Why can’t I keep a man in my life is a question that many women ask themselves. If you google the phrase, you will find over 81 million results which tell me that this is a huge issue that many women struggle with.
Why are there so many women that are struggling to keep a long-term relationship, not to mention one that fails to even “get out of the gate”? These are beautiful, intelligent, successful women. What’s going on that they can’t seem to keep a man interested in them. These women jump around from man to man like the proverbial butterfly fluttering from flower to flower.
If this sounds like you, you may start to wonder if there is something wrong with you. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with you, but the choices you’re making and patterns you’re repeating are preventing you from finding the man of your dreams. After a while of crashing and burning from one failed relationship to another, you may end up feeling used, insecure, and undeserving of love. You may feel like giving up on ever finding true love and happiness and even question if there are any good men who want to be in a committed relationship.
1. You’re looking for love in all the wrong places—When Johnny sings “looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in too many faces,” I say to myself that no one ever spoke (or sang, this case, truer words). The first thing you need to do is stop going to places or online sites where men are there for a quick wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. If you’re finding your “man” on one of these sites, or pick-up bars, chances are that he is not a keeper. I’ve known of many incidences where a friend met a seemingly Mr. Right on one of those sketchy dating sites, only to find out three months into the relationship that he had two other women he was stringing along. She was heartbroken, but really?? What did she expect? The site was an alternative to prostitution. A place for sleazy men to find desperate women and get them to sleep with them, string them along, and then toss them aside like last week’s newspaper.
3. You have unrealistic expectations—You’ve been watching too many chick flicks or reading too many romance novels and you’ve formed unreasonable expectations about what you expect in a soulmate. The truth is that all of us have baggage and the older we are the heavier that baggage becomes. When you meet a man, he may not fit the ideal mold of what you think your prince charming might look like, but if you are serious about finding true love and keeping a man and having a long-term relationship, then you may have to come down from the clouds and set your feet on the ground. He may not be as romantic as Noah Calhoun from The Notebook or as Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, but if you give him a chance, he may prove to be a good decent human being who will love you and support you.
4. You go for the bad boy—While the bad boy image has been glamorized in romantic movies, novels, and society in general, a “bad boy” will not make for a man who is relationship material. Let’s think about this…What are some of the qualities of “bad boy” men? Usually, they are self-absorbed, rule-breakers, unapologetic, demanding…While these traits may seem sexy and you may feel special because this “bad boy” wants you, you will grow to resent him for the same qualities that attracted you in the first place.
5. You try to change him—This is a perfect segue from rule #4. Let’s say you always fall for the bad boy, or for a man who has some qualities that you dislike, or even worse, addictions or abusive behavior. You tell yourself that your love can change him and that with time and support from a good woman, your man will change. I got news for you. This is 100% BS. Don’t waste your time trying to change anyone. When someone tells you who they are, believe them. People sometimes will show their true colors very quickly and by deluding yourself and thinking that you will change a person into the image of what you think he should be, is a recipe for disaster, heartbreak, and disappointment.
6. You emasculate him—Have you jumped on the feminist bandwagon that men are the enemy and that women have been oppressed by men and that all of society’s woes are man’s fault? Then you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. There are biological differences between men and women and a key characteristic of a true man is that he needs his place as a traditionally male role in a relationship. Men want to feel like they are in power and that they have pursued you and are appreciated. If you are constantly putting him down for not earning enough, not being smart enough, not doing this or that, or even worse, not establishing traditional gender roles in the relationship, chances are your relationship may not survive. This idea may not be popular or politically correct, but it’s worth considering. Another way of emasculating your man is to constantly criticize him, especially in front of friends and family. While you may be well-meaning, your words may come across as humiliating and insulting, letting him know that you don’t respect him as a man. Remember that men seek respect, while women seek emotional connection.
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7. You escalate before it’s time—Have you heard of the girl who, metaphorically speaking, wears her wedding gown on the first date? Well, you may be doing this. Just because you have your timeline for how quickly your relationship needs to proceed does not mean that the man you just met or are dating is ready for the same thing you are. In fact, if you act desperate, that’s a sure turnoff for most men. Remember that men are hard-wired to be the pursuers. They want to think that they had to work hard to get you. If you are too desperate or eager to move things in the right direction, you may just end scaring off a potential Mr. Right. Let things progress are a natural and steady pace.
8. You force things—Just like you shouldn’t rush into a relationship, you shouldn’t pretend that everything is okay, when it isn’t, for the sake of making the relationship work. Too many times I have seen women that know that things are not working out, or that there are red flags from the beginning, and yet, they persist and persevere in trying to make the relationship work. These are women are willing to ignore the signs of impending doom because they are so in love with the IDEA of being in love.
9. You are afraid of emotional connection—From the get-go, let’s be clear, a sexual connection is not the same thing as an emotional connection. If you are confusing the two, then you need to take a look and reflect on what your feelings are and why you may be afraid to connect with a man on a deeper emotional level. Perhaps you have been hurt in the past and are now guarding your heart. That is perfectly understandable. You need to guard your heart and see where things are going before you completely give of yourself emotionally to another person. The problem arises when you are so closed off that you find it hard to share your innermost feelings with another person and therefore, fail to establish the emotional bond that unites couples way past the initial attraction or lust phase. Couples who are not emotionally bonded will have a tougher time navigating through all the inevitable storms that plague any relationship.
10. You are afraid of commitment—Like being afraid of the emotional connection, you may be afraid of committing yourself to one person. This may happen for a myriad of reasons: you may have been hurt in the past and don’t want to put yourself out there to experience that pain again. You must radically eliminate this way of thinking. Love hurts. These are not merely words. Every human being who has fallen in love has been hurt by love. But because you have been hurt before, doesn’t mean you’ll be hurt again. Another reason you may be commitment phobic is that you have FOMO. What is FOMO? Fear of Missing Out. You are always looking for the next best thing. You have the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality. But as Erma Bombeck used to say, “The grass is greener over the septic tank.” If you are always trading up a man, or passing one up because you think that you can do better, then you may end up alone and old or end up settling for someone who’s really not that good for you.