Tag Archives: relationships

37920142 - breakup of a couple with a sad man in the background and the girlfriend leaving him in the foreground

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.

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 and light snacks will be served.

One of my male friends is 5’7”. He’s been on Match.com and told me his message inbox is radio silent. He will message women and they won’t respond, and doesn’t receive messages initiated by women either. But then he told me, “Anita, just for fun sometimes I change my height to 6 feet, and then my inbox gets flooded with messages.” Several of my male clients are on dating app and mention that of the first questions that women ask them is their height. When they say they’re 5’9” or 5’8”, they don’t hear from them again. The average height for men is 5’9”!
When I heard these kinds of stories from men, my heart sinks. Here are fabulous guys who would make women loving husbands some day, and they’re getting overlooked simply because of their height. It didn’t surprise me though. I work with many women too, and when I ask them what they’re looking for in a guy, one of the first traits they describe is height.
The problem is that a height requirement decreases your overall chances of finding love. Dating is tough. When you factor in attraction, chemistry, your dealbreakers, values and needs, it’ll take some time to find someone. Don’t dismiss a shorter guy just based on height – at least give the guy a chance!
A short guy can meet your needs just as well as a tall guy. The most common reason women tell me that they want a tall guy is because it makes them feel secure. But think of all those not-so-tall guys that have a lot of muscle on them and can be strong as well. In fact, they may be even stronger than this tall prince charming that you’re hoping to meet. And don’t forget about emotional security. A tall guy can be emotionally unavailable, but a shorter guy can support you, be there when you need him, and let you know his feelings every step of the way.
Women tell me that there’s something sexy about standing next to a tall guy. It makes them feel more feminine. Ok…but what if this tall guy rarely compliments you? Or puts you down? You won’t be feeling feminine then. Maybe the short guy will treat you like a queen and let you know you’re sexy and desirable. A guy’s height doesn’t guarantee you’ll feel feminine but a guy’s respect for you does.
Why do you want a tall guy? Identify the needs behind it, like feeling secure and feminine, and give a shorter guy a chance to meet you. He may be able to meet those needs, too.

If there’s one thing that pains me to hear from my female clients, it’s that the guy they’re dating is scared of commitment. In the dating stage it may look like inconsistent contact, last minute get togethers or booty calls. In a relationship, it may mean waiting to hear “I love you,” not moving in together or not getting engaged.

Yes ladies, you will meet men who don’t want a relationship or marriage…just yet. But it’s not even most men. In fact, men want love and a long-lasting relationship just as much as women do.

Sometimes love comes down to a numbers game. It’s unrealistic to think that every man you meet is at the right stage in his life to want a serious relationship or even marriage. It doesn’t make him a jerk. It just means you have to keep looking.

Here are five reasons men won’t commit:

  1. He’s not ready. Not being ready for a serious relationship doesn’t mean that he’s scared of commitment. It’s literally because he’s not ready. Hey may still want to play the field, concentrate on his career or needs to focus on family obligations. Men take their role as provider very seriously, and I’ve worked with many men who only casually date and put off serious relationships because they’re not where they want to be financially. He may also want to have experiences or work on himself first before he gets into a serious relationship. Timing matters, and a guy who’s not ready is not going to be able to give you what you need in a relationship.
  2. He’s terrified of making the wrong choice. Men are scared that the stories they hear about wedded hell are true: the ball and chain, not getting laid anymore, being with a controlling woman, etc. He may have doubts about your behaviors, like you being overly jealous or how you handle your anger. He may have thought his ex was “The One” but made the wrong choice once already. The pain and doubts may keep him from committing.
  3. He can’t see a future with you. A guy may not know if you’re going to be his future wife, but at least he knows if it’s even a possibility. He may be keeping you around because he likes you for the short-term, but he doesn’t see himself with you for decades. Plain and simple, he’s just not that into you.
  4. He’s scared of rejection. Ever feel like your man keeps you at arm’s length? Has a wall up or don’t feel as connected as you did when you first started dating? Again, most men want to feel connected to their woman, but to deepen intimacy requires one to be vulnerable. That can be downright scary. He may be thinking, Will she really accept me? When she knows me, will she still love me and want to be with me? If he’s not sure of the answer, he may keep from committing. You can reinforce the things you admire and accept about him to decrease this fear.
  5. He’s scared of divorce. We’ve heard horror stories about divorce. And if a guy has gone through his parents’ painful divorce and he hasn’t worked through it, he’s probably still scarred. Committing involves risk, and some guys may not do so until they’re 100% certain the relationship will work. The thing is, relationships are never a guarantee. But both of you have incredible influence over the outcome of your future, and that may mean getting some relationship education from a workshop or a professional.

For those of you waiting for your man to commit, it’s up to you to decide how patient you can be. At least have the conversation with your man about your future to see if your visions and goals align. If not, then move on to someone who will want you in his future.

 

 

You finally met someone. You’ve had several email and text exchanges, and maybe you’ve even talked on the phone or had a date or two. You think this person is great, and you wonder if he could be “The One”?

The only problem is, you barely even know the guy.

Have you ever built a guy up in your head before actually meeting him or only after a few dates? I work with many women who get caught up in meeting someone new. They tell me how much they really like him and how they hope things will work out. If it won’t, they’ll be devastated and think they will never find love.

Whoa, let’s pump the brakes here.

When you first meet someone, sure it’s fun to be so excited at this new prospect, but you also have to keep a level head. If you put your date on a pedestal by idealizing them, you create a power imbalance. The possible consequences following this imbalance include you feeling more self-conscious, the need to prove yourself to him, and doing whatever it takes to win him over and get him to like you.

You’re also much more likely to miss red flags because you only see what you want to see – you want things to work so badly that you ignore or dismiss problems. And what if things don’t progress beyond the first few dates? If you’ve fantasized about a future together, you’ll be crushed, and your self-esteem can take a major hit.

One of the most common things I hear as a dating coach is, “What’s wrong with me? Why didn’t that person like me?” I know it can be hard, but don’t base your self-worth on what happens after that first date or first few dates. Your date is still a stranger to you. You don’t know this guy well enough yet to truly know why he stopped seeing you. There are so many variables (like timing, stress at work or an ex coming back into the picture) that affect dating that I encourage you not to take things personally.

And some of my clients are so focused on getting the guy to like them that they forget to ask themselves, “Do I even like him?” I’m not talking about experiencing feelings of infatuation, but can you truly name several qualities or values that you admire about your date? It’s simple to list common interests, but it’s easier on a long-term relationship when a couple shares similar values. It takes time to see how your date lives out his values; it’s not something you can fully know on just a date or two.

It takes time to get to know someone. If you’re dating for a long-term relationship, you want to take your time to determine if your guy is a good fit for you. Fantasizing about a relationship without even knowing him will leave you with more to lose than gain.