Since “Choose Her Every Day (or Leave Her)” went viral in 2015, I’ve heard from countless disheartened women (and men) all over the world about their painful experiences with intimate partners who aren’t very enthusiastic about “doing relationship” with them. I was surprised to discover that this is a tragically common experience, and that many people can stay in such deeply dissatisfying relationships for years … even decades.
I’ve been asked over and over:
“How do you get a partner to show up when they seem to prefer work, TV, porn, friends, internet, fantasy football or even just silence instead of you?”
CAUTION: This will require profound courage on your part.
Because you must fully take responsibility for your own well-being.
You must learn the confronting practice of not believing your bullshit ways of thinking that have you saddling others with the ill-fitting burden of your happiness and contentment. Anyway, your partner (or future partner) probably struggles at least to some degree to consistently manage their own well-being; yet you expect them to manage yours, too?
Even many strong, independent people cling stubbornly to the fantasy that a partner will somehow complete you. No matter your intelligence, you still persist in your longing for some white knight or wild divine goddess partner who comes bearing all the riches and tasty rewards your ravenously insatiable soul yearns for!
Or maybe your endless disappointments caused you to kill and bury that white knight goddess dream long ago. Perhaps you can barely bring yourself to wish for even a small kindness anymore from your partner – a kind word, a warm embrace, or just a loving glance during commercials.
Here’s what you must know:
Your partner will never give enthusiastically what you selfishly demand of them.
For example, when a woman demands a man’s presence – by insisting he go out less with his friends or spend more time with her on Saturdays – that man might yield, but resentment will build inside him like heart-clogging plaque. In the same way, a woman’s resentment deepens and her heart closes a little more each time she says yes to an emotionally disconnected man who’s using her body for his shallow pleasure.
However, when you learn to see beyond the popular delusion that your happiness depends on a partner, you actually start attracting the damn-sexy-best out of anyone who’s deeply ready to offer it.
And if your current partner isn’t ready (or willing) to offer you their damn-sexy-best, at least now you’ve the inner strength to walk away and ready yourself for someone who is.
By the way, a curious side-effect can happen when you stop choosing someone who has stopped enthusiastically choosing you: They may rediscover their enthusiasm for you.
Feedback is about your experience, what you are feeling, seeing, thinking. Feedback lets the other person know what you’re going through in their presence. Feedback doesn’t make your upsets their fault.
Criticism, on the other hand, makes your upset your partner’s fault. Criticism is your personal opinion about what your partner should be doing or saying, which is actually not your business. Whether you’ve just started dating or been married for 20 years with 12 kids together, your partner is their own unique person on their own personal journey through life.
When you tell him (or her) what you think he’s doing wrong, how he can do it better or that he can’t do it right at all, you turn yourself into the boss he doesn’t want … or worse, the parent he resents.
If your partner is more masculine (or you want them to be), your criticism offends their core masculine value: Freedom.
Criticism screams, “You are NOT free to do as you please; you should do it like I say you should.”
Your partner will almost surely first react by defending against your criticism before they can hear what you’re really saying. If you can first respect their right to choose and live as they wish, you’ll help them feel respected and honored. This can help them better hear you, too.
This does not mean you should hang around while your partner is doing or saying something hurtful or that you really don’t enjoy being around.
No. This is where feedback is absolutely essential. Telling your partner how their behavior, their words, affect you is the only way someone truly willing to learn how to love you can actually learn how to love you. The same words and actions don’t touch everyone the same. A word or action that hurts you might not hurt someone else.
But how can your partner know you’re hurting unless you tell them?
By giving feedback without the criticism you honor the partnership; your relationship no longer becomes an adversarial battle. Your partner can relax their inner freedom-fighter and instead focus on how to show up for your concerns.
If they routinely dismiss your feedback and show no willingness to grow in love with you, leave.
Why would you stay with a partner who routinely dismisses you, who isn’t willing to learn how to love you?
When you partner with someone, you get all of him (or her). If you want him to change, maybe he’s not the right partner for you. He may or may not change as life evolves, but that’s not your business.
If you can’t fully accept … and really, embrace your partner for all that he is today, why are you with him? Are you afraid to be alone? That’s no reason to be in a relationship.
You’re better off staying single until you are so comfortable with yourself that only someone who makes your great life even better will do for you.
If you can’t fully accept the partner you’re with, they won’t likely be fully accepting of you, either. They’ll feel your ongoing judgment, your lack of acceptance. They’ll be too busy managing their own insecurities to love you through yours.
So if you want to be fully chosen by your partner, then fully choose your partner. If you can’t, leave so someone else can … and get to work on choosing yourself.
Refuse to settle for less than what your deepest heart desires. Stay busy creating the most exquisite, delicious life for yourself you can possibly imagine.
If you’re with someone today, your commitment to creating the best life for yourself will inspire them to do the same just to keep up with you! Or it’ll send them packing once their lack of commitment to living their best life reveals itself. Either way, you keep moving forward into the life of your dreams.
Sure, every relationship has ups and downs. Cycles are the way of life. Your relationship will have its cycles, its seasons, too.
But if your partner isn’t willing to grow and expand their capacity to love, why keep them around? You’re just sentencing your relationship to stagnation, if not death.
Anyway, I believe the best we can ever hope for is a partner who’s simply willing to keep showing up, who’s willing to learn how to do this wild masculine-feminine dance of opposites with at least a little more grace and tenderness and flow and laughter and love than we knew yesterday.
In the end, whether you’re single or in relationship, stay focused on creating your best life for yourself.
When you’re focused on creating amazing every day, you naturally attract others committed to creating amazing every day, too.
p.s. Did this article help you? Raise questions? You got a 4th way? Let me know in the comments!
The post Tired Of Your Partner Not ‘Enthusiastically Choosing’ You? appeared first on Bryan Reeves.
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