therapist that specializes in relationships and work on identifying what keeps you engaged with emotionally unavailable partners. Work on the behaviors that you want to change such as being needy in relationships. Don’t ignore the way you feel and stay in your integrity. Never compromise yourself in a way that is detrimental to your heart.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net
When your dating someone and you realize you actually really like this guy and could see a future with him; it can be exciting as well as scary and anxiety provoking.
If you are not sure how strong his feelings are ,or you know that his feelings are not as strong; you might be feeling more anxious about the relationship.
It can be helpful to try and enjoy your feelings and each date or interaction you have with him. Try and live in the present moment rather then in the future. Often people miss out on current present moments when they are busy focusing on the future.
There is no set time line as to when to bring up the " Where is this going?" conversation.
What I mean by that is maybe you are dating 5 months but have only seen him once a month compared to only dating 2 months but spending almost everyday together. With that said though; if you are going to sleep with someone and you are someone who is not comfortable with multiple partners, then it always appropriate to talk to him about that before you decide.
If he is not okay with that, then I would assume his feelings are not the same as yours at the moment. If you know you know you are going to become jealous if he is with other women then it might be best to end this before adding that level of intimacy to the relationship.
Even if you already slept together but maybe over time you realize you would like this to be monogamous; then you should talk to him about this.
Even if his feelings are not the same as yours, you don't need to end it. I would just assess what he says, and hope it is honest. If he says he enjoys spending time with you and wants to keep getting to know you then keep enjoying him and reass after a few months. If he says he doesn't see it turning into anything serious but would still like to see you, then you need to decide what is best for you. Although it might be hard, I would think if you have such intense feelings and he is saying he doesn't see a future with you; it would most likely be best for you to end it now before becoming even more invested.
I would try to be honest with yourself.
Communicate your feelings but know if he doesn't feel the same that doesn't mean he never will. Unless he tells you he doesn't have any feelings or see a future with you, try and enjoy the present moments and just take it day by day. People's feelings for each other can develop at different times. I wish you the best of luck in your relationship!
Trisha Swinton, LPC, LMFT – www.trishaswintoncounseling.com
If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you will always like him more than he likes you, because narcissists always love themselves above anyone else.
He may have lured you into thinking that he adores you, but at some point in the relationship, the truth will come out.
What do you do when you realize you’re in a relationship with a narcissist?
First of all, stop hoping that he’ll get better, see the light, or be more loving if you just give in to everything he wants. Those beliefs lead you down the road of depression, anxiety, and disappointment. Narcissists are rarely—if ever—motivated to put someone else’s needs first, unless….they are trying to manipulate you into giving them something they want.
It can be hugely disappointing to come to terms with the fact that a narcissist will never love you as much as you love him.
However, it is also freeing. At least you know the real parameters of the relationship, and it saves you from years of trying to get him to come around, and also saves you from serial disappointments and wasted energy.
If you definitely want a partner who will give you equal love, then your best option is to leave the relationship, because you will never get what you want from a narcissist. If other factors in the relationship—such as, marriage vows, small children, financial support, beautiful home—can balance out what you’re not getting, then learning to stand your ground with the narcissist will be necessary.
You will be happiest if you create your own life of activities, friends, and support system.
Enjoy the narcissist when he’s in a good mood, and avoid him when he’s not. You must be prepared to entirely support your own emotional needs and self-esteem. Create and hang on to your inner sense of who you are, because when the narcissist is anxious or vulnerable, he will try to make himself stronger by tearing you down and blaming you for his negative feelings. You also have to keep ahold of the reality that you are NOT the cause of his bad moods.
It’s a big job—especially with little emotional support from him.
However, it’s what the wives of highly powerful, self-absorbed, dominating men have done for centuries. Today, women have more choices, so consider your options, and choose what will best serve your needs. You have a right to be happy, and only you—and the choices you make—will give you that opportunity.
Margalis Fjelstad, Ph.D., LMFT – www.margalistherapy.com
Women are more "driven" by culture and nature to couple up than men are.
And yet ... just as many men are in loving relationships as women. At least the men who didn't get scared off by a "cling-on" early on in their courtship. As a personal matchmaker / dating coach, having privately inventoried over 30,000 single love seekers, I get to see some interesting statistics.
When asked about interest in marriage, women are three times more likely to check the Yes box. Men tend to check the Maybe box. When asked about plans for having children, women click the Yes button FIVE times more often than men do. The guys? Then check that Maybe box. And yet of the 1187 marriages we've seen, guess what? Just as many men are marrying as women, and just as many are having babies.
Here's what we are learning when studying this phenomenon.
A man needs to have a woman in his life, whom he's not wanting to let go FIRST, before he can envision a life-long future together. We girls need to practice living in the present moment, especially during the early courtship phase. Every instinct in our body and being tells us to NAIL this guy down, which ... can't be done until he's ready.
The secret? Keep your pants on, ladies. Do not underestimate the effects of oxytocin, "the bonding hormone", which during sex and for weeks afterward will send craziness surging through your bloodstream.
The more present, calm and relaxed you can be, the more he will truly SEE you. If you are a lovely fit for him in his life, and if timing is right for him, he'll want to keep you. Your job is ... keep your cool.
Julie Ferman, Matchmaker and Dating Coach – www.julieferman.com
Consider the reasons you like him so much, and find out what he doesn’t like about you.
Have the courage to do an honest evaluation. Perhaps he’s not the best match for you. Continuing to hold onto a relationship where feelings aren’t mutual will only bring you more pain as time goes on. It takes courage to trust there is a better match out there for you.
Remember, you can’t change him, but you can become aware of and shift what you think, do, say, how you react and the attitude you choose. You have power to change you!
You cannot make him like you through manipulation.
Sometimes people try to ‘buy’ the attention and affection of others through gifts. We discover their hidden motivations if the recipient doesn’t respond in the way anticipated or hoped and we get angry. No one likes strings attached to gifts. Feelings of resentment result.
If we expect someone to respond to “I love you” with “I love you, too;” and they don’t, examine how you feel about that.
Do you become resentful and angry? If so, your “I love you” included a hidden motivation of which you might not even have been aware to get him to say he feels the same way. In a genuine relationship, we give the other person the freedom to have their own feelings and express how they feel, even if it differs from our own feelings. Maybe it’s just taking him more time. In that case, be genuine and patient.
Though manipulation invariably backfires, you can win his favor by being authentic and likeable.
Are you kind, considerate, thoughtful of both your own needs and the needs of others? Do you strive to have a mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally balanced life? Do you do things because you want to, expecting nothing in return? We usually have two motivations, conscious and subconscious. One tends to be more altruistic, the other more selfish. Getting in touch with both can reveal what is driving us (usually it’s the subconscious).
We tend to manifest what we believe is true about ourselves.
If I believe I’m boring, I will say and do things that bore others. If I believe I’m not good enough, I will settle for whatever comes along. If I don’t believe I fit in, I will remove myself. If I feel insecure, I’m sure to draw into my life someone who masks their insecurities by a great show of confidence. His insecurities show up through put-downs, disrespectful comments and bragging.
This may seem like an odd question, but how much do you like you?
When I was young, insecurities, self-loathing, and self-rejection filled my mind. After I met the man I married, I kept bugging him with questions like, “Why do you like me? Why do you want to be with me?” I just couldn’t fathom what he saw in me. The endless pestering with questions about why he picked me became irritating to him. I didn’t love myself, how could he love me? That may be one reason he doesn’t seem to like you as much as you like him. Perhaps your own insecurities are getting in the way, and maybe his are, too.
I also remember meeting a guy whom I thought was so handsome, but he didn’t seem to notice my existence. “I like him more than he likes me.” The story I told myself lined up with the lies I believed: I’m not pretty, attractive, worthy or loveable enough.
So, if that’s you, change your story.
You have control over what you tell yourself. Listen to your inner voice. Do you carry with you an advocate encouraging you to keep improving or an inner critic pointing out every little imperfection, mistake, and deriding everything you do? Start writing down the phrases running through your head. “I’m not loveable, not good enough, not smart enough.” Write down a statement to challenge it.
For example: Counter “I’m not loveable” with “I am loved by the Being who willed me into existence, or some other positive statement with which you can imagine yourself agreeing at some point in the future.
Try deflecting “I’m not good enough” with “I choose to believe I am good enough.”
The problem with the belief “I’m not good enough” lies in the definition. According to whose standard? How will you know when you are good enough? Too often, if we took a cold, hard look at this belief, our subconscious definition of good enough is “better than my best could ever be.” It’s the carrot on the stick, the unattainable goal for which we constantly strive, but can never achieve. Is this guy you like more than he likes you fulfilling your subconscious belief that no one will ever reciprocate your feelings?
Relationships are like the full-length mirror in our closet.
They reflect to us how we see ourselves, what we love about ourselves and what we despise. Use this relationship to take a close look at how much you really love yourself, the insecurities being exposed, what negative thoughts you entertain about yourself, and what you believe can happen in your life. Choose consciously to change your story, counter the negative with a truthful positive, strive to be genuinely you. After all, everybody else is taken! Become interesting to yourself and you will be sure to attract someone who shares your interests.
Let go if he isn’t the best match. Your ideal relationship starts with your relationship with yourself!
Charlene Benson, LPC, NCC - www.bensontherapist.com
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