He was more of an intellectual type, not a “let’s spend hours talking about our feelings” type, and this created a constant source of conflict for them. She wanted him to be warmer and mushier, and he just couldn’t give that to her. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, it just wasn’t in his nature. Now, I have other friends who date men who are a bit emotionally cool in this way, but those friends have no problem with it because of their own emotional make-up, so it all works out.
Only you know what your needs are. If someone is incapable of fulfilling those needs, you will never be fully satisfied in the relationship. You can hammer away as much as you like, but if it goes against his nature to be what you need, or if what you need is simply not something he is willing or able to give in a relationship, then you will constantly be dissatisfied. Your time is your responsibility, so it’s up to you to be honest with yourself and determine if this is the right relationship for you.
What to do next
Get clear on what you want in a partner and in a relationship. It is ideal to do this before you enter a relationship, but still important even if you’re in a relationship.
What are your top three must-haves and your top three deal-breakers? I did this exercise before I started dating my husband, and the process really brought me to a place of clarity. Suddenly I was put off by guys who had once been so appealing to me, because I recognized they would not make good long-term partners, and that was what I wanted. In the same way, when I started dating my husband I was able to quickly recognize him as “the one.” I realized that he not only had qualities I wanted, he had qualities I needed. True love doesn’t always come with neon signs and flashing lights. You first need to know yourself before you can know who will be the right man for you.
Now, final tip: If you’re still unsure about what to do, visualize yourself leaving the relationship. Picture yourself just picking up and moving on. How do you feel? Does it feel right? Does it make you breathe a little easier, does it feel like a relief? Or does it feel really wrong, almost unnatural? Spend some time reflecting on this and see where it takes you.
Take our “Are You in a Toxic Relationship?” quiz for even more clarity on the state of your relationship.
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