Tag Archives: love

7 Dating & Relationship Tips for the Emotionally Unavailable Man

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In my previous blog, I provided 21 subtle signs of an emotionally unavailable man. I was overwhelmed with the responses from men, saying that many, if not all, of the signs resonated with them. They tell me they don’t want to be this way because they feel stuck in dating or in their relationship. They say that they can see the lonely and gloomy future, being alone and lonely, because they go through date after date, and one relationship after another.

Wanting to change is a necessary component to allow for closeness and ultimately having a great relationship. Here are 5 tips to making yourself more available to your partner:

  1. Identify your distancing strategies. These are strategies that create emotional or physical distance between you and your partner and suppress intimacy. You do them often, so they may feel so natural to you that you’re not even aware that they create distance and uncertainty in your relationship. The first step in changing behaviors is to recognize them. Some examples (check out my previous blog for more): You may focus on their imperfections, you keep future plans fuzzy, and you ignore or diminish your partner’s positive qualities or behaviors. Remind yourself that despite your discomfort with intimacy, you need it for a happy relationship.
  2. Speak up for your need for space. You will always have a need for space, particularly when things get too intimate with your partner. Do this as early as possible when you meet someone so that they don’t take things personally. Say it has nothing to do with them, but it’s something that you’ve needed in every relationship and will continue to need in your new one. Give examples: “If we spend a whole day together, I might not text you as much the next day or two” or “I don’t like to text daily when I first start dating someone.”
  3. Distract yourself. It’s easier for you to let your guard down to your partner if there’s a distraction. Engage in activities such as making dinner together or going for a walk. When you’re not hyper-focused on an intimate moment, but rather on the activity, it can help you access your loving feelings instead of repressing them.
  4. Think about secure people and how they behave in their relationships. Secure people are warm and loving, comfortable with closeness, communicate issues well, and work toward common ground during conflict. Pick 2-3 people and write down how they act and react in various situations, how they respond to and interact with their partner, and their overarching beliefs about relationships. Strive to engage in the ways that they do. Don’t overwhelm yourself and try everything at once; pick one behavior to try every week or so.
  5. Tell people what they mean to you. It might be easier to start with a non-romantic partner. It doesn’t have to be an in-depth conversation. At the end of a phone call with a friend, you can say, “Hey, I really appreciate you listening to me today. You’re a good listener and I always feel like you understand where I’m coming from. It means a lot.” I give this task to my clients and their reaction is always surprise–surprise at how much the kind words meant to the people they spoke with, and how often it was reciprocated. Little by little, you will see the positive results of this practice, and may help you be more emotionally accessible to your romantic partner.
  6. Challenge your negative interpretations of your partner’s behavior. You have a tendency of ignoring positive behaviors or diminishing their value. Continually focusing on the negative will cause your relationship to be overwhelmed with negativity, and it won’t be fun for either of you to be in it. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt that their intentions are positive or at least neutral.
  7. Challenge your catastrophizing beliefs. Your new girlfriend invites you on a romantic weekend getaway, and your brain can only think that this means you’re one step closer to marriage and a life in the suburbs. Or she invites you to hang out with her nieces and nephews, and you assume you’re practicing for parenthood. Pump the breaks. It only means she wants to spend quality time with you for a couple of days, and it definitely doesn’t mean she sees you in her future forever. Bring yourself to focus on the moment at hand, and try to avoid applying meaning that doesn’t exist.

It is possible to become more emotionally available. It takes effort, but little changes done consistently can give you the kind of relationship that deep down, you’ve always wanted.

Have More Than a Fling: How to find (and keep) the love of your life

With all the dating apps out there, how are you supposed to pick a partner? There are so many choices nowadays, how do you know he or she could be “The One”?

People date based on attraction and chemistry. You find someone attractive, you feel a spark, and you hope your relationship lasts. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t work in sustaining a healthy and happy relationship.

If you’re ready to find love, you can’t miss this event! In this three-hour workshop, you will learn Anita’s “Date to Find a Mate Method” that will teach you:

• The biggest mistakes singles make (and how to avoid them)
• How to create your “dating blueprint” to find your best match
• The must-haves for dating & relationship success (they’re not what you think)
• Online and offline dating tips & tricks – for both sexes

You will leave the workshop more prepared to create amazing opportunities for love. Finding your mate will be an important – if not the most important – decision in your life. Get it right the first time.

This event is open to women & men. Bring your friends! Limited space is available so be sure to get your ticket early to reserve your spot. Wine will be served.

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I received a question from a reader:

Dear Anita,

I’m in a 5-month relationship with my boyfriend. Things were great in the beginning but it’s been rocky the last couple of months. We’ve been arguing more and I don’t hear from him as often as I used to. I thought he was “The One” but now I’m not so sure. How do I know when to give up? Should I break up with him?

Dating is about taking the time to figure out if the person that you’re with is a good fit for you. Sometimes we believe so strongly that we have met our future partner – in the beginning of a relationship. But as time goes on, we can be plagued with doubts.

It takes time for patterns to develop, and at 5 months you’re around the point in your relationship where some of the infatuation fades and you can see your partner more realistically.

I commonly find that my clients stay in relationships longer than they should. A few questions you can answer to determine if you should stay or go:

1. Are you compromising your non-negotiables?

Do you find yourself rationalizing or justifying your boyfriend’s behaviors – or your own – that go against your non-negotiables? These can be things such as he wants to live in the suburbs but you don’t, or he doesn’t want to raise his children with a certain religion but you do. Whatever they are, if you find that you’re talking yourself out of your non-negotiables to keep your relationship, it’s not a good sign.

2. Are your needs being met?

If you’re considering breaking up, you’re unhappy to some degree. It’s difficult to feel fulfilled if your needs aren’t getting met. Think of what you find yourself complaining about or what brings you disappointment in your relationship – this can help you pinpoint your needs. For example, you want more communication but you’re not getting it – is this an important need for you?

3. Have you spoken up for what you want/need?

Some people think their partner should “just know” what they want. In the beginning of a relationship, you’re still learning about each other. It takes time to be so attuned to your partner that you can anticipate his needs, and 5 months may not be long enough for either of you to know what the other person wants. It’s better to speak up for what’s essential to you in a relationship.

4. Is there effort?

Relationships take work. They require conscious effort to not only consider your own needs, but also that of your partner’s. If your boyfriend isn’t demonstrating effort – or even if you find yourself without motivation – to make your relationship better, things probably won’t improve the longer you stay together.

5. Are you able to negotiate your differences?

Differences are inevitable. Are you and your boyfriend able to find win-win solutions to the things that you disagree on? Can you live with the differences if you can’t find mutually agreeable solutions? If not, you may have to find someone who is more naturally compatible with you.

Although there are no “one size fits all” answers, these questions can help guide you in making your decision of whether there is long-term success with your boyfriend.

People date based on attraction and chemistry. You find someone attractive, you feel a spark, and you hope your relationship lasts. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t work in sustaining a healthy and happy relationship.

If you’re ready to find (and keep) love, you can’t miss this event! In this three-hour workshop, you will learn:

  • The biggest mistakes singles make (and how to avoid them)
  • Why you keep attracting the wrong type
  • How to create your “dating blueprint” to find your best match
  • The must-haves for dating & relationship success (they’re not what you think)
  • Online and offline dating tips & tricks – for both sexes

After you register, you will receive an email from Anita with quizzes to complete. You will leave the workshop more prepared to create amazing opportunities for love. Finding your mate will be an important – if not the most important – decision in your life. Anita wants you to get it right the first time.

This event is open to women & men. Bring your friends! Space is limited so be sure to get your ticket early to reserve your spot. Wine will be served.

I’m excited to announce that my book, FIRST COMES US: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love, is officially published!

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This 365-day tip book offers practical, insightful, and quick tips to help a couple stay connected to each other and make their love last. I am reminded daily with my clients and friends how useful FIRST COMES US can be for a couple, and so I am asking you to share the book with your clients, especially if they struggle to find daily time to connect with their partner. And there’s no better time than the New Year for a couple to focus on their relationship.

For a sneak peek at this daily guide, click here. To buy the book on Amazon, click here.

Use the hashtag #FirstComesUs to share your experiences and the book on social media. Thank you for your support and cheers to strong, healthy, and passionate relationships in 2017 and for a lifetime!

People date based on attraction and chemistry. You find someone attractive, you feel a spark, and you hope your relationship lasts. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t work in sustaining a healthy and happy relationship.

If you’re ready to find (and keep) love, you can’t miss this event! In this three-hour workshop, you will learn:

  • The biggest mistakes singles make (and how to avoid them)
  • Why you keep attracting the wrong type
  • How to create your “dating blueprint” to find your best match
  • The must-haves for dating & relationship success (they’re not what you think)
  • Online and offline dating tips & tricks – for both sexes

After you register, you will receive an email from Anita with quizzes to complete. You will leave the workshop more prepared to create amazing opportunities for love. Finding your mate will be an important – if not the most important – decision in your life. Anita wants you to get it right the first time.

This event is open to women & men. Bring your friends! Space is limited so be sure to get your ticket early to reserve your spot. Wine will be served.

By the time most of my couples come and see me, they report feeling unappreciated, disconnected and out of love. Some don’t even know if they even like their partner anymore! Usually they stopped doing things that would’ve nurtured their love and connection for each other.

Here’s a list of 15 things you should keep (or start) doing in your relationship to keep it strong:

1. Compliment. Your partner may know how you feel about them or that you find them attractive, but it’s great to hear it. Point out what you admire, appreciate and simply really like about your partner. Plus studies indicate that the person receiving these compliments is more likely to succeed in achieving his or her life goals.

2. Validate. You won’t see eye-to-eye with your partner on everything. Validating their perspective and what’s important to them goes a long way in making them feel respected and accepted for who they are. You don’t have to make it your goal to agree, but to understand where they are coming from and acknowledge their viewpoints as valid.

3. Give the benefit of the doubt. With infatuation at the beginning of a relationship, it’s easy to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Of course you don’t think that they would hurt you! But as the relationship progresses, it’s more difficult to stop some of the negative thoughts and assumptions about them. Give the benefit of the doubt and if necessary, see #4.

4. Speak up. If you’re upset or hurt, speak up in a respectful way. Most of the time couples don’t intend to hurt each other, but as hurts go unaddressed, resentment and distance grows. Your partner also can’t read your mind, so when something bothers you, address it with them so they have the opportunity to make appropriate modifications.

5. Plan consistent dates. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, setting aside couple time is critical to connection. It’s easy to get bogged down in daily responsibilities and duties and not give as much effort to the relationship. With consistent dates, you’ll have time to reconnect and continually learn about each other.

6. Play together in new ways. When you first dated, getting together was all about fun and trying new things or activities together. Don’t lose that sense of variety! Take a class together or go explore a different part of your city or community. Novelty helps keep the passion alive.

7. Kiss passionately. One way to keep the romance alive and improve your health is to put some passion into your kissing. French kiss, make out, whatever – just do it!

8. Show love your partner’s way. Some people feel loved by getting hugs; others by having their partner do nice things for them. Talk with your partner about how they feel most loved and the closest to you, and show them love in these ways.

9. Have regular sex. One of the best ways to ensure an active sex life is to have it often. It’s as simple as that.

10. Talk about sex. You can prime your sexual connection by talking about it (when you’re not doing it). Tell your partner what you most enjoyed about last night, or what you’re looking forward to next. Talk about how you like sex to be initiated or how you’d prefer to be turned on. It’ll keep you feeling closer to each other.

11. Touch more. Touch releases oxytocin, and it’s a key chemical associated with feelings of happiness, closeness, and joy. Sometimes couples associate touch with sex, and when one isn’t in the mood or has the lower sex drive, the touch drastically decreases too. Having routine touching without the expectation of sex will keep you feeling close to each other.

12. Go out of your way. Couples can sometimes take each other and their feelings for granted. Do something special or put in extra effort to show your partner how much they mean to you. This can be something like picking up your partner’s favorite takeout dinner, running an errand for them or planning a spontaneous trip.

13. Create rituals. A ritual is an interaction or activity that is repeated and significant to both of you. It has to have emotional meaning. Rituals can be done however frequently you and your partner want them to be to feel connected. Eat dinner together, share morning coffee, hug and kiss every time you get home, and celebrate special occasions.

14. Apologize. When you make a mistake, own up to it. Sometimes a genuine “I’m sorry” is enough to help your partner move past an issue.

15. Put in the effort. Some of my clients have told me, “Anita, I just thought the love would always be there” or that “love should be easy.” Love isn’t enough to sustain a relationship. Sometimes you’re going to have to do things that you don’t want to do because your partner and your relationship needs it. This list is a good place to start!

Guys seated on the left, girls seated on the right at this wild, feisty, hilarious, interactive theatrical event on love, sex, & relationships!
the great love debate
Post-show Meet & Greet and Mixer 
immediately follows for all attendees!
 
Every show is different . . . and every night is fun!