In this digital age, meeting someone and getting into a long-term relationship feels near impossible. The last guy I dated recently slithered away because I briefly communicated that I cared about him and wanted to see him more than once every couple of weeks.
I thought we were a great match; our personalities bounced off each other’s and early on I began thinking to myself, “It’s been so long since I’ve met someone this amazing!” One week in he was bringing me medicine when I was sick and texting me from other people’s phones when his SIM card busted to let me know he was reachable if I needed him.
But after two months, everything changed; the minute I got comfortable and became more available, our roles reversed. Suddenly I was reaching out to him, and he would take up to four days to return my texts. My thoughtful gent had frustratingly turned into a selfish jerk.
Now, I’ve read a zillion books about how to keep the power in a relationship and I know it’s a tale as old as time that if a woman remains focused on herself from the start of a relationship, she will receive lasting attention. So keeping this idea in mind I recently thought back to the handful of guys who actually became my boyfriend. Shocked at the findings, I remembered I wasn’t committed to my exes in the beginning, and I didn’t even want to initially be their girlfriend. I’d begged one of them to move on right away! If in the early dating period they pissed me off or I found out they hooked up with someone else I would shut off all contact and forget about them. Then out of the blue, maybe a couple weeks up to a month later they would call or write me and I would answer without second-guessing it because I SIMPLY DID NOT CARE. From that point of reconciliation I recall it being easy; the men would communicate their desire for me as well as a commitment. I’d be impressed by their honesty, and in my own time I’d accept a commitment from them and begin a long-term relationship.
Well, it’s been five years since my last boyfriend or that type of scenario played out. I have had a string of flings (all total babes so not a total loss), but I do look back and realize that at some point I lost my cool, I lost my power, and I became a disrespected pushover. I turned into the nice girl that doesn’t play hard to get, wears her heart on her sleeve, and is grossly aware that no fun, flirty, or even thoughtful texts have been coming in consistently. I’ve been putting these dudes on pedestals when they couldn’t care less if I do; they’d prefer it if I didn’t! So how does one stop this pattern? Start where I did:
Look back at your first boyfriends or your last serious boyfriend and replay the intro period. Were you preoccupied by studies or your career? Were you still talking to or seeing another guy? Were you generally unavailable?
I bet you’ll be as surprised as I was to realize how much power you held in your hands without even realizing it. This new generation of instant digital gratification has made it hard for us to be patient with each other and remain focused on ourselves, and as technology advances it will only get harder to sustain a lasting connection. So how do we get back to being that strong girl who didn’t care either way if a guy called again? How do we stop the pattern? Self-enrichment. Every time you start think about a guy that you put first, every time you get frustrated because you are lonely and he’s not reaching out, interrupt the thought with this:
What is my favorite hobby in the whole world and can I change my schedule so that I have time to do it today?
The answer can always be yes, and if you are reading this late at night or on a day that is simply not possible to reschedule, change “today” to “tomorrow” or “this weekend.” Look forward to your favorite activity, because going through the actions of your favorite pastime will not only raise your frequency and your personal vibration, it will lighten your heart. We can get further and further away from the girl who puts others first by instead focusing on the activity that brings us bliss. We will naturally attract the right people into our lives, but the key is that we’ll be so busy having fun we won’t even notice.
I know that advice like this can feel easier said than done. I cried earlier today about that jerk who seemed so magical for the first two months, but ever since this idea dawned on me I feel SO much better. I can’t wait to put this laptop down and pick up my guitar! I can’t wait to FaceTime with my best friend and ask her about HER. Just the idea of shifting the focus to self-enrichment is empowering. So take the guy down from the pedestal and start thinking about your favorite pastime, that activity that brings you joy, fulfills you, and deserves your attention. Now SMILE, because the power is back.