Men will frequently test you to see just how into them you are and how much they can get away with. The more you are willing to put up with, the more he is going to get away with. This doesn’t stop after the first few months it will happen periodically throughout the relationship. I am not suggesting they do this purposely or maliciously. It starts as fun and games but your response is what will determine you ultimate relationship outcome.
So if he starts to call or see you less often than the norm (and that bothers you) you can do something about it. You do this by not waiting eagerly for him to decide when he is going to see you or call you. Not always being readily available takes you from sad puppy dog to fierce sex kitten.
The same can be applied to a man you live with pulling away. When things get repetitive they get boring for men. If you find your man is starting to ignore you at home. It’s time to get out of the house. You will get the desired outcome whether you go away for the weekend or just go get your nails done. When we get comfortable in a relationship we get lazy. When we are oh so in love with our best friend we tend to want to just stay home in our sweats and watch Breaking Bad reruns.
While that is awesome too you have to make it a priority to pull yourself away from the television and join a spin class, go out for drinks with the girls, or better yet go away for a girl’s weekend. Men’s feelings grow during absence while women’s feelings grow from togetherness. If he starts taking you for granted it’s probably because you are taking yourself for granted too. Doing things separately will add to your own life and your love life, it will give you more to talk about, and it will give you a chance to miss each other.
If a man thinks your world revolves around him he is more likely to take you for granted. The chase is over, he’s won you, and he can act how he pleases. He knows you will be right there waiting for him moment he takes time out of his busy schedule to see you. Whether that schedule is boys nights or video game-athons, if he is dictating your together time then he is controlling the relationship.
I will give you an example of my friend Sarah* (names have been changed) after 7 months of a serious relationship she found herself out of a job and suddenly with loads to time to see her boyfriend on his schedule. Not only that, she would cook and clean his apartment while he was at work. Sounds like a sweet girlfriend right? Well sure until he feels like he dictates when he sees you and when he doesn’t (and when he doesn’t you’ll clean his apartment!) Alas he started to pull away, seeing her less often, choosing fishing trips over stag and does with her friends, and just seeming a little off in general.
Then, being the lovely anti-princess she is, she took action. Instead of whining that he wasn’t giving her enough attention, she took away her attention from him instead. She made herself just slightly less available to his every text and phone call. She came down to a girl’s night with us where we drank lots of wine, ate appetizers, and laughed all night. While she was out with us she left her phone in her purse and didn’t look at it all night (because we were having so much fun!) In the morning she had several calls and texts messages and a picture text as well. When she finally responded to him she acted like nothing and things started changing immediately. When he did go away on his fishing trip he sent her flowers as a thank you for not getting mad that he was going!
I know some people tend to have the reaction that this is game playing and that you shouldn’t have to play games in a relationship. I would argue that fighting and making someone feel guilty or untrusted is a kind of game as well. If this is a game I guarantee you it is the healthiest one you can play in a relationship. Think of it as taking control of your side of the relationship. Men are naturally more likely to text you less when they are away or just pull away now and then in general, than women are. This is simply creating equality. This will show him that you deserve respect as much as he does. As an additional bonus you will get the reassurance that he actually does care without having to beg him to tell you so every single day.
Happily Ever After Starts With You,