Love is complicated. If it was easy then it wouldn’t feel as good. Good things are worth working hard for- they are always worth it in the end.
Below we are going to address the different problems in our love lives:
Friends to lovers
Love and lust
Playing hard to get
Boring love life
Friends to Lovers
Dashing, lovable, caring, thoughtful… and your friend. One day you kiss your guy friend goodbye and feel butterflies in your stomach. What do you do?
What are the implications of your future relationship? I’m not saying you should base your final decision on what relatives and friends think, but consider what affect the relationship might have in the long run. Remember that the risk of losing him as a friend does not outweigh the possibility of a beautiful, loving relationship.
Instead of rushing forward, take time to think about your feelings. If you’ve just left a relationship, especially a long-term one, your feelings might just be on the rebound. Maybe you’re just lonely or desperate. Consider explanations for your feelings, and if you arrive at the same conclusion- you simply want him- move on to step two.
2. Ask him… hypothetically
Use the ‘friend’ technique. Tell him you’ve got this guy who wants to date a female friend, what should he do? Ask him if he’d date a friend or does he think it’s too messy? Bear in mind that he might say no/yes while picturing another of his female friends, so don’t get too depressed or joyous over his response.
3. Ask him… for real.
The scary part! Remember, no matter what the outcome is, you’ve still (hopefully) got a good friend. Find some way to get him alone and ask him out. Do this is an unromantic environment e.g. watching a home movie. If it’s something like a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant then it’ll be obvious what’s coming, and if he says no it’ll be awkward! When you ask make sure he knows that he’s under no obligation to say yes. Tell him an honest rejection hurts less than a false acceptance.
If he says, “Yes” CONGRATS! However, remember to be patient during the transition from a friendship to a relationship. Enjoy every moment and good luck.
If he turns you down, sorry. Hopefully your friendship can remain intact.
Love and lust
Months ago his kisses made you see sparks and fireworks. His touch stirred the butterflies in your stomach. The sound of his voice made your heart skip a beat. Now his kisses and hugs feel okay, but nothing to write home about. Congrats. You’ve made it past the lust stage. I know, it sucks when the initial excitement settles down, leaving behind the foundation of a relationship, but you should be happy! Many people don’t get past a one night stand, first date or first kiss. Now it’s time to focus on the future. The butterflies will still flutter from time to time, and now love is there.
Playing hard to get
He looks your way and you turn away. He asks you out but you’re ‘busy’, maybe next week instead? Playing hard to get is exciting for some, but remember that’s not the case for all. You might think your hints are obvious, but there’s a chance they’re not. Sometimes it’s best to be upfront, not desperately so, about how you really feel. The time spent on the chase could be better spent snuggling up together on dates.
Young women are often told, “Don’t let him rush you! Take your time.” Things seem to change when we age. Men tend to take their time but women have it all mapped out. Engaged at twenty-four, married at twenty-six, give birth at twenty-eight, etc. Every time your friends tick off a milestone it pushes you to do the same, so you start pestering him and pestering him and dropping hints… STOP! Just relax.
Wouldn’t it be better if your boyfriend chose to do something instead of being harassed into it? For example, would you rather your boyfriend be pushed into proposing or surprise you on a romantic evening when you least expect it? Plus, someone rebel against too much pressure, so your hints to have a baby could push him into waiting longer.
Boring love life
When things go stale, spice it up! I can’t stand when people complain about how boring things are in comparison to when the relationship started. Don’t blame it on your partner- it takes two! If you feel like doing something exciting, initiate it yourself instead of waiting for him. If you always go out to clubs on Friday nights, try a romantic picnic on Sunday afternoon instead. If you spend a lot of time together, try doing things separately because absence makes the heart grow fonder. If you have sex on a particular day each week, try new sex toys, positions or places e.g. surprise him at work (don’t get into trouble!).
Uh oh! Raunchy text messages, phone call taken outside, used condoms, and panties that aren’t yours… Before you jump to conclusions, step back and look at the entire situation. Maybe he’s being secretive because he’s organising a romantic getaway. Maybe the text message was sent to the wrong person. Maybe he let his friend use the house and his friend got some sexual action, which explains the ruffled bed sheets. Maybe, just maybe, he’s cheating.
Ask him outright. Do not waste your time playing games, just ask. If he says he’s being faithful and explains where you jumped to the wrong conclusion, and you believe him, it’s probably time to address whether you have trust issues. Having good self-esteem will reduce the chance of you getting jealous over nothing, feeling that he wouldn’t want to be with someone like you, and other reasons to believe you’re not enough woman to keep him.
If he’s not being faithful…
1. Calm down
Getting angry will not help the situation. DO NOT HIT HIM! I NEVER condone violence unless it’s in self defence, so don’t push him because he’s a man and you’re a woman. How is slapping/punching him going to change things? Exactly, it won’t. Also, don’t waste your time destroying his property. There is not point stooping to his loooooooow level, and we don’t want to get on the wrong side of the law.
2. Decision time
Don’t let him pressure you into making a decision. He messed up, so now things will be entirely on your terms. If he doesn’t like it TOUGH LUCK! He gets tired of waiting and goes back to her, that shows what kind of person he is- he just made your decision much easier. Balance up the pros and cons of staying and going, step back for a while, and then choose. Feel free to spend time thinking about your decision before acting it out, because you never know how the situation may change e.g. find out he’s cheated many times, gone beyond kissing, etc.
Also, remember the decision doesn’t have to be final. You may decide to stay with him, but discover you just can’t forgive and forget, so separation is the only way. You may decide to split up, but later realise he has changed his ways, you have sorted out what wrong, and see a bright future together.
3. Ask for help
Sometimes our emotions are running so high we can’t think clearly enough to make a decision. Don’t be afraid to ask others for their point of view on cheating partners. You can tell them about his infidelity or pretend it’s happened to a celebrity- using the ‘friend’ scenario is too obvious.
4. The kids are alright
I understand that you don’t want to upset the children, but staying in an unhappy relationship will disrupt their lives. Kids are not stupid. They see their parents’ angry whispers in the next room, they sense tense moments after arguments, and they notice when Daddy is sleeping on the sofa.
It is better to live in two happy homes than one miserable one. A disruptive relationship is not stability. Finally, don’t use the children as pawns to get back at him. If you stop them from seeing him, they might resent YOU in the long run. If he’s abusive or dangerous, organise for a social worker to accompany him when he takes the children.
5. It’s not you, it’s him!
Yes and no. Sometimes men just cheat because they saw another woman and wanted her. However, sometimes you inadvertently pushed him away. When you discovered his lies, he might’ve blamed it all on you. Maybe you worked over time to pay the bills, so you weren’t spending quality time with him. Maybe you let your appearance go, so his eyes went astray. Maybe you don’t want as much sex as you used to.
Whether him falling OUT of love with you was your fault or his is irrelevant at the end of the day. Acknowledge his reasons, but be sure to remind him that a mature man would have brought up relationship issues with his partner, not a stranger. If he has brought up the problems before and you didn’t listen or take them seriously enough at the time, he should have tried again instead of jumping on to another woman.