This article is part of James Bauer’s top four relationship question.

I keep ending up with relationships that end after a few months. I am fun loving and he says I satisfy him physically, but then he wants no part when I ask where the relationship is going. Why do guys keep pulling away from me?

A lot of women have asked a question very similar to this one. My answer has two parts. First, it has much more to do with the kinds of guys you are attracting than it has to do with you. Don’t worry, you are not broken. You are a perfectly lovable person who can attract and enjoy a loving and committed long-term relationship with a man. The problem is that you are accidentally attracting the wrong kind of man.

You need to set some standards. Your standards will filter out the kind of guys that are not long-term relationship material. By “standards,” I am primarily referring to open communication about the kind of relationship you are willing to be a part of, and open communication about your boundaries regarding physical intimacy.

If you tell a guy up front that you fully respect his right to choose what kind of relationships he wants to be in, but that you personally will not be a part of any relationship that does not involve a commitment prior to sexual interaction, he may or may not choose to continue the relationship with you. If he does not, you have just screened out the kind of guy who is only looking for sex. These guys may find you fun and attractive and wonderful in general, but they simply are not interested in the deeper kind of relationship you are looking for.

Many women hesitate to set clear standards and expectations at the front end of a relationship. Their reasons go something like this, “I have tried that, and I find that so many guys just walk away at that point, I figured I must be doing something wrong. So I quit doing it.” What they don’t realize is just how many of these men are out there, and how successful they were at screening those guys out. When you cause these guys to self-select for the garbage heap, you automatically make space in your life for the quality men to get through.

You see, it works like this. The guys who don’t want long-term relationships pop in and out of “relationships” all the time. The quality men, on the other hand, are far more likely to be in a long-term relationship at any given moment in time. As a result, a random sampling of the eligible men available for a date will always yield a higher proportion of the “players” because they are in and out of relationships so quickly.

Set your standards high, and demand that he bring his emotions to the relationship. Then stick to your plan. Withholding physical intimacy until the relationship has matured will not scare away a quality man that is truly looking for someone to share a special, lasting relationship. You will be pleased with the results.

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