“It is necessary, and even vital, to set standards for your life and the people you allow in it.”
~ Mandy Hale
To answer your question, I’m going to make a couple of assumptions.
Firstly, I will assume that you’ve been dating this man for some months and that you’re past the early getting-to-know-you phase.
Secondly, I will assume that you are sure that you’d like to take this relationship to the next level – in other words you would like to be in a committed relationship with this man, that you want a future with him. In other words, you are in – hook, line and sinker.
And this, of course, is the crux of the problem – it’s become a one-sided relationship.
You’re serious about him and he doesn’t know what or how he feels about you. As a result, you are much more invested in this relationship than he is.
Now here’s a sad fact. One-sided relationships aren’t just unfulfilling, they can be full of suffering.
But look at it this way. While his lack of investment in the relationship is disappointing, even painful, you do have a choice. You can choose to escalate this disappointment to the level of suffering or you can choose another path.
Here are some suggestions to help set you on a different path.
1. Avoid the temptation to fix him
There will be a strong temptation to fix him, help him, even convince him that you are his best option. But what’s going on for him or not going on for him is really none of your business. His behavior, his choices, his state of mind are for him to sort out. So, hands off!
2. Attend to your own business
So, what is your business? Your behavior, your state of mind and your choices of course. Specifically, you can choose to continue to invest more and more into this relationship or you can call “time out”. During this period, while he’s doing his own sorting, your job is to figure out some important things for yourself.
3. Know that you are worthy
Now this next bit is really important. Whatever you’ve believed up to now, know you are worthy of reciprocated love. Also know that you are more than this relationship and know that you are more than this disappointment. Do not choose to be defined by it.
4. Consider what you really need and want in a relationship
This is the perfect time for you to envision what you truly, deeply want in a relationship. Be expansive in your visioning. Then make it concrete by writing it down. This will become your guide in the days to come.
5. Be open to possibility
While living fully and joyfully in the present, look to the future. Imagine being with someone with similar values, desires and needs to yourself. Someone who wants the same kind of future that you do. Someone who wants you unequivocally. This person may not be your usual sort of dating partner. He may look and sound differently from the guys you normally date. He may not be your “type” but be open to possibility.
And you never know what wonders will be in store for you.
Mary Rizk, B.A., M.A., M.Ed. – www.maryrizk.com
We all experience confusion at some point in our lives. I was once told by a wise sage that “with confusion comes an answer.”
Confusion is not easy to understand especially when it shows up in a romantic relationship.
So how do you navigate a situation when the man you are interested in is confused about his feelings for you?
A situation like this is full of emotions for both of you.
His feelings may be part of the natural selection process. In other words, he may be wondering “is this a good fit for me or is this someone I want to have a long-term relationship with?” With that said, it can be unsettling and anxiety provoking for a woman to hear.
Here are a few simple tips to help you navigate the situation:
1. Ask him what he needs.
If he is expressing confusion, ask if there is anything he needs from you in order to find clarity. Take in and hear what he is saying. If he is able to express his needs, then respect his feelings and allow the process and relationship to organically unfold.
2. Check in with him and talk about his process.
After a week or so, ask if he has any additional thoughts or feelings to share that have come to light since your last conversation. Also share your experience and feelings with him in regard to how this is impacting you.
3. Try not to be defensive.
Sometimes when we are feeling rejected, we can become defensive in our responses or attitude. This can show up as anger, aggression, or sarcasm. Underneath these defenses are usually feelings of fear, sadness, or hurt.
Try to talk about these feelings instead of using old defensive patterns. By using healthy ways to express yourself, it decreases the chances of causing harm or damage to the relationship.
4. Investigate what this brings up in you.
Ask yourself; what feelings are emerging within me? This could be an opportunity for you to explore some unresolved feelings that are being triggered by the situation. Take the time to thoroughly explore what you are feeling.
5. Finally, be patient.
Do not demand answers; keep open, honest, and genuine conversations going. Try to be supportive of his process by checking in, listening and being a good friend.
This is a time when you can demonstrate your interest in the relationship, trust by allowing him to express his feelings, and commitment that you are willing to move through this process together.
Normajean Cefarelli, PhD, LMFT – www.balancewithinllc.com
A lot of women have been in a relationship where they don’t know what their boyfriend is thinking. It can be confusing for him to know what exactly his feelings are and, in turn, that can make you confused as well.
And maybe make you feel anxious about your relationship.
Below are some signs he might be confused and some tips that may help you both get through this.
I would argue that while men and women are “wired differently,” the main reason men have trouble managing emotions is because they learned at an early age that feelings (except for anger and lust) are unmanly…feminine with regard to how they think and process emotions.
Women feel more comfortable expressing their emotions whereas men either freak out or run away from them.
One thing you can do is give him space to sort out his feelings.
You may have an urge to always check your phone for a call or text from him and it’s not there. Try to resist the urge to call or text him first. You can keep yourself occupied so you aren’t constantly checking your phone.
Instead, you can engage in different activities such as hang out with friends, read a book, watch a movie, cook a new dish or wright in a journal.
By being patient and waiting for him to come to you, you give him time to sort everything out for himself and this could make your relationship stronger.
Another reason he might be confused about your relationship is because he doesn’t want to get hurt again.
Most likely we’ve all been in a relationship where we’ve gotten hurt and don’t want to experience that again. Both men and women fear this.
When you first start dating, he may not see any red flags from his past relationship and really likes spending time with you and is willing to be open and honest with.
Then as your relationship progresses and deepens he might get scared because of how emotionally invested he becomes. He then becomes a hermit and might make excuses to not hang out with you. Again, this is a good opportunity to give your boyfriend some space and let him come to you.
Engage in self-care while you give him space.
By caring for yourself you get in tune with what your own emotions and feelings are. You are also taking time for yourself so you can do what makes you feel best. This may be taking a bath, writing in a journal, going for a walk or hike, exercising or knitting. When you are able to fit in an activity that you like you are able to feel better.
I hope these ideas about why your boyfriend may be confused about your relationship are informative and that the tips will help you as well.
Hollis Wall, MA, LMHCA – www.wallehollis.com
Your man is confused about his feelings for you… what do you do?
I’m assuming this means that you know how you feel about him… if you were still undecided then the most logical thing to do is get to know each other more and time will tell.
If you already know that you don’t think you want to be with him, then there’s nothing to consider… dump him.
Life is too short to be with someone that you don’t care for (romantically or not).
So, the only time this becomes an issue is that if you care about him but he’s not sure how he feels about you.
In that case, I’d give him space to figure it out.
If your heart can enjoy time with him while he’s working it out, then by all means remain in the relationship and have some fun (hold the relationship loosely and don’t invest too much of your heart into it) until he can figure it out.
On the other hand, if you can’t help but fall in love with him and suspect your heart will get broken if you break up, then consider taking a break to give him the space to work out how he feels.
This also gives you some time to divest your heart a tad since you invested too much upfront before he had reciprocated.
Amy Sargent, MFT – www.amysargent.com
Confused about his feelings? Well that is a novel idea-NOT!
Feelings are a lot and most people can feel confused about their feelings at times. You’re interested in a man who is confused about his feelings for you. Be open, be understanding and be direct.
Let’s think about ourselves as parts of a whole.
We use this language all the time in everyday conversations as in, “A part of me wants to go out with my friends but another part really just wants to stay in, be by myself and Netflix.”.
Does this sound familiar?
Well that’s because we are made up of lots of parts, and often they are polarized. Common parts we all have are; a control part, a nurturing part, worried, giving, selfish, curious, adventurous….
We are multifaceted and complicated. So when dealing with feelings it doesn’t have to be one or the other- what if it were both?
The more flexible our thinking around this the better for our mental health. Black and white thinking also known as all or nothing thinking really limits ourselves and also how we view the world.
The challenge for you here is widening your lens to understand that he can be caring and concerned at times and also closed and shut down.
These are parts of him, and at different times a particular part steps out from the rest and is “biggest” at the moment.
The question here is whether you can be open to this, and the process of exploring these feelings together.
For example, when the closed up and shut down part comes up for him and it looks to you like he is not interested in you- those are your thoughts and assumptions, otherwise known as fortune telling.
Can you ask? Can you point out facts and ask, “Help me understand?”
As in, “we had a great time last weekend together and this week you haven’t reached out at all, to me it feels like _______________, but I realize that that may not be what going on”.
He may be struggling with something that has nothing to do with you, he may be worried about money, he may….
The point is you won’t really know if you just stay in your own head about it.
This is different from someone you’re dating who you make plans with and then he treats you poorly consistently by not following through on his word, lying, or someone who is not interested in being curious about their own conflicting behavior. If that’s the case, it may be time to look elsewhere.
Elizabeth Baratta, LMHC – www.elizabethbarattalmhc.com
Most women have a certain level of emotional intelligence that enables them to feel comfortable exploring their feelings and expressing their emotions with their partner.
When a woman meets a man and begins developing feelings for him, she typically acts on a compelling urge to express those feelings.
It can be assumed that men also develop these same feelings with an understanding that both men and women have the capacity of feeling and expressing emotion, why is it that men have more difficulty tapping into their feelings and avoid understanding or sharing them as freely as women do? I realize that statement is a stereotypical generalization.
NOT ALL men experience confusion with their feelings or have difficulty expressing themselves. There are men who are self-aware, can regulate their emotions, express empathy, have social skills and are motivated intrinsically.
This is a man who is emotionally intelligent due to his own self-development work and who rejected the “gender role norms” created by society. These men make the best partners and long-term lovers.
If your man is expressing that he is “confused by his feelings for you” – then it’s possible that he has not (yet) learned how to break out of his learned maladaptive coping mechanism of pushing away and avoiding his feelings.
Fortunately for you, this process has NOTHING to do with you.
You can take those feelings of rejection and forget them altogether because that is not what this is about. This is about him processing his feelings, assessing and resolving any confusion, and taking responsibility for his own emotional growth.
He will need time and space to do this but there are no guarantees that he will work through his confusion and still feel anything at all for you.
There may be deep-rooted traumas that take time to heal.
He may discover and bring new awareness to his sense of self that could either strengthen the relationship or break it apart completely. The point is, there are endless “what ifs” and possibilities that can change the course of the relationship one way or another.
Be willing to accept his journey and let your intuition guide you in honoring your own true feelings in making decisions, rather than the superficial external opinions and pressures of others.
And most importantly, cultivate compassion, both for yourself and your partner in this process. Regardless of the outcome, we all deserve to feel happy and fulfilled in this life.
Honor who you are, and who he is, by allowing this process to naturally unfold and embrace where it takes you – trust the process!
Jessica Langbehn, LCSW – www.jrltherapeutic.com
If he is confused about his feelings for you, you have a lot of communication to do.
There are some questions that need answering, like, “Where is this relationship going?” “Should we continue seeing each other?”
Some men have a hard time understanding and expressing their emotions. They find it difficult to say the words, “I Love You” and feel that their gestures, behaviors and overall treatment of you, lets you know you are cared for and important.
That’s all fine, but if you want more, you may not be happy in the relationship. If you’re longing for commitment, but not knowing where you stand or where it’s going, it can be counter-productive. How can you feel secure and wanted?
So, the question you need to ask yourself is, “Why am I still with him? Why can’t I just go?”
This may be the crux of the problem. Is it you who is confused and unable to leave? Is it you who feels so insecure and maybe needy that you can’t say, “That’s it! I’m out of here?”
What can you do?
- Make a decision one way or the other. Do you want to stay in this confusing, kind-of- uncertain relationship, or are you ready to leave? Give yourself the pros and the cons and then make an informed decision.
- Open up the conversation and have a heart-to-heart with him. Maybe he cares enough to examine his emotions, because he doesn’t want to lose you.
- Know what you are looking for in a solid relationship and don’t settle for less. The answers will be clearer to you with that awareness.
Just tell yourself that you can figure out what you need to do and that you have determination, drive and motivation to come up with the best and healthiest solutions to this emotional challenge – and even come out the other side stronger, wiser and more empowered.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
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