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Relationship Tips & Advice
I just got an email from a reader who wants to know: Why is he losing interest in me?
Read her letter to me, and then we'll dig into the reasons why...
I've been dating this guy for 2 months, and it's really weird. I'm wondering if I give off some kind of "stay away" vibe...
I met him at this art fair where I was working in a booth. He was kind of cute, but I wasn't sure if he was my type.
Anyway, he comes over to talk with me at least 3 times each day. And each time he asks me out...
I didn't accept until the last day, just in case he was some kind of player. He kind of grew on me, and I gave him my number.
So - I need to know - Why does a guy pursue a woman so intensely at first. And then when he finds out she's actually interested, he's not so sure if he is interested anymore?
And then his interest fades and he starts treating a woman like she's an option instead of a priority...
When can you let a guy know you are interested? At what stage? Is dating just one big mind game?”
— Ellie R., Atlanta, GA
Well, Ellie, this is one of the most important questions that women ask me. So I'm going to spend some time really diving into it to explain.
Let's start with what it's usually NOT:
He's probably NOT playing hard to get...
Guys are TERRIBLE at this game. I know it's a concern for a lot of women that a guy might be using some kind of psychological games to manipulate women.
It just doesn't happen.
So when you asked if dating was one big mind game, I have to tell you that it isn't.
Most of the things we think of as games are not malicious or intentional at all. They are usually just by accident or circumstance.
Dating is more about how we play mind games WITH OURSELVES than anything the other person is doing intentionally.
We make up things in our heads as to why the other person is doing something weird. And what it turns out to be is just good ol' crazy emotional behavior.
Even men do it.
So now you might be asking yourself -
There are a few things you can do if a man has lost interest in you:
These are some of the most popular alternatives. But there is one that you may not have considered...
I'll come back around to explain it at the end...
So now we have to tap into the reasons why men lose interest in women.
Sometimes guys broadcast interest even when they didn't have any to begin with. In the moment, he was flirty, funny, and intrigued. Maybe even a little liquored up.
Or - if you've been dating him for a short time, you come to realize that he was actually using you as a BTN.
That stands for "Better Than Nothing."
It's not that he's intentionally trying to mislead you, or even lead you on. He probably thought in that moment: "Hmm... there's potential here. Let's see what happens."
But then he realizes he either wasn't as attracted to you as he thought, or another option comes along.
I hate to say it, but I've been the victim of this many times. Yeah, so both men and women feel this one.
If you've been in a relationship for a while with someone who loses interest, he might have been staying in the relationship even though he wasn't that into it. He might have been a guy who was afraid of being alone.
If you suspect he might have lost interest because of this, it's best to let it go quickly and forget him. You'll only punish your self-esteem by analyzing something that really wasn't about you. And you don't have ANY control over!
Get back in there and keep playing to win...
Guys can be distracted when they're dating. Men or women, we are all "into" the person that has the freshest spell on our heart.
If you've ever walked onto a car lot to look at the car you thought you wanted to buy - only to drove off with something different and sportier, you know what I mean.
Men often meet up with another woman somewhere between when you gave him your phone number and he finally gets around to calling you. So he takes the option that is most interesting in that moment.
Sometimes he'll chase that option before he realizes another option was there for him - YOU.
And if he never comes back to connecting with you, then he might have been a "shiny thing chaser." Which only means that he wouldn't have made you happy.
Instead, feel sorry for that poor girl that stays with him... as he chases another shiny thing.
There's a cute animated show called "Disenchanted" on one of the streaming services. On this show, there's a small demon named "Luci" who gets everyone into all kinds of trouble.
Every guy has his Luci. That dark part of his past - or present - that gets in the way of his life and happiness.
Guys often lose interest in starting up a relationship when he realizes how much of that dark past - his "Luci" - he has to take care of.
A lot of women think that they could have helped him with those issues.
It's not your job, nor is it always welcome to a guy to burden someone he just started dating with that kind of problem. Men are notoriously stoic and solitary when they're dealing with their issues.
Even though we know that guys are often seen as commitment-phobes, we have to realize that many guys really don't want a relationship RIGHT NOW. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Most women have had times when they knew they didn't really want a relationship, and this didn't make them "broken" or bad in some way.
Sometimes guys figure out that they want to do certain things before settling down, like traveling or starting a business. And he understands that this wouldn't work with a relationship.
And there are also guys who start to date and then realize that they are not really as ready for a commitment as they thought they were.
It's even harder in these situations because we might want someone to blame, but neither person is guilty or wrong.
He just wasn't ready.
In the same way that a guy can get caught up in the challenge of the chase, some guys just never get past it.
If the relationship isn't new enough, or exciting enough, or challenging enough, he loses interest.
He wasn't as much into the dating and relationship part - or even the YOU part of it. He was just wanting that adrenaline rush of competition, pursuit, and victory.
Who knows? He might spend the rest of his life looking for that rush, too.
There are even some guys who jump into a "steady" relationship where they're not all that challenged just so they can get some stability. And THEN they resume the chase by going after other women.
Again, it's far better that these guys walk away than get you caught up in their stuff.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but he may have thought you were one kind of person when he met you. And later, if he sees something different in you, he might decide it's not for him.
If you've ever met a guy that failed to light your fuse, you might know what I'm talking about. Very often, chemistry just doesn't last between people. Again, it's not necessary to blame the other person.
I know for me that if someone I was dating wasn't into me, I wouldn't want them to stay with me - no matter how I felt about them.
It's like the old saying: "If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, it's love. If they don't, it wasn't meant to be."
The wrong person can't be pushed into being the right one. Ever.
"The Spark" is what I call the mysterious drive that compels guys to chase the object of their desire.
It used to be that nearly all men had it in them to woo a woman, pursue her until he won her heart. More guys were like the "knights" of old.
These days ... well, not so much. Guys just don't pursue women like this anymore.
We could blame a whole ton of things, from fluoride in the water to being brow-beaten by negative messages in the media.
In the end, we just have to realize that the dating landscape has changed quite a bit. I don't know if it will go back to "the good ol' days" anytime soon.
Not all guys are good at the game of confidence required to pursue and win your heart.
So keep in mind that he might not have lost interest in you. He might have run out of fuel to overcome his own "stuff." He might need your help to break out of it.
Or, if you have no interest in doing that for him, you can just decide to keep shopping.
And that's the best way to look at the dating game, by the way: You're just shopping.
And you're just shopping for that high quality guy that you can stay with for as long as that guarantee lasts.
Remember: Ultimately - nothing lasts forever - not even relationships.
So just enjoy the time you have with the ones you can.
Some guys are in a bad relationship or marriage, and they just want to see what else might be out there.
Some guys are in a GOOD relationship or marriage - and they just want to see what else is out there.
A recent study discovered that up to 20% of all online dating profiles are women who are not interested in dating someone. They're just into the attention and appreciation they get from the guys who contact them.
I doubt guys are all that much different in this way.
So yeah, you might have just run into one of those guys out there doing some test driving. Or maybe wanting a little attention that he isn't getting at home.
And sometimes it's a guy who is already attached and trying to find his way out of it.
You may even run into this situation in a relationship you've been in for years. You wonder why he's lost interest - and it could be that he went and fell for someone else.
It's not cool, but this is a possibility.
There's nothing so dark or evil to a person than the threat of someone we love being taken away from us. Maybe because it's a knife that cuts both ways: it takes away our love, and then it makes us question our own value.
Let's finish up with a good rule to help you understand men and their thinking:
Guys are interested in women....
And we're even more interested in women that CHALLENGES us.
This is something that is common to all humans. We are hard-wired to desire that which is most difficult to get.
Why is this?
It goes back to our long evolutionary history - back to when we learned what would help us survive, and what would not. In nature, most of the things that are easy to find are not valuable. (Let's not count oxygen or water here for this explanation...)
High protein foods - usually meat - had to be hunted. It took a lot of effort to bring down an animal that could feed more than a few of the tribe.
Nowadays, you can wander down a Safeway aisle and get yourself a big thick steak for $5. Back in prehistoric times, that could have taken a lot more time and energy.
And another thing is that we humans don't really understand how to calculate VALUE very well.
If I were to sell you a gallon of milk, you'd have a pretty good idea how much that might cost. Anywhere from $3 to $5 or so. If you've bought milk in the last week or two, you might even have that down to the penny.
But if I ask you how much it costs to find a quality man, I'll bet you would first stare at me in shock. Then you'd either shrug - or get out a notepad and start brainstorming a list that would make your knees weak. And even then you'd have a hard time figuring out the cost of everything in dollars.
So for us to put a value on a quality man for you, we could easily put the monetary cost into the thousands. (Hair products, cosmetics, clothes, time prepping - and think of all the transportation and ... ok, I'll stop.)
I'm sure you get the point by now.
So the emotional value of a relationship can feel like a HUGE investment. And people tend to stay around too long in bad investments.
Ultimately, it's very rare that a man will lose interest in you because:
Or hundreds of other imagined reasons.
It mostly comes down to HIS stuff.
All too often, we men are distracted more than it has anything to do with you.
I know, I know - you probably feel like NO MAN should ever be distracted from you. Otherwise, you must not have that magical feminine power over him!
But the truth is that men can - and DO - pull away from relationships for smaller reasons. Mostly, it's because you really didn't push him into obsession.
You have to trigger his obsession if you want him to stick with you.
If you'd like to learn more about how to do this, just watch this short video on how to trigger a man's obsession switch...