Maintain separateness and move to your own rhythm. It was Sherry Argov who distinguished that ‘men equate longing with love’. If you do everything together, there will be no opportunity for your man to experience any longing for you.
So, don’t jump through hoops for him. Don’t suffocate him by always wanting to be where he is, or checking up on him. If he texts you, don’t respond immediately if you are busy with something else. Wait a little while until you have completed what you were doing before texting him back. If you get home and see there is a message from him, wait until you’ve settled in, made a cup of tea or anything else you want to do before checking the message.
Keep your own interests and activities alive. Understand the things that nurture you and feed your soul and keep them in your schedule once you start dating. Every few nights, ensure you have a gym class, dinner, a movie or book club with a girlfriend or something that ensures he doesn’t always have your movements pinned down. You’ll see when you get home afterwards that he’s missed you….
Now please don’t confuse this with ‘testing’ your man or being devious or dishonest. Those ways of being do not keep love alive; in fact they do just the opposite.
Why not undertake a serious review of the ways you operate with your man and explore what works and what just leads to conflict or distance. Often we ‘learnt’ something on the school playground and turned it into a rule but never stopped to evaluate its effectiveness in keeping love alive. Keep what works; ditch what doesn’t.
I see for myself I ‘collapsed’ being married with thinking it’s a ‘betrayal’ to discuss aspects of my relationship or myself with someone else, including a confidante girlfriend, mentor, counsellor or ‘angel’. And equally that separateness is a fine balance and towards the latter part of my 13 year marriage and 18 year relationship, I went overboard on being involved in what mattered to me – personal transformation – to the degree that I didn’t nurture my marriage and my husband was left feeling like he was no longer number 1. Looking back, it was a way to distract myself from what wasn’t working and look for fulfilment somewhere else.
Till next time, when we will look at how to handle those times when he seems to ‘disappear’ on you.
Sending you a big hug!
Mandy Russell – Small business Performance Coach and South Africa’s Divorce Angel – has over a decade’s experience in the personal transformation arena leading seminars to thousands of people. Having been through her own divorce, and realizing how much she underestimated the trauma; Mandy is making this extraordinary programme available to women in Africa with it’s high divorce rates and huge demands on women to be breadwinners and head up single parent households. For more see www.nakeddivorce.com
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