If he is blowing hot and cold, saying one thing whilst doing another, clearly unwilling to make a genuine effort to get your relationship off the ground… don’t waste time and energy analysing, wondering where it is all ‘going’ – the likelihood is, it isn’t going anywhere you want to be!
What is it, with us women? We often struggle to cut our losses and quit, when all of the signs are pointing in the same miserable direction. There is something within us that causes us to ignore or dismiss the most obvious misdemeanors, whilst grabbing onto the smallest reason to keep hope alive. I know this is true – I have seen it played out again and again, with very few exceptions to the rule. I have pondered it more times than I can count, but still can’t figure out exactly what it is that keeps a woman hanging on, when all of the evidence is screaming, “drop him like a white-hot brick – it isn’t too late to rescue your self-worth!”
I am not saying that if a man doesn’t immediately get down on one knee and propose, five minutes after meeting (if that does happen, run a mile – it isn’t a good sign!), that he should be written off as a time-wasting user… that would be ridiculous! But, we all have the capacity to tell the difference between a guy who is easing himself into a relationship and one who is playing fast and loose. And, if we struggle to do so, the passing of a short amount of time will make it clear to us – all we have to do is pay attention!
Why do we continue to dissect, analyse, and question a situation that we would expect our best friend to run far away from? Why do we ask for advice, only to react defensively… and then ignore it? When there are other potential love interests out there, why do we hang onto the guy who excludes us from key aspects of his life, holding us at arm’s length before pulling us back in again – only to push us away when he feels like it? What is so great about the man who’s still hooked on his ex, whilst keeping us within reach? Why are we constantly thinking about him even when he hasn’t texted for days/weeks/months? What makes us believe that, if we just hang on, he will suddenly become the loving, attentive, exclusive partner we are really hoping for? And yes, we might possibly find that it actually does all eventually work out exactly as we wanted it to; however, long-term experience has convinced me that the chances of that are so small they wouldn’t stand out on a pinhead!
So, what is it all really about? Well, it isn’t love, because that is not how love behaves and feels. It could be infatuation, it could be lust, it could be co-dependence – but it certainly isn’t love, no matter what we tell ourselves, or how much we try to convince others.
It could also be the pain of rejection – I have, over the years, discovered just how powerful that little f****r can be, and how it can convince us that we have to follow the situation through to the bitter end, in the hopes of achieving an outcome we can live with. The rejector always has the upper hand, and often has the last word, too. Sometimes we just have to find the strength to walk away and leave the unresolved mess behind. Not everything in life can be resolved in the way we would ideally like, and sometimes we just have to let the injustice go – for the sake of our sanity and our future!
So, whilst I haven’t solved the age-old puzzle of why women often hang on to Mr-Completely-Wrong, with their fingernails, teeth, and eyelashes, I have come up with a handful of other possible explanations:
They want to be the woman to tame this man
They want to save him, and be the only woman who has ever really loved and understood him
They want to win out over his ex – to be more meaningful to him than she ever was
They erroneously believe that if they have to fight so hard for him, it means that they are destined to be together
They believe that he is the ‘only’ man for them – that no-one else could possibly make them feel the way he does
They have developed a belief that love should be intense and painful… and that if it isn’t, it isn’t ‘real’… or interesting
They like drama, having something emotional to wrestle with, and someone to obsess over – it makes life less boring
They have placed the object of their desire on a sky-high pedestal, and now, in their mind, he has become a fantasy figure rather than the man he actually is
They are afraid that they will never meet anyone else, and so have to try and make this work out
They have unresolved issues from past relationships that they are unconsciously trying to work out through this situation
Their sense of self-worth has taken a back-seat in favour of self-sabotage
They are behaving like silly idiots, harbouring unrealistic, idealistic notions of ‘love’ that are never going to translate into real life!
If you are now cringing or feeling defensive, that probably means that you have recognised some of your behaviour in this blog! If you feel that you honestly do want to break the cycle, take the first step today (remembering that the mind can be completely closed whilst the heart is dangerously wide open!). The experience of romantic relationships can be a real learning curve; however, with the right approach, it is possible to make the process easier and less painful!