Hi Renee & David,
I really need your opinion on this. Everyone else I’ve talked to has more or less asked me to fight fire with fire, and I’m not really that kind of a human.
So, my man and I, we’ve been in a relationship for some time now (is almost 3 years long enough?) and he was/is a masculine at his core.
So far, however you’ve described a masculine man, he fits that description to a T. I try to understand that he has that drive in him, the ambition to achieve his goals and I understand that sometimes it feels like he couldn’t care enough to call me or miss me, but I try to think from his perspective and that saves us a big fight. But lately, I’ve had difficulty doing so, he has grown kind of cold towards me and it’s different from how it used to be before.
I remember you talking about when you and David just got together and he spent a lot of money/resources or almost went broke doing things that would make you guys stay close or something like that. Well it *was* the same for us, I felt so pampered and loved at the beginning 1-1.5 years, I used to even tease him that he shouldn’t spoil me so much because I’ll get used to it and you won’t be able to keep up.
He always shrugged it off, but that is what has happened now. It led to a lot of fights, and I started feeling desperate for his attention. I’ve literally cried in front of him because of this. I’ve also stooped to literally demanding certain actions for him, and he would do those…But I would not even be able to enjoy them because I knew that he’s only doing so because I asked him to… There’s no fun in a man doing romantic things for you, when you’re holding a gun to his head. (figuratively of course).
I just couldn’t take his cold behaviour anymore. Also, FYI, I’m a very emotional person and I’m pretty much free with my tears. So one night, we were having a fight, and I started crying, and I said something on the lines of “Well earlier you’d care if a cried, you can’t even be bothered about it now!” and he suddenly just lost it and he shouted “You know what? I don’t give a shit about you crying. You cry so much. It’s so melodramatic. I did not sign up for this shit!”
The next day, things cooled down a bit and we had an honest talk and he says that he realizes that he isn’t like how he used to be before, and he said that I cannot expect him to be like how he was before because that was him at his very best, trying to impress me and now he’s more focused on trying to build a better life for us and I should be mature about it. He said that he loves me more deeply now than he did when we first started off, and that I should remember that on days when I feel unloved.
But shouldn’t he at least try harder at being a better boyfriend? or am I being immature about it? I also decided that I shouldn’t depend on him to make me happy, so I’ve actually started doing things that I wanted him to do for me, it does feel nice, like self love. But is this how it’s gonna be from now on? I understand that I need to be mature and not expect some Disney/Nicholas Sparks romance but shouldn’t there be some effort on his part? Especially since he knows I want it?
It would really mean the world to me if you could share your insights on this, since my girl friends just crucify him and ask me to reconsider the relationship, which would really devastate me.
You’ve asked a good question.
I know how much it hurts to no longer have his attention the way you used to have it. I understand that the way he is acting triggers your own fears, it makes you feel more lonely, and it also triggers your own anger towards him.
Despite your anger over this, I want you to know that what you are describing is 100% normal. What is normal exactly? Your feelings about all this are normal. The way he is acting is also a normal part of relationships that progress into long-term commitments.
What you have described here, with your man no longer being romantic like he used to, is something I have experienced with David in certain moments early on in our relationship (yes, in the first 3 years). I remember how in certain short-term periods, I’d wish he would take me out to dinner just once (and he eventually did on his own, without me asking, when I stopped mentioning it). I wouldn’t describe him as cold per se (he’s a very warm person), but I remember he has pulled away for sure. These events certainly didn’t occur out of thin air: something triggered them.
I totally understand why you couldn’t take his cold behaviour anymore. But what is important here is not what your girlfriends think you should do. What is important here is not “tolerating” his cold behaviour. Your power comes from understanding why he went cold in this scenario.
Now, this is not like hot and cold behaviour that men and women show in dating. What you are describing is the typical cold behaviour of a man in a committed relationship who likely feels as though his woman is no longer offering him value, and to top it off, he feels like she is often demanding value from him.
(This doesn’t mean that you are in the wrong. Not at all! We are just trying to better understand this situation together here.)
You know, if you and your man didn’t go through this, your relationship would never get closer. If you didn’t have this experience, you would never have to grow and understand your man deeper.
So, as hard as this is for you, and as much as I can’t promise you that there won’t be pain, I can assure you that this is a normal relationship test that you can both rise above and be better for on the other side.
Use high value ways to get his attention
So what does it mean that you are no longer offering value? Well, let’s think about what is value to your man. Each man is different, of course, but each man usually also has a penis and a somewhat male biology (unless he’s a soy boy, haha!).
And with this male biology, what he will perceive as value in the relationship is deep connection and attraction. What this involves is offering your emotional openness and love (instead of the tension of stress, fear and needing something to be happy).
Value to him also includes your offering of feminine energy and responsiveness, your surrender to connection moment by moment (which helps deepen your connection and renew his deep attachment to you). All these as well as your acceptance of him that is evident in your body through how open you are.
This doesn’t mean that you HAVE to be open all the time, I mean, you’re a woman – and all women should have tension in their bodies at times. If they didn’t, that would be fake and if they didn’t have tension at times, they wouldn’t be women – but what this is all about is being aware of what value actually is in the eyes of your boyfriend, so that you can offer your total acceptance when you can and when it’s right – and being able to stop being needy of something in order to open.
Even if you resent him (which no woman would blame you for, considering his cold behaviour), for your own growth and to add value to yourself and to your relationship; you can hold his gaze despite your own fear and open your heart right there and engage.
Have a think about what “value” is to him. anything that comes from love or your sexual energy could be value. Loving gestures? Your gentle touch? Your accepting gaze? Your sexual energy? Just a hug? A blowjob? What about feeling your soft body against his? Showing him your boobies? (LOL. It might break his state that’s for sure). These are just ideas I’m throwing out there – and they must be used in context. Ultimately, you’re more attuned to your man and you know him better than anyone. Have a play around and learn as you go.
This is the high value way to get his attention.
What is the low value way to get a man’s attention?
The low value way to get a man’s attention and romance is nagging. It’s also communicating with resentment (which we all do at times. Hey, life is tough!)
Low value ways to get his attention could be holding back your vulnerability for the fake sense of being in control. I’m not saying you are doing all of these things Krysti. I’m just sharing here for the sake of everyone reading (including myself!).
Why are these low value ways? Well, because essentially, these are last resort attempts to get what you want, without connecting with him first.
To be high value inside our relationship, and to show high value woman traits, we must try to learn to give the very thing that we want, first. So, right now you want his attention.
Could you try giving your attention first?
Could you try offering him what he perceives as value first?
What that would look like is you feeling out into him, understanding him first. You are not understanding him by saying what you said here – “I understand that sometimes it feels like he couldn’t care enough to call me or miss me”.
That doesn’t sound like understanding. That sounds more like an assumption that he has bad intent; that he “doesn’t care”, and that not really a position of power for yourself, do you understand what I mean?
From the information I do have, it doesn’t seem like he has bad intent with you. He does care about you. I think he could just be tired and disconnected from you, just as you are to him.
I know it’s hard to hear him say, “You know what? I don’t give a shit about you crying. You cry so much. It’s so melodramatic. I did not sign up for this shit!”
However, it doesn’t really mean he actually doesn’t give a shit. This sentence sounds like a very frustrated man who wants to feel his woman’s openness and love again.
The well known, general idea is that masculine energy wants to experience freedom. So the more that you can give him the gift of feeling free by loving him and offering your love and acceptance first, the more you will be able to set him on the path of feeling free with you.
I also don’t know HOW you cry. I’m assuming that you cry because you’re very hurt and stressed. But in case it’s relevant, I have to address this: if there’s any chance that you have a learned ‘cry’ as a practice because you think it will get you more of what you want from him, such as investment and love, then I’d suggest that what’s more important is a genuine cry. And not crying for the sake of crying or because you’re good at it.
Most men and women recognise a truly helpless, surrendered cry. And this is the kind of cry that we can’t help but respond to. So it’s best for all of us to not pollute our cry with in-genuine cries for the sake of crying, if you know what I mean…
Not saying you’re doing that. As I said, I just had to address this just in case it’s relevant.
You’re not the one in the wrong
I’m afraid that some women reading this will throw their arms in the air and say, “Why is the woman always in the wrong!” and “Why do we have to be the amazing people with value to give!” well, to this I say, I am sorry you’ve been blamed so many times in your life that you now constantly feel blamed.
However, the truth is, this isn’t about blame. This is about having enough love, emotional resources and courage within you to try to understand him first. Smart women seek to appreciate and understand men first.
When we reach out and take the emotional risk to give first (just like treating a friend to dinner first), you will get to walk away with more esteem. And that’s something you can control; something you get to keep.
You can never grow as a woman if you don’t at least try to take an emotional risk of understanding what value is to your man. When we resort to low value ways to make a man do something, it’s not wrong, but it certainly won’t allow you to walk away knowing you took the high road.
Look, most men really just want to do the right thing! And just because he’s acting cold does not mean it’s the end. Does not mean he won’t give his life for you. It’s just how he is right now. And that can be changed with the right mindset.
We have created a program called “High Value Mindsets” and you can check it out here.
He’s doing his best
From everything you’ve described to me in your comment, I can see that this man is offering you the ultimate resource. He is trying to offer you reassurance and security in the best way he knows how. This is evident when he says things like: “He said that he loves me more deeply now than he did when we first started off, and that I should remember that on days when I feel unloved” and “Now he’s more focused on trying to build a better life for us.”
He IS offering himself to you, and he is offering resources to you. It’s just that the energy he used to put into being romantic has now been replaced by the energy he has to put into making a living to CONTINUE TO PROVIDE you with resources. This is a normal and natural progression. It takes enormous energy to be romantic.
Don’t let your girlfriends and their collective fears and criticisms destroy your relationship, or destroy how you show up in your relationship! Your relationship is a sacred place.
Will he ever be romantic again in the future?
My first feeling is that this man loves you, clearly. And because of that, I have zero doubt that he will be romantic with you again in the future, when the timing is right, when he can spare the energy for that, and when you show up with more emotional resources and value for him.
It’s easier to be romantic with a woman who shows up in the same way she did when they first started dating! My guess is that in the beginning of the relationship, you didn’t act from fear as much. And you probably didn’t try to push for things to happen, because you were in love! And when we’re in love, we naturally give more, as we have more emotional resources to do so! (Of course, if I were speaking to him, I’d tell him this, too!)
You know Tony Robbins has said: “Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship and there will be no end”.
We all naturally want to give back when someone gives us so much value. So, as much as I wouldn’t recommend you try to ‘get’ him to be more romantic for your own sake at this point in time, I will tell you that eventually, the value and the love and acceptance you provide to him will make him naturally want to make the effort again.
Men and energy conservation
You see, here’s the unpopular viewpoint. And that is that, all smart and well directed men eventually come to understand the value in energy conservation. When you have to make money, build something for the long-term, provide for your family and future children…the important time is now, and you inevitably have to sacrifice energy in other things.
If your man didn’t appreciate the value of energy conservation…would he still be able to focus as much on building a life for you guys? No.
If he put a lot of valuable energy into chasing you and being romantic for you, that could take away focus and energy from the current task at hand.
That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t “try” to be more romantic you as you say. Because he knows you want to be more spoiled. But, again…if you fill him up from your own resourceful place, that will gradually fill him up and he will naturally want to provide for you.
At the end of the day, if war suddenly broke out and you were both about to be killed; someone has a gun to your heads…would this matter? Or would the love you express to each other matter the most? Well, sometimes it pays to approach life this way. We never know when something bad could happen and we will forever lose this opportunity to gift our lover with…love.
Appreciate where he is at right now
In the great book “Influence” by Robert Cialdini, he teaches something very important. And that is that, if you want to influence someone, one of the principles to do that, is that you give to them first. And if you truly do add value to them, they will actually want to return that gift – but they will want to give you even more than you gave them in the first place.
You could easily add a lot of value to him right now by appreciating the effort he is putting into creating a life for you. Look at where he’s investing his energy; and appreciate him and his effort, openly. This way, you get to meet him where he’s at, and assume good intent on his behalf. And he will probably be relieved and surprised (in a good way), even if he doesn’t trust your appreciation at first. If he doesn’t trust your appreciation, you just keep giving it until he does trust you. That’s how we earn each other’s trust.
So, I’ve given you some ideas on how to add value to him AND to the relationship in my answer. I hope it helps you become closer to your boyfriend, Krysti. Wishing you a lifetime of love and closeness.
Also, my husband and I have got a “commitment masterclass” showing you how one of our clients went from being in a lonely and stagnant relationship to getting married in 7 days! You are free to join the masterclass here.
Thanks for reading!
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