5 Ways to Ruin a Budding Relationship post image

5 Ways to Ruin a Budding Relationship


Relationships are really quite simple when you understand the core dynamics at play. When you don’t, however, you can drive yourself half insane trying to figure it all out.

The beginning of a relationship is often the most confusing time, a time when everything seems precarious and you don’t quite know where you stand or where, if anywhere, the relationship is going.

Men and women are different and as such, the way we experience and process relationships is different. Men tend to be much more in the moment, if the relationship is enjoyable in the here and now, they’re happy. If it’s unpleasant, they either distance themselves or leave. Women, on the other hand, tend to get stuck in the details, the nuances, the “clues” both real and perceived. In the midst of this quest to figure out what’s going on and where he stands, they often lose sight of what’s important (the actual relationship, and how it is in the here and now).

No one intentionally seeks to sabotage their relationship (at least, not if you really like the guy). Conversely, women usually go in with the best intentions and can be blindsided should the relationship crumble before it really gets going.

Here are five things you might unknowingly be doing that can ruin your relationship:

1. Jumping the gun
This scenario might sound familiar to you. You meet a guy and instantly hit it off. You go out a few times and realize that he basically has every quality you want in a  man. You don’t want to do it … but you can’t help but think how perfect it would be if it worked out and you ended up together. You think about all the crazy coincidences that lead to you meeting him (if there weren’t any, you’ll find some to make this a great “how we met” story!), and feel certain that this union was written in the stars. You’re not even official with him yet, but you could never conceive of dating another guy…that would almost be like having an affair! You’re sure this guy is the one, you’re positive of it. You have an amazing time together, you talk for hours, things are great except…you’re on two completely different pages!

You think about all the crazy coincidences that lead to you meeting him (if there weren’t any, you’ll find some to make this a great “how we met” story!), and feel certain that this union was written in the stars. You’re not even official with him yet, but you could never conceive of dating another guy…that would almost be like having an affair! You’re sure this guy is the one, you’re positive of it. You have an amazing time together, you talk for hours, things are great except…you’re on two completely different pages!

What’s the harm, you might wonder, it’s not like he knows you’ve already picked out the china pattern for the wedding reception. Oh but he does. They always do.

Men are not the boneheads sitcoms would have you believe. They are very much in tune with the vibe and energy a woman gives off. And when a man feels that pressure, even on the slightest level, he will back off. When this happens, you will, of course, start to panic and will cling even tighter, thinking you’d be a fool to let the love of your life slip away! The more you push, the more he pulls away until there’s nothing left but the memory of him and the pain of thinking what might have been.

MORE: Why Guys Disappear and How to Deal

Since I write about relationships, it makes sense that people always want to talk to me about their relationships. I hear it from guys and I hear it from girls. The funny thing I’ve noticed is that when a girl friend starts dating a new guy and I ask her how it’s going, she’ll usually say something like “It’s great! I can totally see myself marrying a guy like this.” And when I talk to my guy friends about a new girl, they’ll usually say “She’s great, I definitely want to go out again.” So the woman is planning the wedding while the guy is just trying to plan the next date, talk about worlds apart.

A friend of mine recently went on two dates with a guy and started talking to me about all the problems that might emerge down the line and how she’ll deal with them. She was in a total tizzy until I told her to relax and stop trying to solve relationship problems that haven’t happened yet and instead focus on deciding if she wants to go on a third date… easy as that!

The important thing to realize about men is that they’re very in the moment. Women can be too, but more often, women  can’t help but get a little overzealous when a promising prospect comes into the picture. Like I said, this sort of pressure can be a huge turn-off and can turn a promising relationship into a nonexistent one real fast. So take a breath, quiet the chatter in your mind, and focus on enjoying your relationship for what it is, as it is, right here and right now.

2. Overanalyzing
Look, I am not casting stones here, I’ve been writing about relationships for years and can’t help but overanalyze situations. The overanalyzing ties into the jumping too many steps ahead, they’re both essentially rooted in fear.

You meet a great guy and you can’t help but feel a little worried that your feelings won’t be reciprocated. In an attempt to protect yourself, you look at the clues and try to figure out what everything means. If something seems like a bad sign, you focus on solving it, stat! You pick apart his texts and e-mails, you debate endlessly over what to respond and whether an emoticon would seem cheesy or cute, you spend hours talking to your friends about why he’s taking so long to text back and what it means and what he might be up to. You replay every moment of every interaction with him, keeping a tally of the signs he likes you and signs he doesn’t. It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

QUIZ: Are You Accidentally Destroying Your Love Life?

The truth is, 90% of relationship problems wouldn’t exist if women would stop obsessing and analyzing and just go with it.

The more time you spend thinking and talking about him, the more you’re investing in him and the more hurt you’ll be if the relationship ends. Guys like their relationships and their lives to be simple and drama-free. The most attractive woman to a guy is one who goes with the flow and can be present in the relationship without putting so much pressure on it. If you are playing “emotional detective,”  you’ll be too busy worrying about the relationship to actually enjoy it!

The best attitude to have is one where you feel happy with your guy, but would be OK without him. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out if he likes you and what he meant when he said XYZ, instead be confident and trust that he does like you because why wouldn’t he? And if for whatever reason he doesn’t, who cares?! You’ll find someone else who does.

3. Being official before you’re actually official
Okay, now this is by far the biggest relationship-ruining mistake. Girl meets boy, girl really, really likes boy, girl cuts off all other potential suitors and focuses exclusively on boy even though they never decided to be exclusive. How this usually turns out is boy tells girl “I like our relationship as it is and don’t want to label it” and girl is devastated but stays in the relationship anyway, hoping he’ll change his mind. Sound familiar? I know I for one have been down that road and it sucks!

Look, I know it’s tough to keep your options open when you find a guy who shines so much brighter than the rest, but you cannot act like his girlfriend until you are his girlfriend. Why? Because no guy is going to willingly deepen a level of commitment unless he has to.

It’s not that guys are anti-monogamy, or don’t want to commit, it just isn’t a man’s natural inclination to want to be tied down. A man will only commit himself to a woman if he is inspired to and if it has a benefit to him. If he is getting all the benefits of having a girlfriend without the obligations that come with being in a relationship, then why in the world would he change that situation?

MORE: 5 Signs He’ll Never Commit

If you don’t necessarily want to date multiple guys at a time that’s fine, just do not act like his girlfriend until you are. Don’t take down your online dating profiles or prioritize him over everything else in your life or invest in him any further until he reciprocates.

4. Dropping your life for him
This is another common relationship trap. You start seeing a guy, you spend more and more time together, and suddenly, he is just about the only thing you have going on in your life. You ditch your friends for him, don’t go to the gym as often, don’t go to book club. The reason this guy was drawn to you in the first place is because you had a well-rounded, fulfilling life that you enjoyed. You can’t expect to abandon that and have him feel the same level of attraction and intrigue towards you.

As I’ve previously discussed, men have an innate fear of being tied down. It doesn’t mean men are anti-relationships or commitment-phobes, it’s just the nature of a man to want to go out and spread his seed, if you will.

When you abandon all the other areas of your life, it forces him to fill in the empty space and be the sole source of your happiness and fulfillment. That is way too much pressure for anyone to deal with! Also, if you give up all these things for him and come to expect him to do the same for you, he will begin to resent you for reigning in on his freedom.

The point is, don’t stop being who you were before the relationship once you’re in a relationship. Keep your life balanced, fun, and fulfilling with many sources of happiness.

MORE: 11 Ways to Be Happier

5. Not seeing the relationship for what it is
When it comes to relationships, the devil is in the delusions. Women have such an amazing ability to see exactly what they want to see.

A guy might say he doesn’t want a relationship with you but you stick around, knowing with certainty that he’ll change his mind. You convince yourself that he doesn’t really mean it, he’s just saying it. You are positive that he cares about you because he took you to a fancy restaurant, he said he missed you, he told you about his hopes and dreams… any nice thing he said or did from the time you met is tallied up and used as proof that he really cares. And all the stuff he did that indicates he isn’t serious? Well, we can just ignore those and take a glass is half full sort of approach!

Before entering into a relationship, you must get clear on exactly what it is you want. If you don’t, then it’s far too easy to get caught up in something you don’t want. We get so many questions from women who are upset or angry at their guy for reasons that are completely invalid. For instance, he told her he doesn’t want to be exclusive, she continues seeing him anyway, and then she gets mad at him when she catches him texting another girl. So basically, she’s mad at him for not acting like he’s in a real relationship even though they are not in a real relationship.

To help you get clarity, try making a list of the three traits you absolutely need in a partner, and three deal breakers. Next, get clear on what kind of relationship it is you want. It’s okay to admit that you want to get married, or be in a committed relationship. I know in this day and age it’s considered passé for a woman to admit to such things, and instead being independent and strong and not needing a man is all the rage, but if that’s what you want, give yourself permission to want it. The only way to ever get what you want is to know what it is.

 

Got something to add to this list? Please share in comments!

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pw

Great article. Im a woman and agree whol eheartedly.I ve got to learn to practice this type of dating even more.

Reply September 4, 2016, 9:05 am

Janine Platman

I need to comment on this. To be able to do what this article states, DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH A MAN before he has committed. Why you ask, because of Oxytocin chemical which causes women to want to bond.

“The way chemicals are released in the brain during intercourse is very different in men and women,” Washington Post reporter Laura Sessions Stepp, the author of “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both” (Riverhead Books, 2007), told Marie Claire magazine in 2007. “In women, oxytocin is released. It’s a chemical that makes women want to nurture their young and stay close. Men get a huge jolt of testosterone, which suppresses oxytocin, and that’s nature’s way of saying, ‘Leave the nest and go sire offspring somewhere else.’ So when women think they can have sex and walk away just like guys do, they’re having to suppress thousands of years of evolution that tells them to cuddle.”

Knowing how this chemical generally works gives me opportunity to have a bit more control in how I deal with relationships.

Men generally do a bait and switch to a relationship because they don’t have control over what they do. They make you want to be exclusive because they spend all their time with you and then they start to peel back and go back to the life they had before they met you. They can seemly only maintain this for 3 to 6 months. So, if you can, date other people for the 3 to 6 months, don’t have sex for 3 to 6 months, hopefully, it will allow you will be able to use your intelligence not the chemicals telling you what this relationship really has to offer.

Reply July 16, 2016, 8:31 am

Jana

How is it that one doesn’t over analyze but sees it for what it is? I mean if I as a woman have an uncanny sense to see things how I want them to be, I need to analyze what’s going on in order to make sure I see it for what it really is. Ijs

Reply June 28, 2016, 8:19 am

Really?

These articles seem to punish women for being needy but praise women if they can make the man needy toward them using a certain mind set. It’s contradictory. At the end I think it’s safe to say that everyone wants to melt in their object of affections arms. But doing so makes you the weaker partner in the others eyes.
I can say that I have been in situations where I was really crazy about a guy and he turned to mush around me and I lost attraction to him. But that didn’t stop me from falling in love. I think it is materialistic and petty to turn away from someone just because they’ve become vulnerable toward you.

Reply June 28, 2016, 12:02 am

ann

hey Sabrina,
is it ok to date a man with a kid and you dont have?
he claims him and the mother of the kid are no more?
could he be lying? what if the lady gets back and they rekindle the love?
help

Reply May 31, 2016, 8:04 am

Bonbon

OMG I know this article is old but seriously WTF! Way to go to blame women for EVERYTHING that goes wrong in relationships. Every article I read nowadays is always aimed purely at women. Women do this wrong, women do that wrong, women do everything wrong!!! It’s all women’s fault!! Yeah sure. NOT. Your article clearly states 90% of relationship problems is caused by the woman. Are you for real? NO!! 90% of relationship problems is caused by MEN expecting women to be doormats, something to wipe their feet on as they walk in through the door, demand their house to be kept clean, food on the table and sex on demand. Women know men are incapable of being faithful, we know they are selfish, arrogant and demanding of THEIR needs being met whilst completely ignoring the woman’s needs in a relationship. It’s men who need to start changing, not women. Men demand women see everything from their point of view, whilst refusing to even consider hers. This is where the issues lie…with MEN not women. Men see women as objects, they don’t *love* the woman, they *love*her body, or what she does for them. Sick of men being validated all the time about their vile behaviours whilst women are always shamed. Women must look this way, act that way, do this, do that, don’t do the other thing….and then when he cheats on you and destroys the life you worked hard to create, he expects you to simply walk away without giving him any hassle. If you don’t your not a strong woman, yet again you will be shamed by being told it’s ALL the woman’s fault. Where is your article on what MEN do wrong hey? They do plenty more wrong in relationships than women ever do. Quit laying the blame entirely on women, we have enough pressure put on us to look certain ways etc….we need men who understand us, love us for WHO we are not WHAT we are, and give as much as they receive. But men are all take take take, me me me it’s all about me you the woman do what I say and want and don’t say anything about it or I will leave. Threats, selfishness lies, cheating, demanding – that’s men. Tell the men what they must do to keep a woman instead….but you won’t do that will you. No because men do nothing wrong. HA. Relationships are TWO giving all, love, respect, commitment, honesty………not THE MAN doing all the taking and the woman doing all the bending over backwards and doing what he demands. No man who thinks that way will ever get near me thanks. I know men won’t like what I have put down but TOUGH that is who men are…..demand everything and give nothing. They think women should kiss their feet honour and cherish them whilst they treat women like crap.

Reply May 31, 2016, 5:01 am

Lina

Bonbon you are right!

Reply June 13, 2016, 12:10 am

t

Ikr! Ugh men r dogs they don’t even deserve us r time of day

Reply July 24, 2016, 10:17 pm

seyhan

A BIG Thank You Very Much!! You said what we need more women to think first, then to spread to men and get them to think! Such sexist internet and dating books are in my opinion.. even our female friends are when they advise us why the guy acted weird and ran away!

Reply December 2, 2016, 1:52 pm

Diane

Good article, I read it too late but I will grow strong. I think my problem was being too analytical and falling for him too quickly and deeply. He dumped me saying he wasn’t sure about what’s going on in his life, potentially moving 2 hours away back to his original city, fear of commitment, right now isn’t a good time for him to be in a relationship and he doesn’t want to be in one. What stings the most is ive never liked and opened up to someone that much before

Reply May 29, 2016, 2:58 am

tiffany wilson

im going through this as we speak! im just really nervous about how things will go but this article has given me assurance. Thanks!

Reply May 17, 2016, 9:59 pm

Toni James

I just want to say, that along with many other relationship articles I’ve read, this article is extremely sexist. Of course the woman has to be the needy, obsessive one. That’s not true. Men are that way too. Please make this article gender-neutral at the very least. Once I see sexism like this I can’t take any other thing in an article seriously.

Reply April 20, 2016, 6:58 pm

Island gurl

I love the articles as well, I have bin in several relationships.and I found out men wants woman to go with the flow.as long as most of them can have their cake an eat it, and you allow it.that is what you will get.as long as you keep ur mouth closed you and who ever he is will get along just fine.I am a strong woman and don’t allow a man to treat me anyway.I can careless if he gives me what I want finance ways.as long as you let them know you won’t stand for what’s not cool ur the …, just move on stay single for a while an do you.

Reply April 4, 2016, 9:12 am

Dawn

How do you go with the flow and live in the moment but also try to figure out if he wants to be exclusive? Also, the guys going with the flow and living in the moment (last minute plans) are the ones that most dating advice tells us women to be wary of because he’s ‘just not that into you’. This advice is contradicting.

Reply March 7, 2016, 9:44 pm

Sabrina Alexis

Going with the flow and living in the moment is really about staying in the present rather than getting caught up in what could be in the future. I see a lot of women making this mistake, and back in my single and dating days I used to do the same thing. You meet a guy that has potential, you go on a few dates, and all of a sudden you’re jumping 20 steps ahead and envisioning this amazing future but also filling your head with insecurities and worries. In your mind, you are way further into the relationship than where you actually are in the relationship. When you are present and try not to get caught up in fears or expectations, you can see the situation more clearly and usually, things will unfold pretty easily. As a personal example, when I started dating my husband I made a concerted effort not to make the fantasy future mistake. I really liked him and I loved spending time with him, but I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. I didn’t worry about when he was going to call my his girlfriend, I knew he was crazy about me and I knew it would happen soon enough, and it did in a very natural, non-pressure way. Now of course, if the months rolled by and we weren’t official I would have brought it up, but I wasn’t thinking about that in the early days. I was just enjoying him and the relationship and it all just unfolded organically without force. I hope that clears things up a bit!

Reply March 8, 2016, 12:15 pm

Alex

Why is it every time I see one of these type of articles it’s like.. If the woman I was seeing and into did these things I would rejoice in happiness! Not pull away…

The answer is DUN DUN DUN. these guys are NOT into you.

So then women read articles like this and put it into practice with all guys even ones that are into them, and thus ruin relationships by listening to a stupid internet article.

Reply January 28, 2016, 3:01 pm

Really??

If you prefer needy women why are you with your woman. You just contradicted yourself.

Reply June 27, 2016, 11:44 pm

Really??

Actually, based on your profile pic I take that back. You seem to love needy women. But the women this article is addressed to have self love.

Reply June 27, 2016, 11:49 pm

Erin

This article was an interesting read! There are some things that explain things I was doing wrong with the guy I was recently seeing. I did jump the gun and made things more serious by being jealous too early in dating, assuming we we’re on the path to being serious. He said he feels like its best to go our separate ways. I have backed off and not called. I continued with normal activities for me like going to the gym, focusing on work and going out with friends. Is there a way to have a second chance and try again with this guy?

Reply December 10, 2015, 5:24 pm

Bev

Yes the woman is the one always doing it wrong. When you talk about women overanalyzing or not just going with the flow you probably don’t realize that for a woman there are very few men that even appeal or have their crap together so if you finally meet a guy after a very long dry spell that you really like it’s harder to not get ahead of yourself. Guys seem to always have options with women because well quite frankly I don’t think they are as selective as women and also its easier for them to approach women while we are expected to sit back and wait so it makes us analyze how we can get him to notice us. I also think its become quite acceptable for men to be rude and just disappear on someone rather than be honest and let them know that they are not interested so women are left with so many unanswered questions as to what “they” did wrong. There are a ton of things that guys do wrong in dating and relationships but somehow it’s always implied it’s the woman who screwed up. But of course guys don’t want to hear anything they did wrong.

Reply June 1, 2015, 12:18 am

Janine

I was JUST thinking the same thing. I have read a few articles here and there in the past few days and they are always geared to what the woman is doing wrong. Not for nothing, but if I am with a guy and he’s telling me wants a relationship and then he disappears or changes his mind, you’re damn straight I am going to have issues with it and questions WTF happened. I am not going to apologize that I am a sensitive, smart, and strong woman who gets hurt if someone isn’t up front with me and I am sure other women feel this way too!

Reply July 30, 2015, 5:39 pm

dina

Girls I agree men constantly change their minds most I met don’t know what they want & confuse me further. I totally agree it takes 2 to tango. Unfortunately women are still blamed for a lot bring a woman is very tough especially now where pressure is high

Reply November 12, 2015, 1:11 pm

Brittany

This article is biased and dismisses the entire emotional side of relationship. The author is biasedas he labels women as over analyzers, but not pegging men as fear driven emotional leeches. Meaning women might over analyze but men feed off and expect to feed off womens energy, but when she tries to hold on to her energy, men keep women by sterotyping them as “Overanalyzers”. It is mentally manipulative to write off anyones thoughts as an over thought its also degrading. Men are driven by their ego and pride, unfortunately very few men have anopen enough mind and a firm enough grip on their own emotional needs to put their ego at risk….meaning being completely emotionally available. maybe the reason relationships fail is not one genders fault. But both bc everyone has expectations of their partners relationship skills, but none of their partners self worth. If someones self worth is important to you and their strength is what attracts you, why on earth would you danage that beautiful ywt fragile mind with negative sterotypes and gender role blame games. Maybe men and women are so completely different, for a reason, maybe theres only one way we are capable of selfless love, we just havent figured out how yet bc everyones so emotionally guarded, its getting harder and harder to come by. Weve lost faith in our kind in eachother, especially in the u.s. weve engraved emotional disabilities into one another out of fear. A

Reply April 18, 2015, 11:04 am

Alyssa

This is exactly what I am going through in reverse! Just met this guy and he is already talking wedding, kids, and what will happen if we don’t get along with each other’s families! Thank you for this article

Reply December 3, 2014, 1:12 pm

Elizabeth

Oh my goodness. I definitely needed this article, thank you so much. I do almost all of the things you mentioned in this article, and then I wonder why I suck at relationships and get hurt so easily. I really lose myself in the guys I see and I really needed this wakeup call. Thank you!!!!

Reply November 24, 2014, 5:18 am

Mackenzie

OMG THANK YOU! HA! I needed to read this, I have had a bad habit of doing some of the things listed above. I haven’t really gotten in tune with going out with friends but, I want to. The other night I went out with this friend I talk to it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. The thing is I’ve done some things with him and he seems interested, even expressed having sex with me but said he wouldn’t take advantage of me. I just came out and told him, a few nights ago, I wanted him to but on his time really. Haven’t heard a thing back and most of the things above are going on in my mind. I will most def be applying these to my life.

Reply October 21, 2014, 1:46 am

ashley

To be honest. Some of those hurt in any relationship. I was in girl X Girl relationship. I’m not sure if being needy killed it or the girl was just using me from the get go. All I know is I was at my highest I ever been and she dumped me. Actually number five might be one I violated because a guy friend of mine said she didn’t love me that she didn’t care. Hell I dropped everything to try to please her. Then we had fights I would withdrawal. Then things would be good I let her control me.I let her win the fights, gave up myself trying to change to what she wanted because I didn’t want her to have to change. What ever she wanted I gave her. Hell when the break up happened I spiraled down tried to commit suicide. I’m sure had I seen the relationship of what it was and not forced myself to constantly please her while trying to please my teachers I wouldn’t had attempted suicide, wouldn’t have failed, wouldn’t have tried to kill myself and fail consistently, and I wouldn’t have wasted my money to get her things that are just going to be thrown away when her boyfriend and her started dating. I’m lucky to be alive but it’s no thanks to that evil bitch

Reply September 21, 2014, 6:49 pm

WastedTime

Yes, I wasted time on a man that spent three months trying to get me for no reason. He constantly texted me and e-mailed me about going out with him. Since I am Christian, I don’t just go out with any man. However, he said that he was Christian and was heavily involved in the church. After so many texts and e-mails and how he constantly flooded me with compliments and said that he had a crush, I finally developed a crush on him and agreed to go out.

After I agreed, all of a sudden, he wanted little to do with me other than a distant friendship. I had no idea what I’d done wrong and it left me confused and almost thinking that true love was none existent if a God-fearing man could purposely hurt a young woman – a woman who was not even thinking of him until he kept pestering.

Finally, I met a nice man and so far, thinks are great. Nevertheless, I might have met this man sooner if the other man had not used up my time pretending to like me.

Reply July 20, 2014, 9:32 pm

DNG-Nameless

Omg The advice u sent really worked. I no longer feel foolish,  I feel more confident about where I stand, and my boyfriend treats me like he misses me when he texts me. He’s even wanting to have actual phone conversations now.  I feel really appreciative we never I hear from him, but I text him now the way he texts me, no actually telling him how I feel, I keep it short and simple.  Now that I think of it, that’s the way I used to communicate with him before he asked me to be his special lady, when I was still unsure about us and didn’t want to complicate things. He’s also taking me out Saturday, I didn’t even mention anything to make him offer finally! I’ve chosen to be neutral and laid back about everything again.  Thanks sooo much for the help.

Reply July 14, 2014, 5:26 am

DNG-Nameless

Please help me. I am soo confused. I’m the girl you described who relies too much on my so called boyfriend to reply when I text him. Reason I say “so called boyfriend” is because he was my ex and we started a sexual relationship in January and nothing more. One time around either March or April, while we were in the heat of the moment he said he wanted me to be his girlfriend again. I said ok just to not ruin the moment, but I didn’t mean it because I didn’t think he meant it (we both literally just got out of relationships). But we talked about it again a few days later and I told him I’d give it a try, but don’t try to give me a title if it’s really just the sex. I said this because I knew I had real feelings for him from our previous relationship that I kept buried down to not think of our rendezvous as anything more. So he calls me his girlfriend and I call him my boyfriend to his face, but I’m still waiting to be treated like a girlfriend pretty much. We haven’t gone out once, he’s been car less and been putting he money towards fixing his, but I’ve mentioned how I have a car and I really just want to be out in public for once. And he is awful with responding to texts, just like one of the articles and I’ve mentioned numerous time that bothers me but nothings changed. I’ve even brought up again before I became too emotionally attached that if he just wants me for the sex, be straight up and don’t lie to me about it because I was fine with just that. So now I’m in deep, and I feel I’ve made myself to easy for him. Even when I disappear for a while (hang with friends or family, hell even just catch up on some reading to show I got my own things goin on and I can’t be available every time he chooses to want me) to see if he misses me nd if I worth fighting for keeps, I go have a great hot moment with him and it’s back to me waiting to hear from him again. What do I do now? I feel like I need to move on but I’m sex whipped, which was the whole reason I went back, never had any better and I had 2 boyfriends after we first broke up 4 years ago. 2nd boyfriend I was with for 3 years soo that’s still confusing to me as well. I honestly feel like if he’d just say I don’t want u I could move on easier but he keeps telling me he loves me and crap when I see him, but when I’m not around him I’m nobody to him. What’s his deal and please I desperately need to know how to deal with this? I feel so stupid for being treated this way.

Reply July 11, 2014, 8:14 am

Char

I am guilty of over analyzing for sure …. Even though I am working really hard not to. What if you had the talk accidentally? He called me bud so I said it seemed like we were not on the same page. He said it was just a word. He asked where I thought we were and I said dating I think. I wasn’t trying to define anything I just wanted to know if he was done. He said he hates dating and thinks it’s weird and awkward. I said the same so why not be weird and awkward with each other. He said this is true. Since then we made a plan to see each other again but I brought it up. Have I messed this up? He also said he wants a girlfriend but is afraid he would freak out with commitment. Where to go from here? Anywhere or nowhere?

Reply April 30, 2014, 9:38 pm

yuwei

not so sure about this article… why does it feel like it’s always the women that are to be blamed in every failed “relationship”? there should be an article about how everything should stop revolving around men and their ways of doing and seeing things and instead focus on the fact that how women think and act is what it is and that there is nothing wrong with that. I agree with Ashley’s comment about men’s dishonesty – they often get away with too much with just the excuse “they are what they are” whilst we women have to change our natural behaviors tog et what we want

Reply March 13, 2014, 5:30 pm

t

Yes.

Reply September 17, 2014, 5:58 pm

dee

It’s true that there are 2 people in a relationship, and to only focus on the follies of just one of them does seem one-sided. Le’ts put this into perspective though, we women are the ones who tend to be more invested in relationships; we tend to be the ones who want to delve into finding solutions; we tend to be the ones who actively want relationships to work — putting effort and time into making things go right. Men on the other hand, are not that in-tuned to the nuances of what a relationship means to us. To make it plain: men don’t really care about it the way we do, so the focus of these articles are on the women, because we’re apparently the “investigators” and “fixers”.

I proudly own those titles because I’m not going to just sit around and wait for answers to just fall in my lap. I’m going to find out what’s up and get to the bottom of whatever situation because I refuse to waste my time on something that’s a maybe. Anything that doesn’t benefit whatever my purpose is at the time is gotten rid of. Anything worthy of my effort is probably worth trying to work on. Just like a man, I appreciate simplicity and I am a cut-to-the-chase kinda gal. My man appreciates that about me and I am not going to change who I am and how I operate. I seek the truth, find it, deal with it, and move on.

One thing I did agree with in one of the articles is that I should learn to listen with my ears AND my gut. Ladies, listen to what his mouth says and then listen to your intuition; it is rarely wrong! It is your inner wisdom that is buried deep within you. Why is it buried deep within you and not just out in the open? Because it needs to be protected. Why do we protect things? Because they are valuable. Your intuition is valuable because learning to listen to it can save you a lot of wasted time and effort in all your life’s situations.

Of all the things that are important to me, MY time is the most important. I respect people who respect my time. So if I’m giving him some of my time, he knows that he has importance in my life.Remember ladies, YOUR time is important too. Treat it as such!

Reply February 5, 2016, 11:20 am

Tina

Thank you, Sabrina (and Eric)! I’ve been reading your columns for about a year and a half. I also ordered your book, He’s Not That Complicated. Thanks to a combination of yoga, as well as your insightful straightforward advice, I’ve reached new levels of confidence and self-mastery, not just in my dating life, but as a whole person.

I’m not all there yet, but I’m slowly getting to that place of balance, learning how to be the best/happiest version of myself regardless of my relationship status.

I’m in my early 30s, and thanks to your advice, I’m FINALLY learning from all the dating blunders I made in my 20s (many of which you talked about in this article). Thank you for saving me from years of heartache and frustration!

Reply March 5, 2014, 10:59 pm

Veronica

Great advice. I actually did all of these things, just to get rid of the guy. Seems to have worked like a charm. I wasn’t really that into him, but since I’m single and looking I thought I could pass the time with him. Turns out I’m better off single and looking. I became clingly, interrogated his intentions and motives and what do you know he took the bait. Now he won’t answer my calls or texts. Problem is it worked too well. I wanted a more prolonged version of how to lose a guy in say …a month. Oh well good riddance. If he was into me he woudn’t have made it so damn easy for me to dissapear.
Women can be jerks too!!

Reply March 5, 2014, 2:41 am

Shannon

First of all, do men not have relationships or cause relationship problems? Because almost every article on here is a lecture on what us women do to chase guys away. I’m nearly forty years old and this is MY experience. Either the guy is into you, or he isn’t. If he’s into you, he’ll be into you no matter WHAT you do. If he’s not into you, it doesn’t matter what you do. And people (not just men, not just women, but BOTH sexes) tend to come up with all these complicated reasons justifying a rejection that blame the other person. That’s because rejecting someone for no real reason makes us feel like jerks, so we come up with some stupid reason like “I got a vibe” from her or HIM. So we don’t have to feel like we’re jerks, because they MADE us reject them. It’s all crap. The person either does it for you or doesn’t. Sometimes the person doesn’t really do it for you, but the person SEEMS so perfect in every other way that we let it ride for a while before cutting them loose. And FYI…I had a guy (did you read that? A GUY! Guys do these things too)! once bring up marriage and kids while we were still in the talking stage and I ran for the hills. I told all my friends about this creepy guy who came on too strong. Here I am three years later ,and the truth was I was still stuck on an ex, and it didn’t matter who this guy was, or what he did, I would have found his behavior a turn off. I wasn’t ready to date someone else. That’s why you should try not to take rejection personality. Nine times out of ten, why you were rejected has something to do with the other person (stuck on someone else, interested in someone else, just not looking for a relationship) then something you did wrong. So you might as well NOT drive yourself crazy. Articles like this will make you insane trying to analyze everything (while at the same time telling you not to analyze everything) when meanwhile the only way you’ll ever find the right one is if you let go of all the artificial choreographed BS and BE YOURSELF. If he (or she) can’t deal with the real you, then they’re not the one for you.

Reply March 4, 2014, 7:36 pm

Bree

THANK YOU Shannon! I enjoy reading these articles, but at the same time I feel like it’s too often unbalanced. This is what women need to do, this is what women need to stop doing, this is what women should start doing. I get that these articles are aimed predominately at women, and yes some of it rings true, but like you said a lot of the issues women have men have too. Guys can jump the gun despite this supposed urge to “spread his seed” and be clingy, and start acting like they’re in a relationship before they’re actually in one. I would just like to here that BOTH men and women can be this way. A lot of time, simply putting yourself in the other person’s shoes can help you realize your own faults. Instead of using works like “women” I wish we could use words like “all of us”. All of us, at one point or another can be this way. Plain and simple.

Reply March 4, 2014, 8:28 pm

Sabrina Alexis

Shannon and Bree- Thank you for your feedback, I fully understand what you both are saying but would be remiss if I didn’t clarify a few things.

All day every day I get flooded with phone calls from friends and e-mails from readers about different relationship issues. I had to start shutting off my phone and going invisible on G-chat in order to just get some work done, otherwise many hours of my day will be spent talking to my friends (yes, both guys and girls) about their relationships and while I’m happy to help, I also gotta get some work done. The people coming to me aren’t happy, they’re in a lot of pain, they’re stuck in this mode of analysis, they can’t see clearly. This article was aimed at protecting women (and sure, men too) against this sort of thing. No one enjoys analyzing and obsessing, that’s NEVER fun. It makes you crazy and it can negatively effect your relationship. It serves no one, it’s wasted energy.

And Shannon, I agree, if a guy likes you he likes you and nothing you do will turn him off, nothing I said in the article contradicts that. What I’m saying is to stop obsessing, stop picking the relationship apart, be your best self and if he likes you then he’ll pursue it. The problem many people face is they get so stuck in trying to figure out whether someone likes them that they end up investing in that person even more and then if it doesn’t work out they’re devastated. I’ve been in that position many times and it’s a miserable feeling. You feel like a fool, like you sold yourself short.

To your other point, yes, men are absolutely guilty of the same behavior, however, this is a site for women (Eric also runs a relationship site for men, we just don’t discuss those sorts of topics here because there wouldn’t be a point!). And it’s a huge turn-off when men get overeager, as you said. I know plenty of guys who ruined their chances with me because they acted too overzealous, it just made me think they were desperate and weird and it was a huge turn-off.

This is not an article on how to get a guy or what to do to please a man, it’s an article filled with tips that will enhance your life and the way you experience relationships overall.

Reply March 5, 2014, 12:15 pm

Bree

Thank you Sabrina. I really do appreciate your advice and timely response. I suppose you can look at the articles as two best buds chatting on the phone because now that I think about it when we’re talking to each other it is quite similar to this, “Guys don’t like it when girls do this and gosh we (women) have to stop doing xyz.” I know you guys have good intentions. Thanks again!

Reply March 6, 2014, 12:13 am

Luke

It’s not a column on how to get the guy who’s clingy and doesn’t respect your boundaries is it? It’s a column on getting the kind of guy you want, and anything worth having takes work.

For me personally I’ve been reading up on women on dating sites aimed at men, and so I came here out of curiosity to see what the other side is saying, and I see a lot of the same stuff guys say, “why should I need to improve? they should love me for who I am” and I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s a load of crap, if you owned a soda company and put out a soda that tastes like vomit, and nobody bought it, what would you do, continue making vomit flavored soda or change the recipe?

The point is, to get the kind of person you want, male or female, you find out want they want, and give it to them, we all have to change and improve ourselves to have a fulfilling life.
When I’ve become the kind of man that women desire, I’ll be looking for the kind of women I desire, not taking second best.

Reply March 13, 2014, 2:14 am

seyhan

Luke, issue is seeing people as ‘second best’ and comparing them to soda recipe.. what women who protest here point at something valid: modern pseudoscience dating advices heavily targeting women and putting the burden of making something work on the women. People are complex, both men and women, and relationships are complex.. At the start of a relationship if you start scaling or measuring a woman ‘if she is “the best” you can get..” then it means as a man, you have things to work on.. you will be an actor at this off-balance, unhealthy epidemic of dating scenes. And then the woman who you acted out so early on after showing so much enthusiasm at the start, will of course wonder, over-analyze, share with others, and feel down why you ran away.. After all, it would be you who liked the soda at the start to initiate to get more close with her.. and that’s the problem, many men do that nowadays up to one, two month, then they get lost or give stupid reasons, explanations, joining the band of women-bashing.

Reply December 2, 2016, 3:40 pm

Ashley

I just want to start by saying I totally agree with this article. Just giving another aspect of it though. Men should start being honest to themselves and to the women they date. For example, I dated a guy who said he loved me, we’re were soul mates, and a lot of other beautiful things. I soon began to noticed his actions were a lot different to things he was saying. He didn’t want a serious relationship at all. He wanted to “enjoy the moment” with several others. He gave me the impression that we were serious. Even going as far as to announce it on Face Book to all his friends and family. Here’s the thing, I was up for a good time if that’s all there was to it, but yes I liked him, and he had me believe there was something more. What hurt about it was the extreme dishonesty. It didn’t really have to be that way. Especially when I was honest and made it clear what I wanted. Needless to say I got rid of him, and I am now in a much happier relationship. It’ss serious but no games, honesty and trust.

Reply March 4, 2014, 3:30 pm

Shannon

That is the best article for women I have ever read. Everyone needs to read it would save alot of heartache!!

Reply March 4, 2014, 3:10 pm

Shasta

First of all I love all of your advice and it all makes a ton of sense to me. I can see myself in many of your examples and have really tried to learn from everything both you and Eric write about. I am definitely an “over thinker” and an “analyzer”. I hash and re-hash everything about my “relationships.” I worry constantly! My question for you is this, in these articles I often read about not making yourself exclusive with a man who isn’t committed etc… I live in a TINY town I can only think of literally 5 single men at the moment most of which are nobody I would ever be interested in dating. I have lived in this town nearly 5 years and have been single the whole time since I moved home after my divorce. I was pretty content to be alone for the majority of that time as I was healing from the divorce. in the last year or so I have really started wanting to date and put myself out there, but it is VERY difficult to do in a town this small, oh and did I mention at least an hour drive from a larger town. I tried online dating but every man I was interested in meeting lived at least 2 hours away from me. I canceled my online dating profile as I was just too difficult to “date” that far away. Shortly after that I started talking and texting with a co-worker in my company who works at a different site that is about 5 hours away, his home is about 2 hours away from where I live. We hit it off immediately texted daily for months and eventually met up. Again we hit it off and have continued to see each other over the last 3 months anytime that he has come back to his home town, he has come to me. I have gone to see him. things are good for the most part however it seems as of lately the flirty, texting, teasing, and laughter in our interaction has just all but gone away and now it is day to day mundane conversation. I told him I felt like things were off and he reassured me that he still finds me as amazing as ever, and that things are fine? and that he “never said this long distance thing would be easy.” I read all the time not to be exclusive with someone and that alone will help you not to focus all your attention on one particular man until you have both decided to commit to one another. My problem? I have nobody else to date!! I make dinner dates with my friends at least once or twice a week, I focus on my daughter, I tell myself I have done nothing to warrant him to be upset with me, but when the texts have fallen away, the once constant texting, flirting, teasing, and laughter have turned ton once a day phone calls about day to day life and not much more it worries me. What to do to keep my focus on myself and my fulfilling life and not obsess about every little change in the relationship? Every time there is a shift I think something is wrong!

Reply March 4, 2014, 2:49 pm

Lisa

If only you had written this a month ago!! I made all of the mistakes listed here with my latest guy and it totally scared him off! 🙁 and I’m so upset as he really was a great guy… I wish I knew all about male psychology before!!
Question : Is it too late to try again with him? How do I bring him back and get him to try again?

Reply March 4, 2014, 1:08 pm

Sabrina Alexis

Lisa- I wouldn’t focus your energy on trying again with him or getting him back. The best thing to do is move forward and find happiness within yourself and in your life. There is nothing you can do to get him back, you can’t force someone into feeling what you want them to feel. You just need to back off and do your thing and work on being your best self. If this guy really did care for you, he’ll resurface.

Reply March 4, 2014, 6:31 pm

Lisa

You are totally right, if he really cared he will be back… and if he doesn’t come back on his own terms then he wasn’t right for me, and I have learnt how NOT to behave the next time I date a guy..

Thanks for the reply! 😀

Reply March 5, 2014, 6:33 am

Kaytra

Hi Sabrina,
I’d like your thoughts on my situation. I’m in a “budding” relationship with a man I met late in January, and I’m feeling myself get attached, so I want to bring up the “how do you feel about me” talk.
But the situation is…he’s leaving the country for a year soon, like in five weeks. I knew this when I met him. I knew then, that it wouldn’t be a good idea to get too involved, because he’s leaving. But like a dummy, I did, and now I’m really confused and conflicted as to how I should handle telling him my feelings.
I normally wouldn’t bring this up so soon within meeting a man, but it’s kind of a unique situation. He’s invited me to come visit him abroad, and we’ve talked about planning this trip for me to come see him. But it’s a huge committment for me financially and with my time; so I’d want to know that he’s serious about me and sees potential in something together beyond this big trip.

He’s made comments about doing things together when he gets back, so that gives me hope that he does see potential after the trip. But what if I meet someone else in a year? What if he has a change of heart? I’m worrying and overanalyzing, like you said in this post, but how can I not, when I’m putting my heart on the line for someone who physically will not be available for a long time?

Some friends tell me to be honest and upfront with him on how I feel. Some say back off. I don’t know what to do, and my heart is already breaking for when the day comes that he will be gone. I’m turning down other men, yet he and I haven’t had an exlusivity talk. How can we, if he’s leaving?
I’m so confused as to what I should do…

Reply March 4, 2014, 12:53 pm

Ellen

OMG, I soooo needed to see this article right now! Especially with regards to #2 OVER ANALYZING, it’s as if you were writing this just about me, hahaha. Thank you and I am definitely reading and applying the do’s and don’t s to my almost 7 mo relationship, although those stupid bad habits keep trying to surface, I just go back to the articles and re read them and then I’m back on track:)

Reply March 4, 2014, 12:20 pm

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