- Gender and Relationships
Is He Only Trying So That You Don't Permanently Pull Away?
Last minute efforts don't mean anything....
Why do men think that if they buy you flowers, take you to a romantic dinner, buy you gifts, or do sweet gestures—AFTER we are upset with them—that we should automatically be happy, forgive, forget and do back flips praising how great of a guy they are. Seriously?! Praises only happen when a guy is consistent in his romantic actions versus doing romantic gestures only when he thinks that we are upset to the point of breaking-up with him. Ugh!
Men, we don't want you to try because you feel that we are pulling away, we want you to never stop trying so that we don't EVER want to pull away.
Don't get me wrong, yes it's nice when a guy is doing something thoughtful. However, his gestures can change from thinking that they are "nice" to actually giving you that happy butterfly feeling in your heart (and loins)—especially when he does sweet things from a place of just wanting to make you feel special instead of a last minute effort when he knows he's in the doghouse.
As women we want to know that we are important in a man's life versus having him only doing "thoughtful" things to prevent us from permanently leaving the relationship. Last minute efforts don't mean anything if:
- We talk to you about something, you agree and then do they exact opposite—disregarding us.
- We are upset and instead of listening to what we are saying, our conversation consistently seems to goes in one ear and out the other.
- You don't take the time to remember things about us—our likes, dislikes, favorite flowers, beverages, allergies, full name, friends, family members, etc.
- It's a holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, our Birthday, Mother's Day, etc.) and there is either no preplan or you decide to do something for yourself (boys night out, fishing, side-job, sporting activity, etc.).
- There is no change in the circumstance—we feel you don't care enough to want to change things for the betterment of us and the relationship.
- We talk to you about our concerns and you immediately emotionally shut down.
- We've emotionally pulled away to the point of no return.
As women, we want to be validated not pacified with flowers, gifts, etc. Here's the thing men, we DO know the difference. Also, if the sweet gestures are more about you than us, it's not sweet at all, in fact, it makes us feel insulted and more annoyed with you.
My friend has been on an emotional down slope with her husband for a while. The effort he use to make to help keep their relationship on a successful path has faded dramatically—a big reason why she has emotionally pulled away.
When he knows she's upset, instead of listening and really hearing her concerns he will instead start doing (what he thinks are) romantic gestures. Conveniently these sweet gestures end up benefiting him more than her. When he has planned date nights out, he has surprised her with tickets to HIS favorite football or basketball game (my friend isn't that into sports) or concert tickets to HIS favorite band/music group or venues to see HIS favorite DJ/performer. Not only does he not give her advanced notice of where they are going, he also doesn't give her clues on what to wear. How thoughtful and romantic.
Since her husband’s so called sweet gestures aren't technically about her, when she is talked into going out—which lately she hasn't agreed too—she ends up feeling not only inappropriately dressed but more importantly, emotionally distant. His "thoughtfulness" is actually not thoughtful at all.
What men fail to realize is that we pull away and emotionally shut down due to their lack of showing that they still care. Once you show us how capable you are of trying—working hard in the beginning of the relationship to romance, listen and be there for us (to win our hearts), and then switch to only trying when you feel us pulling away—causes us to feel as though you don't truly care.
No woman wants to feel as though you only want her around for companionship or a warm body in your bed. Why is it so hard for many men to understand that all they have to do to keep us, is by staying consistent in their actions and connect with us on an emotional level?
Another friend of mine became disconnected with her boyfriend to the point that their relationship ended. He would only do romantic things for her when she emotionally pulled away. He would have flowers delivered with messages that he's was thinking of her. He would buy her extravagant gifts and planned romantic dates, however none of these things meant anything because he didn't try to connect with her emotionally to fix the problem. He completely missed the boat. If her boyfriend actually cared he would have taken the time to understand her on an emotional and spiritual level first—why she was upset and worked harder to fix things—so that she didn't permanently pull away.
Gifts and nice gestures mean nothing if a guy isn't listening and hearing what you are unhappy about—and again, doing something to change things on an emotional level first. When he stops making an effort, doesn’t listen, isn't supportive, is forgetful or does things to benefit himself, these things can become relationship killers. Wake-up! Still doing the same things that are causing upset and issues in the relationship, but then using gifts as a solution, is again very insulting and takes the entire meaning out of doing something thoughtful to feelings of negativity.
Why wait to start trying again once you can feel her emotionally pull away? All relationships take continual work. When you truly love and care about a woman the effort should never stop. The best way to not only win, but keep her heart, is to make sure she always knows that you care—not just by words but also by actions. Listen when she is talking to you. Hear what she is saying and more importantly understand, support and sincerely valídate her—because once she shuts down emotionally it will be hard—if at all—to keep her wanting to be with you.
Ladies, if a man puts his best foot forward—only when he thinks he is losing you—then mostly likely he doesn't see you as his true eternal prize. You are worth every effort—regardless how little or small and it shouldn't take you to emotionally shut down for him to take action. A guy who truly wants to be with you, because he sees a future with you, will never, ever stop trying.
Bottom line: the best way to know if you are in a great relationship; you will both work hard on all levels—emotionally, physically, spiritually and sexually—to make each other happy. You also won't disrespect, take each other for granted, get overly complacent or ignore each others concerns. More importantly, you will communicate about your relationship goals and how to be the best couple you can be so that both people want to stay and never pull away.