Dear Dr. Aesha,
I’m in a relationship and I adore him. I’ve only been with him for three months, but I can see a future with him and he says the same. But I’m not sure if he’s serious or not. I identified with being the Boss Lady, and it does make him back up. He says, “Let’s let it flow.” He wants to marry me, but he needs time to get himself together. He says I’m The One one day and the next day says he needs to see if I’m The One…so I get confused…he’s what I want…What do I do?
Girl, do me a favor. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I can feel the panic and anxiety just by reading your email. And as Anais Nin said, “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”
What this means is when you are in a place of anxiety about your relationship, you are feeling insecure and you begin to pressure your man for signs, answers and other proof that he really wants to be with you. You’re looking for reassurance, but you’ll just push him further away. You’ll start interpreting things he does as proof that he doesn’t want to be with you
“Oh no, he didn’t text me back right away. He must be seeing someone else.”
“He didn’t say ‘I love you’ quick enough. Maybe he changed his mind.”
“I wonder if I should send him another text. Maybe that will show him I really love him.”
Before you know it, you’re clingy, picking fights, and overreacting. Your fear creates a self-fulfilling prophecy and men end up leaving, thus reinforcing your fears. It’s a deadly relationship pattern that you need to break now.
So here’s what you can do:
1) Heal the source of your fear
Your insecurity is rooted in some past experience, whether it’s a previous relationship where you were abandoned, or a belief you created about your worthiness and ability to have love. Maybe you’ve believed myths out there about successful women not being able to find a husband that create panic and hopelessness. Perhaps you’re like one of my clients who had a father tell her she wasn’t good enough as a daughter and now she spends her life trying to prove she’s worthy of love. Whatever it is, you need to heal it or you’ll stay stuck in this crazy cycle.
When you’ve begun the work of healing your insecurity, you can stay cool, calm and collected in your new relationship. And it is a new relationship, too, yet you’re already investing everything into it because you can see a future with this man.
You’ve only known him for three months, but you’re sure that you want to spend the rest of your life with him?! He might be the one, but you need to date him long enough to see if he really is who he says he is AND if he’s the kind of partner you need.
To keep yourself from becoming blinded by chemistry, write down his negative qualities. This will keep you grounded in reality and out of your fantasies and fears. This will also help you see if he really is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with and remind you that he’s just a man and there are others out there who would love to be with you, if this doesn’t work out.
3) Understand Men & Commitment
It’s perfectly normal for a man to say you’re the one, and then later turn around and say he needs to be sure. It’s also normal for a man to have commitment fears if he feels his life isn’t together, yet.
What you want to do is remain confident so that your anxiety doesn’t push him away. You also want to protect your heart and not fully invest mind, body and soul in a man who still has some doubts. Pace yourself. Practice patience. And don’t give your whole life over to a man who hasn’t fully committed to you yet.
Finally, I want you to always remember this: No matter what happens, no matter who comes and goes out of your life, you will be ok. Remembering that will help you be calm, confident and in control of your love life.
P.S. Learn exactly what men look for in a woman they consider “wife material,” in this hot audiobook, “Inside the Mind of Men.” You’ll hear directly from 3 successful men about the things women don’t that they hate, what they look for when choosing a girlfriend, and what they do when they’re ready to settle down and get married. You’ll feel confident about your relationship after listening to this. Download it here