What is it, with us women? We often struggle to cut our losses and quit, even when all the signs are pointing in the same miserable direction! There is something within us that causes us to ignore or dismiss the most obvious red flags whilst grabbing onto the smallest reason to keep hope alive. I know that this is true because 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… and 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 salvage your self-worth!” (If you want to understand more about what lies behind a love interest blowing hot and cold or ghosting you, the following post will explain a few things: 9 Reasons Some Men Blow Hot And Cold – Or Ghost You!).
Now, I am not saying that if a man doesn’t immediately get down on one knee and propose within five minutes of meeting (not a good sign!) that he should be written off as a time-wasting user – that would be ridiculous! 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. However, if we find ourselves struggling to know for sure, all we need to do is allow for the passing of a short period of time: usually, it will reveal what we need to know – and all we have to do is pay attention!
Anyway, before we get to the 12 reasons you don’t move on, let’s ponder a few pertinent questions:
Why do we continue to obsess over, analyse, and question a situation that we would advise our best friend to run far away from?
Why do we ask for advice, only to react defensively… and then ignore it?
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 again when he feels like it. There are other potential love interests out there we are yet to meet.
Why are we constantly thinking about him even when he hasn’t texted for days/weeks/months?
What is so great about a man who’s still hooked on his ex, whilst keeping us within reach?
What makes us believe that, if we just hang on, he will suddenly become the loving, attentive, exclusive partner we are really hoping for?
Okay, 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 be visible 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. Usually, in the hopes of achieving an outcome that justifies the time we have wasted and the emotional pain we have endured. The rejector always has the upper hand and, more often than not, has the last word too.
Anyway, we’ve finally arrived (drum roll, please)- so prepare to recognise yourself in at least a few of the following 12 reasons for not walking away from a love interest who is blowing hot and cold:
1) You believe that he is the ‘only’ man for you – that no one else could possibly make you feel the way he does
2) You have placed the object of your desire on a sky-high pedestal and now, in your mind, he has become a fantasy figure rather than the ordinary man he actually is
3) You are afraid that you will never meet anyone else and so have to try and make this work
4) Your sense of self-worth has taken a back seat in favour of self-sabotage
5) You erroneously believe that if you have to fight so hard for him it means that you are destined to be together
6) You have developed a belief that love should be intense and painful – and that if it isn’t, it isn’t ‘real’
7) You want to be the woman to tame this man
8) You want to ‘save’ him and be the only woman who has ever really loved and understood him
9) You want to win out over his ex – to be more meaningful to him than she ever was
10) You like drama and having something emotional to wrestle with – and someone to obsess over. It makes life more interesting
11) You have unresolved issues from past relationships that you are unconsciously trying to work out through this situation
12) You are behaving like a silly idiot, harbouring unrealistic, idealistic notions of ‘love’ that are never going to translate into real life!
If you are now cringing or feeling defensive, excellent! That probably means that you have recognised that some of your beliefs and actions are hindering rather than helping you. But don’t be too hard on yourself: the mind can be completely closed whilst the heart is dangerously wide open! If you honestly do want to break the cycle, then take the first step today. Sometimes, we just have to find the strength to walk away and leave an unresolvable mess behind. Not everything in life can be resolved in the way we would ideally like, and we just have to let the injustice go – for the sake of our sanity and our future! Romantic relationships are a natural part of life’s rich pattern – not to mention a definite learning curve. However, with a considered, even cautious approach, it is possible to make the process less challenging and more rewarding! And always remember what Nancy Sinatra so assertively told us, all those years ago: “These boots are made for walkin’…”
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