We’ve all heard people say “Men are hunters. Let them hunt”
Or as one of my friends likes to say: “The egg never chases the sperm”.
On a basic animalistic level, men like to chase and to feel like the woman they end up with is a prize that no other man could have won. Likewise, we women want to be pursued, but the issue is we also like an element of the chase too. And this is where the problems usually arise – when the balance between being pursued and chasing is completely off. If you find yourself initiating texts, trying to pin him down for a date and constantly stressing about whether he’s into you, it’s time to reassess your strategy and stop with the chasing.
So how can you get him to want you and only you? Here’s how to make him chase you:
Get in touch with your feminine energy
I’ve always been aware that I have quite a masculine energy. Not that I look masculine, but I have always inherently been a “go getter”. I am an achiever in all aspects of life, which means when I want something, I want to go out and get it. I’m like a dog with a bone. If I like someone, they will definitely know about it.
Unfortunately with dating that doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s better for a woman to be indirect and a little more vulnerable. Embracing your feminine energy is about letting the guy feel like a man and letting him take charge of the situation. And if he’s taking charge, then it usually means that you have to step back and be a little more agreeable.
Wait for him to take the lead
While there are situations where it is possible to ask a guy out on a date, as a general rule I would say let the guy take the lead. Especially on the first couple of dates, let him ask you out and choose the restaurant. If you swap numbers, try to let him text you and initiate conversations. Of course, sometimes the guy might need a little nudge to know you’re interested. Sometimes it also depends on the guy. I have spoken to some men who say they’d really appreciate a girl asking them out or making the first move, but it’s best to assume they’re in the minority. If you feel like he needs a little encouragement, try to guide him in the right direction and let him take care of the rest. Generally, if a guy likes you he will have no problem going after you.
Remember, you don’t know him yet
We all do it. We meet a guy and then within 5 minutes we’re fantasising about all the vacations we could take together and envisaging what our kids would like. It’s OK to have some excitement but remember you don’t really know him yet. It’s important not to project all of your hopes and dreams onto this one person and try to make them “fit” your dream life. Remember that you barely know anything about him, so this is your time to just “wait and see” and get to know each other.
Yes he may be successful, smart and ridiculously good looking but that’s no reason to put him on a pedestal. He could be all those things but not necessarily into you or compatible with your personality. Everyone has flaws, so don’t ignore all your instincts and assume that he is perfect!
Don’t be a text gnat
If you’re always the one to initiate the conversation or you feel like you’re texting him and you’re not getting much of a response, stop right there. No guy likes a text gnat. The more you text him and get frustrated, the more he will back away.
When dating guys I have found that the best thing that works is silence. Whenever I’ve felt upset with a guy or felt like they’re not texting me enough, I simply stop texting them. Sometimes if you give the guy a little space and back off, he will come back texting you more than ever. Suddenly he wonders where you are, what you are doing and why you haven’t text them in a while. It’s basic human psychology.
So, step away from the phone, before it’s too late.
Don’t always be available
When my friend started dating her boyfriend she used to tell him she was busy, even if she was really just at home wearing a face mask and watching TV.
Now, I’m not suggesting you go to this extreme and I wouldn’t encourage playing games or telling white lies but, it’s always good to have a busy life. Have hobbies, go out with the girls, make plans and pursue your career goals.
Many girls think they need to do all these hobbies to impress a guy. Not true. The point is you should be doing these things for you in order to have a happy and fulfilled life. If you have too much spare time on your hands then it’s easy to start placing all of your focus on a guy. If you’re at home twiddling your thumbs, then it’s not long before you start obsessing over whether he’s going to text you back and when you’re next going to see him.
Let’s take an example:
There was one time a guy cancelled plans on me last minute.
Now, if I hadn’t had much going on, I probably would have got really annoyed with him cancelling and scolded him for doing so. But because I was so busy that week, I was actually relieved that he cancelled. I said “No worries, I’m actually exhausted myself” and we made an arrangement for another day.
See how it makes a difference?
So, ladies. Live your life to the fullest, for you. If a guy sees you’re cancelling plans with your friends just to make time for him and bending over backwards, he’s going to see that you’re too available. By being a bit less available, you keep him on his toes.
Avoid investing in him too soon
Did you know that “giving” actually increases your emotional attachment to someone? The more you do for them and the more you invest time in them, the more attached you feel and the more you expect in return. If you’re a people pleaser, it’s tempting to start doing things for the guy quite early on.
A friend confided in me that she has been dating her guy for four months but he has no time for her. He’s always busy and has to work and she’s lucky if she sees him twice in one month. He makes excuse after excuse about being busy, yet she is baking him cookies for the office and buying him hand towels because she noticed he doesn’t have any in the kitchen. In her mind she thinks, “If only he could see that I can be really good for him!” So she invests more time trying to convince him of her girlfriend capabilities.
When in a relationship, most guys would appreciate the small gestures. But the point is they’re not in a relationship and he’s not putting in any effort towards her. Dating is a two-way street, so if he’s not investing the time or effort, neither should you. Mirror his actions if you want him to start chasing you. Get him to do things for you and he will start to feel more invested.
Don’t sleep with him too soon
In the early stages of dating, a man is usually just looking to get laid. He starts out looking for sex and sometimes he accidentally finds love and a relationship.
We live in a modern society and there’s no issue with having sex on the first date. Sometimes a random hookup can turn into a relationship. But you can’t hold it against him if, after having sex, you discover that’s all he wanted – sex.
So many women sleep with a guy and feel like suddenly he owes her something. They get upset that a guy could sleep with them and not follow up for a second date.
If you’re a woman who can have sex with a guy and not expect anything, then great. But if, like most women, you feel all that oxytocin running around your body and feel attached after sex, then it’s best not to have sex too soon. If you want him to chase you and you ultimately want a relationship, it’s best for him to get to know you first.
Be confident and sexy
Men like happy, confident women. When going on the first few dates, leave all the complaints about your boss at home. If he compliments you, accept the compliment. If he tells you you look beautiful, just say “thank you” and don’t argue that he’s wrong. Flirt, be seductive and talk about the positive things going on in your life. Imagine it like a job interview – would you get the job if you started talking about how everything sucks and you’re not that great? Leave the emotional baggage for when you two know each other a lot better.
Be ready to cut that guy loose
OK so you’ve played it cool and let him take the lead. But if he’s only texting you once in a blue moon and you feel like he’s not really giving you his full attention or time, then you have to be prepared to cut him loose. If a man can sense that you will have no qualms with walking away, he will instantly see you as being a woman of higher value. Sometimes you have to prepared to cut him loose at the first sign of him disrespecting your boundaries. If the guy isn’t meeting your standards or stepping up to the plate, then there’s no point complaining, it’s on you to walk away.
Going through a divorce is a stressful and often horrible experience for anybody to go through, but once it’s over, you’re free to move on with your life and do whatever is best for you. For some divorcees, this means getting back on the dating scene, meeting new people and potentially even finding a new future partner. Whether you’ve recently been through a divorce or have been single for a while, dipping your toe back into the dating pool after being married can be daunting for anybody. Here are some top tips to help you out when it comes to getting back into dating again.
Tip #1. Give Yourself Time:
Nobody’s expecting you to jump straight back into dating as soon as your divorce papers are signed – in fact, quite the opposite! Don’t be afraid to take as long as you need before you feel ready to date again, whether that’s a few weeks or even a few years! The main thing to remember is that there’s no rush – date in your own time, and when you feel that it’s the right step to take for your future. After going through a stressful divorce, the main thing to focus on is loving and looking after yourself first.
Tip #2. Get Out There:
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to mingle, it’s time to get out there and start looking for potential dates. This doesn’t necessarily mean joining every online dating site out there and signing up for speed dating – in fact, simply taking the time to find new hobbies and interests can be a great way to meet new people and potentially find a love interest. Trying out new things and finding new interests can be one of the best ways to find yourself again after going through a divorce, with added social benefits. And, don’t forget that it’s not all about dating – putting yourself out there can lead to wonderful friendships, too.
Tip #3. Be Upfront:
Dating after a divorce can be tricky, especially when it comes to broaching the subject of your relationship history with a new date. Divorced women and men can often feel self-conscious about their relationship status, but whether you are divorced or are dating somebody who is, there’s nothing to hide or feel ashamed of. In fact, honesty is always the best policy. Be upfront about your divorced status, then move on from the topic onto getting to know more about your date.
Tip #4. Have Fun:
Lastly, don’t forget to go with the flow and simply have fun when it comes to dating again. This is especially true if you’re back on the dating scene after quite some time; this can be a hugely daunting and new experience, so be sure to give yourself a break and be patient with yourself as you get to grips with your new routines. Above all, try to live in the moment and spend time with people whose company you truly enjoy.
If you liked these tips or have any of your own to share, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Travel is exciting for many reasons – some are addicted to the novelty of arriving in an unfamiliar place, while others jump at the chance to try authentic local cuisine. For many travellers, though, the opportunity to partake in consequence-free romance is simply too tempting to ignore.
If you plan on meeting people while abroad, keep the following tips in mind.
1) Make use of traveller-friendly sites and apps
Numerous sites on the internet have made it easier to meet people, but most are little help to travellers looking for love. However, apps like Tinder have become a godsend for the frequently mobile in recent years, as they have made it easy for them to find a local or traveller seeking the same kind of connection.
As a location-based app, you are never far away from a potential new friend – whether you go sightseeing together or opt to forge a stronger bond, making use of this service and others (Grindr is a great option for gay men) will help add some spice to your holiday adventures.
However, if you are a wealthy businessperson for whom appearances are important, sites like VIP Companion International are the superior choice. These services specialise in matching up important people with an elite travel companion.
This helps to project an image of relationship success to those you are hoping to impress, and will allow you to dine in fine restaurants without having to deal with the awkwardness of dining alone.
2) Get social
Internet dating not your bag? If you want to meet someone the old-fashioned way, you’ll have to make an effort to get in the game wherever you are visiting.
Get a private room at a hostel, attend parties, go to the clubs your flight attendant recommends – if you want to link up with that special someone, you have to make yourself available.
Don’t be a wallflower on holiday – even if you are shy, know you likely won’t see anybody with whom you party ever again. Be bold – your willingness to put yourself out on a limb will greatly increase the odds of your evening ending well.
3) Look out for scams
You aren’t the only one looking for love abroad – every year, thousands of fellow travellers head overseas with the intention of partaking in a no strings attached fling.
While there are plenty of locals who enjoy the anonymity of getting together with a traveller, some seek them out with nefarious intent. Every year without fail, stories of lovesick foreigners who got robbed or conned fill the pages of papers like the Daily Mail.
To avoid ending up in a similar situation, meet in public first. Trust your intuition: if something seems off, it’s probably best to call it off. When the time comes to seal the deal, try to meet on home turf.
If things go well, but they suddenly need money for a family emergency a few days later, or if they ask you to transport a gift home for a family member, refuse – the former is often a scam, and the latter is a common drug mule setup.
4) Play safe
The carefree world of travel dating also makes it a fertile breeding ground for STIs. These aren’t the sort of souvenirs you want to be bringing home, so be doubly sure to use protection when linking up with that sexy someone you met at the hostel/hotel bar.
After arriving home, get tested for a full spectrum of infections. With many popular holiday destinations boasting an STI infection rate that is likely many times higher than your home city, it is better to be safe than sorry.
5) Keep the flames of romance burning (or not)
Sometimes, a road romance evolves into something more profound. When saying goodbye to an overseas love interest is far too painful to contemplate, you may be considering a long-distance relationship.
However, it is important to establish an endgame for this arrangement. You can only Skype each other and spend all-too-short weekends together for so long.
The average long-distance relationship lasts just four months, so if you can’t work out a plan where you can be together permanently in your country or theirs in the near future, it probably best to break things off, as hard as it may be.
When it comes to dating, obviously it’s not all about looks – we’ve written a whole other post on the biggest turn ons for men. But there’s no doubt that physical attraction is a factor when dating the opposite sex. It’s important to be authentic, to be yourself and to keep your own sense of style, but there are also ways that you can enhance your feminine beauty in order to appear more physically attractive to men.
Here are some ways you can achieve this:
Less is more when it comes to makeup
There are some guys out there who prefer the “The Only Way is Essex” look – fake tan, hair extensions, drawn on eyebrows and trout pout lips – but most men prefer the more au naturel look. Less is definitely more when it comes to makeup and looks a lot more classy.
Recently I discovered Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturiser and this is so much better than foundation. It is incredibly subtle and evens out your skin tone, but it looks like you’re wearing nothing at all. I used to always find that my foundation looked a bit caked on and didn’t completely match my skin tone, but with this tinted moisturiser it’s so light you wouldn’t notice it’s there. I also discovered the Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Eye Stick which is much more subtle than harsh, black eyeliner.
Wear your hair down, or half up half down
There’s something a lot more feminine about flowing hair. If you have mid-length or long hair, then leave it down and relaxed for a date. Definitely don’t overdo it with the hair straighteners. Instead, blow your hair naturally with beach-tousled waves. Wearing your hair half-up is also quite attractive – it sort of reminds men of that medieval “Maid Marian” type look.
Keep your hair colour natural
It’s important to be who you are and to express yourself, so if you want to dye your hair then do it. But as with makeup, less is usually more. Dyeing your hair can have bad effects on the condition and really dry it out. Adding some subtle highlights to your original hair colour is a great way to look more youthful without overdoing it.
Stand up straight
Posture makes you appear more confident and confidence is definitely attractive. Since many of us work on computers nowadays it’s easy to get into bad habits of slouching over a computer, but by standing up straight with your shoulders back you instantly feel taller and more confident. A friend of mine used to walk around with a book on her head for a few minutes each day just to practice keeping her posture.
Get your teeth fixed
We all notice teeth. If you have the spare cash and you’re like straighter teeth, I highly recommend getting clear braces. I recently got them and now have super straight teeth, which makes me feel much more confident and happy when I look in the mirror. The braces are almost unnoticeable and the great thing is, you can take them out when you have an event to go to or you’re heading out for dinner. “Tele dentistry” is all the rage, so if you don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a dentist, then definitely give Smile Direct Club a try.
Smiling is always attractive, as is a positive mindset. I don’t think I need to say any more on that one.
Embrace your femininity with clothing
Men love femininity. You can easily embrace it by wearing subtle necklines and showing off your best assets. For example, you could wear a pair of jeans that show off your cute bum, or a V-neck sweater that enhances your cleavage. It doesn’t need to be anything too revealing, just something that leaves him wanting more. According to scientific studies, apparently wearing red makes you more attractive, so perhaps head out and buy a red dress for your wardrobe! Other items men love: yoga pants, bodycon dresses, high heels and off-the-shoulder tops. Oh and there’s nothing sexier than a woman wearing his shirt in the morning (or so the movies tell me).
Wear the right perfume
My guy friends often tell me that there are certain fragrances women always wear that really turn them off. Try to pick a perfume that really compliments your natural body scent. If you’re in doubt, ask your friends if they like the smell of your perfume and get some feedback.
It is fair to say that most divorced people in their 30s and 40s come with some baggage. This makes finding Mr. Right a bit if a tricky proposition, but as long as you pay close attention to the points we are about to make below, you shouldn’t end up getting your fingers too badly burned. Here are some valuable tips for any woman (or guy!) dating a divorced man.
Divorced with Kids
The majority of divorced men will have children. It’s par for the course when you date an older guy. Some will have very young children and others will have kids who have flown the nest. You may also have children, so if you subsequently forge a lasting relationship, you will have to deal with the trials and tribulations of a “blended family”.
Do not let kids put you off. You will find that in most cases, the man will be a part-time father, so he should have at least every other weekend free for you. However, be wary of putting too much pressure on him to ditch the kids in favor of you. He might just decide that you are too much like hard work. And besides, do you really want to date a man who doesn’t take his responsibilities seriously?
Once you start dating older guys, you will soon discover that a lot of them have serious commitment issues. Divorces can leave a lot of scars, not all of them obvious ones. However, you can learn to spot the signs of a commitment-phobe if you know what to look out for.
Commitment-phobes, otherwise known as emotionally unavailable men, are emotionally scarred after a painful divorce. Perhaps the divorce wasn’t their choice, or their ex-wife took them to the cleaners. Either way, if you are looking for a stable, long-term relationship, this man is not worth waiting around for.
Be very afraid if a man sweeps you off your feet and then blows hot and cold. Run away fast from a man who spends hours talking about how his ex-wife hurt his feelings. This type of man will cause you all manner of grief.
The Nasty Divorce
As well as bearing the emotional scars left behind by a toxic divorce, many men are also financially destroyed post-divorce. Some of them are left with so little money that they end up living back with mom and dad or are forced to rent a cheap apartment. Don’t let this put you off. Just because a man has fallen on hard times it doesn’t mean you can’t date him. Show a little empathy and treat him to a nice meal instead of expecting him to pay for you. His fortunes could change soon!
Excluding all divorced men from your dating hopefuls is extremely limiting, so be willing to overlook kids and a lack of cash when perusing profiles on a dating website. However, be careful about dating a man who still talks to his ex-wife every hour or spends a lot of time with her. They clearly have unresolved issues, which doesn’t bode well.
Dating can be so confusing. So many mixed signals and chats with your friends trying to figure out, “How can I tell if he likes me?” But when a guy likes you, you get that “aha” moment where everything just falls into place.
So if you’re wondering whether he’s interested, here are some telltale signs he’s really into you:
He contacts you regularly
Guys who aren’t that interested will text you here and there, but there will be times when they don’t text back, or perhaps you find you’re the one initiating most of the contact. They may go missing for a while and then reappear with breadcrumbs, only to disappear again. I’m sure we’ve all had situations where the guy hasn’t called when he says he will. A guy who is into you will initiated texts just so he can talk to you and he’ll have regular conversations with you. He wants to talk to you, he looks forward to talking to you and he’ll always respond.
He does nice things for you
When a guy is really into you it’s all in the little things. If he’s buying you flowers ‘just because’ or doing things just to brighten your day and make you happy then he definitely really likes you. If he remembers your favourite chocolate at the supermarket and notices what you like/don’t like, it shows he really cares and that you are in his thoughts. A guy who will do anything to make you happy is a keeper.
He listens to you
If he’s wiping your tears away when you’re upset or listening to you rant about your shitty boss, then he’s definitely into you. A guy who listens and remembers the things you say is definitely interested. Watch his body language. Is he leaning into you when you talk? Is he nodding and listening carefully on a date? Or is he distracted and checking his phone?
You’ve met his friends and family
If he’s introduced you to his friends or even his family then it shows you’re important enough in his life that he wanted you to meet them.
He spends time with you outside the bedroom
It’s easy to get sucked into a situation where you’re just having sex with a guy and watching Netflix, but not really doing much else. If all he wants to do is come over on a Friday/Saturday after a night out drinking, then it’s likely he’s only interested in a hookup. If that’s all you’re doing, it shows that he’s not really invested in spending any time with you outside the bedroom. A guy who likes you will want to do ordinary things like go for dinner with you, go to the local farmer’s market on a Sunday, or take you to a movie.
He admires you
One way to really tell if a guy likes you is to notice whether he admires you. A guy who is impressed by your intelligence and really respects you is definitely into you.
His actions match his words
For some reason, guys love to future fake. If I had $100 for every guy who’d future faked on me I’d probably be a rich woman. This is typically when a guy will talk about something that he’d like to do with you in the future, yet he never actually intends to follow through on it. So for example, he might say, “Next time we go on a date I’d like to take you to X restaurant”, yet he never actually calls for another date. He might talk about going on vacation with you somewhere, or even taking you to meet his parents. But in fact this is just never going to happen. A guy who likes you will actually follow through with what he says. If he talks about doing something, he means it. It’s not just a fantasy element.
The other day I came across an article about the concept of “conscious relationships” – the idea that two people focus on growth, both individually and as a couple. Now I’m not usually a fan of these newfangled terms (remember when Christ Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow said they were “consciously uncoupling”?) but I do like the idea behind it.
As someone who is constantly working on personal growth I think it’s good when partners can learn to grow together and constantly fine tune things, making improvements.
Here’s how to have a conscious relationship:
Set the intention of growth
Both of you have to actively decide to set the intention of growth. Growth as individuals and growth as a couple. It is not about the “destination” as a couple but rather the journey that you both take. Instead of being in a relationship just to satisfy your own needs, you’re committed to a sense of purpose. Instead of feeling stuck, you’re both willing to evolve and move forward. Don’t fantasise about how the relationship will turn out but instead, focus on the relationship itself.
Realise there are no constraints
I think sometimes one of the things that makes me a little bit afraid of commitment is the fear that it will constrain me in some way, and I’m sure the majority of us feel that. Many of us feel like we were meant to be actors/rock stars/rocket scientists, and that somehow a relationship will hinder that or hold us back.
But in a conscious relationship, you remember you are both free to express yourselves, to pursue your hopes and dreams, and to support each other’s goals along the way. The relationship is encouraging growth and supporting your future, not constraining it. With a conscious relationship, you become stronger as a pair then you could ever be on your own.
Identify negative patterns and change them
Every human on this planet has certain negative traits that we have learned from our parents and from our upbringings. Nobody is perfect. The trick is to identify the types of negative traits that can eventually eat away at a relationship and change them. It’s not always easy. Being in a relationship brings out all sorts of very confusing feelings/behaviours in people, things they never knew were inside of them. The trick with having a conscious relationship is working through these together. Identifying them, working on them and building a stronger foundation of love, support and trust. With time and work, it is possible to achieve.
Be honest about who you are
Part of being intimate with someone is being able to express who you are as a person. Your likes, your dislikes, your sexual fantasies, your hopes and your dreams. Sometimes opening and up and telling someone what you truly like can be scary and it can be a little bit embarrassing. Perhaps you won’t even realise what you like yourself until you actually say it out loud. But allowing yourself to be truly vulnerable with someone can allow you to grow stronger as an individual and closer as a couple.
Most of all, love
It sounds like an obvious one, but love each other. Remember to always come from a place of love and to not be afraid to demonstrate love at every opportunity. Express forgiveness, be able to apologise, to acknowledge your own faults and where you think you’ve made mistakes. Sometimes it’s hard to go there. It can be hard to let yourself love, to trust, to take a risk and put yourself in the vulnerable position of loving someone. But the reward is love – a deep kind of love.
Relationships, even the best of them, are never easy. A great relationship isn’t about having similar hobbies or tastes in music, it’s about being able to navigate your way through life’s ups and downs, respect each other’s differences and still come out the other side as a team. It’s easy to talk about what makes for a bad relationship but sometimes it’s also important to highlight what makes a great relationship so we can recognise it when we’re in one. There’s no “perfect match” for us and sometimes it’s perfectly normal to question your relationship or even compare it to other relationships around you, so here are some visible signs that you’re in a great one:
You can communicate
Being able to communicate with each other is absolutely key. I’m not talking about just good conversation or chatting about your favourite TV shows. I’m talking about being able to share your hopes, fears and everything in between, without fear of what the other person might think. If you can speak your mind and be honest with each other then you know you’re onto something great. The best couples aren’t ones who agree all the time, they’re the ones who can communicate how they feel.
You laugh and experience new things together
What would life be without laughter? If you can adventure with your partner, experience new things together and be each other’s best friends, you’re already half way there. Couples who share a sense of humour and can generally share the same outlook on most situations are generally happier couples.
You fight, but you can resolve things
Fighting and disagreements in relationships are bound to happen. In fact numerous scientific studies show that arguments are a healthy part of relationships and show that we care about each other. By arguing we actually help to build intimacy, increase trust, share our real thoughts and acknowledge that we are human. Once we have everything out in the open it actually brings us closer together.
A complete lack of arguing can be a sign that we are bottling things up and trying to gloss over things in order to keep up the pretence of a happy relationship. It can indicate that one or both people are hiding their feelings and are not really communicating on a deeper level. This often happens when one partner is more dominant in the relationship and the other goes along with things just to keep the peace.
The key to a great relationship is how you can resolve these arguments. In a bad relationship the arguing will involve name calling, insults and even severe contempt for each other. The other person becomes your arch enemy.
In a great relationship you might be annoyed or disagree with each other, but the foundation is still one of love and admiration for each other. Instead of being mad at each other for days and harbouring bad feelings, you can quickly resolve things the same day within a few hours. If you find yourself listening to your partner when they are upset and trying to repair things, then this is a good sign.
You make joint decisions
A sign of a really strong relationship is if you see yourselves as team mates. Whenever you make a decision about something, no matter how big or small, you consult each other first. If your man/woman asks your opinion on something, it’s a sign that they really value your thoughts as much as their own. It could be anything from choosing what colour to paint the walls to deciding what school to send your children to. Or perhaps something as small as selecting what restaurant to go to for dinner. It doesn’t mean they have to ask your permission for everything, but rather that they’ll take on board your thoughts.
You support each others goals and passions
Each partner in a relationship is bound to have their own career goals and hobbies. Couples who stay together tend to want the best for each other and will actively encourage or help their partner to realise their potential. For example, say you love singing and your partner gushes to their friends that you have a brilliant voice. Perhaps they even encourage you to sing or take up lessons. That’s a supportive partner. Or perhaps your partner isn’t sure of their career or what they want to do, so you encourage them to find their path. Perhaps you help them with a new project or to figure out what they’re good at. That’s also being supportive. More negative responses involve being passive, or even actively putting someone down when they achieve something good.
Let’s take an example. Your partner gets a new job.
A healthy response would be: “I am so happy for you! I knew you could do it!”
A healthy but more passive response: “Well done.”
A negative response would be something more selfish like: “Does that mean you’ll have less time to spend with me?”
or even worse, to completely ignore what the person said and proceed to talk about yourself:
“Oh that’s great but did I tell you what happened to me today?”
You trust each other
Trust is an important element of any relationship. Feeling like your partner would lie or cheat is only going to result in insecurity. If you can speak to each other honestly, have no secrets and can tell each other everything, you’re onto a winner.
You are able to do things independently
Say your partner says, “I’m going to go for lunch tomorrow – it’s more of a girls/guys only thing, hope that’s OK”. If you’re happy getting on with your own things and having space apart from each other, then this shouldn’t be a problem. If you wish to go on a trip away with your girlfriends/guy friends and your partner is cool with it, it shows that you can both do your own thing but still come back to each other at the end of the day.
You miss them when you’re a part
It sounds obvious, but do you miss your partner when you’re apart? Do you look forward to seeing from them or speaking to them? These are all great signs that you’re better when you’re together.
If you put 100 people in a room, the likelihood is that a person with fear of abandonment is actually going to attract a person with fear of commitment.
If you’re the one with fear of abandonment, you might say that you want to find a loving, committed, caring person this time. Someone who is available, who does want a relationship and who will commit. However it’s more likely that you will naturally gravitate towards familiar types of people and situations.
When a person with fear of abandonment meets a person with fear of commitment, it can form a stalemate.
The person with fear of abandonment thinks, “If only he/she would commit then I could relax and I would feel happy about the situation. I could flourish and be my best possible self” Instead, since their partner won’t commit, they feel anxious and worried about the uncertainty of the situation and therefore have mini meltdowns.
Unfortunately the person with fear of commitment can’t do that because they haven’t worked through their issues and are terrified of being in a relationship. This is compounded by the fact that he/she is put off by their partner’s erratic behaviour and so is even less likely to commit.
The reason people get drawn into this dynamic is because the person with fear of commitment gets to live out their belief that girlfriends/boyfriends are psychos and best avoided, while the person with fear of abandonment gets to live out their self fulfilling prophecy that everybody leaves.
Basically, subconsciously, we attract situations that echo our beliefs about love and relationships. Weirdly, it is a comfortable dynamic, but one that can’t really progress unless both people make a conscious effort to come to a resolution.
Either way, one person is going to have to make a move. Either they both commit, or the relationship breaks up.
If the person with fear of commitment and commits, then you have two people who are happily committed to each other and the relationship can flourish.
If the non-committal partner has no plans to commit, they can walk away themselves. However 9 times out of 10 they will just keep the relationship going in the grey zone for as long as possible. If this happens, it’s up to the person with fear of abandonment to realise that they must be the one to do the walking away. However, this is much easier said than done. People with fear of abandonment are also afraid to do the abandoning, so if this is you, it’s important to have the courage to walk away.
Otherwise what happens is a continual cycle where the non-committal person doesn’t have to realise what it’s like to actually lose that person (and maybe finally make a decision), while the person with fear of abandonment is stuck in no mans land without the commitment they need. That’s when the situation becomes toxic.