This week’s question comes from Lena:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
I really hope you can help me. I’ve been in a relationship with a great guy for the last 8 months. He’s funny and nice and I know he is very loyal to me. We have so many things in common, including bigger life goals. I think I really love him and I want to spend the rest of my life with him.
There is one thing that really kind of holds me back from making a deeper commitment with him (not that he’s asking for it yet). I have a lot of small doubts that add up because there are things I wish he did differently. I love to give gifts to him, but I rarely get any in return. He doesn’t compliment me very often. He doesn’t make plans and leaves that to me most of the time. There are more but I think you get the idea.
I don’t doubt that he loves me and is committed to me but I’m not sure how to get past all of these small things. Is he just selfish and unable to give me what I want? Should I force the issue and get him to step up? Is this just a compatibility issue and should I just move on?
I really don’t know what to do. My friends think I’m too demanding, but I’ve always believed that my guy would treat me a particular way, and I’m not sure if he is capable of doing that.
Thank you for your question and for being so vulnerable in asking it. It is very common for people to wonder if the person they are dating is the right person for them long-term.
Knowing what you want is important, but knowing the difference between what you want and what you need is even more important.
Needs are not negotiable, however, your wants are. As you stated, the things your boyfriend is not doing are all “small” things (your own words).
Do these things add up to spell out that he’s not a match for you? That is something that only you can answer for yourself. Let us see if we can help you in a different way… one that will allow you to find out the answer without any doubt.
Here Are 5 Ways To Get What You Want From Your Partner (or at very least know it’s time to move on):
- Ask For What You Want
Your soulmate does not come with mind reading powers (neither does any other human being). The right guy for you will not magically know how to please you.
One of the greatest frustrations in relationship comes from the unrealistic expectation that the “right person” will somehow know what you like and don’t like. He won’t (and if you dated women, she won’t know either).
Asking for what you want allows two things to happen:
- You get to find out if he wants to honor your request.
- You get to discover whether or not the two of you have shared values.
If you don’t speak up and ask him for what you would like from him, you’ll never know if he is capable of delivering on your request.
For example, just because a guy doesn’t open the car door for you doesn’t mean he is opposed to doing it. Maybe he was raised in an environment where it wasn’t expected or even desired. Who knows?
But if you don’t ask you will never know if he wants to step up and be your man.
Let him know how much you enjoy receiving gifts. Share with him how you would feel if he made the plans and surprised you on a date. Ask him to tell you how he feels about you.
Most of us give love the way we would like to receive it. You give him gifts because that’s what you like, but that doesn’t mean that he feels loved by you in the same way.
The old adage, “Treat people the way you would like to be treated,” doesn’t work to love someone deeply. In order to do that, we must treat our partner the way they want to be treated.
Women are varied – they all like different things, and like to be treated in a particular way. A man who would like to be in a relationship with you wants to know how to win with you – how to win your heart. If you never tell him or ask him, he will assume you’re getting your needs and wants met by him as things currently are.
Speak up and make requests, you’ll learn so much about him from his response.
- Communicate So He Can Hear Your Request
Now that you are getting on board with making requests, let’s dig in to HOW to say it.
If you were to say something like, “Why don’t you give me more compliments? I really like getting compliments!” It’s likely to be met with some defensiveness and more than just a little resistance.
Instead share with him how you would feel when the man you’re in a relationship with compliments you. “I feel cared for and confident when the man I’m dating gives me compliments. Is it possible for you to tell me something you like or appreciate about me that will light me up?”
Presenting your request alongside a feeling statement, letting him know how you would feel when/if he chooses to take a particular action, you will discover a lot about him by simply observing his response.
The best time for you to share your feelings and make a request is when you have his full attention. Do not attempt to do this if he’s watching his favorite sports team, or washing his car
Ultimately, by sharing your feelings and making requests you will show up in this relationship as the real authentic you.
We all want to be loved for who we really are, and yet on some level we’re all scared to show up fully. Rest assured, if this guy is the right one for you then speaking with him this way will bring you closer together and your love for one another will grow even deeper.
- Observe his behavior without judgment.
Now that you’ve made your request in a way that doesn’t trigger him feeling like he’s doing it all wrong, you can sit back and notice if or how he adjusts.
It is important to remember that he may want to honor your request every time the opportunity presents itself, however, it is not a habit yet. It may take a period of adjustment for him to get into the groove. He may need some feedback and patience on your end.
Also, keep in mind that effort counts. If he is making effort towards changing his behavior and honoring your request, he need not be perfect at it overnight.
A Possible Red Flag: If he agrees to your request, but makes no effort whatsoever or seems to just forget that you made a request in the first place, then you will need to reevaluate your situation.
He may be absent-minded, or he may be passive aggressive. Most women do not spell it out and tell a man what it is they want. That’s because most women are under the assumption that men want an easy-going woman. That is not necessary true.
Men want to be with a woman who leaves them feeling good about themselves. When you ask for something and he can deliver it (like opening the car door for you) his self-worth is raised because he knows how to please you.
Observing your partner’s response to your request tells you everything you need to know about how he views the relationship. If he doesn’t want to step up for you it’s likely you’re in a relationship of convenience rather than of substance.
A Red Alert Red Flag: If he argues with you about your request and tries to convince you that you don’t really need what you are asking for, you’ll have all the information you need to know it’s time to move on.
The dating process is ultimately a selection process and it is important to cultivate discernment through the dating process so you can select an ideal match for you long-term. A man who is not interested in finding out what you need and want from him is not a match for you.
A man who wants a relationship with you will make efforts to be the kind of man who is worthy of your heart.
- Acknowledge and appreciate him.
A man wants to be with a woman who lifts his self-esteem and self-worth so he feels good about himself. He wants to be your hero.
We find that generally women are stingy with giving praise to their partner. They do this in the early stages of dating and then stop as the relationship progresses.
The fuel a man runs on in relationship is acknowledgment and appreciation. Be sure to fill his tank and he will happily do his best to honor your requests. Then let him know how good you feel when he does honor your requests and this will encourage him further.
Resist the urge to make assumptions about his behavior and instead ask him. This is the kind of communication that creates a lasting bond.
- Do Less
Men tend to be efficient with their energy. If they see that someone else is taking care of a task, they will conserve their energy for something else. This is genetic as a man’s body only makes more testosterone when he is relaxed and doing nothing.
As long as you are planning your lives together and taking care of things, he won’t suddenly feel the need to change. It’s only when you do less and stop taking care of things that he will step up.
He will feel more confident and masculine when you do less and leave the space for him to do more. When he does, it’s up to you to acknowledge and appreciate his efforts (back to #4 above).
Resist the urge to micromanage how he fulfills his tasks. It’s very likely that he will not do things in the way, or in the order, that you would do them because he is a different person from you. He has his own way of doing things.
Steer clear of criticism as he begins to take new actions. He is a grown man. Let him figure it out. Just like the joke about men not asking for directions when they lose their way, they discover the route for themselves.
Feminine energy is a receptive energy – not passive (as commonly mistaken). The seat of a woman’s power is being able to receive. Open up to receive from him and you’ll find that you two are a team instead of in a tug-of-war.
A man who makes the effort to do things for you and to please you is a man worth keeping.
We have witnessed many relationships transform through the application of these concepts. Lasting love is ultimately a choice and choosing your partner day after day is the key.
Please let us know how your relationship grows by implementing our suggestions. If you’d like more from us, we’re here to help!
Love and Abundance,