When a good friend of mine fell in love a few years ago, she had a strong desire to be loved by her partner. She wanted this relationship to work out and tried to give everything - sometimes more than she had. She wiped off some minor red flag with He didn't mean it or He had such a difficult childhood. Each red flag motivated her to give more. The relationship ended after three years with deep hurt and exhaustion.
Falling in love makes us vulnerable. With all the butterflies in the stomach, there also appear painful what if-scenarios in our mind. What if he doesn't love me? What if I am not good enough? They aren't helpful, and it's easy to be swept away by fears and fall into traps that don't allow you to create a loving and intimate relationship:
Thinking that you can make him fall in love with you.
My friend forgot about her needs and wants and only thought about her partner and his possible reactions. She desperately wanted him to love her. She thought that she just had to do all he wanted, and then he would love her. Before she wrote him a mail, she asked herself, how will he react if I write this? or, what will he think if I do this? Sometimes, she wanted to get my opinion, and I said, do what feels right for you. You don't know how he will react, and you cannot control what he will do. You can just be yourself. It doesn't matter how hard you try you can never make a man love you. He may start to love you or not. It's not within your control. If a man doesn't love you as you are, let him go and move forward.
My friend believed that he was the only available man and the only option for a relationship. Instead of giving herself the time to get to know him she made herself believe that he was the "one and only." Was this really true? No. It was the voice of her fears. Instead of listening to her intuition, she pushed herself to make the relationship work, independent on the price she had to pay. Even though it is painful to let go of a relationship, there is always more than one opportunity. There are great men out there who are ready to fall in love with you. However, you need to close one door before a new one opens.
Trying to please him.
My friend also fell into the trap of trying to please him. She ignored her needs and limits and gave him everything. In the past, I struggled with this, too. However, loving somebody does not mean that you have to do everything he wants. It's about finding the right balance between loving him and loving yourself. If you fall in love, stay connected with yourself. Instead of focusing on what going on in him, explore your inner world. Spend time alone or meditate 15 minutes a day. Become aware of your process to fall in love with and to commit to him: What do you really want or need? What are your hopes and dreams? What are you fears and insecurities?
Interpreting his words or behaviors.
My friend spent hours interpreting his words and actions. What might he have meant with this? Why did he do it? When he said that he didn't love her, she interpreted that it was only his fear of relationship and that he would change. When she asked me for my opinion, I answered, I have no idea. You need to ask him to find out what he meant with it. She never asked because she feared his answer. Interpretations are just the movie you make up about your partner. They are a projection of your experiences, not what is going on within him. Dare to ask him what he really meant with it. Dare to explore his world. Be curious and do not judge. That's a great way to find out whether you really want to choose him as a partner to spend your life with.
How can you avoid these traps?
Show him who you are with your beauty and imperfections. It may sound scary, and it's the best way to create true love and belonging. Or do you want to bear your masks forever? Be true to yourself. Now is the time to be honest and create a deep connection with your partner. Let go of your mask and speak your truth. You cannot influence what he will think about it. And if he likes it and falls in love with you, you have created a nurturing foundation for your relationship.
What traps did you fall into? How can you avoid them in the future?
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Natalie supports - as a Relationship Mentor - women worldwide to become courageous, compassionate and conscious in their relationships. Through their collaboration, they are empowered to face their challenges, develop new behaviours and become whole. They avoid the traps from the past and emerge as relationship heroines - happier and stronger women, proud of their scars and ready for a fabulous relationship.