The reason why so many women struggle to get the relationship they want is that they go after guys who are simply incapable of ever giving it to them.
We get swept up in the wrong things (the damage cases who are just oh so swoon-worthy), and lose sight of what actually matters, of the things that actually determine whether a relationship will last.
We tell ourselves all sorts of lies in order to hang onto something we know isn’t right for us but can’t seem to let go of, because being alone seems like a worse fate.
There are several universal qualities a life partner should have, but for this article, I want to just focus on one.
I remember the exact moment I knew my husband was the one. After about a month of everything being perfect (as they usually are in the beginning), we hit our first conflict. It was nothing major; we just started seeing areas where our personalities clashed and how we process things differently. I tend to be more intellectual and direct and he’s more emotional and his thoughts can be all over the place.
I would get impatient by it, and my impatience was hurtful to him. The details don’t really matter, what matters is I remember the way he brought the issue up and how sincere he was in wanting to work through things in order to get to a better place of understanding. It was a shock to my system, I had never experienced such a thing. In the past, I had always either been easily discarded or got the message that I needed to change and if I didn’t, he would leave.
I have seen countless variations of this kind of scenario: girl is dating guy, things are going great (again, as they often do in the beginning), but then they hit that inevitable point of conflict — maybe she acts needy or maybe he gets distant but suddenly things aren’t as seamless as they were the week before.
Then he decides he can’t hang anymore and tells her he “doesn’t have time for a relationship” or he can’t give her what she needs. The girl racks her brain trying to figure out what she did wrong and what she could have done differently. And then the classic question that has been asked by so many women before: He was so into me at first, what happened?
She thinks if she hadn’t been so needy, if she had been a little more chilled out, if she didn’t do this and instead did that. Really, the only way things would have turned out differently is if she behaved perfectly according to his script, if she never disagreed with him or expressed unhappiness, if she was perfectly in alignment with his thoughts and what he wants in a partner. That sounds reasonable, right? (That’s sarcasm in case it didn’t come across!)
If a guy leaves when things get a little rocky, it means he is lacking in the most important quality that you need in a partner and that is a man who is committed not only to you, but to making it work.
It’s easy to be in a relationship when everything is all sunshine and roses. The truth comes out after time goes on … when you let your guards down … when you can be more of yourself instead of the absolute best, most behaved and restrained version of yourself.
Even the best couples don’t seamlessly fit together. There is always a certain degree of work involved in order to create that deep and meaningful connection and it has to come from both people.
When a guy is ready to settle down and sees you as a good potential partner, he wants to make it work. He wants to overcome the differences, to get to a place of better understanding. When a guy isn’t serious, or if he just doesn’t like you enough, then he’ll find any excuse to leave. The ones that are worth it are the ones who find reasons to stay.
My husband and I are so different. The way we think and feel is different, the way we communicate is different. At the beginning of our relationship this definitely caused problems but now, after really committing to working on it, we have hit this amazing place of understanding and we are so much more in sync. The differences still exist but we were able to come to a place where we can meet in the middle. Even when things got difficult, I wasn’t any less sure he was the guy for me because of how deeply committed he was to make it work.
At the beginning of our relationship, consumed with the fear that this one would end in the same way so many had before, I expressed my fear that he would just decide it was too much and would leave. And he said, “Look, if it ends, it will be because we both tried our hardest and did all we could and it just couldn’t work. I don’t think that will happen, but that is the only way this wouldn’t work out.”
His words were reassuring, I had never experienced a commitment like that before, but of course, I had to deal with my fears and insecurities internally, but that’s a separate topic for another time!
A big mistake I see women making is blaming themselves when a relationship falls apart. They torture themselves with could haves and should haves.
I should have been less needy, I should have been more agreeable, I could have been more supportive, etc. Yeah, you could have done all that but it wouldn’t have mattered if he wasn’t committed to making it work.
There will always be differences, there will always be problems, you will not always behave exactly how he wants a partner to behave (same for him).
A relationship isn’t about finding the perfect match, it’s about finding someone who you can form a meaningful, lasting partnership with. Notice the word form. It’s an active process, it doesn’t just exist. It’s about working together, being a team, and working together to overcome the challenges.
Some people have deal breakers and that’s that. Maybe it’s religion or where to live or lifestyle preferences. But all the other stuff- personality quirks, your nature, your ways of interacting in a social setting, your fundamental traits… either he’s in it or he’s not. And if he’s not, then there is nothing you can do.