By Slade Shaw
Author of Why Men Pull Away
“I once had a thousand desires. But in my one desire to know you, all else melted away.”
Rita, a massage therapist from San Diego, was fresh from a breakup when she met Henry.
Her ex walked out on her without warning after five whole years of being together. So, she was keen on starting over with her new guy.
She’d only been seeing Henry for a couple of months, but she knew he was different from the guys she’d been seeing during the short time she became single.
Several dates later, everything was going great…
…until, well, they weren’t.
Henry was super affectionate and constantly updating Rita with what he was up to. If he wasn’t sending funny messages throughout the day, he’d fire off a quirky picture with a silly caption.
But then the communication slowed down to the point Rita had to text him a few times before he’d send a half-hearted reply. She practically had to beg him to make plans before they could go out again.
Henry’s behavior left Rita scratching her head in confusion. What made matters worse that her old fears of being left hanging in the air started to bubble to the surface.
She thought to herself, “Who is this guy texting me lukewarm ‘ok’s…and what has he done with the real Henry?”
How to Keep That Spark Burning
It’s pretty ironic that someone who has a job like Rita’s would have a hard time keeping a guy’s interest, isn’t it?
Ok, kidding aside, there are some things a woman can do to make sure her guy doesn’t ever get bored or think about leaving.
And most women think that he needs to feel a certain way all the time, like being head over heels IN LOVE 24/7.
But the truth is that romantic love ebbs and flows over time. Emotions (and people) evolve in a relationship, and it’s not about constantly being in a lovestruck state for years and years.
Those rose-colored glasses will come off at one point, and a deeper, more mature kind love will blossom in your relationship.
You can help that natural process move along if you give him the signs that you’re a solid partner.
And that starts with creating a stable, grounded relationship that can get through the roughest patches and stay generally positive throughout.
If this climate exists between you two, he’ll stick around no matter how long (or short) you’ve been together.
You just need to cultivate the right habits to make this happen:
#1: Make him work for it
You see, the hottest relationships are all about push and pull. This is a dynamic where a person pushes their partner into making them feel attractive, desired and the most amazing person they’ve met.
Then the person doing the pushing withdraws a bit – or pulls away – so that they reverse roles with their partner. This way, the hunter becomes the hunted.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Sometimes, you might push too hard that your guy feels smothered. Or he might give up and lose interest if you play “hard to get” too much.
So, it’s a rather delicate balance to achieve. But when it’s done right, it’s tons of FUN.
Here are a few ways to create this dynamic:
- Don’t be available ALL the time. Keep your schedule balanced and keep doing all the stuff that keeps you happy, fulfilled, refreshed and revitalized.
- Have a hobby or passion that doesn’t necessarily pay the bills, but makes you, YOU. Men are interested in a woman who makes it a point to be interesting. This works great because it gives you an additional sense of purpose while effortlessly impressing your guy in the process.
- Let your guy DO his own stuff, too. If he says he’s going fishing with the boys or anything else that involves hanging out with them, LET HIM.
This sounds like common sense…that is, until the neediness monster takes over. Don’t drop by with a pizza to “see how he’s doing”, or bombard him with a bunch of texts asking him to check in with you. All guys in a relationship need to feel free – within a reasonable level, of course.
- Introduce a little tension. Tease him a bit and be playful. Bust his chops every now and then and give him a hard time like his pals do.
In some ways, he’s still that kid at the playground trying to catch a girl’s attention by poking fun at her and launching spitballs or whatever. So flirting with him flips the script, keeps him on his toes and hot on your trail.
#2: Be his number one fan
If you want your man to stay in the game, take the initiative by setting the bar.
Show him the same behavior you’d like to see from him. Having his back is a good way to do that.
A guy needs to know that you appreciate and cherish who he is now, and who he’s capable of being in the future. This makes him feel accepted and secure in the knowledge that you’re rooting for him.
That means he doesn’t have to hold back some part of himself because he has no reason to. He knows he can be himself, including being vulnerable around you.
And when he can let his guard down with you, it’s a huge sign of TRUST, which is the building block of any successful relationship.
#3: Build those inner roads
A guy is more likely to stay when his woman knows how to make him feel connected to her.
You can do this by having a good layout of his world. There are a lot of things that occupy his thoughts and make up who he is.
So the more you’re aware of this, the more he’ll know that you care about him as a WHOLE.
Sad to say, but a lot of men bail because they feel their partner is more concerned about filling THAT role in her life, rather than seeing them as a person.
That said, try to familiarize yourself with the following:
- Who’s the biggest person giving him a hard time at work?
- Who are his closest friends?
- Who were his heroes growing up?
- What’s the one thing keeping him up at night?
- What’s his greatest fear?
- What are the things he hasn’t accomplished yet, and would like to do in the next five years?
- If money wasn’t a thing, what would be the perfect job for him?
#4: Make it OK for him to disagree with you
Oftentimes a guy is afraid that he can’t be honest about his thoughts or opinions with his girl.
He’s worried she’s going to freak out or get into a screaming argument about it.
(Most of the time, in that order.)
Worse, a lot of men have been burned by past partners who tell them it’s ok to be honest…but proceed with said behavior.
To a guy, that’s like asking him to walk through a door…
…with Jason from Friday the 13th waiting with a chainsaw on the other side.
Admittedly, it takes a certain level of maturity to get to a place where you can accept your differences without attacking each other.
And to be perfectly honest, guys are also guilty of this one, too. But to them though, this is a particularly sore spot.
So, if you’re able to handle his opinions and not fly off the handle, he’ll feel more safe around you.
#5: Tune into his needs
“Well, wait a minute,” you might say. “What about MY needs? Do you expect me to live to please him? Isn’t that one-sided??”
Listen, I get you. No one in their right mind would expect to do ALL the work while the other person sits back and eats their proverbial cake.
If he’s self-centered and makes the relationship all about him, you shouldn’t waste your time on that kind of man. Fair enough, right?
But if you’re with a swell guy (and I’m guessing that he is), your happiness is on his priority list. It’s in every decent guy’s DNA to make sure of that.
And going back to what I said before about setting the bar, a man also loves a woman who can meet him halfway on this.
So build on the habit of getting to know him better, then use that knowledge to give him what he needs.
When you have a good grasp of what he likes and doesn’t like, it’s easy to do little things that make him feel special and valued.
Stuff like his favorite movies, top food choices, interests and hobbies will give you a good idea of the things you can do for him.
The more personalized your acts of kindness are, the bigger effect they’ll have on your man.
#6: Don’t neglect yourself
I said earlier that you shouldn’t let your passions, social life and career slide because they make you the woman he loves.
And the other side of that coin is taking care of yourself on a more basic level – mainly your looks and well-being.
Now, I’m not saying he shouldn’t do the same…
…I just mean that you should do your part no matter what.
Again, it’s on him if he’s not meeting you halfway.
But here’s the thing: men are NOT after perfection or supermodel-like features in a long-term partner. Deep inside, they know that only gets your foot in the door.
In the bigger scheme of things, he just wants to know you’re making the EFFORT.
He just needs to know you care about looking good around him, and caring about yourself in general.
So, that means being on top of the big three: Fitness, Health and Fashion.
Look at it this way – you’re going to have to do this whether you’re single or in a relationship.
So it’s better to be up to scratch on this stuff – and get a serious partner out of it in the process!
#7: Keep him busy in the bedroom
Of course I’m going to talk about this. I might sound a little harsh about this, but the sexual component is a non-negotiable in your relationship.
Otherwise, you might end up with a good friend instead of a romantic partner.
So, make him feel like he’s the hottest guy you’ve met.
He knows full well he’s no Brad Pitt (but good on you if he does look like him), but it still matters to him that you DESIRE him that way.
Men want to be WANTED, just like you do. And when you only have eyes for each other – he won’t look elsewhere.
For starters, don’t be afraid to get tactile with him even when you’re not doing the deed. Hold his hand in public, touch his arm often and give him a kiss before parting ways.
As for the main event, communicate your desires to him when you’re in the heat of the moment.
Tell him when he’s doing it right, get a bit vocal and compliment him on his masculinity.
As far as the bigger picture’s concerned, guys aren’t after the perfect partner or relationship.
They’re more interested in someone who’s just as on board as they are – and more importantly, reassures them that they’re committing to the RIGHT girl.
Once your guy knows he’s making the right choice by being with you, you won’t have to worry about where you stand with him.
But if you’re doing everything possible to keep your man interested and it STILL seems like he’s slipping away, you shouldn’t blame yourself.
Every guy is different, and he has his reasons for withdrawing that have nothing to do with you.
And if you want to know the REAL reason why men pull away – and how to STOP your guy from leaving…