The world is full of time wasters.
They clog up our lives like hair at the bottom of the drain.
ESPECIALLY if it's a guy that's stringing you along, wasting your love and time on a relationship that's not fulfilling you - and not leading anywhere...
You gotta know how to stop these guys from plugging up your life! Time to get some Drain-o for the dudes.
Because you need to know whether to give him more time, or to kick him to the curb.
I'm going to warn you that if you're prone to needing to blame the guy, or shy away from the tough talk, this article isn't going to kiss your butt. I'm here to give you the straight dope on how to be REALLY happy.
Not "deluded happy." We have enough people doing that these days.
So let's put on those Big Girl Shoes and dig into some ways to avoid getting strung along and played by the man in your life.
Most guys aren't doing this on purpose, by the way. We're just doing what you're doing: trying to find someone to love.
Carlos Cavallo, Dating and Attraction Adviser
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But it's up to you to watch out for yourself, so these tips should keep you safe:
Ask yourself the critical question: Are you REALLY being strung along?
What makes you feel that way?
Is it that he isn't acting the same as when you two first got together?
Because I'll have to stop you right there and tell you wake up and grow up, honey. No one acts the same later as they did at the start. Oh yeah - even you.
The best way to check in on this is to really check your gut as I ask this next question:
Do you feel that there's anything actually wrong with your connection?
And is there a possibility that this is a common feeling you get at this point in ALL your relationships? At about the same time? (More on this in a second...)
A lot of people go their whole lives without really questioning the nature of their reality. Especially when it comes to relationships.
Back when I was still pretty amateurish about dating, a friend of mine interrupted me to tell me something I've never forgotten:
I thought about that for a while... and without waiting for my answer, she said:
YOU are the one thing that is always there in all your problems.
And that's when it really clicked for me...
That it wasn't every one of my partners that was wrong or bad.
And it wasn't me, either. I was just the common element to all of them. I was the hub - the center - of all my problems.
If I wanted them to change, I had to change ME. Not them.
So really take a few seconds and think that one through. Make sure you have HARD DATA that says "Yup, he's definitely putting me on the back burner."
Do you have evidence that leads you to believe that you aren’t as important to him as you’d like to be? That feelings have changed between you?
Ready for another serious question?
Ask yourself this:
Don't be too quick to assume the latter. You'd be surprised how many women rush to conclusions when she gets a bit rattled in her relationship.
Also ask yourself:
A lot of women I know will "date hard" for a month or two... then she will get really frustrated and angry.
Then, after another couple weeks of "angry dating," she will get sad and lonely about it all. You can practically hear her standards starting to drop.
Eventually, she just takes some guy who is "good enough." He's usually not a strong willed man, and his lack of masculine edge has already doomed the relationship before it gets started.
And then what happens is that she's unhappy, dissatisfied, and generally underwhelmed. She might try a "salvage operation" where she tries to fix or change him. (NEVER WORKS!)
And when it doesn't work, she turns on the complaint engine - instead of dropping him and moving on.
There simply aren't enough compatible guys for you to constantly be in a great relationship.
You're going to have gaps and pauses in the action, honey. It's part of the dating game. Get used to it.
So if you can't deal with a bit of "alone time" you might want to get a cat.
(BTW: If you already have a cat, don't get more than two. Or just get a pocket dog.)
Also ask yourself:
This is very common - where the men you typically want are only the unavailable ones.
And finally ask yourself this one:
When you feel your man is pulling away, do you become more needy? Or do you take the time to steady yourself?
Again, from a man's point of view, we see most women turning to clingy behavior first. And it always turns into a source of contention in the relationship - stirring up arguments until there's a breakup.
And finally we have this:
And men's and women's priorities often not in sync. WHILE they are in the same relationship, we each have things we want most - and they don't always match our partner's. It's one of the things the Cosmo articles never talk about.
As a general rule:
Men are more likely to keep their girlfriend in separate compartments from the rest of his life. He'll pull you closer when his need for intimacy and companionship rises up in his awareness.
Women, on the other hand, are more likely to immediately make her man the center of her life. And she will feel unhappy and diminished if that all-or-nothing attitude is not reciprocal from him.
The problem comes up when we EXPECT those roles all the time from men and women. The fact is that there are a lot of guys looking to date seriously. The reason he tells you he's "casual" is usually because he can sense that it's not a match for him, and he wants to avoid you getting too attached to him.
Women often avoid the label of "not dating seriously" because it seems kinda ... well, slutty.
Yes, even in the new millennium, we still have that double standard for men and women in dating.
(This standard is there for a perfectly valid scientific reason, by the way. I'll go into this another time...)
So make sure that he is:
If he isn't, it's a good sign you're being strung along for sex.
You can usually figure this out by his dating history, which is why it's SO important for you to ask good questions about his dating background when you get into the relationship.
Someone once said that if you want to know if you're being strung along or not, LET GO OF THE STRING.
You'll find out, because he won't come back to pick up the slack.
If he does come back to you, he might just be skittish or truly scared of being hurt. But either way, you gotta be watching him CLOSELY for the first 3-6 months of dating so that you can know whether or not he's a real candidate for your heart.
Which means also that you should be careful not to fall too far too fast!
Finding a good man and making him commit does NOT require you to fall hard for him. I know that sounds crazy, but the more you can drive cautiously for those first few months, the more he's going to work to win you!
I have a few more things you need to know about getting a guy to commit...
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