Thought Catalog

My Ex Told Me She Felt More Like My Mother Than My Girlfriend

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Unsplash / Allef Vinicius

A woman might put up with that type of relationship dynamic in the beginning, but if she secretly wants a real man that she can look up to and respect, she will eventually get tired of feeling like the stronger one in the relationship and dump her guy.

If your ex said that she felt like your mother, rather than your girlfriend, you may have made one or more of the following mistakes:

1. Always letting her decide what to do.

Sometimes a guy might think that he’s being a good boyfriend or husband when he lets his woman make all the decisions in the relationship.

He might say to himself, “I really, really love my girlfriend (or wife) and I want her to be happy. Whatever she wants to do is fine by me as long as it makes her happy. I’m just going to sit back and let her make all the decisions so she always gets to do what she wants to do. I’m sure it’s what she wants anyway. She will love me for not being selfish like other guys. I will just do whatever she wants and she will be happy because she won’t have to do things that I want to do.”

Yet, that’s not what women want from a man.

Why?

In a relationship, most women don’t want to be emotionally stronger than their man and have to be the one who decides on what to do.

If a woman takes the lead in the relationship and becomes the more dominant one, she will eventually lose respect for her man and she may even start thinking, “What a wimp. What a pushover. He’s always hiding behind me and waiting for me to lead the way for us. I wish he would just man up for a change and make some of the decisions around here. I’m tired of feeling like his mother and always having to take care of him.”

She may then try to push him to take on a more dominant role in the relationship (e.g. by throwing a tantrum and saying things like, “I don’t care what we do today. Why don’t you decide? I’m tired of always having to make the decisions around here.”).

If the guy catches on to her hint and starts being more masculine around her from then on, she will naturally feel respect for him as a man and her feelings of respect and attraction will come alive and begin to deepen.

On the other hand, if he responds by saying something along the lines of, “Why are you being like this? You know that I only want to please you. I just want you to be happy. Just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it. I’m happy with whatever you decide. I don’t care what we do, as long as we are together” she will feel even more frustrated and her feelings for him will begin to fade.

The thing is, a woman doesn’t want to have to teach a guy how to be the man that she needs.

She wants a man who already understands what it takes to be the man in a relationship or a man who gets help and just starts being that man, rather than having to teach him like his mother or sister.

Note: When I refer to getting help, I can obviously be that help you need. However, be warned…

Do not tell her that you are getting help. Do not tell her that you are trying to deal with your problems and issues and man up for her.

She does not want to hear that.

Why? It makes her feel like your mother or big sister!

If you say something like, “I want you to know that I found someone to help me and I’m learning how to be more of a man for you,” she will feel as though you’re expecting a mother to son response of, “Good boy. I’m so proud of you.”

She doesn’t want to feel that way about you anymore.

So, what should you do instead?

Just get help (i.e. from me) and don’t tell her about it. Just learn and start being the man, rather than talking about how you’re trying to be the man.

Be the man.

Let her see that come through in how you now talk, behave and react to her.

Don’t tell her that you’ve become more of a man. Just be more of a man and she will see it for herself.

Here’s the thing…

In a relationship, a woman wants to be able to rely on her man to confidently lead the way and provide the emotional strength and support that she needs to make her feel safe, protected and taken care of.

It’s totally fine if she makes some of the decisions once in a while, or even if she fully takes the lead on occasion, but for the most part, she wants to see that her man is leading the way so she can relax into feeling like a real woman in the relationship (i.e. feminine, girly in comparison to how masculine he talks, behaves and acts), rather than feeling like his mother or big sister.

If a guy can’t give her that type of relationship experience, she will likely just break up with him and look for a man who already knows how to be the man she needs him to be.

So, if you want to convince your ex that you’re no longer the same guy she broke up with, you need to show her (not tell her) that you now have the ability to be masculine and take the lead in the relationship.

When she sees that she can relax and trust that you really are the man now, she will begin to respect you again and she will start seeing you with different eyes.

If your ex broke up with you and gave that reason that she felt more like your mother than girlfriend, you may have also made this classic mistake…

2. Needing her regular or constant reassurance that she loves you.

Sometimes, when a guy feels lucky to be with his woman (i.e. he picked her up by pure luck, she’s a lot prettier or cooler than his previous girlfriends), he might find himself feeling insecure in the relationship with her.

For example: He might think about how beautiful she is compared to him and say to himself, “I’m so lucky to have her. She’s way too good for me. What will happen when she realizes that? Will she leave me?”

As a result of that kind of insecure thinking, he naturally starts to behave in insecure ways (e.g. he becomes clingy, needy, controlling, possessive or jealous).

To reassure himself that she isn’t thinking of breaking up with him, he might regularly ask her things like, “How much do you love me?” or “You still love me don’t you?” or “You would never leave me would you?” or, “Do you still find me attractive?” or, “Would you ever cheat on me?”

Yet, rather than make a woman think, “My guy is so caring. He must love me so much to constantly be so afraid of losing me! This is so amazing! I have to stay with him forever and ever!” she will usually just think, “Ohhhh….he is constantly acting like a little boy who needs his mommy to hold his hand and tell him how much she loves him all the time. I don’t know for how much longer I can put up with this. He’s driving me crazy! I need a real man.”

Here’s the thing though…

If your ex chose to be with you in the first place, it was because she once felt enough respect, love and attraction for you to want to be in a relationship with you.

However, if you doubted your attractiveness and value to her during the relationship and allowed your insecurities to turn you into an insecure, needy, clingy guy, it’s only natural that she would then begin to feel more like your mother than your girlfriend.

A woman doesn’t want to feel as though she needs to take care of her guy.

She wants to feel as though he would be 100% happy, confident and forward moving in life with or without her.

She wants to be with an emotionally strong man who believes in himself and in his value to her, rather than a guy who is constantly assessing whether or not he is good enough for her and if she is going to cheat or leave.

If a guy is unable to grow up and become the emotionally strong man that a woman wants and needs, she will almost always lose respect and attraction for him and break up with him.

So, if you want to get your ex back, you have to show her by the way you interact with her from now on, that you are no longer the insecure, needy guy she remembers from the past.

Don’t tell her that in an e-mail or text.

You have to let her sense that during a phone conversation or, if possible, an in person interaction.

Women who break up with guys who made them feel like a mother, absolutely hate it when the guy e-mails or texts them big, long messages about his feelings, progress on becoming a man and so on.

Just let her see it and sense it for herself on a phone call or in person.

3. Lacking purpose in life outside of your relationship with her.

Although there’s nothing wrong with being a loving and devoted boyfriend (or husband), it cannot be your main purpose in life if you want your relationship to last.

When a man makes his woman the main reason for his existence and essentially focuses all his attention and energy on her and not much else, it’s only natural that he will begin to behave in a clingy way.

For example: A guy might stop focusing on his interests and hobbies so that he can spend more time with his woman.

He might stop pursuing his goals and think something like, “Those goals aren’t really that important to me. My relationship with her is what really counts. As long as I’m with her and making her happy, nothing else really matters. I don’t even care about my life outside of her anyway. I just want to be with her.”

In some cases, a guy may even stop hanging out with his friends unless his woman can come along too.

Yet, that’s not what most women want.

A woman wants to be loved and appreciated, but she doesn’t want to be the one providing a guy with his emotional security, sense of identity or reason for living.

Of course, there are some women who like to be with a man who has nothing else going on in his life other than her (usually women who are insecure or unattractive), but the majority of women like to be in a balanced relationship with a man they can look up to and respect.

When a woman respects her man, she will also feel attracted to him and the relationship dynamic will be balanced.

Yet, if a woman feels like she has to mother her man because he is too emotionally weak and insecure to face life head on, she will lose respect and attraction for him and eventually break up with him.

So, if your ex said that she felt more like your mother rather than your girlfriend, to get her back, you need to show her that you have become an emotionally independent man now.

Although you still love her and want her back, she has to be able to see that you don’t need her back to be able to live a happy, successful and fulfilling life.

You now have a life purpose that you are striving towards (i.e. a huge long term goal or dream), you have friends and hobbies that you’re busy with and you’re doing the things that you’ve always wanted to do, but have been putting off because of your relationship with her.

When you take that step and be a mature, emotionally strong man, you will automatically become more attractive to your ex, because she will see that you are no longer the needy, insecure guy she broke up with.

She will see that you are now a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to make it happen.

You are a man that she can look up to, respect, feel attracted to and feel proud to reintroduce to her family and friends.

4. Not making her feel girly in comparison to you.

One of the best ways to make your ex stop feeling like your mother and start feeling like your girlfriend, is to make her feel girly and feminine when she interacts with you.

Many guys make the mistake of thinking that a woman will be happier if she makes all the decisions, takes on the leading role and feels like more of the “man” in a relationship.

However, even though modern women are independent and have their own jobs, earn their own money and make their own choices, they are still instinctively attracted to and respect a man who is emotionally more dominant than them in a relationship.

Of course, being emotionally dominant and more masculine than a woman doesn’t mean being controlling, bossing her around, disrespecting her or her opinions and ideas, or making all the decisions all the time.

It simply means that the man is the emotionally stronger one, which then makes a woman feel girly in his presence. Why?

When a guy is more masculine than a woman (by being emotionally stronger than her for example), it makes her feel like a real, feminine woman around him.

She can then relax and be girly, feminine, get emotional and focus on the love that she feels for her man, rather than feeling like she is the more dominant one and needs to take care of him like a mother would take care of a boy.

Some guys just don’t understand that about women, so in a relationship, a guy might fall into the habit of letting his woman make all the decisions, rely on her to take care of him emotionally and essentially tell him what to do.

Yet, when a woman feels emotionally more dominant than her man, she begins to lose respect for him.

Without respect, she cannot feel attraction and she may then start to think, “This isn’t a relationship anymore. I feel more like his mother than his girlfriend. I’m tired of mothering him. I want a real man who can make me feel girly and feminine in his presence, rather than feeling like I need to take care of him and hold his hand because he can’t cope in his life. I want a man who makes me feel safe, rather than a guy who needs me to make him feel safe and secure in this world.”

For most women, feeling like a guy’s mother is not a good basis for a strong and long-lasting relationship, so she will just break up with him.

He might then try to get her to change her mind by saying things like, “Please don’t do this to me. Just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it. I’ll do anything! I promise. Just tell me and I will do it. You have my word!”

What he doesn’t realize is that he’s doing the exact same thing that caused her to break up with him in the first place – he’s asking her to be his “mother” by leading him and telling him what to do.

What he needs to understand is that she just wants him to figure it out on his own, so that she can then start to look up to him and respect him as a man from now on.

Confidently guide her back into a relationship like a real man.

Some guys think that a woman should accept their boyish or immature outlook on life.

Sure, some women will put up with it, but if a woman is beautiful and knows that she can leave her guy any time and easily find a real man, she will usually just leave.

In the past, a woman had to stay in an unhappy or unfulfilling relationship for life, because it was shameful to break up.

However, that’s not the case anymore.

These days, if a woman loses too much respect and attraction for a guy, she can choose to leave him any time she wants to, because he doesn’t own her and it’s no longer shameful to break up or even get divorced.

So, if you want to get another chance with your ex, you need to man up and start being a man that she can look up to and respect.

The good news is that all it usually takes is a spark of respect and attraction.

When she interacts with you and sees that you have become more masculine in your thinking, behavior, feelings, tonality and actions, she will feel a spark of respect and attraction for you again.

She will then begin to open back up to the relationship, even though she may act as though she is still completely closed off and not feeling anything for you.

It’s up to you to have the courage to follow through on the ex back process and show her that you now really are the kind of man she can look up to, respect and feel attracted to. TC mark

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