Some men are only after one thing: a power struggle.
Pulling your hair out, perplexed and frustrated as to why the man you love doesn’t seem to reciprocate your unrequited love? After all, you know that no other woman will ever be as caring and loving as you are with him.
Your friends have given up trying to convince you that you’re too good for him. He may have even told you that you deserve better. But despite his lackluster feelings for you, why can’t you stop trying to change him? Why are you holding onto the idea of “I’m the best thing that will ever happen to him?”
Let me guess — in the beginning, he was magical. He treated you better than any man ever has. He seemingly worshiped you and acted pleasantly surprised that such a super woman as yourself gave him the time of day. And this was all happening when you weren’t so nice, so attentive and loving — when you were feeling unsure about him and guarded.
Then you started to care about him. Your heart began to warm over, and you started to feel safer in his presence. Soon you were cooking for him, listening to all his problems, working out harder in the gym for him, maybe even buying him things. You were his mother, psychologist, trophy-girl and sex-kitten all in one.
Maybe you were feeling a bit off your center. You weren’t living for your choices anymore; instead, you were influenced by his behavior. You burned bucket-loads of energy on thoughts about him, you became sensitive to his moods, and you planned your week around his schedule.
Then something happened. It was as if he slowly turned around and walked the other way, away from you. He stopped calling as often and metamorphosed into a moody, snippy and cold jerk, as if your love annoyed him.
This isn’t an article about how you lost him because you started to focus on him — that he lost interest because you cared too much or smothered him. Chances are you did nothing unhealthy in the dating relationship. You just started to fall in love, and that’s normal. It’s normal to feel off your center in the beginning of a love affair. It’s normal to think about him and worry about what his actions and words really mean.
You cared about him and those feelings made you vulnerable to him. It’s normal that you felt insecure and clingy when he suddenly pulled away without transparent communication — a person with poor conflict resolution skills can bring out your own. Any dating or love advice calling you needy or smothering is only designed to keep you pursuing the wrong type of men.
But here is the real truth: this guy is the wrong guy for you. It’s that simple. You have a lot of love to give. You’re convinced “I’m the best thing that will ever happen to him” because you probably are, and one day he may see that, but it doesn’t matter.
Even if he comes crawling back, chances are he will drift away again. He will become ungrateful and feel smothered again. Why? He probably can’t handle closeness in a relationship in the manner that you want, need and deserve. He could be the kind of guy who likes a little more room in his relationships — to feel off his center, to question his own lovability and to have the space to yearn.
A guy like this doesn’t care for a woman who is the best thing that ever happened to him; he wants the best power struggle that ever hooked him in. He will never experience intimacy in the safe, loving and joyous way you crave. He won’t know how to express his emotional needs and his feelings, because they confuse and terrify him. Every solid relationship for him, even a marriage, will feel hollow, lonely and boring.
Do you want to know how to cool off “I’m the best things that will ever happen to him” fever? It’s time to recognize your patterns and reclaim your life. First, you need to emotionally and mentally detangle from this guy. The best way to do this is to better understand your emotional needs.
What are the positive aspects of this guy that feed your soul? How can you feed that part of you without him? What are the toxic aspects of this guy that keep you like a worm on a hook? What are your deeper insecurities and existential pain that his drama helps you avoid? What is it about being a martyr that’s familiar to you? Did you feel like you had to be the good girl growing up to feel loved? Do you get a twisted power from being the victim of this situation, even if you also feel powerless in it? What about that power feels familiar?
Detangling this emotionally unavailable guy from your past and your personal issues will help you move on faster. It will also change your dating patterns.
What also helps is refocusing your life back on you. Every time you have the desire to call him or do something thoughtful for him, put that loving energy into doing something for yourself. Cook yourself a great meal and then invite good friends over to eat it with you. Paint your bathroom and spend money on a plush-soft robe that, when it touches your skin, feels better than his rough hands ever did. Write a love letter to yourself, about how special you are and how you deserve a guy who appreciates you, and then put a stamp on it and mail it to yourself.
Women who suffer from “I’m the best thing that will ever happened to him” fever are beautiful goddesses. They just need to find a man who mirrors back to them the loving light they shine onto others.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: The Lies We Tell Ourselves When We Are Dumped.