How to Be a Better Girlfriend – 5 Things That Matter Most

How to Be a Better Girlfriend – 5 Things That Matter Most

Photo by Luis Zambrano

How do you become a better girlfriend? I used to ask myself this question in the past a lot too.

There is so much pressure on us women to look perfect, be perfectly kind, considerate, caring etc…

But at the same, I’ve made this observation over and over again (and I’m sure you did too):

There are women out there who act like total b****s sometimes, yet they have their partners follow them around like a puppy…

So what is it that men really want from their girlfriends?

Does your boyfriend want you to be gentle, kind and caring? Or does he want you to be strong, confident and challenge him every now and then?

The answer to these questions is likely a bit of both….

Some concepts are easier to understand by painting out their opposite. That’s why to get you to fully understand what men really want in relationships and how to become a better girlfriend, I’m going to start off by defining everything that you want to avoid being.

What is a Bad Girlfriend?

When my boyfriend, Gabriel and I got together, it was my first serious relationship. Because of that I wasn’t sure how relationships really worked which led me to doubt myself and wonder whether I was being a bad girlfriend.

If you too are doubting how good of a girlfriend you really are, these points are bound to put you at ease.

1. A Bad Girlfriend is Dishonest

Nobody (man or woman) ever wants to be lied to and betrayed.

It is hard to bring up difficult topics in a relationship sometimes. But when you’re intentionally hiding things you’re risking destroying your partner’s trust.

It’s ok to lie about liking your partner’s new shirt just to make him happy, but cheating, lying and hiding important things definitely make a bad girlfriend (or boyfriend for that matter).

2. A Bad Girlfriend Is Entirely Self Absorbed

A certain degree of selfishness is perfectly normal and healthy to have in a relationship.

But a woman who ONLY ever thinks about herself is bound to be a pretty terrible girlfriend.

3. A Bad Girlfriend Is Manipulative

Much like when it comes to being lied to, no one ever wants to be manipulated into things.

Never asking for what you want and trying to force your partner into giving it to you by scheming and manipulating always inevitably backfires.

It’s also something that makes a bad girlfriend.

4. A Bad Girlfriend Is Cruel

Wanting to intentionally hurt somebody should not be something anyone ever does, period.

Cruelty damages relationships often beyond repair.

Being cruel not only makes a person a terrible girlfriend, it also makes their relationship a toxic one.

5. A Bad Girlfriend Is Unavailable and Dismissive

Being cold, distant and actively dismissing your boyfriend’s feelings is definitely damaging to a relationship and it’s also something that makes a person a bad girlfriend.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Girlfriend?

Now that you know what it means to be a bad girlfriend, you can probably guess that being a good one simply requires you to have the opposite of all the above mentioned traits.

The biggest and most important qualities of a good girlfriend are as follows:

1. Honesty

Everybody craves to be able to draw a sense of safety and stability from their relationship. It’s one of the most fundamental and strongest human emotional needs.

What your boyfriend really wants is to be able to count on you to be there for him for big as well as small things.

Being reliable and honest is one of the biggest prerequisites for building trust in a relationship and no relationship can function without trust

Being a woman of your word, meaning what you say, being trustworthy and reliable are all qualities that not only make you an amazing girlfriend, they make you an amazing person too.

2. Being Considerate

Every man wants his girlfriend to care about his needs and preferences.

This is true for small things as well as big ones.

It’s not about being endlessly giving and sacrificing your needs to make your boyfriend happy. A certain dose of selfishness is absolutely normal and healthy in a relationship.

Being considerate is all about finding the right balance and making your boyfriend feel like you care about what he wants.

This is definitely a quality of a great girlfriend.

3. Being Open and Communicative

This one quality is something I used to struggle with a lot actually. It takes guts to own what you want and then ask for it.

It can feel like a scary or risky thing to do…

But it’s a risk really worth taking, communicating your needs openly is much more effective at actually getting you the results you were hoping for. It can prevent countless hurtful relationship fights and misunderstandings.

Being open and communicative are qualities that definitely make you a really good girlfriend.

4. Being Kind and Caring

Another big thing every man deeply craves is to feel taken care of in his relationship. This might mean a variety of different things big as well as small.

A kind and caring girlfriend is someone who listens to her boyfriend about his problems.

Someone who is patient and understanding, someone who is genuinely trying to help when she can and is generous with reassurance in the relationship.

Being kind and caring makes you an absolutely great girlfriend!

5. Being Emotionally Available

Last but not least, sharing a special bond and feeling a strong emotional connection is the very foundation of true love.

It’s not easy to maintain the spark in a long term relationship though.

Being vulnerable and letting your boyfriend in emotionally is what can bring him closer and strengthen the chemistry between the two of you.

It’s also another important quality that would make you an amazing girlfriend.

Does Being Good Looking Make You a Better Girlfriend?

Now that you know the five most important qualities of a good girlfriend, you might be wondering, but what about the looks?

Us women are made to put so much emphasis and effort into our appearance.

We have all been told that men are visual and that you need to look sexy in order for your boyfriend to find you attractive.

I used to feel really insecure about my weight or my asymmetric face and worried that these things could be serious factors that could prevent me from finding happiness in love.

The reality of this matter is, looks actually play much less of a role in a relationship (and even in attraction) than most of us have been led to believe.

Not to say that taking care of your physical appearance doesn’t matter.

It does matter, it’s just NOT something that can break or fix your relationship.

It’s enough to read some Hollywood gossip, to know that one can look amazing and still be a terrible girlfriend/wife.

From the same source, you can also learn that being attractive won’t protect you from being treated unfairly by your partner.

When it comes to having a healthy and happy relationship, there are things that are far more important and can have a much bigger impact on how happy you and your boyfriend are together.

How to Be a Better Girlfriend

Now that you really understand what it means to be a good or a bad girlfriend, we can finally get to the five most important ways you can be a better partner for your boyfriend.

When it comes to the matters of evaluating oneself people often tend to jump between two extremes.

One moment they might feel like they are being an amazing girlfriend.

And then something happens, insecurities kick in and the same woman might suddenly feel like she is a terrible partner.

I used to overthink and jump between these two extremes too.

The best way to snap out of it is to embrace the fact that we are all both: pretty bad girlfriends (at times) and amazing girlfriends too!

We are all human, we make mistakes.

Nobody is perfect.

At the same time, we often try to do our best and are kind and caring.

The ultimate trick to becoming a better girlfriend is to try to minimize the bad and to boost all the good behaviors.

1. Make an Effort to Be More Honest and Open

Honesty is one of the big qualities that makes a good girlfriend. Yet being completely honest is often something that is easier said than done.

Being honest can be difficult…

It forces you to reveal your true feelings and face relationship problems.

Hiding things that could potentially trigger a fight can seem like the better and more reasonable solution in many situations.

This kind of attitude always backfires in the long run though.

Even though honesty can trigger arguments sometimes, it also removes emotional barriers in your relationship and will bring you and your boyfriend closer together. This in turn, will make him trust you more.

One of the most important ways you can be a better girlfriend is to keep less secrets from your partner and try to be more honest with him instead.

2. Try to Be More Considerate

Happy relationships are all about compromise, right?

Or is compromise just another word for ‘Settling for things you don’t want’?

Always giving in and doing things your boyfriend’s way will inevitably make you bitter and resentful.

At the same time, you being the one who decides and controls EVERYTHING will have the same effect on him.

It can be tricky to find the right balance between being considerate of boyfriends wants and needs, and not sacrificing what you want for him.

Different couples are often on different sides of the scale when it comes to this.

Sometimes it’s the man who is sacrificing himself more. Sometimes it’s the woman.

Depending on the situation in your relationship, in order to become a better girlfriend you might need to be more considerate towards what your boyfriend wants and needs.

But if he is the one who is calling most of the shots and you often end up sacrificing what you want for him, then maybe you need to be more considerate towards yourself.

In this case, being more selfish is actually what would make you a better girlfriend.

3. Communicate as Much as You Can

Much like with honesty, communication is something you can never have enough of in a relationship.

Yet, it’s also something most couples struggle with too.

It is often easier to just imply things and hope that your partner will get the hint… But doing this unfortunately, often leaves the other person feeling a bit manipulated.

We all resort to manipulation sometimes (often without fully realising we’re doing it).

We throw tantrums for an effect, storm off in the hopes that he will come chasing after you or give silent treatment to show how hurt we are about something.

Unfortunately, all these kinds of manipulative behaviors are destructive. So much so, that they can even drive a man away.

One of the most important ways you can become a better girlfriend is to make an effort to try to manipulate him less and communicate more openly instead.

This way, not only you are much more likely to actually get more of what you want from your boyfriend, but will also make room for him to express things more openly too.

It’s one of the most powerful and effective ways to improve a relationship and also to be an amazing girlfriend.

4. Try to Be More Kind and Caring

People rarely think of themselves as cruel. Yet we can often be incredibly hard on ourselves.

I used to think things like: ‘why am I so lazy?’, ‘why can’t I just get this done?’, ‘why am I being so difficult about this’ etc.

The thing about being tough on oneself is that it is borderline cruelty.

Moreover, we relate to the ones closest to us the same way we relate to ourselves.

So if you’re being unreasonably hard on yourself, chances are you’re just as unreasonably hard on your boyfriend too.

Everybody has their flaws and limits. At the same time, we mostly try to do our best and life can be really difficult at times.

The only way to become a more kind and caring girlfriend is by becoming more patient, understanding and kinder towards yourself first.

Less toughness and more kindness can work wonders for you and your relationship.

It’s also what you should strive towards in order to be a better girlfriend.

5. Be More Emotionally Available

Even though it’s men who are known to often be emotionally unavailable, women too have their own ways of acting distant and dismissing their partner’s feelings and needs.

It’s normal to need time and space for yourself. Everybody has their limits.

When I come back from work tired and frustrated, there is no way I can be particularly emotionally available towards Gabriel.

After having rested for a bit though, I always try to make an effort to connect more so that we can feel closer again.

Being a better emotional girlfriend is all about being receptive to where your partner is at, making room for him, being understanding and empathizing with him.

This kind of exchange always feels very nurturing to both sides.

Being more receptive and less dismissive of your boyfriend’s thoughts and feelings is the last big way you can be a better girlfriend.

How Do I Start Being a Better Girlfriend

When it comes to starting with new things, in my experience, it always works out best to begin with what feels easiest and most straightforward.

Implementing any of the above mentioned steps is bound to help you out in becoming a better girlfriend.

Relationships are complicated. Loving someone is never easy!

All couples fight, face unforeseen challenges, make mistakes.

The first years of my relationship with Gabriel were extremely tumultuous. I knew he was very special to me. Yet, at the same time, we had problems and would sometimes feel like maybe we’re just too different to even make it work.

I often blamed myself. I felt like maybe I’m just not good enough to make a man want to commit to being with me.

The truth is. Nobody ever taught me how to do relationships.

Being a good girlfriend is not something you’re born with, it’s a skill.

And skills can be learnt. 

Being good in relationships is extremely rewarding, as it brings you and your boyfriend closer physically and emotionally.

It took Gabriel and me years to figure out our problems. We were stuck in endless fights and even broke up a few times. But eventually we figured it out!

Now we teach others how to do relationships the right way.

We used all our knowledge and experiences and put together an online course: Rebuild Your Relationship to help women transform their love lives.

Here we will give you step by step guides complete with phrases you can use to become a better girlfriend.

You’ll learn all the typical mistakes and pitfalls women fall into in relationships and how to avoid them.

We’ll also give you tools on how to get him to love and appreciate you more, so that you won’t have to doubt yourself anymore!

Click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship

If you have any questions about the qualities of a good or a bad girlfriend, or any of the tips mentioned above, leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

You also might want to check out Gabriel’s post: 5 Important Things Men Want From Women for more guidance on this topic.

Karolina

He Gets Defensive When I Tell Him How I Feel – How to Get Through

He Gets Defensive When I Tell Him How I Feel – How to Get Through

Photo by Rodnae Productions

There’s something on your mind, and you want to tell him how you feel.

No, at this point, you NEED to tell him how you feel…

In the past you’ve gone above and beyond, tried everything and no matter what, it’s like you’re walking on eggshells…

The moment you open your mouth to say something.

He gets defensive.

  • “Why are you complaining about this again?”
  • “I’m always doing everything to make you happy!”
  • “Is it simply never good enough for you?”
  • “I’m done talking about this!”

He straight up ignores, denies or retaliates.

And once again, you’re left by yourself. With the feelings you wanted him to acknowledge, totally ignored.

And it hurts.

Now, I hate to tell you this…

…But I was once that defensive guy.

My girlfriend Karolina, who runs this blog with me, would come to me about feelings of hers.

And I would immediately go on defense.

It often didn’t even matter what she tried, I would almost always take things as criticism, even if it wasn’t about me, or she didn’t mean it that way!

But over time she DID eventually get through to me.

We figured it out together and also noticed that it was actually a very common complaint from women in our friends circles, about their boyfriends or husbands.

So what’s behind all of this over-the-top defensiveness, and how do you disarm a defensive person?

In this post, I’m going to tell you how Karolina and I overcame this problem and how you can too.

What Is Defensiveness in a Relationship

Defensiveness in a relationship is when he puts his walls up and retaliates against you, without provocation.

The first part is putting up a barrier, also known as stonewalling, which in itself, is definitely considered a defensive behavior.

(Stonewalling is when he shuts down and doesn’t let you in emotionally.)

It’s also often followed by a guy saying he needs some space, shortly after.

The second part of defensive behavior is often retaliation, where he verbally attacks and justifies himself.

Now, there are of course degrees to this behavior…

When Karolina would want to talk to me about feelings that were weighing on her, for certain topics I wasn’t defensive.

Like her feeling frustrated about not doing enough new things. Or her being upset about our weekend plans being postponed.

Those things were totally fine to talk about for me.

But some other things, like her complaining about feeling alone, for some reason I could get really defensive.

Likewise, in your relationship, there will be areas with him that are more touchy than others.

Why Does He Get so Defensive When I Tell Him How I Feel

Some of you asked…

Why does my boyfriend get mad when I talk about my feelings?

Or…

Why does my husband get angry when I tell him how I feel?

Whether you’re in a new relationship with your boyfriend or you’ve been married to your husband for decades…

All men get defensive in the same ways.

And sometimes this even reaches a point, where you might not be able to talk without arguing.

But why do men take everything as criticism or an attack?

This was the same question Karolina put to me.“Why do you think I’m criticizing you? I’m just trying to tell you how I feel!

To which I would respond…

But you are attacking me! You are criticizing me! How am I supposed to not get mad about that!?

It was next to impossible for me to not perceive what she was saying as an attack…

So the real REASON why men get so defensive, when you tell them how you feel, is because they THINK you are attacking them!

In their minds, that’s what’s happening.

Even if you’re NOT.

That is why they react so strongly and defensively.

When somebody thinks they’re being attacked, they’ll try to defend themselves.

What Does It Mean When a Man Gets Defensive

We also need to talk about this point, because some of you might be wondering whether getting defensive is a sign of cheating.

The truth is, that it CAN be.

It makes sense, because when cheaters are confronted, they often act in a guarded way or can be oversensitive.

And if he simply won’t answer a direct question, and you really suspect him of being a cheater, maybe you want to know how to tell if he is lying to you or the warning signs he may be a player.

BUT there are other things that can cause defensive behavior, that are unrelated to cheating.

As mentioned, with Karolina and me, it was enough to only THINK that she was attacking, to make me very defensive.

And I’ve seen this pattern countless times with other couples.

Where the guy has nothing to hide, but is very quick to take things personally.

So it can also simply mean that your boyfriend or husband may not know any better way to react, then be defensive.

How Do You Communicate With a Defensive Partner

So now we’ve talked about defensiveness being when he puts his walls up and retaliates against you, without provocation.

We’ve uncovered that the reason he gets defensive is that he thinks you are attacking (blaming or faulting him, even when you’re not!)

… So how do you talk to someone who misinterprets everything you say?

The key to avoiding and stopping these kinds of overreactions, is to approach him the right way and say the right things.

Because I can tell you from my own experience, just how overly-sensitive I was about this stuff.

So when you approach him, try to keep these 3 things in mind:

1. Try Not to Be Defensive

I know it’s easier said than done.

Especially when he’s all fired up and accusing you of attacking him.

But if you also get defensive at this point, in his mind, it CONFIRMS that you were blaming him.

Aha! You’re getting upset, because I’m seeing through your attack!

You then tell him that’s not true, he insists that it is, and it can escalate into a full-blown fight.

So in moments where he reacts in a guarded way, try not to be defensive.

Because he’s locked in his narrative of you blaming and faulting him for something, and will look for any indication that this is true.

And if you go on defense, he’ll see it as proof.

2. Don’t Let Him Shut You Down

Now, just because he’s defensive and preoccupied with himself, doesn’t mean you should just give up and bury your feelings.

When your needs are pushed aside, they don’t magically disappear…

They come back at a later time, often as stronger emotions.

And your feelings matter just as much as his do and shouldn’t be ignored.

So instead, try to be gentle with him, BUT insist on being heard and understood.

3. Make It About Yourself Again

And finally, you need to make the conversation about yourself again.

Whenever he veers off into his defensive state, he’s making something about himself that was actually supposed to be about you.

So try and help him see that you’re NOT attacking him. (Even if the issue is related to your relationship)

That you just need him to listen and give you room to express your feelings.

This way, you won’t trigger his defensive mode…

Since Karolina and I both fought a lot over this very issue ourselves, and it took us years to finally figure it out and fix this problem.

We were sure to go over the solutions in greater detail in our Rebuild Your Relationship course.

In it, we cover how to express your feelings to him, so that he doesn’t get defensive.

So that he finally gets that it’s not about him, that you’re not attacking him, but you just need him to listen and understand.

We put this course together, so other couples don’t have to go through the tedious process of figuring it out too, and instead get the results they want now.

If you’d like to learn more about our course, you can click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship.

If you have any questions about men getting defensive when you express how you feel, leave them in the comments section below, and I’ll get back to you.

You can also read more about how to rebuild trust with him which is sometimes tied to defensive behavior.

Gabriel

Why Do I Need Constant Reassurance in a Relationship

Why Do I Need Constant Reassurance in a Relationship

Photo by Анна  Хазова

If you find yourself constantly needing reassurance in your relationship, let me first tell you, I’ve been there.

I struggled with endlessly needing to hear that everything was okay ALL THE TIME in my relationship.

“Do you love me? Are you gonna leave me? Is everything okay with us? Are you mad at me?”

It’s a miserable place to be in.

Because your mind is never at ease, and you’re dealing with the constant fear, doubt and worry of something bad happening without warning.

Not to mention my girlfriend, Karolina, had given me no reason to worry!

So on top of it all, I was persistently worried about annoying her too…

But in time I learned why I had a constant need for reassurance, where it came from and finally how to overcome it.

And I’m going to explain how you can too.

What Does Reassurance Mean in a Relationship

Starting with what might seem obvious, but is actually a common question people ask.

What exactly does reassurance mean?

Simply put:

Reassurance is your partner putting you at ease about a relationship worry you have.

For example with Karolina, I would often worry about her secretly judging me as lazy and in turn an unsuitable partner.

So even after a hard day’s work, if I decided to just watch YouTube to relax, and she’d walk in, I was worried she was silently judging me as lazy.

I would express my worry, and she would reassure me:

No, Gabriel, I don’t think you’re lazy, I’ve actually always seen you as hardworking.

THAT is what reassurance means in a relationship.

You have a constant worry in your relationship, and then your partner contradicts that worry.

Is It Ok to Seek Reassurance in a Relationship

As though needing reassurance wasn’t embarrassing enough, I also felt guilty about needing it!

And it’s a catch-22 scenario, because you might feel reluctant to ask for reassurance because it’s a vulnerable thing to do.

But once you muster the courage to ask, you might immediately feel like you SHOULDN’T be needing it.

Personally, I had all sorts of judgements tumbling through my head:

“Is wanting reassurance bad? Why am I so insecure? Why do I need constant reassurance? Why can’t I just get over it!”

You know, uplifting stuff.

So I definitely needed to build a lot of trust with Karolina before jumping into it…

And being stuck in this position makes an already difficult situation trickier.

Because YES, seeking reassurance is absolutely OKAY!

Not only is it okay, it’s NECESSARY.

What do I mean by that?

As we grow up, reassurance is crucial because it’s what allows us to have our thoughts and feelings validated by an external authority.

It’s what helps us form a sense of confidence and certainty about ourselves and the world around us.

But when we lack that -*cough* emotionally unavailable parents. – then we never get to build that foundation that everybody needs and deserves.

So we become insecure in our relationships.

Because we’re not sure whether we can trust our thoughts and feelings in a situation.

So later in life we have to play catch up on all of that missing reassurance.

I had to get the reassurances I needed much later in my life too, most of it in my 30s in fact!

And this catching up often happens in our relationships, just as was the case with Karolina and me…

How Do I Stop Being so Insecure

In order to stop the overthinking, insecurities, and constant need for reassurance, we need a couple of things:

Awareness of your situation, which you’ve already completed since that’s what got you here.

So well done on finding the courage!

Next, it’s important to understand that your insecurities are driving a constant need for reassurance.

When I needed reassurance from Karolina about something in our relationship, it was always about something I was insecure about…

For me, it was generally an underlying fear that she would ultimately change her mind about us and decide to call it quits.

But by becoming aware of- and understanding my own insecurities, I was better able to ask for the reassurance I needed.

And finally…

Ask for the reassurance you need.

Simply getting the right kind of reassurance is the BEST way to overcome any insecurity.

As previously mentioned, this kind of validation is something we just inherently need to feel confident in ourselves.

And when we don’t get enough of it in our childhood, we need to catch up on it later.

Brushing up on our communication skills can also help with this.

Which leads us to our last point.

How Do I Ask My Partner for Reassurance

This is the most crucial step, but may also be the most scary.

Because you have to ask for reassurance or attention without wanting to seem needy.

I would know, it’s a vulnerable position to be in.

You should remember though, that men actually need constant reassurance as much as women do.

You might even say it’s their greatest weakness…

For me, it actually turned out that reassurance was a love language of mine. (words of affirmation) and a really important one at that.

So know that it’s NOT just you who needs constant validation.

It’s men, it’s women, and it’s everybody to a greater or lesser extent.

Now, as for how to ask your partner for reassurance while maintaining your dignity.

As previously mentioned, you can of course just ask for it.

In addition, there are specific ways to ask for reassurance that guarantee you get it and make you feel empowered while doing so.

Since this challenge was such a big part of my own and Karolina’s struggle in our relationship, we were sure to specifically add how exactly to get the validation and reassurance you need in our Rebuild Your Relationship course.

We designed it especially for women and in it, we show you the exact phrases to use to get what you need from your man.

We also teach you how to build confidence so that down the line, you rarely even need reassurance because you will feel secure in your relationship.

If that sounds like something that can help you, you can click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship.

Otherwise, if there’s something I missed, or you have any other questions, leave them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you.

And if you’d like some related reading to the topic of constant reassurance, you might find How to Make Him Listen to You interesting.

Gabriel

Why Men Pull Away and How to Get Them to Stop Doing It

Why Men Pull Away and How to Get Them to Stop Doing It

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

There is nothing worse than a man suddenly pulling away from you, right after getting close.

It is the most confusing and illogical thing one can do…

This constant game of my partner getting close, pulling away, getting close again, pulling away again is something that I struggled with in my relationship A LOT.

My boyfriend Gabriel used to act in the sweetest of ways. He’d text me first thing in the morning, arrange for us to meet, planned dates, be appreciative and caring.

Only to suddenly start declining all my suggestions to meet up and I wouldn’t hear from him for days on end.

Or worse, he’d say things like “I don’t know where this relationship is going” or “I’m not sure I believe in life long commitment…”.

Whenever he pulled away from me I’d feel hurt and rejected.

What’s worse, his behaviour made me doubt myself. I started wondering: “Is this my fault? Have I done something wrong?”

Years later I finally managed to drag out the truth from him. Now I know exactly why he acted the way he did and what he was actually wanting me to do about it!

In this blogpost I will share with you all I’ve learned about this common problem nearly all women face.

I’ll go into details on why men pull away, how to deal with it and what to do to get them to stop doing it.

Biggest Reasons Why Guys Suddenly Pull Away After Getting Close

Everybody’s situation is different and unique. There are many factors that can contribute to this and trigger men to pull away from women they care about.

Sometimes their need for sudden distance can arise after a relationship fight.

It can also get set off by external factors such as family or job issues.

And in other cases it might happen seemingly for no reason at all…

Even though the exact circumstances vary from person to person, there are actually some very clear patterns in this puzzling behavior of men.

These are the three biggest underlying reasons that cause guys to pull away after getting close to you:

1. Men Pull Away Because They’re Afraid Of Being Hurt

When two people start going out with each other, they often don’t have full understanding or control over the way the relationship can develop and progress over time.

In our early stages Gabriel and I would have deep meaningful conversations and have so much fun together, it would instantly make us both feel closer and deeply connected to one another.

We didn’t plan for any of these things to happen. They just did, out of the blue…

Even though these kinds of experiences can feel SO GOOD in the moment. You’re suddenly feeling close, happy, in love…

…they can also feel extremely SCARY, especially in retrospect.

Unfortunately, letting someone in on a deeper level means that they can potentially hurt you on a deeper level too.

That’s why guys sometimes pull away from you when they start to really like you or when they’re falling in love with you.

They suddenly realize just how vulnerable they’re becoming and get TERRIFIED of the potential consequences.

So they quickly distance themselves from you to slow things down and minimize any potential damage.

2. Men Pull Away to Get You to Keep On Chasing Them

There is nothing more frustrating than wanting something you cannot have.

Yet at the same time, the fact that you can’t have that one particular thing or person, tends to make it/them so much more DESIRABLE.

The push and pull dynamic is the basis of any romantic movie or series.

Take Gossip Girl for example:

In season one Blair is initially rejecting Chuck. She eventually changes her mind, but by then he is the one rejecting her.

When he finally decides to commit, she changes her mind again and so on and so forth they go for 6 seasons…

Much like in this scene Blair wanted Chuck to fight for her and win her back, the same way when a guy suddenly pulls away from you, he wants you to chase after him.

It’s a power move.

It gives him the feeling he is the one controlling the situation. In his head pulling away from you is a way of ensuring that you’ll stay hooked and remain crazy about him.

3. Men Pull Away to Sabotage the Relationship

When things start going the right way in your life and you’re finally getting something you’ve been wanting for a long time, do you ever feel like ‘it’s just too good to be true’ and then proceed to sabotage it?

I know, this kind of behavior doesn’t make much sense. Yet it’s extremely common.

I did it. Gabriel did it. And you guys have also shared your own stories of sabotage.

Even though Gossip Girl might not be the best place to get healthy relationship advice from, it just so happens that this urge to reject good things in life is a phenomenon that was very well illustrated in the Chuck and Blair dynamic too.

There were countless times when either of them pulled away from the other just for the sake of sabotaging their relationship.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen in TV dramas.

Being on the receiving end of this kind of behavior can be very confusing and hurtful. It’s also something that is actually extremely common.

So, if your man starts suddenly pulling away from you when things are going well or starting to get serious, chances are he is battling some inner demons that are urging him to sabotage the special bond that you guys share.

Is It Normal For Guys to Pull Away?

Yes, it is perfectly normal for guys to pull away from women they care about. All men do it to a greater or lesser degree.

Even in the early stages of a relationship.

Men pull away and come back because they’re testing you and getting to know you.

They’re checking how you’ll react. Whether or not you’ll freak out about it. They want to see how invested you are and if you care about them as much as they care about you.

It takes time to overcome the initial trust issues many people have when they first start dating somebody.

Unfortunately, this problem does not always disappear as the relationship progresses.

There are countless other factors that can trigger men to suddenly need to distance themselves from you.

A very common type of situation is: men pulling away when they’re stressed.

This could be due to trouble at work or other personal problems. It’s not uncommon for couples to even take breaks from each other when struggling with various external issues.

Either way, in most cases this is not something you need to worry about too much.

Even though unpleasant, it’s a normal relationship problem most couples have to simply learn to deal with.

A little side note here:

If despite all this reassurance, you still feel uneasy about your man suddenly pulling away from you, maybe there is something more sinister that’s going on…

In that case you might want to check out these 4 Signs That He is Lying to You.

How to Be High Value When He Pulls Away

Even though this is such a common problem, this issue tends to make women uneasy and often triggers them to act in ways that only make matters worse.

No need to worry though…

There are a couple of approaches that can help you avoid this typical pitifall and ensure that you can keep your cool and stay high value after he pulls away from you.

1. Don’t Panic

The first necessary step that will allow you to stay high-value in this tricky situation is to simply calm yourself down.

Him pulling away from you is nothing unusual. You don’t need to worry or even think about it too much.

It doesn’t mean anything about you or about your relationship.

It’s just something all men do.

2. Keep in Mind That This Is Not Your Fault

Whenever Gabriel suddenly started pulling away from me, one of my first thoughts was alway ‘is it because of something I did?’.

Unfortunately, us blaming ourselves for things that have nothing to do with us is a problem most people struggle with to some degree.

This can cause you to get stuck overthinking for hours on end. Or worse, it can give you this urge to act impulsively and only break things further.

That’s why when a guy suddenly pulls away from you, it’s important that you remind yourself that:

Him suddenly needing distance has likely more to do with an ex of his, than it does with you.

You haven’t done anything wrong.

On the contrary, chances are you did something SO RIGHT, he felt like it’s too good to be true and it triggered his relationship sabotage mode.

3. Don’t Fall for His Power Game

As mentioned before, when a guy pulls away, he actually wants you to chase after him.

On one hand, he is testing how much you care about him.

On the other hand, he wants to be the one who holds the power to reject you (not the other way around).

It’s not that he doesn’t care, but he is pretending he doesn’t FOR AN EFFECT.

This is something that took me YEARS to fully see and understand.

But once I did see it this way, it was a monumental discovery.

It made me go from feeling panicked and doubting myself to simply being mildly irritated and calling his bluff.

All men play this ‘game of rejection’, most without even fully realizing that they’re doing it.

The ultimate trick to winning the game is by just NOT playing right into his hand…

Will He Come Back if I Leave Him Alone?

Generally speaking, YES, in most cases, when a man pulls away from you, he will come back to you if you just leave him alone for a while.

Even if he is acting all detached or cool about the distance, don’t be fooled. It is just an act.

Men get attached to their partners, just like women do.

That’s why, in most cases, waiting it this one out is the best strategy you can take

How long of a break you should give him depends on his character and the circumstances you guys are in.

OK, but what if you have already been waiting for days or even weeks and he still hasn’t gotten back to you?

This is a question I get from a lot of you guys in all your comments and emails.

Giving men space does not always have the desired effect.

There are two possible reasons for this:

Firstly, this could be because more often than not, when a man pulls away from you he actually wants you to chase after him.

And when you don’t react the way he hoped you would, he might just decide to keep on waiting for you to change your mind…

In this scenario, you giving him space for a long time, might trigger you guys to get stuck in a situation where both sides are waiting for the other to reach out first.

The second big reason for him remaining distant could be that he is just not interested in a relationship with you.

He might not have the guts to straight up admit that this is where he is at or he may also want to keep on stringing you along just in case.

Either way, the only way for you to find out, is to check in and ask him yourself.

This way you’ll know for sure whether he cares or not and won’t be left waiting for something that might just never happen.

What to Do to Get Him to Stop Pulling Away

Getting a guy to come back after he pulled away from you is generally the easy part. In most cases he simply comes back on his own.

Unfortunately, him coming back doesn’t mean that he won’t suddenly distance himself from you again and again.

A lot of you guys have shared your stories on our blog and I also know this pattern from my own personal experience. Men who pull away from women they care about, generally keep on doing it.

It’s unsettling the first time it happens. Might be heartbreaking when it happens the second or the third time…

But when a guy keeps on pulling away and coming back, it will eventually wear you down. So much so, you might even start thinking that this relationship might already be over.

There is a way to put a stop to this pattern though.

Him pulling away from you, is a sign that the power dynamic in your relationship might be off.

He likely feels like he has got an upper hand, that he doesn’t need to worry about losing you, because he is just so sure that you’ll stick around and stay with him no matter what.

The trick to get him to stop distancing himself from you is for you to regain control in your relationship.

This is something we actually teach in our online course for women: Rebuild Your Relationship.

In it, we’ll show you how to finally put a stop to him pulling away from you.

You’ll also learn how to get him to want commitment and become serious about your relationship. (It’s actually something he secretly craves.)

Click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship.

Also, if you want to learn more about why men act this way you can read more about it in Gabriel’s post: 4 Steps to Make Him Worry About Losing You

If you have any questions or would like to share your story, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Karolina

Caught in a Love-Hate Relationship, Should You Worry?

Caught in a Love-Hate Relationship, Should You Worry?

Photo by Keira Burton

When you’re in a love-hate relationship, you’re gonna feel like everything is just right in one moment: you have warm fuzzy feelings and are tots in love with him…

And the next moment the clouds suddenly come rolling in and it’s hard not to hate everything about the guy.

And all of that within a day or even just an hour, leaving you confused, doubtful, and upset.

Does that sound about right?

If so, let’s dive into love-hate relationships and make some sense of them.

After all, having the repeated experience of loving someone one moment and hating them the next, isn’t easy on your nerves or heart.

And we can’t have that now, can we.

Is It Normal to Hate Your Partner?

First things first, how NORMAL is it to hate your partner?

It is not uncommon in relationships, especially if you find yourself hating him from time to time, rather than always.

Most couples we’ve worked with hate something or other about their partner.

Whether it’s a small issue, like the way he tells the exact same story at every social event.

Or big, say when he’s emotionally unavailable, refusing to open up and dismisses your feelings for the hundredth time.

But feeling hatred towards your partner is an indicator that something in your relationship isn’t quite right and could do with ADJUSTING.

More on that later, but first we need to explore a few more questions surrounding love-hate relationships.

Is a Love-Hate Relationship Healthy?

The short answer is, No, it’s not healthy.

But things aren’t always so simple, are they? Since love-hate relationships have -well, BOTH components.

So let’s separate the two for a moment:

1. Everything that is ‘Loving’ in your relationship is definitely healthy and good for yours and his heart, and will help nurture your special connection.

When you’re in the ‘love’ mode, you’re happy right?

There’s little you want to change in that moment, things are pleasant as they are and your relationship will probably look and feel like a healthy one.

2. By contrast, everything that is ‘Hating’ is going to push you both further apart and hurt your relationship. (especially if you’re directing your hatred at each other)

So instead of slapping a generic label on your love-hate relationship and calling it either ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’…

We take what IS WORKING and say:

Awesome! I’m sure when you’re feeling loving, the sparks that go flying between you two can be seen from miles away!

And then in turn we try and understand where the hate is coming from.

In moments of feeling hateful towards Karolina (my girlfriend who runs this blog with me) it was ALWAYS a sign that something WASN’T WORKING for me.

I was not getting something in my relationship that I really needed.

So when you’re feeling hateful towards him, think about what you’re NOT GETTING from him that you really need!

Can You Love Someone and Hate Them at the Same Time?

Of course you can.

Let’s take Fifty Shades of Grey as an example.

I’m crazy in love with you, but I want to kinky-torture you in my play dungeon.

Or take Edward from Twilight:

From the movie Twilight, Edward stands behind Bella in the forest in their love-hate relationship.

Life without you is simply not possible. But I might just kill you.

I’m not sure Edward would qualify for many of the signs of true love from a man. -But that’s maybe a story for another time.

What I want to get across is: no relationship is free of some darker elements.

In a sense, EVERY relationship is a love-hate relationship.

So yes, you can love someone and hate them at the same time.

Because at some point or another everybody has moments of hating their partner. We’re only human after all.

But what’s important here, is your ‘Love-Hate RATIO’.

If you’re at 95% Love – 5% Hate, then consider yourself lucky.

But if you feel like you’re more at 50% Love – 50% Hate, then it makes sense you’re looking for answers and a way to increase the love and DECREASE the hate.

Things are certainly more challenging, when you feel MORE hatred than love.

But for now, take a moment to think about what your ‘Love-Hate Ratio’ is.

Is Hate a Sign of Love?

Hate is certainly a strong emotion.

But I would not say it’s a sign of love.

I know it’s a message that is circulated a lot.

That if you hate someone, surely it’s a sign that you deeply care about them?

But as mentioned, hate is a sign that something isn’t working for you in your relationship. And if that sign is ignored for too long, the feelings pile up and can result in some toxic relationship habits.

What Causes a Love-Hate Relationship?

So now it’s finally time to get to the bottom of all this, ‘you ready?

Alright, let’s do this.

A love-hate relationship is caused by the emotional baggage BOTH of you bring to your relationship.

…I know we’d all like to think we had a perfectly happy childhood.

But the fact of the matter is, the topic of mental health is on the rise as the stigma fades.

You’ve likely heard about many public figures coming forward and talking about their personal and relationship struggles and how much they attribute it, to the emotional baggage from their upbringing. (Like Paris Hilton in her documentary ‘This is Paris)

It’s becoming clear that this is a rather wide-spread issue that affects people from all walks of life.

And I can say the same for myself and EVERYBODY I’ve known:

None of us have gone through life unscarred.

Over the course of my relationship, my emotional baggage caused me to do and say things that hurt Karolina and she me.

When these kinds of hurtful experiences go on unaddressed for a period of time, they tend to turn into resentment.

And when resentment continues to pile up, it turns into hate.

Hate is is something that evolves from being hurt over and over again.

How to Reduce Hate in a Love-Hate Relationship

In order to have less hate and more love in your relationship, you need to start talking about your emotional baggage and also address some of the hurtful things that you’ve done to each other.

It’s RARELY easy to bring up unpleasant events from the past.

But if you’re serious about making it work with him in a long run, these issues will need addressing sooner or later.

Supporting each other while working through our own emotional baggage is what allowed Karolina and myself to significantly reduce the hate in our relationship and make room for WAY MORE love. 💗

We saw how many couples struggled with their own love-hate dynamic, and it’s the reason we create our Rebuild Your Relationship course for women.

In it we cover our journey, through our love-hate challenges, and how you too, can overcome your own. 

We explain where these hateful feelings come from and give you the mindset and exact steps you need to defuse the hate and finally turn your relationship into the loving, connected and stable one you deserve.

If you’d like to learn more about our course, you can click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship.

Now, I know this can all be a bit of a heavy topic, it’s certainly not an easy one. But maybe a couple of love songs can brighten the mood for you a little here…

Or if you’re really hardcore and want to dig deeper, we’ve also got a great related article that can help you stop fighting in your relationship. 

If you’d like to share your relationship story with us or have any questions, leave them in the comments section and we’ll get back to you.

Gabriel

How to Rebuild Trust in a Relationship

How to Rebuild Trust in a Relationship

Rebuilding trust in a relationship is one of the most difficult and time consuming tasks. Yet, it’s a problem every couple has to learn to deal with sooner or later.

There are many ways in which trust can be broken.

Some are small and seemingly harmless, like e.g. forgetting about your partner’s birthday or anniversary. Others are much more serious, here I’m talking about things like lying or cheating.

In the course of my 9 year relationship with my partner, Gabriel, there were countless times when we’ve broken each other’s trust in both small, as well as big ways…

Even though neither of us ever cheated on the other, we’ve done other things that undermined our relationship and put everything into question.

That’s why, regardless of how serious of a problem you’re currently dealing with, I want to first reassure you that you can rebuild trust in your relationship!

It will take work and time to get there, but it is possible to undo do the damage and repair what’s been broken.

Before I get to how to do it exactly, I’m going to first outline the role trust plays in a relationship, why it’s so important and also why it’s so difficult to win it back.

Can a Relationship Work if There Is No Trust?

A relationship cannot work when there is no trust between partners, at least not in the long term.

Being able to trust your significant other is one of the most fundamental emotional needs everybody has.

It’s the very thing that gives us a feeling of safety and security, that we’re not alone and that there is somebody we can rely on.

Having this kind stability is one of the biggest perks of being in a long term relationship: it’s one of the main reasons why people choose to build their lives together with another person.

Without trust in a relationship, there is simply no room for any of these positive feelings. When you don’t trust your significant other you can’t rely on them for anything either.

It’s as though as you’re two strangers, exchanging favors while wearily awaiting being betrayed again.

No couple can function under those kinds of circumstances.

Lack of emotional security and stability makes it impossible for two people to really connect, open up and grow closer to each other.

Relationships simply stop working when there is no trust in them or when trust gets broken.

That’s why it’s so important to rebuild broken trust in a relationship as soon as possible.

What Causes Lack of Trust in a Relationship?

Sadly, there are a couple of things that cause lack of trust in a relationship. Some of them have to do with both yours and your significant other’s personal history, while others are directly related to the things you did or didn’t do in relation to each other. These are the four big culprits that cause lack of trust in a relationship:

You Haven’t Had to the Chance to Build Trust Yet

It takes time for two people to open up and gain each other’s trust in a new relationship. If you haven’t been dating for a very long time, chances are you don’t know each other that well yet. It’s hard to trust somebody you barely know.

People often expect that when they care about you, it automatically means that you trust them.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Which brings me to my next point…

Misconceptions About How Trust Works Can Cause Lack of Trust in Relationships

A lot of people live with major misconceptions about how trust works in general.

There is this very common theme that repeats in many action movies in particular: when the main character is about to make someone do something seemingly crazy and reckless (like jumping off a cliff), they say to them “Just trust me!”.

People treat trust as though it was a CHOICE. As though you could just make up your mind and suddenly start trusting somebody.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that…

Trust is not a choice, it’s a FEELING.

It’s something you either feel, or you don’t. You can’t make yourself trust somebody and you can’t make somebody trust you.

Moreover, treating trust as though it was a choice can actually prevent you from ever building actual trust with your partner.

Trust Issues Due to Bad Experiences From the Past Can Cause Distrust in a Relationship

Life is messy. Nobody gets through it unscathed.

All the bad things that happen to us leave a mark and curb our ability to trust people.

Maybe you or your partner had a tough childhood or have been lied to or cheated on before.

Trust issues resulting from bad past experiences are a common cause for lack of trust in relationships.

Someone who has been hurt in the past might be EXTRA DISTRUSTFUL towards their present partner.

That’s why people with trust issues often need their significant other to make an EXTRA effort to gain their trust.

Trust Being Broken Causes Lack of Trust in Relationships

Finally, we’re going to get to the most severe but also extremely common cause for lack of trust in a relationship: when the trust gets broken.

When thinking of breach of trust in a romantic context most of us jump straight into things like lying, hiding things or cheating. These are the biggest and most serious examples of how partners can break each other’s trust.

However, there are also countless other, seemingly harmless ways in which we can hurt or disappoint our significant other. People often unknowingly make little mistakes that cause your partner to stop trusting you.

Even simple things like turning up late, forgetting about something that’s important to your significant other or going back on a promise, will gradually eat away at the sense of stability and security in your relationship.

These small trust breaches are something people tend to overlook but they really do add up!

That’s why, when working on rebuilding trust in a relationship, it’s important that you address both the BIG issues, as well as the SMALL ones.

I’ll get even more into detail on how this works in my next point…

How Do You Gain Trust Back in a Relationship?

Now that we’ve covered why trust matters so much in a relationship and what can diminish or destroy it, we can finally get to the main topic of this post: rebuilding trust.

When it comes to rebuilding trust in a relationship the most fundamental thing to keep in mind is that trust is not a choice, it’s a feeling.

You can’t CONVINCE your partner to trust you again.

But there are a lot of other things you can do to bring back their sense of stability, safety and comfort in the relationship.

1. Make an Effort to Really Understand What Your Partner Is Upset About to Start Regaining Their Trust

Once you realize that something you’ve done really upset your partner, everybody’s first reaction is to start off by quickly saying ‘I’m sorry’.

Unfortunately, too quick of an apology often means very little and doesn’t really help with rebuilding trust.

To make matters worse, your partner might even perceive your apology as you being defensive and get even more riled up and upset because of it.

In order to avoid that, and in order to make your effort count for something, you have to first figure out what it is that you’re apologizing for exactly.

Most people aren’t cruel, they don’t hurt their’s significant other’s feelings on purpose. They do it because they don’t understand the emotional consequences of their actions.

That’s why rebuilding trust in a relationship needs to start with you making an effort to really get your partner’s side of things and understanding their pain.

You might need to work on improving communication in your relationship, to get this one right.

2. Openly Admit and Apologize for Breaking Their Trust

Once you feel like you truly get what your partner is upset about, the next step to regain their trust is to acknowledge their pain and to apologize for it.

Truly acknowledging that you did something wrong can be very hard. It’s something I used to struggle with a lot.

We all tend to get judged pretty harshly for making mistakes. This can make admitting fault extra difficult.

Unfortunately, fully admitting guilt and apologizing for your breach of trust is absolutely necessary for you to be able to gain it back.

3. Let Them Experience the Change in You

This is a very important next step that people often overlook. Once you really get what your partner was upset about and then you apologize for it, you likely expect that this should be enough for them to finally be able to forgive you and move on right?

Well, it’s not that simple.

They say actions speak louder than words. This is particularly true when it comes to rebuilding trust in a relationship!

Regaining someone’s trust is not about saying the right words, it’s about showing them that they can really trust you with your actions.

Whatever it was that broke trust in your relationship, you have to help your partner SEE that it’s not going to happen again. You have to SHOW them that you mean what you say and that you are going to change your behavior.

4. Don’t Break Their Trust Again

This is the last and most important step in rebuilding trust with your partner.

Multiple breaches of trust are not uncommon in relationships…

However, every next incident will make it harder and harder for your partner to ever trust you again.

That’s why, in order to truly and permanently regain your significant other’s trust you have to make sure that whatever you did that broke it, never happens again.

How Long Does It Take to Rebuild Trust in a Relationship?

As you can see, rebuilding trust in a relationship is not an easy process. It’s not something that can happen from one day onto the next.

Since you can’t convince your partner to simply start trusting you again, what you need to do instead is to gradually win them over with your actions.

You need to show them that you really understand what about your behavior hurt them and that it’s not going to happen again.

This will require you to do things for them, to prove yourself to them and also to be ready to listen to them bringing up the past incident over and over again.

It will take time to do this.

Rebuilding trust in a relationship can be a bit of a tedious process. Generally speaking, the bigger the breach of trust, the longer it’s going to take to mend the damage.

Small things like forgetting someone’s birthday or arriving late can be fixed in days, maybe weeks.

But bigger issues like lying about finances, hiding things or cheating will most likely take months or even years for both of you to be able to fully move on.

Don’t let this make you feel hopeless about the state of your relationship.

Firstly, you don’t need to fully regain each other’s trust to be able to be happy together.

Every little effort counts and contributes significantly towards making things better.

There are things that happened in the first year of my relationship with Gabriel that we still bring up every now and then and we’re now in our 9th year together…

Even though these issues are still causing some mistrust between us, that doesn’t stop us from feeling close and letting our relationship grow.

When it comes to rebuilding trust in a relationship, things don’t need to be perfect. Every little improvement counts and MASSIVELY contributes to making things better!

Why Is Rebuilding Trust So Hard?

Now that you know what it actually takes to rebuild trust, you are likely wondering:

Why is this so difficult? What makes rebuilding trust in a relationship so freaking hard?’

Unfortunately, it is always easier to destroy things than to rebuild them.

Accidentally dropping your phone and shattering the glass happens in a split second, but if you want to fix it, it’s going to require time, effort and money.

The same goes for trust.

A brief moment is enough to break it. But regaining it afterwards will require much more time and effort.

The main reason rebuilding trust in a relationship is so hard is that it’s vulnerable to trust someone.

It requires you to open yourself up to potentially getting hurt. It means lowering your emotional defences.

When your trust is broken, the first normal reaction is to shut down, put your walls back up and vow never to lower them again!

You breaking your partner’s trust not only hurts them, but also diminishes their ability to trust in general.

Everybody’s had their trust broken at some point in their lives.

That’s why you probably know yourself how hard it is to be vulnerable again after a breach of trust. It’s like risking the same horrible experience happening again.

Rebuilding trust in a relationship is a big endeavor. It’s not a one time effort but more of a transformation in a relationship.

And a lot of things can add up to making that happen.

If you’re interested in finding out how Gabriel and I turned our relationship around, you can read our story here.

And in case you’re feeling like you could do with a little extra help, you can check out our online course: Rebuild Your Relationship. In here we teach you exactly what it takes to rebuild trust and restore a happy and loving relationship with your man.

course image to rebuild your relationship

We’ll give you the steps you need to take to rebuild trust with your partner, regardless of what broke it in the first place.

This new approach will not only help you rebuild trust with him faster, it will go far beyond that by creating a deeper bond and more fulfilling connection in your relationship.

Click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship

Also, if you have any questions or would like to share your story, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!

Karolina