Typically, men love to see their woman as a prize that they need to work for. They see the woman that they choose to be with as an accomplishment and as someone that took work to earn. It might sound a little silly but it’s true. Men love to know a woman has a mind of her own, is confident, and isn’t easy to get. So, men pull away when women get too clingy. Do not start canceling all your plans to be available to him every day all day.
Hi. I have never posted anything online about relationship problems but I am confused and would really love some advice. I have been with my boyfriend for over 8 years. Those 8 years have been amazing. We have always loved spending time together and could never get enough of one another. We have never lived together but we would see each other at least 3 times a week and would always call and text each other when we were apart. But two weeks ago, I noticed that he was upset all of a sudden. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he didn’t know. So he took some time to think about it and he told me that he thinks he doesn’t feel the spark between us anymore. He said that he felt as if when we were hanging out that he was just hanging out with a best friend. So naturally I was very upset because this was a major surprise to me. I thought we were fine and doing great. After he told me, he said that he did not want to break up and that he would do anything to fix this. Before I left his house, we hastily decided to stop seeing each other as much and would go out on dates once a week. He also told me that he would always call at least once a day. The week that followed was one of the worst in my life. I felt rejected and couldn’t understand why he would feel that way. During that week even though he did call everyday, I still felt there was this major distance between us. I ended up canceling our date that week in order to reflect on our relationship. When I thought about it, I realized that we haven’t done anything romantic for one another in a long time and I believe that we took each other for granted. He seemed like he was fine when I cancelled the date, but later on he admitted that he was actually really upset but he didn’t want to show that to me. He has been better this week about communicating with me more. He has texted and called more. He even brought me dinner one day and we ate together. He has also still shown major interest in me sexually, but we both agree to wait on that until we figure some things out. Even though this week has been a little better, I still feel as if there is a major distance between us. When he sees me, he doesn’t want to kiss me because he said that he would feel like he is betraying me and he has stopped all together saying that he loves me. So I don’t know what is the best action to take in order to help mend this relationship. I was thinking of possibly seeing each other another day a week in order to reconnect and communicate about our relationship and so our dates can be for having fun. Or I don’t know if it would be beneficial to see a couples counselor. So any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
First, I think it is important to understand how jealousy can work to your advantage. Since I am a male I feel I can explain my genders feelings towards this particular topic. In my opinion I think it is ok to get jealous. However, I don’t think it is ok to get overly jealous. If your ex boyfriend would get jealous every time you would talk to another man or every time you went out then I would say you should really revisit your thinking on getting back together with him. Nevertheless, I want to tell you an interesting story about jealousy.

The therapy mantra is that the pattern is more powerful than the people. (Try sitting in someone else's seat at dinner tonight and see what happens – just make sure all the knives are out of sight). So rather than wasting your time worrying about who is right, use it to try and decode the dysfunctional pattern. Once you do, change it. A good way to do that is to talk about it (the pattern) rather than the people: "I notice that a lot of times that when if I ask if you could pick up your socks you say you will but then don't, and then I get annoyed and nag you and then you blow up. I'm wondering if we can do this differently." But even if you can't do that, for whatever reason, just try changing it and if you can, let the other person know your intentions: "I'm doing this because I'm worried that ________." The beauty of patterns is that if you hold your ground, the pattern has to change. You, all by yourself, become the change agent of the relationship. Certainly a good and important start. 


Hi Lauren- I broke up with my ex the night before he was moving out of state (not cool, I know). I needed some time to figure things out and work on myself. I want to try again. I wrote him an apology for ending things the way I did 2.5 weeks ago with no response (he also did not respond to a simple email about his mail 1 month ago). Is it still a good idea to send the "I want to try again" letter? I'm at a loss what to do. Our relationship was not bad, but he was pulling away and I didn't know what to do so I ran. He seems either angry or distant or not wanting to engage and since it has been 2 months I'm not sure how much more time I should give this. I feel like we could have something wonderful given another chance (I have the tools now but I'm not sure he is ready to try). Do I call and say it? Send a letter? Send an email? Do nothing? I am in CA and he is in MO so meeting would be hard, but I would be willing to go out there for a weekend. I really want to try but I don't know what to do... If he doesn't want to try I will accept that and move on. Carrie...
Erika, thank you for that. After a 13 year horrible marriage and another 2 year relationship, I felt broken. I am seeing a guy who has been through something similar. He has told me he has a hard time expressing feelings. Now, he is pulling a way a little. I feel depressed, as if I am not good enough. But your response, helps me to realize: Slow is good and he and I both need time. When we are together, things are fantastic. I will give it time and see what happens.

I think you’re focusing WAY too much on him and what he’s feeling. You’re focusing on the fear you have of losing him rather than focusing on your happiness. You have to ask yourself how you feel about yourself in this relationship as is. Do you feel your confidence, or do you feel insecure? No man is worth being with if you feel insecure. And if you do feel it, you have to change your dynamic and approach so you can get that confidence back. A man LOVES a confident woman, and you’ll feel better about yourself being confident, anyway. The way to get confident and attract him or any other man to you is by focusing on YOURSELF. You need to make sure you’re happy on your own before you can be happy with a man. This doesn’t mean you need to be single to get happy—just have a fulfilling life for yourself outside of a man. Don’t let him be the ONLY valuable thing or person you have in your life. You need to be excited about more in your day than your bf. You have to have other things going for you that make you happy. Once you can sustain happiness without the need of a man, you’ll have your confidence and this will be attractive to other men (and possibly your ex). The key is to not lose the focus on YOU even when you do get into a relationship or the relationship deepens. NEVER lose sight of your happiness. You need to continue having a fulfilling life outside of HIM. Once you start losing that grasp on yourself and get more caught up within the relationship, you’ll start to depend on him for your happiness—and he’ll withdraw again. Even if he withdrew for other reasons, chasing after him as if you can’t live without him will only push him away further. If he is a good man who is emotionally available and TRULY wants you, I promise he will come back. You don’t chase him, you don’t contact him. Let him contact you. Give him the chance to miss you. This can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a year or more. It’s however long it takes him to miss you, IF he truly wants you (took my guy 8 months). In the meantime, you don’t wait on him. You focus on yourself and getting your happiness and confidence. Fill your life with people and hobbies you love. Try new things you haven’t tried before. Change jobs if the one you have makes you miserable. Do what you need to do to give yourself a fulfilling life. Make sure you have your days full of plans so you don’t give yourself the chance to sit and mope about your breakup. That’s not going to help you. You need to show yourself how great life can be, even if he’s not in it. If he never reaches out, then he doesn’t truly want you—and why would you want someone who doesn’t want you as much as you want them? Don’t wait around for him. Focus on you. He will come back if he truly wants you, and you have to continue to focus on yourself even if he does. If he doesn’t come back, you’re going to be fine because you’re nurturing your happiness and confidence. PLEASE don’t lose sight of yourself, ever. It’s your golden ticket to happiness and to a great man who will love and respect you.
This article was co-authored by Jessica Engle, MFT, RDT. Jessica Engle is a relationship coach and psychotherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She founded Bay Area Dating Coach in 2009, after receiving her Master's in Counseling Psychology. Jessica is also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist with over 10 years of experience.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, he might have just moved on. Which is okay. Be prepared to face this reality. We can’t control the hearts of others, but you should feel proud knowing that you put yours on the line and took a leap of faith. If he has moved on, respect his space. As long as you respect his space, you never know what the future will hold.
I am engaged to a man that I love with all of my heart. He went through a very difficult phase in his life, that changed him totally. He flirted with my best friend and my sister, but denies it. I caught him watching pornography, and he did try to deny it, but eventually confessed. Then we moved to another city and started a business together, and I thought he will show me the love and affection that he used to, but he doesnt and because of this we always end up fighting. I am not blind for his faults, but I love him so much. I have been fighting for this relationship for over a year. When is it time to give up and just move on???
The second “bad text” or “bad text messages”, I should say, are what I like to call “Spam Texts”. When emotions are running and high and you’re feeling desperate, all you want to do is just pick up your phone and start texting your ex NON STOP! The problem is… nobody likes spam and nobody wants to talk to someone who’s frantic and desperate. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s receiving 20 or 30 messages a day from someone you don’t even want to talk to! Maybe you’ve even been there yourself. Annoying, right?
To be honest I don't think he is scared to take the next step. I do think he likes you and has feelings for you but it seems to me that you are not setting boundaries and voicing your opinion and standards in this relationship so he will eventually take you for granted. I know this isn't the answer you want to hear but I am here to give you the truth through years of experience. Right now, he has you when he wants you and he does not have anything pushing him to be with you. Some questions I would ask is why does it not bother you that he is touchy feely with other women? Becuase you don't want to push him away? Or Don't want to come off bossy, controlling, or needy? If so, then this will push a man away because he will take you for granted. Now, if you are open to open relationships then that's ok too. Just trying to touch all bases here. But moving forward you need to know your good enough and not an option to this man. Go radio silent for 30 days! Also, challenge yourself to do some new activities to keep your mind busy. I know this will be hard but do this. :) I invite you to reach out to me for a coaching session too if you would like so we can get some actions into play.
Be calm and confident in yourself and what you think you can contribute to her life. In the time you've taken to improve yourself, hopefully you will have evidence of that change. If the cause of your breakup was that you did not have enough time for her, show that you've altered your work schedule and made time to volunteer or pick up that sailing hobby you've always dreamed about. That will show you're willing to make time for things that matter to you. See where I'm going with this?
This article was co-authored by Jessica Engle, MFT, RDT. Jessica Engle is a relationship coach and psychotherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She founded Bay Area Dating Coach in 2009, after receiving her Master's in Counseling Psychology. Jessica is also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist with over 10 years of experience.
It is best if you don’t view word count in those terms. Rather, word count should be looked at as a “check” to see just how interested the person is in what you have to say. For example, if you send a text message to your ex girlfriend that is about 25 words and she responds with a 1 word answer that might be a little troubling. Sure, maybe she was busy when you sent that text and she didn’t have time to write a proper response but imagine if this trend was consistent throughout the history of your conversations as of late. Chances are probably high that she is not too invested in what you have to say (or she is just really pi**ed about something.)

Yes, it seems as though this man has you where he wants you. Even though spending time with him makes you feel better in hopes it will change when you see him it will not. Honestly, I would go ghost for 30 days. Focus on you getting the control of yourself and your emotions because I understand that this can be hard but you deserve better and you have a right to demand better. He will want to know why you aren't talking to him and after 30 days you deliver that message and once you do you have the control back. I have an amazing coach that works with women so if you need anything in the future we are here for you.
a lack of respect on either side. If you or your ex call each other names, belittle each other's accomplishments, or say disparaging things about one another to your family or friends, then there is no respect in that relationship. These are all features of an emotionally abusive relationship.[20] Find someone who shows you the respect you deserve, and commit to treating him or her with respect as well.
Found out a guy who I was secretly in love with for 9’years also had feelings for me. He reached out to me first and we connected immediately (even though We had been aquentinces) . Intense chemistry, he was telling me within weeks that he was falling for me, that he would go through his horrible divorce all over again of it meant being with me, how beautiful I am, how refreshing it is to have someone who gets his large family and who already knows them, included me in days with his daughter, we slept together 2x, he would… Read more »
Guys are going to naturally cycle between wanting intimacy and wanting independence. Trying to guess the reason is impossible – some guys want space to reflect on the relationship, some more insecure guys may even want space because their friends make fun of them for being “too whipped”, some guys want space because they need time alone to clear their heads and gain clarity in life. Maybe hes struggling with a personal issue, or with his work. The reason could be anything for a multitude of different reasons.
Relax and just enjoy the time you do have together. Don't obsessed about this. If he doesn't seem to want to spend time with you, find something else do that you like to do. Make plans with yourself and stick to them. Don't chase any man except the ice cream man. He might be going through some things he's not ready to share. Or, he might just be stringing you along. You don't know. But, there's no reason to worry about anything unless you know there's something to worry about. There are plenty of things you could be doing to make yourself happy and keep busy (in a good, happy, productive way) even if you are dead ass broke. Keep yourself entertained. If nothing else, if this guy isn't ready to be a grown up yet, if you are doing something you love, you will meet other people that have the same interests that you do. You might not meet prince charming, but you will meet some good friends that have the same interests that you do. And remember: you don't have to be soulmates with someone to go see a movie or have coffee. I'm about a hair away from aetheist, and I have friends all across the board. You don't have to have everything in common with a person to be friends, or be friendly or just hang out. Wish you the best of luck with your dude and everything else. Big hugs.
Guys are going to naturally cycle between wanting intimacy and wanting independence. Trying to guess the reason is impossible – some guys want space to reflect on the relationship, some more insecure guys may even want space because their friends make fun of them for being “too whipped”, some guys want space because they need time alone to clear their heads and gain clarity in life. Maybe hes struggling with a personal issue, or with his work. The reason could be anything for a multitude of different reasons.
If you and your ex recently broke up but you really want to maintain a platonic friendship, sending a text to “check in” without asking for anything —i.e., pressuring them to meet up, telling them you “need” to talk, etc — is a solid way to let them know. Sending messages that don’t require a response allows your ex to decide if or when they will respond. By giving them the power to continue or ignore the dialogue, you’re basically saying “I’m here if you need me.”
If you cannot control your feelings, then I would suggest for you not to maintain a relationship with this person. Furthermore, I always think it’s vital to any starting point in dating or a relationship to be clear about each other’s expectations. If you are looking for a relationship, then let the other person know early on! If not, then say so. There have been too many times that I’ve seen a woman dating a man for months on end, only to end up getting hurt because it became a purely physical “modern relationship” in which the man never truly committed. The two never set the expectations for a relationship, or the woman sat in silence out of fear of being pushed away, hoping he would come around.
It motivated me to search for a job even more, to subscribe to a sport to meet new people and make friends, to give him the freedom and the life he was asking for. A few days after, we went to a party and i gave him his space, made friend with other girls, I was doing great but he started talking with his former booty call right in front of me, which of course, made me feel so bad and jealous. So I ignored him the rest of the night. But I apologised the day after and it was ok.
We may feel anger and hurt and loss and shock – but a lot of women base their reactions only on these emotions and close off to the pleasure of their love and devotion for this man. You already have experience I am sure, that when you feel pain – there comes pleasure at some point. Even the people experiencing the deepest pain in the whole world – losing a child – could probably not deny that at some point in the endless grieving process, they felt pleasure at old memories with the one they lost.
My boyfriend of seven months broke up with me two days ago. We were really good together, we had a great complicity, friendship, we were always there for each other and like best friends. What went wrong is that I have important anxiety issues and i’ve let them get the best of me and take over our relationship. I have a lot of fears, of abandonment and such. We were constantly fighting because of this, and I believe he did his best to be patient and there for me. My anxieties were mostly caused by the fact that it took him a long time to be ready for a relationship in the beggining, plus he wasnt totally over his ex. He eventually got there but I never completely calmed down about this, until it was already too late.

It’s imperative that you give your ex room to breathe in order to not make things worse than they already are. This is why I think it’s important to stress that after a breakup, of course you must act – but don’t immediately go running back to your ex, literally. You must take the adequate amount of time needed for you following a break up, to ensure that you rebuild yourself on a personal level and to overcome your heartache. The first step to getting back with your ex begins with a good look in the mirror and an enormous effort on your part!


1. Start out by heading down the road of healing past wounds. As you talk about the upsetting interactions that have distressed you in the past, look back on these upsetting incidents to find what you yourself can learn from each. When thinking about how to fix a relationship, mistakes are for learning. Share what you experienced, and think aloud about what you would do differently next time. If your partner joins you and does the same, convert past upsets to valuable learning moments in your life journey together.

Found out a guy who I was secretly in love with for 9’years also had feelings for me. He reached out to me first and we connected immediately (even though We had been aquentinces) . Intense chemistry, he was telling me within weeks that he was falling for me, that he would go through his horrible divorce all over again of it meant being with me, how beautiful I am, how refreshing it is to have someone who gets his large family and who already knows them, included me in days with his daughter, we slept together 2x, he would… Read more »
Some people try to be there for their ex. They walk their dog, they show up at their door with some gifts, and other things. This hinders your value, and makes them wish you were gone. Aside from cutting off communication, it’s imperative that you are not visible. You cannot be seen by her, by your own doing. This will create value, as absence makes the heart grow fonder. You’ll force her to think about you, and will not let her have control, you’ll be in control.
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