by Rori Raye
Have you ever found yourself being the ideal woman in a relationship (he even TELLS you what an INCREDIBLE woman you are) and the next thing you know – he’s with someone else?
And you KNOW you were incredibly warm and kind, thoughtful and gracious, understanding and yet sexy, and he LOVED IT. You just knew he did. He even said he did. But then he also said he “loves” you, but he’s not “in love with you”?
It’s like getting punched in the stomach.
I remember feeling fantastic with a man, knowing how much he admired and appreciated me. And then going out with him and have him treat me like a “friend.” No hand holding or kissing, or putting his arm around me to introduce me to friends. Not quite ignoring me – but giving the impression that we hadn’t even arrived together. Like it wasn’t really a “date.”
The feeling, and my memory of the feeling, is so weird.
I remember not quite being able to put my finger on what was wrong. I remember not being able to “blame” him or even just feel okay being angry – because he didn’t really DO anything bad. He just didn’t treat me the way I wanted to be treated. He just didn’t treat me with romance. He didn’t treat me as a romantic girlfriend.
But it was enough so I kept hoping he would.
And, of course, he never did.
(And I’m glad he didn’t, because I would have settled then, instead of meeting and marrying my great husband.)
So I find myself looking back to write to you, and I ask myself – “What was I thinking?”
I ask myself not because I want to beat myself up (I gave that up a long time ago), but because I really want to help you to NOT do the same things I did, over and over, that never worked and always got me hurt. I don’t want you to have to take as long as I did to switch gears, get smart and get a REAL relationship.
So… the answer to my own question is – I was thinking that as long as a man was dating me, as long as we were having sex, as long as he took me out and introduced me to his friends and family and we went on weekend trips together, we were in a relationship.
And as long as I was keeping him happy, that relationship would end up where I wanted it to – marriage.
And I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What I had was “staying power,” and a lot of NICE going for me. It kept me IN the relationship – but it didn’t do anything to make that man, or any other man, fall in love with me.
You don’t have to suffer like that. And…you don’t have to be so “Nice.”
Here’s a letter from “Sharon,” who feels very confused about what she wants and why she’s not getting it:
I have a very unique relationship that is mainly friendship and mutual support. You see, neither of us is interested in marriage. We are busy living our lives, working long hours, raising our kids from previous relationships.
We have a sexual connection that is stronger than anything I or he has ever felt. The physical aspect, however, is not the most important thing.
The unconditional support that we give each other – the way we greet each other – the sweet things we say to each other each day are the most important things.
What I truly want is for us to love and support each other forever! Most of the time, when I turn the corner, you can see his face light up. He will act as if I am the best thing that has happened to him that day. He will say something complementary. He will flirt.
On occasion though, it feels as if all has changed. I will turn the corner and he says, “Hello” as if we are just acquaintances. He seems too busy to bother. And I feel hurt, pushed away. He does not look at me the same way. There is no sweet look into my eye. It almost feels as if I had been dreaming the other stuff – the sweet sexy stuff!
I want my look…I want my sweet words…I am ready to give them to him, but he is not responding.
This type of thing always happens if he is having trouble with his ex – the mother of his son…or financial concerns. I want to make him feel better and he closes off to me. I want to be the one person who can make him feel good at the drop of a hat.
I try with all my might not to give off that self- pitying energy, but I do not think I am very good at it. Does he pull away because he wants me to see him in a strong, capable way only…or does he pull away because I am not as helpful to him as I think I am?
Thank you, Sharon
Did you catch how Sharon is working AGAINST herself?
Sometimes we put a man first and make how HE feels so important because we don’t feel so great about ourselves in the first place. If you’ve been reading my articles, you may have caught this right off – Sharon is working against herself in a FUNDAMENTAL way, and yet it’s a way most of us would consider “good”!
First, it will help to see how Sharon is putting her emphasis on helping HIM. It’s very, very important to her to feel needed, and to be able to make her man feel better. These are admirable qualities. These are wonderful, caring qualities.
But putting these loving, caring qualities FIRST in a relationship, to the point where YOU feel BAD if you can’t make HIM feel BETTER, will DESTROY a man’s feelings for you!
How can this be?
Because if you are able to HELP him, then that means you are MORE TOGETHER than he is. It means you’re in a POSITION to be helpful. And when a man is feeling low, which happens to ALL of us from time to time – or if he’s just focusing on something that has nothing at all to do with us – and we take it PERSONALLY – we make him feel BAD.
Here we are, working so hard to make him feel GOOD, and the result is that he feels BAD. He feels like LESS of a MAN. And he blames US. He gets angry at US. And the way most men handle that kind of anger is to withdraw.
A MAN IS MOST HAPPY WHEN HE’S MAKING US HAPPY.
I know you’ve experienced how that works with a man you’re not really interested in. He’ll follow you around like a puppy dog – helping you, offering to do things for you and carry things for you and take you great places – and what does that kind of behavior from him do to you? It makes you even LESS interested in him!
But the moment you meet a man you’re really ATTRACTED to – all of a sudden the urge to make HIM happy kicks in. And so you give and give, and are nice and sweet and warm and sexy, and understanding, too, and then, it’s like the bright color of your relationship fades. It’s like everything gets gray.
He doesn’t call as much. He “forgets” things. He’s working too hard, or spending so much time with his children, friends, parents, uncles and aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters. All of a sudden he starts taking you for granted. And then, what does that do to you?
It makes you want to be even nicer and sweeter and sexier and more understanding. You instinctively go to this “niceness” because that’s what we’ve all been taught to do. It’s feels so hard and painful to be upset with him wanting to be with friends and family, and it feels awful to compete with his children for his time and affection. But you think there’s no other way – you have to compete. It makes you want to pull out the sexy lingerie and cook homemade dinners.
And the truth is, doing all that has the completely OPPOSITE effect you want it to.
Somewhere, we all know this, but we just can’t help ourselves. It’s as though we were taught – it was drilled into us, somehow, that the way to a man’s heart is in womanly virtues – cooking, homemaking, being sexy – the old 50’s model of femininity. And if you’re like Sharon, it’s so important to be helping him, nurturing him, being the one he turns to in need.
And it’s so unfair, too! We’re all so busy, working, making businesses, taking care of so many people and so much around us. We barely have time for ourselves, and yet we make time to take care of a man. And then – he doesn’t even APPRECIATE it!
It’s absolutely infuriating to be so loving and giving to a man and then have him be LESS and LESS loving and giving to you.
Just before I met my husband, during the 6 months where I learned to date and saw how so many of the ways I was relating to men weren’t working and started learning NEW ways to be with men, I all of a sudden understood that I’d been confusing “strength” and being “focused on yourself” with “not being nice.”
I’d been absolutely sure that being strong inside was the opposite of “being nice.” I thought that anything that looked like “having Boundaries” was “not nice.” And I realized – big time – that not being nice TERRIFIED me. Even more than being lonely, I was afraid of not being liked. And I thought the only thing about me that anyone would surely like would be that I was “nice.”
And so I had to learn that being a “good person” and a “good woman” is not the same as what I thought of as “nice.”
“Nice” can mean a lot of things to a man. Just as when we think of “nice” in terms of a man. “Nice” is a great quality in a man, but ask yourself – is it the “nice” in a man that you feel attracted to?
Well, same for men. “Nice” isn t necessarily romantic or inspiring. There has to be more. And that “more” is a deep, emotional, from the heart, full-bodied feeling of connection.
SO, IF YOU’RE NOT BEING “NICE,” WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The first thing you, and Sharon, too, can do for yourself is CATCH yourself wanting to make your man happy.
Go ahead and imagine your man, and he’s feeling bad, and what you would like to do to “help” him. And then, next, imagine STOPPING doing whatever it is you instinctively want to do to make him “feel better.” What you normally feel compelled to do, and then do, is a HABIT.
You want to STOP that habit.
Notice your body position. Wanting to make someone happy puts you in a Forward Leaning physical, emotional and energetic position. Leaning Forward is sometimes appropriate with young children and people who are in physical need of assistance, but it’s NOT APPROPRIATE for a love relationship just because he’s feeling “withdrawn” or upset.
Check your body.
Realize what it is you want to do, and realize that the impulse to do it is coming from inside you, and that it doesn’t WORK.
Realize that the impulse is coming from love, yes, but also from FEAR.
Realize that, like Sharon feels, whenever a man pulls away even a little, we all become frightened that it’s more than just temporary.
NOW, instead of ACTING from that fear-driven, impulsive, habit-created “nice” place – try something different. Leanback and just stand there. Smile. Be a warm and safe place for your man to COME TO – IF HE CHOOSES! Instead of offering, instead of going toward him with help or questions, or good food, or your shoulder to share his “feelings” with or to cry on, just BE THERE.
And after a moment of Being There, warmly, your heart unzippered and welcoming, then TURN AROUND AND GO BACK TO THE IMPORTANT THINGS YOU WERE DOING.
This part about having “important things you are doing” is crucial to making any relationship work. It’s about Shifting The Focus – from him to you. Men feel connected to us when we can allow them to see and feel ALL of us – not just the “nice”
part on the surface, but all of us. Even the parts we re not too thrilled with ourselves.
Learn how to embrace ALL of yourself, so that you ll feel more comfortable in your own skin. Feeling comfortable in your own skin will make all the difference in your relationships with men. It s the key to self-esteem, to confidence, and to USING ALL your emotions and sensations, even the ones you don t like, even your insecurities and fears – to actually BRING a man closer!
If you re ever finding yourself stuck worrying if your insecurities are your biggest problem – now you can think of them as your biggest ASSETS. There s a trick to turning what we all think of as our “weaknesses” and our “bad points” and everything else that nasty Voice inside our heads tells us is wrong with us into STRENGTHS.
And really – they are!
We think of them as “bad things,” but really they re just other parts of ourselves – other qualities we have. And these qualities you now think of as your “enemies” will turn out to be your “Best Friends.” Those things you may not like about yourself right now will turn out to be the qualities that ENDEAR you to a great man!
The problems we have with a man are always different. Sometimes a man just isn t capable of a relationship, but we feel bound to him anyway. And sometimes we push a man away with what we call our “insecurities.”
But really – it s not our fears that are our enemies, it s our decision to ignore or dislike or shove down those fearful feelings that hurts us.
Create strength from what you now may think are your worst qualities, and turn them into the very things that will attract exactly the man and relationship you want into your life, and keep them forever.
Even at the lowest point in my love life, I didn’t know that one of the biggest reasons nothing was ever working out for me was the way I was looking at my insecurities. They were getting the better of me because I wasn t even aware of them!
I thought of myself as a confident woman. I was busy, creative, independent and successful in my field. I thought of myself as a “good woman.” And to me, a “good woman” meant “understanding,” “helpful,” and “nice.”
Now I know I was just working overtime trying to hold the relationship together, keep it moving, keep it heading somewhere – because I never trusted myself enough to believe a man would really step up to the plate all by himself!
And that’s just so untrue.
When I finally taught myself, through trial-and-error, the skills and Tools I m now sharing with you, my husband stepped up – and it will happen for you, too.
From Sarah – Rori Raye rocks – even her sales pages are amazing, filled with information and help – she goes at this relationship thing and attraction thing in a different way than anyone out there. To learn how you can have the relationship of your dreams and get your free Rori Raye newsletters, go here-> Rori Raye’s Free Relationship Advice eLetters