So, you’ve been dating at least six months or so and you’re just waiting for the commitment from your guy. You’re waiting for the ring and you really feel like it may finally happen for you! Maybe you’re approaching a year or two and its killing you that he hasn’t proposed! What do you do when he is stalling or worse he starts to pull back from the relationship?
First of all, if you’re not following the Old School Dating rules this will be hard to pull off. Seriously, if you’re not old school dating, you’re missing out on proven dating strategies that work!
Old School Dating Rule #1: You should have at least three guys on your roster. You should be dating at least three men at once, and more if you have time! This is the most important rule.
Old School Dating Rule #2: Only be exclusive when you have plans for marriage. Yep! Do not be exclusive with any man. I don’t care how great you think he is. No exclusivity until you either have the ring on your finger, or you have real plans to be married.
Old School Dating Rule #3 : Stop working to get a guy to like you. Let him do the work. Never Chase a Man. Men need to pursue you! That’s how it works. That’s how you get your guy. (Hint: It may not be the guy you think it will)
The It’s all Rainbows and Butterflies Stage of Dating
You know the period of time at the very beginning of a relationship where it’s all rainbows and butterflies? Maybe throw in some unicorns if it’s really that great… You know how it goes! You’re so excited about the newness of the relationship and still get the butterflies in your stomach. It’s the best, right?
Then, just when you start to get comfortable, your guy starts to pull back a bit. He may seem distant. He may begin to test you and put up boundaries. I’m not sure men actually do this knowingly, or if it’s just the knee jerk reaction they have when they begin to have strong feelings for someone. Either way, it’s pretty confusing. Why do men do this? Well, there are lots of reasons why, but what’s most important is how you react to it.
I believe that when men begin to have strong feelings for a woman, they need to take a step back, and come up with their game plan. Either their feelings are telling them wow, this girl is amazing. What am I going to do? What’s my plan to lock this girl down? Or, their feelings are telling them…this doesn’t feel right. I don’t like how it feels, and I need to take a little break to figure out if this really is the person I want to spend my time with.
I talk in a previous blog post about what to do when your new guy goes MIA. This post is more about what to do, when you have been dating for a while. This is when things are getting more serious, and he starts to retreat a bit from the relationship. A lot of women immediately start to freak out! A lot of women start to wonder all kinds of thoughts like…
Does he like me anymore?
Is he seeing someone else?
Is he going to break it off?
All normal thoughts to have, right? Yes! Then we immediately start to lose all rational sense it seems. (I remember all to well!) We ask him how he feels, and start texting him to check in. We then begin to go out of our way to show him that we like him. Basically, we freak out and accidentally start to pursue him! STOP. Do not ask him what his feelings are for you! If he has feelings for you he will show you! If he doesn’t, he won’t! The end.
Let me point out something first. If a guy just wants to do his own thing one-night (or go on a guy’s trip for the weekend), please don’t get all clingy and needy. That is normal behavior to spend some time away from your partner and do things with your friends. Time away from each other, makes you appreciate your time together more. It’s important to spend time away from each other occasionally.
Give him his space and go do your own thing. Miss each other a bit. That is completely different from what I talk about in this post. You should not be attached at the hip. Do not be co-dependent. You should still do things with your girlfriends. You should still be out and about and living your own life. You should be able to spend time alone. That is even more important during this phase!
What I’m referring to in this post, is when he seems to be checking out of the relationship, but you’re not really sure…
Men generally do not like to talk about their feelings, right guys? Sure, there are some who will talk about their feelings, but they don’t right away. I don’t know many men who enjoy talking about their feelings the way women do anyhow. They have to feel totally and utterly safe with you before they will even think about discussing their feelings with you.
However, they will never open up and talk to you about their feelings, until they see, and they know that you can handle your own feelings. What does this mean?
Do You Have Your Feelings in Check?
When your mind starts going to all the bad places we mentioned above, do you freak out? No, you don’t. You don’t freak out, because you have a great life on your own. Your happiness is not totally dependent upon another man’s feelings for you. Sure, it makes you feel happy to be adored by a man that you adore, but you’re not going to lose your mind if it ends. It means that if he starts to pull back at bit, that you don’t freak out.
What do you do? You have to be dating more than one man at a time. Period. If you are not, then the rest of this is going to be very difficult to pull off, and it loses its effectiveness. Old School Dating is a must! I can’t emphasize this enough!
I remember when I noticed my husband starting to pull back a bit. I knew it would inevitably happen. At some point, all men take a little step back, if they are having strong feelings for you. They have to retreat a bit because they are being forced to face their feelings. Men generally do not like to entertain their feelings. They think more logically. It’s just the way their brains function and that’s okay. Women think more with the emotional side of their brain. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when your guy pulls back. Especially, if he is beginning to have strong feelings for you. This is when you have to be emotionally and mentally strong.
A Little Biology…Just a Little
Men’s brains tend to execute tasks mostly on the left-side of the brain, which as you know, is the logical side of the brain. Women have a larger corpus callosum. This is the region between the left and right hemispheres of the brain that connect them. This allows both hemispheres to transmit data between them faster. So, women use both sides of their brain more than men. As you know the right-side of the brain is the side that focuses more on emotions, creativity, intuition, etc. Women also tend to be more in touch with their emotions and are better at expressing their emotions because they have a larger limbic system. Women’s thinking tends to be more all-inclusive thus showing more empathy. Men’s thinking tends to be more focused and logic based.
So, there you have it. Women are just better at processing their feelings. I’m not saying men aren’t good at it. I’m saying it doesn’t come as naturally to men.
What Does Any of This Mean?
It means that when he’s forced to deal with strong feelings, he has to retreat a bit. He needs more time alone. The best thing you can do, is to simply let him be. Seriously, there is no harm done if you don’t talk for a couple of days. Nobody died. If he isn’t feeling it anymore and you never hear from him again, then good riddance. He just did you a favor of not wasting your time anymore. If you’re dating more than one man at a time, it takes the sting away. I’m not saying it doesn’t suck. I’m just saying it sucks less. If he retreats a bit, he isn’t doing anything wrong. He doesn’t hate you and is out screwing other women. (if he is, then dump his ass!)
Just let him come back to you. When he does come back? Smile. (as long as it hasn’t been over a week and he’s totally gone off the grid). However, if he does stay a little quiet for a couple of days, or he needs to spend some time with the boys, that’s okay! Round up your girls and have some girl time. Besides, if things are going well with this guy you know it means you probably haven’t seen your crew as much lately. Round up your girls and have some fun!
It actually can be a very good sign if he pulls back for a couple of days, and then comes back ready to woo you some more! Keep in mind that while this is happening, and he is spending time away from you, it allows him to miss you. It allows him to wonder what you’re up to? It allows him to think, “I haven’t heard from her in a while. Maybe I should check in and say hello.” It allows him to think, “I wonder what she’s up to?” Since he knows you’re dating other men, it will light a fire under his ass if he really likes you. This is when he will probably begin to imagine you on a date with another guy. How he feels about that will determine what he does next!
If it doesn’t get him back on track with pursuing you, then he may not have been feeling it in the first place. You have to be okay with that. You just have to trust that your guy is out there. When he finds you, and you’re the girl for him, he will pursue you! IF you are old school dating!!! Plus, you’ve just created some mystery around yourself. If he really likes you, then you just put him back in the position of pursuing you if he wants to see you. That’s good. Men pursue. Women should not! (Read Never Chase a Man Again if you continue to find yourself as the pursuer in your relationships).
Leave Him Be. Do Your Own Thing.
The last thing you want to do, is to text or call him and say stuff like…
Hi! 🙂 What are you doing?
Why haven’t I heard from you?
Do you still have feelings for me?
Are you mad at me? Did I do something wrong?
BARF. Don’t do it. That will wreak of desperation even if you’re not desperate!
If you need help, get a friend to yank that phone from your hand and confiscate it at bed time! Seriously, especially if you really like this guy and think he is the one for you.
Do NOT reach out. At some point, he will want to open up to you, and because he isn’t the best at processing his emotions, he will need your help. He needs to see that you have your emotions in check. He needs to see that you are a stable person alone. He needs to see that while you love being with him, you have a life and will not die if you don’t hear from him again. You’ve got to be strong! You can do it!
If you have your emotions in check, then he will trust you with his.
You have to value yourself enough to know that you don’t have to chase a man. You should be chased! This immediately gives you more value, when you do not chase a man.
It’s about trust. It’s also about having your own life and not being totally dependent upon another human being. Again, you should be able to live your life and go a day or two without talking to him. You should be able to live your life without constant validation from him that he likes you. You are a woman in demand, and you don’t need his validation. You are a woman worth pursuing and if he doesn’t snatch you up, then some other really lucky guy will. You are that special. He needs to see that you know you are special. He needs to see that you’ve got your shit together and you’re not relying on him for your happiness. He needs to know in his gut that there’s a dozen men out there, who would be happy to cherish you.
How do you do this? You date more than one man at a time. Simple. You’re not sitting around anxiety ridden when you haven’t heard from him, because you’re out on a date! You are being pursued by other men. You simply have other options and he is just one of them. He may be your favorite, but he is still an option at this point since you are not exclusive.
Okay Niki, what the hell am I supposed to do if I’ve been exclusive with this guy and he is dragging his heals?
We’ve been dating a year, or worse, a few years and still no ring.
You may not want to hear this. My advice is risky. Not going to lie, but it’s what I would do if I were you.
You don’t give an ultimatum.
If it were me, I would kindly say…
“Listen, I really care for you so much and I love spending time with you. We’ve been dating a while and I think we would be really happy together long term. The thing is, I am ready to be married. At this point in my life, I’m ready for a life partner. I’m just not interested in being someone’s girlfriend anymore. I think I deserve it and that’s what I want. That’s what I need in my life. If you’re not entertaining the idea of marrying me, then I need to know that. If so, then I think we should start to see other people. I’m not saying propose now, or we’re done! I’m just saying that if you aren’t feeling it or you are unsure, then maybe we need to begin exploring other opportunities. I care for you and I want you to be happy. I would love it to be with me, but I also value myself and I’m looking for the real deal. I deserve that. We both do.”
Or some variation of this. I can help you with your speech if you need me to. (Just Subscribe to my newsletter , and then email me) Just make sure when you say this, that it’s not in a bitchy tone. It should be delivered firmly, but kindly. You should enter the conversation with the assumption that you truly love this person and want him to be happy. Even if it’s not with you! I know, it’s hard. You have to be really open and vulnerable.
Once you do this, it may suck for a while because he will be seeing other people. It may even inevitably end the relationship. The thing is, if he isn’t proposing to you and you’ve been together for a couple of years, he’s probably not sure that he wants to marry you. You may even find out that he has no intentions of ever marrying you! Aren’t you glad that you asked? We have biological clocks ladies. You know this! Men can wait a long time. We don’t have that luxury, if we want to have babies. If you don’t want to have children, I still would give the same advice, however.
It could also work out for the better. He could be ready but think you’re not. He could be ready, but still unsure for a few reasons that you could then talk about. It could possibly open up communication if you ask him, without demanding anything. You never know. The point is you have to communicate what you need. Then, you have to be ready to stand firm and mean what you say. If you back track, it won’t work. Stick to your guns!
So, ladies when he does decide to come back from his slight hiatus, and he sees that you don’t flip your lid, he will know that it’s safe to open up to you. He will know that YOU have your emotions in check, and therefore, will be able to handle his.
If he doesn’t? Well, then he wasn’t really feeling it anyway and you just saved yourself a lot of heartbreak. Possibly years! Don’t be the girl that waits around for years. Don’t waste your time, energy and heart on someone who hasn’t committed to you. You deserve better!
Oh, and by the way. It may happen again. I know, right? Men (god love them) are so darn confusing. We still love them though. I know I do! One man in particular. 😉
You are special. You are worth being pursued. There is a man out there, waiting to adore you and cherish you forever. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Be kind, be firm, and be patient. Wait for the right guy. If you follow my advice, he will make himself loud and clear!
You’ve got this.
Are you generally hating on men right now and need to learn how to love men again? Read here.
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