You meet. Lock eyes. Your heart drops to your toes; you whip your portable fishing net out of your purse and hook him in forever! The End.
Ahhh, if only it were this easy, right?
Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Whenever a client is wanting more from the guy she’s seeing, the first question I ask is: WHY?
Why do you want a commitment from him?
“Because I’m ready for the next chapter.”
“So we’re on the same page.”
“Because I’m tired of being the one who always wants more.”
There’s nothing wrong with these reasons, but my next question is:
If he gave you all that you wanted—exclusivity, a promise of a ring, the move-in date—how would that make you FEEL?”
“Secure. Worthy. Happy. Confident. Relieved. Light. Giddy. Desirable. Adored.”
Here’s the deal. Feelings are created by our thoughts—NOT by the guy. You could actually feel all of the above feelings by cultivating your own thoughts, EVEN if he’s not ready to take your relationship to the next level.
Stay with me here!
Right now, you’re doubting his desire or ability to commit to you. Doubting his commitment is a THOUGHT, which makes you FEEL insecure, anxious, disappointed, unworthy, and fearful.
How fun do you think it is for HIM when you’re playing out all these uncomfortable feelings around him (even if you don’t say it)? Energetically, he’s subconsciously receiving the message on some level. Chances are, he might feel pressured by your anxious energy, keeping him further away. (Sure, there’s a chance he’s a commitment-phobe and no matter what feeling or place you get yourself to, he won’t step up. This approach is for the guy you know has feelings for you but isn’t ready to meet you where you’re at.)
So, what could you THINK to get yourself to a place of security, worthiness, and happiness without getting the go-ahead that he’s ready to take things to the next level?
Try these thoughts on for size:
“Whether he’s ready to commit or not has no basis on my worth.”
“I have a CHOICE: stay, and be happy and fulfilled, or go, and be happy and fulfilled.”
“The security I’m seeking from him is something I’m open to giving myself.”
“This is a fun experiment—giving myself the love I’m longing for from him.”
I highly recommend committing (pun intended) to thoughts like these WHILE still living in Vague-Land with the object of your affection, before you decide to bounce. Play with the idea of being secure in your worth despite the relationship gray area.
Consider: how would you behave with this shifted mindset? Not just around him, but when he’s NOT around as well. Perhaps you wouldn’t constantly be checking his Instagram account, or yours—to see if he watched your stories.
Maybe you’d be more present at work, or when spending time with loved ones, genuinely enjoying their company instead of directing your Nervous Nelly energy towards him.
Or maybe you take up a legit hobby that has nothing to do with him and authentically lights you up for YOU.
And when you are around him? Might it be possible to be more present and open, and check in with yourself when you’re noticing your need for more?
Find your feet on the ground. Instead of tapping him on the shoulder for reassurance, simply breathe and observe. Ask yourself: What would it look like to accept him ENTIRELY for who he is and what he’s willing to give, in this moment?
Now, before you start fighting this heartbreak coach’s approach, let me be clear: I’m not saying it’s totally fine to be with someone who doesn’t want the same things you want. But maybe he needs a little more time. Maybe he’s still bruised by his last relationship and you took him by surprise, so he’s going at a slower pace because he’s scared of getting hurt again. Can you allow yourself to be OK with that? Can you be the grounded, secure, stable woman who can show up and be loved until she decides she’s waited long enough?
Which begs the next question:
When it comes to waiting for him to take things to the next level, “How long is too long?”
There’s no right answer to that question—only you get to decide.
In the same way that I coach single women on fully embracing their single-dom while they seek out love, I also encourage any client in an I’m-not-sure-what-we-are relationship to build her own security before she decides to bounce, because either one of two things will happen: either he’ll start to become intrigued by your security and independence and want more of you, or, you’ll become so secure and happy that you’re no longer tolerant of the wishy-washy behavior and you end up Poosh-ing him away, this time from a place of total self-ownership and empowerment.
I understand if this is the last thing you want to hear when you’re in the thick of longing for more from someone who’s currently giving you crumbs. I spent years desperately seeking love from others because I had no interest in giving it to myself. But now I’m here on the other side of a lot of heartbreak, healing, and coaching, to say this approach totally works.
You have nothing to lose (if he walks away, it’s not a loss!) and only more love for yourself to gain, which will ultimately lead you to the right guy—even if it doesn’t end up being the current one.
I’m going to Poosh you to try and see what happens!