The Feminine Woman | Dating & Relationship Advice for Women
My name is Renee. I believe you have the power to attract your ideal man, have him fall head over heels in love with you, wanting to commit deeply to you & have the passionate relationship you’ve always dreamt about. It doesn’t matter if right now, you’re sad about what has happened to you in the past, or maybe even angry that someone has done you wrong, it will all change in the future...
There are many people who strongly believe in leaning back when dating. Since the early days of the internet, when Rori Raye started spreading her idea on leaning back and circular dating, or rotational dating, which means dating several men at the same time, the idea of leaning back has spread.
Some people say that you shouldn’t take too many initiating actions with men, and let him chase you, whilst you still must remain warm and receptive.
Apparently, this is because it’s the natural role of a man to come forward, to work for you, and take care of you or claim you, as the woman. The idea is that you shouldn’t take this ‘forward leaning’ role as a woman. You should let the man take that role of coming forward, pursuing you as the prize.
Leaning back is not something I’ve advised women to do. And that’s not because I think leaning back is wrong. It can be useful to re-calibrate yourself and pulling yourself back when you’re feeling very desperate.
But I’ve done a lot of thinking about this lately, and want to share my thoughts with you. You don’t have to agree with me, and I am not dissing leaning back. I am suggesting that leaning back has no longevity in terms of your relationship value, and self-development.
All I am really doing here is seeing beyond the superficial stuff.
Ultimately, as a woman in the dating world, I understand that your concern may be that you give too much, or that you get taken advantage of, or even that you start to become desperate.
First, let’s look at what leaning back involves.
Most importantly, it apparently involves not having an agenda (lol!) it’s funny because for most women (not all!) leaning back is still about a woman wanting the man to come forward.
There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but what we have to respect is the fact that most women lean back to try to ‘make’ the guy do something that SHE wants, and this is not exactly an advanced way of adding value to the connection/relationship. It’s a taking-mindset rather than a connection-oriented mindset.
(Hey, by the way, I’ve got something good coming up, it’s a DVD on Becoming His One and Only. And guess what? Here’s the good news. You can have it absolutely FREE. It’s a way for me to give back to my subscribers. Get on the early bird list, so that you don’t miss out when I launch it in a few weeks.)
Here are some examples of leaning back (taken from varied dating articles)
You do not initiate calls or texts.
You give your man emotional and physical space (you create distance so that he can come forward to you).
You do not complain or whine.
You spend time with yourself and invest in yourself.
You feel your feelings and let them come up, without taking them out on him.
You stay warm, receptive and inviting.
You just stay there.
You do not try to fix things for a man.
You let go of attachment to any outcomes.
You don’t focus on the future of the relationship. Instead, you enjoy the moment with him.
You don’t initiate any invites to go out somewhere.
Some people’s idea of what leaning back is, really just a minimisation of risk on your part as a woman. It involves insulating yourself from rejection and pain, as well as insulating yourself from the natural process of calibration (ie: avoid making mistakes! But what if mistakes are what we need to calibrate ourselves?).
The original Rori Raye describes leaning back as a kind of being in your body, opening up your body and basically receiving a man as he is, without an agenda.
Generally, Rori Raye’s expression of leaning back seems to be the best expressed and delivered. (Except that a lot of women truly have a deep longing for a man, and it’s hard to accomplish leaning back when your love well is trillions of miles deep, unless you truly let yourself feel)
Now that the idea of leaning back has spread, other dating advisors use the term, too. Now it’s becoming a bit complicated. Let me give you an example.
Supposedly, leaning back is you being in your feminine, and this is supposed to be a good thing because men want to chase you. They want you to be the prize.
Let’s talk about this first. Leaning back is not necessarily feminine. And, just because a woman leans back does not mean she is in her feminine.
And having an agenda is not masculine energy. No, not at all. And ‘agenda’ shouldn’t be seen through this lens.
Agenda is a human thing. We can all have an agenda.
All leaning back means is that you are trying to preserve your value and not act out of fear. Generally speaking, any action taken from a place of fear can damage your relationship and strip from your value. That’s not always true, but it’s often true.
The idea that leaning back is a feminine thing is not true. Even if you’re being warm and receptive.
What if a man leans back?
Picture a strong, rich, successful, intelligent, masculine man leaning back. Is he suddenly feminine because he has leaned back energy? NO! A masculine man can be warm and inviting and still stand deeply rooted to the earth as a high value, high status man of value.
A man having warm, receptive energy is still masculine if he’s masculine.
So, let’s look beyond the surface here.
I mean, if you’re very lucky, then you’ve experienced the luxury of being with a man who is not only highly successful, but is also deeply warm and receptive too.
The truth is that leaning forward can actually be you being in your feminine. I know, right? What a shock. It’s not the actions you take with men! It’s the place those actions come from. It’s whether you’re attuned to a man or not.
Again, it’s not the actions you take! It’s about the energy you put out, who you are and what your habits are, and the place inside you that your actions come from. This is why I’ve never bothered with ‘The Rules’.
Here are 5 Things leaning back DOES for you:
1: It helps you create a push and pull effect (when you lean back, it encourages a man to come forward naturally, but it doesn’t mean he will necessarily commit to you).
2: It can help you create a feeling of suspense, if you give him the space to come forward, then he has the chance to wonder if you are still interested, and he has the chance to miss you (provided he perceived value).
3: Attempts to raise your perceived value as a mate, but doesn’t work long-term.
4: It can give you a temporary ‘test’ to see how far a man will come when you pull back. Again, it’s not a reliable indicator of his future investment in you and commitment to you, but it gives you an idea of how far he is willing to come right now. But that ‘how far he is willing to come’ could only indicate that he lusts after you, or that he wants sex with you. So, be alert!
5: It can help you re-calibrate. What does that mean? It means that instead of over-functioning and leaning forward, you go to the opposite extreme, and from that new extreme, you find new, balanced footing as you acknowledge the problems that leaning forward brought you. Instead of over-doing it and smothering a man in desperation to try to ‘catch’ him, you instead try to create space for him to ‘catch’ you.
But let’s be clear: I don’t care how much you truly believe in the idea of leaning back. It will simply be impossible for you to show up high value, without being attuned to your man and to the current feel of your relationship together (if there even is one).
And in order to be better attuned to a man and a relationship, you have to be feeling through everything until you are empty, first. You need to honour yourself and open up (to yourself!) in this way first.
And by the time you’re empty, there’s a real likelihood that you may no longer even WANT this man, because you’ve allowed your body’s natural intelligence to be felt and heard. That intelligence gives you the strength that you need to walk away from the wrong man. And you won’t even have to fake it or try too hard.
Here are the 9 Dangers of leaning back in dating…
1. Warm and receptive isn’t necessarily good
I understand that a lot of people try to tell women these days that you need to be warm and receptive to a man.
The idea makes me laugh. Not because it’s a bad idea. It’s not a bad idea because in dating, it can be a more preferable thing to do than to be aggressive and controlling.
But just because it can be a better thing to do doesn’t mean it’s the accurate response.
And, because warm and receptive isn’t always the holy grail.
Beyond that beginner stage, and an intermediate stage of trying to understand men and give to men, you then become a woman who values attunement. And to be attuned, you have to be capable of getting outside of yourself, and not retreat into yourself over insecurities and even hate.
Another reason why ‘warm and receptive’ makes me laugh is because of this: What if the situation doesn’t call for you being warm and receptive???
To be high value, you need to be attuned to the context and the relationship!
Do the right thing at the wrong time, and you get pain…
For example, sometimes in an attempt to be feminine and lean back, you lose all access to your gut feelings out of devotion to the rule of leaning back!
The truth is that you MUST have the capacity to be deeply receptive, but you should have just as deep a capacity to be unwilling or even cold, which is the opposite of receptive.
You should ideally have the ability to access these two extremes, and go to them in the right context.
It is through this acceptance of all parts of yourself that you have more value to give. There’s simply more of YOU to give when you are not one dimensional and trying to be feminine all the time.
You see, we often lose ourselves in this obsession with attaining the ideal ‘femininity’ and ‘receptivity’. But think about it this way. Who cares how receptive you are when you have so many strict rules on what you can and can’t do whilst leaning back?
Who cares how receptive you are when/if your man is sexting 5 other women whilst trying to get into your pants as well?
Who cares how receptive you are when you have rage pent up from past relationships that has not been felt through until you’re free of the rage?
In fact, you can get stuck being in your so-called feminine energy in the wrong place at the wrong time, and do you know what happens when you do the right thing at the WRONG time? Yes, you do! You get pain. The wonderful Tony Robbins says that: “When you do the right thing at the wrong time you get pain”.
When you’re with a man, and he has really wronged you, then you better have the capacity to be ‘unwilling’ around him.
When you are in a situation that calls for you to protect yourself and protect your heart, then you better have the capacity to be unwilling.
And if a man has acted with zero integrity, then yes, you should have the capacity to show him that you’re unwilling, at the very least, for yourself.
If you want a good example where a woman should have been (or could have benefitted from being unwilling), but she was focused too much on being feminine, then check out this answer I gave to a beautiful reader.
2) Even if a man leans forward, it doesn’t mean there is a real relationship…
Leaning back is short term solution to a short term problem… Just because a man leans forward after you lean back, doesn’t mean anything about the lasting ability of the relationship.
You could essentially be trying to push for an emotionally committed relationship when there wasn’t going to be one in the first place. You have to know, appreciate and understand the man, where the man is at, and what his intent is. Not just lean back. Here are 10 Signs of A Commitment Phobic Man.
Try to ask yourself what needs is he trying to meet by being in contact with you in any way, shape or form?
And you’d be giving yourself false hope if you leaned back and he leaned forward, feeling like leaning back is ‘working’.
It works on a push and pull level. Not on a flowing, natural attraction and connection building level.
3) If you NEED the advice to lean back, there’s a problem…
When a woman badly needs the advice to lean back, then there comes an important question.
When did her emotions get so intense and so strong that she started “leaning forward” and overfunctioning in the first place?
Let’s honour her emotions right now.
Why is the emotion there?
Well, it’s there because it’s trying to tell her something. It’s trying to tell her to stop and feel. She wants to lean ‘forward’ not because it’s wrong, but because she is afraid of something. Namely: CONNECTION.
And that is, connection to everything. Connection to a man’s real intentions despite how much she wants to live in denial. Connection to a man’s soul. Connection to the lack of depth in the relationship and how this hurts her.
Now back to the emotions that make a woman ‘lean forward’…
I don’t care how much you lean back, if you don’t get to an ‘empty’ place, where you’ve given yourself permission (or even the external TRIGGER) to actually FEEL all the longing, the hate, jealousy, anger, resentment, hurt, pain, suffering and fear, then leaning back only counts so much.
Because you cannot emotionally and physically truly give value to a relationship or to a man if you don’t process those feelings first. You’ll be too stuck in yourself. You’ll have too many of your own issues to think of the health of the relationship with a man.
Women who have pent-up feelings from yonks ago, cannot take care of a relationship because they haven’t taken care of themselves. (this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be IN a relationship, not at all! It just means that they cannot take care of the health of the relationship at that moment).
You CAN potentially add a lot of value to a man by feeling these emotions right in front of him, as long as it is totally vulnerable feeling. But whether you are ready for that and he is ready for that is another issue. And whether feeling in front of him really adds value or not depends on your history with him and where the relationship is really at right now.
4) Women who NEED to lean back usually have bigger fish to fry…
There’s another way to see all of this. It’s a more advanced way to see things.
If you already have extremely intense, leaning forward or aggressive feelings towards a man, you cannot change that.
Those intense feelings are there for a reason.
In some situations, the best way to learn and become higher value is by making the mistake of leaning forward and being controlling, and feeling the effects that this has on your success with men.
If you allow your aggressive and overfunctioning feelings to drive you; yes, you might lose a man (only in the early stages of dating before enough value has been built up between you both), but look at it from another perspective.
This is your life we’re talking about here. This is your story we’re talking about here.
Who said you cannot make mistakes?
What if honouring the feelings that you hold deep inside about this relationship situation are more important than the prospect of losing him?
In other words, sometimes you have much bigger fish to fry than focusing on ‘not leaning forward’. Sometimes you HAVE to lean forward and make that mistake in order for real change to happen.
Because people sometimes overlook the bigger, deeper problems in life. Namely, that you have resentment, hurt, anger, or longing from the past that you haven’t felt or acknowledged.
And sometimes, by ‘leaning forward’ or being controlling, this has a way of giving you the ‘trigger’ or the ‘opening’ for your old bottled up feelings to be released. Which, if they were released, would give you a new relief in life.
Sometimes, these intense emotions CANNOT be released without another human interacting with you in some capacity. Even if it seems like a negative interaction.
It could change how you show up altogether. So, instead of showing up aggressive due to old ‘stuff’ pent up, you are relaxed. You are breathing deeper. You aren’t burdened by emotional stress.
And THAT is the number one thing that will free you to show up High Value (Click here to learn about the mindsets of High Value women).
5) Leaning back doesn’t automatically guarantee polarity and attraction
When you talk about being feminine, the usefulness of it is that you’re trying to create polarity and attraction. That’s the main use of feminine and masculine energy.
But just by leaning back doesn’t guarantee that you are creating attraction or polarity. What leaning back creates is a push and pull effect. Instead of pushing, you pull, and you pull back. So, of course it’s going to seem like it ‘works’ because a man might come forward in response to the sudden change.
But is he coming back out of emotional attraction? Or is he coming back because of the surface level ‘push and pull’ effect that leaning back produces?
Is he coming back because he doesn’t want to lose convenient sex?
Is he coming back because he doesn’t want to lose the comfort of having someone ‘want’ him?
And is he coming back out of trust for you?
Something to consider…
6) You’ll only keep a man’s interest if he perceives relationship value, and if you have high value
As much as leaning back will work on the push and pull level, it’s a false promise to say that it works, because it is only real intrinsic value that keeps a man (and a woman!) around.
Men need to show up high value for you, too!
And you need to do your best to understand how you can also show up high value for the right man.
(Also please understand that sometimes, no matter how High Value you show up, some men just simply cannot appreciate or see high value, because they are too far into themselves.)
You’re not going to be able to sustain a man’s interest (and a man won’t sustain your interest long-term) unless you clearly have value for a long-term relationship in the first place. And leaning back is only one initial way to try to raise your value, but it is short-term thinking and doesn’t add value to the relationship long-term.
Even leaning back cannot fix a problem of a woman taking value long-term. Why? Because value-taking is a habit she got into. And that habit started when she decided she would not surrender to her emotions, (or when she felt entitled), or when she decided that she didn’t want to open to the pain and vulnerability of life!
By surrendering to our fears, our hurts and anger and our longing, we can get to emptiness.
And with emptiness, comes a strange energy of acceptance.
Tell me, am I right?
It’s a form of grieving.
Grieving for not getting what you want right here, right now.
If you avoid the grieving and try to lean back for the wrong reasons, you’re putting a band-aid on to fix too deep a problem.
There’s no real shortcut to raising your value as a woman. So, don’t rely on leaning back alone.
7) The rules of leaning back can kill true engagement
Rules are good when they are good. But if you adhere to all the rules of leaning back, then you’ll have problems.
For example, let’s just put it generally for now. The people in the world with the most rules of what to do, say or not do or say, usually have the lowest levels of engagement with others.
Because of rigidity. Their rules blind them to real engagement and connection in the moment. Their rules close them off.
And that’s what the rules of leaning back will do. They’ll cause you to pull back your quiet responsiveness…
They’ll cause you to pull back your ability to take little risks (such as inviting a man out to a concert) – something that he could potentially really appreciate (if done in the right context)…
Maybe you should be asking yourself, what do you want so badly, that you’re willing to kill your own ability to engage with a man, in the name of leaning back?
What is it that you deeply want?
8) Leaning back gives false hopes after casual sex or early sex
Here’s the truth.
There are reasons why women get desperate and controlling (leaning forward behaviour) in dating. Sometimes it is because she has slept with a man very quickly, without enough emotional attraction and emotional connection having been built up.
And sometimes the reason for a woman leaning forward too hastily is simply because she’s at a place in her life where she is desperately wanting to secure a mate.
Sometimes, she just got attached really quickly even without sex. But the real PROBLEM comes when women try to fix having had sex early on by “leaning back”.
And this is after years of not prioritising romance, family, men and relationships.
A lot of women try to lean back after having sex with a man very early on after meeting him.
Whether we like it or not, biologically, by sleeping with a man quickly, women’s bodies know that they’ve given up something of incredible value – sex and potentially, his sperm meeting the egg.
If you’ve given a man “access” to your reproductive capability, without him ever building up feelings or emotional attraction and emotional connection with you, then you’re taking risks.
Now, some women are in a place in their life where they really just want casual sex, and that is it. But these aren’t usually the women wanting dating advice. These are often women who are recently divorced after being in a marriage for a long time, or they are just women who are truly not wanting any emotional attachment.
Most women want emotional attachment, and is it any shock to ANYBODY that when they sleep with a man quickly, that these women suddenly lean forward?
Or that they start to over-function?
Well, if it is a shock, it shouldn’t be.
Leaning back is sometimes, frustratingly, just an attempt to fix something that went the wrong way too fast.
When your body has built up attachment to a man through sex, it can be very hard to relinquish “control”. That’s why one might lean forward, because your body is trying to do the best for your future – it is trying to secure its mating future, in case you get pregnant and need to raise that child.
So, there’s no going around the issue of sleeping with a man quickly and without a level of 8/10 emotional attraction and 8/10 emotional connection..
If you haven’t read PART 1 of this post, I suggest you read that first. It will give you the details you need to understand this article.
This post was originally inspired by a woman in a pickle with a man who claimed he was polyamorous and then turned monogamous to be with her, and then he slept with someone else. Read it here…
All relationship and marriage setups are valuable
Let me get this out of the way: I am not advocating that monogamy is the only way. It definitely isn’t.
I respect the value of polygyny (a man has more than one wife), polyandry (a woman has more than one husband), and same sex marriage.
I also respect the role of the levirate (where a man may be obliged to marry his brother’s widow) or sororate (marriage of a man to his wife’s sister(s) if she can’t have children or dies).
However, these ancient marriage practices usually serve to preserve land or resources in some way. And in doing so, the next generation benefits.
Polyamory, however, is different. It’s not a marriage arrangement. Polyamorous people believe that we are capable of loving more than one person, and that our love is not limited (finite).
I don’t doubt that polyamorous relationships can serve people in the short-term.
And I agree; love is infinite.
Well, it can be infinite.
But investment and resources aren’t infinite.
Which is why polyamorous relationships only work (long term) in a utopian world.
And what I mean by ‘work’ is that ultimately, the setup will be put under great stress, because it’s not possible to remove everyone’s feelings from the setup indefinitely. And that’s what polyamory requires: people to detach to varying extents from their partners, and from their emotions.
It’s not that polyamory is not potentially valuable, it could be.
I just don’t think it’s sustainable long term as it is selfish in nature, even if the premise is that we can love a lot more abundantly than we originally believed we could.
I understand that there’s value in removing shame from women and their hunger for sex.
I understand there’s value in removing shame from men who want more love and more sex.
But by taking our needs across multiple partners, and having our partners also take their needs to other partners, are we really liberating ourselves?
What do you feel?
What does your gut instinct say?
Are we liberating ourselves by entering a polyamorous relationship?
Should a woman be the “primary” woman in a polyamorous relationship?
To be the primary in a polyamorous relationship means to be the primary partner in a hierarchical relationship.
It doesn’t really work in practice, though. You may have a primary partner that you get involved with alongside your other partners, but because humans are involved, emotions surface (especially in a romantic and sexual relationship situation), and when human emotion is involved, primary means nothing.
Because if the secondary or tertiary partner is upset, then they could become the so-called primary (attention goes to them) for however long, often at a cost to the primary woman, and if the secondary partner struggles in the polyamorous situation, then resources can be consistently stripped from the so-called primary partner for the sake of attending to the secondary or tertiary partner.
A Polyamorous relationship is about ‘me, me, me’
Human beings are amazing at connecting and achieving things together. Our bonds and our capacity to love ensures that our very vulnerable, very demanding offspring survive.
However, we are also separate organisms that try to do the best for ourselves. Polyamorous people, like many of us, experience jealousy over their partners/husbands sleeping with another woman.
How can a woman help experiencing jealousy when she has become emotionally attached to a man?! Unless she is exceptional at detaching…and then, really, she’s just a casual partner, she couldn’t be a close partner as it is emotions and attachment that make us care and invest ourselves in someone.
In polyamorous relationships, people usually try to work through jealousy and have compersion as the goal (compersion means learning to be happy for one’s partner gaining pleasure from other partners).
However, polyamory is simply a way to try to secure more freedom. And it’s also an attempt to secure more love, sex, excitement and acceptance from more people.
There’s nothing wrong with this on the surface, except that it can be extremely self-serving, detached and in some cases, naive.
And I am sure that to most people with multiple partners, the attraction is not ‘for more love’ as polyamorous people like to say, but because there are several people involved with them sexually and emotionally, they can spread their eggs over several baskets (partners), and things are more exciting that way, without having to invest fully in one partner.
Essentially, you don’t have to be as vulnerable when you spread your eggs over many baskets. This is because if one partner doesn’t meet some need that you think you have, then you don’t need to challenge yourself to take responsibility for this problem and show up differently for your partner (so that they can be the person you need), you just take from the next partner whatever you want.
When we try to get the long end of the stick…
Humans have a default setting that makes us want the long end of the stick – we want the best for ourselves.
This is not to say that all humans always want the long end of the stick, no. Some rare humans are happy to always give more to the people they love.
But generally speaking, I am of the belief that most polyamorous men enter these relationships to take value – to extract whatever they can from the world and from women around them.
Men, when they look for short-term gratification, get seduced by the glamour of polyamory , because the default setting of the male is to gain abundant access to women to secure their reproductive success.
And, it works….until they realise women are actually not going to make it possible long term. Sooner or later…someone (male or female) muddles the situation, and many polyamorous people keep pushing through the muddled situation, in this kind of relationship under the premise that they just have ‘underlying monogamous values’ from society that should be ignored.
No, it’s not your monogamous values. It’s not society. The very notion is ridiculous. It’s everybody’s internal protective mechanism. We have emotion for a reason. And you can’t cancel them out for the sake of polyamory.
Why would women enter a polyamorous relationship?
I am of the belief that most polyamorous women enter a polyamorous relationship for several reasons.
Because she thinks in her mind that it’s the right choice (ignoring what her body and heart are telling her), because she thinks that she has to compromise in order to get her sexual and emotional needs met, and because she is not confident (nor trusting!) of men and in getting a man all to herself.
Would a woman who chooses polyamory be the type of woman who is trusting, surrendered, emotionally open? I don’t know. What do you think?
It’s not that I don’t believe some women actually want a polyamorous relationship. Sure they do.
I just think they want it because they want more, without sacrificing too much of themselves. Without having to be loyal.
But by wanting more in this fashion, they also have to give less loyalty and invest their emotions in each person less.
When a woman is confident in getting and having a man’s resources all to herself, then she wouldn’t bother with polyamory.
Why share a man when that man is never going to be in love with you?
Maybe she doesn’t want men in love with her. Fair enough, that’s a fair reason.
When a man is in love, he is not going to want to share.
Owning someone is deeper, and more passionate than sharing them with multiple people
If a woman knows she has enough value to give to a high quality man, then why settle for polyamory when you can own a man completely and have him own you?
(Owning someone is not about owning in the typical sense. Owning someone is about taking responsibility for meeting their needs! As opposed to making decisions from scarcity, thinking of yourself mostly and extracting value from several partners.)
Polyamory is not wrong. I just don’t believe it’s a natural desire of women to get involved in it if her nature is loyal and trusting.
You can’t be loyal when you share your body and heart with several different partners.
You can of course be loving, sexual, and fun and even interesting, but you can’t be loyal.
Because of the lack of loyalty, a lot of women find their polyamorous male partners dump all his partners when he falls in love with his one and only.
It’s harder for a man to fall in love with you if you are polyamorous…
The arrangement of polyamory makes it so that basically, a man has to emotionally remove himself from his partners to sustain the arrangement long-term. And if a man is emotionally removed, it’s impossible for him to fall in love. And when the impossible becomes possible….well, to hell with polyamory because no man in love is that stupid.
It’s harder (not impossible) for a man to fall in love with the women he is involved with polyamorously, because biologically speaking, it doesn’t serve men to fall in love with a woman who is sexually involved with several men. It is far too risky for him.
If he DOES fall in love with one of his polyamorous partners, then he will ruin the so- called egalitarian polyamorous situation and drive everyone mad with his emotions of jealousy.
Human beings aren’t generally made to be too stupid; we have jealousy not just to be ‘worked through to have compersion as a goal’, but to ensure that our resources don’t get wasted. It protects our own emotional, parental and sexual resources.
Polyamory and jealousy
Even the polyamorous people in a longitudinal study by Dr. Elisabeth Sheff, who claimed to never experience jealousy, eventually come back after 15 years and reported that they finally knew what it was like to feel jealous. Read more about that in this article.
Apparently, some polyamorous people still remained non- jealous people. And whilst I do believe that not everybody is built the same, and I am willing to entertain the possibility that some people may never experience jealousy, I would think that a lot of people have just learned to shut-off from their feelings, for the sake of a perceived high returns of sex, attention and affection.
I believe that a lot of us would never truly enjoy being with a partner who has never experienced romantic jealousy in relation to ourselves and the relationship. Sure, we don’t want a violently jealous partner!
But it would be nice for a man or woman to be invested enough in us that they would actually care deeply if we took our sexual desire and emotional affections and shared it.
And some people who go into polyamorous relationships, especially men, generally do so because they perceive they can get more this way, without pondering the concept of adding more value to their one woman first.
Often we may find that just by adding more value to the one partner we already love, that we actually get more love and devotion back. Sometimes the most selfish thing you can do is to be selfless.
You can never give all partners equal love!
Polyamorous people, as I’ve learned in my own research, tend to believe in egalitarianism.
But you just can’t treat all partners equally in practise. This is not a judgement, this is how it is.
Why can’t you treat partners equally in practise?
When you try to make everything equal, you are more removed from your relationships – another word for it is detached.
In order to give equally, you need to be detached.
And when you try to give all partners equal time and energy and money and attention, you’re thinking about equality rather than value.
When you don’t look to add value, and rather look to be egalitarian, then you can’t add value to all partners involved. It’s impossible.
Often, in a polyamorous situation, there is always one person taking more and wanting more, or getting pissed that a man spent his Valentine’s night with his primary instead of his secondary partner. And so on Valentine’s night, secondary partner doesn’t get the value she truly wants.
Very equal isn’t it?
It’s never ‘equal’, no matter how much polyamorous people want to say they treat their partners equally.
The very act of trying to make things equal eventually means everything becomes very unequal, because one person’s emotional needs will go vastly unmet in the name of treating all partners equally, and giving them equal love and time. This usually happens at the expense of the others needing their emotional needs met.
It can never be equal. Because we are talking about human emotions here, which change rapidly and get triggered rapidly.
Take this story for example.
A lady was married to a man who is polyamorous. Since this lady was his wife and had his children, she was his so-called ‘primary’ woman. As his primary woman, you’d think she’d get taken care of the most, emotionally, wouldn’t you? You’d think she’d get the most time and effort from her husband, wouldn’t you?
Pfffft, no. She didn’t. Why? Because her husband’s other woman was insecure about not being the primary woman. So this man in this polyamorous relationship was often taking his secondary woman’s calls during family dinners, interrupting family time, because his other woman wasn’t the ‘primary’ and she needs her feelings to be reassured and taken care of.
Most of the husband’s time and effort went to the secondary woman, even though a primary partner/woman is meant to be a person’s ‘primary partner’ in a hierarchical primary/secondary relationship!
You see how this can never be equal?
Women are made to be sensitive to men taking their emotional resources, time, and sexual energy elsewhere.
Men are made to be sensitive to women taking their sexuality and time and effort elsewhere.
In order to ‘accept’ your partner’s other partners into your life (or even live under the same roof altogether), you have to either perceive great returns in your acceptance of other partners for your partner(s), or you have to block your emotions out, until they just fester too much.
Eventually, that will cause some partners to blow up in resentment, or cause each partner to accept the situation as it is, and tolerate it because they now have the identity that they are polyamorous and a progressive, accepting type of person….forgetting that they can, in fact, have total happiness and devotion with one partner.
Monogamy is not just a belief system – it’s called pair bonding. Nature wants us to team up with and fall in love with one partner. Monogamy doesn’t mean you have to mate with one person for life. It means you give your sexual resources to one person for a time. That could be a lifetime, or it could be months.
Men wanting more sexual and emotional access to women…
Some particular types of men will say anything to gather women in their very own harem or polyamorous setup.
They think they can give equally, but they can’t. And women know this intuitively because we are generally sensitive to where a man’s emotional, financial and physical resources are going. We had to be to ensure survival of our children for the last many years on earth (which is why I suggest women listen to their hearts and their gut instinct).
We may block out this sensitivity, but it catches up with us somehow.
We all want the best for ourselves. Some of us are less selfish than others. That’s the truth about humans. We want to get the best for ourselves. But with loyalty, we do the best for each other. Not just ourselves. And I think loyalty is the trait we are after in a man.
Polyamory might be a great way to experience the variety of sexual intimacy one thinks they need. However. That can be experienced with one person too. You just have to show up differently, in order to inspire a different side of your partner.
In order to show up differently, it helps to be together in totally new surroundings. Because new surroundings trigger different parts of you.
Take how this polyamorous lady described sex with her different partners…
“Sex with John,’ says Nan, ‘is consistent and sweet; he’s an amazing lover. Julio is very different. Our relationship is newer, so it feels more exciting and less certain. He’s charming, charismatic and full of energy. We often have sex a few times a day, experimenting with different positions. If I really like one, I share it with John the next time we’re alone together.”
Their main partner gets consistent and sweet: code for unexciting. So they/she needs to engage with different types of people to feel excited.
The real issue here is that it’s not that her main partner is boring or unexciting, it is that neither of them have taken the plunge to engage with each other in a new way. So their next best solution was to eat somewhere else.
Everyone has the ability to be different parts of themselves. The most boring men can develop a dark side. The nicest guys can develop a bad boy energy.
I’m not saying monogamy is the only way.
I’m saying monogamy takes loyalty. Which a lot of people aren’t willing to give. Disloyal people want what seems best in the short term (for themselves!)
They will never do what’s good for the relationship because their priority is themselves!
So, to all women reading this…how do you feel about choosing to value the loyal man? It’s hard to believe they are out there when one has never shown up for you. But there are so many of them out there. Men live to commit to a high value woman.
Also, make the sacrifice of showing that you are willing to be loyal. It’s hard, it’s just as hard for women to be loyal as it is for a man to be loyal.
But isn’t that depth with one person the thing that makes life rich and worth living (and dying) for?
I understand the need for sexual variety. I understand the craving for a newness. It is a need of humans. Not just men.
So I understand what a guy is saying when he says “I realize you don’t get everything with someone you want to settle down with. I have been in monogamous relationships and been happy, I just don’t want the feeling of shutting myself down.”
(The above statement was from this story in the first part of this two-part write up about polyamory).
What he means is, he doesn’t want to offer himself completely. He doesn’t want the risk that comes with monogamy.
(If you want to know the story I am referring to here, please see PART 1 of this two part article.)
He doesn’t want to risk himself for a one and only. Maybe he just has never met his one and only. Maybe he doesn’t believe such a thing exists. It definitely seems like he doesn’t.
There’s a price to pay for going through lots of partners…
And maybe…just maybe, he is paying the price of going through too many women.
The more people you go through in the name of variety and ‘shiny object syndrome’, the less you believe in the ‘one and only’.
I do know that there is a price to pay for men and women when they get involved in relationships or get intimate with lots of people.
You can lose innocence. You can become fearful and jaded. Because you may never have been with someone who takes risks for you. Someone who lays themselves on the line for you. Being with lots of people comes with the cost of people not really caring for you that much.
They may say they care, but when it comes to the punchline, how much do they really care?
Will they give to you at their own expense?
They can’t care that much when they’ve never had to make huge sacrifices just to invest in you and in a relationship with you!
Don’t you want a man who would die for you? I’m sorry, not sorry if that sounds greedy.
But it’s not greedy. It’s normal to want that kind of passion. We only have so much time on this earth. Why waste it with people who are only half-assed with you?
These are the kind of people who don’t value your heart and soul and would toss it away when another shiny opportunity comes along.
Monogamous relationships seem like such a risk…
A monogamous relationship seems like a risk for both men and women, in certain contexts. And it is. It IS a risk.
However, you will always feel that it is a big risk when that one person is not your 10/10, your one and only.
My husband and I have sacrificed all other options for each other for the last almost 13 years. We’ve made this sacrifice through our so-called ‘best’ years. Our reproductive prime.
I am very aware of the so-called “options” in partners that other people might think I’ve left behind. And I’m very aware of the options David has sacrificed to commit solely to me for this long.
But what is life about if it isn’t about each other?
What is life about if it isn’t about the one and only?
What are our souls worth if we can’t give ourselves to one person?
It seems like more and more people are having to deal with their partner being polyamorous. This is why it is more important than ever for you to understand and learn more about how to deal with a man like this.
Or even just understand how to deal with a man who is generally not fully emotionally committed to you (and wants more than one woman in his life).
What if we need to learn how to get angry?
What if we need to learn more about seeing a man for who he is?
What if we need to remember to say ‘NO!’ and push back on a man when he comes on strong?
Let’s start with some background. This client named Lena messaged me with a real pickle she is in with a polyamorous man she met online.
Here is how it goes…
(How We Connected)
I met him online; he just exuded masculinity and I was excited to just show up deeply connected to my feminine core. On our first phone conversation, he told me that at the weekend he would be going to Sydney. The next week we met at a bar. I felt like I could show up raw, fully myself. He told me about the painful past he had with his family. and I couldn’t help but tear up as I naturally just grasped his arm.
He later told me that he was polyamorous. He had 2 girlfriends that were long distance (one in Sydney) and that he cared about them deeply. I expressed that I am monogamous and although I understand the idea of polyamory that I want to create freedom, variety, passion and more within monogamy.
(He Became Monogamous)
The next weekend he became monogamous and cut off from these women in his life. He then wanted to spend almost every day with me and he was understandably very hurt by ending such significant relationships in his life. I listened to him and practiced empathy. He just seemed to shut down. I felt anxious like I couldn’t give him what he needed, although it was all way too quick and not entirely my responsibility that he felt so down. I felt pressured to be with him all the time and because I wasn’t completely ready for such immediate intensity, I don’t think I was as present and free flowing as I can be.
After 2 weeks of being monogamous, he told me he missed the other women in his life. I understood but was really sad. I hadn’t experienced this level of connection, this level of communication, presence and raw masculinity in my previous relationships.
We went our own ways because it felt too painful to stick around. Two weeks later, his authentic, honest, raw personality still taunted my mind. Then one day while I was in town, I caught this man’s gaze. It was him. My entire body was physically shaking. I felt scared, excited, exposed, surprised.
(Connection & Showing Up)
We kept talking after that and he told me how both these women had met other people and were still a big part of his life but not intimate anymore. We started seeing each other again. He told me he was poly and that he didn’t plan on not dating other people. It may have been foolish but I was so drawn to him and I loved feeling so feminine and authentic in his presence… confused with his recent declaration of monogamy and his talks about how his ex had hurt him… I simply asked that he please tell me if he had been with someone new.
The next five weeks felt incredible. We watched netflix together, made dinner together, and barely stopped laughing. I can genuinely say that it has never felt this right for me. We connect on so many levels; he helped me explore power dynamics in my sexuality (that more deeply tap into how much I love to be in my natural feminine), we had in-depth discussion and debates about psychology and culture (a topic I have ALWAYS loved), we felt so at home in sharing silent moments… He also vocalized that he adores how sensitive I am. How I cry at shows, how I empathize even when I feel afraid, how I have such strong intuition, how I choose to surrender to the sensations in my body…
He then met someone and slept with her. My heart shattered. I knew this was a possibility because he had been honest about it, I just felt it was worth the risk. He held me as I cried deeply. We kept talking and even saw each other again before I traveled for work. The day we saw each other, we just went for a walk to a park. There is something about his presence that even then made me feel safe, adored, and seen. It was vividly connected and special.
When I came back from my work trip, he wanted to see me again. I told him I was too hurt and that I didn’t think I could. He pushed me and told me how much he felt for me. I thought I should hear him out and of course, I wanted to connect with him too. He said to me “I like the idea of being in something where there is the option to be with other people but you don’t necessarily act on it.” He also said that he would like this option for variety in a long term relationship because monogamy can get stuck and boring and that when he gets married, he doesn’t want to grow apart or end up divorced, or for one person to be cheating. I genuinely can relate to his concern because I had a 5 year long relationship that was not passionate or alive. .. despite how much I tried. He definitely made me think about these things. He then said “I realize you don’t get everything with someone you want to settle down with. I have been in monogamous relationships and been happy, I just don’t want the feeling of shutting myself down.” Again, I allowed myself to indulge for a moment in the bliss of being with him. The bliss of being with a man whose flaws make me laugh, who can talk about anything with me, who makes me weak at the knees with his masculine toughness. One time he was so blunt that it brought me to tears; he seemed to respond to me, scooping me up in his arms saying “aww I forget you are so gentle.” I was delaying the inevitable conversation but he brought it up.
He told me he wanted me to be the priority in his life. He wanted to make me his primary and have one other rotating space for dating other women. I know in the poly world, this is a big deal. A big part of me wants to be okay with it but when I ask myself if I could be okay with it, my entire body shuts down. I feel weak, violated from myself, devastated and lost. I don’t think I can handle polyamory and it breaks my heart because I feel like there may not be a way to make it work with this man within polyamory. This connection is the most right it ever felt for me and not just because of the euphoric feeling of love but also because it has the meat you need… amazing communication, feeling like we can be 100% ourselves around each other, compatibility sexually, morally, emotionally and mentally.
Our connection is worth fighting for to me.
I love this man, I feel like I see and understand him even when it is painful but I just can’t handle polyamory and I do not know what to do. I am scared but even sitting with polyamory makes me feel deep pain and I can’t compromise myself to that extent.
Do I stay, showing up as authentically valuable and open hearted as I can? Or, do I walk away accepting that it may be heart wrenching and that he may not follow?
(Thank you endlessly for reading this, I appreciate this community so much! I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for this blog and David & Renee)
Thanks for your great question. And thanks for the wonderful way you wrote it. It makes it easy for me to understand and write back to you. There is so much to address here that it’s hard to know where to start. All the things I could work through are endless.
First, well done on connecting to your feminine core. I can see that this was a good first step for you and you’ve made good progress. The way you showed up has appeared to have worked some magic with this guy – putting aside the fact that his actions aren’t commendable.
Let’s start with the very start.
(How we connected)
You guys met online. You say you were excited to just show up deeply connected to your feminine core.
I do want to urge caution to you on this. Being feminine or connected to your feminine core seems to be something that new relationship experts are talking a lot about these days, but we often forget that there’s so much more to relationships and deep commitment than our feminine core.
Which I believe you are learning right now.
Essentially, being feminine makes you desirable to masculine men. It can make you sexy. maybe soft, and sometimes it might make you seem vulnerable. It produces a spark of polarity with masculine men.
But just being connected to our feminine core can make us one dimensional as we get swept away by the ‘idea’ of being connected to our feminine core, thinking it’s the answer to everything.
So, that’s my word of caution. However, I still want to applaud you for exploring this part of yourself and experiencing that for yourself. No action you take is wrong. I think you may find, looking back later on, that every step you take was a necessary part of your overall life story.
Now back to the issue here…
Wanting to be seen
I could be wrong, but perhaps you wanted a new sense of identity and having this man see you as feminine allows you to feel validated. (Any woman exploring her feminine energy with men has been there. So please don’t think this is a bad thing. It is all a part of your precious journey in this life).
The trouble with being so incredibly excited about exploring this new identity or the excitement of showing up deeply connected to your feminine core is that too much excitement can overpower your natural intuition, as you get swept away by how much attraction a man feels for you.
Every woman wants to be seen for the endless beauty that she is. Even the feminists that are working hard to protect/cover up the vulnerability of this innate desire because they are afraid they may not actually be seen.
It is a beautiful experience to be seen by a man. And you have successfully been seen very well by this man.
There’s good news and bad news about having been seen in your situation, though:
First, the good news: now you know you have the ability to show up in a high value way that allows you to be seen for who you are deep down in your heart. Congratulations!
The bad news: Any man, even the slimiest ones who just go online to look for their next conquest, can make you feel seen and connected.
Any man can give a woman that feeling of being seen, on a superficial level. And on a superficial sexual level. Because he is getting something out of it.
A man can form a connection with you just to get sex; and this is also why waiting a while to have sex gives a man a chance to reveal the truth of who he is and how confident he really is and how much real substance he has to offer.
Nothing replaces the test of time spent together just connecting without sex.
I am not saying that the connection you experienced with this man was not significant. I believe you did have a good connection.
The only thing I’m questioning is how much he’s really willing to sacrifice for you: it doesn’t appear that he is willing to sacrifice enough. Especially not for the incredible woman that you are. And everybody here can see how wonderful you are. It comes through in your writing.
You see, no matter how great the spark is with this man, this connection is nothing particularly extraordinary from the perspective of getting a deep sense of long term devotion from a man.
What is it worth being ‘seen’ by a man you only recently met online compared to having a man’s complete devotion to you long term? And your devotion to him entirely?
Loyalty matters. It takes time to develop. And it is worth far more than anything else in today’s world.
But loyalty isn’t common anymore. It is a rare trait in a world obsessed with shiny objects and desensitized to so many sexual sensations because of porn and the media.
Being seen by men as sexy, feminine and vulnerable is not the same as deeply connecting with a man or mutually falling in love with a man.
You met online and already has two other women!
You guys met online. He already had two other women! That’s a red flag. One of my first thoughts was that this man is a master seducer, yet a foolish one. He seems to be engrossed in ‘shiny object syndrome’. He is bouncing from two women, yet still out scouting the world for more women.
Maybe it’s just how he operates and thinks nothing of it.
But it’s concerning how he doesn’t seem to really see that women (generally speaking) don’t thrive in a polyamorous relationship.
And the biggest red flag in all of this is how quickly his other two women found other people after he left them!
And another concern that I have, is how easily he left the other two women after meeting you.
It appears as though he did not leave them out of devotion to you. Desire for you, sure. Attraction for you, sure. But devotion? I don’t think so.
This doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, and it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have the capacity to love you. It just means that right now I don’t think he has a clue what love is. He only knows how to get the best deal for himself.
And good for him.
But…where are you right now?
How are you feeling right now?
I think it’s obvious from what you’ve told me. And I applaud you again, for being so connected to how you feel – but I need you to be even more connected to how you feel and let those feelings be felt. And to trust how you feel, independently of your mind’s thoughts.
You see, with this hurt and pain, and possibly anger; you can then much more easily develop the bad association you need to develop in order to say ‘no’ to this man.
Because he seems like bad news.
Some polyamorous people want to take value
In my bias opinion. And it really is biased, because I have only learned from other people’s stories and have never been through polyamory myself nor been a part of a polyamorous community…
Is that some polyamorous people go into the situation to take for themselves. And they want more and more and more. Especially the people who initiate polyamory. They want more. The best deal. Without having to give loyalty, or take the risk of the heavy reproductive costs that come with being monogamous.
He came on very strong & you weren’t able to stop him
Another thing I want you to see is that this man came on very strong after breaking it off with his two other women.
He came on so strong that it made you feel that you were ‘not completely ready for such immediate intensity’.
Now, this is a warning sign. If you are not completely ready, then girl, you stop that sh*t. And you stop it for your sake, and his.
When a man comes on strong, he wants you. That’s not always a bad thing. But because he does not bear the responsibility of pregnancy and child-rearing (or doesn’t associate himself with child rearing, being a man and all)…
You need to be the one to protect yourself. Sure, he would ideally protect you too. But when it doesn’t happen that way, you need to put a stop to it.
So, it’s ok.
But next time, trust your gut.
I don’t care how great the connection seems like it is. I don’t care how different and how much more authentic he seemed than other men, he still needs you to push back on him when you feel you are not ready.
He declared he was monogamous and then slept with someone else?
Ok. so. I would say that I feel like you are dealing with a very misdirected man here. But I don’t know him. So I’d be making assumptions.
Assumptions which I will go ahead and make.
He declared that he was monogamous. And then he met someone and slept with her. Yet, you are saying that you knew it was a possibility.
Well, I don’t care how much you knew it was a possibility. His actions are still not acceptable.
Why are his actions not acceptable?
Because it seems as though he declared monogamy for either one of two reasons:
1: Because he was taken away by the exciting newness of you and his relationship and had zero direction nor groundedness to actually wait and think it through.
2: Because he was taken away with the potential sexual opportunity.
Sure, I mean, he can do what he wants. But he is to do it with the women who are ok with that kind of behaviour from a man.
But are you ok with that kind of behaviour?
I truly believe, from the information you have given me, that this connection is not as deep as you may think it is.
I think that this man is good at seducing, and he is also great at creating the connection with a woman that is needed for her to open up sexually.
So, sure, you guys had a great connection. But how deep was it really?
Was it deep enough that you could exert your boundaries and anger, and he would still be there for you? You’ll have to test that out (if you still want to).
Was your connection deep enough that he’s willing to sacrifice all other options for you?
Maybe it will get deeper in time. Maybe you guys can make a real monogamous relationship work in the future. But I don’t recommend you do that until you feel more of the hurt he has caused you.
He is used to women compromising themselves to be with him!
This man is used to women compromising themselves to be with him.
A lot of women out there enter into polyamorous relationships for fear that they cannot get a man to invest all of their resources on her.
And because of this fear, these women sit back and wait for the man to do whatever he wants, and she’ll just shut off to her heart’s pain and suffering.
Well, fear not. There is a man out there for you. And all you have to do is be patient.
Where is your anger?
I had a question for you. Where is your anger?
I know that from very early on in our lives, we are taught that anger is wrong.
But just because this man told you up front that he is polyamorous, doesn’t make his actions any less slimy.
Loyalty is loyalty. And he had none of it from the start.
I don’t know. Maybe you are angry and I don’t know about it. Maybe you have been angry. But I have no evidence that you have connected to your anger at all in your letter.
I have a feeling that connecting to your anger would make you more aware of what kind of man you do not want.
I feel like you really enjoyed the connection you had with this man. Now you have the ability to connect with anyone you wish. Kudos to you! Not everyone has that skill.
However – it feels to me, and the other women here can tell me if I’m wrong or if they agree…
That you may not have had an abundance of great connections in your life at the time of meeting this man, or it has been a while since you’ve been with a masculine man, and from this lack of abundance, he seemed exceptional when he may not be.
It’s always difficult when we are coming from a place of lack of abundance, so I really understand. I’ve had this experience with friends in the past.
Now is the time for asking yourself if perhaps your connection with him seemed so wonderful mainly because it was unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before?
And if it is…then just know that you can most certainly have that quality of connection again. Even if it is with a different, but more deserving man.
Vulnerability without boundaries
When I talk about the value of vulnerability, it is not so that women can use their deep vulnerability it on just any man. And I especially don’t want women to use vulnerability as a way to feel worthy.
I need you to understand, Lena, that right now, you love this man partly because you have been sexually intimate with him. Your body is made to attach in this way – to ensure resources for yourself and to ensure the survival and safety of yourself and your offspring, should you become pregnant.
But do you think this man fully deserved to see you sexually and emotionally bare like this yet?
Some women take this feminine core and vulnerability as a way to do what they think is good and right. Or as a way to feel significant and worthy around men. That is not what it is for. It is for connecting with men…it is for forming strong, unbreakable bonds.
Vulnerability without a man gaining your full trust first is dangerous.
So let me say this: vulnerability is valuable and useful for forming deep, committed, trusting relationships.
However, in your case Lena, this man has not gained your full trust. He’s gained some of your physical and emotional surrender – for the sake of getting you to connect with him, and have sex with him. But he has in no way gained your heart’s trust.
Vulnerability is something that helps you weed out the bad men. It is also a way to test men.
So always ask yourself: did or does this man deserve to see me so open and bare and so sexually responsive to the sensations in my own body?
You know the answer best.
Should you be his primary?
Should you be his primary in a polyamorous relationship?
Let’s be blunt, shall we?
When a woman or a man is in love, they will sacrifice EVERYTHING. Everything. Just to be with that one and only.
Yes, even men. A man in love will sacrifice all other options to be with you.
I don’t care how big a thing a primary is in the polyamorous world. You tell me that you feel weak, violated from yourself and that your body shuts down at the very thought of entering into a polyamorous relationship. So, you really don’t need me at all. Your body is telling you what to do.
I just need you to feel the hurt that your body is feeling, even more.
I need you to feel that shut down even more.
If you know you cannot cope with a polyamorous relationship, then stick to that. Don’t ignore it any longer, because if you do, you’ll eat away at your boundaries until they become a spec of dust in the ocean.
You will lose yourself and your power.
Above all, you will compromise your own strength.
And in doing that, you compromise your future with the right man, and the future of your children (if you want them).
You have no time to waste.
If you haven’t gone through our understanding Men Program, we go deeply in to issues like men and monogamy and what they really need in long-term relationships that they can’t voice. Click here to check it out!
She sat there, all alone, on the curb, crying. She just had it. She had just lost someone dear to her, and now she had nobody – nobody to even call her and ask how she is – and didn’t know what to do about it.
A woman of many family members. A few friends.
And yet nobody was there for her.
She wanted to commit suicide, sometimes. It was all just too hard. She had friends, but they didn’t feel like real friends.
Her family wasn’t nice to her, and her last relationship broke up, even though she loved the guy. And when it broke up, people seemed to move further away from her – not closer! When she needed someone, somehow…they weren’t there.
“What was with that?” She asked.
Why were people abandoning her? What happened to support, closeness and intimacy?
“Do good, loyal people not exist anymore? Or does it just not exist in her world?” She asked.
“I don’t know, I told her. I think you must be talking about me”, I joked.
This was a long, long time ago. I’m still not sure if she was on something, sitting there, on the curb, balling her eyes out. I mean, normal people don’t burst out crying, sitting on the curb like that. It usually makes other strangers uncomfortable. Nevertheless I’m grateful for the encounter, and I think she was the special kind.
And since that moment meeting the girl on the curb, I’ve been both the distant person and the person with absolutely nobody. This is what I think I’ve learned.
Before that, please watch this video I created that’s related to this topic.
Why Men Pull Away & How to Deal With It as a High Value Woman - YouTube
Let’s put it this way. When you’re the kind of gal who loves relationships, who likes being around people, and when you’re the kind of gal who hates small talk and loves to go deep, distant people are a real piece of work.
Why? Because you mistakenly assume that other people are like you. That they also value human connection. That they value bonding. That other human people actually matter to them. That they actually want a relationship. That other people actually want friends. Wait, doesn’t everybody want friends?
Doesn’t everybody want at least one committed and loyal relationship in their life?
No (well, they might, but people’s actions don’t always show that they do).
Doesn’t everybody want a girlfriend? Or a boyfriend?
Ok, maybe on some level, in a particular emotional state and context, everybody does. But not for the right reasons. A lot of people want friends or a girlfriend/boyfriend for the image.
And in reality, are not actually willing to invest emotionally in any person.
Investing in people is entirely different from taking what you can get from people.
Investing in people is entirely different from hanging out.
Investing in someone is entirely different from keeping them as a ‘f**** buddy’.
This is for you if you are tired of distant men and distant people. This is for you if distant people make you irate. This is for you if you have felt hurt by a distant person who you really want to form a bond with.
For some of us, this distant person is a parent! A sister, or brother…
If there’s anything I’ve had to learn, through my work with women, and through my own personal life, it is that many people do not want closeness, for a variety of reasons.
Collecting material things, experiencing “success”, getting attention from new people, constantly experiencing something novel and new, is important to them.
For some distant people…ESCAPING is important to them. Using people is important to them! THEY are important to them. YOU are not important to them.
And you know what?
You need to feel the distance that they perpetuate. Feel the distance that the person is creating between you and them. Absorb the distance. Absorb the pain it causes you, (because if you don’t, you’ll keep getting stuck with distant people until you do).
You can try a couple of times to reach out to a distant person, but if they still maintain their distance, you must feel.
Feel the emptiness that their actions are communicating.
You really cannot afford to block out your heart’s feeling of hurt towards that distant person.
You are a woman. You will probably always consistently desire more closeness than you have in your life. And even when you get it, you eventually want more.
You really cannot afford to block out your feelings of anger towards that person (you have to feel it!) You cannot keep creating romantic scenarios of hopefulness when there is none.
Because this will make you less and less attuned in relationships.
And being less attuned essentially equals dumbing yourself, and numbing yourself.
The least attuned people also happen to, unfortunately, take value from themselves and show up low value, because they don’t want to feel what is right in front of them, and calibrate themselves to the situation. They don’t want to be sensitive.
Being sensitive is often looked down upon. But I don’t believe that. You MUST be sensitive. Be sensitive enough to feel that person’s communication. A person’s actions communicate almost everything you need to feel.
Feel it. Don’t blindly waste your time on people who don’t want to invest in you.
The fact that you are a woman, means you owe it to yourself and you owe it to your soul (which wants deep union and connection), to not numb yourself to distant people, pretending they care.
Why? Because when you don’t feel the distance they create, you end up filling up your life with distant people. Because you tolerate it. You begin to think it’s normal.
And you don’t like to actually feel the distance and calibrate yourself to the situation, as life brings it to you.
For someone who values connection, distant people can be a waste of time and finite emotional energy, and you need to not waste your time like that – please learn to weed them out quickly.
For more information on weeding men out quickly, please see this article.
There is one important thing to establish here. I want you to know that, just because it is a positive thing to learn to weed out distant people, does not mean that you cannot still love them. And in some cases, you can still try to reach them, and connect to their soul.
But if you want to learn how to deal with a distant person, my first piece of advice is to really, genuinely, think about what they actually value. Do they actually value connection? Do they value someone else more than they value you?
Think about what they need or want in their life right now. And if they are happy to see you or take from you, but there’s no heart in their actions – and if they don’t return your attempts to connect, or reciprocate the value you added, then breathe that in and allow that message to settle into your body.
People aren’t always ready to be deep or close or connected.
People aren’t always ready to be in a relationship. People sometimes do not give a damn about relationships. Some people will always value ambition over a relationship.
Always give value first, and see if they want to escalate the relationship by reciprocating your gestures and efforts. Try to stay acutely attuned to the situation, like you would stay attuned while walking a tightrope, in gale force winds.
Respond as needed; do not force things upon a perpetually distant person. It’s not your job to fix them. Your energy isn’t infinite! No matter how much you want it to be.
Remember that there are plenty of other men, people, and wonderful things you can do with your life to add value to others. There’s no need to get lost in the labyrinth of drama and ignorance, or beat a dead horse.
To help you make sense of the people who are perpetually distant, (or perhaps make sense of yourself), I wanted to discuss with you the reasons why these humans are the way they are.
These reasons leave little mystery. This is why they are distant. If you have any reasons I’ve missed why people are distant, please add to them.
Here are 12 secret reasons some people will always be distant in relationships
1: They don’t want to be revealed
Close relationship reveals us. Bonding reveals us. People who remain distant in relationships can avoid confronting who they really are, and how they truly feel beneath all of the masks that they wear.
People like this tend to attract and gravitate towards people who don’t challenge them. People who don’t want to be revealed tend to select people who will keep reinforcing their cold and distant behaviour.
Essentially, people who do not want to be revealed, choose social groups where people don’t actually give a damn about them. If somebody cares enough about you, they will engage deeper with you, gradually, over time. People who do not want to be revealed are more comfortable in superficial situations. They don’t have to care about anyone else too much, and nobody else has to care about them too much. Perfection.
It’s not their fault. Sometimes people don’t want the stress of feeling deep emotions when engaged in a close relationship. Emotions can be stressful, mostly when one perceives that nobody will be there to pick them up or validate their feelings.
2: They block almost everything out.
Many people in today’s world block any difficult feelings out. And when one blocks feelings out, they become less connected to you and to everyone else. When one blocks feelings out, their capacity for depth is lower.
And hey, in today’s world, people have tv shows to help them escape. So why bother doing the hard yards for a relationship?
Maybe I’m biased because I have not watched tv in 11 years. Yes, 11 years. My husband, too; he hasn’t watched tv in 11 years. I believe that’s one of the secrets of our incredibly close relationship. We don’t watch tv to block things out, so we go to each other to connect and meet our needs. It’s mutual. And, we see each other ripped open and bare.
3: You are not the type of person that they trust.
This is a continuation of the last paragraph of reason number 1. If someone is distant, but inside, they truly are a loving individual who would like more closeness, then in order to stay close to you, they would need to trust you.
And who do we tend to trust? People with the same values as us. People who are ‘like’ us.
It’s not personal, it’s just how life works….we don’t all mesh well together. If someone doesn’t trust you, and they’ve already decided that they don’t trust you, then you can either prove them wrong by meeting them where they are at in life (and validating their feelings, no matter how wrong their feelings seem to you), or you can accept that they don’t trust you and move on.
Don’t forget that there are two main categories of distant people: 1 – that person is distant in all relationships. And 2 – that person is distant because they specifically don’t want to be close to you.
To trust you, you would need to be attuned to the other person as well. Yes, we are going back to being attuned here.
If you are not feeling outside of your own self, and feeling outside, into someone else’s life and reality, and feeling what they have to go through right now, what their struggles are, then it’s a good idea to consider that. When you feel others, you can be more attuned and create more trust. I’m sure you’d like someone to do that for you, too, right?
4: They don’t want to confront feelings of shame
Oh, shame. Such a painful human emotion, that is so often unnecessary. People these days feel shame over all sorts of things. And it’s not their fault – other people often place shame upon people around them, because they can, and if someone is prone to feeling ashamed, then it’s extremely, extremely hard to get close to them.
That’s why some people have a closer relationship with food than they do with people. Because people shame, food doesn’t. It doesn’t even talk back. And the more people shame them, the more they eat because the food is the mom. Food is nurturing.
And if someone has a pattern of being ashamed, it probably started very young, and was perpetrated by their parents, “friends”, caregivers, teachers, and the environment they grew up in.
By all counts, you probably don’t believe that they ought to feel shame for anything that they are or do in their life. But THEY do.
I wish people understood that there is nothing in this human experience that is wrong. One might be superbly weird (pointing to myself here), one might be an angry person, one might be a fat person, one might be a jobless person, and one might have chosen a bad person to marry and feel shame about that. Yet there is no shame in any of that – it’s all part of the human experience.
None of it is wrong, it’s just what it is. You and I already know this.
But because so many of us have had shame drilled into us, and because shame is just so incredibly painful and easy to avoid – a person might want to stay distant.
And once they’ve started being distant in relationships, that pattern is hard to stop.
5: They value their image more than they value you.
True friendship is real. True love is real. Unfortunately, in our society, a lot of people are living in an image, not for connection. Connecting with you and maintaining a relationship may not serve their ends of achieving the image of the perfect life, or perfect personality.
They would rather keep you at arm’s length because maintaining a facade takes way too much energy, and they can only keep it up for so long. So, short and infrequent meetings serve the upkeep of their image well.
Don’t forget that someone who has had a habit of trying to uphold an image for a long time, will become more and more distant over time, as an ‘image’ is never real. Humans are not an image. We are naturally imperfect and broken. Irregularities are real. Imperfections are real. And somehow, someone made them feel like imperfection, or vulnerability is essentially wrong.
It’s not wrong. But they don’t feel that. So, welcome to their world – but always at arm’s length. Never close enough to reveal their anger and pain and hurt.
6: They are stressed and overwhelmed, (some people are possibly living a life they don’t love and are not proud of.)
I think it goes without saying that many of us are living a life that we were ‘told’ to live. We work long hours, we try to get by, try to fit in and not stand out, we get through the day and we are stressed. We can barely deal with our own stress, let alone deal with letting someone in to potentially magnify that stress even more.
Of course, the truth is, when we trust someone, especially as women, we will naturally open up even in the deepest moments of overwhelm. But that is no less true than pushing someone away because of stress is true.
7: They have sexual intentions that they need to hide.
If someone wants to get sex elsewhere, then, of course, they want to keep you at a distance. The closer they get to you, the more guilt they have to feel if they take their sexual interests elsewhere.
Their interests as a separate human organism are at odds with your interests, and their disloyal behaviour keeps it that way.
A man or a woman who is undertaking suspicious liaisons might well make sure you are far, far away. So that you cannot reveal them. So that you don’t hold them accountable.
Some people care more about sexual variety than having the depth of relationship and connection. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. You just need to respect that that is true with some people, and be willing to accept that sexual variety is what they need to experience (or think they need to experience), and make your decisions about how to deal with them, from there.
You can try to help them see that sexual variety isn’t the answer. Yet, while you would be correct in helping them see that, you cannot change biology. Men and women have innate needs for sexual variety – it is natural – so, without respecting this as the truth; you cannot help anyone nor influence anyone to see differently.
8: They get super anxious around people and don’t know what to do about it.
People get scared around other people. What if I’m rejected? What if I’m not loved? What if I lose my identity if I enter a relationship with them? What if that person takes advantage of me?
What if it all doesn’t work out? What if I get close to this person and they leave, or die?
Other people can be scary. Some people cannot even leave the house to try to be social. It’s a real problem, just do a google search about this.
People aren’t always distant because they don’t want to connect with us. They are sometimes distant because they want to, deep down inside, but don’t know how (code for: terrified.)
9: They’ve been ignoring the truth their whole life and it’s too late now.
Sometimes people start off treating others terribly, and nobody held them accountable. But even if nobody holds them accountable, inside, somewhere, most people know they did the wrong thing. But the more wrong things you’ve done, the more you want to hide. And hide far, far away.
Not only that, but some people choose to be numb to life a long time ago. And now they have gone too far down the rabbit hole to come back out again. Some people are beyond help, no matter how much love you have to offer them.
There’s one more thing about ignoring the truth your whole life. As mentioned above, some of us are living a lie. What does that mean? Well, here’s an example.
Some people made bad choices and walked that path for too long, and feel they cannot walk back the other way now.
Some people married the wrong person, but stayed there and it’s been too long now to leave.
Some people chose a life and job not because it’s their true gift to the world – but because other people expected them to make those choices. In other words, some people have lived for approval and safety for decades, and can’t cope with the thought that they should have done something different. They should be living a life more authentic to them. They should have spent less time doing this or that and more time doing what really matters to them.
Sometimes, it’s just gone on too long. And when someone’s been living a lie, it becomes kind of hard to relate to others authentically. So they have to relate on the surface – and keep you distant.
10: They don’t believe in love/didn’t experience intimate love as a child.
This one is hard. For a long time now, the western world has been a society that doesn’t respect nurturing and family. And so, many of us have had less love, affection and attention as an infant and child than we deserved. Some of us have been outright ignored and isolated as an infant. This shapes our brains in a certain way. It also shapes how we relate to people – or if we relate at all.
Some people want distance because that has become their safe place. They never developed a close relationship of trust with their parent or caregiver, or they learned that they couldn’t rely on another human to get what they want, so now, their pattern is to keep a distance.
Having people truly close can bring up a lot of emotions, and perhaps especially so for people who have learned to keep a distance. This doesn’t always feel like a good thing, depending on who you are and how you see the world.
I remember speaking to a woman I know who visibly kept people at a distance, and she did it to the extreme. She lives alone, and has pushed everyone away. I respect her reasons for doing that; it’s not like I cannot relate.
There was once I asked her: “Don’t you get lonely, living like this?” and she said “No no. Lonely is better than angry.”
….so you see, isn’t it true that feeling emotions is a commitment in itself? Some people may believe anger or any extreme emotion is wrong to embody. And this can visibly damage their ability to hold strong, intimate relationships.
11: They don’t want to invest in you. They’d rather take from you.
Investment. Some of us invest in other people. Some of us invest in separation (we prefer our own success and ambition to having deep relationships). Some of us also invest in fear, or pushing other people away, or judging people, or in the image of success.
It’s hard to invest in people because it feels risky. And so, these people will treat relationships as a place that they go to take value. Take, take, take, and if they discover that you don’t seem to want to treat the relationship as a place to go to take value (and rather, just want to have a genuine connection or relationship with them) they become angry and/or distant.
People like this really exist. We’ve all probably know at least one of them. They don’t seem to know how to have a relationship. They see everybody through the filter of: “What can I get from this person?” “How can this person and their status benefit me?”
Be careful with this one. It’s like the age-old term “She’s just jealous of you!” which is often not true, and just thrown around to stroke a woman’s ego, and to avoid thinking deeper about the issue at hand.
This is the last of the reasons, and it is not to be misused. It is not here to encourage people addicted to the high they get from feeling like somebody else feels inadequate around them.
This is here as a reminder that, for a lot of us today, it is shockingly easy to feel like we are not enough. And there’s a few reasons for that. The first reason is that we are constantly exposed to marketing that enjoys us soaking in our fears and remaining small (think news articles, which lie, and prey on your fears to get you to read their stuff and stay under their influence).
The next reason is that we are often around new people we’ve never encountered before! Walking past them in the street, seeing them on Instagram, or Facebook. People who want attention at any price, and they don’t mind triggering anyone’s inadequacies.
We are also privy to feeling inadequate because of the society..
…Because pushing him away is a lot better than feeling him ‘here’ with us and consequently being more vulnerable to his betrayal. Especially if we’ve been truly open and vulnerable to him.
…Because we want you to work harder for us.
…Because we are scared to trust you.
…Because outside of our natural desire for sex during/before ovulation, or the beginning or the end of a menstrual cycle, our desire for sex is lower, and sex takes a lot of energy when we don’t want it.
…Because relationships take courage that we are too scared to have.
…Because some men don’t provide enough value to us in order to warrant us being very connected to them.
…Because men just don’t understand…until they do understand. And if he’s a good man, he really will understand one day.
…Because somebody else abandoned us. And pushing people away is a coping mechanism for perceived eventual hurt. Sorry, it’s just that…abandonment hurts and as a consequence, relationships just don’t feel as ‘real’ or ‘worth it’ anymore.
…Because men are different to us. Even if women and men are both human. Men are different, and if we were honest, dealing with that is frightening sometimes.
…Because we want to feel in control. Letting go means losing control, and losing control means we’ll be judged. By women, funnily enough.
…Because having a man around might mean being more free, safe, and vulnerable. And in feeling more free, safe and vulnerable, we can also start to feel less capable. And what if we suddenly need to be all capable again? Better not risk being out of the game.
…Because when we choose to be wide open to you instead of pushing you away, we have to suddenly be someone we don’t know if we accept or even respect, ourselves. Why be someone we don’t respect?
…Because being wide open and vulnerable to you means we have to accept ourselves. And we don’t always accept ourselves.
…Because we got used to wearing masks. Masks have become our way. And it now takes less energy to wear these masks than it takes to surrender to you.
…Because we want a higher quality man.
I can’t speak for all women, but if you are like most women, inside your heart lies a deep (and almost constant desire) for love and connection.
Sometimes, there’s also a deep hurt over the love you wanted to experience with another human (any human), but for whatever reason, you have not been able to.
In fact, it is the disowning of our feelings that makes committed relationships less possible.
We secretly love relationships. We just don’t feel safe to invest in them sometimes. And – we need reassurance in order to open up. Tell me, am I wrong? Or would reassurance from a man feel good to you?
Any reason you have for pushing a man away is ok. It’s ok to feel scared. It’s ok to feel unaccepting of ourselves and voice that to yourself and release the feeling. Every feeling has a place – and please give it a place. Allow that feeling to surface, even if it feels so lonely to acknowledge that feeling.
I am just some woman on the internet with an opinion. However, I caution you in disowning your feelings, because in doing that, we tend to repeatedly gravitate towards superficial relationships that break our soul and make us jaded. Don’t ignore your feelings, and therefore ignore what your heart truly wants.
Your head might want to work a lot to keep the seat warm at the high flying job that you have, but how does your heart feel?
Your head might want to sleep with a good looking man, but put your hand on your heart; ask your heart beforehand – how do you feel, heart? What if you never hear from him again afterwards? What if you never see him again?
Your head might want this and that, but how does your heart feel? Is it hurting? Is it yearning?
If you ignore your heart and your truest feelings, mediocre relationships will find you.
In the end, the quality of our relationships is all we have.
Which one of these reasons did you NOT relate to? What other reasons can you share for pushing a man away? Let me know in the comments, I look forward to reading what you write.
P.S. What are some other reasons you push a man away? Can you add even better reasons to this list? Please add to the list in a comment below. I always look forward to reading your ideas.
You’re a powerful goddess that can change the lives of people around you.
What if your man or boyfriend is needing space in the relationship?
“I freaked out. He told me calmly that he needs some space and I didn’t know what to do. I tried to talk him through this, I begged him not to leave me because I’m afraid he will leave me for another woman”.
The anxiety of a man needing space. It’s enough to make many women feel their stomach suddenly drop 1,000 miles through the floor. It can make you feel blinded by fear of the worst.
Unfortunately and fortunately, this dizzy time of worry and stress is so important for the future of your relationship with this man. It can also potentially be your ‘make-or-break’ moment in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, women need space too – men can definitely be smothering to a woman; making her want to ask him to give her space.
When a man asks for space, and you don’t take the opportunity to offer value to him, then you could lose the opportunity to save a perfectly viable relationship. Before we get into the one perfect thing you can say to a man when he says he needs space, we need a deeper understanding of men so that you can say this ‘perfect thing’ with authenticity and care.
The one perfect thing to say to a man when he needs space is a starting point.
Remember that the specific words I am about to give you are only a starting point. Everything else I’m teaching you here makes up for the whole ‘package’ of showing up high value when he wants space.
So, in giving you this one perfect thing to say, it is just a starting point to get you on the high road. Words alone won’t fix everything!
This is why, in this article, I go through the mindset, I go through how to deal with the feelings that you will inevitably feel when a man asks for space (anger, hurt, shock, fear), and give you the correct perspective to have to go along with the ‘one perfect thing to say to a man when he needs space.’
Words are only a starting point. Body language, actually caring for a man, and your true understanding of the value in giving him space, will make up the rest of it.
Why would your boyfriend suddenly start saying he wants space?
Why Men Pull Away & How to Deal With It as a High Value Woman - YouTube
Sometimes, a man doesn’t just ‘suddenly’ ask for space – sometimes, it’s been a long time coming. In other words, he has had life stressors outside of your relationship together and he cannot cope with all of that plus your relationship at once. I am not excusing a man’s choice to ask for space – it would be nicer if he could stay put in the relationship and stay present with you, but we can’t always have what we want, and sometimes he just is (painfully) not ready to be there for you.
Sometimes men ask for space because he feels like a woman is taking too much from him without giving back. And you know what? Every man is going to feel that way about his woman at some point in time.
And you and I will also feel that way about our man at some point in time – it’s just how it is. It’s how it is meant to be. Doesn’t mean it is right and that we should settle for that feeling in a relationship – it just means that we should respect this as an important part of the evolution of every relationship.
What does “I need space” mean?
What does this mean? It means, don’t feel blamed. Don’t blame yourself, and don’t blame him. He may just feel like the woman in his life is taking more value than she is giving back, and unfortunately, evolution kind of designed men and women to feel this way, when intertwining our lives with a human who is the opposite of us.
Huh? Yes, evolution designed men and women this way. Let me explain. Often, men’s goals and wants will be the complete opposite of what his woman wants – simply because of biology. Because of what we are built to seek out and want from life.
And because of that, his woman’s desires and requests will feel like total value taking. It will sometimes feel like the relationship is too much work to him.
But no feeling is permanent and there is something you can do about this.
If I give him space, will he come back?
Our task – if we want to be high status, high value, is to learn to offer so much value to him and his life, that he naturally becomes eager to be there for you and to love you and cherish you. But even then – and make sure you listen to this – even then, sometimes it is just not meant to be.
And by the way – it may sound like I’m asking you to be his butt licker when I suggest offering so much value that he naturally becomes eager to be there for you and to love you and cherish you. That’s far from the truth. I’m actually not asking you to be nice. I’m asking you to be the best version of you.
This all just means that the reason I want you to learn to give lots of value, is not just so you can just catch any man and keep him (because you will be able to as a high value high status woman).
The reason I want you to learn to give so much value is because at the end of it all, all of this is really about who you become. It’s not always about getting what you want at the moment – I believe the true reward in life is who you become. It’s not in what you ‘get’ from a man or a relationship.
Because, even if your current relationship never works out – at least you can walk away a higher value woman – when you have super high value, you can connect with any man you want anyway. So at least you get to walk away, knowing you took the high road, and there’s no better feeling than that. There’s no better feeling than having earned high self esteem because you truly gave value as best you could – and got outside of your own self to do so.
What other reasons might my boyfriend wants space?
Sometimes he needs space because he feels like the woman can’t let down her guard and feel – and therefore there is no heart or depth of connection in the relationship with a woman who is not connected to life.
There’s no fun for men in being in a relationship alone, with unresponsive women who are numb and untrusting. Although, you have every right to feel numb and untrusting. It’s just that if a man feels that he cannot get his woman to (gradually) trust him and surrender to him as deeply as he wishes – the relationship isn’t going to feel as erotic and alive. It also won’t feel like it is worth his time as the attraction and connection are just not there.
And Attraction and Connection is what makes a relationship strong and lasting.
You know, it’s hard for me to say all this to you because I know numbness and distrust serves a purpose. I’ve been there. I still can go there – rarely, but I can. The world can be a dark, scary and suspicious place at times, and if you come from a hurtful, unstable background, then yes – numbness and a lack of trust probably permeate every fabric of your life.
It’s just that doing the opposite of that – activating your (gradual) and progressive surrender to life, surrender to attraction and to a man – are all necessary for a man to want to dive in and make you his very own, forever.
Does he need space or is it over?F
You know what? Sometimes men just ask for space – and there’s not a damn thing you could have done that could have changed the course of things.
There could be many reasons a man asks for space…but if we want to get to the core of the issue, usually the reason men want space from the relationship has to do with value – ie: the relationship is not adding enough value to his life at this time (and for time leading up to it).
It’s not actually your fault or his fault! It’s just that the timing of your relationship could be wrong, or the stars don’t align right now.
Yet one thing is for sure: It’s all about value. Human beings enter relationships that provide value for them, and leave relationships that don’t provide value for them. I know this makes it all sounds shallow and like we just want people for what they can offer us – but that’s not always true.
What humans need is “signals” or “proof” of value from each other – especially in today’s society where we often start off as complete strangers and it’s bloody hard work to get any kind of relationship going, and to build trust and love and attraction (but worth it).
Back when we lived in tribes of 100-200 people, we would already know each other’s value from the extensive history of being familiar with each other. That’s not the case nowadays – we need to signal value (both men and women have this responsibility, whether they want to own that responsibility is another story).
Sometimes, a man feels smothered by a woman who has been “over functioning” in the relationship.
Sometimes, we just get needy (totally normal for any woman, or even man) and he gets angry and frustrated because he perceives that the neediness is a burden on his life.
(Yes, I know, a man is more spiritual and higher value if he can handle a woman’s neediness and stay present with her, telling her that ‘all will be okay’ and that he will be here for her. But it doesn’t always work that way, does it? Sometimes, the actual experience is much harder and more heartbreaking for us than that isn’t it?)
What to do with your anxiousness when a man says he needs space
Now back to the topic of us getting anxious when a man needs his space
Let us stop and think. What is really happening when a man tells you he needs space? Is it you being a terrible partner? Are you in the wrong? Are you the problem? Or actually, is HE the problem?
One thing is for sure – you are not in the wrong.
This is not a you problem. This is a human problem. It is a universal problem. This anxiety and the neediness that you feel when a man pulls away is just how things go in relationships. Women (and men too) get needy. It is a basic law of how humans work in relationships.
This doesn’t make neediness right. It doesn’t make neediness good, either.
It is definitely high value to learn and practice not coming across as needy. (the best way to do that is to not act from a place of fear, but we’ll get into that more in our programs)
It IS high value to respond generously to a man needing space rather than to react out of fear.
But there is no need to obsess over your actions in the past. It is all okay because we have all made huge mistakes and there is very good reason why women (or men) get needy.
Why do we as women get needy?
As a general rule, women become needy when they feel unresourceful. They feel needy when they feel like there are enough resources for them (attention from men, commitment from men, money), and we can get needy when men signal that they are going to pull away…
Because we are imperfect.
Because there’s actually a lot at stake for us.
Because of the threat of loss of resources – mainly emotional resources. We want a man to be romantically and emotionally all ours.
Because scared. It’s just all a bit scary. And that’s okay. It’s okay to feel all that is scary.
Why else do we get needy? Because for millions of years, women have been vulnerable enough just by being women that they needed men’s protection, presence and love in order to survive long enough to give birth to a baby (and continue to nurture that baby).
(Unless of course, a woman has enough resources within her own family that having a man is just a bonus).
Why else do we get needy? To protect ourselves; to look out for ourselves…to secure resources for ourselves.
Above all, we can become needy when we want to avoid feeling pain.
It is okay. We are all living organisms that want to survive, and protecting yourself is a part of the deal.
There’s something much worse than being needy…
Do you know what is much worse than being needy?
Being a sociopathic value-extractor. When you are too lazy, or too resistant to life to care about adding value back to a man, then that is a problem. When you’re too insensitive to give anything to others (especially giving emotionally), then you truly do have a problem!
When you want to extract value everywhere you go and you feel entitled to a man’s resources just because you exist, that is a problem. Moreso it’s a problem for yourself – it is lonely to be a taker.
Simple neediness because you became scared to lose a man, is a simple problem that can be worked through; and that is what I am here for. It is my privilege to be able to deliver information to you, and I hope it helps you. (If you want to go deeper and have a world class understanding of men, then it’s important that you join our Understanding Men membership area).
Now, we can go further and add more words to this, but the essence of it is that you are communicating from a mature place, not from fear. Try to say it with a true desire to be mature, high value and give to him and say it with love.
If you say this….doesn’t this make you a people pleaser?
Some women might be shocked reading my one perfect thing to say. You might be surprised that I didn’t suggest that you say: ‘go to hell’ or ‘fine, enjoy your space but I won’t be here when you get back’ to a man.
I wouldn’t suggest that….and here is why.
I don’t suggest that you make your relationship about evening the playing ground – I aim to help you connect with a man. Connection is the true desire of all of us deep down, and more importantly – connection is what strengthens the relationship – not evening the playing ground or having a power play.
If we choose to be immature, and focus on a man wanting space as a sign that he is “behaving badly”, then we are weakening ourselves rather than strengthening ourselves. Why? Because we are just trying to make a last-ditch effort to exert power over him, rather than exhibit a sign that we are a mature woman capable of putting connection first, not power.
What more can you say to a man who is asking for space?
Now we can think about other possible things to say after you’ve said: “I understand”.
The key is that you remain in a state where you care enough to connect.
You can say: “I’m going to miss you so much. Yet, it’s ok, I understand.”
Give a little touch on the arm, or something gentle that communicates that you care.
As long as you care…as long as you have good intentions and you’ve connected with him, you’ve officially done the best thing you could have done in that moment.
How to have the right mindset when a man needs space
Deciding how to react – and much less so, deciding what to ‘say’ when a man needs space is a serious matter. As I mentioned previously, it is a make-or-break moment!
What does that mean?
It means that the intent you have behind your words, and the understanding that you show when a man needs space is potentially the last time you will get a chance to build a positive association in the relationship – positive enough that he will want to come back to you for more, time and time again.
And for that reason – it is important that you respect the seriousness of this make-or-break moment. Especially for yourself. It’s easy and understandable to act from fear when men want space – but if you need to, simply say ‘that’s ok, I understand.” and then proceed to find a place where you can be alone, sit down, breathe, and breathe again, and just keep breathing…
Breathe in all the uncertainty that you are experiencing. Breathe in all the fear and the heavy sense of loss you desperately resist feeling. Breathe it all in, and if it happens, let yourself cry.
When you’ve taken the time to feel (which could take a while), it’s important to remember this:
When a man is communicating to you – he is communicating one of either two things (sometimes both):
1: They are communicating a cry for help
2: They are giving you a loving communication.
As much as you want to protect yourself by asking him for more or getting combative with him, as much as you want to secure the relationship for yourself, you need to say to him that you understand.
And as the conversation progresses, you could consider doing your best to speak and act from a giving place – not from a fearful place. You can’t give when you are in a place of fear for what you might lose. (this is why it is important to practice being emotionally resourceful).
Why is it good to say “I understand”?
Why is it good to say “I understand”?
Because when you say “I understand”, you are being a value giver. You are doing one high value, evolved thing: connecting with what HE wants. And respecting where he is at.
Even IF you do not fully understand where he is at, it does not matter – what matters is that what you say, adds value to him, and helps your relationship progress.
Remember back to a time where you felt all alone, like nobody cared. Remember back to an emotionally difficult time – maybe when you were a child and you felt abandoned.
What is the one thing that would have basically set you free?
What is the one thing somebody could have given you that would have been a godsend?
It is validation for what you are feeling. It is somebody understanding you, and what you felt, with no strings attached.
This is what you’d be doing for a man if he needs space – you’re simply being an evolved, high value and confident human being. This doesn’t mean that you can’t feel like screaming inside after saying “I understand.” But it means that you need to take all those feelings and at least let yourself feel them.
But am I allowed a meltdown?
You may be wondering….but what about a meltdown? Am I allowed to have my own feelings? You may be thinking…I may tell him that I understand, but inside I feel like I’m about to vomit and I want to beg him to stay and never leave me.
Newsflash: men don’t always plan to abandon you when they ask for space (even though that’s what we instantly fear).
When a man is asking you for space it is often a test.
It is also often simply that he needs space and that is all.
It’s really a test of how much you care about the relationship, or about him, beyond your own needs.
We are wired to fear abandonment…
The challenge when a man asks for space is how evolution may have wired fear into us – we are wired to fear abandonment. Our primitive brain acts like he’s about to do the world’s worst thing – for example; go and screw our best friend, or go on tinder and find someone new to chase. But that’s not always the case.
And yes, horrible things do happen in this world. I’m not here to tell you that everything is always going to be okay – everything is not always going to be okay. However, with regards to men, even if you get hurt, rest assured that you are strong enough to get through to the other side.
And many times, the truth is that even though you feel anxious – things really are okay, and your primitive brain has just had a freak out. Your mind will often have worry and anxiety. But remind yourself that it is okay, and you now have permission to risk being high value – to risk giving value, and getting outside of yourself – to give more than feels comfortable.
A lot of people only want the best for themselves and they will not do what is necessary beyond their comfort zone, to make a relationship work – don’t let that be you. You risk too much.
Just because a man needs space does not necessarily mean he’s about to cheat on you. It means he needs space – and it means that if you can communicate lovingly to him in response to his request for space, then you get a chance to show your value to him in a way many other women would not.
And hey, if your worst nightmare does happen…then I want you to know that I am very sorry and that you don’t deserve that kind of pain. But I also know that one day you will find a way to see that that very pain will give you a strength that you couldn’t have had before.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. I really look forward to reading your thoughts. Do you have any worries, or are you confused about anything? Please share your thoughts below.
P.S. I hope that you enjoyed this post. I really look forward to reading your thoughts. Do you have any questions or opinions you could add? Please share them below.
‘’You don’t bleed. That’s why you can’t keep a guy.’’ Erol said to his long time friend, Jacinta, whilst twisting his foot into the ground to kill his cigarette butt.
They’ve been friends forever and always love to chat about their relationships…
“I…what? I don’t bleed?”
“Yeah, you don’t bleed. You need to bleed in order for him to have feelings for you. I’m exaggerating, but I’m kind of not, too.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Erol chuckled. “Look, I don’t actually mean bleed, that is a metaphor to say, hey, you should make it obvious how you feel. By actually letting him see how you feel. I don’t mean you need to suffer…what I’m actually saying is that unless you show how you feel loudly and clearly, a guy won’t understand it, and he won’t….bond to you. At least that’s just what I’ve noticed.”
“Oh. I get what you’re saying…you’re saying don’t pretend everything is okay…but I tried expressing my feelings and being you know, vulnerable, cause everyone has been saying I act like I don’t need a guy and it’s been annoying the heck out of me…so I just told Jake that I wanted to share a future with him, and he shut the whole conversation down and ignored me. And you are telling me that I don’t bleed? I felt like I was bleeding at the time!”
“Yeah, I understand you felt that way, but it’s not clear enough I think. That’s just what I think, I could be wrong.” Erol shrugged his big shoulders and looked down at the ground.
“But I did bleed, I finally told him that I saw a future with him, and that I want to share my future with him.”
“No, I’m talking about your feelings. Trust me, I’m a dude. That’s not bleeding! You have to bleed.” Erol chuckled warmly. “See with my girl, Francine, I know I can’t take my mind off her because she needs me.”
“Ugh. I’m giving up on men. And by the way, I DID bleed. I bled inside; I just told you, that I told him I saw a future with him, which feels really scary to me.”
“Yeah, I know. But that’s just you starting a conversation. That’s just talk.”
“Conversation!? I felt scared as hell to say that to him! And he didn’t even respect what I said!
“How was he supposed to know that you were scared? You didn’t say you were scared!”
Erol continued. “Why can’t women just make this stuff a bit more obvious? It frustrates me. Women are so wishy washy and indirect. If you feel scared, say it… let us know. We’re not mind readers. Most of us guys are pretty thick and we need to see it clearly or hear it loudly. We don’t understand this indirect BS.”
“How can I be more direct? If I was direct then I might break down crying.”
“Well don’t guys hate emotionally unstable women?”
“No. It’s not that guys don’t like women expressing their feelings. Guys don’t like surface crying that is more just used as manipulation and blame. If you were to cry as if you’re bleeding, then they will respond, if they love her.”
Jacinta looked confused and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that.
She was used to her quirky friend being funny, but this caught her off guard.
This reality has hit her hard and it’s completely not what she’s used to.
The subject of vulnerability is getting more attention these days; I’m sure you’ve noticed…
It’s all about vulnerability; because many of us have started thinking about it in this world where people are not prioritising relationships enough, they are overworked, and so well connected on the interwebz but under-connected in person.
Many of us are thinking and realising we might be too numb, too un-vulnerable, too rough around the edges, or whatever else we think we are.
It’s hard to blame anyone for being that way, as once you’ve been hurt enough, it’s kind of a relief to shut down and tune out.
Even though there’s nothing “wrong” with having rough-around-the edges moments, there’s something to admire about a totally real, un-brushed woman who is being raw (and men, too – men are beautiful when they are being themselves – whatever it looks like). So, we all want to know how to access that dormant part of ourselves.
And let’s be honest, often, our vulnerability has to remain dormant – because it’s inappropriate for certain situations, and not everyone deserves to see our vulnerability!
It’s all about being vulnerable. I’m pretty sure I was one of the first to begin talking about vulnerability (which is of course not true, but I like to think that anyway), and at The Feminine Woman, we define it as “High Value Vulnerability”.
Because it’s one thing to feel vulnerable inside, and it’s another to be high value vulnerable. And the difference between vulnerable and high value vulnerable is that you could feel vulnerable deep inside yourself and in the moment (you could feel like you risked something by saying or doing a particular thing), but you may not come across as vulnerable or be perceived as vulnerable to your man, or to another person.
So to explain…you could feel vulnerable, shaky, or out of sorts emotionally, but you are not really accessing your vulnerability in it’s raw form. This could be because you developed coping mechanisms to cover it up, or because it’s just far too painful to go deep into who you really are.
I’ll say that again. You could feel vulnerable inside, but not appear vulnerable because it’s far too painful to go deep into who you really are. Today I’m going to give you ways in which you can begin to do that.
And, hey, maybe you don’t want anyone to see you as who you really are, because, well, f**k everybody, right? All those humans who hurt you in the past can go lick mouse balls.
So whilst it’s highly valuable for your personal growth to feel vulnerable inside…it’s another to feel in a totally vulnerable way, to also communicate vulnerably, to connect with another vulnerably, and it’s another to relate to another human being, or to a man through vulnerable emotion.
1: Access your primary emotion (the deepest, core emotion behind all the superficial thoughts or fears you think are okay to admit having). In order to access your vulnerability, you need to access your primary emotion, which is hard. Learn more about primary emotions here. As soon as you’ve gone into freeze mode or even just thought something in your mind before responding, it is already too late to show primary emotion.
Primary emotion is instinctive and it’s vulnerable and it often feels inappropriate to show it. For example, a friend’s little girl runs up to you and says: “Wow! Your tummy so big! When you gonna have baby?” and depending on who you are, how much time you spend feeling on a daily basis, and how you feel on that day, your primary emotion could be to burst out into tears of hurt and pain.
Well, maybe that’s just me. But the best thing about primary emotion is that if you’re at least mildly used to feeling primary emotion as it comes, and if you’re engaged with life, then after a short amount of time, it is over. Done. You generally don’t seethe over it; because most of your hurt and pain is felt.
But the problem is…it’s not okay to burst out crying in “primary emotion”, because you are supposed to be a “thinking adult” and you should really know not to take a kid seriously. But that’s not taking a kid seriously, thing is an afterthought – it is not the primary emotion.
I suggest that in this situation, it’s okay to let yourself feel a little bit. It’s okay to have tears in your eyes. I know there are rules about how you should be; but there are also huge costs to adhering to what you should be, and that is numbness. Once you ‘do’ numbness enough, you end up dead inside, and eventually, you can risk becoming one of those boring people.
Not only do you end up boring, you end up with a ridiculous amount of past hurts, anger and pain that you’ll need to catch up with feeling through later on.
Another example of how to access primary emotion is to notice when you feel like blaming someone. Blame is toxic, however, it’s useful in the sense that before you go to blame someone – you need to stop and ask yourself what it is that you are truly avoiding feeling – is your primary emotion just fear? Scared? Are you afraid of feeling like a failure (which of course you are not, but sometimes we still feel like we are a failure due to the rules that other people push on to us).
2: Verbalise the deepest, scariest thing about this particular moment. For example, let’s say on a particular day, you feel bored, envious and angry and notice yourself putting others down too much. Verbalise the deepest feeling you can (the feeling you are too scared to admit that you have). Here are some examples, so you can start to access deeper emotions:
“I can’t stand to be me right now.”
“It hurts to be alive.”
“This hurts too much.”
“I don’t enjoy being like this. I feel lonely and terrified inside.”
My hope is that you’ll get a chance to peel back the layers, and get down to exposing your truest, most surrendered emotion(s). Why? Not because I’m sadistic. But because, this will be a huge, orgasmic emotional release for you, and it will feel GOOD some time after you’ve done it. And it will feel good because you can finally be free (until the next lot of pent up emotions).
3: Open your arms to the side as wide as you can, and open your chest out to the world. Obviously you don’t want to do this in the streets out in public. Do it at home. And when you feel the right moment, you can consider doing it in front of someone that you trust.
You can try this in your backyard at night, or you can try this with the cold water coming out of the shower. (Cold showers help you practice being okay with being vulnerable. However, I am not a medical expert or a doctor. Please research cold water therapy for yourself before trying it – it can shock your body especially if you have not had much practice.)
Hold your arms out to the sides, and your chest pushed out for as long as you can, until you can’t deal with it anymore and end up crossing your arms, holding yourself tightly, or end up in the fetal position (crying is okay too).
It is a practice of surrender. This is surrender instead of the “push” and the resistance which often surfaces as defensiveness. It is surrender instead of resistance. It is softness and femininity instead of defensiveness.
When you do this, try to notice the flow of feeling. Enjoy being yourself, getting to know yourself, and remembering all the hurts that you’ve pushed down in the past (so that you become unlocked, soft and ready to spontaneously experience more joy, ecstasy, hurt or happiness in the future).
When you have become unlocked, you become able to show high value vulnerability in front of a man more. He will feel more of your softness, more of your deliciousness and more of your aliveness. It will potentially inspire him (and maybe even women), in a way you never thought possible.
This is how men become inspired to enter committed relationships – it is through a woman’s softness of surrender and trust. Trust for whom? Trust for the process of life, and eventually, trust for him.
4: Turn retaliation and self defense into total submission. I don’t necessarily mean submitting to a man (thought that could be part of it). I mean submission to the flow of life, and submission to the flow of your own emotion. Your own emotions are here to guide you and show you who you are. Some people are sure that emotions and feeling emotions make that person ‘less’, or weak.
Yet – How strong do you think it is to not know who you are? How strong are you if you can’t feel in real time? We become weakened when we block emotion out as a way to retaliate. It’s okay to feel…it’s okay to feel the resistance to yourself feeling….just keep accepting the moment and accessing the emotion.
You can try this first by saying ‘I hate this….this is awful….I don’t want to feel how alive I am! I don’t want to feel how painful this is! Who will be there to catch me?’ When we verbalise our resistance instead of retaliate, that is a beautiful, admirable thing because it is the beginnings of a healthy relationship with our High Value Vulnerability.
This might sound like a dangerous thing to suggest. It might sound like dangerous advice. But think about it. What’s the only real way to be free? What’s the only real way to stop being low value (ie: wanting to take value from the world?) It is to feel the vulnerability we avoid feeling. We become low value when we want to take from the world, and not give back. We want to take from the world and be stingy when we resist what is happening. We resist, so we become un-calibrated and value-taking.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.
“He left me. I suddenly broke down in tears. I told him I was so hurt that he didn’t call me after we had sex for the first time. We weren’t even on a date when I burst out crying; I just bumped into him at college.” Kristy said to Gianna.
Gianna raised her eyebrows and stopped breathing for one minute. “Wow. Ouch.”
“What? That’s all you gonna say?”
No no, I’m just processing all of what you said right now, Gianna said while letting out a big puff of cigarette smoke slowly.
“I can’t believe you burst out crying. Just like that.”
“Well shit, what the hell was I supposed to do!! I couldn’t help it!”
“No, you just don’t show a guy that you’re hurt like that. They’re dicks, they don’t listen. They get happy that you’re upset because suddenly they get an ego trip from knowing that you are really into them.”
“Are you serious? Thanks for the support, geez! And, no, that’s not true, not all men are like that.”
“Hey! I’m just telling the truth! And plus, look at the way you just got treated. THAT’S why I am not trusting any man anymore. You’re just rubbing salt in your own wounds by bursting out crying in front of him like that.”
“Uh…no. I’m not rubbing salt in my wounds. I’m letting my shit come up. Maybe you should try it one day, instead of stuffing yourself full of tobacco smoke every 30 minutes to avoid feeling anything difficult.”
Gianna rolled her eyes and puffed out another mouthful of cigarette smoke.
“I can’t tell you anything, Gianna!” Kristy couldn’t control the tear that began running down slowly from her eye. She tasted its saltiness as it rolled over her top lip. Her heart was pounding, she was beginning to sweat and feeling even more stressed to be telling this to a “friend” who couldn’t even listen and support her.
“I should’ve known, you can’t tolerate my choices just because they’re different to yours”, Kristy said.
“I just…I just can’t relate, you know. I can’t relate to letting yourself cry in front of a guy like that, on random. At college.”
“Ugh!” and with that, Kristy walked off on her supposed friend.
Fast forward 10 years. Kristy is married with her first child on the way; her husband had moved to the country to be with her, so they could all be closer to her parents. He even buys her things….things that matter. Like a gym membership and a new car because hers was 20 years old and kept breaking down.
Kristy’s husband is there for her. But can you imagine what happened to Gianna? Well, she was still single, just as she was sure she should be.
Her patterns lead her to a mediocre life of safety. She has cats, but she was sitting on the couch smoking cigarettes and eating potato chips every weekend, trying desperately to drown out the feelings of regret and loneliness.
As Gianna was a very slim girl all her life, it was shocking for her to have to accept that she had also put on 30 lbs in 10 years. She was feeling desperate, after having stuffed down so many emotions with the cigarettes for all those years.
But…cigarettes. They will always be there for her.
Cigarettes equal friend in Gianna’s world.
A man, though? He won’t always be there for her. Men leave. They leave for younger women, kinder women, sexier women…who knows what they leave for. But they leave, right?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve witnessed many people claiming that they have really close relationships in their lives, but these people do not sound very convincing.
It’s not hard to see if a person is the type of person to withhold themselves emotionally (be emotionally stingy)…and when someone does withhold themselves emotionally; not wanting to be seen for who they are deep down…it becomes difficult or them to have close relationships.
That’s just how it works. The more we avoid, the less close any of our relationships will be.
We humans are all unique, but we are also all the same in many ways. A lot of us are afraid of being revealed. We don’t want to be seen…we are afraid of being seen for who we are. So sometimes, some people keep others at arm’s length. Even the closest people in their life can’t fully be let ‘in’.
What IS a close relationship anyway?
It’s when the other person knows your soul. (Freaky, I know).
It’s where you can lay bare naked in front of that person, and feel totally accepted. And it’s where you can do the same for them.
A close relationship is where there is total trust – trust for each other’s intent. Trust that you both don’t need to avoid conflict with another because both of you will be willing to take responsibility for the success of the relationship.
Close is definitely not about talking on the phone for hours every day. Why? Just because that could be entertainment; not closeness. (Of course, talking on the phone for hours can be an indicator of depth and closeness, just not always).
Being close is about not tolerating it when you know the other person is lying to themselves.
Close relationships above all, require a kind of humility, don’t you think? I say this because in the past I was a loser and I had to try to unlearn being a loser, so I could be a better person. I hope I’ve been successful.
Close relationships melt defensiveness and make vulnerability okay.
Close relationships make asking for something from the other person a non-stressful event (although it always takes time and show of high value before you can get to that place with someone)
Close relationships mostly have no blaming.
Close relationships treat each other like family. Not like an enemy.
Give and take doesn’t exist in close relationships. Give and take is for friendships and relationships that haven’t made it to the close relationship stage. Close relationships are about giving without calculating what you’re getting back. If you can’t do that – then you might be friends, or housemates, or husband and wife, but you are not close.
To have really close relationships, one must, at some point in their life, fully felt the depths and pain of loneliness. (We are all lonely. Many of us just try to keep that loneliness at bay). If one has to have an excess of acquaintances to hang out with to avoid feeling the loneliness, then that person isn’t “practicing” what is necessary for having true close relationships.
TV is another distraction from one’s feelings. Just like Gianna and her cigarettes. We all cope somehow.
But coping mechanisms are there to avoid closeness. Closeness with ourselves. Closeness with others. Nobody wants to be close because it’s hard work and icky but at the same time we all want to be close. So we are walking around like frauds. Pretending everything is okay and that we are close to the people in our lives.
But in reality?
The reality is that many of us aren’t even close to our children. We don’t employ the right strategies and environment for valuing closeness first; and so 20 years go by and we realise that while we were off making money, it came at the cost of closeness and trust in our relationships.
Here are the 5 secret ways to have exceptionally close relationships…
1: Reduce the number of people you ‘need’ to have in your life. The more you spread your eggs, the less close you will be with the people you truly like and respect. It’s okay to have no close relationships. By acknowledging that you don’t have that, and acknowledging the pain and loneliness, at least for some time (say, weeks or months), you can then come out of that difficult place with something more valuable than the comfort of avoiding pain; which is: appreciation and gratitude and depth of character. Suddenly, you are strong, and you don’t ‘need’ lots of people around to shield you from the emotional depth of life.
2: Love and appreciate the parts of you that you don’t want to reveal to people. The more you try to hide any part of you; the less closeness you can have with someone; especially men, as they aren’t always easily able to want to get close to you unless you are visibly feeling your feelings; or showing vulnerability.
What does it mean to love and appreciate the parts of you that you want to hide?
For example, I find that takers, (people who want to take value from other humans rather than have an emotionally close relationship), often want to hide the fact that they’re a taker. They are defensive of their Tina Taker or try to avoid being revealed. However, love that there is a part of you that is a taker. Love Tina Taker. Why? Because you need to love and appreciate that she is there for a reason – ask her why she showed up in the first place. She’s probably there because she’s afraid of dying. She needs resources, she needs to feel in control, and she perhaps needs popularity and certainty to survive for the short term.
Yet in the long term, she doesn’t serve you well – another part of you, perhaps Alison Appreciation needs to come into the picture and let Tina Taker rest. Alison Appreciation appreciates whatever she has; and she appreciates that we all have to suffer – and it’s okay. Take pride in your pain; take pride in the courage and the grit and the character and the vulnerability and the confidence you will build by surrendering to what little you have and what pain you have not allowed yourself to feel.
3: Understand that at the core, relationships are about resources – whether they are close or not. We enter all relationship and fake relationships for the sake of resources. Fear can often make us choose to have lots of not so real friends or sexual partners (put our eggs in lots of baskets), but inspiration, vulnerability and courage can make us choose to invest in just a tiny portion of people.
Neither strategy is wrong. It’s a risk to invest 110% emotionally in only one person. Yet it’s also a risk to give only 10% emotionally in 50 relationships. Which one do you think is riskier? Investing 10% in 50 people? Or investing 110% in one person? (Or maybe two or three, maximum).
We all have to decide if a truly close relationship is worth the risk and loss. Nobody is more right or more wrong with their choices – their choices will just either make their relationships thrive or die.
What I feel is that we have to give up ego, we have to potentially give up other friendships, other suitors….all for the sake of investing heavily in one or two or three people. It’s scary, but it’s brave. And – it’s loyal.
People who think they can have lots of lovers or lots of friends usually can’t be loyalto a tiny portion of people. Don’t you think that is true? Because their energy and time will just go to the highest bidder.
4: Be a safe place for the people that you care about. This requires being able to meet your own needs in a proper (and superior way). Watching reality TV for example, is not meeting one’s needs well. It doesn’t fill you up, it just distracts you. If you cannot meet your own needs through high quality avenues, then you aren’t really fulfilled and then become only able to worry about yourself (and can’t even dream of being a safe place for somebody else).
How do you show that you’re a safe place for another? Let them know that you accept and love all of them. Better still, do actually show that you love and accept all of them…every single part of them, without question.
How do you do that? Love and accept every part of yourself first. Every part of you, even the parts that you judge, no matter how bad, stupid, embarrassing or ditsy is there for a reason…and every part of you belongs somewhere.
When you accept all of yourself, then you can accept all of others, with humour and love. The reason this is important is so that you don’t sabotage emotional closeness with rules about how you *should* be or how others *should* be. Rules aren’t always bad, and rules are important…but we should at least be aware of when they might be sabotaging connection with others.
Close relationships are not meant to be easy. I know some people make you think that they should be easy, but they are only easy when you choose the hard path.
As someone much smarter than me once said…life is easy when you do it the hard way. The hard way begins with taking the 4 secret steps I’ve shared with you in this article.
5: Try to learn to appreciate/embrace conflict instead of avoiding it. Without appreciation for the role of conflict in your life, you can easily become a pleaser. And as you know, pleasers always lose out. Conflict and arguments (or serious discussions) will always be a part of closeness. Close relationships require conflict and vulnerability to grow!
No conflict equals no growth. If you are not growing, then you are dying (said Tony Robbins).
One thing is for sure: we can’t build a close relationships when our first and foremost desire is to have control/certainty. Neither can we be close with another if our number one need is to maintain a feeling of self importance. We have to value closeness and vulnerability more than we value ourselves.
In the name of helping you create closer relationships, right now we are giving away our report on “How to love without being used” when you get our guide on “How to stay high value when he pulls away”.