So, your dating life isn’t going the way you expected. How do I know?
You wouldn’t be reading this article if it was. It’s not just you: the sea is filled with tons of single fish. In fact, many people aren’t only single, but they’re also struggling with similar questions. Yep, they’re single and ready to mingle with some much-needed answers.
One of the most common questions I get as a coach has to do with breakups, specifically why guys pull away (or women pull away). This phenomenon can be particularly head-scratching when they seem completely into you at first.
They talk about the future, they want you to be a fan of their metal death band, they tell you how their grandmother will adore you, they gaze into your eyes and nod excitedly when you assure them that, no, you’re definitely not a fan of the New England Patriots, either. They text you, they call you, they add you as a friend on Facebook.
Then, quickly, this all changes. The interest deflates like a balloon released before it’s tied shut.
So, what gives?
What causes you to go from “hot” to “not” in two or three dates flat?
What are the reasons he pulls away? What are the reasons she pulls away?
First things first: it’s important to acknowledge that even though a sudden exit isn’t ideal (and it’s certainly inconsiderate), it is part of dating. The dating pool isn’t limited to high-integrity people; rather, it’s filled with its fair share of princes as well as some toads. And anyone can bolt with little explanation.
But this pattern goes deeper than that and speaks to the character of the person perpetuating it. Why? Because when someone is head over heels for someone else right from the start, it’s without merit: simply, they don’t know the other person well enough to be in love with them.
Rather, they’re in love with a fantasy, not you. You're simply a placeholder.
It can be hard to dodge this, even if you see it coming: after all, you might not want to. It feels great to be adored and loved and flattered. Though turning away isn’t easy, it is necessary.
Because here’s the alternative…..
When you fall into the trap of being the object of someone's fantasy, you’re allowing the other person to manipulate you (even if the manipulation isn’t intentional on their part). In turn, you end up manipulating yourself, buckling up and grabbing on for the ride. Along the way, you shove your reservations and your instincts out the proverbial window.
It’s romantic—of course it is. We all love fantasy, even though we know it isn't good for us when the people involved aren't actually seeing each other for who they are.
The key is to stay grounded.
How do you do this?
To begin, you must shatter the idea of the fantasy that is pulling you in: yes, it’s magical, but so are unicorns. Recognizing that what you're experiencing is not tied to reality is a hugely important step.
But here is where it gets tricky—just because the other person is grabbing onto a fantasy, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing there. It’s always possible for someone to fall for the fantasy and then actually fall for the person down the road. The fantasy and true, genuine love aren’t mutually exclusive.
The key is timing.
If someone is rushing into things and your gut is saying, “Whoa, slow down. We hardly even know each other!” Honor your body’s warning. Some people think they’ll risk a good guy or good woman slipping away if they do this. But here’s the thing: a high-quality man or high-quality woman will honor your timing too, instead of solely focusing on their own.
They’re going to want you to take things as slow as you need to in order to feel safe.
And, if they don’t… well, consider it a giant red flag waving across the restaurant table and telling you, “Check please. It’s time to bolt.”
A disrespect for boundaries in the beginning of a relationship only translates into a disrespect for boundaries further on in the relationship. It’ll only cause bigger problems.
Remember, true love takes time to develop—it doesn't just happen overnight. Take time for it to grow and it will bloom long into the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about this, take a look at the guide 8 Secrets to Create a Rock-Solid Relationship.
Enter your email address and it’ll arrive in your inbox.