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Signs That a Relationship is Over

Signs That a Relationship is Over

You know you’re unhappy and you sense that your partner might be unhappy, but what are the signs that a relationship is over? How can you know?

First, know that highs and lows in any relationship are normal. You aren’t always going to be head-over-heels in love with one another. He has traits that annoy the heck out of you and vice versa. When you’re having a bad day, those traits can be more annoying than usual.

This is how life works. None of us are perfect, so expecting perfection from your partner or your relationship is unreasonable.

Still, if a relationship is in an unrecoverable tailspin, there are indisputable signs to look for. Today, I’d like to share those with you.

Is There an Emergency Here?

Are you feeling the pain of a breakup? Do you feel as if your life has been turned upside down and you don’t know where to turn?

Whether you want him back or you want to move forward without him, a Personalized Emergency Breakup Kit can set you on the pathway to healing.

signs that a relationship is over

Signs That a Relationship is Over | Emotional Distance

One big clue that things are looking bleak is when you feel a growing distance emotionally. You enjoy fewer moments of fun and spontaneity.

Josh and Kelly had been together for a couple of years when Josh started working through the night instead of during the day. He had his own home business, so he could choose his work hours. Kelly found herself waking up to Josh just going to bed. Not only did this mean they weren’t sleeping together, but their days were flipped. While she was awake, Josh was asleep and vice versa, leaving them little to no time to do things together. Soon, other things began happening, like Josh being condescending and finding reasons to avoid doing things with Kelly. She ended it and never looked back.

Clearly, Josh and Kelly had other issues, but then again, maybe not. Their problems could come from one or both of them having an anxious attachment style or having a significant lack of self-esteem and self-worth.

People create an emotional distance for many reasons. Sometimes, it’s because they don’t believe they deserve the love their partner is giving. Other times, they may begin to feel anxious as the relationship draws closer to a commitment. And there are dozens of other reasons why partners experience emotional distance.

While it’s not unrecoverable, a growing emotional distance is an indicator of a bigger problem, and a professional counselor may be your only option if you want to save the relationship.

You Fight. All. The. Time

Again, no relationship is perfect. You’re going to experience disagreements. Fighting becomes a problem when there are more moments when you’re fighting than there are moments of calm. You may fight about your fights, or you might not be fighting fair.

Fighting fair means you’re allowing both partners to speak and be heard. While he’s speaking, you’re listening. Period. You aren’t yelling back in his face to dispute what he says. That isn’t listening.

My mother always said that your ears don’t work if your mouth is open. Obviously, it’s an analogy, but a good one. You can’t listen clearly if you’re spending your time deciding what to say in response or talking over one another.

Fighting fair also means you don’t dig up old fights. If you’re arguing over him not mowing the lawn for your party tonight, don’t start fighting about the ten previous times he didn’t do something you asked him to do. A fight should be about one topic and only one.

In either case, the problems between you have grown very large. You aren’t really fighting about mowing the lawn. You’re fighting about another disappointment in a long line of disappointments. Your problem isn’t about the minor thing you’re arguing over, but something larger that you might not even be able to identify.

Again, with professional counseling, you may be able to get to the root of your arguments, but when fighting goes this far, it’s one of the signs that a relationship is over for sure.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | You Don’t Share Your Joy

You and your partner should be there for one another in the good and bad. When you get a promotion, he should be at the top of the list of people you want to tell. If he isn’t, why not?

Do you think he won’t care? Does it seem as if he’s more wrapped up in his own stuff than in what’s going on in your life? Of course you want to share this with someone you trust and who is close to you. Someone who will truly share in your elation.

If you don’t see him as that person, things have traveled down a wrong road somewhere. In some relationships, if things have really gone downhill, it might not even occur to you to share it with him, at all. You call your best friend and share it with her and others you’re close to but your partner is left in the dark.

You Find it Exhausting to be Around Him

You might not always want to be around your partner, but those moments shouldn’t be very frequent. If he’s going through something difficult, he may be difficult to be around. The amount of energy you must expend to accommodate his mood is exhausting, but you do it because you love him.

But what if those exhausting moments are too frequent? You feel as if he always needs something from you but when you need something in return, he’s absent.

Part of the problem in Josh and Kelly’s relationship is that Josh is needy. For a while, Kelly could deal with it, but the more emotionally distant he became, the less tolerant she was for his neediness. Then when his father came to visit after losing his wife, Kelly saw what her life looked like twenty years in the future. Josh’s dad was beyond needy.

Neediness is a sign of insecurity in the relationship, but it’s not your fault. It’s something within your partner that tells him he’s not worthy of you or he’s afraid you’ll leave him, so he uses his neediness to try and draw you back. Unless you’re someone who’s unbelievably patient, that level of neediness will likely push you in the opposite direction from what he’s hoping for.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | You Justify Staying for an Outside Reason

I wish I knew how many people I’ve talked to who say they’re staying together for the kids. This is the worst thing you can do for your kids. Most of the emotional trauma children experience in a divorce situation comes before the parents separate.

Kids see dishes flying across the room, fists aimed at one of their beloved parents, and they hear angry words shouted between you, even though you sent them to their rooms.

Once you’re apart and the fighting and flying objects stop, kids are relieved. Children aren’t built to handle the emotions of an adult relationship, but each time you argue in front of them, that’s what you’re asking them to do.

You’re also putting them in the middle of your conflict. “Johnny, tell your dad how much you want him to be around more. Go ahead. Tell him!” Of course, Johnny wants his dad to be around more, but what he doesn’t want is to be a pawn in your game.

Don’t stay together because you share children or a business. The people who must put up with the two of you don’t deserve that. Figure out a way to work through splitting your time spent with your children or find a workaround at the office.

You aren’t doing anyone any favors by staying together.

He’s More of a Roommate than a Partner

There comes a point in a bad relationship where you treat one another with superficial kindness. Maybe you’ve decided to stop arguing and now, you just smile at him and keep moving.

This is where you’ll feel that emotional distance. You don’t feel love toward him any longer, so all there is left to feel is some superficial friendship.

When your relationship is like this, the fighting has stopped because you just don’t care anymore. You’re all fought out and exhausted by the whole thing.

signs that a relationship is over

Signs That a Relationship is Over | There’s No Trust

Trust is one of the cornerstones of a good relationship. Without trust, you have nothing. You trust him to be there for you when you need him. He trusts you to do the same. You trust him to come home when he says he will and to do things he says he’ll do. And vice versa.

Then, of course, there’s always the dreaded affair, the ultimate trustbuster.

Regardless of why the trust has eroded, it has and now you feel as if you can’t believe anything he says. It’s an endless stream of unkept promises.

When trust has eroded the relationship, the only way to rebuild it is to seek professional counseling.

Early in a relationship, he earned your trust by showing up for dates on time and doing what he said he would. But once that trust is broken, it’s much harder to build it again. You may think you can learn to trust him again, but those underlying causes will keep rearing their ugly heads.

A professional counselor can help you work through the valid doubts you have about his ability to keep his word.

You Don’t Want to Spend Time Together

It’s Saturday morning and the two of you are assessing what to do with your weekend. He wants to go watch football with his friends, which is something you’ve also enjoyed, but this time, you’d rather be anywhere else.

And this isn’t the first weekend you’ve wanted to have your own plans. You’re finding that you want to do your own thing on most weekends.

COVID forced many couples to spend a lot of time together as we all battled through our own issues of being shut in with nothing to do but the daily crossword and solitaire on our iPads. I haven’t looked at the statistics, but if I had to guess, I’d say some couples flourished while others fell apart.

There is a midway point between too much time together and not enough. Spending every waking moment together isn’t healthy for any relationship, but neither is spending all your free time apart.

But the real question is whether you want to spend time with him. If you just want to go shopping or you’re planning a big event that’s taking up some of your weekend time, that’s not the same thing. You want to spend time with him, but you have other temporary obligations.

It’s all about why you want to be apart from him.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | You Don’t See a Future with Him

In the case of Josh and Kelly, once Kelly saw how Josh’s dad was, she knew she was seeing her future, and it was bleak.

Kelly has never done well with neediness anyway and Josh’s dad reeks of it. She knows that being in a relationship with someone that needy will sap her energy and steal her joy.

You don’t need to see a future with your romantic partner in the beginning. In fact, it’s not a good idea to go there until you’ve committed to date only each other. Entering a new relationship with wedding bells on will scare him away, as it should.

But as your relationship grows and you become exclusive, there should come a point when you do start seeing the two of you together in rocking chairs with grandchildren.

If you can’t see that future, ask yourself why you’re still there. It might be time to recognize that you’re not as compatible as you once thought and go your separate ways.

signs that a relationship is over

There is a Growing Resentment Between You

You have all those arguments, and you feel like he sucks every last drop of your energy. You resent him for making you feel this way.

Resentment is like anger. People hold onto it for their own reasons. Sometimes, there’s a payoff for holding onto it. People feel sorry for you, or you use it for leverage in other arguments.

As you’ve already read, this is unhealthy.

Like anger, you can make a choice to let go of resentment. You can’t change the past, so resenting someone for something that’s over and done with doesn’t change a thing, except it keeps you in a negative frame of mind.

Instead, you can learn to forgive things from the past. This is always a better plan forward than hanging onto the past. But it might not be as simple as that to save your relationship. If you’ve held onto anger and resentment for a while, there may be an emotional distance between you that is too great.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | Your Goals Don’t Align

This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it truly can be.

Of course, when you first meet someone, you aren’t going to share all of your lifelong goals, but over time, you learn about one another, and you start to figure things out.

If your guy has dreams of traveling the world before he’s thirty while you’re still working on your career, it might not be the best time to become an exclusive couple.

One of the biggest goals that I see causing problems is kids. Many young people, especially those who’ve gone through their parents’ divorce, will proclaim that they don’t want kids. Maybe they don’t have confidence in their ability to parent, or they don’t have confidence that they can enjoy a happy relationship.

Whatever the reason, people who want kids and people who don’t shouldn’t get into a relationship with one another. It’s like dog people and cat people trying to decide what type of pet to get. Someone is going to be unhappy.

Before you get into a deeply committed relationship, you should share your most important goals so you know if they align.

On one hand, this might seem shallow to you, but it isn’t. It’s actually very important because it’s through pursuing our goals that we find confidence and satisfaction in our lives.

Nor do Your Values

While a misalignment in goals can sometimes be worked out with a compromise, a difference in values can be tough to overcome.

Suppose you’ve always been a saver. Your parents taught you to save and you’ve done so like a champ. But your boyfriend is a spendthrift who has, at most, ten cents in his savings account. You know, just to keep the account open.

This is a misalignment of values that is probably going to come between you.

Other things that might cause a problem are your values where work, family, and even living a healthy life are concerned.

You don’t need to be aligned on every value, but there should be enough overlap that where there is a misalignment, it isn’t a big deal.

It also depends on how important that value is to you and whether there is a way to appease you both.

A couple with children should be aligned on how to discipline their children, whether to engage them in different activities and even how to manage childcare if you’re both at work.

When you’re first in love, these things can seem like they’re not important, but they can become huge mountains that stand between you if you don’t take the time to address them.

signs that a relationship is over

Signs That a Relationship is Over | Jealousy

Jealousy is really a symptom of a bigger problem – low confidence and self-esteem.

When you’re jealous, you’re really saying that you fear your partner will abandon you for someone else. Why?

Because you don’t believe one of two things:  you aren’t good enough for him or you don’t deserve him.

In either case, your self-esteem is low and it’s causing you problems.

Of course, jealousy can come from trust issues as well, but more often than not, it relates to you and your level of confidence and self-esteem.

Confidence plays a role when you don’t feel confident in your ability to either create or maintain a healthy relationship. You’ve had so many failed relationships in the past and this will be just one more. So it’s only a matter of time before he finds someone else.

Often, jealousy rips a couple apart before the person who’s jealous has time to identify and fix the low confidence problem, but once you see it, you can and should fix it before you enter into another relationship.

You may even find that you have a pattern of feeling jealous in relationships. That’s a huge red flag.

Of course, the opposite side of this is being with a guy who’s jealous, in which case, it’s his confidence and self-esteem that are low. You find him driving by when you’re having lunch with your friends. He claims he was in the area, but you know he was checking to see if you’re where you said you’d be.

Or you discover he’s tracking you through your phone or another tracking device.

Regardless of who has the jealousy problem, it’s one of those signs that a relationship is over.

You’re Building Walls, Not Bridges

Sammi and Joe had been together for many years and had a few beautiful children to show for it, but slowly, they were building walls instead of bridges.

Joe was staying at work later and when he did come home, he’d spend hours outside or in the basement, away from Sammi and the kids. After the kids went to bed, and sometimes even before if Joe was in the house, Sammi would go to their bedroom to work instead of spending time in the same space with Joe.

This is building walls. You’re segregating yourselves from one another instead of trying to build bridges or intimacy between you. When you’re building bridges, you’re sharing experiences and developing more intimacy through those experiences. When you’re building walls, you’re putting physical or emotional barriers between you.

Walls can be very difficult to tear down once they’re built. They can lead to arguments and resentment at the most extreme and at the least, emotional distance.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | You Aren’t Having Sex

Physical touch is a very strong bonding agent. When you’re in love, you want to touch your partner and you want to have sex.

Now the exception to this is if you’ve both agreed to abstain from sex until you’re married. That’s not a problem as long as you’re both on the same page.

The problem is for couples who’ve been having sex and then it drops off to nothing or close to it.

You may justify this with things like being too tired or staying at work late to avoid being there when your partner goes to bed. Some parents will use snuggling with a child and then forget to leave before they fall asleep there.

Regardless of how you’re covering it, the lack of sexual intimacy in a relationship is a big sign that a relationship is over.

That’s a Wrap!

There are probably as many signs that a relationship is over as there are couples, but these are the signs that crop up most often.

What you may notice is that in many instances, if you’re both willing to seek counseling, the relationship can be turned around.

It all depends on how much you want the relationship to succeed and whether both of you are willing to seek that counseling. If one of you isn’t, it’s yet another one of the signs.

If you recognize some of these signs in your own relationship, it’s time to evaluate what it is you want for yourself, then communicate that with your partner. It’s very likely that he feels the same things you do are wrong and you can move forward from there.

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It's how he was raised.

Men also love differently. Many relationships breakup for the simple reason that a man is showing a woman how much he loves her, but he isn't saying the words she longs to hear. He's taking her car to get the oil changed, building the shelves she desires in her office and helping with the outside chores. You're probably missing many of these signs that he loves you.

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How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship

Some jealousy in a relationship is normal, but when it becomes excessive, it’s time to learn how to stop being jealous in a relationship.

Jealous feelings can range anywhere from a mild feeling of jealousy to total rage and humiliation. There is no limit to how old you can be to experience jealousy, and men and women are both susceptible.

Most of the time, we feel jealous when a relationship is threatened, and that can mean friendships as well as romantic relationships and relationships with our families.

The threat can be real but is sometimes just our imagination and anxiety running amok. Before I provide you with tips on how to stop being jealous in a relationship, let’s uncover why you feel jealous.

Why do You Feel Jealous?

Jealousy is an emotion that you probably wish would just go away, but it’s an emotion that we can work with, and it’s also a signal of underlying problems.

Who Gets More Jealous? Men or Women?

Some believe men get jealous more easily, but both sexes are capable of feeling jealousy at the same level, although men and women are jealous in different ways.

Men fear that their romantic partner will have an affair, so they’re more dialed into jealousy over sexual infidelity.

For women, the fear is of emotional infidelity. They fear their guy will fall in love with someone else.

Traits Behind Jealousy

Many of the reasons behind jealousy have nothing to do with your partner, even though I get that it would be nice to blame this on him.

Your jealous feelings come from one or more of these places:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety or emotional instability
  • Feeling insecure and possessive
  • Being too dependent on your partner
  • Feeling that you aren’t good enough for him
  • A fear that your partner will leave you or won’t love you enough

These factors are all about your insecurity, not something he is doing.

how to stop being jealous in a relationship

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship

Understand that Some Jealousy is Normal

This isn’t to say that how you react to feeling jealousy is normal, but that the feeling itself is a normal human emotion.

You have the ability to control how you react to your jealous feelings, but how well you respond depends on why you feel jealous and how extreme those feelings are.

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship: Recognize the Anxiety

Many times, jealousy stems from imagining your partner’s future without you in it. You see him smile at a waitress and all of a sudden, your imagination stirs visuals of the two of them together.

Oh my gosh! He loves her?!?!?!?

Anxiety is our mind running ahead of life, creating scenarios for which we have no proof, then convincing you that it’s true.

We get anxious over all sorts of things. One of my favorite examples is from when I was younger. It was the first time I was called for jury duty and I was driving to the courthouse to report. My mind was racing – what if I’m late? What if I’m picked to sit for a terrible crime? What if…what if…what if…

Finally, I realized I was having some anxiety and wasn’t focusing very well on driving, so I stopped my thoughts and began taking deep breaths.

When you’re anxious, your heart rate picks up and your blood pressure increases because your fight or flight mechanism has kicked in. To mitigate the chemicals released during fight or flight, slow your breathing. This is an instant signal to your brain that everything is okay.

Since I was driving, that was about the only tool available to me, other than to tell myself that I was just feeling anxious, and that it was time to stop.

If you recognize that your mind is just running away with you, stop what you’re thinking and bring yourself back to reality. Realize that the truth isn’t what you were just thinking.

Dip Into a Mindful Moment

Mindfulness is about becoming present in the current moment. This is a follow-on to the anxiety tool you just read.

Bring yourself back to the here and now. Don’t ignore the jealous feelings but imagine them as leaves floating down a stream. They float up to you, they hang out for a second or two, then they float away. While you don’t always realize it, feelings do this anyway, but we can hold onto them too long if we fixate on them.

Stuffing them down and not acknowledging them doesn’t work either because they just keep growing, like a balloon you’re blowing up – eventually, something will pop.

Challenge Your Own Negativity

People often believe feelings or emotions just appear out of nowhere, blindsiding you, but this isn’t usually the case.

The things we feel and the emotions we have are more often a result of ongoing thoughts, which usually are based on how we feel about ourselves.

For example, if you don’t believe yourself to be physically attractive, you will feel anxious over any women he comes in contact with and perceive to be prettier than you.

If you don’t believe you’re enough to keep your guy long-term, any woman who approaches might feel threatening.

Instead of believing these thoughts, fact-check them. Has he told you he thinks you’re ugly? I’m going to guess he has not because if he didn’t find you to be attractive, he wouldn’t be with you now. This is your own insecurity, not something he’s told you.

Many of our beliefs are what is called self-limiting. We believe many wrong things about ourselves, but those thoughts can almost always be proven wrong.

how to stop being jealous in a relationship

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship: Get Real

Sometimes, expectations are too high to be met, ever.

There is no such thing as a perfect person or a perfect relationship. Naturally, your eye wanders when you see a handsome man, just like your boyfriend or husband’s eye may wander.

A wandering eye when you’re out together isn’t a sign that he wants to have an affair, or that he’s having one. Someone simply caught his attention. He didn’t run off to meet her or get her number, he’s holding your hand, enjoying time with you.

This also applies to any past relationships he had that make you feel jealous. That relationship is over. He’s with you now. If he wanted to still be with her, he would be.

None of us are perfect, and everyone requires forgiveness from time to time. It’s important not to hold your guy or your relationship to a standard that can never be met.

Resist Acting on Your Initial Jealous Feelings

In today’s society, we do everything immediately. We never stop to think something through. Someone pulls out in front of us and we honk the horn and start flipping them the bird.

This is reactionary behavior, and it’s not healthy, and yet, many of us behave in this way without realizing it.

Reactionary people often start sentences with he made me. It’s a blame game. Whatever someone else does that causes you to react was their fault, not yours.

The problem with this line of thinking is that you actually have control over your reactions, you just don’t realize it.

Instead of flying off the handle when something happens, use the old count to ten rule- take a breather and count to ten. This allows you enough time to think, instead of just react.

The same is true of jealous feelings. Instead of reacting immediately when the feeling comes along, take some time to consider the truth of the evidence in front of you, if there is any.

If you don’t believe me, put yourself in this situation.

Tomorrow, you have a job interview for the dream job of your life, but your boyfriend just dumped you, out of the blue, and you feel devastated.

How are you going to go into that interview? Crying and sobbing?

Of course not, you’re going to pull yourself together and put both of your good feet forward.

This shows you that you do have control over your emotions when you want to.

The other reason to use restraint is that your negative reaction could do damage to an otherwise healthy relationship.

Work on Your Confidence and Self-Esteem

Many of the problems behind jealousy relate to low confidence and low self-esteem, so the best defense is a great offense.

Actually, most problems in relationships can be linked back to low confidence and self-esteem. If you don’t feel worthy of your partner, or you feel inferior in some way, you’ll always be afraid he’s looking for someone better.

Unfortunately, many people suffer from low confidence and there is not a lot of readily available information on how to build it, but I have an entire area of this website devoted to it, since it’s a relationship site and it’s so important to healthy relationships. You can find it here:

I want to change my life!

how to stop being jealous in a relationship

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship: Don’t be Afraid to Talk About It

A great relationship is grounded in excellent communication. Being afraid to talk to your partner about something is a low-confidence play. Be sure to pay attention to how you should bring this up and discuss it.

It’s possible he doesn’t even realize that he’s doing something that concerns you. If he loves you, he doesn’t want to hurt you in that way. What you’re perceiving as a threat to your relationship might be perceived by him as no big deal.

Approach the subject when the two of you are in a good place. It’s never to begin a difficult conversation in the middle of an argument or when one or both of you are tired.

Also, use “I” language:

  • I feel a little threatened when you flirt with Felicia from work
  • I feel as if you’re paying a lot of attention to the new girl in your office

When you state something this way, you’re taking ownership of your feelings and you’re disarming any argument he may have. While he may disagree with your assessment of those situations, it’s hard to disagree with how someone is telling you they feel.

Finally, spend as much time listening as you do talking. A conversation, especially one about a difficult topic, should be equal and fair. If you’re the only one talking, you aren’t allowing him any time to say his piece.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

This is another low-confidence/low-self-worth move. Recently, I was out with a friend and a very well-dressed woman caught my eye, not because she was pretty, but because her outfit was entirely too much for where we were.

She was dressed for a funeral and we were at a flea market. So I took another glance from behind and realized that this person was bald. My buddy had seen him too and said, “dude had a beard and mustache.”

So it was a guy dressed in women’s clothing. My immediate thought was good for you pal. Be who you are!

Be you. Your guy fell for you, not some altered version of you, unless you completely misrepresented yourself to him.

If you want to wear tie-dye skirts and Birkenstocks, go for it. If you’re comfy in jeans and t-shirts, wear that. If you want to become a painter, become one. If you want to be a CEO, shoot for the stars.

Just be yourself. Don’t worry about who other people are or what they look like. It isn’t important how much money your sister makes and what size her home is. Just be you.

You’ll find a tremendous level of peace in deciding that the opinions of others don’t matter to you anymore, and you’ll find more time since you’ll spend less time on social media trying to prove yourself.

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship: Use a Journal

Journaling is an excellent tool for uncovering what’s really going on in your mind. If you sit down in a quiet place and let the words flow without judgment and fear, you will discover all kinds of stuff.

I read a story once about a woman who would journal every day. On Sundays, she would go back through her journal and look for recurring themes. Was she sad, depressed, happy? What was going on during those times?

It’s very enlightening and very therapeutic.

Through journaling, you may discover the true source of your jealous feelings.

Stay Off of Social Media

I just eluded to this, but let’s talk a little more about it. When people feel the need to post about their nice new expensive car or home, what makes them think anyone else cares?

We all go along and hit the like button, doing our due diligence, but why should I care, really? I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t care what you ate for dinner or where you got it. I don’t need to see your big new house or your bright shiny new car.

If you’re my friend, I will give you a pat on the back the next time I see you to congratulate you. Sharing that stuff on social media is a way of doing a couple of things:

  • Proving that you became something
  • Feeling better about yourself because you think you became something or did something great

If I’m following you on social media, chances are I’m more interested in where you hiked last weekend so I can check it out. Truth be told, I rarely use social media personally. Professionally, of course, I have accounts, but that’s information I share for you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Help

Some of the roots of jealousy are buried deep and the best thing you can do for yourself and your relationship is to seek professional help.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s something more people should try. It might even be beneficial at some point to seek couple’s counseling so you can learn how to communicate effectively with one another and support one another.

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship – Wrap Up

Healthy jealousy is normal, but when it threatens your relationship or sanity, it’s time to address it. Dig into the roots of your feelings and work on overcoming low confidence and low self-esteem issues.

Don’t be afraid to own what’s going on because that’s the best way to address it.

Be willing to talk to your partner about your feelings and to seek therapy if you feel like you can’t overcome this on your own.

Most of all, know that you’re a beautiful person, and comparing yourself to other women will never amount to anything good.

How's your confidence these days? More specifically, how's your dating confidence? The answer to both is easy. They're probably lower than you'd like. Confidence is sexy. It draws great men like bees to a honey pot. The bonus is that the players also sense your confidence and they steer clear of you. Double bonus!

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What to do When Your Boyfriend is Controlling

What to do When Your Boyfriend is Controlling

Do you know what to do when your boyfriend is controlling? Are you wondering how you can make this situation better?

People act in a controlling way for several reasons, most of which have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. For today’s purposes, we’re discussing a boyfriend who is controlling on occasion, but not 100% of the time.

Every relationship dynamic has its nuances. What worked for your parents or his might not work for the two of you. Your friends might have a relationship you just can’t figure out, but it’s working for them.

Recognizing whether your relationship is healthy and needs tweaking or is unhealthy is the goal of today’s post.

boyfriend is controlling

Do You Know if Your Boyfriend is Controlling?

First, let’s look at whether the behaviors your boyfriend is exhibiting are truly controlling. It’s human nature to want to control your environment, but someone who wants to control everything all the time might have something going on.

He Seems Paranoid and Insecure

The need to be in control is almost always rooted in insecurity. Most often, these insecurities center around:

  • Physical appearance – yours or his
  • His job security or performance
  • How do others view the two of you
  • Whether you might be getting the attention of other men
  • If he’s getting enough respect

These insecurities were around long before you came on the scene, so none of this is your fault. His emotions and self-image are fragile, and those things built up over many years. You may find out he was bullied at home or in school, or he was always told he was worthless, nothing. It’s sad, but it happens.

What Does it Look Like?

If he’s doing any of these things, this might be the problem:

  • Judgmental of others
  • Jealousy of other men, constantly critiquing them
  • He tests and questions your loyalty to him
  • He’s always looking for validation
  • While he can dish out the criticism, he can’t take it…at all
  • He showers you with gifts, to make up for what he perceives to be his failings
  • He always imagines he’s being disrespected

What Can You Do?

If his insecurity is minimal, like his performance in bed, for example, you can reassure him that he’s doing a great job. Men worry a lot about this, so it’s pretty normal insecurity. He might also feel insecure about his job, especially if he’s bucking for a promotion. Assure him that you love him just as he is, promotion or not.

If he seems to be paranoid, always questioning if you’re cheating on him or if another guy looked at you with too much interest, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart chat. Choose a time when things are going well between you, not a time when tempers are already flaring. Then, sit him down and explain that you aren’t interested in another guy and his paranoia is causing a problem between you. If he can control himself and his emotions, he’ll see the light and try to fix it, but if he denies it or gets angry, this might be the time you say goodbye.

Understand that you can’t fix this. Yes, your words of reassurance might help, but he needs to fix his stuff. Many women try to step in and smother him with reassurance, affection and appeasing actions, but this won’t work. If he’s acting in the extreme, you need to establish boundaries and stick to them.

It’s not okay for him to put trackers on your phone and car. It’s not normal to allow him to read your texts and emails. If you want him to, that’s one thing, but it’s not something he can demand. It’s okay for you to say no and if he can’t accept no, it’s time to leave.

He Feels the Need to Criticize You – All the Time

It’s fine for someone to say, “I’m not sure that shade of blue is the best color for you, babe,” because it’s once in a while and, odd as it might seem coming from a guy, it’s still harmless.

When the criticisms are constant and are intended to cause you to change your behavior, it’s problematic. When someone criticizes you all the time, the goal isn’t to help you better yourself with a new shade of blue, it’s to make you feel small, dumb, incompetent, and helpless. Chances are he feels that way and he doesn’t want to be with someone who feels better about themselves than he does.

What Does it Look Like?

Again, one comment every now and then is fine, but it’s the constant criticisms that are a problem. They might include:

  • Criticizing your physical features – you’re fat, you need a nose job, your boobs are too small, that sort of thing
  • He criticizes the way you pronounce things; we all come from different places and words are pronounced differently, or we learned to pronounce them incorrectly; it’s all good and we learn from hearing others, but his need to constantly correct you is no good
  • Your cooking is a constant bone of contention; of course, it’s not that he wants to cook, but he always has criticisms for yours – too much salt, too bland, too spicy, it won’t matter what you do, it won’t be good enough
  • He forces you to question your decision-making and your intelligence; he’s doing it to himself too so why not make you feel bad as well
  • You can’t do anything right, ever

These types of criticisms are meant to pull your power away from you, but I encourage you not to give anyone power over you and how you feel about yourself. This is all on him.

What Can You Do?

There’s no way everything you do is wrong; don’t allow someone to make you think that about yourself.

When I coach women who’ve experienced a breakup, I know she needs confidence building, and this is why. Breakups bring out the worst in people; often one partner tries to make the other feel small, dumb, and incompetent. Never allow someone to have that kind of power in your life.

Don’t rationalize his bad behavior. There’s no rational explanation for it other than his insecurities. Don’t explain it away or think he’s right. Sure, you might not pronounce a word properly, but who cares? It doesn’t change who you are.

While he might say he’s trying to help you be a better person, it’s a lie. If he were truly being a loving partner, he would provide constructive criticism like, “While I love this dress on you, I think the emerald green one really brings out the color of your eyes. You should wear that one more often!”

“Don’t you ever wear that ugly red dress again. It makes you look fat!” This statement is not helpful or constructive. It’s mean and controlling.

Having an open discussion might help. The best time to discuss something difficult is when you’re both happy and things are going well. Explain that you can’t constantly change every small thing about yourself, and you feel that’s what he’s asking you to do. This discussion will probably contain a breakup discussion, so be prepared to raise that possibility.

Know that you aren’t the one who needs to change. While he might be telling you how inadequate you are, these are his feelings about himself. If you can’t do anything right as far as he’s concerned, you’re not the girl for him. Period.

boyfriend is controlling

He Uses Threats and Ultimatums to Control Your Behavior

You don’t need to be threatened or manipulated. Nobody does, but a controller may use threats and ultimatums to try to control you.

What Does it Look Like?

Often, the threats center around him breaking up with you if you don’t do something his way:

  • If you don’t stop hanging out with your work friends, I’ll break up with you
  • If you don’t agree to marry me, I’ll kill myself – it’s extreme, but I know of someone who got married for just this reason
  • You need to go out with me Saturday night or I’ll post crap about you on social media
  • If you don’t make my dinner on time, I won’t take you to work tomorrow

Some of these sound utterly ridiculous but notice that they’re all ways in which he might feel out of control of a situation. When you’re with your friends, he can’t control you because you aren’t there. If you don’t marry him, how can he keep controlling you? He doesn’t want to lose another relationship.

He wants you to go out with him so you aren’t going out with someone else. If you’re making dinner on time, he knows where you are and what you’re doing. It goes on and on.

What Can You Do?

Dealing with threats and ultimatums can be scary, depending on the thread or ultimatum being issued. Someone threatening your life should be extricated from your life immediately. For some of these other threats, there are things you can try.

First, don’t give in. If you want to hang with your friends from work, do it, and if he breaks up with you over it, see ya later pal. You might think that agreeing with him or giving in will make him stop, but he’ll just find something else since the first time worked well for him. All you’re doing is giving up power. Nothing more.

Next, and this is a hard one to read I know, understand that someone who’s issuing threats and ultimatums doesn’t love you. If he did love you, he would turn himself inside out to show his love for you. These behaviors aren’t loving. Not even a little bit.

Lastly, get out of the relationship. This isn’t a fixable situation. Find a friend, a family member, or, an authority figure who can help you safely remove yourself from this relationship. You deserve someone who truly loves you for the wonderful person you are.

Your Boyfriend is Controlling You with Social Isolation

This is a classic control move. It’s little things at first, and it seems sweet. He’ll say, “Gee Babe, I’d really appreciate it if you’d cancel your plans with Sarah and spend the evening with me.”

The next thing you know, you never have plans with any of your friends or family. He either lies to you about them to make you believe they don’t want to hang with you, or he makes sure you can’t hang out with them.

This is done to avoid other people knowing how controlling he either is now or plans to be. He doesn’t want someone telling you that he’s wrong. He wants you to hear his voice and only his. That way, he can control every single aspect of your life.

Many controllers will also keep you from working an outside job, going to church, or participating in any sort of social group. He doesn’t want anyone to see the vacant look that you have, indicating how much of you he’s already sucked away.

What Does it Look Like?

At first, he’ll just complain about how much time you’re spending away from him. Then, if that doesn’t work, he’ll move on to criticizing your friends and family members. His goal is to get you to distrust the people you should trust the most and those you’ll lean on as he gets worse.

Then, he’ll make you feel guilty if you speak to those people and may even exact punishment. He doesn’t want others to see how he’s treating you. He wants full control.

Finally, he’ll threaten to either physically hurt you or leave you if you continue to contact the people he’s deemed unacceptable. He hopes that he’s made you rely on him enough that the thread of living without him will scare you into submission.

What Can You Do?

Don’t believe what he says about your friends and family. He might say your sister doesn’t want to talk to you anymore, but that’s a lie to distance you from her.

Your only real option, aside from not believing his lies, is to leave the relationship. If he’s trying to distance yourself from the people most important to you, he doesn’t have any great plans for your life together other than for him to demand and for you to obey. Do you want to lose all the important people in your life to live with one controlling individual? No, of course not.

There is no Trust

Trust is at the root of a great relationship. It’s something you earn and then strive to keep between you. While it’s normal not to fully trust someone you just met, you should allow a partner to earn your trust and vice versa.

What happens with a controller, however, is that he can’t trust you or anyone else. If you say you’re going to have ice cream with your bestie and you see him drive by, he doesn’t trust you. Wanting your passwords to your phone and email is another sign of distrust.

The thing is you probably haven’t done anything for him to distrust you. These are his insecurities, not your actions that are driving his behavior. He knows he’s not good enough for a great woman like you. His confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem are very low, and he knows you can do better.

What Does it Look Like?

You say you’re out with your friends for a girls’ night and he calls, constantly, to check up on you. Or, he might have a friend of his happen to show up where you’re supposed to be.

He might drive by to see if you’re where you said you would be or put tracking devices or apps on your car and phone.

You might catch him eavesdropping on your phone conversations or standing over you while you text or compose emails. You may even notice cameras hidden around your home as a way for him to watch you.

What Can You Do?

While you might be able to have a conversation about this with him and get him to stop. It depends on the level of behavior he’s exhibiting.

Again, have this conversation when things are happy and good between you. Explain to him that he’s making you uncomfortable by constantly spying on you and asking him what you’ve done to make him distrust you.

If this isn’t happening often or if this is the only thing he’s doing, he might not even realize the impact it’s having. He gets anxious because he can’t see you. His insecurity about himself tells him you’re out there and other men can see how great you are. In his mind, he’s about to lose you.

He needs to work on things, but pointing out to him that every time he’s checked up on you, you were where you said you’d be might help him realize he’s distrusting you for no reason.

Also, don’t lie to him about where you are going. That just confirms what he believes. Don’t lie about who you’re going with either. If you’re going out with three of your friends, say so. Don’t say, “I’m going out with Meg” if you’re going out with Meg, Sarah, and Elle. If he’s looking for a reason to distrust you, he’ll see that as a lie.

boyfriend is controlling

Your Boyfriend is Controlling When He Wants You to Feel Indebted to Him

A relationship doesn’t involve currency. What I mean by that is that he can’t buy you flowers and expect sex in return. Just because he bought you new earrings doesn’t mean he gets to tell you what to do.

What Does it Look Like?

Currency in a relationship comes in all shapes and sizes. Usually, however, in a controlling situation, it involves him buying you something that’s either just what you’ve been wanting or uber extravagant.

Now, in his mind, you owe him something in return. This is a nifty way to make someone dependent on you. You won’t feel you can get out of the relationship because you feel too guilty. Look at all the stuff he’s gotten for you or the things he’s done for you.

Poppycock! Those are all control maneuvers meant to make you feel exactly that way!

Things you never owe another person include sex, time, and the ability to express your opinion without fear of retribution.

You control who, when, and where you have sex with him or anyone else. Always. There is never a time when you owe someone sex. Read that statement a few times so it sinks in.

Time is a precious commodity, and in a relationship, you should make time for one another, but not at the expense of your life outside the relationship. Don’t give up your relationships with friends, family, or coworkers in lieu of time with him. You both need to maintain outside relationships to be healthy together.

Finally, you have and are entitled to your own opinion, and you should be able to express it, as long as you’re being calm and reasonable, without fear of being harmed.

What Can You Do?

There isn’t a way to fix this. He’s attempting to take away your freedom and that’s not something you should ever give away to anyone.

He’s Gaslighting You

This term comes from a 1944 movie called Gaslight where a man tries to make his wife think she’s going insane so he can steal her fortune.

People do it today and it can really be harmful.

What Does it Look Like?

You won’t see gaslighting coming. Some, but not all who use this tactic are true narcissists and professionals at manipulating people to get their way.

An example of gaslighting might be if your partner agrees to meet you after work at a local hangout. You show up and wait, but he never shows. You call and text and he finally tells you that he never agreed to meet you. You know you made a date, but he’s making you second-guess yourself.

Another example is name-calling. It sounds basic, but this gets you to believe something about yourself that isn’t true. He might call you manic-depressive or crazy because you got a little moody. Since when did he get a license to diagnose?

He might question your decisions, and make you question them as well. Of course, he’ll shoot down any explanations you come up with, so don’t waste your time.

Anything a gaslighter does is meant to get you to question yourself and alter your perception of reality. In the movie, the man dims the lights, but when the woman asks if the lights just dimmed, he says no, making her believe she’s losing her mind.

What Can You Do?

Gaslighting is emotional abuse. Your only true recourse, once you realize what’s happening, is to end the relationship.

This is not a person who is invested in a relationship with you because he loves you. These aren’t loving behaviors.

Once you recognize that someone is doing this to you, and it’s probably been going on for months or even years, you stop sharing your thoughts and feelings with him. Disengage and work on getting out. He’ll continue to try and make you feel like you’re wrong and you’re crazy, but you aren’t. Sanity is beginning to emerge again for you and you’re seeing very clearly now.

He Makes Your Life Miserable when He Doesn’t Get His Way

If you stand up to a boyfriend who is controlling and go out with your girlfriends after he told you not to, expect the silent treatment or worse.

How dare you stand up to him! What on earth were you thinking?

What Does it Look Like?

It looks just like that. You did something that didn’t fit into his model for your life and he’s pouting. Other ways this might show up include:

  • Him flirting with other women if you don’t wear what he told you to on a date
  • Blaming you because he didn’t get the promotion he wanted
  • Any form of physical abuse for something he claims you did wrong

What Can You Do?

This is not a sign of a healthy and happy relationship. You can try to discuss his behavior with him by telling him that his revengeful behavior hurts you and your relationship. If this is the only thing he’s doing or if he’s just starting this behavior, he might recognize his bad behavior and try to stop.

More likely, he’ll refuse to discuss this with you because deep down, he knows he’s wrong. He’ll never admit it and therefore you won’t make any headway in having a discussion.

Your Boyfriend is Controlling When He’ll Love You – Conditionally

If a guy loves you, he loves you for who you are today and who he thinks you have the potential to become. Sometimes, when you meet someone, you can see they’re working toward something, and you can see their potential. That ambition can be sexy and attractive.

If a guy only loves you if you lose weight or if you stop going out with that one friend of yours, he doesn’t truly love you to begin with.

What Does it Look Like?

  • My friends would probably like you more if you were smarter
  • I’d love you more if you’d stop wearing your hair that way
  • I love you so much when you wear that skirt
  • If you took better care of yourself, you might be attractive

This way of trying to mold you into someone else is mean and abusive. Sure, he’s not physically hurting you, but emotional scars last longer. Someone saying this to you all the time makes it sink into your subconscious and you begin to say it to yourself.

What Can You Do?

When he says something like that to you, call him out on it. Make sure he knows that saying those things is hurtful. Be careful how you word things, though, or he’ll just have room to argue with you.

If you say, “I don’t like it when you call me fat”, he’ll just say that he doesn’t call you fat. Of course, he’s using other types of statements to call you fat, but that’s beside the point.

Instead, say, “Josh, when you tell me I look fat, it makes me feel really bad.” It’s harder to argue with a statement when you say it’s your feelings. He can’t tell you how you feel. Oh, he might try to, but it’s harder.

Hurtful statements like those aren’t loving and they aren’t meant to be. This is a direct attempt to make you feel as small and worthless as he does.

Your best option is usually to end the relationship. If you’re just there to help him feel a little bigger by making you feel small, you can do better! You deserve better!

boyfriend is controlling

His Favorite Weapon is Passive Aggressive Behavior

Ahh, an oldie but a goodie, passive-aggressive behavior is yet another way to control someone.

What Does it Look Like?

“This is my girlfriend, Stacy. She talks like a hillbilly but she’s a great gal. Heh heh heh.” Okay, so he just introduced you to his friends and injected a criticism disguised as a cute little joke. That’s passive-aggressive.

“Boy you sure can cook,” said right after you accidentally burned the rice with dinner. Sarcasm is another form of passive-aggressive behavior.

If something is followed by, “Hey, I’m just kidding,” know that he isn’t. It’s a criticism disguised as what he thought was a joke.

While this doesn’t seem to be a controlling behavior, what he’s doing is trying to make you feel badly about yourself, just like he does. He’s trying to control your self-esteem and self-worth and that’s the worst way to control someone.

What Can You Do?

This is another instance where you might be able to call him out on his behavior. “Hey Jim, when you introduced me to your friends and then said I talk like a hillbilly, I felt really embarrassed.” Again, by telling him how you felt, and not using an accusing tone, you change his ability to reply in a snide or hurtful way.

He wasn’t kidding and you both know it, as do his friends, who also probably felt embarrassed. He may come back and tell you to lighten up or learn to take a joke but keep pointing out to him how hurtful his comments are.

If he refuses to stop, he doesn’t respect or love you and it’s time to end things.

Your Boyfriend is Controlling | Why is He Acting This Way?

He’s Narcissistic

Narcissism is not a choice people make but an actual psychological diagnosis. NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects many people and hinders their ability to have healthy relationships.

Many narcissists carry a higher-than-average opinion of themselves. They believe they’re more important than everyone else, more powerful, more intelligent, more capable, and so on. To make sure you believe it, they’ll exaggerate their accomplishments and abilities.

This type of person needs to make sure you know how special and unique he is, compared to other men. Of course, since he’s so special and unique, there’s no way you can understand him. He’s too far above you and everyone else for that to happen.

He needs lots of praise and positive attention, to be sure you know how important and special he is. He feels that he deserves special treatment. For example, if you go to a restaurant, he might feel he should always get the best table.

His need for personal gain outweighs everything else, so he takes advantage of people and situations to make sure they benefit him. His goals are the only important goals. He might use tactics like telling lies about someone to make sure they don’t get what he wants, or he may treat someone very badly.

Unable to see your needs or connect with you on an emotional level, he’ll come off as lacking compassion or selfish. He also envisions himself in competition with, well, everyone. He imagines that people envy him for all his great traits and that they’re jealous of him.

Most of those are signs of what professionals call overt narcissism. Covert narcissism is a little harder to detect. Those behaviors include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insecurity
  • Being overly sensitive, unable to handle criticism
  • Feeling defensive
  • Acting withdrawn or depressed

He Has High Anxiety

Anxiety is a symptom of many other disorders, but it’s at the root of controlling behavior. There is a strong need to control their surroundings and maintain some sense of order, however harmful and ineffective their efforts truly are.

Many people experience anxiety every day and there are varying degrees and abilities to cope with it. When hurricane Ian came through Florida, I had a lot of anxiety about being able to get there and check on my mom. I managed my anxiety easily and was able to get down there to help her without issues. That’s normal anxiety. You don’t know what you’re facing, and your mind plays out scenarios.

Often, when we’re otherwise healthy, we recognize what’s happening and put a stop to it.

Still, for some, anxiety is crippling and can force them into undesirable behaviors, like being a controlling boyfriend.

He Has Low Self-Esteem

When your self-esteem is low, you don’t think good thoughts about yourself. You don’t value yourself or even like yourself.

If your boyfriend has low self-esteem, he thinks very little of himself. He believes he’s not worthy of you and is in constant fear that two things will happen.

First, you’ll figure out what a schmuck he is, and second, you’ll leave him because he’s a loser. That fear or insecurity drives him to try extra hard to keep you from discovering he’s the person he believes himself to be and leaving him.

His low self-esteem also makes him sensitive to what he might perceive as attacks. You might say something you don’t think of as mean or harmful, but due to his low self-esteem, he takes it that way. The problem is that he already thinks those things about himself, but hearing someone else verbalize them brings his insecurities to life and confirms his beliefs about himself.

He Has Difficulty Trusting

If your boyfriend is controlling, he probably has difficulty trusting people. Someone in his past broke his trust in all people so much that he finds it difficult to trust anyone now.

It doesn’t matter what you think you’ve done to earn his trust; he can’t give it so it’s never enough.

Trust issues usually stem from something that happened in childhood, although not always. Someone close to him broke his trust and did a good job of it. His trust was shattered to the point where he decided nobody can be trusted, regardless of what they said or did.

This is something he can work on and overcome, with professional guidance, but it’s not something you can fix.

He Has a Fear of Abandonment

Imagine you’re a young child and someone very important to you leaves, either by death or physical separation. A mother dies, a father leaves the home never to be seen again, or something similar.

This creates a fear that everyone important to you leaves and never comes back. It’s not logical, but your young mind can’t yet figure out the logic behind death or separation.

You grow up and your grandparents die. Your dog runs away and never returns. A favorite teacher doesn’t return the following year. These things all shore up your belief that people leave and never come back.

If your boyfriend is controlling, this might be part of the issue. He lost one or more important people or even animals in his life and he’s developed a fear of abandonment. This displays in the same way low self-esteem does. He lives in constant fear that you’ll leave, just like everyone else in his past.

Again, this is something he can work on and overcome, with professional guidance. And again, it’s not something you can fix.

Your Boyfriend is Controlling | Now What?

The bottom line is that if your boyfriend is controlling, he needs to take a relationship break and work on himself if he’s willing. Some people are and some aren’t. Some controlling individuals grew up in a similar environment to the one they’ve created, and they don’t see their own failings.

Either way, it’s time for you to exit the situation. In many instances, if he does some work with a professional counselor, he can overcome the issues. But this is like alcoholism. He must first be able to see that he has a problem that requires help.

More people than you can imagine grow up believing that mental problems are poppycock and don’t exist, therefore you’ll never get them to seek help. Other people can see that they have an issue if you bring it up during a time when you’re getting along, and things are good.

As you learned above, how you approach a conversation is mostly about the words you use. Discuss how his behavior makes you feel without using accusatory language.

Bob, it makes me feel angry when you call me names” instead of, “Stop calling me names! It’s mean and rude.” It’s hard for someone to argue with how you feel, but he for sure can argue with whether he thinks he was mean and rude.

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Codependency in a Relationship | What is It and How to Change

Codependency in a Relationship | What is It and How to Change

Codependency in a relationship is an unhealthy relationship dynamic and a phrase first coined in articles that discussed substance abuse. In those relationships, one partner’s addiction often controlled the dynamic, creating a lopsided situation.

Outside of the substance abuse definition, codependency refers most often to a relationship in which one partner sacrifices his or her needs for the sake of the other. This partner is most often giving, while the other partner usually takes. Codependent relationships aren’t all romantic and can occur between friends or family members as well.

Codependency is often defined as manipulative, compulsive behaviors that are characterized by poor boundaries, a lack of self-esteem, and obsessive control. Some say it’s an addiction to a person and it’s sometimes called relationship addiction.

Many believe it’s a learned behavior, passed down through a family full of codependent relationships. The behavior is learned as a way to survive in a family with a lot of emotional turbulence. It’s not a genetic trait.

codependency in a relationship

What Exactly is Codependency in a Relationship?

In a healthy relationship, both partners support one another and while there may be times when things are lopsided, they return to a balanced state once the crisis is over. Examples of this include experiencing a job loss, the loss of a loved one, or health issues. In those cases, one partner will put forth the extra effort to support the other, but there may be another time when the roles are reversed.

People in healthy relationships don’t keep score of who did what for whom. There’s no, “I stayed home with the kids while you went out with your friends last week. You owe me.”

Codependency in a relationship occurs when one partner is the constant caregiver.

Jack and Kate are in a codependent relationship. Kate is almost always the one working to support herself and her husband. She did this for many years while he made various attempts to find a career, always failing. Now retired and in their seventies, their relationship continues to be lopsided.

Kate did everything for Jack until Kate became ill with cancer. She was hospitalized and required emergency surgery, but Jack remained at home, unrealistically afraid of getting sick if he went to the hospital to be with her. When Kate returned home a few days after surgery, Jack still expected her to fill her role as his caregiver, barely helping her recover.

In relationships where substance abuse is a problem, the caregiver partner will make excuses for the other, calling them in sick at work, providing them a place to live, or even giving them money to support their addiction.

What Causes Codependency?

There is no recipe for codependency, although some people who enter codependent relationships often have a history of codependency or a dysfunctional relationship in their past. Sometimes childhood trauma leads to anxiety and insecurity about relationships.

Codependency in a relationship sometimes occurs when one partner who feels a need to rescue someone finds someone who feels they need to be rescued.

Mike and Joanne met online and then dated offline for some time. Joanne had a difficult childhood which included sexual abuse by a family member. As an adult, Joanne is divorced and has a son with Autism. Mike’s childhood wasn’t as tragic, however, he was raised in a relationship where his mother was very overbearing and tyrannical. To top it off, he wasn’t her favorite child. That crown went to his older brother, whom Mike felt could do no wrong.

So, when Mike met Joanne, it was kismet. Every woman from his past, from high school into his thirties, needed to be rescued. Of course, every relationship failed, but he wasn’t making that connection.

A year or so into their relationship, Mike proposed. Another year passed and Mike and Joanne were still engaged but living together in a home Mike could barely afford, but that Joanne wanted because she had never owned a home before. After a few months, Mike began having doubts about the marriage, so Joanne threatened suicide and Mike acquiesced.

Still married several years later, the couple is as unhappy as they were before they married, neither willing to admit that their relationship dynamic is unhealthy.

How do You Know if You’re in a Codependent Relationship?

As you read previously, codependent relationships occur not just in romantic relationships but in any relationship. Your relationship with your BFF could be codependent. The relationship your mother has with you or one of your siblings could be codependent. How do you know? What are the signs of codependency in a relationship?

You Want to Rescue Them

It’s healthy to want to help someone when they’re suffering. It’s human nature to form bonds and care for others. But this need to rescue is excessive and there is an underlying fear that if you don’t rescue them, something terrible will happen.

Beth has rescued her children since they were young children. Now, even though they’ve got kids of their own, Beth still rescues her sons, especially Matt, who comes every night for dinner. Matt has an unhealthy codependent relationship with his mother. They talk every morning promptly at 9:00 and if he calls a minute late, she’s in a panic. Her happiness or lack thereof sometimes depends on whether he’s having a difficult day. Every evening, he comes for dinner, reciting every minute detail of his day back to her as if checking in. The minute something seems to be going wrong, Beth is there to rescue Matt. Matt’s older sister wonders what will happen to Matt when their mother dies because she has no plans to continue in her mother’s place.

codependency in a relationship

One Partner Enables the Other’s Behaviors

As in the case of Jack and Kate above, one partner is often hard-working and responsible while the other can be irresponsible and a slacker. The enabled partner never sees consequences for his actions because the enabler is always covering.

Intimacy and Trust are Difficult

Usually, when you’re prone to codependency in a relationship, you find intimacy and trust to be a challenge. Being open and communicating effectively is challenging because of those two issues.

Codependency in a Relationship | Sacrifice

One partner in a codependent relationship sacrifices to keep the other happy. These sacrifices include money, time, energy, values, goals, and sometimes friendship and health. The enabler spends all his or her time making sure the enabled partner is happy. Almost everything they do together is something the enabled partner wants to do, rarely what the enabler wants.

You Walk on Eggshells

Your life is consumed by making sure you don’t make the other person unhappy. You feel as if you’re constantly walking on eggshells around them. You don’t express your opinions, feelings, or desires and you always say yes to whatever he wants for fear of suffering the repercussions if you don’t.

In the instance of Mike and Joanne above, Mike fears that Joanne will have an emotional breakdown or attempt suicide if he leaves or doesn’t do everything he can to keep her happy.

Are You in a Healthy Relationship?

Is your relationship healthy or unhealthy? Sometimes, it's difficult to tell if you're in the middle of it. Things can seem fine, but there's something niggling in your mind...something doesn't feel quite right. Click the button below to read more articles that will help you figure it out.

Codependency in a Relationship | You Both Have Past Family Trauma

Few relationships have one mentally healthy person and one who’s unhealthy. If this occurs, it’s often because something changed after they got together.

A confident man or woman won’t enter a relationship with someone who lacks confidence, at least not for long. Therefore, when codependency in a relationship exists, it’s often because both individuals have past family trauma, a history of addiction, abuse, or mental illness.

It’s often easy to look back into the past of both people and see a path of unhealthy relationships in their wake. If you grew up in this environment, you may not even recognize it as unhealthy because it was your normal growing up.

The Enabler Feels Like a Martyr

While the giver often feels as if he or she is behaving how they want to, they’re often secretly resentful that they spend all their time caring for someone and nobody takes time to care for them. It’s a contradiction within themselves – a desire to be the caregiver while wanting secretly to be taken care of also.

The Relationship Continues, Even When the Problem is Obvious

The giver in a codependent relationship will be hurt by the other person, either financially, physically, or emotionally. Often, it’s all three. Even though they recognize this hurt, they remain in the relationship.

The Problems You Want to Fix are Usually Too Big for You

Many of the problems in a codependent relationship aren’t fixable by the giving partner. Addiction, for example, is a problem that requires professional intervention. A history of physical or sexual abuse can’t be fixed by someone without a mental health background either. While you may want to fix this person’s life, the truth is that the problems are bigger than you can manage, but that doesn’t stop you from trying.

Codependency in a Relationship | You Don’t Take Care of Yourself

When you’re the giver in a codependent relationship, you often spend all your time taking care of the other person. Self-care, if it ever happens, makes you feel guilty. You don’t take time to enjoy a hobby, spend time with friends or even rest appropriately.

You Feel Resentful

Even though this behavior feels normal to you, you may feel resentful or taken advantage of. This is a valid feeling because to some extent, it’s true. However, if you’re the one giving, you must take responsibility for your actions.

You Stay Because It’s Safe and Easy

Rather than face the idea of being alone, rejected, abandoned, or criticized, you stay in the relationship. Chances are good that you felt those emotions in childhood, and you don’t want to feel them again. To avoid that, you stay in the relationship.

How to Change the Codependent Relationship Dynamic

Much like any other problem, recognizing that you’re in a codependent relationship is the first step toward moving forward in a healthier dynamic.

With time and work, it is possible to change codependency in a relationship into a healthier situation, but both parties must be willing to make positive changes.

Of course, the trick to this is that you can only change yourself. You can’t change someone else or force them to change. Changing your relationship dynamic begins when you change yourself.

Improve Your Self-Worth

When you have low self-worth, you don’t see your true value to others. You engage in a lot of negative self-talk and are overly critical of yourself. Your focus is on your past mistakes instead of your accomplishments. You often blame yourself when things go wrong and tend to think other people are better than you. You don’t believe you deserve good people or things in your life.

Focus on Your Accomplishments

A great way to discover your value in life is to focus on your accomplishments. A great movie example of someone with low self-worth is It’s a Wonderful Life. In the movie, George Bailey constantly sacrifices his desires for others. He never pursues the life he wants because he’s too busy sacrificing for his family.

As the movie advances, George becomes distraught when he faces a crisis in his business. He wishes he’d never been born at all and his guardian angel, Clarence, grants his wish. George gets to see what the lives of his loved ones would be like if he’d never been born. He discovers all the accomplishments and positive impacts he’s had in their lives.

Take some time to examine your accomplishments, and don’t try to say you don’t have any. Think back through your life. You probably took difficult classes, but you got through. You may have been on sports teams or fostered a talent like music or art. Some people are great at volunteering, which always makes a positive impact on others.

Your accomplishments don’t need to be grand to matter. Things you did that had a positive impact on someone else are accomplishments, but so are overcoming challenges and reaching goals.

Make your list and allow it to sit. Other things will come to you, and you can add them. Seeing these accomplishments will help you understand that you do have value and you are worthy of having great people and things in your life.

Consider Your Own Needs

It’s great to want to help people, but not at the expense of your own needs. We all have some basic needs that go unmet in codependent relationships. This includes proper diet, getting enough rest, taking time for self-care, and having boundaries that protect your values.

The takers in codependent relationships are often great boundary crashers, leaving you with a pile of rubble instead of healthy boundaries to protect yourself.

What needs do you have that are going unmet? This can be difficult to think about because you’re accustomed to setting aside those needs, but deep down, you know what they are.

For some, it’s a need to have time to yourself, quiet time just to breathe and exist without pressures or commitments. For others, it’s spending time on a hobby or reading. While a boundary crasher might want you to think you’re being selfish by tending to your own needs, it simply isn’t true.

Be Kind to Yourself

It’s time to end the stream of negativity that’s running through your head. This is a slow process because changing your thought processes doesn’t happen overnight. You didn’t develop those negative thoughts quickly and they won’t go away quickly.

Consider seeking professional help if you feel you can’t do this on your own. There’s no shame in it whatsoever.

To change your thought patterns, first, begin noticing all those negative things you say to yourself. They might seem harmless, but they aren’t. As you hear them, write them down and then follow up with a positive statement that reflects what is most likely the truth.

I’m so stupid becomes I can do anything if I try. In the future, as you hear those negative thoughts, you can replace them with positive ones. It takes continuous effort, but the outcome is well worth it!

Replace Negative Relationships with Positive

Sometimes, you need to do a little housecleaning in your relationships. We tend to draw people to us who are most like us so there’s a great possibility that you have some negative people in your life right now.

Look at your closest relationships and the individuals in them. Is this person a positive person who is supportive of you and tries to pull you up, or is this person someone who helps bring you down?

If the person is someone in your family, it’s often tricky to completely extricate them from your life, but in that case, try to limit your exposure to them and begin setting and enforcing boundaries.

Establish Boundaries

Speaking of boundaries, now that you’re beginning to understand and improve your self-worth, it’s time to protect it with boundaries. Nobody, including you, can treat you like crap any longer. You aren’t going to allow anyone to take advantage of you or treat you as if you’re less worthy.

To determine where you need boundaries, first examine when you’ve felt taken advantage of. For example, if someone in your family always comes to you asking for money, you can set a boundary. In this rebuilding of you, you’re hopefully working on securing your financial situation, so lending or giving money to someone would go against that value or goal.

When that family member asks again for money, you either need to limit it to an amount that won’t hurt you financially or decline the request altogether. If you do loan someone money, even if it’s family, always create a written document to state their intention to repay, how, and when.

That’s a boundary. People who have pushed past your boundaries before will resist and try to get you to cave in, but you must stand firm, regardless of what they say. Always remember in a situation like this that they’ve gotten themselves into whatever financial mess they’re in. It’s not your job to get them out. Just like it’s not your job to get someone out of any mess they create.

Learn to Say “No”

People with low self-worth are often “yes” people. They will say yes to any request because they fear that if they don’t, they’ll lose the relationship.

Saying no after a lifetime of being a “yes” woman isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start anyway. If someone doesn’t want to be around you because you stood your ground for your own reasons, whatever they are, that’s on them. You can’t control the behavior of other people. You can only control your own.

People who are accustomed to taking advantage of you in the past will try to convince you to change your mind. The question to ask yourself is what you’re saying “No” to if you say “Yes” to their request. Additionally, if you say “No” and then change it to a “Yes”, you’ll have a hard time saying “No” to that person in the future.

Someone who wants to push you past your comfort zone or value and limits doesn’t have your best interest in mind, they have their own in mind.

Get to Know Yourself

What do you like to do? What do you like to eat? Where would you like to live? Have you ever considered these questions without considering someone else’s opinion?

If you could spend your time doing something you truly enjoyed, what would that be? Often when you’re in a codependent relationship, you don’t know the answers to these questions because your whole life has been focused on someone else’s wants and needs.

Now it’s time to learn about you, your wants and needs, and then spend time pursuing those things.

Disengage Some

It’s time to put some physical and emotional distance between you and others. This isn’t about abandoning someone or ending your relationship, it’s just about putting some space in there so you can complete these other steps.

Disengaging or detaching yourself isn’t selfish, just like self-care isn’t, but it is necessary to improve your situation. What it does is allow you the space to get to know yourself and become the person you truly want to be. When you disengage, you stop:

  • Participating in arguments
  • Involving yourself in a situation that feels uncomfortable or unsafe
  • Putting the feelings, opinions, and needs of others ahead of yours
  • Trying to fix other peoples’ problems, listening instead without action
  • Nagging and criticizing others
  • Saying “Yes” all the time
  • Allowing people to crash your boundaries
  • Being reactive, instead of remaining calm and evaluating the situation to determine what your proper reaction should be

Accept Responsibility for What’s Yours Only

It becomes a bad habit to accept responsibility for your partner’s bad choices and to try to fix them, but to recover from codependency in relationships, you must stop.

Additionally, you must own your responsibility for where you are in your own life. Yes, things from your childhood got you here, but now that you recognize the problem, it’s time to take charge of the situation and own your part.

You can make your situation better for you. If you’re with someone who is a spendthrift, don’t allow him access to your money. If you’re sharing in the expenses, pay your half yourself. Most companies have online systems now, which makes it easy. Yes, you still might experience the electricity being shut off if he doesn’t pay his half, but you also have the option to stay with a friend or relative and not suffer the consequences of his actions.

Don’t allow the words of others to continue to make you believe that you can’t take care of your own needs. You’re an adult with free will to make choices and so is your partner, friend, or family member. Stop accepting responsibility for their choices and start owning your own.

End the Victim Mentality

It’s easy to blame others for everything wrong in our lives. You’re in a codependent relationship now because of something someone did or didn’t do in your childhood. How you deal with it is up to you. It goes back to accepting responsibility but takes it one step further.

Being a victim means never owning your role in anything. Life happens to you. You’re not an actor but a recipient.

Instead, become a student of life who is always growing and learning. Set aside the desire to shirk responsibility and start owning your life. You are the only one who can truly make changes in your life. You’re responsible for becoming the next version of yourself, whatever that is. Set your mind in a new direction where there’s no more blaming, just becoming the best version of yourself you can be.

With ditching the victim mentality comes the freedom to become whomever you want to be. You can chart your new course, set your own goals, and determine your values, then live your life to become the person who follows the course, achieves goals, and adheres to those values.

Codependency in a Relationship Doesn’t Need to be Permanent

Now that you’re aware of what codependency in a relationship looks like, you can move toward being proactive, instead of reactive in your life. You can take the steps to move away from that type of relationship, either with or without the other person in the codependency.

Chances are good that if you have a codependent romantic relationship, you have other codependent relationships as well, probably within your family, but they could be hiding in your friendships too.

Work toward taking those steps and nature will take care of the rest. As others see you making positive changes, one of two things will happen. Either they’ll ask to join you and learn how you’re making all those great changes, or they’ll resist and fall away. Either is acceptable if you remember that you can only control and change yourself. Whatever someone else chooses to do is on them.

Today you start taking care of you. If you don’t begin to take care of yourself, you won’t be 100% there to take care of those other important people in your life! Self-care isn’t the same as selfish. Self-care is essential for every single person, male or female, parent or not, laborer or white collar. None of that matters.

This self-love kit for women takes you through six types of self-care, providing you with essential steps toward including each type of self-care into your life.

Each type of self-care has specific steps and benefits to your overall well-being. You’ll gradually ease in to including each type of self-care in your life.

Inside the book is a link to download a free workbook and journal, featuring helpful worksheets to help you proceed through the self-care journey, as well as journal pages like yearly, monthly, weekly and daily calendars, trackers and other helpful pages. Your journey to feeling less overwhelm and more power in your life begins today!

The Idea of a Perfect Date

The idea of a perfect date varies between couples. If you’re planning a first date, you might think of something different than a couple who’s married with kids, looking to escape the madness for a few hours.

The Idea of the Perfect Date

I asked my readers for their suggestions and got some great ideas to share with you today. Many agreed that an adventure date or a date where they could talk and get to know one another was the idea of a perfect date. Some of those suggestions were:

  • Riding bikes along the trails
  • Having a picnic under a nice big tree and making love, whether the coast is clear or not
  • Enjoying an outdoor dinner at a local hangout
  • Getting my guy to join me in one of my hobbies like horseback riding
  • Coffee
  • A car ride in my boyfriend’s ’67 Mustang, preferably with the top down, if it isn’t too hot
  • Dinner and a movie where I pick dinner and he chooses the movie or vice versa
  • A scary movie so I can grab him and pull him in, then steal his popcorn
  • Sunset at the beach is the most romantic time
  • Hiking
  • Jumping in the RV and heading to a state park for the weekend so we can enjoy skinny dipping at night, making love under the stars, and grilling over an open fire
  • Meeting at the dog park to see how he treats his dog and mine, and to see if my dog approves of him
  • Kayaking and if he can keep up with me, he gets a second date, if he can’t too bad for him
  • An amusement park or a haunted house
  • Dinner and a concert
  • Go carts
the idea of a perfect date

First Date Challenges

Obviously, a few of those weren’t first-date ideas, but many of them would be. While the traditional first date is to go somewhere for dinner, this is the most awkward date you can find. If one of you is shy or very nervous, it can be a struggle to find conversational topics.

If you’re out doing something, the pressure to enjoy a conversation is gone. You’re too busy enjoying yourselves to worry about what to say next.

Additionally, when you enjoy an adventurous first date, you see more of one another’s true colors. You can see how he manages challenges and adversity, as well as how supportive he is of you if you’re trying something challenging or new.

These types of dates also take the pressure off when it comes to choosing your wardrobe for the date. If you’re going for a bike ride or a hike, you can dress appropriately in jeans or shorts and a t-shirt or sweatshirt.

Regardless of what date you choose, dress comfortably and conservatively. Dressing to show off too much skin for a first date sends the wrong signal. It says you believe your greatest asset is your body, not your mind and intellect. Great men are interested in all of them, of course, but they’ll respect you more if you leave some things to their imagination!

Subsequent Dates

Not all your dates need to be like this. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional dinner and a movie date, and it’s even mentioned above, but it isn’t a great first date. In fact, if you’re married, this might be the perfect date because you can sit and talk, which may be challenging if you have small children at home.

Still, enjoying adventures or dates where you’re doing versus sitting are more enjoyable and telling. My assistant, Kirbie, has a daughter who’s getting married in a couple of months. They recently enjoyed time with family and friends at her bridal shower. One of the activities they had was for everyone to write date night ideas on a large popsicle stick that they then put in a jar.

The next day, the couple told Kirbie that they loved this and her soon-to-be son-in-law was even writing his own ideas on sticks and adding them to the jar. They said they sometimes just look at one another and shrug their shoulders when they want to do something together and having the jar will help them enjoy some different activities.

Of course, the groom pulled out his first stick and it said candle making. He decided that if he could make a candle that smelled manly, he was on board!

the idea of a perfect date

The Idea of a Perfect Date for Date Night

I am a huge proponent of date nights for couples because it helps keep the relationship from becoming routine, stale or dead. I always encourage couples to schedule a weekly date night so they can reconnect and enjoy time together.

These nights should be as technology-free as possible and shouldn’t be about arguing or complaining. It’s a time to reconnect and recharge the couple batteries. Talk about things that happened throughout the week, like the big report you gave at work and how he might be up for a promotion. Talk about planning a vacation together or your plans for the future.

When you plan your week, put date night on first and make it a priority. It’s the one thing on your calendar you can’t cancel or reschedule. If your partner and your relationship are important to you, so is this time together.

What Most Men Prefer

Most men prefer fun dates. This is how they spend time with their friends and it’s how they want to spend time with you. While most men are okay with sitting down for dinner, if you asked, most would prefer an adventure.

If you’re an exclusive couple, make yourselves a date night jar and ask friends for ideas. Add your own ideas as well and then pull out a stick when it comes time for your date. The rule is that if you pull out the stick, you have to do the activity unless the weather is prohibitive of course.  

Below are some final tips for the idea of a perfect date for you to consider:

  • Go to a drive-in movie or set one up at home
  • Camp out in your living room with blankets and pillows, maybe even a tent, s’mores in the fireplace, or popcorn and a movie
  • Visit the local zoo, arboretum, museum, or another similar venue
  • Go dancing or take dancing lessons together
  • Visit a nearby small town and peruse the shops, finish with dinner at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant
  • Merge one of your hobbies with one of his – a car show where you take tons of photos for example
  • Take a cooking class together
  • Putt-putt golfing is always fun and men love competition
  • Visit a local festival and enjoy ethnic or international food

Regardless of what you choose, if you’re both laid back and prepared to enjoy one another, you’ll have a great time!

Once you find true love, the key is keeping it! In my best-seller, Pennies in the Jar: How to Keep a Man for Life, you'll learn many things you and your guy can do to maintain a healthy, happy relationship. The pennies you put in the jar are shared memories. You add pennies when you do things together like exploring a quaint little town nearby or relaxing in a coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon. They're added when you make a game out of grocery shopping or have a cooking contest for dinner.

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Dating vs. In a Relationship | What’s the Difference?

Dating vs. In a Relationship | What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered about dating vs. in a relationship? I can see how you might be confused, so I’m here to clarify.

While it might not seem like it, there are quite a few differences between just dating and being in a relationship. I think once you read through them, dating vs. in a relationship will be all cleared up for you!

The most fundamental differences between dating and being in a relationship boil down to your intention and the relationship’s trajectory.

In other words, what are your goals with this relationship? This is one of those instances where you and your guy need to be on the same page. If he’s just in it for the sex (think player), but you’re looking for your forever man, Houston, we have a problem.

Let’s see if we can’t clear this one up today!

Dating vs. In a Relationship | Definitions

First, let’s get some terminology down.

What is Dating?

Dating is where you explore a new person. You take time to get to know them before you commit to being exclusive.

Think about dating as a wine flight. You go to a bar, and you order a flight of six of their new wines. You taste each and decide which one you want to go with for the evening.

Dating is the same thing. You line up a few men and date them several times to see which one might be a good fit.

You’re exploring one another to see if the likes and dislikes match. Are your values aligned? Can you have fun together?

Dating is a time of curiosity and hope. It’s marked by uncertainty and lots of first dates. Usually, dating lasts just two to three months before you either slide into a relationship or go your separate ways.

What is a Relationship?

When you move from dating to being in a relationship, you choose to be committed to this one person. The expectation is either marriage or a long-term relationship, depending on your wants.

The exploration continues in a relationship, but it’s on a deeper level. You experience an increased romantic, emotional, and sexual attraction to one another.

In a relationship, you’re exploring the possibility of a life-long commitment.

dating vs. in a relationship

The Stages

Stages of Dating

Dating progresses through natural stages that mark whether you advance toward a relationship or ultimately find someone else.

Attraction

The first stage of dating is attraction. A man sees a woman from across the room and summons the courage to approach or vice versa.

What attracts a man to a woman?

How to make a man fall in love with you

Awkwardness

The second stage of dating is awkwardness. This happens right after one of you approaches the other. You’re unsure if your approach is welcome, and you’re nervous about making a great first impression.

First impressions matter

Once you move past awkwardness, you re-enter attraction on a deeper level.

Uncertainty

While you like this guy, you’re unsure how he feels about you. You’re dating other people, and for all you know, he’s really hot for someone else.

You’re now assessing your feelings for this guy and wondering if he could be the one. At this point, you decide whether he’s someone you want to be exclusive with.

Intimate Partnership

If you move past uncertainty and are still together, you’re beginning to form an intimate partnership. This is the prelude to your relationship, but things can still go the other way. Remember that you’re still exploring, and things can still come up to derail the whole thing.

Stages of a Relationship

You can best read about the stages of a relationship here. Although the article combines the stages of dating with the stages of a relationship, it’s still a great way to determine where you are.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | The Differences

Dating is About Finding Out if You Fit Together

When you date someone, and please read this carefully, your main goal is to determine if you fit together. Are you compatible with the big stuff? Of course, this conversation doesn’t happen immediately, and much of this fact-finding mission isn’t about having a conversation.

When you first meet someone new, one of two things usually happens. Either you have great chemistry right away, and everything seems to click, or the date falls flat, and you struggle to maintain a conversation.

This is why I never suggest dinner dates. Dinner dates are better suited for date nights when you and your guy need to spend quality time reconnecting. By then, you have plenty to talk about.

Dating is about having fun and getting to know one another. You do that by exploring the world around you. Act like you’re new to your town and set out to explore it. Go to sporting events, even if it’s high school football. Explore museums and other historical venues. Go to local events. Do things together.

That’s how you really get to know someone. That’s dating.

Dating Has a Lower Level of Commitment

Initially dating someone new, you have no commitment to them. You should be dating more than one man until you are in a committed relationship. It helps you know what you like and dislike about different men.

You aren’t sexually exclusive, although I encourage you to hold off on having sex until a man has proven that he’s worthy of you. Additionally, when dating, there’s no commitment to be there for the complicated stuff. You can be, of course, but there’s no obligation.

dating vs. in a relationship

Dating vs. In a Relationship | When Can You Be Yourself?

Please don’t be angry with me for what I’m about to say. I mean it most kindly. When people are dating, they’re essentially marketing the best version of themselves. You’re constantly worried about saying or doing the wrong thing.

Once you’re in a relationship, you’re comfortable being yourself. You’ve seen one another’s flaws, and you’re okay with them.

Relationships Require Compromise

When you’re dating, it’s easier to be a little selfish. If you don’t want to go out with him on Friday, you can call or text and make an excuse without feeling too guilty. You don’t have a commitment, so if you don’t want to go out, don’t sweat it.

But it would help if you learned how to compromise in a relationship. He went to your best friend’s baby shower, even though he still has no idea why men were invited, and now, it’s your turn to go to his buddy’s house to hang out for the evening.

And the compromise goes further than that because a relationship is all about compromise. Neither of you can expect to have things your way all the time. It’s selfish and unrealistic.

Relationships are Exclusive

When you’re considering dating vs. in a relationship, probably the easiest thing to do is define a point in time where things change from one to the other. That point is when you decide to be exclusive with one another, and no, that isn’t after your first date.

Once you’ve dated a guy for a while and the relationship feels good, the two of you can decide to become exclusive. You’ve been together and determined that you share values and goals for your future. You know he’s worthy of you, and he’s sure you’re the confident woman he thought you were when he first saw you.

The decisions you make now are for the two of you. Where will you live? Who pays the electric bill? Which one of you does the cooking?

Dating vs. In a Relationship | Introductions

When you’re in a relationship, you introduce one another as boyfriend or girlfriend, but when you’re just dating, you might introduce one another as friends or someone you’re dating.

Boyfriend or girlfriend status is reserved for that commitment stage of the relationship. That’s why it can feel uncomfortable to introduce a guy that way for the first time. It’s because you’re taking a giant leap into relationship territory.

The Communication is on a Different Level

When you’re in a relationship, you’re more likely to discuss the minute details of life, whereas when you’re dating, you stick to surface material most of the time.

As you draw closer to making a mutually exclusive commitment, conversations will deepen, but when you’re dating, it’s more about where to go the next time you go out or whether you enjoyed the movie you just saw.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | The Expectations are Different

You expect less of them when dating someone, or you should anyway. I see this causing many problems early in relationships.

Often, the woman thinks they’re more committed than they are, and she becomes frustrated when he doesn’t meet her expectations. Meanwhile, he doesn’t expect a lot yet and doesn’t feel he has any need to meet your expectations.

In a relationship, you expect your partner to be more present, and, depending on your living situation, you may also expect him to pitch in more.

Their Priority in Your Life is Greater in a Relationship

When dating someone, they are less of a priority in your life. Time with your friends and family may come before time with someone you’re just dating.

In a relationship, however, you prioritize them more. If you choose between going to a social event hosted by his work or doing an Outlander binge with your besties, you should prioritize the work event. He’s your priority now.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | Your Social Lives

Generally, unless you meet through mutual friends, you won’t introduce someone you’re just dating to your social network. Men do this to avoid hearing all the comments from their friends. The uncertainty of your future isn’t worth it.

If his friends love you, they’ll get after him if he doesn’t choose you, and if they don’t, they’ll be your demise before he’s ready to give up.

dating vs. in a relationship

The “L” Word

When dating, you shouldn’t expect to hear him say he loves you and vice versa. You’re not there yet. You’re exploring one another, and men don’t usually fall in love that quickly anyway.

Once you enter a committed relationship, the “L” word is more likely to come out, although maybe not immediately.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | You’re an “Us” in a Relationship

When dating, you don’t think of you and your guy as “us” or “we.” If your best friend invites you to her wedding, she invites you and a guest.

When you’re in a relationship, you’re part of a “we.” You’re a unit, and people think of you as one, not two individual people. That wedding invitation will have both of your names.

Walking Away is Easier When You’re Dating

Many women contact me after a man they’ve been dating for just a few weeks suddenly exits their lives. While that’s a crappy way to end things with someone, that’s sometimes how men do it.

These women are desperate to get the guy back, but there is little hope for one reason. You weren’t together long enough to build the intimacy you have in a relationship.

It’s harder to walk away from a relationship with feelings of love and commitment, but when you’re dating, it’s easier to stop seeing someone.

Women often mistake dating with being in a relationship, which makes the exit of these guys so painful.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | Action versus Label

Dating is an action. You are dating someone to learn more about them. A relationship is a label of what you have when you become committed to one another.

You’ll always date one another, but the differences above determine your overall commitment.

Why you should never stop dating your husband

Dating Vs. In a Relationship | The Final Word

Hopefully, you’ve seen the importance of understanding dating vs. in a relationship. Too often, we find someone we have great chemistry with and immediately believe we’re in a relationship with them, but that isn’t the case.

Relationships require a dedicated effort and a level of caring that isn’t present when you first date someone new.

I encourage you to slow down when you’re dating and to date more than one guy at a time. Once you’re sure things are going well and he’s proven worthy, you can move to something more committed and long-term.

Meanwhile, have fun. Date different types of men and learn what you like and dislike. Put these men to the test and allow one to rise to the top naturally.

To date a man, you must understand a man. Men and women do almost everything differently, and sometimes for different motivations. To a man, his financial status indicates how well he can take care of you and your family. It's a source of pride for him to be able to do so, even if you make your own money and can support yourself.

It's how he was raised.

Men also love differently. Many relationships breakup for the simple reason that a man is showing a woman how much he loves her, but he isn't saying the words she longs to hear. He's taking her car to get the oil changed, building the shelves she desires in her office and helping with the outside chores. You're probably missing many of these signs that he loves you.

You gain so much insight into the male mind that you'll be amazed at what you suddenly see and understand in the behavior of all men around you. Not just the man you're in a relationship with, but the men you work with and those in your family.

Read more about the book here or click the buttons to buy it today!

Good Qualities in a Man | What You Should Look For

Good Qualities in a Man | What You Should Look For

It’s cliché that good qualities in a man include that he’s tall, dark, and handsome; an incredible physique doesn’t hurt either!

Any man who doesn’t fit that criteria can take a hike, right?

Wrong!

In a recent survey by BestLifeOnline.com and another by Princeton, New Jersey’s opinion research corporation, many women say they value personality over physical traits. Still, many women forget about the basics and only see what they want to see.

In other words, you plunk those rose-colored glasses squarely on the bridge of your cute nose and fail to see the flaws if he’s in the tall, dark, and handsome category.

Another thing that clouds your opinion of a man is having sex with him too soon. You don’t give yourself a chance to see his flaws before raw heat and chemistry take over.

Today, I hope to encourage you to look for good qualities in a man that go beyond his looks and the immediate chemistry you may feel.

Good Qualities in a Man | He Has a Sense of Humor

I’m not tall, dark, or handsome, but my sense of humor has gotten me pretty far regarding women. A great sense of humor trumps much other stuff because being able to laugh at the world sometimes gets you through.

A man who can make you laugh is a great catch! It means he isn’t taking life too seriously, at least not always. He can bring joy and a smile to your life when you need it most!

He Respects You

Nothing good comes from dating a misogynist or a narcissist. That type of person will never respect you, and respect is necessary for forming a good relationship. When it comes to good qualities in a man, you want one who respects you for who you are and treats you like a queen.

While respect takes time to earn, it shouldn’t take too long, and you should be able to respect him quickly, too, until he gives you a reason not to anyway.

Good Qualities in a Man | He is Faithful

Of course, the studies mentioned above found faithfulness to be one of the good qualities in a man. Your relationship is solid when you have trust, which comes from knowing your guy is faithful.

Nothing good happens in a relationship when there is no trust, and if you know your guy is faithful to you, you won’t become jealous when he wants to go golfing with the guys or out for a beer and to watch football.

good qualities in a man

He’s Emotionally Available

This is a big one. Some men want to be in a great relationship, but something is holding them back. It may be a past hurt from an old relationship, or it could be something from childhood.

In either instance, the man isn’t emotionally available, and as much as you like him, he will never be there for you. It isn’t that he doesn’t want to be; he can’t.

Unfortunately, this one trips up many women because you need to nurture a guy like this and feel sorry for him. Don’t. It won’t change who he is and will only bring you heartbreak.

Good Qualities in a Man | He’s a Hard Worker

This one is hard to beat when searching for good qualities in a man. Like the emotionally unavailable woman, the slacker can sometimes disguise himself for a while.

Most men have an inborn need to support their loved ones financially and emotionally. I know you may not need him to help you financially, but the world hasn’t caught up yet with the strong women today.

A man who doesn’t have this innate need to work hard for what he wants in life and to be able to support you is a man you need to let go of.

There are twelve qualities all great men have, and a few of them fall into the hard worker category.

You Share the Same Values

It might not seem important when you’re first dating, but one of the great qualities in a man is that he shares your values.

Ultimately, this will be a big deal, and you don’t need to share all your values, but you should share the important ones. Which are important? That’s up to you. You might be very political, and someone from the opposite side of the political aisle could be a problem.

Only you know which ones are dealbreakers for you, but make sure you don’t skip this one.

Good Qualities in a Man | He Has His Own Style

Someone who isn’t afraid to buck trends is always a great catch. It means he places less value on people’s thoughts and more on being himself. This is true of women, too, so don’t be afraid to show off your style.

Showing the world who you are, regardless of what others might think, signals high confidence, and that’s what you’re looking for!

good qualities in a man

He’s Dependable

Dependability is one of those good qualities in a man. Someone where he says he’ll be when he says he’ll be there gives you a sense of peace. It helps build that respect and trust that are so important.

If you’re sick, he’s there doing laundry and bringing you a ginger ale. If your car breaks down, he’s not leaving the job of getting you safely home to some scrubby tow truck driver. He’s there to make sure all is well.

Good Qualities in a Man | He Has Great Communication Skills

Communication is a two-way street. Not only do you need to be able to communicate verbally, but you also need to be able to listen.

While it’s cliché to tilt your head at the notion of a man who listens, they aren’t as rare as you might think. When a man is genuinely interested in you, he will want to listen. What you have to say is important to him, if it’s not the latest on your best friend’s breakup, that is. Save that stuff for your girlfriends.

A man with good communication skills also knows how to say the right things, fight fairly, and get what he wants out of life without blowing his top.

He’s a Gentleman

Good qualities in a man include being a gentleman. The powerful woman of today sometimes wants to stifle the gentlemanly quality of a man, but I beg you not to. I know you don’t need a man to open the door for you or hold your chair while you sit, but a great man was raised to do so by his mother.

Being an independent and strong woman doesn’t mean you stop letting a man be the gentleman he was raised to be. Those things are a show of respect, not a sign of your weakness. These things show he cares. Men show their love rather than stating it, so him doing these things is a sign that he cares.

Good Qualities in a Man | He Makes You a Priority

You can’t always be one another’s priority, but a great man makes you a priority when it matters. When you’re together, he puts down his cell phone and listens. He takes the time to help you with something important and supports you and your choices, whatever they might be.

In great relationships, this is a give-and-take thing. You’ll sometimes need his support and attention and vice versa. Great relationships aren’t about taking turns or tallying who was there for whom last. It’s about being there when needed, regardless of who’s turn.

He’s a Positive Person

Whether it’s your boyfriend or best friend, the people surrounding you should be positive. Negativity breeds and does nothing good.

Your guy should be a positive person, at least most of the time. We all fall into a slump from time to time, but one of the good qualities in a man is that he can pull himself out of that slump after licking his wounds and return to that positive nature.

Good Qualities in a Man | He Has an Attitude of Gratitude

Positive people are, by nature, grateful people. They focus more on what they have than what they don’t have.

Your guy should be grateful for you and everything he has; the same is true of you. Gratitude doesn’t need to be about something huge, either. You can be grateful for toilet paper – weren’t we all during COVID anyway? Be grateful for how his smile lights you up.

Gratitude journals aren’t just for women. I keep one, and I encourage you to do so as well. As a couple, you can also have a gratitude journal.

He Protects You

A man naturally wants to protect his loved ones. He wants you to feel safe, emotionally and physically. While you might not need a hero, men need to be your hero. This thing inside all great men is called the hero instinct, and it’s the real deal.

I’m repeating myself a lot, but I’ll repeat it. I know you’re a strong, independent woman, but there are things men were raised to do and things that are inside them that they know they should do. Being your hero is one. The great thing about allowing him to be your hero is that it will increase his love for you. That, my friend, is a win-win.

Good Qualities in a Man | The People You Care About are Important to Him

Your friends and family should be as important to your guy as they are to you. If the guy you’re dating can get along with the people most important to you, you’ve got a winner.

Bringing someone new into the fold can upset the balance, but if he can hang in there and hold his own among your family, who can be a real challenge sometimes, consider yourself a fortunate woman!

Finding Your Mr. Right

It’s so easy to look beyond the good qualities in a man to the chemistry and heat of the early phase of a relationship. But, it’s these qualities, not the heat, that will provide you with a strong basis for a good relationship.

When you’re looking for your Mr. Right, take your time. It isn’t a race. Get to know him slowly and hold off having sex until you know he’s the one. A good man will respect your boundaries and will wait patiently.  

What Attracts a Man to a Woman?

What attracts a man to a woman? It’s a pretty basic question, right? And it’s a very important question as well!

The better question, however, is do you know the answer?

If you did know it, oh boy would your dating life suddenly get a lot easier! But, most women aren’t taught these things growing up, so I’m afraid you probably don’t know the answer.

Until now.

Let me help you crawl into the minds of me and my friends, a bunch of successful good guys who regularly hang out together. A few of my friends are shy and a few are extroverted. We’re all looking for the woman of our dreams. What will attract us to you?

You Stand Above the Crowd

I’m not talking about how tall you are, but rather how authentic you are. This is very nearly your most important job when you go out on the hunt for a guy.

How do you stand out? First, be yourself and wear your confidence like a badge of honor. Your body language is the first signal to every man in the room that you either have or lack confidence. Stand tall with your shoulders straight, not slumped. Make eye contact with people instead of hiding behind sunglasses or hair.

Next, be yourself. Just because all your friends are wearing skinny jeans with a blouse and four-inch heels doesn’t mean you must do the same. If you’re more comfortable in a skirt and flats, go for it. Heck, wear your tie dye skirt and Birkenstocks if you want. If that’s who you are, tell the world!

Other ways to stand out include:

  • Wear a bright scarf or hat
  • Dance in place alone for a second or two
  • Put five umbrellas in your drink and one in your hair
  • Order a cocktail served uniquely

These things all provide a guy with an opportunity to strike up a conversation. This is important for the shy guys!

Show You’re Having a Great Time

A woman who is laughing and having a great time is a guy magnet. Don’t fake it, but show that you’re enjoying yourself. People are attracted to others who look like they’re having fun!

When you show you’re having fun, it tells others that you have a positive, upbeat personality and this is attractive to men. If you’re sitting there, sulking or hiding behind your hair, guys aren’t interested. Any guy you attract will be the wrong guy – a player or a loser.

What Attracts a Man to a Woman? Body Language!

Your body language tells every man in the room everything he needs to know about you before he decides to approach. Good posture indicates confidence. Making eye contact with others in the room says you’re a confident woman. Smiling shows that positive personality.

These women don’t get approached by players and losers because they know you’re out of their league, but confident men are interested. If you see a guy who interests you, make eye contact and smile, then look away. Be sure to look back a few seconds later, but don’t be a creeper. Look away again.

When you manage to pass by this guy, brush up against him, by accident. Just a subtle touch will be enough to signal to him that he can approach.

what attracts a man to a woman

Manage Your Group

While it’s nice to huddle together and whisper, it doesn’t give any men the opportunity to approach. They don’t know where they would be able to join you.

Instead, leave some space between you, and if your friends run off to the bathroom, don’t take that opportunity to get on your phone. Make sure there’s space beside you for a man to approach. He’s been waiting for this moment for a while and it’s here. Don’t shut him out!

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

This might be difficult for you if you’re introverted or a little low on dating confidence. Many of my books can help you with the confidence part. I encourage you not to try too hard to change the introvert part. It’s who you are.

Okay, that said, here’s how this works.

Now I understand this might be tough if you are introverted, shy, or lack confidence. The confidence I can fix. I’m a life coach and that’s what my books are all about if I may add.

If you walk by a guy eating sushi or something rare say, “You know, a skilled veterinarian could bring that back to life!” Yes, its’ silly but it’s funny and he’ll love it.

If you struggle with being funny, watch some comedians and their deliveries. Pick up some tips and be ready the next time you’re out.

These same canned lines, when delivered by men, crash and burn but when a woman delivers them, they’re unexpected and men love it!

What Attracts a Man to a Woman? She Approaches Him

Few women approach men, and that’s sad because it’s a great move on your part! Much like delivering a one-liner, it’s unexpected and that makes it great.

While a man is sometimes afraid of being rejected if he approaches, often for a good reason, the odds of a woman being rejected are pretty slim. Men don’t often reject women. They’re more ego-driven and there’s nothing better to boost a guys ego than a woman approaching him!

You don’t need a one-liner. Just say “Hi” or “Can I buy you a drink?” A fun line is, “I’m considering you as my next boyfriend.” Smile and laugh as you deliver your message, just like comedians do. He’ll love it. Even if he’s got a woman in his life, he’ll at least respond favorably.

Don’t Bar Hop

You’ve done some or all of the things above and then you and your friends up and leave. What the heck? Some man had just mustered up enough courage to approach and you vanished.

If you want to meet a great guy, stay at the same place until you’re ready to go home. If you want to check out another bar, go next weekend. Some men need time to prepare themselves to approach, especially shy guys.

I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times. A friend of mine was ready to approach a woman he’d become attracted to and BAM! She and her friends pay the check and leave.

what attracts a man to a woman

What Attracts a Man to a Woman? A Great Story

Once you’ve attracted a great guy, it’s time to work on keeping him around. This begins with your story. What is your story?

It’s the culmination of your life experiences. It’s what makes you the unique individual you are today. This doesn’t mean you tell a guy your entire life story! You don’t, at least not immediately. Let him uncover it, bit by bit.

Your job is to cultivate that story. Think about your life and the experiences you’ve had so far. Did you travel to Europe as a kid or invent something cool in science class? Do you volunteer somewhere or do you have a unique hobby?

Any hobby is probably fodder for an interesting story. Men are often mystified by how you make things. Sometimes your hobby reminds him of his mom or another treasured female in his life. This is a bonus!

Your story also includes anything you’re passionate about. People’s faces light up when they talk about something they’re passionate about. It’s like a magnet for the person they’re talking to. They immediately become excited about the topic too.

If you fear your story isn’t so great right now, it’s time to get out there and start writing. Find a hobby. Become passionate about something. Go on an adventure. Travel, even if it’s just across the state line. Experience life and then prepare to share those experiences with men who are interested in you.

How the Male System Works

What attracts a man to a woman?

You’ve done your part, now it’s time for him to do his. But what do most guys do?

First, they look for the right opportunity to make a move. Often, the time is when their friend goes to the restroom. He doesn’t want to get shot down in front of his friends, so he waits until they’re away.

Alternatively, he might wait for you to be alone or at least for a spot to open up next to you. He doesn’t want to feel awkward, so if there’s an empty space, he’s more comfortable.

Remember, guys are just as clumsy as you think you are and more. They are just as intimidated by the whole singles scene as you are. Their confidence might be lacking, like yours.

The male system sucks, but it’s all they have so please, please, make it easy on them by understanding the system. Once you do, you’ll attract lots of great men!

Do you have your Night Moves down? Are you ready to go out and get a guy to fall for you, using science and not trickery? If so, this is the book for you! I've done the research, and you get to benefit. Here are the steps you can take, whether you're headed out on a first date or going out with your friends to look for men. The science behind attraction is just a few clicks away!

Here are just a couple of things you'll learn inside this best-seller:

  • Red lipstick is magical when it comes to attraction...learn why inside
  • Looking at a guy, looking away, and then looking back with the right timing sends a clear signal...but what signal? Learn inside the book
  • You can get a guy to feel like he's falling for you with a few subtle movements. Learn what they are in this book!

Read more about this book or click one of the buttons below to buy it now.

The Ideal Alpha Female Relationships with Men

The Ideal Alpha Female Relationships with Men

Successful alpha female relationships can feel elusive, especially if you’ve dated for any length of time.

You’re strong. You know what you want and how to get it. You’re confident, outspoken and people gravitate to you because they want to be on the same ride you’re on. Your power and energy are contagious.

These very traits that make friends and coworkers want to be near you are the same ones that make it difficult for you to find a man who appreciates you for who you are, without trying to change you.

Chances are, you’ve tried dating alpha men because they’re most like you. They’re powerful, confident, outspoken and strong. Likes attract likes, right? Yes, but that doesn’t always indicate that that type of relationship will work out best.

There are essentially two types of men that will work best for alpha female relationships. The first, of course, is an alpha male. I know, I just said that might not work, but there are instances when it can. The other type of man who’s truly perfect for the alpha woman is the beta man.

Often misunderstood, beta men seek alpha female relationships because they want a take-charge type of woman to love. Below are some dating tips that will help you find the right guy who will adore you for who you are.

Alpha Female Relationships | Slow Down

You go one-hundred miles per hour all day and well into the evening, but when you’re out looking for a guy, slow down. Take off that leadership hat and let your hair down, maybe literally.

Slow and take the edge off your speech. You’re now out to have fun, not be in control, so take a kinder, gentler approach. An alpha man will be attracted to an alpha woman if she shows her feminine side and a kinder, gentler you will be more feminine.

Don’t make an attempt to look low confidence, meaning continue making eye contact and walking confidently, but instead of striding with purpose, slow down and glide. Save your strut for the office.

And finally, if an alpha man offers to buy you a drink, accept it gratefully and show your appreciation, “Thank you. It was so kind of you.” This allows more of your feminine energy to shine through and you top it off with a dose of manners. He’s definitely interested.

Challenge Him

 Challenge is important in alpha female relationships – well, all relationships actually. Men need to feel challenged in a relationship to keep from becoming bored, therefore, it’s important for him to feel challenged by you. But what does that mean?

An alpha man doesn’t value something that comes too easily. He’s accustomed to working for what he has. When he calls for a date that day or even the next day, don’t drop your plans to go with him.

Instead, let him know that he’ll need to work harder to get on your calendar, “Gee, Gregg. I’d love to go to dinner with you, but we’ll have to make it Tuesday.” He won’t be put off. He’ll feel challenged! If he’s truly interested in you, he’ll figure out how to become important enough to get on your calendar.

If he text you but you’re busy and can’t really get into a conversation, give him a time when you can talk to him.

Him: Hi Beautiful. I hope your day was productive!

You: Hey Handsome! So far, so good, but I have more dragons to slay. Let’s talk later – say 8:00?

Him: Sounds great! Talk then.

This tells him you want to talk to him and he now knows when. It takes the anxiety out of the situation for both of you and lets him know when to expect to talk to you.

Challenge is also required for the beta man, whose main goal is to serve you and make sure you’re happy. You can challenge him in the same way you’d challenge an alpha. Don’t always be readily available. Be kind but firm with a beta.

alpha female relationships

Let Him Be Your Protector

All men, alpha, beta or otherwise, have a need to be your protector. I know you can do this for yourself, but this hero instinct is something you want to cultivate. Men were raised to be your hero and if you don’t allow them to, they feel as if they aren’t doing their job.

Men basically need three things in a relationship:

  • To live a meaningful life and feel appreciated for their efforts
  • To provide for those who are important to them
  • To be respected by those around them

I know you can provide for yourself, and maybe even him, but if you’re with an alpha, don’t make a big deal about this. A beta will care less if you make more money than he does, but an alpha might feel emasculated if you bring it up a lot. Don’t let who earns more money determine the power dynamic in your relationship.

Alpha Female Relationships: Act Like the Prize You Are

When women make bad dating choices, it’s often for one of two reasons. Either they feel desperate to find a guy for some reason, like all their friends have boyfriends and they don’t, or they don’t understand that they have the power to be the choose, and not feel grateful to be chosen.

This puts you in a negative position for relationships. Instead, recognize that you are the prize. When you feel grateful to be chosen or desperate and find a guy, your instinct might be to be over-enthusiastic about the relationship.

You stop going out with your girlfriends, stop pursuing your hobbies and spend too much time doting on him. No guy, whether he’s an alpha, beta or omega, wants this from you. This behavior makes a man feel smothered and you aren’t challenging to him. He will question your value in his life.

Instead, come into a relationship with strong dating confidence. If you don’t feel you have strong dating confidence now, there are many options you can pursue here.

I want to change my life!

Meanwhile, allow a guy to chase you. Yes, even though you’re an alpha woman, let a guy pursue you. Inspire his hero instinct and encourage his masculine side by remaining feminine. Never give up your hobbies for a man and continue to enjoy girls’ night with your friends.

Remember, You Are Not Your Title

Your identity isn’t the title of the job you hold. It’s who you are from the inside out. It’s your kindness and generosity. It’s your desire to help others and your ability to be tough and stern one minute and a kind mentor the next.

Commit to or stay committed to your health and well-being. Get to know yourself and connect with that feminine woman who’s lurking inside. This makes you the feminine counterpart an alpha man desires.

When it comes to a beta man, he needs your strength and direction, but he also wants to see your feminine side and he needs you to know who you are from the inside out. Your strength is what attracted him to you, but some of that strength is your inner strength.

alpha female relationships

Alpha Female Relationships: Communication is Key

Regardless of what type of man you date, communication is everything. With the beta, you will have many conversations around control – who is in control of what. He wants you to take control, probably more than you know. Talking through it helps you both realize your roles in the relationship. Just because he’s a beta doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings, ambitions, and thoughts about your relationship.

Communication in any relationship is one of the most important things and a lack of communication is what ends many relationships. Regardless of whether your guy is an alpha or a beta, opening up the lines of communication may be the strongest asst in your alpha female relationships.

It allows you each to voice your wants, needs and desires. It allows you to feel safe exposing your vulnerabilities, something a beta will do much faster than an alpha. Without communication, any relationship will eventually wither and die.

And Finally, You’re a Team

Whether alpha female relationships are with beta men or alpha men, you’re a team. Learn how to work together and know when your teammate needs you to rally and be a little more supportive than usual.

Situations like job loss or loss of income, health issues, the loss of a loved one and similar events are difficult for men. Most men require time to retreat, lick their wounds and find a solution. As natural problem solvers, this is key for him. While you’re there to support him, you’re not overbearing or over-nurturing.

Let him know he has your support and allow him time to deal with the emotions of what happened. If your relationship is strong and you’ve established great communication, he will come to you when he’s ready.

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