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DATING ADVICE & TIPS
Whether you’re dating someone new or are in a serious relationship, learning how to appreciate your man will go a long way to building your relationship in a positive way.
After all, who doesn’t like feeling appreciated? I can tell you from personal experience: when Jessica shows me that she appreciates me, it makes me feel incredible…and then I work that much harder to be a great partner in our relationship.
Why You Need to Appreciate Your Man
I’m not giving you 27 ways to appreciate your man in this article so that you can get him to do nice things for you or buy you gifts. I want you to understand the value of showing anyone appreciation.
For you, taking the time to compliment or thank your guy means you’ve got to slow down and really see him for who he is. It’s hard to take someone for granted when you’re showing them appreciation. It can also make you want to reciprocate. After all, if he’s putting in the work, shouldn’t you?
For him, it can make him feel like you are acknowledging his efforts in the relationship, which only makes him want to put more effort in. You build trust with him and get him to open up when you show your appreciation. And it paves the way for a loving and trusting relationship if you’re in the early days of dating.
Now let’s look at a few ways you can appreciate your man.
1. Compliment Him
It’s funny: I once realized that I often thought complimentary things about my girlfriend or friends, but rarely said them. Why keep the compliment locked in your own head when it would make someone so happy to hear? Now I make an effort to give people compliments when they pass through my brain.
The trick to complimenting your man is to do so authentically and not go overboard with a compliment every ten minutes. Don’t go out of your way to find something nice to say; simply say the nice things that come to mind.
His new haircut might make him look younger. Tell him.
He might have made a Michelin star-worthy meal for dinner. Tell him.
He might make you laugh. Tell him.
Compliments don’t need to be cheesy or complicated. As long as they come from the heart, he’ll be glad to accept them.
2. See Him with Fresh Eyes
Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you can sometimes glaze over what makes this guy great. If you see him every day, it might be hard to notice those things that first attracted you, like his intellect or engaging personality.
Step away from your relationship and pretend you’re someone who just met your man. What stands out? What attracts you to him? These are probably the things that first drew you to him, so keep those qualities in mind and try to always appreciate them.
If you’ve both been stressed out lately, take a break from your worries and find a way to play together. Go on a mini-golf date or just chase him around the house to inject a little playfulness into the relationship.
If you’ve gotten into a Netflix and chill rut, get dressed up and go on an adult date. If you have kids, don’t talk about them. Talk about books, news, interests, travel, and each other as a way to light that old spark again.
3. Nip the Nagging
Another habit many couples fall into after being together a while is nagging. Of course, sometimes nagging is indicative of more serious problems in a relationship. You might be unhappy in another area but unable to find a way to talk about what’s really bothering you. You may want him to change in ways you can’t possibly expect him to change. But while some nagging is going to be the norm in most relationships, it’s up to you to find a better way to deal with things that annoy you.
First of all, accept his frustrating habits. Easier said than done, I know. Once you’ve made it clear that it irritates you that he leaves his sweaty gym clothes on the laundry room floor a few hundred times and he still doesn’t change his behavior, consider how else you can approach the situation. Maybe instead of nagging you simply put a hamper in the laundry room and encourage him to put his clothes there.
If something else is bothering you, find a time when you’re not irritated to discuss it. If you do want to complain about something, take a beat before berating him the second he comes home from work. Instead, ask about his day and give both of you time to unwind before getting to the issue. You’ll get better results this way.
4. Really Hear Him When He Talks
Another way to appreciate your man is to really and truly listen. Now, I don’t mean that while he’s talking you’re waiting for him to take a breath so you can tell him something that’s on your mind. I mean putting aside whatever it is you want to discuss and actively listening.
Don’t start planning your defense when you’re in the middle of an argument. Listen.
When he’s telling you about his bad day, don’t think, my day was so much worse! Listen.
Don’t judge when he’s opening up to you. Listen.
Ask questions when he talks to show that you’re hearing him and paying attention. You can bet he’ll notice, and that he’ll return the favor when you have something to say.
5. Get Interested in His Hobbies
You can also show appreciation to your man by taking an interest in what he’s into. If he’s into hiking and just completed the 5 Peak Challenge, cheer him on. If he wants to try surfing, sign up for a lesson with him.
That’s not to say you need to have all the same hobbies as him. When it makes sense, participate in activities with him. But if you’re not into, say, watching UFC, let that be his thing, and then ask how it went later.
6. Tell Him How You Feel About Him
Whether you’re already exchanging “I love yous“ or you’re still just fumbling for how you feel, express your emotions so that he knows where you are in the relationship.
This might be challenging if it makes you uncomfortable to open up to a man or feel vulnerable, but in the long run, it will be good for you both.
If you can’t sleep because you’re thinking about your amazing first date with him…tell him.
If you’ve never felt this way about anyone…tell him.
If he makes you want to be a better person…tell him.
And if you’re wishing he’d tell you how he feels, doing this may be a better strategy to get him to open up than flat-out asking him, “how do you feel about me?”
7. Thank Him
Here’s another thing that we often take for granted the longer we’ve been with someone: we start to expect all the nice things they do for us and don’t always thank them for doing them.
Thank yous can be big or small. You can thank him for opening your car door…or being there for you when you had a meltdown about a fight you had with your mom. You can thank him for taking out the garbage…or for attending a very awkward family dinner.
Not only will you make him feel appreciated, but you will also help reinforce behaviors that you like, such as cooking dinner or picking up your dry cleaning.
8. Show You Appreciate Your Man in the Bedroom
Sex is one area where there’s got to be give and take. Maybe he’s usually the one to initiate getting physical, or he does the majority of the “heavy lifting.” Surprise him by seducing him sometimes. Wear sexy lingerie or send him sexy texts to get the mood started early, then take charge once you’re in the bedroom. I promise: it won’t be a hardship for you to give in this aspect of your relationship!
9. Surprise Him with a Gift or Sweet Act
You don’t have to use words to communicate how grateful you are for the man in your life. Show him by doing sweet things for him when he least expects it.
Order food delivery to his office when he has to stay late to work.
Make him breakfast in bed.
Bring him a gift that made you think of him on a trip.
Remember: you’re not doing this to score points with your guy, but rather to show that you appreciate your man.
10. Be Present When You’re With Him
If you’re one of those people who always has her phone within reach, realize that you could be hurting your relationship. In one study, researchers found that diners who had access to their phones during a meal felt less connected to the person they were eating with. If you have your phone, silence it or flip it over when you’re with your boyfriend so you can focus on him.
But it’s not just phones that distract us, is it? We’ve got things on our minds. The television is on. We’re mulling over what we have going on at work. So yes, it takes an effort to really be present, but it’s the most valuable gift you can give anyone you spend time with.
11. Tell Him When He Does a Good Job
This is kind of like thanking him in that it also reinforces good behavior. But everyone likes being told when they do something well. And yes, it makes us want to do more of it!
So if he made your toes curl in bed…let him know.
If he helped you install your flat screen without making any holes in the wall…say something nice.
If he killed it at work…applaud him.
12. Make Him Feel Like the Only Man in the World
If he makes you feel this way, then you absolutely need to return the favor and make him feel like you cherish him.
Most of the ways to appreciate a man on this list will do the trick, but here are a few other strategies to make him feel like he’s the only man in the world for you:
- When you’re out, focus 100% on him. Maintain steady eye contact.
- Smile at him.
- Laugh at his jokes.
- Act like you just started dating, even if you’ve been together for years.
While you, of course, will have other priorities in your life, when you’re with him, communicate that he’s the most important thing to you in the moment.
13. Trust Him
Your man will know how much you care for him when you start to trust him. That means you aren’t jealous if he’s with other women because you know he loves you. It means opening up to him and being vulnerable in ways that make you uncomfortable.
14. Turn to Him When You Have a Bad Day
Nothing makes a guy feel better than having a woman need him for comfort.
Maybe your dog died…
Or you got in a nasty argument with your BFF…
Or your boss was terrible to you today…
Whatever happened, don’t keep it inside. Part of being a couple is leaning on one another when times are tough. So talk to him about your bad day. Let him comfort you. If you want suggestions for solutions to a problem, ask him for them.
15. Support Him in Achieving His Goals
Be his cheerleader. Whether he wants to beat his time in the next 5k or get a promotion, he needs you to believe in him. So put aside any naysaying you might be thinking and just let him know that you support him 100%.
If you can, help him achieve those goals. Go running with him. Or get on board to his diet if he’s trying to lose weight.
16. Tell Him He Looks Nice
Another way to appreciate a man is to compliment his physical appearance. While you don’t want to only do this, lest he thinks you’re only with him because you find him so hot, add physical compliments in the mix to boost his confidence and reassure him that you find him attractive.
Certainly, compliment him when he gets dressed up for a date with you, but also let him know if he looks like he’s lost weight, his hair looks perfect, or he just smells nice. You can bet he’ll go the extra mile to keep looking good for you.
Once we’ve been dating a while, we tend to stop flirting, but there are definite benefits to picking up the practice again. Flirting can actually boost your immune system and your self-esteem, and it can strengthen the bond you have with your man.
You’ll make him feel desired and attractive if you bat your eyelashes at him over dinner or throw a cheesy line out at him, so give it a try!
18. Pay Attention to What Makes Him Happy
Your man will know that you appreciate him if you take note of the little things that make him happy, especially if the relationship is relatively new. Maybe he told you a story about how he was fascinated by ladybugs as a kid, so you buy him some at the hardware store and you set them free in the garden together.
It can be seemingly insignificant details that can have a big impact:
- Buy his favorite type of beer
- Let him know when his favorite band is coming to town
- Surprise him by organizing a visit from an old friend he hasn’t seen in a while
19. Make Small Sacrifices for Him
While you certainly don’t need to be the only one in the relationship making sacrifices, compromising now and then will strengthen your relationship and show him that you care enough to have some discomfort or not have things go the way you’d prefer now and then.
He loves karaoke and you hate it…but take him out to a karaoke bar for his birthday anyway.
You both have invitations from friends to hang out Friday night. If you know he really wants to spend time with his friends, choose them this time.
You hate watching sports but he’s a die-hard football fan. Compromise by sitting with him on the couch reading while he watches the game.
20. Brag About Him to Friends
You’re proud of your man and his accomplishments, so why not toot his horn for him to your friends? Of course, don’t do it if it will make him uncomfortable. But if he won’t mind the attention, share what he’s done. Not only will it make him feel great, but it will also show your friends what an amazing man you’ve found.
21. Get His Opinion
Part of what you appreciate about this guy is his brain. Whether you need an opinion on what to wear to a party or what direction you should take your career, ask him for his honest opinion. And don’t just do it to be nice: really consider his point of view because it might be different from your own and may open up new possibilities to you.
22. Recall What He’s Said
This goes with active listening. You can show that you’re listening and paying attention by recalling things he’s said in the past. This is a great tip if you’re just starting to date because typically the guy doesn’t expect you to retain everything he says. He doesn’t know: you might be talking to several guys, so he doesn’t presume you’ll remember everything!
Impress him by latching onto things and asking about them.
“Hey, you said your mom was having surgery this week. How’d it go?”
“Last week you told me that you grew up in Orange County. Do you miss it?”
23. Let Him Know You Miss Him
We’re not kids. There’s no reason to play hard to get. If you’ve been apart from your boyfriend for a while (even a day!) and miss him, let him know. He’ll be flattered that he’s on your mind and that you want to see him again soon. If you’re new to dating, this will help you score that next date!
If sharing your feelings is challenging, this is a good baby step. There’s really nothing to fear in terms of rejection here: after all, who wouldn’t love to hear that they are missed?
24. Tell Him You Feel Safe With Him
I think this is another one of those instances that you might think but not express, so go ahead and tell him. Safety is a huge thing for women to feel in a relationship, and it indicates that you truly trust him if he makes you feel safe.
Maybe you love how he walks on the traffic side of the street to protect you from cars. Or he bulks up when walking past shady characters at night. Whatever it is, you just feel protected.
Communicating this will make him want to keep on protecting you!
25. Make Time For Him
Life’s busy for us all. You have to make time for a relationship, especially the longer it’s been going on. If you find yourself giving drive-by kisses on the way to work or having a brief conversation before crashing at night, it’s time to prioritize your relationship so that you make your fella feel appreciated.
Schedule a date night on the calendar and get out for a night on the town. Or, if that’s too much right now, just make time to cook dinner together and have a good chat at home. It’s less important what you do than just that you spend quality time together.
26. Plan for the Future with Him
If things are serious, you’re both probably thinking about both the short- and long-term future together. Start making plans. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start planning a wedding (or does it?) but maybe bring up taking an international trip together or investing in salsa classes for a few months. Planning even a few months out tells him that you’re in this and looking forward to building a future together.
27. Give Him His Space
It seems like giving your guy space would be the opposite of showing your appreciation, but the fact is: we all need “me” time. You are confident that he cares for you, so you don’t need to spend every moment together. Encourage him to go out with his friends without you or just stay home and relax on his own. And you can do the same!
How you appreciate your man really comes down to you. It’s just important that you make a consistent effort to do so. In the relationships I’ve seen crumble, one or both people let that appreciation peter out, and the relationship ultimately ended. But solid couples I know prioritize communicating and demonstrating that gratitude consistently.
Talk to me in the comments below: how do you show your man that you appreciate him?
Is your man starting to pull away? You need to step up your appreciation ASAP…and sign up for this Why Men Pull Away course!
If it’s been a while since you last dated, you might feel like a fish out of water trying to figure out what guys like. What worked when you were 20 doesn’t feel right anymore, nor are you willing to pretend to be a dumb blonde so a man will like you.
So…what DO guys like at this age?
The key is owning where you are in your life right now and using that to attract a man. But…given that I’m a man, I may have a little more insight into what guys like than you feel like you do, and I am happy to share what I know with you.
What Guys Like at This Age
If you’re no longer a young girl who is insecure and acts the way she thinks a man wants her to, then the guys you date should also no longer be immature 20-year-olds (unless you’re into that). The men you date should appreciate a self-confident woman who knows who she is.
So here is what a mature man wants to hear from a sexy, confident woman like you.
1. “I Like You.”
No one likes playing games at this point in life, and you shouldn’t either. Instead, be bold and honest about your feelings. You’ll get a lot further in dating if you open up about how you feel and what you’re looking for.
And if he’s not looking for the same, at least you can find out early on rather than building up feelings for him, only to find out that he’s really not looking for a relationship right now.
Now, I get that making yourself vulnerable might be difficult for you. We all have relationship baggage of one kind or another, and you might find it challenging to talk about how you feel. But if you’re serious about finding love again (or for the first time), then I encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and open up.
2. “Sorry, I’m Busy Tomorrow.”
Telling the man you’re interested in that you’re busy shows you’re not waiting around for him. You have a life.
But don’t just pretend to have plans if he asks you out. Actually have them. Most men are attracted to women who are independent because they have full lives and aren’t looking for a man to fill some void. On the other hand, a woman who ditches her friends to hang out with a guy, or who is always available, is one that may end up being clingy or needy, and that’s not attractive.
What guys like is a woman they’ve got to work just a little bit harder to be with and to get on her calendar.
3. “Can I Pay?”
There’s no rule when it comes to who pays for a date. Even in modern times, 80% of people think the guy should pay on a first date, but that doesn’t mean you have to let him.
I don’t know a man who wouldn’t be pleased to have a woman ask if she can pay for the date or at least contribute. He might not let her (some guys just want to pay), but he’ll like that she offered.
If you ask him out, you can insist that it’s your treat. Or, at the very least, you can cover the tip or buy dessert.
Offering to pay shows that you’re looking for equal footing in a relationship, not that you want a man who will wine and dine you without you ever returning the favor.
4. “Tell Me More.”
Having someone take interest in what they’re saying isn’t just what guys like; all people like it. But if you’re trying to show a man that you’re into him, one of the best ways to do it is to really listen to him.
It’s easy to do on a first date. After all, your stomach is full of butterflies and you just keep thinking about how perfect this guy is for you. But it gets harder to be an active listener the longer you’ve been dating. Still, it’s important to continue to listen, respond, and ask questions about the man you’re into.
Harry Weger, Jr., Ph.D. published an article called “The relative effectiveness of active listening in initial interactions” in the International Journal of Listening, and he says:
“Feeling understood by another person is a very basic part of feeling accepted and valued as a person and it’s a building block for relationships of all kinds.”
So if there’s any potential for this to turn into something long-term, you need to engage with this man by caring (genuinely) about what he has to say.
5. “You Turn Me On.”
Another area that it’s important to be a good communicator in is the bedroom. You might feel like this guy lights you up from head to toe when he does that one thing to you…but does he know how much he satisfies you?
You might think that your moans and screams are a good indicator that he’s hitting the mark during sex, but not all men can tell when a woman orgasms or is otherwise pleased. Also, some women fake it, so a man can never really be sure.
So don’t be stingy with the compliments. Let him know when he does a good job.
And let him know what turns you on. That could be anything from that cologne that he sometimes wears to when he touches the small of your back. Letting him know what you like means that he’ll do more of it!
6. “I Don’t Need a Man.”
So you don’t need to say this outright in case it comes off as a bit tough, but you do want to communicate that you’re independent. You don’t need him…but you want him in your world.
If this one isn’t resonating with you yet, let’s dive into that. Do you feel like you need a man to be happy or successful in life? I know that’s not true. You have thrived on your own, even if it’s just been a short while. You can change lightbulbs and kill spiders without the help of a man. You can be happy without one.
And you need to be happy on your own. Because no man will be able to make you happy 100%. Yes, he can bring happiness to your world, but if you’re already fulfilled with your friends and your life, then he can only add to that magic.
In other words: set up your life so that you’re happy as things are before a man enters it. Then when the right guy does come along, you’re not trying to fill a void with him (trust me: that never works out).
What guys like is to see that you are self-sufficient and not needy. He’ll want to be a part of your world even more in that case.
7. “I Miss You.”
This is another one of those being vulnerable moments.
If you haven’t spent time with this man in a while, you might be tempted to let him think you’re going on other dates or are just super busy and don’t have time to think of him. But what reaction are you hoping to get from that attitude? Jealousy, or worse, withdrawal. Would you want him to treat you that way?
What would happen if you opened up and told him you missed him? That you’d love to see him again soon? You’d make him happy. You’d make him scramble to make plans with you as soon as possible.
Which of these two scenarios is what you really want? Which do you think lays a better foundation for a future with this man?
8. “Let’s [Insert Activity Here.]”
Is he the one who usually makes plans for the two of you to do something? Maybe he loves doing the planning, but I’m willing to bet he’d be happy to discover that you’re not expecting him to always come up with a plan to go out.
Come up with some innovative ideas for a date. Think about what he’s told you and use that in your planning. Maybe he mentioned that he’s never gone kayaking but would love to try. Find a kayak rental company, check this weekend’s forecast, and make the suggestion.
Or maybe the last date you went on was in a noisy bar and next time, you’d like to go somewhere quieter where you can really get to know one another. You could suggest a private picnic in the park.
If you haven’t yet been intimate, but you’re ready, invite him over for dinner at your house (where it’s easy to transition to the bedroom).
Just show him that you don’t expect him to do all the creative date planning.
9. “I’m Game.”
You’re willing to try new things, so let him know. That might be having Ethiopian food for the first time, rock climbing at his gym, or going on a road trip together.
I’m not saying you need to turn into Ms. Spontaneous if you’re more of a planner, but you should be open to new experiences. What guys want is a woman who will at least try something once rather than being shut off to something she’s never experienced.
If this is making you uncomfortable, certainly don’t agree to try something you don’t want to do just to impress a man. But try taking baby steps. If you’ve never had sushi, you don’t have to go straight to raw fish. Try vegetarian maki and see how it tastes. You might surprise yourself and actually like it!
Above all, what guys want is for you to be who you are. If you’re not adventurous, or offering to pay isn’t your style, don’t do it. But find the confidence to be authentic because the right man will love absolutely everything about you.
If you’re starting a relationship or just dating someone, you lay the foundation for a solid future if you are genuine in your actions. Don’t be afraid of scaring him off: if you do, he wasn’t right for you anyway.
Have faith that there is the perfect man out there for you. YOU will drive him wild…simply by being yourself!
Share in the comments below: what else have you found that drives men wild?
Do you realize you already have the power to get commitment from a man…if you really want it? Unlock the secrets of getting the right man to commit with my exclusive free commitment training.
You might assume that if you fall in love, it’s with “The One”.
But by this point in your life, you’ve probably loved a few men…and none of them has worked out. You remember feeling like you loved them…were you wrong? Not at all. There are actually different types of love and each is good in its own way, and you gain great experiences from each.
Why does no one tell you this?! It would be helpful to understand that not every man you fall in love with is meant to be the one you end up with.
We need a manual on love, I think.
Why Different Types of Love are Good For You
You remember being in your teens or twenties and falling head over heels for a guy. Maybe you even dreamed of that big wedding and all those kids you’d have. Now you’re older and wiser and can’t believe you ever thought you’d end up with Davey from your typewriting class.
But that doesn’t mean you didn’t love Davey. It was genuine…for that phase of your life and who you were at the time. Both your experiences and where you are in your life can impact the types of love you have, as well as your relationship with a man.
Experiencing different types of love expands your experience and helps you understand both what you want…and what you don’t want in a lasting relationship.
Let’s dive into the seven types of love you may experience. Some of them are less healthy than others, but I firmly believe that you can learn something from every type of love and every relationship you have.
Also known as puppy love, this may feel real (and super intense), but ultimately it is fleeting. It usually happens within the first few weeks of dating someone new. You’re drunk on that feeling of infatuation. You can’t get enough of the guy…and he can’t get enough of you. You may hole up in his bed for an entire weekend and your friends think you’re dead in a ditch somewhere.
But you’re having an incredible time. You’re seeing nothing but possibilities. After all, this guy could be Mr. Right, couldn’t he? You’re already thinking about the summer getaway you’ll take…and maybe, if you’re honest, about what your wedding would be like.
And if you’re having sex, this feeling of infatuation will only be magnified. But in reality, most of that is just lust.
But then…maybe you start to notice how loud his laugh is when you’re in public. Or how it’s really not all that awesome that he has no car and you have to drive him everywhere. Some of that glitter fades and you realize you have nothing in common with this man.
The bloom is off the rose, as they say.
You quickly move from being completely gaga and unable to think of anything but this man to seeing all the reasons you’re not right for one another. And that’s a good thing because you’re realizing early on that this isn’t the guy for you.
Now, don’t get me wrong: infatuation is a healthy and necessary part of finding the perfect fit. You’re bonding to one another emotionally, physically, and biochemically. And if feels freaking fantastic, doesn’t it?
What You Learn From This Type of Love: If you’ve been through a divorce or it’s been eons since you last tumbled into love, infatuation provides a useful service: it makes you feel desired and attractive again. Your memories of your marriage might be fights and his put-downs, but here’s a guy who can gaze into your eyes and make you feel like the only woman in the room. There’s definitely value in that, even if he doesn’t end up being the one you end up with forever.
2. Friendly Love
On paper, this guy has it all. He likes the same music. He’s got a great career. He’s kind to everyone. He treats you like a queen. He’s a great guy and you want to love him…but honestly, you feel something more like brotherly love for him.
You try to force a relationship at first. After all, what’s wrong with you? Why don’t you feel passion and attraction for this amazing man?
The thing is, no matter how “perfect” for you a man seems to be, that doesn’t make him right for you romantically. There’s a lot at work when it comes to physical, emotional, and romantic attraction, and this man clearly doesn’t check all the boxes, no matter how much you want him to.
In a study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers found that men and women who were friends were more likely to stay that way than become romantically involved. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
This type of love is a great base for friendship, and who couldn’t use more friends?
What You Learn From This Type of Love: It’s a fact: you can’t force romance. Sometimes being friends is what you were destined to be, and having a male friend provides so many perks. You can better understand the opposite sex, which can help you in dating and relationships. You can get his opinion on men you’re talking to, to see if they’re genuine and good potential suitors. You can learn how to be a better communicator, and you’ll always have a plus-one for events when you don’t have a date! And you never know: if you relax and be yourself around him as a friend, things might melt back into romantic love down the road.
3. Obsessive Love
This type of love might start out like infatuation, but it quickly takes a wrong turn.
You freak out when he doesn’t text you back immediately…
You wonder where he is when he’s not with you…
You get upset when he doesn’t do what you think he should.
If you admit it, you feel a bit unbalanced and unlike yourself with him. Normally you’re the one being chased in a relationship, but you are desperate to have all of his attention, and you’ll do anything to get it.
Is your attachment style anxious-preoccupied? Probably. You may spend a lot of time being anxious about this relationship. Any time he gives you attention, you feel like the sun is shining on you. When he doesn’t, you feel like things are doomed.
In an obsessive love relationship, you may have low self-esteem, jealousy, and/or a need to control, even if these aren’t your normal ways of being in a relationship. There’s just some cocktail of chemicals and emotions with this guy that’s making you completely out of whack.
Pay attention, because obsessive love can be a serious disorder that needs to be treated with medication or psychotherapy. But it doesn’t have to be to that degree for it to negatively impact your life.
What You Learn From This Type of Love: This isn’t love! Any man that you look to for your source of happiness isn’t the right one. You may need to spend some time alone so that you learn how to be happy by yourself before getting into your next relationship.
It’s also a good lesson that you can’t control anything in life.
4. Codependent Love
Here’s another type of love that isn’t necessarily good for you.
With codependent love, one or both of you have unhealthy behaviors that the other is fostering. Shawn Meghan Burn, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, defines codependent love like this:
“I prefer to think of codependent relationships as a specific type of dysfunctional helping relationship. Broadly speaking, in dysfunctional helping relationships, one person’s help supports (enables) the other’s underachievement, irresponsibility, immaturity, addiction, procrastination, or poor mental or physical health.”
You may have explosive arguments. Drug or alcohol use. Abuse. Lying. Cheating.
Despite all of this negativity, you feel like you won’t find better. That you need this person to survive. That, in some twisted way, you’re good for each other.
This isn’t love, either. It’s drama, and believe me, sexy, confident lady, you can and will find better.
What You Learn From This Type of Love: There’s a lesson in everything, isn’t there? I think the lesson in codependent love is that you need to feel needed…just not like this. Whatever the bad behavior is, it masks bigger issues in the relationship that you need to work on by yourself before moving into your next healthy relationship.
5. Unrequited Love
I think we’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives: you have feelings for someone who doesn’t return them.
You aren’t in a relationship, but might be friends. It might be the Harry to your Sally, and you’re wondering when you’ll turn into a couple just like they did in the movies (I curse rom-coms for giving women an unrealistic expectation of romance!).
He seems perfect for you…so why doesn’t he feel the same?
Realize that you may be inflating how great this guy is simply because you can’t have him. It’s the whole “grass is greener” thing. Because he isn’t interested, he’s the more appealing. Try to step back and look at him for who he is. You might realize that he’s not all that compatible with you.
You may never even tell the object of your affections that you have feelings for him, though if you do, at least you know whether he feels the same or not. Otherwise, you’ll always wonder.
What You Learn From This Type of Love: This type of love teaches you what love shouldn’t feel like: it needs to be two-sided to thrive.
6. All-You Love
Here’s another one-sided kind of love. You’re in a relationship, but you’re the one giving everything.
You sacrifice, you compromise. He takes.
You let him pick the restaurant whenever you go out because he’s pickier than you about where you eat.
Or, when he tells you he has a job offer across the country, you swallow your sadness about uprooting your life and leaving your friends and go to support him.
Your friends don’t understand why you’re with him because they don’t see him sacrificing or giving anything to you. But you’re so in love that you don’t see it.
Sadly, this relationship won’t last forever because eventually, you will run out of things to give. Just like a plant, you need things to thrive. Instead of sunlight, air, and water, you need love, affection, and selflessness. Without him giving those things, you will wither and your love will die.
What You Learn From This Type of Love: It’s beautiful to give in a relationship, but it needs to be balanced. You will realize your own self-worth and that you deserve someone who is just as eager as you are to contribute to the relationship.
7. Healthy Love
Ahh, finally! The crème de la crème of love. Healthy, true love is worth waiting for. It means you’re in a relationship where you are partners, where you equally give to one another.
There’s no jealousy. No lying. No obsession.
He never makes you feel dumb or out of your league. There’s no drama.
While infatuation probably happened on your journey to healthy love, things have settled down a bit now. While you adore spending time with your man, you also balance it with alone time and being with your friends. You’re able to be genuine with him and have opened up to him in ways you haven’t in past relationships.
All these other types of love helped you get here, but now you see what the big deal is and how it’s different from all others. It’s that moment that you think, “OH! I see what the big deal is!”
You’ve learned lessons on your journey to true love so that you know what is and isn’t acceptable in a relationship. You’ve learned a ton about who you are, and have found happiness within rather than looking for it from another person. That makes you whole and completely ready for a real relationship that is right for you.
What You Learn From This Type of Love: You may have struggled to try to be yourself with a partner in the past, which is understandable, since none of them were right for you. Now you can relax, knowing that this man truly sees you for who you are.
I don’t want you to discount any man you ever thought you loved as being irrelevant. I truly believe that every relationship we are in, every emotion we feel, is valid and useful. Sure, you might have been 15, 20, or 30 when you thought you were in love but did your age make those feelings irrelevant?
Think of it like this: right now, whatever age you are, you are the smartest you’ve been and have had more life experiences than you ever had in the past. But in 10 years, you’ll have even more and be even smarter. Does that invalidate what you feel today? Of course not.
Rather than thinking that there is one true love for you in your life, be open to the fact that you’ve probably loved many men in different ways. And those experiences led you to where you are and how you are capable of having a healthy love today.
Talk to me! Which of these types of love have you experienced? Have you found a healthy love yet? Leave a comment below.
Still looking for that healthy love? Sign up for my Attract the One online workshop to discover the three steps to get the right man to pursue you and only you!
Do a makeover
Make time for your spouse
When was the last time that you actually had time for each other? Because of too many things that you commit yourself to do, you forget that your husband needs you too. Start managing your time so that you will have an evening alone with him.
Ask him to go home early so that you can spend the night in a hotelor you can you out of town once in a while. Make him feel that you are prioritizing him over anything. Besides, how can you possibly have sex when you go home and he’s already sneezing and he go to work while you are knocked out in bed?
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- Show up on time –
This is invariably the first impression you will make on your date. Regardless of whether your partner is someone who is used to being on time themselves or not, a woman always expects her date to be there on time. This is because arriving late, is a subtle indication that she is not your first priority and that’s not a good start.
- Don’t go overboard–
It is important to keep your cool as it entirely possible that you may end up creeping her out in an effort to please her. Ensure you behave normally and be extremely courteous and considerate. Although it is impressive to be yourself on your date, it is essential to ensure you don’t go overboard and spill out certain thing about yourself that she wouldn’t want to know on your first date.
- Come well-dressed–
How you look may not be the core of your date or the rapport you build with your date, but it is a crucial first impression. However, you don’t have to spend hours getting ready but ensure you get yourself some quick fashion fixes.
- Always offer her compliments–
Just like men want to get into the female mind, women too want to know what the men think about them. There is no woman. However tough, who doesn’t like a compliment.
- Have a healthy conversation–
Having a healthy and involving conversation is essential on a date to make the woman feel like you are interested in her. No one likes a self-absorbed person so never go on and on about details of yourself and be considerate enough to ask some questions that will help you get to know your date.
- To kiss or not to kiss–
Most men out there would usually jump in on the idea of a kiss on their first date, but that steals the possible longing that is required on the first date. Not kissing her on the first date will keep you at the top of her mind as she’ll wonder why you didn’t. If you want to further this effect, it is a good idea to touch her arm ever so lightly, hug her and give her a peck on the cheek. Doing this will make her crave for the next time you meet, and she will long for your kiss.
- Keep in touch–
A great first date needs to be followed up by keeping in touch with each other and maybe even plan a second date. So ensure you call or text each other every few days minimum to let the other know you are still interested.
- Your physical relationship has lost its spark –
The first sign that you’ve lost interest in your current relationship is that the fire of passion in your sex life has disappeared. If you notice that you’re no more turned on by your partner’s presence and those butterflies in your stomach are missing in action, this is a sign for you to consider talking things out with your partner about your lack of interest.
- A voluntary end to arguments–
When you’re deeply involved in a relationship, any misunderstandings or problems always result in rageful arguments. Although most of us, hate these arguments, they are a sign of love. You only argue with those you love and care about. The day you stop wanting to argue or explain yourself with regard to any issues in the relationship, it is a sign that you have no more interest in keeping the relationship alive.
- You find excuses to keep from meeting them–
In case you see yourself constantly trying to keep yourself busy by picking up new hobbies in an effort to evade spending time with your partner, it is possible that you’ve lost interest in them. This may also lead to you checking out new people in a quest to enter new relationships.
- Their calls and texts are no more your top priority–
In the initial days of a relationship couples always spend a lot of their time communicating with each other, either through text, or calls. If you find yourself not replying to their calls or texts or even replying late, it is time to evaluate the reason behind this behavior. There could be various reasons you don’t feel like communicating anymore. Some of them are they text too much, you’re just not interested in receiving random forwards you have no interest in etc.
- You have given up trying–
Trying to keep the spark alive is a herculean task. If you notice yourself not trying to keep the relationship going anymore, it means the relationship no longer means to you what it used to. You’ve stopped going on date nights, introducing them to your friends, you don’t answer to their messages immediately etc.
- You feel they are more of your friend than your partner –
This is the most commonly ignored feeling. Regardless of how many times you’ve been told that love is friendship, you must remember that if the only thing left in your relationship is friendship, then it’s time to re-consider that statement. If you’ve begun to see your partner as someone you only want to cuddle or plan outings with, you may want to talk things out with them to understand what is going wrong and why you do not wish to engage in anything physically intimate.