By Rori Raye
Things seem to be going well between you and your guy… sometimes….
But other times, he feels distant, aloof, detached and uninterested.
He doesn’t seem to prioritize your relationship the same way you do.
He doesn’t really open up about his feelings in a deeper way, as much as you try to connect with him more…
You are wondering if he’s just not ready for a relationship, or if he’s emotionally unavailable or has a fear of intimacy.
You feel like he just doesn’t get how his distance is hurting you and causing you such pain. Or how he can seem so laissez-faire, after you two shared such deep and intimate moments.
You can take comfort in this: all men “rubber band” some of the time.
One day he’ll seem really excited and “all over you”, and then another day he seems very distant - as if he’s afraid of intimacy with you.
He might be in his head, worried about something that has nothing to do with you, or just need to hide away from intense intimacy with you until he gets his “bearings” again.
Men can be just like us in the way they sometimes need time to “regroup” and really get back in balance. They can get thrown off just as easily as we can - it just looks a little different. We are all human, underneath it all!
But it’s what we do when he’s rubberbanding that makes all the difference.
When we women feel off balance or insecure, we tend to move ‘toward’… we tend to want to “talk” the situation out with a man, we tend to want more affection and more attention, and we want to ask questions to get answers that will make us feel better.
We often start feeling insecure and crave reassurance that everything is still ok within the relationship. When our insecurities get triggered like this, we actually make things worse. (I’ll share more on how this makes things worse later in this article!)
A man, however, tends to want to curl up in a ball by himself, throw himself into his work, escape for the weekend alone or just completely shut down!
Whether you’re dealing with a guy who genuinely needs to just regroup for a bit, or a guy who is utterly inconsistent and unreliable, there are a few simple things you can do to take care of yourself and communicate with him in a way that really works - and find out if he’s a keeper or you need to cut him loose.
…And you need to get the answers you want. Instead of bottling things up, biting your tongue and ignoring your upset feelings, try this:
1. Catch Yourself
This is the crucial first step in communicating with a man in a powerful way. You simply want to stop and become aware of what you’re feeling.
Is it anger? Anxiety? Frustration? Insecurity? Disconnection?
Whatever it is that you’re feeling, notice it - and don’t make it wrong. Your feelings are a signal - even the icky ones we don’t like. They are there to be noticed. Just like you might do with a child who’s feeling really anxious, you want to be there for it, not ignore it or make it wrong.
Don’t stuff it down, don’t ignore it and don’t make it wrong that you feel that way. Just the same, don’t just react from an emotional place either. You want to just take a pause here for a moment.
2. Track Your Thoughts
Let’s say a man calls you to check in with you about a date at the last second - and after not calling you over the last two days the way he said he would. You don’t know whether to tell him you’re busy and you can’t make the date because you’re so mad he didn’t call - or to just swallow your upset and be cheerful and go out with him.
To track your thoughts, you can practice by carrying a small journal around with you and writing your thoughts down as you notice them. Put a line down the center of each page from top to bottom, and write your thoughts down on the left side of the pages (you’ll see how this works in later steps). Write down all your thoughts - your angry ones and also the ones where you’re afraid to rock the boat. Now…
3. Do A Body Assessment
What I want you to do here is to “check in” with where you’re holding tension. Check in with your belly, your shoulders, your pelvis, your legs - all of you. The moment you notice tension somewhere, just allow that little part of your body to release the tension.
A great way to do this is to put your hand right on that place - on your shoulder or on your heart or your belly… and just by keeping your hand on that part of your body, you allow it to relax. (It’s challenging to “relax” your entire body at once - and I don’t like it when someone asks me too - but you’ll quickly get how easy it is when you do it in little “bits” around your body.)
Now notice where the tension moves to from there - it might move from your belly to your shoulder or from your shoulder to your thigh - and just follow it around for a bit. Breathe into your belly - let go of your belly instead of “tucking it in” - and let the air out easily while you’re doing the body assessment.
4. Translate Your Thoughts
Now go back to the thoughts you wrote down. You’ve already written them down on the left side of the paper. Now - on the right side - “translate” them into feeling messages. That could look like this:
On the left you may have written, “Why didn’t you call me, you jerk!” So you could translate that to: “I felt unimportant when you didn’t call me.”
Or you may have written “All you had to do was take two seconds to tell me you were going to be late instead of making me wait!” - and change that to “I feel so frustrated when I’m waiting.”
…Not about blaming him.
And here’s why: Because this is not about him or about his behavior. What it’s about is how you feel when you are in his presence - and in the presence of his behavior.
In other words, this is about you! And how you feel! And that’s what you need to communicate to him. And you have to do it in a way that does not make him “wrong.” Even if he is wrong!
Men need to hear from you how their actions (or inaction) makes you FEEL. When you’re able to communicate your feelings openly and honestly with him, he will better understand the impact his poor behavior has on you - and he’ll want to do better if he’s a good man!
This way, you are taking care of yourself and seeing if he can meet your needs. If he respects how you feel and takes steps to make you happy, he’s a keeper.
If he can’t handle your feelings, doesn’t alter his behavior, gets defensive or blames YOU, then cut him loose.
Here are some more examples:
“You’re such a jerk for saying that to my friend! She was just trying to have a nice time!”
“I feel really hurt by what you said to my best friend. It makes me feel uncared for.”
“How did you forget we had plans? Well I hope you had fun partying with your buddies last night!”
“It makes me feel unimportant when you forget about our plans.”
“You are such a slob! Why can’t you clean up after yourself? This place is a pigsty!”
“When the dishes are piled up, and there is dirty laundry on the floor, it makes me feel really uneasy and unable to relax.”
You’re getting the gist now!
5. Forget About Being Right And Be Loved
How exactly does forgetting about being right work for you? I mean, after all, you are right! You are likely righteously upset! And I know that you still feel frustrated about it. I mean, he’s the one who did that horrible thing! Why shouldn’t he know that he did a bad thing?!
But the important question has nothing to do with him. The important question is: Do you want to be right, and make sure he knows you’re right, and make sure he knows what he did wrong… or do you want to be loved? Because, if you can put all that “right-ness” aside, you can change your love life overnight.
The best way to honor what is ‘right’ to you, and the best way to convey this, is to express your TRUE feelings in the way I’ve outlined here… and then let go of making him ‘wrong’. Because very likely, he just wasn’t aware of how his bad behavior affected you.
All dating and relationships are a learning process… and you two get to do that dance together!
What will happen is this: The moment you stop making him wrong, berating him, complaining, or telling him what he should have done or should do - he’ll relax. He’ll relax in a way he has never allowed himself to relax with any other woman. He’ll suddenly stop being defensive. And we all know what a man does what he feels defensive:
The most awful part of this is that we “think” what we’re doing is just “letting him know” how bad he makes us feel - only we’re doing it in all the wrong ways. So try this 5-step practice the next time you have an urge to either keep your feelings to yourself or to attack him.
This process will help you understand your own emotions on a much deeper level, and therefore create opportunities for more genuine intimacy with your man!
Learning how to express yourself, and your own emotions more honestly - without the blame - will empower you as a woman. Remember, the emotional world is where our feminine power lies!
Expressing yourself in this way will help you create a deep, intimate connection with your man, and you’ll see that he’ll actually show up more for you, and will want to do anything to make you happy!
This simple shift in awareness was a pivotal realization for me, and for so many women I’ve helped over the years. And it’s a perfect place for you to start today!
I also have SO MUCH MORE to share with you, in my FREE newsletter. I’ve got many more KEY practices that I learned (often the hard and painful way!), so you don’t have to go through the many years of relationship turmoil that I did.
It’s been my life’s mission to make it a whole lot easier for women to feel empowered, to truly enjoy dating, be deeply fulfilled in relationships and attract an amazing, committed man.
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