“The more of me I be, The clearer I can see.”
~ Rachel Andrews
It’s not uncommon in relationships that one person is more into the relationship than the other.
Relationships are fluid, and should be treated as such, meaning that the situation that is happening currently will not always be the case. It can change rather suddenly, and for no known reason. Your guy professes his love for you, and you’re not there yet – yet. It’s possible that you will be at some later date, you just don’t feel it right now.
Start by examining your own motives.
- Do you need to feel that same level of love, or can you hang out with this unequal level of feeling for a while?
- Are you feeling rushed into something that you’re not ready for?
Figure out what you need to do for yourself, regardless of your relationship, your biological clock, your friends, and anything else that might be trying to influence you. Do what’s right for you.
Let him know how you’re feeling.
This puts you in a very vulnerable position, but it’s worth it because it may head off some future problems.
Let him know that you’re not there yet, and that you need time to see how you feel.
That doesn’t mean he can’t love you, but it may mean some other boundaries need to be set on the relationship, especially if you’re feeling pressured to commit to something you can’t. This also allows both of you to make decisions about your needs and the course of the relationship.
Take some time to get to know what his loving you means.
There are many different types of love, and it is expressed in so many different ways. Enjoy the feeling of being loved by someone and see if that’s the love you are looking for. There’s no time limit other than one you impose upon yourself.
Give yourself the time you need to make good decisions and to see if your feelings for him also grow.
A relationship is about developing together, and it’s rare that you will both develop in the same direction at the same time, so this may be a blueprint for how much of your relationship will grow.
Becky Bringewatt, MA, LPC, NCC – www.mantiscounselingandcoaching.com
Take your time and be mindful that you are not committing to more than you are willing to because you don’t want to hurt his feelings or you feel pressured by him.
Go slow and be clear about your intentions and how you feel about him. Talk to someone and process what the relationship means to you. Be careful not to send mixed messages and confusing signals by flirting with him or crossing intimate boundaries that imply interest in more than a friendship.
If you are on the rebound and not ready for more, then say so.
If you are cautious and need time and space to develop interest in him or you want to see where it goes, respect that and follow through. Set your boundaries and keep your expectations as clear as you can. Taking inventory and determining how you feel about him is a process and will take some time.
Hold yourself accountable to maintain the boundaries you put in place.
You set those boundaries for a reason so don’t bend them to accommodate him by going along with more than you are ready for. An example of a boundary would be waiting or abstaining from sex with him or others while you are trying to determine how you feel about him.
As you sort through your feelings, process one issue at a time if you can.
This means that you are not keeping him on the side as a back-up in case something else does not work out. Work it out with the other person and be honest about how you feel.
Do not lead him on or lead him to expect more from you than you are willing to give. Be mindful that you are ready to commit before you actually commit.
A positive sign would be that he respects your boundaries and he is willing to wait to see if your interest in him develops or changes.
Sometimes you learn to love what is good for you. Maybe you grow to love him because of his patience and respect for you. Maybe he earns your trust by being a good friend first.
The flip side is that maybe he is pushy and you have to cut him off completely because he is not respecting your boundaries or he is coming onto too strong.
Do not rush to a decision but don’t wait too long and lose a potential catch.
Be mature in your decisions and mindful not to hurt his feelings or be unnecessarily unkind in your interactions with him. There is no reason to be mean or petty.
Be a lady and conduct yourself with dignity. Above all, stay in your integrity and be honest with yourself and be honest with him. Don’t force it. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net
When a relationship becomes emotionally unbalanced, you need to do some evaluating about what you really want for yourself and for him.
In other words, it’s not fair to him, nor is it fair to you, if one of you is unhappy. You both need to be in a relationship that is mutually satisfying. You two deserve that. Here are some things to consider:
1. You’re with someone who really cares about you, but you think of him as a brother or good friend.
You try hard to make him a priority, but you just don’t feel it. So you wind up pushing him further away in subtle ways so you don’t hurt him. Eventually you hope he gets the hint and moves on.
2. You’re having trouble following your gut.
This means that deep down inside you know you are not meant to be with this guy, but you are trying. Yet, you know you are wasting your time leading him on. Is it better to cut the cord sooner than later?
You know that when things drag on, it gets harder to let go. You may wind up settling for him and being miserable. In your heart you know to be smart and follow your inner guide. You need to make the break and move on.
3. You’re appreciating his many good qualities, yet feel there is someone better out there for you.
You realize you may be sacrificing a good relationship for a pipe dream, but you’re willing to do it. You decide to talk to him to let him know how you feel.
This kind of relationship will always result in someone getting hurt. When the heart is involved and emotions are high, the best way to handle things is by being honest. Follow the “firm but kind” rule.
Be firm in your conviction to let him go, but do it kindly and with compassion.
Your intent is not to make an enemy, but to get him to realize that the relationship is not going where it should. Since you both deserve someone who really loves you, this is the only way to handle an unequal partnership. Wish him well and that you hope he meets someone special who can truly give him what he wants.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
There is only one thing to do when somebody you only like is in love with you.
Tell him the truth. This is a no-fault situation. He can’t help loving you and you can’t help not loving him. It happens. The worst thing you can do is give him hope. He may try to persuade you that your feelings can change. While that’s possible, it’s not likely.
There are obvious components to falling in love with someone.
Compatibility in values, life-style, goals and common interests are all important to finding the right person for you. But there also needs to be chemistry, that indefinable something that takes friendship to passion.
You can’t will that to happen. While passion isn’t enough to sustain a healthy relationship, it’s important to the experience of falling in love.
To be fair, it can sometimes take a while to feel that necessary chemistry.
So I don’t advise that you give up immediately on someone who really does meet most of your other criteria. But it’s a mistake to fake it. It’s not fair to him and it’s not fair to you. If you’ve given it a chance and it’s just not happening, tell him and move on.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
Many women suffer from a condition called “being nice at all times to be liked because I don’t want to hurt feelings or be perceived as mean”.
This translates into women compromising their true feelings, desires, and wants to please others.
When women choose “niceness” over truth they often experience what I like to call a serious case of “incongruence”.
Incongruence happens when our internal values, feelings, and desires are not connected with our actual choices, actions, and life practices.
In relationships, if a woman likes the person she’s dating and that individual has expressed stronger feelings, she can decide to make a congruent choice.
A congruent choice is rooted in communicating from an authentic place and being transparent.
Making a congruent choice and being honest with your partner that you are enjoying his company and developing feelings for him would be more authentic than devoting your love for someone you do not in fact love.
Being authentic takes bravery, vulnerability, and sitting with feelings of discomfort. Choosing your authenticity is more valuable than any relationship.
Brooke Campbell, MA, RDT-BCT, LCAT – www.creativekinections.com
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