Or worse, we take it as an invitation to look for something to blame you for. Sort of a tit-for-tat. (Pathetic, I know.)
What you need is a way to influence your guy by tapping into his masculine psychology. Because relationship advice is only useful if it works on the emotional level. And tapping into emotions works differently for men than it does for women.
Which is why I decided to write this article.
It covers three frustrating things guys to do in relationships. And offers relationship advice on how to deal with those problems effectively. Without becoming the bad guy, or risking your positive connection.
Great. Let’s dive in.
He’s always too busy
Maybe your guy has an “important” job. Or too many commitments that seem to take higher priority than spending time with you.
For every five times you try to get together, he’s able to make one. Just enough to keep you interested. But incredibly frustrated.
You want more. And it makes you wonder. Is he seeing other women? Or could it be that he’s just not that into you?
But when he’s around, he’s great. He seems genuinely interested. He seems to genuinely care. And you’re getting closer.
It’s just. So. Slow.
And the longer it goes on, the more stuck you feel. You might not have started the relationship if you knew it was going to be this way. But now that you’ve invested so much, you don’t want to quit now.
Clearly, you need to deal with it. But how? What can you do to change things without appearing needy or pushing him away?
Relationship Advice – A “busy” guy can mean several different things:
●He’s playing the field.
●You’re his backup.
●He doesn’t know how to blow you off.
●He’s trying to play hard to get.
●He genuinely busy with important stuff.
●He likes to take things slow.
●He doesn’t realize it’s an issue.
I am a relationship coach. And If you’re like most of my clients, your first instinct is to either:
1.start “playing his game” by being busy yourself (and maybe posting a punch of pictures of yourself having way too much fun with other people).
2.Or to complain to him that he’s never around. That it seems like he’s avoiding you. And possibly even accuse him of some of the more negative things listed above.
Maybe your intuition tells you to play it cool and gently explore the issue. But then well-meaning friends give you bad relationship advice. Maybe they tell you to ignore him for a while and try to make him jealous.
Here’s the problem with that. Ignore a guy who’s genuinely busy and he may start to think you don’t care about him.
And if he doesn’t realize his lack of availability is an issue, he might not notice your sudden busy-ness.
Throw complaints and accusations at him, and it’s almost guaranteed to make him irritable and defensive. Which can push him further away. Leaving you feeling even more lonely than you did in the first place.
What should you do?
Clarify the importance of FEELING like he has availability for you.
The next time he plays the busy card, tell him you’re disappointed. You really miss him when he’s not around.
Emphasize how great things are when he finds time to spend with you. Make sure he knows it makes you feel wonderful. And you really want to get closer to him.
Just like women, men want to feel needed. The difference is it often translates into fulfilling a specific purpose for men. Solving a problem. Doing something.
Setting up a contrast between how sad you are not seeing him and how great you feel when he’s around sets a challenge before him.
It’s a goal. A problem that only he can solve.
That’s something that’s really going to motivate him to become more available.
Why not list the specific things he does that makes him feel distant and unavailable? Because you’re guaranteed to get a list of excuses. He’ll explain away his actions.
Instead, present the problem and let him figure out how to fix it. Ensure that he understands he would be your hero if he succeeds.
Okay, on to our next common problem…
He never initiates anything
You’re the one who has to text him if you ever want to see each other. By default, you’re responsible for planning all your dates. You may even have to get things started in the bedroom.
Still, he’s a kind, good, caring guy. And he seems to genuinely like you. And listen to you.
He’s just ridiculously passive.
How do you get him to take more initiative… without seeming pushy?
Relationship Advice – First, let’s look at why a guy might be passive:
●He doesn’t see the need when you do such a great job planning things.
●He can avoid rejection by letting you initiate forward movement in the relationship.
●He’s got a lot going on and finds you have already texted him before planning a date ever reaches the top of his priority list.
●He’s not used to planning relationships. They just happen.
Again, the thing you want to avoid in any of these scenarios is to seem like you’re blaming or attacking him. This can be tougher than it sounds.
“Why don’t you ever text me?” or “How come you never plan our dates?” may seem neutral.
After all, you’re just asking. You’d like to know.
But that’s not how he’ll experience your questions. He’ll feel pushed. Put on the spot. Like he’s being asked to give an account for his failures.
Which will make him defensive. And cause him to retreat further into his shell. Or retaliate.
A better path starts with an invitation. An invitation to step into a role he will like. Your goal should be to invite him into the “helper” role. Invite him to be your hero.
And when he does take initiative, really show your appreciation.
Here’s an example.
The next time you want to go out with him, shoot him a text about how much you miss him. But add that you’re swamped and stressed at work. Ask if he could pick the place this time and make a reservation.
When he does, thank him like you would thank a hero. Just knowing he was working on it made the rest of your day less stressful. It calmed your nerves. It gave you something to look forward to. Plus, you love being surprised.
On the date, be effusive about him planning it. If the place sucks, don’t lie. But use that to point out how little it affects your emotions in comparison to the happiness of feeling like he took charge to make sure the two of you could get some quality time together.
The idea is to make him feel like he did something good for you. That he solved a problem for you by taking a bit of initiative.
This can embolden him to initiate things more. And allow you to be increasingly hands-off.
But now let’s consider a problem from the opposite side of the continuum. A problem that is unlikely for busy, responsible men…
He spends all his time playing video games
This is one that is becoming increasingly common. My clients seek relationship advice about it frequently. And it’s not a problem that’s likely to go away on its own.
Because games continue to become more “adult.” And because many guys who grew up gaming are now well into their adult years.
Men who consider themselves gamers can be incredibly hard to date seriously. Even if you like video games, too.
Because games fulfill the need men have to feel heroic. Each little level is designed to make you feel like you’re accomplishing something. It releases dopamine in the reward centers of the brain.
As a result of this, people can get sucked in for hours, days, or even weeks at a time. Playing every free second. Planning their schedule around virtual meetups with gamer friends.
It can make you feel disconnected. Like your world is the virtual one, some sort of fake add-on that doesn’t really matter.
So how do you get him to pay more attention to you than the digital creations he likes to shoot at?
Relationship Advice – This one is hard to talk to guys about. Because gamers feel emotionally connected to their hobby. It’s part of who they are. And if it seems like you’re attacking his sense of identity, he will react poorly.
Why do guys play video games?
●To blow off steam.
●To get an emotional high from the challenge.
●To connect with others.
●To feel accomplished.
●To escape into another world.
In some ways, games are like books or TV shows. You can dive into them, explore an interesting world, and forget about the more stressful parts of your real life for a while.
But there’s something more.
Games put you in control. You get to solve problems. You get to beat bad guys. You get to feel effective and powerful. And men are genetically want those feelings.
It’s like an affirmation of a deep need…to feel like a man.
I know it sounds weird, but control makes us guys feel manly. It makes the world feel “right” in a way that’s hard to explain.
When you accomplish goals in a virtual world, there’s a rush of dopamine and excitement that’s just as real as the feelings that come from the real world.
If you want him to ease up on the games a bit, you must transfer some of those feelings to you. To the adventure of your shared relationship. Connect yourself to those positive experiences he’s already seeking.
Take flirting for example. It often starts with playful banter. Or a game of innuendos, hinting at the possibility of admitting you like each other but without actually coming out and saying it.
At later stages in of a relationship flirting is often about what might happen in the bedroom, or a challenge for him to come up with a better date idea than the one you had.
Encourage that kind of game. Let him feel like he’s “winning” you.
It’s likely that right now you’re the one chasing him. Always available for those few moments where he’s away from his videos games.
Be a little unpredictable. A little unavailable.
Add more commitments to your schedule, so you don’t have to lie. Take a class. Join a club. Volunteer.
Stop communicating with him as frequently. Just when you really have something to say.
Cut off sex. Not maliciously. Not as a “punishment.” But because that’s something that should come when you’re feeling more connected. And if he’s gaming all the time, most likely you’re not.
It’s a great way to get his attention if you know how to frame it. Tell him you’re just not feeling it, but you bet he could change that by tomorrow night if he’s willing to take on the challenge of wooing you (and maybe throw him a few specific hints to ensure he feels some level of control).
Whatever you do, remember this relationship advice: the goal is to encourage this chase.
That means don't be dismissive, ignore him, or flirt with other guys. Your goal isn't to hurt his feelings or confuse him.
And don't cancel plans. Being busy is different than making plans and bailing on them.
Remember, you want to reward him for stepping away from that game console. He won't be motivated to do that if he thinks you’ll just cancel anyway.
When he does step away from the video games, be present.
Make it clear you really see him. Appreciate him. Be the highlight of his day.
And after that… go back to being a little unpredictable again. A little unavailable.
What you’re doing is whetting his appetite. You’re tapping into his desire to pursue something that feels both fun and meaningful (more time in your presence).
Want another bit of relationship advice? Make your relationship competitive.
Who can name more of the other partner’s friends? Who can come up with the most ways to make the other person happy today? Who can come up with the best (positive) surprise? Set a deadline and a “prize”. It could be as simple as the winner doesn’t have to do dishes for a week. Or maybe he or she gets to choose what movie you see over the weekend.
If his attempt is a dud, don’t lie – but focus on the positive. And if it’s a success, make sure he knows it!
He’ll be motivated to keep investing in the “game” of human interaction. You’ll be pulling him back to the real world. And that’s healthy for him, so don’t feel bad about tapping into male psychology to make it happen.
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