A couple of guys recently asked me for my thoughts about their girl problems. Lo and behold, men and women actually have similar challenges when it comes to love!
One of these men has spent months trying to convince his girlfriend to fall in love with him as much as he loves her. She’s just not showing him that she is “in” it with him. So he is perpetually playing tape in his head, running a story of “what-ifs” and continuing to suffer. That sounds familiar.
The other man really likes a girl, but he’s scared that if he puts on the full court press to pursue her and completely opens his heart, it may get crushed. He doesn’t want to get hurt, so he puts up walls to protect his feelings. Subconsciously, he’d rather not really try too hard, so when it doesn’t work out, he can say rationalize that it just wasn’t meant to be.
How do you know when to really put in the effort to strengthen a relationship or when to let it go? As usual, the most important part of dealing with any kind of relationship issues is to look yourself in the mirror and get yourself right – before you try to “fix” the other person.
1. Be yourself. Don’t hold back too much. Be authentic and vulnerable. Be goofy. Be loving. Just be you. When you try to be too perfect for someone, you sacrifice your personality. When you hold back, she can sense that negative energy, and it may cause her to hold back too. Express your feelings in the most loving way possible, and trust she will be open to receiving your love. When you are free to be yourself and love her without hesitation, this gives her the freedom to do the same.
2. Let her who she is instead of criticizing her for what she’s isn’t doing for you or not giving to you. When you fully receive the authentic version of your girl, you can really enjoy her for everything she is.
3. Let go of expectations. Ahhh, this is the fine art of having desires and objectives, yet detaching from the outcome. This is a tricky one, especially when you really really like someone! Resist the urge to make everything about you or to try to make her do the things you want her to do. Typically, when we hold on too tight to the outcome, we fail to find the joy in the present moment and end up sabotaging our relationships and our happiness. There’s no need to resolve everything now. Do what you can do and then detach from the outcome.
4. Stay open. It’s really easy to shut down and close our hearts when something scares us or moves us into unfamiliar territory. Most relationships consist of yo-yoing between feeling happy and open, then descending back into fear and putting up walls to protect our hearts. However, the only way to experience love is to always stay open, to feeling all of the emotions and love in your heart.
5. Love those who love you. If you’ve been open, vulnerable, caring, honest, and loving, and she is not loving you back, then it may be time to lovingly let her go bro, so she can find her match and you can find yours. The right person doesn’t need to be pushed or convinced to honor you and make you feel special. You have so much love to give. Have faith that the right partner is looking for you and wants to join you on your journey through life.
Mark Nepo says, “We can only feel something to the degree that we are willing to meet its depth. Just as we open our eyes to see, we must raise our barriers and open our hearts and minds if we are to see and feel the essence of the life around us. To feel deeply, we must open deeply.” Be open, let go, and trust that everything will work out as it is supposed to.