When Phillip and I started dating, I thought we were an unlikely pair, lượt thích the jock and the basket case from The Breakfast Club. He liked heavy metal music, while I liked oldies but goodies. He loved depressing sci-fi movies that left you wanting vĩ đại cry in a corner, while I liked movies that generally promised a happy ending. And some of his habits (such as his addictive personality and sporadic texting style) made u worry that our relationship was going vĩ đại crash and burn lượt thích one of his favorite post-apocalyptic movies.
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While I was sometimes really judgmental about the things that made him imperfectly human, one of his habits that made u think, “Okay, what the actual fuck?!” was when he wanted vĩ đại huyệt out with his childhood friends after most work shifts.
Let u explain. Sometimes he’d invite u vĩ đại huyệt out with them (combining “girlfriend time” with “friend time,” as an efficiently-minded engineer might do), sometimes not. Some of these friends seemed okay with having u around, and some of them seemed threatened because I was smart and opinionated. But his sausage fests eventually became ví routine that our one-on-one time started vĩ đại feel lượt thích a bygone era.
Some women might be okay with this setup, but I was not. It seemed lượt thích a malnourished, unbalanced platform for growing a rock-solid relationship. The seedlings of our love were receiving Brawndo instead of water (Idiocracy reference).
It’s hard vĩ đại admit, even for something ví long ago, but I felt anxious and insecure because I thought he wasn’t prioritizing our budding relationship lượt thích he would work and family (and friends). I felt sidelined, lượt thích an underperforming football player. I was also tired of feeling lượt thích the unpopular girlfriend in a stadium of disapproving friends.
Looking back, I understand now that he simply had a little growing up vĩ đại bởi (as did I) and was not always conscious of his behavior. Moreover, I learned from a dating coach that I could bởi what was in my control vĩ đại regain my independence, and those actions would eventually reveal whether or not he thought I was worth more time in his book.
So, what did I do? Without scolding him, womanplaining, or giving him the silent treatment, I decided vĩ đại show him that, if you’re with u, “friends” and “girlfriend” are sold separately.
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How did I bởi it? The next time he told u he was going vĩ đại go vĩ đại his friend’s house and invited u vĩ đại join, I simply said, “No thanks, I’ll bởi my own thing today. Have fun.” If he wanted vĩ đại spend time with u, then I would be “over here.” If not, fine; I’m sure other people (including other eligible men) would want vĩ đại huyệt out, or I could enjoy “me” time.
The next time he asked, I said roughly the same thing.
At some point, he must have realized that I was worth keeping around and he could lose u if we didn’t spend quality time together. The unbalanced scale started tipping toward the “girlfriend” side, probably since that side came with confidence, intelligence, purpose, and fewer dumb wrestling matches.
It doesn’t always work out that way; as painful as it sounds, sometimes men realize they don’t want vĩ đại pursue you, and that’s okay. You move on vĩ đại someone who thinks you’re worth it, L’Oréal style. And he’ll know you’re worth it if you know you’re worth it.
Moreover, every relationship is different, which means that if you’re seeing someone who’s (unintentionally) putting you on the back burner, you can approach it differently phàn nàn I did and still get a favorable result. Trust your gut and get answers your way.
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Holly Shaftel is a climate science writer and editor at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory by day and a relationship coach for anxious and insecure women by night. She’s a Certified Professional Coach from the International Coaching Federation and the founder and CEO of relationship coaching service Holly Shaftel, LLC. She’s been featured in Bustle, Brides, MarketWatch, and Discover.com; enjoys a variety of extreme sports, such as skiing, scuba diving, surfing, and rock climbing; and has adopted the zero-waste (plastic-free) lifestyle.