No one sets out to sabotage their relationship. Most of us have only the best intentions. We want it to work. We think about it, maybe even obsess over it, we put our heart on the line, we invest ourselves. Since our intentions are pure, it seems like we should get a positive outcome…but this isn’t always the case.
I get a lot of heat when I write about what women are doing wrong. I get accused of blaming women, of defending men. But I’m doing neither.
My job isn’t to excuse or blame, my job is to share and enlighten. I have spent most of my life studying human behavior and using my insights to help people improve their lives and their relationships. And a lot of what I learned came through devastating personal experiences, I literally was a classic example of what not to do for a large chunk of time. So when I talk about mistakes women make, understand that it’s coming from a woman who made all these mistakes and who wishes she had someone who knew better to set her straight! I wish I had come across articles such as this one, it would have spared me a lot of heartache and humiliation, to say the least.
With that, let’s dive in and look at the most common and disastrous mistakes women make that push men away.
1. Chasing after him
The vast majority of the time, if a guy likes you, he will let you know. It will be obvious. There won’t be any mixed messages or hidden clues to decipher. If he likes you, he will make it known and he will ask you out. Your only job is to show enough interest to let him know he won’t be shot down. This does not need to be obvious and over the top. A sweet smile and sultry eye contact will get the job done.
MORE: Why Do Men Pull Away?
If a guy has the opportunity to be with you and he just doesn’t take it, then he just doesn’t like you enough.
Rather than just cut their losses, a lot of women go on a quest to convince this guy that he should want to be with her. She’ll text him funny things, happen to show up places where she knows he’ll be, she’ll initiate conversations, she may even ask him out. The guy may respond to her advances by being polite, and she may mistake this as him being somewhat interested, but he really doesn’t seem to reciprocate the feelings. He may reply when you reach out, but he never initiates.
If there is any hope of him developing feelings for you, you will effectively kill it by chasing after him. Maybe this sounds unfair, why can’t you take a proactive approach to your love life and pursue him? Because you just can’t. Because it’s just not how things work. Because there is no need to pursue a man… if he likes you, then he’ll let you know. You can’t undo centuries of societal norms. This is how things have always been and it’s just how they are.
Now I’m not saying guys are turned off by bold women. Sometimes it can be sexy when a woman initiates. But after that, she needs to leave it alone and give him some space to pursue her. That is how men bond and develop feelings. That is what causes them to invest.
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, never, ever chase your guy. If anything, pull back a bit and give him the space to come to you.
2. Being self-obsessed
Relationships typically fall apart when your focus stops being on the person you’re with and starts shifting to you. When you focus on your own wants, your own worries, your own fears, your own needs, and pay no attention to how your guy feels and experiences things, you essentially turn him into an object who is a means to an end.
The reason a lot of women can’t keep a guy’s interest beyond a few dates is that she gets so fixated on achieving some sort of relationship goal (like being official), and on figuring out how he feels. When you do this, you aren’t connecting with him as a person, you are using him as a means to feel good about yourself and worthy of love and that is not the pathway towards a meaningful connection.
The me-centered mindset can cause problems no matter what stage of a relationship you’re in, whether you’re casually dating or seriously committed.
Sure, you might do things for him. You might cook for him, clean his house, perform his favorite sexual moves in bed, tell him how much you like him, but none of that really penetrates a man’s psychology on a deep and meaningful level. The reason is that it isn’t genuine, rather, you are doing certain things in order to get him to feel certain things for you, and maybe do certain things for you. But this isn’t what activates a man’s desire to commit and doesn’t make him bond or invest in your further. What gets you there is getting outside of yourself and really seeing him for who he is.
3. Being entitled
One of the biggest turn-offs to a man is a woman who acts entitled and just expects him to do things. Now men do love a woman with high standards, but they still want to be appreciated for things, they don’t want a woman who just expects him to do certain things and be a certain way.
If you are a regular ANM reader, you know that men absolutely crave appreciation. That is the essential fuel a man needs to keep going in a relationship.
Appreciation is the key that unlocks a man’s heart. Every man needs it in a relationship in order to truly commit. A woman who acts entitled and ungrateful is probably the most unattractive woman in a man’s eyes.
Appreciation is essential, so much so that a guy will avoid a relationship, or break off a relationship, with a woman who won’t or can’t show him sufficient appreciation. Of course, women also enjoy appreciation, but the need isn’t usually the same.
More than appreciation, most women need to feel adored and cared for. They don’t necessarily need a man to acknowledge everything they do, they just want to feel that he cherishes them and cares and is fully invested in the relationship.
Lack of appreciation is usually the main reason men leave and is a major reason why men cheat.
When you truly see a man for who he is and appreciate him, it opens him up and activates his desire to bond and commit. It has to be genuine, though. You can’t fake your way into someone’s heart and you can’t show him appreciation as a means of getting the relationship you want. Doing this is the me-centered mindset.
Stepping outside of yourself and looking at him and appreciating him for the person he is, not just for the way he makes you feel and what he does for you, is other-focused and that is how a real connection forms.
4. Being too needy
Usually, when people talk about neediness they talk about a set of behaviors: calling too much, being too available, getting jealous, wanting all of his time and attention, etc. However, neediness goes beyond behavior. It’s a mindset, and from that mindset, certain behaviors can manifest.
Some examples include: constantly needing reassurance that he still cares, panicking if he doesn’t call or text back right away, getting jealous if he spends time with anyone else, making him the sole center of your universe, obsessing over him, feeling terrified he’ll leave you, and so forth.
Neediness usually comes from an emptiness within that we believe somebody else can fill for us. We may come to believe that some other person can give us something emotionally that we can’t give ourselves: a feeling of being OK, of being worthy of love, of feeling good about ourselves. The problem is someone else can’t give us those things; they come from within.
MORE: Why Men Lose Interest
Even though we’re constantly stimulated and more connected than ever thanks to the ubiquity of social media, most people feel more alone than ever and are lacking in real and genuine connections. There is nothing wrong with wanting a real connection; the problem is placing a vast amount of hope and expectation onto that person. You expect them to be your happiness, to be your completion, and then you become terrified of losing them, because when you put that spin on it then it does become a scary prospect!
If a relationship is your sole source of joy in this world then you will inevitably cling to it desperately, even though desperation kills relationships.
Desperation smothers the life out of the love and connection because when a person needs the other person to constantly respond to them in a certain way, they start acting “needy.”
5. Stressing over the relationship
You can’t force someone to love you or reciprocate certain feelings. If he is not into you right now, then just let it go. Don’t stress over where it all went wrong or what you should have done differently. Focus on yourself, focus on being a better version of yourself. Focus on being happy and complete. Focus on feeling great about your life and about who you are. This is what really captures a man’s attention. Not stressing over him and trying to do anything in your power to win him over.
There will always be something to worry about. In the beginning, you might think that as soon as he commits everything will be great and you’ll feel secure but it rarely works like that. Instead, you’ll worry about when he’s going to say he loves you, when you’ll move in together, get engaged, get married, and when you’re married you’ll worry if he still loves you, if he’s still attracted to you, if he’ll cheat … there will always be something!
Worrying sucks the joy out of a relationship and creates a tense, uneasy environment. The truth is, 90% of relationship problems wouldn’t exist if women would stop obsessing and analyzing and just go with it. Relationships really aren’t that complicated. The problem is we make them complicated by creating problems that don’t exist and obsessing over how to solve them.
When you stop stressing out and obsessing about your own fears, worries, and nightmare scenarios, something great happens: you give the relationship room to breathe.
MORE: Why Men Disappear
6. Committing too soon
Acting like you’re in a relationship will not get you a relationship. He’ll start pulling away even more.
Here is how this scenario usually goes down. 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. 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.
Yes, it can be difficult 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?
Plus, acting like you’re his girlfriend when he has stated otherwise will just make you look desperate and that is a big turnoff to a man and will cause him to withdraw.
If a man knows he is with an incredible woman and senses she will leave if he doesn’t commit in the way she wants, then he’ll commit. If a man is with an amazing woman but is kind of on the fence about her and senses she’ll leave if he doesn’t commit, then he’ll let her go. But if this same woman sticks around even though he won’t commit, then he might keep her around indefinitely and that is where the real trouble lies.
MORE: Exactly Why Men Withdraw
7. Being negative
One of the biggest driving needs for a man when it comes to relationships is being able to make a woman happy. If he feels that he can’t, he won’t want to be with her.
No man wants to serve as his woman’s emotional dumping ground, it just adds more stress to his life and men are very drama-averse.
Also, there is nothing lovable about someone who is demanding, nagging, sarcastic, bitter, frustrated, or angry. That’s not to say he’ll stop loving you when you’re like this, love doesn’t turn on and off like a light switch, but it will be harder for him to act loving towards you when you come at him from this negative place.
Being mad at him for not spending enough time with you doesn’t fill him with a strong desire to be around you because no one likes being around someone who is pissed at them or doing things because they were guilted into it.
If you want to have an amazing relationship, then bring an amazing, positive energy into your relationship. That is what will make all the difference.
One last thing: If you think you might be pushing the man you want away, then take a look at the following quiz…
Are you committing the cardinal sins that ruin relationships? Take our extremely precise “Are You Destroying Your Love Life?” quiz to find out (and learn how to fix it before it’s too late).
Lots of love,