I know this is hard and I am so sorry that you are going through this. You have dated a man that is emotionally unavailable and is following the same pattern that he had in his life. You mentioned his father never married his mother so this is an issue that he has to overcome himself. This is his past playing into his life now. You have to make yourself less available to him and understand that you deserve more than this. I would encourage you to book a session with me or a male coach on my team so we can help you during this time. You can reach out to me on my contact page. If so please state you messaged me on my blog so I can remember. We are here if you need further guidance.
This is essentially the difference between a healthy relationship and a toxic relationship. A healthy relationship is one where two people feel fulfilled by their individual lives and let that joy and sense of fullness spill into their relationship. They each bring something to the table and can comfortably give and receive. A dysfunctional relationship is when one or both people believes the other person can “give them” something or that there’s something to “get” from the other person.
Hi. I dated this guy last year , but unfortunately it didn’t work out between us cause I was unreachable and shy. We pretty much texted the whole time and met a few times. I fell for him and he said he had feelings for me too . But all of a sudden he wanted to be just friends. We had 5 months long an emotional relationship/friendship and 5 months a non-emotional one. I kinda acted out there. He started giving me less atttetion day after day and we started fighting every now and then and I got super jealous when he talked about this other girl he liked. Eventually he called the friendship off. I asked him to block my number and social accounts so we wouldn’t have contact . It’s been 4 months now and I miss him everyday. I’m madly in love with him . Haven’t heard of him for 4 months and I want him back. I can’t get over him being gone from my life. Please help. What should I do ? Why am I feeling this way.
Being friends with benefits makes it easy for him to get what he wants and often results in men pulling away. Maintaining a real friendship without an attachment of the desired outcome can give him the opportunity to see you in a different light when he is ready. It’s important to keep your options open and not focus all of your energy on one person if you know what I mean. 😉
All anyone really wants is to feel OK, and most of us don’t. When a woman worries and needs constant reassurance, it comes from feeling from “I am not OK” and the feeling beneath that is fear. What makes it so destructive is that it’s not an overwhelming, gripping fear; it’s a vague feeling of unease. It’s so quiet and subtle you may not even realize it’s there. You know how sometimes you’ll go to take a sip of water and you literally can’t stop chugging? You didn’t even realize you were thirsty, it’s only when you begin to quench the silent thirst that you realize how potent it was. That’s kind of what’s at play here.
A couple days later he’s still acting distant and he’s being short with me over text and I’ve tried asking him to come over but he’d say he has to clean his house or that he can’t then after goes to hang out with his friends knowing I asked him earlier if he could come over. And usually he would come hang out with me since we haven’t been hanging out instead of going out with his friends. I just feel after that that this is a sign that I need to let him have his space even though we haven’t hanged out in almost a week, I really hope this works because one of my girl friends said that he’s obsessed with me and that he said that I’m the ONE. He’s even thought of wedding ideas I mean c’mon he sounds like he’s head over heals for me right? and I just don’t see him going from loving me so much to distancing himself from me and not even wanting to see each other it seems. Maybe it was something I said to him over text to make him upset? I just don’t know but I will do anything to go back to the status of what our relationship was once before this all happened.
I have this guy I’ve been dating off & on for the past 2years but we’ve been back seriously together for 8months now but suddenly few days back he just decide that he can’t go on with the relationship anymore that he feels the relationship lack trust meanwhile I’ve been 100% honest & loyal to him and he’s not get in touch with me since the which I did not aswell buh he watched my whatsapp status evrytime Wich I don’t do to his…..I’m really hurt please what should I do I need your advice??
Forgive me for not agreeing. Men need to learn how to communicate out of bed as they do in bed if they want a great woman by their side. Otherwise they should get a dog who also can’t communicate and forgives you even if you kick him every time you see him. Accepting less than you deserve so you can understand him better will ultimately push you to leave. Better to call him out and ask for the courtesy of acknowledging your needs too and understand your feelings are important too. When does his considerations stop being about him and turn toward you?
If you feel something’s wrong in the relationship or if your partner’s done something objectionable, talk to your partner without accusing them or shouting at them. Help your partner understand how you feel about it instead of yelling or cursing at your lover. And unless an unpardonable mistake is repeated, learn to forgive and forget. Sometimes, even the best of us can make a mistake without really wanting to.
Advice from a male perspective anyone? I am dating a man who is 11 years older, I’m 26 and he is 37. He works out in the ocean and a lot of times we have minimal conversation via text/call. But when we are together everything is great and we get along very well. When he doesn’t have to wake in the wee ours or work out of town, he is with me every single weekend. We have been together six months and I have met all his close friends and friends kids. I have done well so far in respecting his space and he respects mine also. When he’s a weekend away with his guy friends, I am understanding and just ask him to contact me once when he is back in town so he feels he is not missing out on what he loves. However, this past weekend he had a sailboat race on the weekend which he let me know in advance and we made had plans for friday night. He reached out friday night saying that turns out he had to be at the venue in the wee hours so he would not be able to make our plans. I was emotionally unstable that weekend due to some work stress and family leaving so I needed him the most that friday. I did not think of my actions and instead of politely rescheduling for Monday, I blew him up – sent him various texts showing how I did not appreciate he canceled although it wasn’t his fault. I called numerous times in the weekend and texted many times while he was supposed to have time with his friends in the tournament. On Sunday I was so desperate that I passed by his house. His roommate was there and told me he hand’t come home yet. Since I blew him up friday, I have had no response to any of my texts nor has he answered any of my calls. I am very afraid that I scared him away and threatened his freedom. I also came out as desperate for going to his place. Today is Wednesday and I hadn’t reached out till Sunday. I sent him a very short/casual text today apologizing for taking out my stress on him and for not letting him have his space, to which I got no response. I am going to wait a few days and hopefully he will come around, as our relationship has matured and he’s told me how much he cares for me. Did I blow this up completely since it has been 4 days with no response?
My boyfriend broke up with me about a week ago. He said he craves for independence and he he still loves me but that’s just what’s right to do. He pushed me away whenever I try to get close or hug or lean my head against his back. I really love him and I want to get him back but we are flatmates, we live together and I don’t know how to do the no contact? And I’ve gone home for a few days and I didn’t tell him where I was going. I’ll be going back in a few days and I’ll be seeing him again. What should I tell him if he asks me where I went? I don’t want to look like a loser grieving so much for our relationship. And I really want to get him back.
Hopefully, these tips give you something to work with, and you will find something that can help you approach your relationship problems in a different way. You don't have to be Freud, you don't have to do it all at once; instead, see which of these ideas catch your attention. Then pick a situation, a pattern, a problem, and map out a different approach, a concrete behavior that you can put into place. Start small. Focus on you. One change will lead to another.
Your articles always leave me teary-eyed, Renee. They are full of brilliant and compassionate insights. You speak of being authentic, you speak of trusting in the infinite perfection of the universe to give back what we put in. You speak of having a pure open hearted connection and leaving our fears at the door. This article made me cry. And I think it’s because it rang so true. We all want to be admired and trusted. I feel like whenever a man fell in love with me, it was after he revealed something shameful to me and I just accepted… Read more »

We may feel anger and hurt and loss and shock – but a lot of women base their reactions only on these emotions and close off to the pleasure of their love and devotion for this man. You already have experience I am sure, that when you feel pain – there comes pleasure at some point. Even the people experiencing the deepest pain in the whole world – losing a child – could probably not deny that at some point in the endless grieving process, they felt pleasure at old memories with the one they lost.


I spent 6 years with my ex. We were young when we got together and we weren’t good at resolving conflict. But I truly believe we loved each other and that he is the right person for me. We both had a habit of ‘pulling away’. Push, pull, if it wasn’t him, it was me. By the end of it, it was dramatic. It was traumatic for me and him too because we didn’t know how to work it out. Since then we’ve both tried seeing other people. But somehow after 9 months we ended up back spending time together. Getting to know each other again. We started to get close… I never pressured him to be with me but I do love him. I’ve tried to be a lot more understanding of his space. Even his friends have said – ‘this is the best you guys have ever been’… But then shortly after he told me his friend had commented on our ‘changed friendship’ and how close we were getting, he attacked me saying I was getting too comfortable. I was so confused because he had been asking me to stay over and he said he was enjoying his time hanging out. That’s what we established it was. We’ve never put a label on anything and have been free to live our separate lives because of what we have been through there was no use rushing anything even a friendship. I was happy with that and I thought he was too.

This is essentially the difference between a healthy relationship and a toxic relationship. A healthy relationship is one where two people feel fulfilled by their individual lives and let that joy and sense of fullness spill into their relationship. They each bring something to the table and can comfortably give and receive. A dysfunctional relationship is when one or both people believes the other person can “give them” something or that there’s something to “get” from the other person.
I have been with my bf for just over a year lived with him for just over 6 of those, it’s been great he’s really been open and honest about his feelings but for the past month or so I have noticed how much he has thrown himself into work (self employed so can do as little or much as he pleases) and so our time together has dwindled? I challenged him over this as I wanted to spend time with him doing nice things all the time getting “as soon as much jobs are all done” which could be anytime! I truly believe he was now starting his pulling away stage, I am now worried that I have ‘ran’ after him too much and made things much much worse by delaying his pulling away possibly even ensuring he has had enough and is ready to call it a day! Hes working away at the moment and before he went we had another petty argument in which I stupidly told him that we should have some space with no communication whilst hes away (I felt like I couldn’t do right for doing wrong) I’m scared I have ruined it completely now! I self blame quite a lot (past relationship issues) since away he has texted me and told me he is also to blame for these issues and that with time he’s sure we will be alright, Please help what should I do, what actions should I take? If this is pulling away, will he be able to return still or has this gone too far? He’s due home on Thursday, how do I allow him time in his man cave when we live together?
We broke up 2 weeks ago and during the first 2 days of our breakup he became really sweet as if we’re still together and keeps on saying he’s tempted to get back again but says we need some space. He keeps saying he’s tempted but he’s not doing it because he wants to stand firm with his decision. He gets annoyed and says he’s done and he doesn’t want me anymore whenever he feels like I’m pushing him to get back with me. He tells me he misses me but when he feels like I’m pushing him he always says he’s done and we’re not getting back together. After a week I sent him a long ass message telling him how much I love him and miss him and telling him all our fun moments together and he replied in a very sweet and positive way. He said he’s hurt because he misses everything too and i’m his happiness and he’s lonely without me. He said he wanted to talk to me and call me but doesn’t do it because he wants to know his true feelings. He told me that we will try again when the time is right and that everything’s gonna be alright. We talked the whole day but when the night came I sent him a long message again and he just told me “That’s too long” and said “well I’m working on myself and I’m trying to move on” he felt that I was again pushing him to get back with me and said he was just slowly letting go to not shock me and that he’s done and we are never getting back together. It’s been two days since that happened and we never spoke again. I want us to get back together and I’m sure of it. what should I do?
Acknowledge the rift: In a calm moment, let your child know what you’ve observed and how you feel about it. Your child’s response may vary. They may agree, disagree, be indifferent, angry or annoyed. Whatever their response, keep the focus on your own thoughts and feelings, rather than forcing them to agree or feel the same. “I realize things have been a little tense between us. That makes me sad, I want to work on easing that tension.”
My boyfriend is negative, accuses me of things, tells me things like “can’t make a hoe a housewife”. He never admits he’s wrong. He can’t accept the fact that I don’t talk to people I used to like. The ones I do talk to are not a threat. Only recently has there been one – and this is after him accusing and accusing me of things from lying to always hiding shit from him. And for these reasons.. I no longer want him in my life. I am done with it.

My girlfriend and I have been together for 15 months and we are facing a major problem. I just want to start off with saying that she’s the one that recommended me to ask you for advice because right now, I am pretty much confused to do at this point. My girlfriend has told you about what she did when she went over to that guys house and about another guy who is a co-volunteer that volunteers at the nursing home as she does. I have gotten numerous screenshots about she herself committing to what she have done, which is cheating. I also have her best friends claiming those that she did do those things. When i confronted her for the first time she only told me one third of it. Again i find there’s more to the story from her friends. Again i try confronting her and now she told me 2/3. You know where I’m going with this. Anyway now that everything has been cleared out, i asked her why. She told me “i just said all those things because out of anger”. But then i asked her why would she say that. She was angry at me at the time when this occurred so i would understand that she could be saying this out of anger but why not clear this out with her friends? Plus this been hidden for 6 months so why this long? Also one of my friends saw her but they said nothing was happening, just her and this guy in the park talking. I let that go. Then another friend who is currently dating one of her ex-best friends told me that she told him about her cheating. I asked him why would she say that and he said that she was claiming to hurt me by the way is not because she kept it hidden. I asked her about that too and she claims the something, it was out of anger she said all those things to hurt me. This situation happened throughout last summer. I admit that i did not reply to her text for 2 days and keep making her feel bad but i always made sure to make up for that. Now we are trying to work things out but I’m still something sort of confused what to do, so that’s why i writing to you for some advise.
I waited until the next day and I replied “hey. What’s up?” But he never responded. The next day the SoCal fires started and I texted him a short “hope you and your kids are safe” again, I never got a reply and I haven’t texted him since figuring that if I’m patient, he will eventually reply. Did I break any protocols? I figured since I’ve been doing NC for a little over a year, it was safe to respond to him since he initiated the texting. Is he just playing with me? He didn’t have to text me when my friend gave him my phone number, so what is his logic? He is a grown man with teenage kids so it’s not like he is an immature guy, though he is acting like one with me.
Y’all are making this too complex. Look, a guy falls in love through sex, he needs sex to fall in love, but he’s got to want to have sex with you and thats more than just being hot. It comes down to what you make him feel about himself when he’s around you. Do you make him feel competent, powerful, benevolent, like he’s capable and attractive and trusted? Or do you make him feel he cant do anything right, like a child, stupid, worthless, weak?
So now that we know what the reasons might be, it's easier to understand how to react or, more importantly, how not to react. After careful observation of love and dating, this is what I know to be true: Convincing a man to love you will never work. Trying to persuade him to see how great you are together is pointless. Sharing your feelings with the hopes he will realize how much he means to you will also get you nowhere.

Been trying to slowly get my long distance ex back since January, and we’re on speaking terms again now, and even though that’s a huge step forward, I still have doubt. He’s always been a kind of distant person, and since he first reached out to me like 2 months back, I have initiated all conversations since then. I’m suspecting that’s what you call the hot and cold-treatment? Still, I really wanna get him to open up and finally realize that he loves me after all. If y’all have any more tips, I’d love to hear them.
It has ended here and I am just dying to find a solution to all this mess I have created with my clumsiness. I have a gift I made for him that i carried around with me since January 6 because we never knew when we would be able to meet. I had this idea to send it to him with a note “this is yours, made on January 6th. There is no point for me to keep it anymore.” But I am not sure what kind of message it will send because I am not even able to guess the most probable reason of all this behavior. He is the nice guy type, who gives and asks for affection. He would just keep hugging and holding my hand when i am around. But would not realise he missed me until we meet again (he said that). He lives with his sister and is very close to her and to his parents who live in another city. Whenever he did something careless he knows but does not say it. Instead he would become a bit more talkative about details of what he is doing or something.. until I mention it, then once faced with it he apologises. We are 29 and 31 years old and have been together for 4 months, during which he said “I love you” mederately and only at the right moments.
I believe a week or maximum of two weeks in the first 6 months or so of getting to know each other is okay – for him to retreat into his man cave. If he’s going for longer than that after the first 6 months of the relationship or continuing to pull away altogether, you’re wasting your time on him. He’s not ready to settle down or simply just not into you, period. Walk away, girlfriend.
1. Think patterns, not people. When thinking about relationship problems it’s easy to think in terms of people, specifically who is right, who is wrong, who is screwed up, and who is really screwed up. This isn’t usually helpful and only leads to a blame game. Instead of people, think patterns. A does something, this triggers B, who in turn triggers A, then B. Some patterns are beneficial and help us stay sane and stable, others are neutral habits, and some are deadly and capable of damage. 
I need advice though. During one breakup he slept with someone else and came back saying how he realized he was in love with me etc. Although we were technically broken up we were still seeing and spending time with each other. Also being intimate. I’m really trying to move past this but his most recent pulling away has made me insecure and really psycho. We’re both older 39 and 41 professionals. His job is much more consuming and he has a lot in his life right now but says I add additional stress when really I just need reassurance (I know I have my own issues).

Even if a man is completely in love – it’s natural for him to drift away at times. There may be something he’s going through that you don’t know about, or he may be having a difficult time at work. The point is, you dont know, and there is more going on in the world than just you. If you feel it in your gut that you guys are still close, give it the benefit of the doubt.
Make sure to abide by the ever-important No Contact Rule. In this case, ignore your instincts (because they usually act like impulses and read as impulsive behavior). Make sure you take time needed for yourself to feel strong and confident on your own while you give him space. Make sure you do not, I repeat do not show any signs of codependency or clinginess when he does reach back out to you.
We had very profound conversations, sharing the most intimate secrets and trusting each other. The physical part was amazing! After I couldn’t withhold my feelings on several occasions (two –three times during these two months) he started to pull back. The invitations to sleep over stopped all of a sudden, he stopped texting me every day and we have not met now for three weeks. I don’t see anything of what he told me before (that I was a different kind of a woman, that he hardly let someone so close to himself, that I am one of the few people he lets touch and hug him, that he cared about me given that he texted me every day, that I am a person worth having closer and that he didn’t want to hurt me). I try to revive things but every time I ask to meet he comes with “Maybe, if you find time although I am going out this weekend” and after going out “I got so drunk, I have a terrible hangover let’s meet another day” (which never comes), or when I ask whether we would meet he says “Let’s go to the cinema!” and then asks “Have you seen the movies? Although there is nothing good..” and it all stops there.
Hi. I have never posted anything online about relationship problems but I am confused and would really love some advice. I have been with my boyfriend for over 8 years. Those 8 years have been amazing. We have always loved spending time together and could never get enough of one another. We have never lived together but we would see each other at least 3 times a week and would always call and text each other when we were apart. But two weeks ago, I noticed that he was upset all of a sudden. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he didn’t know. So he took some time to think about it and he told me that he thinks he doesn’t feel the spark between us anymore. He said that he felt as if when we were hanging out that he was just hanging out with a best friend. So naturally I was very upset because this was a major surprise to me. I thought we were fine and doing great. After he told me, he said that he did not want to break up and that he would do anything to fix this. Before I left his house, we hastily decided to stop seeing each other as much and would go out on dates once a week. He also told me that he would always call at least once a day. The week that followed was one of the worst in my life. I felt rejected and couldn’t understand why he would feel that way. During that week even though he did call everyday, I still felt there was this major distance between us. I ended up canceling our date that week in order to reflect on our relationship. When I thought about it, I realized that we haven’t done anything romantic for one another in a long time and I believe that we took each other for granted. He seemed like he was fine when I cancelled the date, but later on he admitted that he was actually really upset but he didn’t want to show that to me. He has been better this week about communicating with me more. He has texted and called more. He even brought me dinner one day and we ate together. He has also still shown major interest in me sexually, but we both agree to wait on that until we figure some things out. Even though this week has been a little better, I still feel as if there is a major distance between us. When he sees me, he doesn’t want to kiss me because he said that he would feel like he is betraying me and he has stopped all together saying that he loves me. So I don’t know what is the best action to take in order to help mend this relationship. I was thinking of possibly seeing each other another day a week in order to reconnect and communicate about our relationship and so our dates can be for having fun. Or I don’t know if it would be beneficial to see a couples counselor. So any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
Now it is just about two years later. We are happily in love, lI’ve together and have never had a fight or argument. We’ve had disagreements, naturally, but we work through them effortlessly. He is an amazing and loving partner. He holds me if I cry, and supports me following my dreams. He’s there for me everyday and never leaves me wondering or waiting. He now knows what a real relationship is, and actively shows me all of the love I could have ever asked for. He talks about marriage and kids all the time, and we’re so happy.
Long distance relationship, We dead-loved each other for one year and then I broke up. She left immediately and I missed her for two weeks and texted back. Three months I didnt care, She kept texting and called. slowly she came up with this breakup thing. All of a sudden she declared breakup and I couldnt digest it. I begged her for 2 weeks. Will she get back? How long should I wait?

This is an interesting article. My boyfriend of 7 months broke up with me because I was complaining that we are not spending enough time together. I see him once every 2-3 weeks. Then he went silent for 3 days, so I texts him and call him out on that. He wasn’t happy about that. He told me I deserved someone who can give me full time attention and he isn’t the right person since he is very busy. I told him no one is too busy . That’s just an excuse. Anyway, I was shock when he broke up with me. Didn’t see it coming especially when he kept telling me wants to marry me. This definitely was a blow. How do get over this? I deleted his number to prevent me from texting him nasty comments. Honestly, I want him regret his decision for letting me go. Can you give some advise ?
I’m in a casual relationship with the grounds of monogamous, enjoy yourself, no lies or withholding information and if feelings change tell the other with my ex. When I mentioned that I feel like it seems like it’s just for sex and I’ll be left in the dust in future, he always reassures me that it’s not just for sex. His view on this type of relationship was “i’m not saying I just want a fwb/booty call. The way I see it a casual relationship is the middle ground between the two (fwb and serious).” And that there was potential of getting back together but no guarantee. Do you think that this is slowly on track to us getting back together or am I just setting myself up for hurt in the long run? He broke up with me and I also found out later on he started ‘kinda’ dating my ‘friend’ who I always confided about the relationship and knew everything. Prior to breakup it felt as they had an emotional affair. They’re broken up and they both tell me they haven’t talked since, this interaction with my ex is kept down low and secretive as we just want to chill back for awhile after all that has happened. I understand that we’re not ready to jump back into how things were but I like the feeling of commitment and security (?) one has with the label of girlfriend and boyfriend. Do you have any advice to offer me? I asked him if he trusted me he said there isn’t anything not to trust me with and he knows that I’m still building trust with him but I’m taking the chance of slowly trying.
We broke up so sudden. I said one thing he didn’t like and it was like a switch. He had flipped just like that. Then all of a sudden all these problems he’s been thinking about has came up. I’m still trying to understand them. I’m still trying to understand which reasonings he said are actually true and which aren’t. It’s been 4 days, ive texted him once. No reply. I havent tried again, and I refuse to. I would hate to push him away further.
Hi Appollonia thank you for the article I thought it was great. I started dating a guy back in June 2018, it was like a whirl wind romance we were seeing each other at least 3/4 times a week, he asked me to meet his mum after about a week i said no its to soon, then within a month I had met his mum, best friend, sister, female friends, Aunty, cousins. He was bringing me to family events, buying me shoes, cooking for me, spontaneously turning up with flowers and breakfast, coming to my family events, staying with me for a whole week. For 2 months I spoke to him every single day. Then after 2 months he bought us tickets for a festival and at the event we had an argument whereby I had apparently reprimanded like a child. From that point everything changed, he became distant and we were constantly arguing. So I broke up with him in September, but he came back saying he wanted to reconcile. In October we talked and got back together, but he continued to be distant and make little effort, not returning my calls and messages for 24/48, telling me we're meeting up but never making a plan to do so. Always saying he's busy working as an excuse as to why we are not meeting. In December I broke it off again. We were at the same event in January and again he said he wanted to try again, saying we should go away for the weekend and spend quality time rebuilding our relationship this of course never materialised and 3 weeks later I blocked him on phone calls, whats app, and social media. It's now been 2 months since I blocked him and he hasn't tried to contact me by other means. I still love him and want him, but I have been working on myself and will not settle for less than I deserve. However I still don't understand why he changed and why we he became all talk and no action.
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