by Rori Raye
What does it mean when he says he “cares” for you and “loves” you, but he’s not making any moves to get closer or commit to you? When he calls you all the time, but can never quite get into a routine of seeing you as often as you’d like? When you know he’s not with you and you know he’s not at work and you know he’s not at home, and he’s not answering his cell phone? And it happens like that all the time?
When a man starts affecting you like this, it can creep up on you. It doesn’t just happen overnight, it’s sort of been unsatisfying for awhile.
The awful thing is, we women almost instinctively jump to the conclusion that he’s losing interest, and then we blame ourselves for not being “something – fill in the blank here – pretty, sexy, smart, successful, sweet, nice, understanding, etc. -” enough. And it couldn’t be less true.
But once we’ve attached ourselves to a man, invested time and our hearts in him, it’s so hard to do anything BUT make mistakes. It’s hard not to make excuses for him, allow him “space” and “time,” and be understanding about all the other pressures and stress in his life.
And at the same time – and this is the part that gets REALLY tough – is we’re ANGRY! So, how can we manage being angry and being understanding? How can we want to grab him and shake him and yet give him “space”? How can we love him, and keep our heart open to him, when we want to punish him?
It can get so confusing that no matter what we do, we end up feeling bad. I remember my years as a truly “Good Girl.” I would choose to hurt myself before I’d choose to hurt anyone else. I took this so far that if I even IMAGINED I could POSSIBLY hurt someone – especially not him! – I would do everything I knew to prevent it.
Even if he was doing something horrible – like taking time out from seeing me to see an old girlfriend who’d come to visit – I didn’t want to hurt him by ending the relationship.
I’d turn every situation into something “understandable,” even though it wasn’t. When that girlfriend left town, and my “boyfriend” called me again, I made it up that I was “big” enough to handle it (even though I wasn’t) and went back to seeing him.
What amazes me is remembering that I never dated any other man during that whole time I was seeing him. Even though I KNEW he NOT only wasn’t COMMITTING to me, he was HUMILIATING ME!
I use that memory now to help other women and to help myself whenever I’m tempted to accept ANY kind of behavior that doesn’t COMPLETELY FEEL GOOD. I’ve gotten VERY good at expressing my displeasure in a way nearly anyone can hear, and in a way my husband just adores.
I’ve figured out how to talk to him in a way that makes him see the Goddess in me and instinctively switch gears and want to make me happy – no matter WHAT his mood is like. You can do it too, and it won’t take you as long as it took me. Just keep practicing the Tools and you’ll see the same results I got.
Here’s a letter from “Georgia” who’s struggling with her neediness and trying to PRETEND she’s not:
I just finished reading your piece on “imaginary relationships”, and now recognize that I was in one for 3 1/2 years! (embarrassing).
He said EXACTLY those things to me – but I didn’t listen.(or didn’t “get it”) I guess I just thought he needed more time……Anyway, it ended when he decided that he felt like I was waiting for him and that “at this point” he didn’t know what “he wanted for his life” and didn’t want that “responsibility” feeling.
I choked….He was also a coward – he broke up via e-mail………After not seeing my face or hearing my voice for 3 months, he called and invited me to lunch. He said he thought about me all the time and had wanted to call me a bunch of times, but didn’t know what to say….
I, of course, thought that he had arrived at some sort of revelation and was curious, so I agreed to go. (o.k., maybe I still had hope) We always had such chemistry – and I could still feel that it was there – especially from HIM!
I was nonchalant, flirtatious, and charming (just to save face). I deserved an award! I could tell it was killing him. I KNOW that if I had been open to it, he would have left right then and there to have sex! (He said as much.) Of course I declined – once burned, twice shy…
It has now been three more months since the lunch we shared. He said he would call, but hasn’t. I have to see him at work pretty regularly, but we do not have to have any interaction – I keep to myself, but smile and exchange “how do you do’s” like a champ when I see him in the halls, (Again, I deserve an award.) but won’t deny that it hurts to have to be confronted with those painful feelings of rejection over and over again.
Anyway, recently, I noticed that he almost looks “hurt” when he looks at me, and I wonder, how dare he? What have I done wrong? The relationship was always on his terms. I guess my question is, am I wrong to reject friendship because he chose not to be in a committed relationship with me?
For reasons beyond those that I have enumerated here, I cannot entrust my heart to this man, so I am not looking to get him back. I made it clear that I am dating others and moving on. Do guys REALLY want to be friends with a woman they have previously been intimate with and still have the “hots” for?
My daughter says I am kidding myself – he’d simply like to pick up where we left off, (sex) without any expectations. He thought I would be a “sure thing”.
Advice or comments? PLEASE! I will always be friendly towards him – not because he deserves it but because I am a nice person.(And I don’t want him to see that I am still hurting over him – his ego is big enough, thank you!) “
Here’s my answer:
This letter has so much we can learn from.
To start, I’m going to give you a HUGE Tool here. It’s more of an understanding, an attitude, a new way to think and communicate with men about what you want in a relationship. Here it goes:
You don’t want HIM – you want a REAL RELATIONSHIP. That sounds simple, doesn’t it? But most of us do exactly the OPPOSITE. We express, and sometimes over and over and over again, with words, our body language and things we do, that HE is what we want.
And so he feels cornered, pressured, and his fears jump right up to the top of his mind, heart and body. This is a good thing sometimes. We WANT to separate out the men from the boys. We WANT to let a man know where we stand, what we want and what we don’t want, and some men will run because they don’t want what we want – when what we want is a REAL, COMMITTED relationship.
And these men who run are the WRONG men. Sometimes. Sometimes we make men run because we TELL them what we want in ways that don’t work. The way that works is to say: “I don’t want a boyfriend. I’m looking for someone to walk off into the sunset with and get married and have a family.” (Or what you envision for YOURSELF.) “And so I don’t want to get exclusive with anyone until that guy shows up.” And that’s it.
You don’t ask him for anything. You simply REFUSE to close up your other options (except sexually, of course) until you’re SURE – that means engagement ring, wedding date, house in escrow – that he means to make you happy – forever.
The next step is to make it your job to make sure you DO keep your options open, no matter how emotionally involved you feel yourself getting with any one man. It’s your job to make SURE that you DON’T get so emotionally involved with any one man until you’re SURE he means to make you happy forever.
You take it step-by-step, date-by-date, and you BRIDGE your way to a real relationship with a GREAT MAN. Notice I said a “great man.” I didn’t say “this man.” In other words, no man should EVER feel like he’s your man of choice, he’s your “One” or that you’re only seeing him, until he’s committed.
This way you will NEVER become frustrated, angry, resentful, or heart-broken. This way, you are POWERFUL. You can be warm, soft and loving, and at the same time NEVER COMMIT yourself to him until he COMMITS first. And I mean a REAL commitment, not just a “let’s go steady” commitment.
My favorite story about how this work is a friend’s: She was dating 5 and 6 men at a time until the evening her now-husband PROPOSED. That’s right. After she said “Yes” to him, she went home and canceled two dates with other men!
This is how you do it successfully. This is likely the most powerful free tip you will EVER receive from anyone, and I look forward to hearing how this change in attitude – from wanting HIM to wanting a REAL, COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP changes your life.
When you date a number of men all at once, having sex with none, or perhaps only one, you are CONTINUING ON with your life and the process of walking across the Bridge to what you want. The first thing that will happen for you is you’ll realize how much power you actually have in ANY relationship.
You know how it feels when you just LOVE being with someone? How you just “click” and you could stay up all night talking and making love with him? Well, a man feels exactly the same way. If he’s excited about seeing you, the most withdrawal you’ll ever see from him is if he’s trying to “play it cool,” just as we might if we were afraid we were chasing after him.
Otherwise, he’ll be WITH you. He’ll be walking across that Bridge WITH you. He’ll be calling you, texting you, following through. A lot of men do that at the BEGINNING – but then it all falls away. They’re excited for awhile, but when things get real, and both of you can see a bit more of who you both are, inside, they don’t want to trade their “Freedom” for a life with you.
And in order to make it across the Bridge and get what you want, you have to be able to take yourself “through” those kinds of men. It’s like a marathon race. If you keep walking across the Bridge – even if men come and go, race ahead and fall back – it won’t matter. Because YOU KEEP GOING!
You may stop for a minute to catch your breath or mourn one man’s fading away, but soon, you pick yourself up, and find pleasure in the running and walking, and expect to find JOY up ahead! You expect to COMPLETE the marathon. Just like you EXPECT to get to the relationship you want. You don’t let ANY man throw you off course, or knock you down, or even take you by the hand and try to lead you off the track.
You STICK to WHAT YOU WANT.
You STICK to being on your own side. You STICK to YOURSELF and STAND UP for YOURSELF, and EXPECT a GREAT MAN to get to the finish line WITH YOU. And he WILL.
This is what my friend did. She didn’t let the men who “almost were” throw her off course. She had so much practice, she tells me, with men dropping out of sight after six weeks of whirlwind romance and dating. She started to “get” that it was a pattern many men repeat over and over again, and once she stopped getting all caught up in it, she was able to truly NOT CARE if they faded away.
She was dating so many men, and trying so hard to manage her SCHEDULE – she completely lost interest in trying to manage the men IN her schedule. She discovered she had NO time or energy to think about what THEY were thinking about. She discovered that there was no way she could EVER “figure out” what was going on with a man, so she stopped even trying to figure him out.
If he wasn’t up for the long term, then good riddance. No matter how much she liked him, no matter how much he’d talked about a future together, or how much he liked her, she taught herself to forget about him as soon as he’d said goodnight. If he wasn’t on the phone with her or in person with her, he almost didn’t EXIST for her.
She had way too much to do – with the work she loved, and her friends, and so many men she was having dinner, lunch, coffee, movie and concert dates with she could barely keep their names straight. She had to WRITE DOWN these men’s pets, and friends, and everything they’d told her about themselves – or she’d FORGET! She took everything every one of them said with a grain of salt – she stopped future-thinking about them and KEPT HER EYES ON THE PRIZE – a REAL relationship with a GOOD man. And marriage, and children.
And so she GOT what she wanted.
With all that practice under her belt, and a genuine “blase” attitude – sort of “Whatever…” – men completely lost their power over her. She could hardly remember crying curled up on the floor over man after man. She couldn’t even imagine herself as needy and clingy anymore, even though she could REMEMBER how needy and clingy she’d been. She used BRIDGING, and dating men as the biggest part of it, to teach herself to relax around men.
And you can do it, too. I know it feels so awful, trying to go out with other men when you’re “hung up” on the one you’re seeing. But, I promise you, it will pay off in all kinds of ways you hardly imagine.
For one thing, Imaginary Relationships will be things of the past. Your heart will stay OPEN, and yet it will stay with YOU until a man demonstrates he’s ready to give you HIS. This whole process of feeling strong inside and yet warm, open and inviting on the outside is the most POWERFUL thing you can do for yourself.
Here’s a letter from Delilah, who’s got a great story:
I have been getting advice from you on men for a while now. I have used what you have told me wisely and I was surprised when it worked. I got more attention for who I was and not who I wanted to be.
One of your particular letters made me realize that I could be treated the way I wanted. So I dumped my boyfriend at the time and stopped chasing guys. Soon the sweetest guy, that I’ve known for almost 5 years came into my life, but now not as my friend but as my boyfriend. He treats me with respect and I would never be with him if it wasn’t for you.
Thank you for all of your advice so far, Delilah”
Delilah got such a quick and surprising great result it made her feel strong enough stand up for herself. Once she started focusing on herself, her terrific guy stepped into her life. I know this can happen for you, too. Let me know how this works for you.
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