A solemn woman gazing out a window looking into the distance

Are Your Efforts Backfiring With Him?

by Eharmony Editorial Team - July 11, 2011

Do you feel that dating and relationships are draining and exhausting?

Do you feel that dating and relationships are draining and exhausting? If you’re doing all the work trying to keep things afloat between you and a man, Rori explains what to do to make him step up to the plate all by himself…and start feeling loved and secure.
Imagine a relationship is a boat, and the person who is rowing is doing the work to keep it moving forward. And now I want you to ask yourself: Who’s doing the rowing in your relationships?
If you’re trying to get a man’s attention, initiating plans with him, thinking up little things to do for him, or even just plain thinking about him too much, you’re rowing. You may be smiling and pretending you’re not, but if men and relationships seem difficult to you, chances are you’re rowing hard, and he’s just enjoying the cruise.
When you’re working too hard at starting a relationship with a man or keeping it going, two things happen: you become tired and resentful, and he actually becomes LESS attracted to you.
It’s true.  Contrary to what you may think, a man can’t fall in love with you if you’re doing all the giving.  A man is a competitive creature who needs to invest in you and make an effort for you so that he feels he has “won” you.  And if you’re doing all the giving, you’re thwarting his natural drive to chase you.  Not only that, but your need to do things for him and move the relationship forward will translate into a needy vibe that is just not attractive to him.
When you’re in a situation like this, there’s one thing I want you to do: stop doing everything you’re doing!  If you’re always coming up with ideas for the two of you to do, stop.  If you’re always reaching for his hand when you walk down the street, stop.  If you’re trying to convince him that you make a great couple and that he should commit to you, absolutely stop.
Instead, I want you to put all that energy that you’ve been directing at him back onto you. Make a list of hobbies and friends you’ve been neglecting (and you almost certainly have if you’ve been working so hard for a man) and then start doing those things again.  It’s the only way to stop the analyzing, processing and thinking that you’ve been doing about the relationship.
Waiting for a man to pick up the oars and pull your boat offshore can feel extremely scary.  You’ll feel like you’re going to lose him.  You’ll worry he’ll think you’re not interested.  But this is not what happens.  When you stop all your efforts in his direction – and instead focus on just being good to yourself – something magical happens.
The wrong man will show his true colors very quickly.  He won’t step up to the plate, and he’ll allow you to see that you are worth so much more. It will feel painful to watch him go, but the pain and wasted time will be far worse if you continue to stay with him.
The right man, however, will notice the shift in you.  He’ll feel a natural impulse to value you more and pick up the slack.  Whenever you feel the temptation to do more for him, stop and realize that the rewards will be so much sweeter if you don’t.  And when he does step forward to pick up the oars, here’s how you give: by giving back.  By appreciating him and letting him know how good he makes you feel.  That’s the kind of giving men respond to most, and it’s what makes him want to keep showering you with love.
Are you chasing a man or working too hard in relationships without realizing it?  Subscribe to Rori’s free e-newsletter to find out.  You’ll discover a whole new way to relate to a man – from the moment you meet him all the way through commitment and marriage – so that you finally have the secure, loving, lasting relationship you’ve always wanted.