Does the following sound like you?
You meet a guy and for a while, things are great. The conversations are long and meaningful, you laugh a lot together, and he seems to really “get” you. He calls when he says he’s going to call, he’s got a decent job, he’s close to his family, and best of all, he treats you well. As time goes on, though, you begin to notice a few things that concern you. He doesn’t get back to you as quickly as he used to. He spends more time with his friends. When he’s not around, he is evasive about his whereabouts. He seems more irritated or has less patience for you. When you try to have “the talk” he says everything is fine and changes the subject. Two weeks later he simply stops responding to you, or breaks it off completely, or you find out he’s with another girl. You are left feeling hurt and confused. To make matters worse, this isn’t the first or even the second time that something like this has happened to you. You begin to wonder if you’ll ever meet someone truly worthy of your love.
Why does this keep happening?
Here are a few things to consider:
1) Are you the type of person that falls head over heels quickly?
Getting too excited about a guy too soon can sabotage the chances of a relationship working out. If the guy senses that you are more excited about him than he is about you, he may feel pressured or overwhelmed and then bolt. Giving off the message that you are always ready and available can be a turn off. If you know your pattern is to “fall hard or quickly”, slow down. Wait for him to call you. Wait a bit before answering his texts or calling him back. Don’t ask or agree to see him too often. Have a life. Continue to make time for your friends and family like you normally do. Don’t sleep with him too soon. Enlist the help of a friend in pacing you if you know you have a tendency to “go all in” right away. Taking it slow can have two benefits: It sends the guy the message that you aren’t desperate and you have a life, and it keeps you from getting too hurt if things don’t work out because you aren’t putting all of your eggs in one basket too soon.
2) Are there red flags that you are missing?
Sometimes, the warning signs are there from the beginning, but if you are too distracted by the excitement of being in a new relationship, you may be missing them. Some examples of red flags are: a) He is rude or disrespectful to others. Even if he’s always nice to you, if he’s rude to others, he’ll eventually be rude to you too. b) He is cheating on someone with you. If he’s cheating with you, eventually he’ll cheat on you. (Even if he’s telling you that he’s never felt with anyone the way he feels with you.) c) You find yourself making any type of excuse for him. d) He pressures you to have sex. e) You catch him in a little white lie. In the beginning of a relationship, the key to spotting red flags is to tune in with your head first and your heart second. Notice and evaluate his behavior from an objective point of view. Would you let your best friend or your sister date him?
3) Do you suffer from low self esteem?
People who don’t think very highly of themselves or don’t think they deserve “better” will unknowingly invite people to treat them badly and/or tolerate bad behavior. Some questions to ask yourself: a) Do I put up with behavior that makes me uncomfortable because I don’t want to lose him? b) Do I agree to things I’m not okay with because I don’t want to lose him? c) Do I notice things I don’t like but not address them because I’m afraid that the conversation won’t go well or I won’t be heard? If any of the above sounds like you, it’s time to start believing that you deserve a great guy. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Don’t tolerate bad behavior because you are afraid that standing up for yourself or having standards will cause the guy to leave. And if he does, so be it – you would have been miserable with him anyway. Commit to waiting until someone worthy of you comes along.
4) Is it difficult or scary for you to be alone?
Women who have a fear of being single often rush into relationships to feel complete or just to have someone there. They are more concerned about satisfying their need to be with someone right now than they are about finding someone they can have a lasting relationship with. This attitude often gives off desperate vibes which, again, can scare a guy off. If you find that you need a guy in your life to feel happy or whole, then now is not the time to be looking for one. Until you are okay with you, you are likely to continue to settle for guys that don’t treat you well and relationships that don’t last. For now, take this time to work on yourself and do you. Is there something in your life you want to improve? Set obtainable goals and begin to work towards them. Focus on family and friends. Spruce up your resume. Go to the gym. Get involved in a cool new hobby. Improve your grades in school. Once you are feeling better about yourself you’ll be in much healthier position to begin a relationship for the right reasons.
5) Do you sabotage relationships because you are afraid of getting hurt?
People in this category have usually been through one or more tough breakups or cheating partners. They’ve been in relationships where they’ve given it their all and ended up getting very hurt. As a result, they have developed tough defenses and thick exteriors to ensure that they will never be hurt again. Don’t get me wrong – being a little bit on your guard in the beginning of a relationship is a good thing (see #1). However, it becomes an issue when you do things just to “test” the guy’s loyalty or persistence. Some examples of this are: a) not responding to calls or texts, just to see if he’ll continue to pursue you b) acting bitchy to see if he’ll still stick around, even after you’ve shown him your worst side c) constantly pointing out why the two of you aren’t compatible or why you think the relationship won’t work. If you think you may be doing some of these things, begin to develop an awareness of the behaviors you engage in to “test” guys or push them away. Work on finding that middle ground between maintaining healthy boundaries while lowering your defenses.
Can you relate?
If you can relate to any of the above, identifying the pattern(s) that cause your relationships to disintegrate early on is the first step to finding a guy you can have a long term, healthy relationship with. Once you are able to pinpoint where things are going wrong, you’ll be able to focus on how to make them go right. Good Luck!