- Gender and Relationships
Does He Need A Love Demotion?
Sometimes for a relationship to be successful you need to take a step back...
It can be so easy to get overly excited about someone when you first start dating that you end up moving into an exclusive relationship rather quickly—many times without fully knowing the person first. This can happen when you think that the guy you are dating might be "the one."
Often as women, when we start to realize that there are things about a guy that we liked but are beginning to change (he's become too complacent) or maybe there are things about his personality that weren't there (causing us to question things)—we hold back taking the outcome of the relationship into our own hands—for fear that we could lose him. But, by not speaking up and taking action we end up waiting around for things to miraculously change. And when they don't, we end up getting frustrated, resenting him or breaking up. Yikes!
Some relationships need to take a step back in order to resurface that "loving feeling," reconnect on areas that now seem foreign or to stop from being so comfortable that you become bored. Often, we rush into relationships because of the chemistry we are feeling. The more heightened the chemistry—especially sexually—the more eager we become to throw ourselves into exclusivity to finally get out of the single's market.
If you're new in a relationship—and realize that maybe you moved too quickly into exclusively or maybe you have been in a relationship for several months but your relationship isn't moving into the direction that you envisioned—your relationship might need a love demotion.
A love demotion is not taking a break from each other or breaking up. Instead it is taking a step back in order to appreciate, get to know one another better and hopefully salvage the relationship.
How long should a love demotion last? It depends. But, until you see a consistent change in how a guy used to treat you (when it was great)—don't rush the process like you did in dating—be OK with re-dating for several months or possibly a year (consistency is the key, don't let him pacify you).
Let's be clear, love demotions aren't necessarily meant for couples who are currently living together, engaged or married. It's hard to demote to dating if you are living together—unless you have a big home and can have separate bedrooms. But realize, moving out in order to date could cause trust issues. Honestly, if you are married or living together and you have problems that are so severe that they could cause a break-up or possibly a divorce, seek out a therapist or spiritual/religious counselor to help you. At this stage, you will need to figure out a way to emotionally reconnect and save your relationship versus demoting each other.
Interestingly ladies, most of us have been demoted by a guy before, however, we just didn't fully realize it. Men tend to love demote—a lot—but instead of being honest and telling us—which would save unnecessary drama from occurring—they instead will emotionally back away, stop contacting us as much, and not respond back—as quickly—when we contact them. They become "too busy" to fit us into their lives—in order to give them time to think and decide if they really want to be with us or many times, continue having sex with us. Wonderful.
How much better (and more mature) would it be that if instead of playing games, you were upfront and honest with a guy when things aren't working (but not to the point of officially breaking-up). Instead of ending things, you suggest taking a step back in order to figure things out and see if he is truly the right guy for you. Let him know what things—behaviors and/or patterns—have caused you to lose interest and the emotional connection you once felt. In order for this to be successful, you have to know that it's OK to admit that maybe the progression of your relationship moved too fast. Once you are aware of this, then working on mending things becomes easier.
Relationships are hard. Often, the man you experience when dating tends to fade tremendously when you become exclusive. Why? Men who change how they treat you—once they are in a relationship, get WAY too comfortable—thinking that now that they worked (wooed) hard to get you they don't need to do anything to keep you. Wrong! In fact, it's the complete opposite.
Wake-up fellas. Women (and I can't say this enough) are emotionally driven. We like consistency in your actions. This is what emotionally connects us to you. As meaningless as this might sound: if you were consistently sending sweet text messages in the morning, afternoon or night and then stop, it breaks the emotional connection and in turn, triggers our emotional protective wall to come up—causing us to question things and take an emotional and physical (sex isn't as often)—step back. Or for some women, it's completely the reverse—they become too clingy and smother the relationship to death.
For many men, it can be easy to get overly confident and comfortable in a relationship so that the effort that was once made starts to become close to obsolete. Since this isn't something they are necessarily consciously doing, when the lack of effort keeps happening—even after you have shared your concerns—then the next step might be a love demotion so that he can begin to appreciate you again.
When a guy has gotten too comfortable, too lazy or too complacent a love demotions can happen for any or several of these reasons:
- The romance has gone to no-mance rather quickly
- He becomes too busy—he doesn't schedule time ahead to see you, and phone calls lessen
- His listening skills have started to become subpar—doesn’t make an effort to remember anything important that you discuss
- The sweet daily text/phone messages that you once received are dramatically reduced
- Date nights out decrease—"dates" are now coming to your place or you going to his with no plans but to see each other
- He suggests taking you out but doesn't plan ANYTHING—where you are going, reservations for a restaurant, etc.
- He makes a lot of empty promises—for you to meet his parents/friends, meet his kids, take you on a trip, etc.
- He doesn't make you feel special anymore—opening the car door, bringing you flowers, etc.
- When you see him he lacks being present—on his phone a lot: texting, social media, email
- His effort is slacking—doesn't feel the need to try anymore
- Sex becomes sex—getting in and getting out—never-mind foreplay and cuddling after
**Yes, in many cases a guy who acts like this can be a guy who is "just not that into you"—that's why communication is important in order to wisely determine the difference. However, there are men who drop their barriers when they are in a committed relationship—not realizing how work stresses, financial stresses or family stresses are actually effecting them and your relationship. Again, something that you wouldn't see in the short time you went from dating to relationship status. By reverting back from exclusivity to dating—and again, explaining why—if he truly cares for you, he will work his way back to being exclusive with you.
I was in a relationship with a guy for several months that I had to love demote. This guy was an exceptional dater, however being in a relationship with him was very subpar. It was as if the love magic disappeared once we were exclusive. Our relationship went from me feeling excited, safe and appreciated to feeling as though he was dating me just so that he wouldn't be alone. Great.
Since I really cared about him—and my usual reaction when a guy gets lackadaisical is to end things—I decided instead to suggest that we go back to dating. I expressed all my concerns and that I felt that we needed to enjoy getting to know each other through dating—in hopes I would start to feel appreciated again. Well, I did.
The effort that slacked came back and he started to do the little things—planning dates, bringing flowers, etc., and we got to really know each other on a deeper personal level. The love demotion helped our relationship so that we were able to be successfully exclusive again—the second time around.
Ladies, demoting a guy is not for you to string him along or play with his heart. Instead, it's for you to regain the feelings that are slipping away too soon in the relationship. Giving him a second chance to prove to you that he truly does want a commitment with you and is willing to work on keeping the relationship strong—past the dating stage. If he is still willing to make an effort to improve the relationship, then he is deserving of your time and love. If not, this demotion should lead to the loss of all of his relationship privileges with you.