Ways We Turn Him Into A Commitment Phobic Man
Look, a commitment phobic man has trust and intimacy issues and had those problems LONG BEFORE you ever showed up in the picture. However, there are some things us gals do in a relationship to make a man hesitant to commit.
Dr. Phil says we shouldn’t speculate but instead just measure when trying to predict how a relationship will turn out. By measure he means measure the future against the past. If your man has a history of savoring his autonomy over mutuality, than chances are this pattern isn’t going to miraculously change in your favor. You don’t have to speculate, for example, on how he will treat you if you get married, you already pretty much know.
I always tell women to stop trying to change a man, to fix him, to hang onto the “if only he _____” in hopes that he will transform into a knight in shining armor. If a man is a commitment-phobe, it may be best to cut your losses now instead of hoping he’ll commit. However, sometimes we are quick to slap a “zero accountability” label on a guy who ends up marrying another woman once we cut him loose.
Here are some ways we turn him into a commitment phobic man:
1. We victimize ourselves. Look, in every great relationship both partners have a mutual understanding that empathy is necessary to love. A good man who is smart about love will put your needs first and will ask you do the same. You both will care about and tend to each other’s feelings and needs as a priority and won’t judge one another during “needy” and “weak” moments.
However, sometimes we either flat-out abuse our partner’s empathy or we can’t capture the balance between “I want you to be there for me; I will be there for you, too” and we end up the one who needs too much emotional attention.
Read More Love Advice On Connect With His Heart: What To Say When He Won’t Commit To A Life Together!
Men love to comfort and offer emotional support, but they can’t handle too much emotion being thrown at them. Their computer crashes and they just shut down. Your constant need for his opinion and comfort turns you into an annoyingly weak and whiny woman in his mind; empathy is soon replaced with apathy.
Try to take care of your emotional needs best you can and refrain from being negative and helpless too often. You may just think that you are expressing yourself and being open about your problems, but he may be crippling under all your anxiety, sadness and negative energy.
Find the balance between giving and needing attention and make sure to stay positive and be constructive about your feelings, not just harp on and on about your needs to the point of feeling like a victim in your relationship.
2. We push for more. Sometimes we women push for commitment too fast, too hard and even when it’s not really what they want. A woman could push a guy to ask her to move in with him, not because she wants to live day-to-day with his toilet habits and horrible TV choices, but because she just wants to know he cares enough to want to live with her.
Even if you really, really do want the commitment from him and are ready to settle down in a life-partnership, your pushiness isn’t helping. A man wants to feel like he’s the one in control of the pace of his relationship otherwise he might feel powerless. When a man starts feeling powerless, he gets resentful. Even if he really does want the same things as you, once he starts feeling powerless (voiceless, unheard, drowned out by your needs, etc.), he will quickly convince himself that he has to fight against whatever it is you ask for. Everything with him becomes a tug-of-war and you BOTH will end up feeling controlled.
Read More Commitment Advice From Connect With His Heart: Showing Affection Won’t Make Him Commit If He Feels Smothered!
3. We don’t enjoy the ride. He fell for you because you are fun, sweet, sexy, silly, etc. He wants to have great sex, laugh together and feel like he is on vacation when he is with you. He doesn’t want to feel like each moment with you gets spent planning (“Let’s talk about the future” “Should we get on the phone and invite friends over next weekend” “Let’s organize a plan to move in together” “Let’s talk about where we should go to lunch and what our week is going to look like.”)
If you can’t even enjoy sex with him without thinking about the 10 other things you have to get done that day and/ or analyzing his behavior to the point of not remaining in the moment, you are pushing him away. Intimacy is about being present and having a playful, open, connected energy that invites fun, happy moments. Men need and crave this. They don’t want to feel like some accessory you drag around while planning, managing, controlling, organizing the rest of your life.
4. We are too accommodating. Most modern women are afraid of the words “needy”, “nagging”, “demanding”, etc. so they act like everything is fine in their relationship when things aren’t fine. If a guy thinks that you will let him get away with murder, he will slowly start treating you with less and less respect and giving you less and less attention. A man wants a woman who can call him out on his crappola. A woman who knows how to stick up for herself and her needs in a relationship is desirable and attractive.
Sometimes men don’t even know what they need. They think, “Oh, I love my male freedoms and I love not being nagged”, but then they get a girl who likes her own space and never asks anything of him and soon feel unwanted and almost useless in the relationship. A woman who knows what trust, intimacy, mutuality, closeness and respect mean to her will be the Love Guide in her relationship and teach the guy the valuable assets that partnership has to offer. Sometimes a self-proclaimed commitment-phobic man will begin to see the advantages of being responsible to a tightly woven relationship.
Red Rose Woman: The Enchantress Inside You (discover your Female Fire and become the hypnotic and sexy woman who never loses herself in a relationship AGAIN!)
What To Say When He Won’t Commit To A Life Together
Sometimes relationships can be amazing and we can feel like the only thing we need to make the relationship perfect is a commitment. However, when he won’t commit no matter what we try, the entire relationship can feel painful and pointless.
I know how horrible it feels to love a man, know that he loves you, and yet find yourself waiting around for him to step up to the plate and shelf his male freedoms for a chance to share a life with you. In the relationship I’m in now, there was a long time where my man was very happy seeing me twice a week for a sleepover and then spending the rest of his time in his house, doing his thing and not dealing with me on a daily basis.
At first, it was a nice arrangement. I had been married and welcomed a relationship where I didn’t have to have arguments about wet towels left on the bed. But then, I wanted more. I not only wanted to see him more than every few days, I wanted to feel like I wasn’t just his vacation: I felt like he was living on this island and every now and then he’d leave his li’l paradise for a chance to have some good sex, good laughs and some good conversation.
I was starting to wonder whether he would stick around and love me during those hard times that are inevitable in every relationship where there are less laughs and more stressful moments of disconnect and misunderstanding.
I thought, “What’s to stop him from moving on when my smile fades and I start really pushing for more, or when I’m pregnant and bitchy and he’s missing those weekends of wine and black lacy teddies? He won’t commit and I have be honest with myself about what that means for my future with him!”
I brought up commitment (even marriage) once or twice (okay, maybe three or four times) but didn’t get anywhere with him. He’d say, “This is me and I don’t know if I’m the family guy. I like my space and I like my freedom.” His words were always cold and sprinkled with hostility. They would sting and in order to avoid hearing him outright reject a future with me, I just ignored the issue.
Read More Relationship Advice For Women On This Love Blog: Have Intimacy Issues In The Relationship? How To Handle Mr. Cold
I tried really hard to pretend that commitment didn’t matter to me and that I was just being greedy and only wanting more because he didn’t. So, to avoid the whole issue, I got busy with the rest of my life. That worked for a while and I did end up feeling generally happy and whole in my life independent of him. But I still couldn’t push down those feelings of wanting to be a twosome instead of a two-time-a-week girlfriend.
How I Got Him To Come Around
I soon became desperate for a commitment. Not to mention that my biological clock was ticking so loud, I couldn’t sleep at night. I was 30 at the time and my friend who was only a few years older was having complications with her pregnancy that were likely related to her age.
I was panicking and unsure whether I should wait for this man or cut bait. I thought maybe I should rush to find a guy who wanted a family and could give me kiddies before another half-decade went by. After all, time slips by fast and if I had left the relationship, I knew it would take a while to get over him and be ready to date.
To gain the strength I needed to face this issue head-on and in a proactive manner, I made a list of all the things I wanted out of a relationship. I analyzed the list and realized that I had most of those things with my man but that some of the things (the really important ones like emotional security and a need to feel unconditionally loved) were things that I didn’t have due to his apparent commitment-phobia.
I realized that, though I knew he loved me and we were exclusive, I didn’t feel safe! I didn’t feel like his need to be close to me was more significant to him than his need to assert his autonomy. That feeling of coming second to ‘man space’ will leave a woman feeling unsafe. How can I relax into a relationship when I feel like at any moment, the man I love could feel too smothered or burdened to stay? Committed people work it out and commitment-phobes bail when the heat goes up in the kitchen.
So I spoke with him.
This time I didn’t tell him what I wanted him to do or how frustrated I was with him, which were the feelings that led my past commitment chats with him. I only spoke about myself and addressed my feelings about the kind of life I wanted. It went something like this: “I feel really panicky and sad. I feel my biological clock ticking inside me and I don’t think it’s something I can even control. I don’t want to wake up one day and feel angry with myself that I didn’t listen to my heart and didn’t go after what I wanted. I love you and want nothing more than a life with you, but I also want a relationship with a man who wants what I do and who sees life as a partnership.”
Read More Relationship Advice On This Love Blog: He’s Stalling! How To Get Him To Commit!
Then I said the most important part of my statement…
“What do you think I should do? I trust your opinion and this also involves you. What advice can you give me?”
He looked at me and started crying. He was taken aback and was very emotional at the idea of losing me. Before when I brought up our future, he was defensive and even irritated. Now I wasn’t making anything I was saying directly about him. I was coming to him as my confidant, not my enemy; I even held his hand while we spoke together. I was asking his advice without putting anything in his lap. I was taking the responsibility off of him enough for him to hear my needs.
He told me that I should do what I had to do and that he understood if that meant that I had to leave. We cried together and I told him that I had to go. We said goodbye.
I was panicked and angry. I was heartbroken and unsure about whether or not I had the strength to move on. But I also felt soooo dignified and proud of myself for taking care of my needs. After all, he had no problem putting himself first, so why was I denying myself what I wanted and needed?
(I have to also say that working on my life outside of him for months before I spoke with him helped me to let go and not feel so lost without him!)
When He Called Me Three Weeks Later
Three weeks later he called me and told me he missed me. I told him that I missed him, too. I was honest and said that I was devastated and didn’t know how I was going to get past the relationship, but that I knew what I wanted. He seemed frustrated that I wouldn’t see him or that I didn’t miss him enough to give him back the convenient relationship that had sustained him for years.
Read More Relationship Advice For Women On This Love Blog: What Are Signs He Loves Me?
Then a month later he called again and said that he loved me and wasn’t going to lose me because of his fear of commitment. I told him that I didn’t want him to come back to me just because he didn’t want to lose me. I told him that he had to want the same things I did. He revealed that he did want those things but that he didn’t know how to get there. I told him that if I considered coming back, we would have to seek counseling. I knew that as a proud, traditional man he hated the idea of counseling, and when he agreed to go, I agreed to come back.
Where We Are Now
It’s been over two years and we are now in a strong, healthy, committed relationship. We still go to counseling. We don’t have that baby yet but we do have each other (in a way we never did before). I can see in his eyes that he is determined to make things work and that he prioritizes our love over anything else in his life. We wake up next to each other every morning and hold each other every night before bed. I really love the way he puts me first now and I appreciate the work he has done on himself and his fears. It makes me feel safe.
I’m not telling you that you have to follow in my footsteps and leave your man if he isn’t committing. The truth is that you have to leave because you want more, not as a threat or ploy. He may never come back and if you try to breakup with him just as a tactic, it may backfire in your face.
What I am telling you is that you have to know what you want out of life and if a man stops adding to that dream, maybe you should ask yourself whether you need him or not. You could love him very much, but if you know he’s stopping you from having the bigger picture (or just causing you too much pain and suffering), love yourself enough to do something about the issue before years pass by.
Don’t forget, too, the words I used and the attitude I held during that talk with him before I walked out. If I hadn’t have done that he says that he would have felt angry and manipulated when I left– like I was trying to trick him into a commitment. It was only when I talked with him from a place of wanting him to see my dilemma and pain as my trusted companion that he was able to be less selfish and immature.
He was able to be accountable to my feelings during that talk because I had removed blame from the conversation. He was able to be selfless, telling me warmly and lovingly that I should take care of my needs no matter what even though it hurt him so much to say goodbye.
Read More Relationship Advice For Women On This Love Blog: Don’t Chase A Commitment-phobe!
He claims that it was during that talk that he saw how well we worked together—that we could have an adult and practical conversation about a very touchy issue. He knew we’d make a good team as parents and life partners and that helped make him less afraid to commit.
He’s Stalling! How to Get Him to Commit
When a woman is ready for a serious commitment with a man, yet she can’t get him to commit, she can find herself in a real bind.
It can feel horrible to know that you have found the One in a certain man and feel like he is still debating whether or not to make you his One.
I know how that feels. I have had male “friends” who didn’t want to make me a girlfriend. I thought that playng things cool and remaining easy-breezy would inspire these men to commit, but this never worked. What ended up happening instead was that they slowly lost all interest in me and moved onto another new “friend”, or worse, to a new girlfriend.
Why You Can’t Get Him to Commit
There are so many different reasons that a man won’t commit. He could feel financially in a bad place, he could be a commitment-phobe, he could still want to play the field, or he may be on the fence about you.
Read More Relationship Advice For Women On This Love Blog: Compromise Vs. Being A Pleaser
Trying to figure out his reason is wasting energy, because if he hasn’t been clear with you yet, he isn’t going to be. And even if he has stated his reason, it’s not your job to fix things and make it easier for him to commit.
It’s your job to take care of YOU. It’s your job to never settle for less than you want in life.
How to Get Him to Commit
If you want him in your arms for life, you are going to have to put your dream relationship ahead of your dream man: you may have to choose marriage, even if it’s not with him.
You have to fantasize about your future life. What does it look like? Do you have kids? A home together?
Read More Relationship Advice For Women On This Love Blog: Insecure In Love? Stop Making Him Test-Out
Then you have to ask yourself, “Am I willing to lose this man to have this dream? Or will I follow him around, wasting years, just to be with him, no matter what?”
Be honest with yourself. Some women want a certain man, no matter what– only wanting a family if it is with him. If you feel this way, stay with him, waiting and hoping. But if you have a dream of a family (married with children), then accept that you are letting that dream slip away the more you allow him to have the power in the relationship.
If and when you do accept that you may lose him to achieve your dream relationship, you need to tell him how you feel… from a place of hope. I want you to be hopeful about the outcome of the conversation. You can still know your boundaries while expecting the best!
You open your heart, hold his hand and tell him very lovingly; “I love you and want to be with you. However, more than anything I want a serious commitment from a man. If it’s not going to be with you, then I have to free myself up to find that man.”
Then I want you take a deep breath and listen to his response.
If he feels like he can’t offer you what you need, or feels pressured, you have to politely and lovingly tell him that you need to go after your dream relationship. (Don’t make him feel threatened or pushed away!) This ISN’T an ultimatum. It’s not a threat. It should only be said if you are really ready to FULLY commit to pursuing your dream relationship!
Read More Relationship Advice For Women On This Love Blog: Remove Emotional Walls & Put Up Personal Boundaries
**Now, yes, there are men who will commit if you wait it out a while, but this is a chance happening and many times, these men aren’t crazy about the woman.**
Once I Tell Him How I Feel, Then What Do I Do to Get Him to Commit?
Assume that the relationship is over for now. Take some time for yourself. Start the grieving process and be kind to yourself, getting massages and buying yourself flowers and li’l treats.
After a few weeks, go out and date. Don’t sleep with anyone. Just have fun flirting and letting men buy you drinks and dinners.
Let your man have his time to think. If he wants to spend his life with you, he will quickly realize it. If he can’t commit or can’t commit to YOU, he won’t come calling. If he comes back, but half-way (he wants to see you but still can’t commit), don’t see him.
Read More Relationship Advice For Women On This Love Blog: Heal Intimacy Issues In Your Relationship
Don’t let a man have the power in the relationship, making you feel torn up inside while you wait. You have to do YOU always. If you want a family and a devoted man who would do anything for you, then have that relationship. Don’t waste time trying to force a certain man to give you this. If you are true to your needs, he will jump on board or won’t.
In my Love Advice Newsletter, I discuss your Feminine Allure and how to be the kind of woman who gets a commitment from a man. I focus on building your self-confidence to help make you feel more soft, vulnerable, sensual, sexual and loving with men. I teach you how to prepare for tough talks with men (like the commitment chat) and how to not go “future” on a man too soon.
Dating Advice For Women: Knowing When To Be Optimistic About Love
Pop psychology loves to pump people full of romanticized faith: poetic photographs with quotes preaching positivity on friends’ Facebook pages; the word ‘hope’ carved into pocket-size stones and spelled out in rhinestones on hundred-dollar bracelets. And why not? Why not encourage a little optimism, especially in love? With a dismal divorce rate and couples having less and less faith in long-term commitment, why not push people to trust a bit more?
My coaching is all about having an open heart with men. I encourage women to have a little-girl heart when dating or in a relationship: find your childlike whimsy, feel your emotions fully and live in the present moment. But what I don’t want women to do, and what often happens is, women hold onto false hope.
Don’t Stay Optimistic About Love As An Excuse To Continue A Bad Relationship
Has Mr. Unavailable been hanging around, staying just out of reach but close enough to make your mouth water?
You can’t stop thinking about him, strategizing on how you can get him to come just a little closer and realize his true feelings for you. You not only remain optimistic about love, you remain a champion fighter for the cause. You STUFF DOWN all the yucky, negative feelings. Especially the anger– oh boy, you sure don’t want him to see that slimy black gook. You even fight back the tears and the heaviness and you make a promise to yourself that you will be more fun, more exciting and sexier next time you are around him. You wrap yourself into a pretzel trying to cater to all his apparent needs and be that source of unconditional love in his life he’s never known.
But the reality is that your negative feelings don’t just disappear when you ignore them long enough; they go somewhere. They are very patient li’l buggers, hanging out in the depths of your soul, waiting for a vulnerable moment to break free and blow up to the surface. You end up blowing up at Mr. Unavailable, experiencing emotional roller coaster rides every time he disappoints you, and you end up acting passive aggressive or needy.
Sometimes Believing In The Brighter Side Of A Bad Boy Leaves You In Total Darkness
We all know when we are dating (or even married to) Mr. Unavailable: we know he’s got a glitch in the empathy processing systems in his brain; we know he’s a man boy who can’t seem to hold himself accountable to anything; we know intimacy terrifies the crap out of him and that he cheats or disappears for days. Yet we hold onto faith. We get on the computer and pluck “believe in love” memes from Google Images; we buy books, eBooks and ePrograms to help us seduce him into our arms. The problem is that he will never come. He can’t. He doesn’t have the tools in his toolbox.
Be Optimistic About Finding Real Love
Sometimes the best faith we can have is in a power higher than ourselves, and I’m not talking about God. I’m talking about the power of true love. I’m talking about having the faith to continue dating a guy you know is a good man and would make a stable and committed partner even when you don’t initially feel the attraction, the chemistry, the spark. If you have FAITH in the power of love, you can stay in that dating relationship and trust that mutual attraction will happen over time. Because it will. (It’s about having faith in your intuition, in your ability to create something that goes deeper than chemical romance. It’s about believing that you are worth more than being kept at a distance by a limited man.)
Use your intuition and be honest with yourself about men who are lost causes, but don’t become paranoid and ditch a guy at the first sign of a red flag. Take your time with guys and trust that if you relax on dates, enjoy yourself (while still holding back from sleeping with him too soon or getting too emotionally invested early on), the truth of who a guy is will slowly reveal itself. A wolf in sheep’s clothing will soon let a whisker or claw pop through if he’s comfortable enough with you. If this happens, don’t panic. You’ll live. Have faith that you can bounce back from him; believe that not all men are wolves and that love is waiting for you. That’s truly being optimistic about love!
Time To Be Vulnerable Without Being Susceptible
The fastest way to a broken heart is to pretend you don’t have one. Charlie Sheen said that. Knowing his reputation, it’s obvious that he has a lot of experience with playing games and what kind of woman is susceptible to his limitations. If you act hard, brittle, distrusting; if you play games with men because you think that’s the way to find love, you are going to end up burned. I guarantee you that however fantastic you think your game is, there is a Mr. Unavailable who has a better game. You have feelings, you have needs, you have a tenderness that yearns for tender protection. Don’t play with emotionally unavailable men—they will scar your scars.
Instead, play zero games. And be vulnerable with EVERY man. Not susceptible, but vulnerable. This will train you to trust your boundaries and know what feels good and what feels awful. The way I want you to be vulnerable is to communicate your feelings and allow men, even the Mr. Unavailables, to see your feelings. I ask that you are open with your heart and emotions in every conversation you have with a man. Have faith in yourself and in your boundaries to always speak the truth about how someone or something makes you feel. And do it in a way that invites men closer to you…
Open-Hearted Communication: What To Say & How
The best communication is the easiest and most direct. To use words to create instant intimacy takes a lot of vulnerability, softness, kindness, and, wait for it… optimism. It takes trust that more men will respond lovingly than not, and it takes trust to know that no matter how a man reacts to hearing your feelings, you are going to survive and be okay. You can’t control a man’s reaction, but you can control how you act and how much dignity you emanate.
photo source: livelifehappy.com
Breathe, find your grounding and state your feelings in a soft, revealing tone that lacks judgment or bitterness. If you accomplished this, you’ll be so alluring, you’ll be able to tell a man that you’re “so angry you want to stab him with a kitchen knife” and he’ll still offer you a hug. (I mean it, it’s happened to me with my man. And I was holding a knife at the time.)
Examples of open-hearted communication:
“I feel sad and angry when you disappear on me for days.”
“I feel really good when a man kisses me hello, thank you for doing that.”
“I feel uncomfortable on first dates but I’m working through it.”
The best communication requires that you be optimistic about the end result, which isn’t his reaction, but how you are going to feel about yourself for being so open and truthful.
If you want to learn more communication tips, sign up for my Love Advice Newsletter. In it, I talk extensively about vulnerability vs. susceptibility and how to be a soft, sensual and luscious woman while still remaining strong in your beliefs and boundaries. If you want to be optimistic about love, you have to share who you are without losing who you are to an emotionally unavailable man
How To Spot & Release Emotionally Unavailable Men
An article I wrote for YourTango.com:
A relationship when both partners are “all-in” is tough enough. But when your man is emotionally unavailable, things are so much harder. You’re committed to making things work, but he just won’t open up. A tell-tale sign of an emotionally unavailable man is a lack of empathy; check for these signs before you get too committed. Although my audience is largley heterosexual females, this article will ring true for those dealing with emotionally unavailable men or women.
Signs That A Man Lacks Empathy:
- He cheats and then blames you.
- He takes space (more than a day or two) and doesn’t care that it hurts you.
- He dumps you over and over again and each time calls to take you back — without concern for your feelings.
- He shuts down when you act panicky or insecure in the relationship.
- He isn’t interested in finding ways to soothe your worries.
- He stonewalls you despite your tears and pleas for his understanding and compassion.
- He tells you that you are the problem and that if you want to be with him, you have to figure out how to make him love you again.
- He doesn’t respect your boundaries (emotional or physical).
- He verbally and emotionally abuses you because he thinks you need to learn.
- He accuses you of being smothering and mistrusting when you ask him about other women.
- He explodes when you cry or get emotional.
- He makes you feel like you’re always the only one apologizing (maybe he even acts victimized for days).
- He makes you feel like the bad guy and usually his feelings are the only ones that matter after a fight.
- He dismisses your feelings: he laughs at your feelings and needs, calls you ‘such a woman’ when you are upset, leaves the room, and/or brushes you off.
- He looks at you with a blank face when you cry to him, as if he truly doesn’t understand what’s wrong or what your obvious distress suggests about your emotional state.
- He makes you feel out of control emotionally, and you’ve never felt that way in previous relationships.
Wondering if the man you’re dating is emotionally unavailable? Maybe you have a pattern of dating emotionally unavailable men? One telltale sign that a man doesn’t have the capabilities to be intimate, considerate, compassionate, honest, loyal and open in a relationship is a lack of empathy in moments when you need him most.
Emotionally Unavailable Men Can’t See Past Their Needs & Feelings
Women often confuse the sensitive, wounded man with the emotionally available man. Warning: just because a man can easily cry doesn’t mean that he’s compassionate. Sensitivity does not equal empathy. Some emotionally unavailable men are compassionate — they give to charities, they listen to their friends’ problems, they lend money to friends and family members; however, you have to look at a man’s level of compassion for another person’s feelings in moments when he’s upset with that person, or just upset in general. You have to look at how he behaves when you are most needy: when your insecurities flare up or when you’re in the midst of a tough circumstance.
It’s hard to tend to your partner’s feelings when you are not in a positive emotional state. Most of us quickly get irritated, frustrated and fed up with a loved one who puts emotional demands on us when we feel to-the-brim already. However, it’s important to find a way to make space for your partner’s feelings at all times, because an ability to give when it’s hardest to do so is testiment to good character. An emotionally unavailable man can’t grasp this concept.
It’s Not Totally His Fault If He Lacks Empathy
Cognitive scientist Simon Baron-Cohen recently made the discovery that a lack of empathy is associated with the male brain. The more typically “male” the brain, the more likely the person is to systemize than to empathize. In fact, Baron-Cohen calls an autistic brain (autism is a disorder in which the person, among other things, lacks empathy), an exaggerated male brain. (Women can also have a more “male” than “female” brain; it’s not just about gender.)
Knowing there’s scientific proof to some of mens’ emotional limitations can help you stop taking a man’s lack of compassion for your feelings personally. I’m not suggesting you ignore questioning whether your man is emotionally unavailable, because that’s not healthy for you or your love life; however, understanding that some people are biologically limited when it comes to empathy can help you remove your self-worth from his reactions and responses. Too often we wrap our sense of confidence in a man’s ability to love us the way we need him to.
There Are Plenty Of Emotionally Available Men
Just because modern science links the male brain to a lack of empathy, it doesn’t mean that other factors don’t come into play that can make men compassionate beings. Good parenting, healthy role models and a quality education can make a man born with a very ‘male’ brain into a caring and understanding person. Many men are extremely available to womens’ feelings and needs, and are able to do so during even the most heated of arguments; a lot of men are more empathetic than many women.
I’m Freaking Out & Reading Into Everything
Here’s a letter written to me from Claudia, who is in a long distance relationship; however, any of us in local relationships could also be in her shoes.
Hi. I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am to have just bought your program. My circumstance is very common, I think. I am freaking out and reading into everything that my boyfriend is saying and doing.
Six months ago I moved two states away from him. When I left we made no plans for the future together. He said that he didn’t know how we would work out. I told him I would stay if he was sure of me, but he said it was too soon to know.
We have been together for three years. I think that “too soon” is a cop-out.
I moved, and since then , we are not talking that much on the phone and every time he doesn’t answer his phone, I assume he just doesn’t want to talk to me. He never calls me back right away and keeps his calls short.
The thing is that when I talk about my feelings and breaking things off, he says no. He says he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me. But we speak only like 3 times a week and haven’t seen each other in 2 months.
My family says I should just break it off, but I don’t want to do that. I love him and would move back to be with him but my job is good and he doesn’t seem to want to commit.
Should I move on? How do I stop reading into everything? Sometimes he says I’m nutty for assuming so many things, but I can’t help it. I’m tired of feeling insecure and confused and I hope your program helps me win him back.
My heart goes out to you. Long distance love is hard. I did a 1 1/2 year long distance relationship and it was very trying on my heart and patience.
The problem here is that your man has not made any attempt to commit, and I think you are right about 3 years being enough time to know. Some men know within 6 months that a woman is ‘the one’.
I’m so happy that you moved away and didn’t wait around for this man to define your life.
I know how crazy not knowing can feel. Suddenly, every text he sends is read and reread for hidden meanings. It’s best you don’t continue reading into things. It’s time for you to talk with him.
It sounds like you both have talked but maybe not in an effective way. My FREE Love Advice Newsletter will take you through the steps to prep for the conversation. The important thing to keep in mind is that your feelings are valid and that you have a right to look after your needs. You can be polite, open, loving and sweet, while still being direct, honest and firm.
Don’t let him guilt-trip you for moving or make you think you’re crazy for worrying and feeling needy. You have a right to feel stressed; you haven’t seen him in months because he makes zero effort to connect and yet he tells you he doesn’t want to break up. It’s maddening.
Just state your feelings and let HIM come up with the solution. If he has no solution, then back off from the relationship.
You can take his calls, have him stay with you (if he asks to visit and he buys his ticket), you can respond to his emails… You can’t, however, initiate contact or invitations to visit you. You also have to be clear with him that you are going to casually date other men until he is ready to commit. This isn’t a threat, it’s a way for you to get back out there and see that there ARE other men in the world and PERHAPS some of them are better equipped and more willing to make you happy!
Flirt with men and connect with people. Make an effort to make new friends in your new home state. Get nestled in and every time you want to reach out to your man like he’s some familiar security blanket, find new security blankets in your new location (a great gal pal, a local gelato shop or a cozy bookstore).
If he loves you and wants you as his life partner, he will pick up the pieces where you left off. Right now, it’s easy for him to have you there waiting around. Make him think that you are too great to wait. Because you are!
If you want me to read your emails, sign up for my Goddess Advice Newsletter and then hit ‘reply’ to one of my eLetters! You also may find the answer to your question in the newsletter, which is FREE and chock-full of great advice on men.
How To Get Him To Propose To You
Article I wrote for YourTango.com: You love him and you know he’s the one; he says he loves you but admits he’s not sure if you’re his forever woman. This not only hurts like hell; it’s maddening. In your heart, you know that he loves you and would be miserable without you in his life, but your head tells you that you’re acting like a fool waiting around for a guy who will never claim you like you deserve to be claimed. Should you cut bait or hold out and try harder to get him to propose?
There are two possible solutions to this dilemma: you leave or you work on the relationship. Notice how I didn’t write “you leave or you wait”? Clearly there is something not right for him on a gut level about this relationship—something that’s keeping him from taking the plunge. Maybe it’s that he’s emotionally unavailable and not able to commit to any woman or maybe it’s something specific to the relationship. But whatever it is, waiting around and doing more of what you’ve been doing isn’t going to get him to propose.
Is He Emotionally Available For Marriage?
If you want to get him to propose, first ask yourself if you think he’s emotionally capable of being married and participating in marriage as a giving partner. He may not be ready to settle down or he may be emotionally incapable of doing so. Marriage takes a lot of work, compromise and prioritizing of your spouse, and in his head marriage might translate to being stuck forever. It’s called commitmentphobia.
If you can tell that he is looking to settle down and is willing to do the work it takes to keep a partnership afloat, then ask yourself why you think he’s stalling. Be very honest with yourself about your behavior and attitude in the relationship. Often times, women push for commitment, desperate to reach the next step in love, and they bring pushy, angry, dissatisfied energy into their relationship. It’s a natural response to feel negativity, hostility, and anger about trying to get him to propose, so don’t beat yourself up. But do try to recognize its existence in your relationship.
Are You Doing The Wrong Work To Get Him To Propose?
Working hard at a relationship sometimes means doing less. Though it’s important to listen and respond to your boyfriend’s needs, it’s also important that you aren’t participating in what I call backdoor behaviors. These are actions a woman takes to get into a man’s heart through the backdoor—trying too hard to please him, cater to him, and woo him in a way that feels smothering to a man.
When you love a man you do things for him out of love, not out of a desire to get him to propose or to commit: if it’s not free, don’t do it. If you have been breaking your back to get him to propose and are angry, frustrated, hurt, and hopeless because nothing you do seems to change things, you have to stop doing things for him right now. Focus on your happiness and only give to him when it doesn’t come with a pricetag and when it’s fun to do so.
Slow Down & Relax Your Clutch
Once I tried to paint a painting for my boyfriend that embodied our love. It was very important to me that I made something beautiful that reflected well on me as a talented person. I wasn’t a painter and I didn’t know how to begin. Frustrated with my inability to create something worthy of our love, I went to an artist friend and asked her for advice. She said, “Go home and listen to a piece of classical music that moves you. Then pick up two twenty-pound weights and listen to it again. I promise you that the second time you won’t hear the beauty anymore. Your desire to create a certain outcome is those weights, stopping you from hearing the beauty of your relationship while you paint.”
How To Respond When He Needs Space
An article I wrote for YourTango.com:
Is the man you love acting like a ghost in your relationship? Maybe he’s even vocalized that he needs space? Perhaps he claims nothing’s wrong, but he just doesn’t return your texts and seems to be a whole lot busier than he was in the early stages of dating?
Before you convince yourself that he has one foot out of the relationship, ask yourself if you truly believe that he is capable of commitment and a long-term partnership. Also ask yourself if you feel, on a gut level, that he truly loves you and wants a relationship with you. If you feel confident that he is an emotionally available man and is in love with you, then this space could be a good thing. If you feel doubtful that he has the ability to love, then it is time to say goodbye.
When a man pulls back or carries on like he needs space, it can mean that he is in fact so serious about the relationship that he needs time to assess his feelings and decide whether the relationship is healthy for him long-term. Men are more in their heads than women and when the thunderbolt of love hits them, they may need to take a step back and look at things more logically.
The key for you is to handle his need for space in a way that’s respectful and dignified. It’s okay to communicate your feelings (like in a letter) or to ask him questions about what he’s thinking. But don’t smother him and don’t make him feel guilty and accused.
This doesn’t mean you have to ignore your feelings when he needs space. It’s important to honor your feelings and to not reward behavior that hurts you by being too flexible.
Avoid Clinging To Him When He Needs Space
When he needs space and you feel really down about it, don’t punish him by also withdrawing or accusing him of being emotionally unavailable and beyond, and don’t start to cling.
When a man pulls back, it’s natural to feel like your world is suddenly shaken up. This feeling can bring up abandonment issues and it can make us panic about losing him. When we feel panicky and scared, we reach out. We start to express love and profess devotion, and we apologize for past injustices on our part. However, this is a form of rewarding bad behavior.
You don’t want to give a man more attention when he needs space; do this when he’s trying to please you and is available to love you. Sometimes we take those good-behavior moments for granted and it’s important that you don’t.
Focus On Re-Directing Your Core
It’s common when a woman falls in love that her energy core begins to revolve around him, like the Earth around the sun. When your man needs space, this can be a beautiful opportunity to re-direct your energy core toward things that were important to you before the relationship swung in and altered everything.
Focus on loving yourself during this time, too. Be gentle with yourself and provide room to feel all of those panicky feelings. Don’t act on them, but feel them; be a witness to them happening inside you and respect them without self-judgment.
You can also make a conscious effort to learn some self-soothing skills, so that you are less inclined to call him and are better equipped to deal with rejection and uncertainty in other areas of your life.
What Is An Emotional Connection?
Emotional intimacy is the heart of a relationship; it gives it a pulse. It doesn’t matter how hot you both are for each other, how aligned your career dreams are with one anothers’, or how much you respect each other’s choices and intelligence—if you don’t share an emotional connection with the man you love, the relationship isn’t going to feel satisfying for either party for very long.
Our souls need to connect with another human being’s. We are social creatures. Even loners still need contact with other humans. Solidary confinement is the worst punishment in prison because people will go crazy without socializing.
If you are wondering exactly what is an emotional connection with a man and how to create a solid emotional connection with that special guy, here is one good sign of a tight-knit, healthy and satisfying emotional connection:
In a healthy emotional connection, you aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with a man and you aren’t careless with his vulnerability.
Are you comfortable talking about your feelings? Are you available to listen to the feelings and needs of others? I live in LA and I know a lot of women (actresses included) who like to talk about their feelings and can cry at the drop of a hat but who aren’t able to be truly vulnerable to a man and empathetic to a man’s needs. This behavior will prevent an emotional connection from taking place and will make you look simply neurotic and overly emotional.
It’s About More Than Expressing Your Wants & Your Hurt
Being vulnerable with a man isn’t always about telling him what you feel, need and how you’ve been wronged by him, it’s also about admitting when you are wrong or when you are acting from insecurities and are unsure of yourself:
“I feel sad that you talked with that girl. I don’t have an easy time trusting men and I can easily turn an innocent conversation into a sign of infidelity. How can we work on this together?”
“I hear what you are saying but I have a lot of pride and I’m fighting with myself to agree with you right now, even though I know you are right. Give me time to cool down my ego and I’ll probably be able to see things your way.”
“I have a desire to be close to you but I have intimacy issues that come up sometimes. I would love if we could talk about your experience of the emotional intimacy in our relationship so that I can address these issues better.”
Sometimes we don’t have a lot of space for a man’s needs, fears and feelings. It’s like trying to fit a suitcase in an already packed trunk.
What Is An Emotional Connection With A Man All About? Putting His Needs First Without Losing Your Self-Respect
We have a lot of feelings. We have a lot of fears. We have a lot of needs. Sometimes we don’t have a lot of space for a man’s needs, fears and feelings. It’s like trying to fit a suitcase in an already packed trunk. We are so eager to snag a man into a commitment, we aren’t paying attention to the details of the relationship—the moment to moment interactions. We run over his stories with our own. We forget to say “I’m sorry you had to go through that” or “Wow. That sounds like a great day!”
The best advice I can give a woman who is interested in improving an emotional connection with a man, or who is wondering what is an emotional connection, is to slow down and start to listen to the unspoken needs and feelings of a man, even if (especially if) he can’t express them himself. It will take you far; sign up for my FREE newsletter on the sidebar on this page and learn more of my tools and insight into the opposite sex.