How do I re-establish my value?

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This topic contains 44 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Marie 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #655650 Reply


    Hi there. :) Been dating my guy for about 8 months. Or. We dated for three months, then took a four-month break and got back together a month ago. The reason for our break was that he felt we were moving to quickly and it scared him. I went NC for some months, but he started coming back to me about two months ago. I was still mad about him so it didn’t take long before we were back together.
    He’s more observant this time around, and it seems he has matured a bit since the first time we were together. I’m in my mid-twenties and he’s in his mid-thirties, btw. I’m very comfortable around him and I think the fact that we clicked so well right from the beginning kind of put me in a “too comfortable” place. I invested a lot of my time, and I think I might have invested TOO much from the beginning to make him see me as “high value”. I’ve only ever been in relationships and my feeling from the beginning was that we were headed there, so I just dived right in.
    I sense that he likes the fact that I’m a nurturing person. He’s very closed off normally, and he likes being by himself. However, he wants to see me when he’s in a bad mood (when he normally prefers complete solitude) and he’s always happy around me. I went and took care of him when he was sick too. This coming weekend he asked me to help him re-do his livingroom, and I instinctively said yes because I care a lot about him and I love to be there for him.
    We’re not in an exclusive relationship. In fact, we’ve never talked about what we are. I would like to be serious with him, but I don’t know if I’ve messed it all up by investing too much in him. I’m not sure he sees me as this “high value” person. When I read the advice on this site I’ve definitely done a lot of things wrong.
    I don’t see him that much since our schedules don’t align – I work during the day, and he works at night. Sometimes I go to his house when he finishes work around midnight, or we see each other on the weekends. I’m determined to make it work though.
    What do you guys think? Have I invested too much and been too “girlfriend” like before I should have? And if so, is there any way I can up my value to him now? I would like him to see that he needs to make a serious move with me in order to keep me around.

    #655653 Reply


    At 8 months you should definitely be a girlfriend. I give a man 5 months at the most…usually 4. It could be that he sees you as a girlfriend and he just thought it happened. Have you meet his friends and family? The first thing you need to do is talk. Like yesterday…so the next time you see him. Tell him, “You know I was just thinking we have never talked about what our relationship is formally. I am dating to find a serious committed relationship. Is that what you want too?” If he says anything less than yes at this point, you must leave. If a man doesn’t want you by 8 months he never will. Next time, establish in the first few dates what both of you are looking for. Then if you are both looking for a serious relationship, date him. Around the 3 or 4 month mark he should ask you to be his girlfriend and if he doesn’t you need to talk.

    #655655 Reply


    Thank you for your input, Amanda. Saying that we dated for 8 months is not all that true….. I mean, we had the four-month break during which we barely talked. So now that we’re back together I definitely feel in some ways that we’re back to the beginning. And it’s been a month now. He freaked out last time because he sensed I was acting a lot like his girlfriend, and apparently, he was looking for a casual thing but ended up liking me more than he thought. So he broke it off.
    I think that now I’m ecstatic to have him back and I’m scared to mess it up with him. I want a relationship but somehow I feel like HE should be the one asking me for it since he’s the one who’s scared of commitment. Does that make sense?
    So I guess my question is more: how do I make it clear to him that he needs to act if he wants to keep me? As I said in my post I think I’ve been too available, too eager to do everything on his terms and so on…..
    But yes, I have met his friends and the most important people around him. His family lives in another country. I’m going to see my family in my home country next spring and he’s told me he wants to come with me. So we will see.

    #655657 Reply


    ” I want a relationship but somehow I feel like HE should be the one asking me for it since he’s the one who’s scared of commitment. Does that make sense?”

    Absoutely, Marie.
    The only possible way is to remove yourself from the situation a bit. He got a bit scared because you were too much, did too much for him.

    Withdraw and let him pursue you. It may take a while before he starts.
    But it is the only way.
    Being hard to get is your only option at this point.
    By pulling away you also get a chance to move on.

    Take him back only when he has taken you out to lots of nice real dates.
    Where he has showed up on time, confirmed the date the evening before, preferably payed for you on the date (restaurant, movies, etc), picked you up at your house, then brought you home after the date.etc

    Because then he is invested emotionally in you.

    Before these actions during several months, he is not invested.

    #655670 Reply


    Lisa, thank you so much. I have been a lot more “chill” this time around, and I think he can sense that which is why he’s also treating me better this time around. During the months we dated in the beginning I was going crazy because he’s a really bad texter. Everybody says that. One of his friends told me it’s like he’s using morse code. He texts in single words, whereas I’m a lot more communicative and always on my phone with my friends. But it made me insecure and I would make up all these crazy scenarios in my mind.
    This time around I’m a lot calmer. I don’t go crazy and I hold back because I know he has to invest in me as well. These past weeks he’s started texting me a lot more, he sends me funny things on Instagram and tags me in things we’ve talked about. He asks my advice on lots of things and enjoys to cuddle with me when we’re together.
    I like your points, but at the same time I’m not so much about fancy dates. To me, I can feel when he invests in me. I know when he puts in effort, and that makes me happy. It doesn’t have to be that formal for me to be excited. Tonight he texted me a photo of his dinner (very random), he cooked it last night to bring to work today. He asked me if I wanted to try it, and honestly if he cooks for me I’ll be excited. ;)
    I guess maybe I shouldn’t worry too much since he IS putting in more effort this time around. I’m just afraid I’ve invested too much to keep that “mystery” about me. But I try to hold back and let him come to me. I’m just so in love….

    #655672 Reply


    I agree with what Amanda said to ask him straight up what does he wants at this point. I think playing hard to get at this point will not work because the relationship has been in limbo for months now and the goal here is to know whether it is leading to the right direction or it’s a dead-end as you don’t want to be wasting any more of your time if in case he still is isn’t ready to commit. It’s better to know now than wait after a few months. Have a flawless discussion about this to bring clarity to your situation.

    #655674 Reply


    Thank you, April. Actually, one of his friends who has now become my good friend too, told me a few weeks back that he had told her he thinks he’s ready for a serious relationship. I don’t know why she told me that. It made me feel so hopeful but he hasn’t mentioned anything about it to me.
    It’s funny because I feel like we can talk about anything. We’re both very honest with each other about anything and he’s my favorite person to talk to. The one thing we DON’T talk about is our feelings. I have even seen him tear up because of a deep conversation we had, but how we feel about each other isn’t something we have talked about.
    I think I’m scared to bring it up because I’m scared to lose him (again). However, you might be right that it’s better to know now than to waste months with this man…. Also since he seems to think we’re going back to my country together in 8 months! That’s a long time to be in limbo if he doesn’t do anything before the trip.
    I’ll think about it, April. Thanks

    #655680 Reply


    Marie, I feel like you missed Lisa’s point. It’s not about fancy dates. It is about him stepping up. Sometimes you go to his house when he finishes work around midnight, or you see each other on the weekends. You helped him re-do his living room. This all sounds so comfortable for him! You coming over when he wants to. You helping him when he needs you. It doesn’t show any big investment from him!

    Yes probably he has special feelings for you. But that is not necessarily enough to make you his girlfriend and try hard to make it work this time. He texts more and tags you in social media posts – that is not enough. You need to see actions.

    He told his friend he is ready for a relationship? So what! He needs to make YOU his girlfriend. That is when you get excited, not any sooner. If you are scared to bring the topic of exclusivity up, maybe your gut is telling you something.

    You need to change your mindset. You should be a prize and he should treat you as such. Until he shows some real commitment, you shouldn’t stop dating others and give your heart away.

    #655689 Reply


    Thank you for clarifying, Tina. Sorry that I missed the point…. You’re absolutely right, and seeing you put it in writing actually makes it a lot clearer that he’s really not trying too hard at this point.
    The reason I always come to his place is that I live in a one-bedroom with a roommate and he lives alone. My roommate would kill me if I had a man over that late, since she’s in bed by 10pm – haha! But you’re right, it’s all very comfortable and convenient for him at this point….
    I didn’t help him re-do his livingroom. He wants to do that this weekend and I told him yes. But I’m not sure if that’s really girlfriend duty and I’m just doing every possible thing to please him and try to prove how great I am to him? Which is not how to treat myself as a prize. At this point it’s just really not that clear to me how I go about that without being a bitch and without seeming cold to him all of a sudden. He’s very sensitive to criticism and he’s always making sure I’m comfortable with everything. When he feels I’m not happy, he pulls away. It’s a little weird. When I ask him what he wants he always tells me he wants me to be happy and comfortable. So I’m confused by him.
    So Tina, if it’s not too weird to ask: how do I become a prize and how do I do it without it seeming cold or weird all of a sudden??
    …. He definitely is possessive around me though. Went out with him and some friends a few weekends back, and a nice guy came up and talked to me. I talked to him and had a good time. My guy spotted me from across the bar and walked by me talking to the other guy. As he did, he paused next to me, put his arm around my waist and quickly smelled my hair before continuing to the bar. Scared the other guy off instantly (“my” guy is a big guy and can look a little intimidating).
    I’m confused. And I really want to talk to him about it. I’m just scared to. I’ve been going on dates, but honestly, I feel bad at this point for “wasting their time” and whenever I come home from a date I feel even more miserable because they’re just not him….

    #655691 Reply


    So you are ga ga over this guy…..

    That is the problem. He has not proved himself to you for you to be ga ga.

    Look, to be a prize you have to have the attitude of a prize.

    A prize does not give all her love and attention to a man who has not won it.

    He has not won it from you with his actions. That is why you feel insecure, cause you have the same thinking and expect a different outcome.

    Right now you are so busy chasing him so he does not leave that you cannot step back and seriously wonder if this is the guy for you. You are out of position. You should be standoffish and distant to a degree…especially since he left you once.

    You need to see this and take off the rose colored glasses. Be more distant and let him step up. Do not play his game, play yours. You are the prize, not him.

    #655692 Reply


    So you are ga ga over this guy…..

    That is the problem. He has not proved himself to you for you to be ga ga.

    Look, to be a prize you have to have the attitude of a prize.

    A prize does not give all her love and attention to a man who has not won it.

    He has not won it from you with his actions. That is why you feel insecure, cause you have the same thinking and expect a different outcome.

    Right now you are so busy chasing him so he does not leave that you cannot step back and seriously wonder if this is the guy for you. You are out of position. You should be standoffish and distant to a degree…especially since he left you once.

    You need to see this and take off the rose colored glasses. Be more distant and let him step up. Do not play his game, play yours. You are the prize, not him.

    #655696 Reply


    Marie, I’m happy you found my post useful. I do feel like you are afraid to put your foot down because you are scared of loosing him. This is making him the prize instead of you. He should be afraid of loosing you and not the other way around.

    You will have to start acting differently. I think you will feel like you are acting “weird” but you need to learn the new attitude and it might feel uncomfortable for you for a while. See it as a process of self growth and self improvement instead of “pretending”, “acting” or “not being yourself”. You should become an improved version of yourself.

    Now there is this pretty famous relationship coach who always says that you can be ruthless in your actions while still being kind in your words. I find that very useful. It’s not about being a b*tch, complaining and nagging. It’s about knowing what you want and being firm, while still kind in communicating that.

    So what can you do? For start, make yourself busy. Don’t pretend you are, but be busy! Like the weekends: plan things in advance. If he gets the idea of hanging out the last moment, you need to be busy already. You can be kind – I’d love to but … and he will learn he needs to step up. If he just wants to hang, say “I want to go there… see that… do something…” and if he doesn’t take you, go alone or with someone else. Help him with his living room as you promised – but then leave, say you are meeting friends or something in the afternoon/evening.

    This is the only way you will see if he really, really wants you. If he doesn’t, it will hurt but at least you will know you are kicking a dead horse. Be brave, something in between is not good enough for you!

    #655713 Reply


    Thank you for the input, redcurleysue. I like what you said a lot. I definitely need to see myself as more of a price. I don’t chase him that much anymore, though. This time around I’m letting him come to me, I don’t text him first and I go about living my life as I normally do. When I see him, I don’t throw myself at him, I wait to see what he does. Of course, I think of him way too much, and I am aware that I’m ga ga about him as you said. But I try to hide it pretty well.
    I think it confuses him a little, and I’ve noticed he’s acting more silly than normal around me, trying to make me laugh. It makes me a little happy to see him really hard to make me laugh. I definitely was way too crazy the first time around, and I think he senses something has changed. And it has. But I’m not sure I’m “high value” enough already.

    Tina, that makes a lot of sense. That he should be afraid of losing ME! I like that thought. :) It’s funny because I’m not nervous around him at all. We talk a lot, and I’m never afraid to tell him my opinions or challenge his views. But when it comes to discussing the “relationship” both of us are just completely silent.
    Yeah, i definitely need to be more busy. Funny thing is: he actually came back to me after I spent two weeks traveling, having tons of fun and of course sharing some of it on my social media. I noticed him liking all my stuff, and when I came back I bumped into him and he was being flirty with me, started texting me again, and here we are…. It definitely helps to be “busy”. I’ll try that out.
    I’m sure it will feel very unnatural to me at first. I’m naturally someone who always enjoy helping the people I care about, and I’m also a very affectionate person when I love somebody. I know that it will be super hard for me to just walk away from him if he wants to see me more, especially because we don’t get to spend much time together during the week and the fact that he’s not a good texter. So I miss him. He reaches out a lot to me now, but it’s so hard to keep a conversation going via text when he texts one word responses…. And in real life I can barely get him to shut up.
    But you’re right. I need him to see that I’m not just sitting at home waiting for him to call. It’s hard to say no to seeing him on week nights though – who has plans on a Tuesday night around midnight!? And he knows I’m awake. I’m a night owl…. I will report back how it goes. Thank you both so much” Cross your fingers he actually cares, because I really like him.

    #655724 Reply


    I’m in a similar situation! i went out with this guy for 4 months. I gave him lots of space and hardly ever texted first, but eventually i did start trying to make plans with him more often. I was also always very physically affectionate, i would initiate touching/kissing a lot of the time and always wanted to cuddle.Then I went away for a couple months and we stopped talking, but just this past week he has started to text me again and is trying to make plans to hang out. I haven’tseen him in months so I’m a little nervous but trying to keep cool. i think i need to cool it with the affection this time and let him come to me.

    #655739 Reply


    Marie, Lilija

    Not initiating contact is necessary at this point.

    But it is not enough.

    When he texts you and asks to meet you, you can only say yes if it is at least three days in advance.
    If he asks to meet you ‘today’ or ‘tomorrow’, you need to answer that you are booked or ‘sorry, would be lovely but i can’t tomorrow/today.’

    Otherwise he will keep treating you as a last minute date that always works, in case others can’t.

    Act as if you’ve lost interest. But polite and nice.

    It is the only way to make him chase.

    #655742 Reply


    At this point I would have a conversation about what you are. The only way you establish your value is when you ask for what you want and need.

    #655743 Reply


    Marie, I know you said you don’t feel like dating others but I really think you should. That is a great way for you to not be available all the time, keep yourself busy and also if your man is possesive it should make him move quicker to lock you down. Also dating others might help you practice “the prize” mindset.

    You can also do “quiet nights” when you just don’t reply to his texts/calls. Just reply the next day and don’t explain why.

    When you do see him, though, you need to be your best. Happy, smiling, amazing time. Be less available to him – but when you are, it should be great.

    #655748 Reply


    P.S. My suggestion is not about “tricking” him or “playing games”. It’s simply about keeping certain priviliges for your bf only.

    Of course you can go with the talk (although I think a guy should initiate that). But right now I don’t think you are giving him any incentive to commit since he already has you hooked without that.

    #655765 Reply


    I guess I’m more concerned that the OP is deluding herself that this guy has any serious designs on her. You will only find out by asking them his real intentions are. Anything other than -you’re my girlfriend, right? Should send her packing.

    #655770 Reply


    Marie you are so much younger! He is not doing enough work to keep you happy. He says he wants you to be happy but as soon as you voice some issue he withdraws, almost punishing you, so you’d have to always say you are happy.

    If he wants you to be happy he needs to work on it. People do specific things to keep others happy, is he doing any of what you need?

    I think you are too generous and too giving too him, you sound like a very sweet and nice girl, do not let anyone take you for granted. Even if you are ga ga over this guy, do not let him take you for granted. He should be dancing around you, you are a catch LOL

    He is too old for you, have you thought about it? Age difference kicks in later in life and it is not easy, it creates issues. He’d want to retire and you’d be in the height of your career. Health issues too. This guy is likely to get very complacent very soon, you will not be looked after properly, you will not feel loved, it will be all about his comfort, while you’d need to stay “happy”.

    You really need to step back from your feelings and think more in practical terms. I know when you are in love it is useless to say such things, you’d still be all over him, but over time it all adds up and eventually it might make enough of a difference for you to decide NOT to join your life with this guy.

    Step back and observe him a little more, you are still in this honey moon phase, give it more time, do not move in with him for at least a year, I am sure you’d see him differently in a year. Best of luck!

    #655771 Reply


    They are only dating for the past month (four months all together but there was a four month break in between). So I think it’s still too early for the talk. Also too early for OP to act like a gf herself.

    #655776 Reply


    So whenever I hear a man ‘got scared’ and backed off? I call BS. No man I have ever been in a real relationship with backs off if he is really into me. It would be too much of a risk to drop a woman for several months. Why would he risk you meeting someone else?

    So I think he doesn’t want to be a bf to you and used this as an excuse to cut things off. It’s a kind and gentle way of letting you down. Now he is back and you are down graded to a fwb. Because if he isn’t put as much effort in and hasn’t broached the topic of bf/gf he is just enjoying your company without the responsibility of taking this to the next level. Lots of men do this. It’s much easier to go back to a woman they already know becausits easy. Especially if the woman really likes him, it takes very little effort to send a text and re engage again. That’s what I see this man likely is doing.

    Bottom line is this: when a man really wants to be with you, you don’t have to try to figure out how to be the ‘prize’ because he already sees you as the prize. Whenever women pick the man before he has picked you, it rarely works.

    #655777 Reply


    Yes, I just don’t think it will be in her favor so to speak. She is bending over backwards for someone who is no the putting in any effort and already dumped her once and I think in this casebook she needs to hear from the man himself.

    #655778 Reply


    I would pull back a little. Don’t be so available to him and sleep with him every time if he is not stepping it up right away. Be a little distant and let him show you who he is..

    #655779 Reply


    You don’t have to reestablish any value. If someone doesn’t value you, it’s on them, not on you. And whenever someone doesn’t value you, you walk. There is not another way.

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