Through the course of our lives some of us are unfortunate enough to get romantically involved with the ‘wrong person’. This can be as simple as being just not a good match right across the spectrum to a controlling, destructive and sometimes violent relationship. This has been the subject of much discussion on our Forum recently so, in the interests of safety and a happy, healthy relationship I would like to share this article from Grace Chatting on Psychopaths Narcissists and Other Lovers.
Grace Chatting has a professional background in Social Work with children and families. She is MBACP Snr. Accredited Psychotherapist, Family Mediator, Relationship Coach, Founder of Relationship Academy and Author of the book “Mend It Don’t End It”.
This is the first of a series of articles about psychopaths, narcissists and other lovers and the contribution they make to Intimate Partner Violence.
Perhaps you are familiar with the story about the frog placed in a pan of cold water on a cooker with the heat turned up gradually. The frog will stay there until it is gradually boiled to death. The same frog, if placed straight into boiling water would immediately leap out.
Unfortunately most people getting involved with Psychopaths and Narcissists are like the frog in the cold water. It is not until it is too late that they discover they are in hot water and unable to get themselves out. Many women after being in a relationship with a psychopath (or almost psychopath) berate themselves and ask, “How could I have been so stupid as to get into that, and stay for so long?” Nobody teaches us this stuff.
According to Professor Robert Hare of British Colombia University, the current expert regarding Psychopathy, in his book called “Without Conscience”, if you don’t know how to spot a psychopath you are doomed to be their victim. Hare has made it his life’s work to study psychopaths, their world and how they operate. The reality is that psychopaths make their own rules and have their own reality.
Confusion has abounded in the mental health field mainly because psychopathy is not a mental illness; it is a personality disorder and as such it is deemed to be untreatable. Furthermore, psychopaths are unlikely to present themselves for therapy since they are perfectly happy with themselves just as they are. The problem is that they leave a trail of carnage, (sometimes literally), in their wake.
Hare points out that the diagnoses of psychopath, sociopath and narcissistic personality disorder are often used interchangeably and the whole issue is marked by a lack of clarity amongst laypeople and professionals alike. Quite rightly, he saw the lack of assessment tools as a crucial issue in assessing the risk of violent behavior.
In a bid to address this issue, Hare created the PCL or the psychopath checklist, not as a diagnostic tool but to provide guidance to those professionals who find it difficult to decide if someone was actually a psychopath or not. One of the reasons for this was that many treatment programmes where scarce resources would have psychopaths as participants when actually the chances of them changing were very slim and they would take up a place using up scare resources. The PCL highlights a number of signs considered indicative of a psychopathic personality disorder. But, what about those who do not meet the PCL criteria?
The Almost Affect
For those who definitely do not fall in the “normal” range, nor meet the PCL diagnostic criteria, there is “The Almost Effect”. This is a concept created by Harvard Medical School that reveals a paradigm shift in the mental health field, recognizing as it does, sub-clinical groups in various areas of mental health arena. A series of books has been launched one of which is by Ronald Schouten and James Silver, “Almost A Psychopath”, which builds on Robert Hare’s work. The authors make the point that there exists a sub category of people who whilst not meeting the PCL full criteria, but whose behaviour is definitely problematic. These they refer to as “Almost A Psychopath”
Their coldness, total self absorption and deceitfulness corrodes every relationship that they touch, from marriage, work or business partnership, while their superficial charm, moral inconsistency and lack of remorse often allows them to climb their way to become very successful in today’s society.
It is estimated 100,000 in New York, and in America there’s about two million psychopaths. In the UK, it is estimated that between 4-11% of the population may be psychopaths, so it’s likely that you or someone you love will be involved with a psychopath at some point in their life. In a recent television series in the UK Reece Shearsmith portrayed Malcolm Webster “The Widower”, described by his second wife Felicity Drumm as a psychopath.
So how can you spot a psychopath? Here are the signs, which Hare highlighted in his PCL with the admonishment not to use this list to label someone as a psychopath. However, I think you can regard them as amber lights. One thing to note is that it is better to avoid getting into a relationship with a psychopath because one feature of these relationships is the difficulty in getting free of them.
Felicity Drumm, speaking of Malcolm Webster, stated,
“I think that one of his skills, and one of the reasons for such success is that he makes a study of the people he’s around, establishes what their interests are and then adopts them so that you find all these things that you have in common.”
One of the main features about psychopaths, apart from their ability to sweep people off their feet with their charm, is their deeply disturbing inability to care about the pain and the suffering of other people. One of the essential ingredients of a successful relationship is empathy, which is that capacity to be able to put yourself in another person’s position.
Psychopaths tend to be glib and superficial, and very plausible in their conversation. They talk “at” people like they are cardboard cutouts. They tell a lot of funny stories usually about themselves in some kind of a hero scenario, or sometimes they give a hard luck story. They are very egocentric and grandiose. Hare says,
“Psychopaths often come across as arrogant, shameless braggarts, self assured, opinionated, domineering, cocky. They love to have power and control over others and seem unable to believe that other people have valid opinions different from theirs.”
Also they lack remorse or guilt. This is connected to their lack of empathy and their inability to put themselves in another’s position and their view that to be weak is to ask for it. They are deceitful, manipulative and considered to lie as easily as breathing. If they ever admit to lying, it is usually in the hope that this will make other lies appear to be more treatable.
They tend to lack emotional depth or awareness and they don’t have what would be considered normal affect. Other than extreme anger, their emotions tend to be shallow because fundamentally they just don’t care about anything.
Another trait exhibited by psychopaths is their impulsivity and according to Hare they dislike any kind of delay in gratification and they tend to not weigh out the pros and cons of their behaviors and actions. They are likely to be reactive to any perceived slight and to take offense very easily. Their behavior control is poor and they see their aggressive displays as natural responses to provocation.
They have a need for excitement and are easily bored and have low tolerance for any kind of monotony or routine. They also tend to be unreliable and unpredictable and will tend to do what they think they can get away with. They will lie, cheat, steal and when you’re no longer of any use to them, they will move on probably without saying goodbye.
It’s estimated that 20% to 30% of prison inmates are psychopaths and a study on the treatment programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence showed that 25% were psychopaths, although it’s been found that the behavior of psychopaths is highly resistant to change and often when they engage in therapy or treatment programmes they simply learn more ways to deceive by learning the language of therapy and the jargon and also because of their grandiosity they tend to be very disruptive in groups.
Hare and his colleague Bob Babiak wrote the book Snakes in Suits about psychopaths who managed to not only avoid prison but are actually highly successful in the corporate world, mainly by means of greed, bullying, emotional abuse and other unscrupulous behavior which violates conventional, ethical behavior.
Where I come from there is a saying that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and in the case of those with psychopathic behaviour this couldn’t be truer.
Psychopaths do not present looking like mad axe men. They tend to be intelligent, charming and always on the lookout for opportunities to enhance self interest. People simply represent resources or objects to achieve this. To this end, they will frequent places where lonely and vulnerable people, particularly singles, are to be found such as singles clubs, cruise ships and airports. They are predatory and can spot the lonely and vulnerable, who are sitting targets for a charming and helpful companion. So if you find yourself travelling alone or at a singles club, consider these to be high-risk situations and be on your guard for charming, helpful strangers. This is particularly the case if you happen to have money and disposable assets and wealth of any kind.
Normally I would advocate openness and honesty as an essential ingredient for successful relationships and psychopaths certainly give the impression of this. They appear to be open and honest. I constantly bang on about the importance of self-awareness and self-acceptance. It is important to know your own particular weak spot and until you really get to know someone, don’t disclose it because psychopaths tend to want to suss out your areas of vulnerability often by disclosing their own which may be entirely made up.
For example, they may tell you a hard luck story of a very unfortunate and difficult childhood and the struggle that they’ve had. This has a number of hooks. Firstly, it engages your empathy (which they know about to exploit, but don’t possess themselves) and secondly it makes you more willing to be open.
Don’t ever disclose too much too soon to anyone in one of these high-risk situations. Psychopaths can use this information to take advantage of you in ways you never would have dreamt of. Be wary of anyone who zeroes in your areas of vulnerability.
Also be very wary of flattery that goes beyond a few compliments. Psychopaths will often after a couple of dates start to talk about how they’ve never met anyone like you in their whole lives and they also start to talk about when we are married.
They’ve never met anybody like you before so be very wary if someone starts to talk to you along these lines because it’s a bit like sitting in the sun for too long, you’ll get burnt, in particular, as I’ve said before, if you have money or assets. These are very high-risk situations because psychopaths will probably manage to relieve you of most or all of it.
Already in a relationship?
If you have already become involved with a psychopath (or almost a psychopath), it is as well to cut your losses and get out but you’ll probably need some support to do that. See my article on “How To Leave An Abusive Relationship”. Seek out professional help but first of all ascertain that whomever you consult knows about and understands how psychopaths operate. This is vital.
Often in couple relationship work the psychopath can put on such a good show and charm the therapist so much that the partner, (usually the wife), is not believed because the psychopath convinces the therapist that they are actually the victim. If the person you’re in a relationship with has all or most of the traits mentioned above, whatever label you give them, it’s unlikely that they will ever change.
This quote closed one of my favorite TV shows the other night and really got me thinking…
“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boose.
I took a look back into my past relationships and had a think on how they had shaped my future. Did they have a positive or negative impact on me and how much of the bad energy did I pack up and carry around with me? In some cases there was quite a lot! When we are hurt by someone either physically, mentally or emotionally it’s incredibly hard to play the forgiveness card, let go and move on even though we know we should. We live in a lot of ‘what if’s’, we often carry a lot of anger and sadly as well as finding it difficult to forgive them, we often fail to forgive ourselves.
All we end up doing is perpetuating torment and anguish and that stops us from healing and moving on to enjoy a fabulous life. Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean that you agree with what someone has done and it certainly doesn’t have to give approval to their actions. Forgiveness allows you to let go and until you let go you are stuck in a negative place going round and round just like a hamster on a wheel.
Choosing to forgive someone doesn’t mean you need to accept that person as part of your life again. If you have chosen to remove them from your life then stick with that choice but do it graciously. Work at surrounding yourself with people who enhance your life and whose lives you can enhance in return. All good relationships should have an equal amount of give and take.
William Ward once said, “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the handcuffs of hate.”
It’s not unusual to sometimes need some help to move yourself from a bad space so you can embrace a better future which is why I have researched The Breakup Cleanse. Letting go of hurt and resentment no matter what kind of relationship it has come from is your key to enlarging your future. Without forgiveness your future will be as closed and insular as your past and you won’t be allowing any room for new and greater experiences.
If you are struggling to let go, forgive and/or just move on why not take a look at The Breakup Cleanse.
This is my special name for something so simple that has been around for ages but helped my healing process no end and went on to help change my perspective on life as I thought I knew it.
It started when I was at an all time low, struggling to get back into my groove after a nasty break up. I’m normally a fairly positive person so this situation had really knocked me around. Any of you who have been there realize how important it is to focus on the positive when you are in this space but also understand how easy it is to dwell in ‘negative city’.
Well, I was there, fully ensconced in ‘negative city’. Gosh it felt like I’d bought an apartment and moved all my stuff in. Maybe it was just a long-term lease but whatever it was I knew I had to get out there and really quick.
So, what are vision boards?
If any of you have read “The Secret” you will be familiar with positive affirmations, positive thoughts and vision boards. Since I’m a project type of person the vision board theory seemed like a fun thing to me and if it helped get me out of my slump then I was up for that. For those of you unfamiliar with vision boards let me explain…
A vision board is a board you create with pictures or items relating to places you want to go, things you want to do and what you want for your life. You might prefer to think of it as your goal or aspiration board. Your board can be created on a strong piece of cardboard or a pin board. Creating the board is fun and easy. I waded through magazines and books to find pictures that resonated with me and represented what I wanted to achieve. As time went on I added more to my board and best of all I started ticking things off. That was the biggest buzz.
Your vision board gives you focus. It takes your mind away from your negative situation and helps you look towards better things. When you dwell with your negative thoughts you keep attracting more negative energy into your life and that is why tuning into positive thoughts is so important. It doesn’t mean you don’t hurt and you block everything out it’s just a way of turning a bad situation into a better one.
Here are four points to consider about your vision board:
Visual. Your subconscious mind works in pictures and images, so make your vision board as visual as possible with as many pictures as you can. You can supplement your pictures with words and phrases to increase the emotional response you get from it.
Emotional. Each picture on your vision board should evoke a positive emotional response from you. The mere sight of your vision board should make you happy and fuel your passion to achieve it every time you look at it.
Strategically-placed. Vision boards should be strategically placed in a location that gives maximum exposure. You need to constantly bath your subconscious mind with it’s energy in order to manifest your desires quicker than you hope.
Personal. Negative feelings, self-doubt, and criticism can damage the delicate energy that vision boards emit. If you fear criticism or justification of your vision board from others, then place it in a private location so it can only be seen by yourself. I chose to keep mine in my bedroom but I shared it with people I knew were on the same journey as I was.
Your vision board is yours and yours alone. It’s about you, about your dreams and aspirations and should not be influenced by anyone else. As it’s your board you are free to add to it, to change it and to create a new one. It’s all about you. Remember too, it’s use is not limited to the times we are low and need to re balance ourselves. It’s a fabulous tool to keep focus on your dreams and aspirations even when life is going well.
I am blown away by how many good things have manifested since I created my vision board. When I look back to the sad, broken person I was I am so pleased I made the effort and gave it a try. I’m onto my second one now to create lots more wonderful experiences, memories and achievements.
So, have some fun and see what you can create in your life. If you are struggling through a break up like I was I can also recommend The Breakup Cleanse
Trying to come to terms with life after you have lost someone your were truly invested in is hard at the best of times so Dr. Brit Brogaard and Catherine Behan M.S. have created The Breakup Cleanse to help get you through your hurt and out the other side.
If you feel you are doing most of the work in a relationship and not feeling appreciated or respected, perhaps it’s time to consider he may be taking you for granted. If you want to stop him from taking you for granted you may need to take a look at your own behavior and consider that you may be making it easy for him to take you for granted.
I have been talking to women in relationships for years now and the common denominator for women that seem to get taken for granted is often that they over give in a relationship. Women that over give often find themselves in this position in one relationship after the other. There is evidence of this on the forum here as I watch the same women get the same results over and over. You know what they say about that right? If you want something different, you have to do something different. You can’t do the same thing or behave the same way (over give) and expect different results.
I have read so much bad advice about talking to your boyfriend to stop him from taking you for granted. This doesn’t work as a rule. He will stop for a while and a week or so later, you again start to feel like he is taking you for granted. Men learned from their Mothers how to take a tongue lashing when they were boys. They knew their Mother would love the unconditionally regardless of their behavior. I would like to remind you here, you do not want to be his Mother.
So, how do you stop him from taking you for granted?
If you keep giving to him when he isn’t treating your right, you are actually reinforcing his bad behavior and showing him it is acceptable to you. Let’s say for example you are the one that always makes the plans and initiates the contact for a weekend date. If you are doing this over and over you doing his job for him. You in essence have helped him become lazy by carrying the load. Many women who contact me wanting to know how to stop him from taking you for granted have laid the groundwork for him to do so by over compensating for him.
So now that you know that it is most likely partly your fault, how do you turn this around and stop him from taking you for granted. You stop giving so much when you are getting so little in return. Relationships should be balanced. If he hasn’t made plans by Wednesday, make plans of your own. Take a weekend trip with your girlfriends and get away. This one seems to work wonders. There really is some truth in absence makes the heart grow fonder.
In my family, I do all of the cooking and usually a lot of the cleaning, so if I feel taken for granted, it really is my own fault for picking up their slack. I have found a weekend away shifts the dynamics completely as almost every time I come home to a spotless house. I also often get I miss you texts from my daughter.
It feels good to be appreciated but you have to do your part. A man will respect you about as much as you respect yourself and if you spend most of your time bending over backwards to take care of him, you aren’t spending much time taking care of you. A man will take a woman for granted that doesn’t show herself respect and that includes putting up with his bad behavior. That is not self respect.
You can read more about the self respecting women men adore here.
If you have ever been dating a man and things were going great and all of a sudden he tells you he is afraid of his feelings for you, this article is for you. More times than I can ever count, I get messages and comments from women who are involved with or dating a man that claims he is scared of his feelings or getting hurt or commitment or this or that. This is the second article in a series that I am writing on scared men. You can find the first one here.
Now you may find it flattering that a man feels so strongly for you that it scares him. Most women have that nurturing instinct kicking in when they hear this and they want to reassure him. They find the scared little boy endearing in so many ways. Looking back, I can think of many a man that has told me after a very intense and chemistry filled evening that I scare him. There was a time in my life that I too would have been flattered or rushed to reassure his fears.
What does it really mean when he is afraid of his feelings for you?
In reality there are two types of men that are afraid of their feelings. I will discuss both here. The first one is the majority of men that say this. The ones that really aren’t scared of their feelings. Most guys that use the line “I am scared of my feelings for you” are about to do a disappearing act. It’s a great excuse that plays upon the emotions of women and they way they analyze things in their heads. It ranks right up there with “it’s not you, it’s me”.
So he gets to exit the relationship guilt free. It’s a perfect excuse. Now not only does he have an easy out, he has your sympathy as well. He doesn’t look like the bad guy, poor fellow, he is just scared. He has probably been hurt before, bless his heart. Don’t buy it ladies, just don’t. It’s not that he is scared of his feelings.
If a man walks away from you because he is afraid of his feelings for you, the truth is, he isn’t afraid to lose you at all. That doesn’t sound to me like a man that really has strong feelings for you but a man that realizes he could have been leading you on and now wants to save face.
Now let’s take a brief look at the small majority of men that really are afraid of their feelings. Do you really think this kind of man would make a good long term partner carrying around all those wounds from his past? Do you really think you could thrive in a relationship where you spend most of your time reassuring and shoring up his emotions for him?
A man that really is scared of his feelings is showing you how he deals with conflict. He doesn’t. He runs or hides behind this lame excuse. Do you want a man that can’t handle his own emotions really? How do you think he is going to handle the bumps in the road like this?
So bottom line here, if he is afraid of his feelings, just keep walking.
What does it mean when he says he is afraid to hurt you or he is scared he is going to hurt you? A young woman emailed me this week telling me her boyfriend keeps telling her “I am afraid I am going to hurt you”. Like most women, she is analyzing this to bits and pieces and trying to figure out how to reassure him. She wants to know how she can get through to him.
Oh boy! When a man tells you he is afraid he is going to hurt you, what he is really saying? You are most likely focused on his words scared or afraid and not paying attention to what he is really saying. He is saying he doesn’t feel enough for you to not hurt you. He is saying you are more invested into this relationship than he is and he knows it. He is just attempting to save face and continue to look like the good guy and he is giving you fair warning in advance.
Oh sure you can continue to shore up his voiced fears and reassure him, but down the road, when he does hurt you, he will tell you he tried to tell you and free himself of the blame. A man who is afraid he is going to hurt you most likely doesn’t want a full blown relationship. He has his exit pre-planned. He has told you who he is, but are you listening.
A man that cares for and loves you does not think about hurting you and will do anything in his power to avoid this. Please don’t fall for this line and try to manage his emotions for him. When you find yourself having to reassure a man about hurting you, it’s almost like telling him you are okay with this and he can interpret this as your permission. It may even be what he is hoping for. A man into you emotionally will not be pondering hurting you.
So many fall for the poor broken boy syndrome, the guys that are afraid of this or that, usually commitment, love, hurting you or getting hurt themselves. A man that operates out of a place of fear will always be withholding his gifts and his depth of love from you. You will spend more time managing his emotions than feeling loved or being free to give him love. An afraid man does not make a strong partner and do you really want to play shrink with him as opposed to living in a happy and healthy relationship.
When he says he is afraid to hurt you it’s usually just a smokescreen and he isn’t actually looking for a relationship but is interested in the perks that go along with a relationship. Protect your precious heart and hold out for a man who would not dream of hurting you.
Oh the mistakes women make dating. Hindsight is 20/20. So what man mistake did you make? Do you wish there was a such thing as a man mistake eraser? Were you clingy, needy? Too controlling? Oh I know you didn’t say “I love you” first did you? Did you text him to death. Did you accuse him of something? The list goes on and on for man mistakes that we can make.
Is he backing up and you aren’t sure why? Maybe he wants his space now. Whatever it is, now you want to fix it, but you just don’t know how. Talking about it isn’t going to work, so don’t waste your breath. Men don’t respond to words, it’s distance they respond too.
Regardless though, if you have made a mistake, often the harder you try at redemption, the worse you make it. You are acting out of a place of emotion. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing until your emotions are under control and your logical thinking is in tact. Understand that your urge to fix it now now now, it from a place of insecurity. Instant satisfaction does not always bring long term gratification.
Often if you sleep on it a few days, depending on the issue, it very well may work itself out and no man mistake eraser is needed. If this is a case of you really did nothing wrong but he is pissed anyway, don’t apologize. Apologies are often weak. Stand your ground. He will respect you more if it was just a once over of him being grumpy or something. If it occurs more than once, please please just do yourself a favor and dump him now.
This Will Make Men Disappear Fast
I was a moderator on a woman’s forum for 2 years and now own a forum for women where they talk about their dating and relationships freely. I have seen many a woman wondering why he disappeared when they thought the relationship was so promising. Most of them have the following in common.
When you are first dating, this is the time to get to know him, take your time and just have fun. Many women can’t seem to do this. They start the date projecting into the future. They are already thinking of where this is going. Men in general don’t do this. It’s usually the woman that is asking at the end of the date, “When will I see you again?”, or asking him when he is going to call. They try to lead the relationship from day one to where they hope it will go.
When you do this, right from the start you aren’t putting trust in him. Men really want to be trusted. Don’t push or try to control the outcome. Trust him to take the next step and initiate the call. It shows him you are confident. Then when he does call, you are happy and you can show this. Be encouraging to men, but don’t try to lead them. It comes across as needy and he will already begin to suspect that he has some responsibility for your happiness.
I know many a woman who brings up where the relationship is headed very early on. It has been said that men look for sex, women look for love. Men often find love along the way of looking for sex, but they can’t be forced. If you start behaving like a girlfriend from the very beginning, before he has decided that he wants you for a girlfriend, you may very well be left wondering why he disappeared.
Acting like a girlfriend includes calling him often, asking him a lot of questions. If you are questioning his where abouts or who he is with or what time he got home, you are not only acting like his girlfriend, but may be reminding him of his mother. Texting him good morning or good night texts before he texts you also is not really a good idea. Sure it’s okay if you are getting the same from him, but don’t go there first.
Another thing that puts up a warning flag that a woman may be moving too fast is when she starts offering to do things for him. It seems she is trying awful hard to get him to like her when she does this. Inside of a relationship it is all about give and take, but I see women giving and giving when he is doing nothing of the sort in return. Over giving ir probably one of the biggest mistakes women make dating.
If men are disappearing on you, consider the above mentioned things. It’s never a good idea to prioritize a man until he begins to prioritize you!
I slept With Him Too Soon
This is one of the biggest mistakes women make dating. They sleep with them before they know where they stand. Worse they often apologize for doing so which just adds to the mistake. When you get upset or apologize this doesn’t make a man feel very good about himself or you for that matter. It kills the fun of it and replaces any good feeling with guilt feeling. Also consider a woman who has little control over herself or doesn’t take responsibility for her actions is not what men consider good partner material.
Many women think because a man had sex with them that he now owes her something. This is a dangerous attitude to have. Or they think that means he is serious about them. This is rarely the case. In the words of Evan Marc Katz, men look for sex and find love, women look for love and find sex.
If you are a woman who is thinking “I slept with him too soon”, don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world and you can fix this mistake. It can’t be done by now cutting him off or talking to him though. That only makes it worse. Too much work for the man too fast.
5 Sure Signs He is Losing Interest
Men do lose interest. It’s a fact. Men can get bored and when they do, they start wondering if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. There are signs that a man is losing interest and if you are seeing these signs, take action now before he decides to mow the lawn of another.
1. His calls and texts are less frequent. If you notice a change in his calling or texting pattern, your boyfriend is losing interests. A man wants to stay in touch with the woman he loves and his patterns will not change. If you feel his calls are out of obligation this is another clue.
2. He starts making plans without you. Maybe a weekend trip with his buddies. If he usually wants to spend most of the weekend with you and now there are other things he wants to fit in, he is working you out of the priority seat slowly but surely this is one of the signs he has lost interest.
3. If when you address any issues or your feelings of him disappearing, he gets defensive or reacts negatively. If a man is thinking of leaving, he will not be comfortable more times than not by offering you reassurance. He will feel guilt which causes one to get defensive. If he defends his change of actions, your boyfriend is losing interest.
4. He says he needs some space. Watch out if you hear this one. The end is near more times than not. If a man say he needs space, he is feeling smothered. Smothered men do not thrive in a relationship ever. The harder you hold on to a man who says he needs space, the further you will push him away.
5. If your boyfriend starts to become distracted with work or some other project, he may be losing interest and this is only an excuse to postpone the inevitable. Men that suddenly become preoccupied with something else often use this as a way to prolong the break up.
If your boyfriend is losing interest and pulling away, the way you respond to this is critical to prevent a break up. If you push him, or put pressure on him, he will see you as needy and less attractive. You can stop a break up or you can insure it happens, it’s all up to you and the steps you take or don’t take. Don’t be one of the many women who wonder why he disappeared.
Have you been feeling like something is off lately or perhaps you are feeling a distance and feeling your boyfriend pulling away? As I have discovered, many women don’t actually recognize it when their boyfriend begins to pull away. The make excuses and justification in their mind about his distance. I have seen it over and over enough to see the writing on the wall long before they do.
It usually starts with less frequency in calling or texting. Perhaps a weekend goes by that he is too busy to see you or he is stressed with work. He begins cancelling dates though he gives you what seems like legitimate reasons. Your gut begins to whisper to you but your head and heart aren’t listening very well.
Signs He Is Pulling Away
- His call and texts become less frequent
- The good morning or good night text stop or slow down
- He is suddenly very busy at work
- He says he has extra stress
- He cancels dates or fails to make them without your prompt
- He is quick to end a phone call or ends dates early
- He seems distracted when you are together
- He stops showing interest in your daily life
When a boyfriend starts pulling away, the natural thing a woman usually does is go into analysis mode. She rehashes the relationship and things of all the things that would suggest that he isn’t pulling away. She may play in her mind recollections of things he has said in the past. Perhaps suggestions of trips or weekend getaways, the times he confessed his love, all the good things about the relationship up until this point. This often keeps her stuck and in a place of denial even though her gut still continues those whispers.
The next step is usually her confrontation in some manner. Perhaps she asks “Is everything okay with us”, to which almost every time his reply will be something along the lines of “yes, I am just busy or stressed” or some other logical reason (excuse). What may actually be going on here is he is stalling.
Why would a man stall? It’s human nature really. I have been guilty of this myself. In a relationship that I wasn’t exactly sure if it was right, but not sure it was wrong either. I cared deeply for someone and hurting them is just not an easy thing to do. I would pull away as an avoidance of that painful conversation or perhaps wasn’t sure I wanted it to be a permanent pull away. Selfish I know, but it is human nature.
If you are wondering is my boyfriend pulling away, stop listening to his words and watch his actions. Is he putting in effort or just giving you lip service? Is he genuinely trying to reassure you or does he just continue to remind you of his stress and how busy he is?
How you react and respond to a boyfriend pulling away is critical. You can push him further away if you handle this poorly or come across as needy. You may give him unknowingly confirmation that he needs to stop pulling away and just pull out completely.
You can read what to do when he pulls away here at What to do if he pulls away.
Do you give men space to step into their masculine energy or do you even know what I am talking about? Learning to create this space for men is something that most men find completely irresistible. I see lots of women stepping into this masculine role. I can certainly understand why. We work, raise kids, and have become very independent as we have evolved. Sometimes so much so that we have forgotten how to just receive.
If you can learn to do this, it can solve many of your dating problems. Allow me to give you an example. Let’s take the top way we seem to communicate now in dating and relating. Texting. Texting alone is a place where many women just stomp all over a man’s masculine energy with their own.
Cindy and Mike have been talking for a few weeks and have been on two dates. Cindy is hoping the relationship will go somewhere and is hoping that Mike will get serious with her. Instead of just leaning back and observing Mikes actions and behavior, she tries to control the outcome. She texts him on Thursdays if he hasn’t made plans and suggest that they see one another. If she hasn’t heard from him by mid morning, she sends him a good morning text message. She texts him goodnight if he doesn’t text her first. She is hoping this will plant herself in his mind, when actually she is taking over his masculine role for him. This doesn’t grow attraction.
If Cindy would just lean back she would know all she needs to know of Mikes intentions. He will step it up or not. This is where a lot of women get stuck. They don’t give a man the space to show her who he is. Instead the project what they want him to be and try to control the outcome. Once you allow a man to show you who he is and actually believe him you will find yourself letting go of many a man that would not make the cut.
This alone can free you up to find the right man as opposed to wasting time on the wrong man. Give men space to step into their masculine energy. Give them the space to pursue. If they don’t take it, you have the wrong man. It’s that simple.
So moral of this story is this. If a man is not stepping it up, don’t do it for him. It won’t help. If he hasn’t asked you out or put effort into getting to know you, let it ride. Don’t rack your brain trying to figure out why or what you can do to get him to step up. Let him step down. He is taking up the space and the right one that will step up into his masculine energy can’t find you.
You can learn why there are some women that men just adore and why here.