By Rori Raye
If you’ve found yourself dating a guy, or even in a relationship where the guy is hot one minute and then ice cold the next… wondering to yourself and your friends, almost desperately, again and again over the same man, "What is going on? How can I make this guy fall in love when he’s got commitment issues?” - You’re in good company.
So many of us feel so close to the relationship of our dreams, with our dream man, and then, for whatever reason, it just doesn’t work.
It feels like we had it, and then it slipped through our fingers. We have these wonderful weeks, even months where the old fire comes back, and we’re getting along again like the soul mates we just know we are.
We start thinking about the future with him again. And then when it falls apart again, or he turns away for even a minute, all we can think about is how to get him to see that we’re perfect for each other and we should be together forever.
We’ve all done this, and it feels pretty awful. It’s almost like it eats up our lives. We look back, and all we can see is this one man, maybe with a few dates with other men in between. It’s as though the hope of him ran our lives all that time.
I remember the year-and-a-half I spent with the gorgeous man who was still close with his ex-wife.
I remember him doing things for her that he wasn’t doing for me, and me ignoring it. I remember one day he told me an old “friend” was visiting soon from another state, and that he wouldn’t be seeing me for 2 weeks. I didn’t quite “get” what he was saying, or I didn’t want to see it.
It wasn’t rocket science to figure out that the “friend” was sleeping with him during our two weeks off - and in a weird way it didn’t make me love him any less or want to be with him any less.
But when I finally found out that he’d been taking her around to meet our friends, out to eat with them and to their houses for parties, I was devastated. Though, being devastated still didn’t change my feelings for him. Instead, I felt humiliated. And I blamed myself, and excused him.
I’m embarrassed even now to be telling you this story, but I want you to know how I lifted my own self-esteem and learned to make and keep boundaries for myself, because I know it will help you.
It took me a very long time to find my anger, a very long time to see clearly... a very long time to start to LOVE MYSELF enough to not put myself into a situation where I was being treated with so little care.
I didn’t find my anger and self-esteem in time to rescue myself in that “relationship.” I kept on seeing him, until finally, he met another woman and dumped me.
You don’t have to go through that!
I am here to help you take better care of yourself so you can avoid that trap and get the love and relationship you want, just like I eventually did.
First thing - it really helps to identify the feelings that are Relationship Red Flags. Red Flags that tell you, loud and clear, you’re in an IMAGINARY RELATIONSHIP and not a real relationship. And the only way to really know what’s going on is by feeling it.
If you try to think about what’s going on, and use your brain to work things out and make sense of things, you end up talking yourself in and out of good and bad ideas. You end up making excuses for him, and being understanding, and giving him the benefit of the doubt, and telling yourself, “It doesn’t matter, I can handle this.”
But you shouldn’t have to “handle” bad treatment. So you need to know when bad treatment is happening. And if you’re anything like I was, sometimes that’s hard to do.
An Imaginary Relationship is way different from a real relationship.
In an Imaginary Relationship, sometimes we feel “hurt” when, according to the rules (as he sees it) of a “friends” or “dating” relationship, he hasn’t actually done anything hurtful.
You see, you can’t make a guy fall in love with you, if the issue isn’t even about his commitment to you. You’ve got to have a real honest reality check with yourself FIRST.
Sometimes we feel hurt because we have such low self-esteem. Sometimes we feel hurt because we’re afraid to feel how angry we actually feel.
But always - we feel “hurt” because we are expecting him to behave like he’s in a real relationship with us, when really, he’s only in an Imaginary Relationship. To him, he’s in NO relationship at all.
I was in an Imaginary Relationship with that man who hurt me so much. As long as he didn’t actually end the “relationship” I thought I was in, I put up with ridiculous things.
You’d think I would have looked woefully insecure, with no confidence, low self-esteem showing like a neon sign, but I didn’t. On the outside, I seemed so self-assured. I was fairly successful professionally, I had money saved up in the bank, I owned my own home.
But inside, I was like jelly. And on top of that, inside, I was always beating myself up for feeling like jelly.
What I finally discovered, after years of more men and experiences like this, was that no matter what it looked like on the outside, if I believed that the jelly I was feeling like inside was bad and ugly, and believed I had to hide it from everyone, especially men, and so I had to appear tough and together on the outside - always smiling - and I would predictably lead myself over and over again into Imaginary Relationships where men treated me as though I was tough all the way through. Outside and inside.
And they’d just assume I was “unhurtable.”
In hindsight I can see that it was rarely about him having commitment issues. It was about me having zero inner confidence.
They figured that I could “handle things.” They thought if I wasn’t happy with the way they were treating me, I’d leave - just like they would.
But I was strong - like a wall - on the outside, and jelly on the inside. I had no idea how to treat myself well, much less require that they treat me well!
And then it hit me. I had to teach myself to treat myself well. I had to stop beating myself up so I wouldn’t attract men who’d help me beat myself up. I had to start loving myself so I would attract men who’d help me LOVE myself.
It was such a simple concept, but it was like the first day of school for me. I had no idea how to start, but I started by embracing myself. All of myself - even the parts I didn’t like.
The moment I began to embrace my jelliness on the inside, and let people start to see it on the outside, an amazing thing happened.
It was as though my insides and outside had switched. I became more sensitive to myself, instead of always being so sensitive to HIM.
Here are some ways to tell if you’re in an Imaginary Relationship and ignoring your inner jelly:
How many of these things are happening to you?
Here’s a letter from “Sandy,” who’s in that same kind of situation that might sound very familiar to you:
"Rori, My boyfriend and I of four years have broken up once again. This has happened so many times throughout our relationship, it’s hard to really know if it’s for real this time. Unfortunately, I didn’t start working on myself until after we broke up (four weeks ago), when I started researching on the internet and found your book and now get your e-mails.
Every time we break up, our break-ups progressively get longer (last time it was two months). He’s usually the one who instigates the break-up and he’s always the one who comes back saying he’s miserable without me and he doesn’t want to live without me.
My question is this: Is this just a game to him? Does he just want what he can’t have and once he gets it back, he doesn’t want it anymore?
I’m starting to see that I contribute to this also by making everything so easy on him and trying to run and control the relationship instead of just stepping back, taking care of myself and letting him steer the relationship wheel. I truly believe your advice will work with someone new, but when he does come back, can it work with him? Thank you so much in advance for your answer, Sandy”
The short answer to Sandy’s question is Yes. It’s never too late. All my Rori Raye Tools will help, and they’ll all work.
Her situation sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If you’re finding yourself in a relationship place like Sandy’s in, here’s the big question I’d like to ask you - and for you to ask yourself:
"If these Tools work, and he comes back and wants to stay, will I really want HIM?”
I know it seems like an obvious answer, but think about it. If everything changed, and he came around, but he still wasn’t capable of acting like a grown, good man - would you really want him?
Just asking yourself this question will change your vibe. All of a sudden, the energy between you and a man will change.
Instead of him always being sure of you, and always being sure there’ll be the same problems in the relationship that there were before, and he can count on arguments and all kinds of drama, and for you to overfunction and take care of everything - you’ll be calm, peaceful, loving yourself, busy with your life, and taking your time about whether or not HE’S what YOU want.
And when the energy shifts like that, a man feels compelled to be with you. The urge to chase you comes back to him. The fire comes back. It feels like starting fresh to him.
It’s rare that he ever had commitment issues - he was just super comfortable with you doing all the work while he didn’t put in the effort.
“Bridging” is how you get from an Imaginary Relationship (like the one Sandy is "in") to a Real Relationship.
Getting across The Bridge - over the Pit of Mistakes and the Trap of Fears - and having the relationship you want is soooo much easier than we’ve all been taught. All it takes to avoid the mistakes and deal with your fears is Tools.
When Sandy sees her letter here, it might look clearer to her than it looks from inside her “relationship.”
Let’s talk a bit about the question about "Is he playing a game?" And the simple answer is “No,” because men don’t really play games. It’s not in their makeup.
Men come and go not because they’re “playing games.” They come when they want to, and go when they want to. When it feels good to them to be with us, they’re with us. And when it doesn’t feel good, they’re not with us.
Different men have different tolerances for intimacy, and for the things we women often do that push men away because WE’RE afraid of intimacy.
…Yes, he will be back. And yes, this time - things will be different. Because you’ll have my Tools, and YOU will be different.
I can hear from Sandy’s letter that she sees how working hard in a relationship has the exact opposite effect we want it to. By making it easy on a man, by putting HIM FIRST, we completely cut the relationship off at the knees.
We make it impossible for a man to get close to us. Just one whiff - just one moment of “getting” that we love HIM more than we love ourselves, and a GOOD man will pull away.
A momma’s boy, a man who’s all about himself, who’s immature and childish WON’T pull away. He’ll let you nurture him and care for him, and treat him like a king, and make excuses for him forever!
And he’ll give you little or nothing in return.
It doesn’t feel good at all. It feels lousy.
At least that’s what I remember. I was so good at taking charge (sweetly as you could imagine) of a relationship - all the logistics, all the caretaking, everything - it would have been IMPOSSIBLE for me to NOT draw in a man who was a “little boy” who was happy being nurtured, loved, not held accountable, all that, and who NEVER had to act (as long as I was around) like a grown man.
Grown men love, honor, and treat as special the woman they love. Period. A “little boy” simply can’t even get his mind around that.
I don’t know if Sandy’s man is a “little boy” who is fine with her until she starts asking him to “act like a man” or if he’s a good, grown man who is continually pushed away by her trying to manage him.
If your man is even partly a good, grown man, and you practice my Tools - including and especially BRIDGING (dating and dating yourself) - now, you’ll be in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLACE, with a completely different VIBE when he shows up (and he will show up).
And he’ll feel the difference right away. All of a sudden, he’ll feel drawn to you, he’ll relax, he’ll feel inspired to step up to the plate and be a MAN, and his “little boy” part will just grow up - right in front of your eyes.
And if he’s pretty much ONLY a “little boy,” and he’s not able to step up to the plate at all (once you step down), then you won’t even want him! Let him go.
You’ll be too busy sorting through and choosing between all the great men who are showing up and want to be with you, to even be INTERESTED in a “little boy.”
BRIDGING makes it all possible - because you will be treating this man as just “one more man,” instead of your “one-and-only man.”
You’ll have options instead of feeling that “getting back” with him means being taken on another reckless ride to nowhere, only to have your heart broken again.
As you start practicing these Tools, recognizing if you’re in an Imaginary Relationship, or if you’re dating a “little boy”, the clarity will come to you so quickly in realizing if he’s actually got commitment issues, of if it’s something you can shift by taking care of yourself better!
And if it’s simply a matter of you shifting your own energy, like I talked about above, you won’t have to make him do ANYTHING - he will ‘wake up’ and want to commit to you - because he couldn’t imagine NOT being with such an amazing woman as YOU ARE!
I want you to know these shifts are simple, and once you really get them, it’ll feel totally natural. But while you’re transitioning from the overfunctioning you, to the relaxed and confident you - it’ll help to have support.
This is what I offer with my Free Feminine Energy Newsletter - consistent, reliable support to help you get the relationship of your DREAMS, and sharing tools, tips and practices THAT WORK.
I’ve got so many more tips, ‘secrets’ and practices on how to focus on YOU instead of him in my FREE Feminine Energy Newsletter.
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I know how exhausting it is to be in a push-and-pull, hot-and-cold relationship. Every time you get back together with the guy, you’re even more depleted… but it doesn’t have to stay this way.
Once you start making these shifts, you’ll find wild success and get the commitment you crave. Subscribe to my love advice newsletter, and start getting the love and affect you deserve.