- Gender and Relationships
Where Do You Rank In His Life?
Ranking in a man's life: how you determine where you fit into his life—the importance of how he values you in his life—this can either be in your favor or not.
Ladies, how we rank in a man's life can shift from when we first started dating to when the relationship ends, or hopefully leads to marriage. The goal is to be in the number one slot, neck and neck to number one, or a strong second.
Determining which level we rank in will depend on how much a guy has going on in his life, as well as how he ultimately feels about us.
Where Do You Rank:
1. Top Level: This is where you want to rank in his life. He values you as important in his life. He is making the effort to make and spend quality time with you to improve the relationship—not letting work and/or other things be the excuse.
2. Middle Level: He cares about you, but hasn't determined to what degree or the 100% effort he was once making has definitely started to change (and not in your favor). Ouch!
3. Bottom Level: He is keeping you around, but is not invested in a future with you. He is making little to no effort, and it shows. Great.
Being in the bottom ranks usually means he views you as less important than everything else going on in his life.
This low ranking shows by…
- The rarity in how often you see him—everything else takes precedence in his life before wanting to see you.
- His lack in following through—regarding promises and plans he makes with you.
- When you do eventually see him, he is mentally occupied with other things—i.e. constantly checking his cell phone, sending text messages, emailing or talking on his phone.
- Your conversations revolve around his stuff and his day—i.e. work talk, kid talk, exercise talk, sports talk, yet zero talk about you or your relationship.
There are many things that a guy can choose to put before or after you and the relationship.
- Spending his free time with you
- Going to the gym or working out
- His passions (bike riding, snowboarding, training for marathons, etc.)
- Overly needing to take care of a pet(s)
- Time with friends and family
- Social stuff
- Work stuff
Rank status might also be affected:
- Children—especially if he's using them as an excuse to avoid spending time with you
- If he is into organized sports—time he devotes to watching or possibly participating in a league as a player or coach
- If he is a CEO or owns his own business
Don't get me wrong, the expectation is not for a man to give up everything he loves to do in order to keep you at the top level. Instead, it's about how willing and capable he is at juggling what is also meaningful to him, while still making the time and effort to make you feel valued, special and important in his life.
Is it possible to know immediately if we will rank low in his life?
Maybe—if we ask the right questions, but usually, no—since the first weeks of dating (sometimes months) are the fantasy stages (honeymoon), where everything is blissful and most men will put their best foot forward in pursuing us. While in this stage of the relationship, it can be difficult to decipher exactly where we will officially end up ranking. Only time will truly tell.
During this magical moment when the newness of a relationship is as intoxicating as the smell of a newborn baby to his/her mother, there usually tends to be some talk about the future.
There might be talk about...
Events you want to attend together, or the mentioning of the two of you taking a trip or vacation somewhere. Depending on your age, the "forever talk" might also creep in—discussing children—do you both want to have any, or if he has children, what are your thoughts (and his) about possibly being a stepmom one day? He might even be bold enough to talk about wedding stuff—type, size and where you envision the wedding would be, as well as your thoughts about marriage, and if you could see a future with him?
When you are immersed in the fantasy stage, it can cloud your mind to the true reality (usually) right in front of your eyes. With time comes truth, so it's important not to be too overzealous until you know exactly where you rank in his life, and if you are OK with that position.
I've mentioned this before, men are great at wooing; if he mentions his busy life, usually it is followed with him stating that he wants a relationship, and he has learned to make the time to date. Sounds great, right? But, when the dust settles, and the newness of the relationship starts to fade—for men this happens quicker than you think—the amount of time and attention that he is truly able to give you will surface.
If he is truly your "Prince," time will tell....
Every woman has met a guy and thought, "He is impressive, so different from anyone else I’ve dated." "He's perfect," "He's everything that I have been searching for in a man" or my favorite—"I think he is the one!"
Yes, it's wonderful when you meet a guy and (think) you have those type of feelings instantly, however, do those feelings always last? How often have you been giddy about a guy in your life until the happy bubble you were in burst way quicker than anticipated?
For many women, it doesn't take long to realize the bubble they are trying so hard to hang on to may pop in their face.
Our happy bubble will start to deflate when we start to come to the realization that we have become less and less of a priority in a man’s life. This disappointing conclusion will cause us to start making excuses for his crappy behavior versus being honest with the fact that our ranking has dropped because his interest in us has faded.
This loss of interest is likely due to feeling disconnected on a physical or mental level, or perhaps another woman has captured his attention. Or maybe he has realized that we aren’t “the one” (for him). Our inability to face the truth (due to the fear of being alone and single again) will usually create excuses. Stop.
Excuses only prolong the hurt we will eventually need to deal with. Excuses also create a false belief that he will change his distant behavior—hoping that one day (if we keep hanging on to him), he will realize he actually does want us. Maybe that could happen, when he gets bored with whatever was distracting him in the first place, or if you have magically gone through a major personality change that would better suit him. Unfortunately, it's usually not as complicated as that.
When a guy has less time for you in his life, especially when in the beginning of seeing each other he was finding ways to be with you, it is a huge sign that he is not mentally, emotionally or physically into you anymore.
A man who makes quality time for you is a man who sees a future with you.
Do you honestly think a guy’s schedule changes so dramatically? Why then when you first met him was he able to plan dates and see you—now all of a sudden he cannot find any time at all? I'm not saying it can't happen—work schedules can change—however, when he is not giving you a solution or a time frame, but can still plan time to see his friends and family, how far down the scale on his priority list should you rank? And, why should you think it is acceptable to be ranked at the bottom? Men make time for what they value is important to them, period!
Anyone can claim that they want a relationship. A guy can push exclusivity, but it does not mean that he is going to put in the full effort. Frankly, some men just don't like to be alone. When a guy wants the "title"—having the comfort of knowing he is in a relationship, but is not invested in the role of being your boyfriend (his actions will speak louder than words), this can potentially end up lowering your ranking score.
Do you want to be with a guy who previously ranked you high in his life—spent time wooing you, calling, texting daily—yet all of a sudden work has become busy, his workout schedule has ramped up, and friends and sports have increasingly been in the picture—therefor conveniently (for him) pushing you to the sidelines as a last man minute thought?
Oh, and if he has kids—his schedule with them changes from not having/seeing them on his weekends off, to being with them almost daily. Of course his children should be a priority. However, when he cannot possibly find a way to also balance you in his life, with everything else going on—when he once did—huge Red Flag that he is not ready for a relationship with you.
Are his excuses becoming annoying?
I have dated men who seemed like a great fit, at first glance, but in time, instead of being honest with me about how they felt (disinterested), would try and string me along with the "busy" game. Ugh!
One guy I dated acted as if I was dumb enough to believe his dishonesty versus just telling me the truth. I went from a high priority ranking in his life—him being the instigator with seeing me—to (what felt like) an overnight change of heart—having umpteen things causing him to no longer have time for me or the relationship. My ranking with him was suddenly very low. Ouch!
No woman likes to go from a top level ranking (possibly mid-level if he has children) to the bottom or off the list completely. This can potentially be a painful emotional experience which can be hard to heal from if you don't understand what happened. Unfortunately, with some men you will never know, and making excuses for their insufficient communication and lack of desire for you will not only make you look (and feel) like an idiot, but can cause you to start to doubt your attractiveness. Yikes!
A woman should never feel foolish or feel like the guy has all the control…
Sometimes you need to focus on your life when you start to realize you are not a priority in his. Make it clear that relationships are two-sided and he does not have to be your number one priority either. During the wooing phase, don't always be available. Some men might just need to work a little harder when wooing you in order to make them value you—when he values you, your ranking moves up.
Make time for your interests, family, and friends—do not wait around for his call. If he loses interest because you are not waiting around for him, he is not worth your time. Also, before you officially decide to end things, always communicate your feelings—what you are and are not willing to put up with—some men are clueless as to what will make you happy, so never assume.
Remember the man who will ultimately be your lifetime partner will work hard at keeping you ranked in the top. If your ranking with a guy has dropped dramatically, or has never increased, it is time to reevaluate if he is who you want to be with. You both should be a priority in each other's lives, anything less in not acceptable.
Ladies, know your worth. When we know our value we will not settle for mediocrity. Don't let him be in control of you worthiness. If he doesn't see how fabulous you are by putting in the effort that is necessary to keep you top priority—trust me, another man will.
Bottom line, we all will make time for what and who we want. Without investing adequate time, energy and work in a significant other as well as the relationship, both cannot successfully flourish and last for the long-term.