First, you need to ask yourself why you are not that into him.
Have you been hurt and, therefore, have a barrier to being in any relationship, or is it about this particular guy? Does it take some time for you to feel trust and connection in most relationships in your life? Are you comparing him to someone else and he isn’t measuring up?
There are essentially two main reasons that his feelings may be stronger than yours:
either (i) you struggle to trust and open yourself to him for some reason associated with your past relationship experience or (ii) you know this is not likely to be a long term relationship, but are too afraid that you won’t find anyone better.
If you believe that the issue is related to your personal trust issues, then it may be time to have a conversation with him and let him know.
You may start by sharing about some of your painful history with other people or you may just plainly explain that you struggle to trust and open up to others. Assure him that you are interested in pursuing the relationship, but explain that he will need to be patient to help you break down those walls. It may require you to be mindful of the need to offer reassurance of your investment in the relationship as things progress. And it will definitely require a determination to be checking in with yourself whenever you recognize that you are resistant to opening up.
If trust issues are present, you may find yourself overreacting to minor issues, thus further testing the relationship.
You may also find yourself having a strong desire to walk away from the relationship over things you know are minor issues. Being aware of these feelings, and their true origin, may help you figure out how to work through them and form a meaningful and lasting connection with your partner.
Alternatively, if you determine that you are having a relationship with a guy with whom you are struggling to have a long term relationship, cut him loose.
Don’t let your fear of being alone deprive you of the relationship you deserve. As our society becomes one where serious relationships are happening at older ages, women often find themselves settling for guys in order to beat their biological clocks or not be the last of their friends to tie the knot. While some of these relationships can survive the test of time, they more often end in unsatisfying marriages or divorce.
Keep in mind that if you don’t find the right relationship for you, and you want to be a single mom, there are plenty of other options that don’t result in years of aggravation and heartache or poor modeling of relationships for your child or children.
Fear of not finding anyone better is not a reason to hang onto a relationship that you know doesn’t fulfill your needs.
Value yourself enough to pursue a passionate and fulfilling relationship that will stand the test of time.
Kelly Francini, MSW, LCSW – www.kfrancinilcsw.com
He Says “I Love You”… But does he really mean it?
This 7 question quiz tells you if your man truly loves you or if he is just using you…
We always have options when it comes to a problem.
We can come up with a solution, we can accept it as it is, or we can do nothing (and possibly stay unhappy). Let’s explore how to use those options in regards to this relationship issue.
Ignoring the issue is straight forward.
You really have the option of doing nothing, yes even doing nothing is a choice. If you are already concerned about the unevenness of the relationship more than likely doing nothing will result in issues and unhappiness. Accepting the issue can be similar in this instance however you are accepting the difference of feelings and letting go of any shame or guilt that the partner is more invested.
There is an option of giving the relationship more time.
Doing this needs to be intentional, so it would be important to set a date to reevaluate the relationship. If a date is not set with intentionality and willingness to follow through we can end up staying in a relationship that does not truly work for us and we haven’t done the work needed to see if it will grow. If you are happy in the relationship and feel like it has the makings to be a healthy and wonderful relationship, giving the relationship more time to grow is a good option.
Let’s explore how we can come up with a solution to this problem.
This process requires some deeper work. I always recommend a relationship map. A relationship map is a visualization of previous relationships and desires for a future relationship, like a vision board that takes into account the past. Not only your past but the relationship of your family of origin.
The relationship map really creates some clarity.
You may see that this relationship is very different than ones you have had in the past. The map may reveal some patterns in your relationships in which you have walls up which prevent you from moving into a place of vulnerability and allowing yourself to have more feelings. Or you may come to the realization that this relationship simply does not fit what you are looking for.
Let’s chat about comparisons.
Is this feeling you are experiencing due to comparisons? Whether that is to friends relationships, relationships in the past, or comparison between your feelings and his. Comparisons really lay an under current of toxicity in our life. Let’s be honest comparisons really place us in one of two spots the winner or the loser and truly there will always be something that appears to be better than what we have. So if you are noticing that comparisons are costing you your relationship; check out CBT resources to stop making comparisons.
Boredom sometimes manifests itself into this feeling of unevenness or this lack of feeling in the relationship.
Typically boredom is not truly boredom, rather a conflict of innate temperament. Our innate temperament does not change in life, at least not drastically nor longstanding. Asking someone to change their temperament is like asking your partner to be taller, it really cannot be done permanently. If you are thinking of leaving a partner because of temperament disconnect, that isn’t the only option. These differences can be worked out and managed, recognizing that it may be an issue is the first step.
Jessica Cline, MSW, LCSW – www.clinecounseling.com
One of the most common romantic fantasies is the belief that intimately connected partners will love one another in the same way, at the same depth, at all times, and forever.
Feeling secure in love relationships relies on both people believing in that premise, and new lovers find comfort and joy in keeping that faith.
At the beginning of most all new love relationships, both partners focus on the ways they love similarly and discount any potential differences that take away from those initial moments of ecstatic connection. They assume reciprocity of devotion, sacrifice, and treasuring, and have complete faith that equal balance between them will continue to flourish as the relationship matures.
The reality, of course, is very different.
Love, and the way it is expressed, is never one hundred percent reciprocal at all times, even at the beginning of a relationship. All people love more deeply at different times and in different ways, and most all relationships have one partner who wants more connection more of the time and the other who needs less contact to feel secure. Also, both may be just as committed to the relationship but express that attachment in very different ways.
As a relationship weathers the test of time, differences in the way the partners feel about love, relationships, time commitments, sexual needs, financial obligations, family ties, religious affiliations, social obligations, future dreams, and past entanglements slowly emerge.
With each new layer peeling back, the partners learn more about themselves and each other, either deepening their affection or placing obstacles in the path of continued devotion.
As new lovers get to know each other, one of the most painful discoveries they may find is that one may love the other more than the other can love back.
What was initially thought of as a more reciprocal attachment turns out to be more imbalanced as the relationship matures. As that awareness deepens, committed partners may or may not want to recognize what is happening and go along as if that gap were not widening. But, even if they are willing to face the growing disparity of unequal ability or desire to love, they may still want to stay in the relationship because of the positives that still exist.
Unequal styles, unequal appetites, differences in the way love is expressed, and deepening dissatisfactions are part of every committed relationship.
When intimate partners are courageous, authentic, and skilled in the way they share and resolve these conflicts, their love can grow deeper in the process. But, if one partner consistently needs more than the other can give, especially in areas of greater hunger, he or she may eventually lessen the value of the good parts of the relationship because of that growing ache. The other partner, if he or she still values the relationship, can begin to feel more and more inadequate and guilty for not providing what the other needs.
In helping so many couples with this kind of imbalance, I first explore with them whether or not they each believe the other has good intentions and is not using their situation fraudulently.
That means that the partner needing more has done everything he or she can to modify those needs, get them met in other ways, or gives them less weight in the entirety of the relationship. It additionally means that the partner who does not need as much learns how to give more out of compassion, without falling prey to the indulgence of automatic unavailability.
If good intentions prevail, and both have done all they can to close the imbalance gap, yet there is still a growing heartache, the next step is to try to negotiate the difference.
Both partners must feel okay about their ability and right to need or not need the amount of affection, emotional and physical availability, and heart connection that they each do. They cannot blame the other person for having those patterns or feel entitled to change them.
A simple example of a rational negotiation would be when one partner looks forward to, enjoys, and thrives on frequent sexual connection, while the other savors sexuality less often and in a different milieu. Though it is true that this situation is more often the male in the former position and the female in the latter one, I have seen them reversed as well. A rejected lover is not normally an empathic or cooperative partner. A partner feeling obligated to be sexually available who is not ready to be involved is not usually a great sex partner.
If the partners truly love each other and realize that an unequal sexual appetite or preference does not make either inadequate, they try to find a way to work it out. If, on the other hand, they fault the other for being inappropriate, they will eventually lose each other.
It is absolutely normal for the partners in a love relationship to love more deeply or differently at different times during the relationship.
Sometimes those differences even out over time, and sometimes they become more distinct. Temporary inability to be intimately connected is often due to other stressors and normally returns to a better balance. Or, deeply felt needs at one time may be less strong at another as people mature and their attachments change.
If, over time, these disparities cannot be resolved, and one partner continues to love more than the other can return, the relationship can be in danger.
It is important for each partner to look at his or her pattern of setting up these kinds of problems by being unable to sustain giving love with anyone, or not being able to take love in no matter how it is offered. If those patterns have prevailed in the past, no relationship will be safe from an eventual demise.
If you’d like more information on related topics, please feel free to check out the following articles I’ve written for Psychology Today Blogs.
How to End a Relationship when your Partner Still Loves You
The Myth of Romantic Expectations
Are You Withholding Love?
Is Lying Part of Loving?
Contrasting Expressions of Love
Are you falling out of Love?
Why Can’t I Let Love in?
When Your Partner loves you more than you can return
Dr. Randi Gunther – www.randigunther.com
Every relationship follows its own course, and it’s common that one person in any relationship has stronger feelings for the other at one time.
As long as the relationship is going in the direction you want, this probably isn’t a problem. However, it is something that you may want to share just so that everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations.
Both of you can take the time to be patient and see how things develop.
There may be no rush to move to the next level, whatever that may be. If your relationship is strong and you both have the same goals in mind, being in different places at any time is a great place to open up discussions on where you see your relationship now and in the future. What a great opportunity!
That said, there are a few things to consider.
My first question, of course, would be to ask what do you mean that he has stronger feelings?
Does that mean he’s planning your life, your wedding, the names of your future children, and your retirement plan together? Or
Is he simply thinking he wants to be exclusive and you’re still wanting to see what’s out there?
Either way, if his plans are too much too soon, it’s time to say something.
It’s not a bad idea to ask to slow things down if you feel they’re moving too quickly.
Let him know where you are and where you think you’re heading. And make sure he knows that you’ll get there in your own time, you simply aren’t there yet. Let him know how the strength of his feelings make you feel. It’s possible that you’re flattered, but it’s just as possible they make you want to run away. Either way, once he knows how you feel, you could also ask him to tone it down a bit.
The big warning here is to not allow yourself to be pressured to move into any relationship or any new phase of a relationship before you’re ready.
Because the relationship involves both of you, you have as much role in decision-making as your partner. He may have to wait for you to be ready, and if he really does feel strongly about you, he will, even if he grumbles.
Your level of comfort comes from all your past experiences, and if something isn’t right, trust yourself.
It might also be a good time to ask yourself why you are so uncomfortable with this and if it has anything to do with past relationships that you haven’t finished with yet. It might be time to do that.
Do you have a fear of commitment?
Do you have some idea of how relationships are supposed to go, and this one isn’t following your rules?
Did you feel pressured in the past to commit to a relationship that was controlling or abusive?
All of these are good reasons to be wary, and they’re all good reasons to talk to someone who can help you make the decisions that are right for you in your life right now instead of living in the past.
Becky Bringewatt, MA, LPC, NCC – www.mantiscounselingandcoaching.org
Learn Why Men Pull Away
There is a deep-seated “Gap” in communication that very few women (or men) understand.
It’s the #1 reason why men pull away.
To be truly irresistible to a man, you MUST understand this gap, and the way feelings of love get confused and entangled in a man’s mind…
If he likes you more than you like him, give it some time.
It may take you longer to develop feelings for him because of your history or other reasons. Maybe you are just the kind of person that takes things slow in the relationship. If he is rushing you, then be mindful of the reason behind the hurry. If it has been a while and you are just not that into him, then that is something different. If you have determined that you are just not compatible, it is important to honor that truth as well.
Some people are slow to warm up in a relationship.
Maybe you like being in a relationship, but like your space and do not want to change that.
What are the reasons that you are not that into him?
Are there red flags?
Is he too clingy or smothering?
It is important to think about what it is that you want out of the relationship and that your needs are met.
Make sure that you are not settling and giving into what everyone else expects of you because they think you are a great match. If you are just not attracted to him, then you cannot force that.
If you feel rushed that is a red flag.
Is he pushy or toxic and something about his behavior just leaves you unsettled? If this is the case you need to pay attention. How does he behave around you and others? Is he more of a friend than boyfriend? What are your feelings toward him? It is important to be honest with yourself and address your concerns.
If you just are not that into him and he is a good guy, give it some time.
There is a saying that “you learn to love what is good for you.” Is he the kind of guy that is a keeper? Do you have issues around commitment or being with a guy that is everything you need him to be? Does he have a good heart? Do you need a man with more “flash” and that is the issue? Be honest with yourself about your feelings for him and about him.
Give it time, but don’t string him along either.
Even when we are not physically attracted to someone, we can grow fond of them because of the way they treat us. This fondness is not love. Do not use him or take advantage of the fact that he is into you more than you are into him. If you know that you cannot see yourself in a relationship with him, then be honest with him and let him go. Just like you don’t want to miss the opportunity to meet someone right for you, do not cause him to miss his opportunity to meet someone that might be right for him.
If you have issues with dating a nice guy, that is important to address as well.
If the issue is that he does not have enough “flash” for you or he is not “bad boy” enough, you need to pay attention. Is this a pattern? Do you meet a nice guy and have trouble being into him because he is too nice? What is your history and what are some of the patterns in your relationships? Talk to a therapist and get some support around sorting through these issues. Ask for help to identify and understand some of the patterns that have developed around relationships.
In short, if you are just not as into him as he is into you, be honest about it.
Stay in your integrity and don’t try to force something that just isn’t there. Process your feelings with a therapist. Be honest about your needs in the relationship and above all be honest with him. Being honest keeps you in your integrity and holds you accountable. Treat him the way you want to be treated. No one likes to be strung along with the promise of something that just won´t happen.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net