Why Can’t I Keep a Man in My Life?
Why can’t I keep a man in my life is a common question that women ask. If you google the phrase, you will find over 81,000,000 million results which tell me that this is a commonly-searched question.
Why do so many women struggle with keeping a relationship?
But why are there so many women that are struggling to keep a long-term relationship, not to mention even one that fails to even “get out of the gate”? There are plenty of women who jump around from man to man like the proverbial butterfly fluttering from flower to flower. The problem is that if this is your pattern, after a while of crashing and burning from one failed relationship after another, a woman ends up feeling used, insecure, and wondering if there is something wrong with her.
Meet my friend Lisa
This reminds me of my friend Lisa. Lisa is now in her late 50s and is recently divorced for the 4th time. I met up with her last weekend and she looked very sad and was down on herself. She opened up to me and told me that she doesn’t know what happened in her last marriage. Doug, who she met on an online dating site and is 13 years younger, left her for a woman in her 30s. Lisa thought Doug was the one and that they would be together in their golden years. Now she’s alone and miserable. I tried to be a good listener and let Lisa pour out her soul since she was obviously in a lot of pain. She told me she was back online and hooking up with a lot of men, most of them 15 to 20 years younger than her.
Uh oh…she’s setting herself up for failure again.
I told Lisa that she probably should take some time for herself, to work on herself, probably see a professional, but she resisted saying that time was running out for her and that she didn’t want to end up alone.
This made me sad because, through my years of helping women and giving relationship advice, I’ve realized that what Lisa was doing was falling back to her old patterns, and although I have no doubt that Lisa will be in a relationship soon, that one too will fail.
I’ve known Lisa since high school and she has all the characteristics of women who consistently end up with Mr. Wrong or who bemoan the myth that all the good men are taken.
So this is my advice for you:
DON’T BE LIKE LISA!
You are obviously doing something that is sabotaging your chances of keeping a long-term relationship, so let’s look at what these reasons are.
10 Reasons Why You Can’t Keep a Man
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.
2. You jump into sex too quickly—Yes, you heard it. Close your legs, and let the man pursue you before you give it up. Now, I’ve had women ask, when is it okay to sleep with someone. Well, while there is no hard and fast rule, I would say to put it off until you know that there is an emotional attachment on both ends and that you are building for a serious relationship. Casual sex will lead to casual commitments and if you’re looking to build on something deeper, jumping into bed with a man you really don’t know, will probably lead to heartbreak in the end. Make sure you are not confusing love for lust. Lust is a feeling, a passion that can exist also when there is love which is a deeper emotional connection even in the absence of sexual intimacy.
3. You have unrealistic expectations—You’ve been watching too many chick flicks or reading too many romance novels. 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 traditional 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.
7. You escalate before its 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 turn of 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, there 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 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.
The GOOD NEWS
Meeting a man in today’s day and age is actually very easy, especially with all the online dating sites. However, if you find yourself dating the same men, falling into the same habits, repeating the same mistakes, then it’s time for you to seriously take a breather and reflect on yourself. Take time for yourself to understand who you are and what you want.
Take time to know yourself
Some women are terrified of being alone for a period of time, but this is necessary for you to get a deeper understanding of your self-sabotaging behaviors which are preventing you from truly finding true love and meeting that good decent guy that’s out there and waiting to meet you. For the old myth that all the good guys are taken, is just that, a myth. You can find a man who is interested in a long-term relationship and lifetime commitment.