Get the Relationship You Want: 4 Rules to Live By post image

Get the Relationship You Want: 4 Rules to Live By

I know it may not seem this way, but relationships are actually surprisingly simple. And if you can master a few basic principles about relationships, and what it takes to have the right relationship, you will be better able to navigate through the confusion and heartbreak and will effortlessly get the relationship you’ve always wanted.

Whether you’re involved or single as can be, here are the top four rules to live by to get the relationship you want:

1. Never Want Someone Who Doesn’t Want You

Sounds obvious, but sadly, it’s not! When it comes to men and relationships, us gals can delude ourselves in some pretty impressive ways. We find signs to prove that things are the way we want them to be and that he feels the way we want him to feel.

Now here’s the truth of the matter. If a guy says or indicates he wants to be with you, but isn’t actually with you for whatever reason (I don’t like labels, my ex girlfriend was evil, I’m stressed about my job, my dog died etc. etc.), then don’t waste your time. Don’t help his case by reasoning and rationalizing why his excuses make sense (but he is really busy! And his last girlfriend sounded like such a bitch, and his dog was his best friend).

When someone is giving you excuses as to why they can’t do something, what they’re really doing is telling you they don’t want to do it. Some reasons may be quite impressive, there may even be sprinkles of truth mixed in there, but when it comes down to it, if he wants to be with you, he will be. Are there exceptions? Yes, but they are very, very rare. And even if a guy can’t commit for whatever reason, he will make sure to still let you know he’s invested in a real and substantial way.

If a guy isn’t showing you that he is committed and that he wants to be with you and only you, then stop wanting that from him. It isn’t easy, but it’s a far better alternative than wasting months or even years of your life waiting around for some guy to get his act together, wouldn’t you agree?

MORE: 5 Signs He’ll Never Commit

2. Do I Like Myself When I’m With This Person?

Being in a relationship shouldn’t be your end-goal, the goal should be attaining the right relationship.

When two people are in a relationship, they should bring out the best in one another. They should challenge each other to grow so that their attributes strengthen and they become the best versions of themselves.

When a relationship crushes you and leaves you feeling paranoid, anxious, insecure, inadequate, and always on edge, just waiting for the other shoe to drop…. you’re cheating yourself out of having the immense benefits a good relationship can provide.

It breaks my heart seeing some of the questions we receive via email and in the forum. So many of our readers feel miserable and trapped by their relationships. Yet despite these agonizing feelings of hurt/despair/insecurity/fear, they are unable to extricate themselves from the situation because of their all-consuming feelings for the other person.

They get so caught up in their feelings for him, or his presumed feelings for them, that they miss the most important variable in the equation. And that is: Do I like myself when I’m with this person?

I’ve been in relationships where I almost didn’t recognize myself, ones where my flaws were magnified and my attributes were tucked away somewhere beyond reach. It’s a miserable feeling, one that can have lasting ramifications long after the relationship (inevitably) ends.

At the end of the day, you are all you have. You need to be your greatest ally in the world, you need to do what’s best for you and what will make you happy and help you reach your potential. If your relationship is sending you in the opposite direction, stop wasting your strength and energy on making it work and instead use those forces to walk away.

3.  Take the Word “Should” Out of Your Vocabulary

If you’re  gonna do anything, it should be to take the word should out of your vocabulary! Okay, in all seriousness, the word should is very poisonous when it comes to relationships (“Always” and “Never” are tied for second). When you tell a guy what he should be doing, you’re saying what he is doing isn’t enough.

Guys want to make you happy, seriously. Guys also need to feel like winners in the world. If you “should” him, you’re basically telling him he’s a loser who can’t make you happy and this will not encourage him to try any harder.

Should is a punishing word. It causes resentment to brew and it immediately places the person you’re “shoulding” on the defensive. Just think about all the times someone told you what you “should” do. That word is never received pleasantly.

Instead of focusing on what your partner should be doing, try to look at what he is doing right in the relationship and show appreciation for those things. The more your man feels appreciated, the more he’ll want to do to make you happy.

When you can come from this place, you and your man will be true partners instead of adversaries and things will feel much more relaxed and effortless.

4. Be The Prize

The most common trap women fall into in relationships is trying to be good enough for the guy. So many women get stuck plotting and planning their every move in an effort to prove their worth to a guy. This is the worst way to be in a relationship. For one, it reeks of neediness. It also puts the guy in the drivers seat and essentially tells him the terms of the relationship are his to dictate. When this happens, you’ll find yourself in a situation with a guy who will essentially do whatever he wants because he knows he can get away with it and you’ll still be there.

Being the prize isn’t so much a set of behaviors as it is a state of mind. The “Prize” mentality is one that asks: Is he good enough for me? Of all the guys I could have, is he the one I choose?

Guys want to be with a quality woman they had to work for and earn. There is nothing interesting or exciting about a woman who will bend over backwards and settle for scraps just because she doesn’t want to be alone.

If you catch yourself obsessing over what to say to your guy, or how to act around him, stop and tell yourself: “I am the prize that he needs to win over.”

Becoming a thoroughly confident woman takes work and isn’t something that just happens. However, one route to take to get you there is to act like you’re confident. As the saying goes, fake it ’til you make it!

MORE: On Loving Yourself and Being More Confident



Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

24 comments… add one

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Edwyn Tsubane

Funny how as a man read this and realize that I have to replace “he” with “she” guy to gal
I don’t know ma’am if you’re aware that all beings despite gender experience the same treatment from our would be partners
Cruel beings exist out there. When it dawns on you that you’ve been had, it’s too late as you’ve gone deep. Hook, line and sinker.
I spent 2 months of silence, hoping this will have effect. Zero!
In the beginning it was her who egged me on with bylines like “it’s not like you not to send me a :- good night message” now I am the sender she the recepient

Reply September 10, 2020, 6:23 pm


Hi Sabrina, I love your articles. My boyfriend has been distant lately. He doesn’t call or text any longer. He actually lost his job and I was there for him all the time. He recently got a new job but he feels like he isn’t loving me like he supposed to do and I make him understand that’s not it. Yet he feels like he owes me alot. He even said that he regrets for putting me in his life cos of what he is facing and I’m not supposed to be going through the bad stuff with him cos i don’t deserve it. I’m thinking of breaking up with him cos he hardly calls or even texts me if he is online or not. I’ve talked to him and he is always like that’s how he is but I know he calls other people. I also stopped calling and texting him cos I’m fed up with his character. He was never like this before. Anytime we see I’m always happy. I love him but breaking up with him is something that I have been thinking of doing for the past two weeks. Please should I break up with him or not. I need advice before I take this drastic decision

Reply October 31, 2019, 9:16 am


So I was wondering how all this bs about men was created? How to talk to them etc. ? Did men make up these rules like everything else in this world? The Bible , the constitution, the world of women .? How we should be? Our place etc. ? Why do we cater to all this bs and men and women believe it all!!? I’m not a man hater at all!just wondering

Reply January 12, 2019, 3:29 pm


Why do you think this is BS? It is just pure psychology. Try and read some of it, you might understand it better. It works both ways, however this is a website created mostly for women. If you are so defensive now and you create this difference between “us” and “them”, blaming men for everything that is wrong with this world…you won’t get far. To me, there is nothing less appealing than an ever- complaining “feminist” who always has something to say about “evil” men that ruin “nice” ladies. People are people. Regardless of gender. And I am a woman. If that matters at all.

Reply July 7, 2021, 9:34 am

Debra Moore

Sometime I sabotage my relationships. My sister told me I need to start being mean to a guy. It’s not in me to be mean. I’d try to do that. Then they start going off on me. What should I do I need help. Tired of being alone and lonely. All they want is sex.

Reply January 31, 2017, 12:47 am


Dear Sabrina,

I think your articles are great and I’ve been following them for a while now. If you do have time to spare, I’d like to ask you something.

My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 months now. We are both students but we do hope to marry once we establish our careers. However, we reside in a country where PDA is strictly discouraged and marrying someone not from your religion or community is actively looked down upon.

Frankly, neither of our parents would approve if they knew about our relationship. Do you have any suggestions on how a couple could work on such opposition and not create resentment in the relationship because of each other’s respective parental disapproval?

Thank you.

Reply February 11, 2016, 12:48 pm


I am in a long distance relationship that has been going on for almost 3 years. He works overseas for 5/6 weeks at a time and then comes home for 3/4 weeks. My problem is not when he’s away but when he returns. He comes to see me initially and we go out for dinner. He won’t commit to when he’s going to see me again. He rings me most days to say hi (as he is not working and I am working full-time we don’t always see each other until the end of the week). He seems to prefer to ‘do lunch’ than see me at night. I have joked about him seeing me during the day because he must be ‘busy chasing some other woman’ in the evening, he just looks at me in a perplexed way and usually says he is going to meet up with a mate, or check his work emails etc. I haven’t met any of his friends or family, not even his flatmate. Yet he keeps coming back! We are not sexually involved (I’d have to be stupid under these circumstances). I have confronted him to discuss where we’re headed and he just sits there and listens with his eyebrows raised but doesn’t say anything, yet he says he ‘really likes me’. I don’t know whether I should continue or give him an ultimatum. What do you think?

Reply January 8, 2016, 6:58 pm

Linda Castleberry

He has move on so should u

Reply November 18, 2018, 4:44 pm


I am sorry Debra, but reading your post, I just had to say that to me it doesn’t seem you are in any relationship at all. He is away most of the time, when he is here you see him occasionally for lunch, you never had sex with him…isn’t that called friendship? This guy can have a wife and children for all that matters. You would of course do whatever you think you should, but maybe you should just walk away?

Reply July 7, 2021, 9:37 am


Me and my boyfriend recently broke up a little over three months ago. He broke up with me because he felt that I was listening to his friends instead of asking him what was going on. Well to my surprise I stumbled across some information that he had a baby. Meaning before we decided to be in a serious relationship the baby was conceived. After all is said and done we are not speaking to each other more so I’m not ready to listen to what he has to say. I’ve come to the point where I’m okay with the break up but I do want him back. Do I continue to give it time or do I need to have the sit down worth him and figure out where thongs went wrong?

Reply November 15, 2015, 8:34 am


Once you move in together and he treats you good when in your presence, but is extremely private about his phone. My phone is left around the house and whenever he asks to see it give it to him no questions asked. If I ask to see his phone he says no that he will not show it to me because I asked and it is the principle of it. My nosy girlfriend decided he must be hiding something so when she got the chance she got a hole of his phone to look at it while he was in the bathroom. She sent me naked picture messages from women sent to his phone since we have been living together. Then I received a phone call from a women saying she has been seeing my partner the whole time I have been with him. My question is…Why do men cheat? It would be helpful to me if someone would address this issue so I might learn what I have done wrong. I do not what this to happen again in my future.

Reply April 2, 2015, 11:33 am


Am so glad i stumbled over this page its of great help to me. thanks

Reply December 13, 2014, 12:23 pm

confused dude

Hello ladies, I know this advice is directed towards women, but reading it helped me understand myself and women more, and actually made me realize that the ex I’ve been so buried about for the last 2 years. Was really just not a good fit for me at all. I’m so relieved right now I honestly want to call her and apologize for hating her when in reality she was doing me a favor by ending the relationship. Anyway I read this article and I agree its good to think of yourself as the prize. But where does that put the man? Should he just be the competitor? To me that seems to contradict what women want in a guy, I’ll try and explain. They say the man can’t be needy or desparate, but if all I’m doing is trying to “win” you over doesnt that come off as desparate? Should we both see ourselves as a prize in a competition that can’t be won? Instead to always find a way to improve ourselves to get the “prize”? But if you win the prize then what happens? I hope someone can clear this up for me. Thank you

Reply November 12, 2014, 4:34 am


I think when it is referred that the woman should “be the prize” it is more directive to letting a woman know that she should be confident and have high self-worth and be as focused on picking a man rather than being picked by a man. When a woman has that sense of self and mindset things just happen naturally with a man that is both right for her and she is right for him. Many women today have such low self-esteem that they are so focused on the man liking them that they aren’t even paying attention to whether or not a man is right for them in the first place. In reality, though dating is partly a game, love is not, anything won by games will eventually prove itself to be superficial. Their is no winner nor is their a loser both men and women seek love and when a romance fails both lose that vision that they were hopeful for. When people see the other as having won or lost, or bad vs. good, they cheat themselves from a learning opportunity that only a relationship can teach. Just some thoughts…..

Reply December 4, 2014, 6:28 pm


I really love the advise u give it’s helping me be a better girlfriend and learn the right way of doing things thank u :)

Reply September 5, 2014, 6:08 am


he said that the feelings i have for him are all lustful what does he mean

Reply July 10, 2014, 6:02 am


It means that he thinks your feeling are based on how attracted to him you are and not on his personality

Reply August 20, 2014, 10:53 pm


This one really got to me and opened my eyes more, though I am still stupidly in love with my ex,….but doing better at leaving him alone :)….and then I get a random text, ugh, SMH :)

Reply July 8, 2014, 8:57 pm


Very true about us treating ourselves like the prize; the more men are interested in you the more the one your interested in notices….IF in fact he is truly interested. If not, who cares at that point… plenty of nice men to date who will treat you nicely… and the one you liked becomes a quick memory. :)

Reply July 2, 2014, 6:06 pm


I think I would be a mess without this website. Everything I’ve been through with men makes so much more sense to me because of your advice and insights, thank you so much

Reply July 2, 2014, 4:25 am


Exactly Marie :)

Reply July 8, 2014, 8:58 pm


This website has helped me find my self worth and improve my self esteem!! Thank you doesn’t come close to expressing how grateful I am!

Reply February 11, 2014, 3:53 am


I am a girl from China. I’ve subscribed your essays for a long time and they are very helpful. Thank you Sab.

Reply August 24, 2013, 2:26 am


that was very helpful especially about usin the word should in a relationship

Reply August 21, 2013, 11:12 am

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