He takes you for granted.
He didn’t used to. He used to text you all the time. He used to beg to see you.
He never has time. He’s always got other things going on.
How can you make him go back to the way he was?
- Greet him at the door dressed in your sexiest outfit, to remind him what a lucky guy he is?
- Slip a note into his pocket for him to find, letting him know how much you love him?
- Do something for him that you know he’ll love, like making his favorite meal or getting him tickets to the game?
- Surprise him by planning an incredibly romantic date?
Most women try one or all of those options.
Surely, they think, if I just remind him what a great thing we’ve got going, he’ll wake up to the fact that he hasn’t been appreciating me!
Unfortunately, this rarely works.
Reminding him how lucky he is, reminding him what an amazing girlfriend you are, or reminding him how great you are together won’t change his behavior.
But there’s something else that can.
You Wanted It, You Got It, You Got Bored of It
Imagine that you’re looking to purchase a new car.
You feel excitement and anticipation as you browse the car lots. Each car you test drive feels like it could be the one.
When you finally find the perfect car, you’re ecstatic. You drive it off the lot, marveling at how well it handles. You show it off to all your friends.
Here’s my question to you:
How long before it feels like “just another car”?
That “new car” feeling usually wears off in a month or two.
By the time the one-year anniversary of your purchase rolls around, excitement has been replaced by irritation. You know every one of your car’s faults. You might even be thinking about a trade-in.
What you have never appeals as much as what you hope to have.
We Crave What We Don’t Have
“Where there is nothing left to hide, there is nothing left to seek.”
– Esther Perel
Relationships change once you have each other.
The intense craving you used to feel diminishes.
You know that you can text each other at any time or see each other whenever you want.
There’s no more uncertainty. No more mystery. No more surprises.
If he’s already got you, you can’t make him crave you again by reminding him that you’re all his.
Any more than you can stir up the excitement you once felt before purchasing your new car.
But what if you drove your car to the airport, got on a plane, and spent two weeks on vacation doing all of your traveling by public transport?
Don’t you think you’d greet your car back at the airport parking lot with relief and appreciation?
Maybe you never felt so glad to see your beloved car. You missed it. You’re so glad to have it back again.
Any time we experience the absence of something we take for granted, we remember just how lucky we are to have it.
Which suggests that the very best way to help a man remember how special you are is to take solo time for yourself.
The Fuel of Desire
It’s what psychotherapist Esther Perel calls “the space between you” that gives your relationship air to breathe.
Just as a fire needs oxygen to burn, so desire is fueled by time apart.
When he can’t have you—because you’re away on a girls weekend rather than sitting next to him on the sofa—he feels your absence. He wishes you were there.
Taking time for yourself also fuels a sense of mystery.
He doesn’t know what you did on your girls weekend. He saw the pictures of you laughing and relaxing with your girlfriends, and he felt a hit of jealousy. He knows he has to share you with your friends, but, when you come back, he wants you all to himself.
It is good for a man to see you going on work trips, reserving an evening each week to go out with the girls, and doing things you love even if he doesn’t want to be part of it.
When you cultivate your own life and interests outside the relationship, he’s reminded that he doesn’t “own” you. You are your own person. You’ll never be fully his.
So the next time you feel taken for granted, take some time to fuel your own spirits. Do something fun for yourself. Sign up for a class. Organize an outing with girlfriends.
That little break from your guy could just do you both a world of good!