We all have a guy existing in our lives who is famous for sending that annoying and cliche, “HEY STRANGER” text almost immediately after he has bumped into us out at a party or has recently seen the attention we’re receiving from strangers in the comment section beneath our new, online postings. He is someone who we have been attracted to for a very long time – a guy who we’ve been texting, talking to, or spending on and off time with for almost a year. This man is fully aware of the intimate and romantic feelings we have for him. There have been at least three or four occasions where he too has expressed his mutual love or care. The issue, however, is that this guy has not made the necessary sacrifices or taken the appropriate steps to secure a solid relationship with us. He no longer makes a point to talk to us frequently. He isn’t affectionate unless we are actually in his presence. And it’s pretty obvious that he is still entertaining the company of people who he knows are interested in being more than simply his damn friend.
As a result of the months of inconsistencies, you haven’t cut him off completely, but you no longer initiate the communication or make advances to reassure him of your feelings. He responds to your calculated distance by making snide remarks saying – “I see your groupies leaving kissy faces under all of your half naked pictures”, or…
“I see you got yourself new, little dates, huh”?
You roll your eyes and laugh to yourself in response. In your mind, you know that you aren’t phased by the public attention, but the fact that he is affected by the assumption that you’ve moved on, makes you feel accomplished.
When you first met this guy months and months ago, he made you feel that he was open to the possibility of a solid relationship. The two of you actually went on a series of dates together that eventually turned into regular, face-to-face interactions. There was even a period of time when he would stay at your place for days and cook, lay around, give you the keys to his car to run errands and even offer to pay for everything. The beginning stages of the relationship felt really good.
Now, this man only seems to give you attention when it’s convenient for him – like, it’s 8:45 on a Sunday night and he’s driving home tipsy from some rooftop, day party. You haven’t seen or heard from him the entire weekend, but now that he’s mildly intoxicated and aroused, he’s texting or calling asking if he can come over. You respond with a bold, “HELL NO!” — and out of nowhere, he starts crying. It’s clearly the alcohol, and you know it. Now you’re receiving a series of apologies and the, “I’m so sorry for not treating you the way you deserve to be treated” speech — more of his pointless, “I really do love you. I care about you so much. Please don’t do this to us”, lyrics.
You are sitting on the opposite end of his emotional outburst somewhat feeling guilty about your attempts to create distance from him. On the contrary, a part of you feels overjoyed by the fact that the plotting and your actions to take control of this situation have brought this man to his knees. You’re feeling vindicated of all guilt after thinking about the ways in which this man has kept you dangling on a rope for so long. However, the other side of you that loves and misses this man wants to immediately forgive and reassure him that you aren’t going anywhere.
AVOID MAKING THIS SAME MISTAKE FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME…
Guys are very much governed by the instinct to avoid loss. When they see how desired you are by other men when the two of you happen to be out at the same party or they’re reading flirtatious comments beneath your newest selfie, it can create a sense of panic. Many of the actions guys take or impulsive decisions they make to FINALLY HIT YOU UP, stem from a desire to own and hold on to people or things that he believes increases his personal value.
He sends that “HEY STRANGER” text as a selfish ploy to keep you grounded and isolated in his life. He is well aware of the fact that the only reason he hasn’t seen you or heard from you is because he hasn’t made an attempt to do so.
No, he isn’t willing to give you the love and affection that you deserve, but he also doesn’t want you seeking that level of attention from someone else.
When a man begins crying and pleading for you to not leave him, after his behavior has forced you to walk out of the door, it’s because he is scared for the first time. However, he isn’t scared of losing you as a person as much as he is afraid of losing someone who he felt belonged to only him. Its his desire for ownership that has taken over his emotions and psyche. During all of those days and weeks and months that you were calling and texting and reaching out to him constantly, he had no reason to fear the thoughts of your absence. This man genuinely felt that he no longer had to put forth effort to maintain your attention because you were not ever going to move on from him. His recent goal has been to say or do just enough, the BARE MINIMUM, to convince you to stay put… and for the most part, you have.
So — NO, you should not take him seriously at this point, for it is merely his ego that he is protecting, and NOT your heart or your desire to exist in a committed relationship alongside him.
Often times, we transform ourselves into the roles of counselor, therapist, secretary and parent whenever the man we’re dating or seriously involved with is facing a dark period in his life. Suddenly, his job layoff, financial crisis or family emergency becomes our problem to solve. We begin taking on tasks, responsibilities and self-imposed stressors in an effort to make sure that the man we love survives this unfortunate setback in his life. We are buying extra food to make sure he’s eating as often as he likes. We’re updating his resume, making phone calls, being extra affectionate and offering loving advice to help him get through this dark period. It seems that our surface efforts would be embraced – our dude would display an outward expression of appreciation. Instead, however, he becomes distant and increasingly agitated whenever he’s in our presence. He doesn’t want to spend one on one time anymore, but is constantly entertaining his loser friends and online “fans”. Everyone else in his life seems to be receiving the smiles, upbeat personality and star treatment. Meanwhile, we are left home, alone, venting to our friends and wondering what we’ve done wrong to deserve his negative attitude. It’s simple…
Many of us make the mistake of extending ourselves in the same ways in which we assume we would want others to help or assist us in our time of need. We place ourselves in the mode to support our men by any means necessary, even if that sometimes means ignoring our own needs and sacrificing our financial or emotional stability for his ultimate success. In our decision to dive in to fix the issues that are plaguing the man we love, we tend to forget that a lot of guys initially feel the need to retreat and make decisions on their own. Even though we often think that it’s best to create a plan and take immediate action, a lot of men require space and time to determine what his first step will be in handling his dilemma. Bombarding his space with increased calls and text messages in an effort to find out what he’s going to do or if he’s going to follow our advice, only intensifies his stress levels.
We forget that even as his romantic partner, our position in our man’s life is not to necessarily solve his problems. Men are very prideful creatures. Despite his race, sexuality or socioeconomic background, a lot of men still feel that their role in life is to provide for themselves and protect the individuals closest to them. When we make an attempt to help without his asking, that behavior on our part tends to make our man feel weak. While it’s sometimes difficult to sit back and wait for our dude to share all of the details or to ask for our input, it becomes important that we give him the room to do so.
He is sometimes running to hang with his friends because even though they may be aware of his situation, they aren’t forcing him to discuss it or execute their idea of what the resolution should be.
One of the best ways that we can be supportive of the guy we love is to speak to him with encouraging statements, as opposed to using sympathetic words. You have to learn how to feed and fuel his ego in order to get him to open up to you or to ask for your assistance. Instead of saying things like, “I’m sorry that you’re going through this baby. Are you okay? Awe…I hope things will get better”, you should offer statements such as, “You’ve got this! The job is yours. Are you forgetting who you are?”Remind your man that he is still in charge of his own life. You can also bring up a past situation where the chips were down for him and he somehow pieced them back together. Encouraging him, as opposed to pitying his circumstances will give your dude the confidence he needs to make solid decisions on his own. Then, more than likely, he’s going to want you to contribute to the plan of action he comes up with. His mind and spirit will be open to receiving your ideas or suggestions. Your man needs to feel that you are standing beside him in his path to solve the problem and not necessarily in front – trying to lead him to make the decision that YOU think is best.
Also, keep in mind that you too are going to become just a tad bit frustrated and exhausted as you’re taking on extra responsibilities to make sure that your man is okay. Once you start getting frustrated because now you’re paying two cell phone bills instead of one, or now you’re having to run extra errands to help him out, he will recognize a change in your demeanor. Even though you’re aiding him from the kindness of your heart, the little things he says or does may begin to upset you. Despite your annoyance with him going out to have drinks with his friends when you feel that he should be home applying for jobs, you should not say things to him like, “well, if it weren’t for me then your phone wouldn’t even be on”, or… “I’m the one trying to help you and you haven’t even thanked me”. Your man may begin to feel like a burden and will often retreat as a result of his guilt. That explains why he’s suddenly interacting with strangers on Facebook or posting “happy photos” on Instagram, as if everything in his life is perfect. The communication he is now sharing with associates or total strangers serves as his escape from the relationship with you that is now filled with feelings of ridicule and resentment.
Always remember that during tough times, guys will often turn towards the individuals who know the least about their real life situations. Engaging with people publicly who only know them for their cute faces and other surface attributes sometimes makes men feel good about themselves when their lives are falling apart behind closed doors. It sometimes feels that we are getting the short end of the stick because he knows that we are aware of what’s actually going on. Our expectations of him are often greater than what he may feel he can fill at the moment.
So, the best way to avoid becoming the frustrated, lonely lover who is sitting at home feeling unappreciated, is to support your man WITHOUT MENTION. When he initially calls or texts you to inform you about what is happening in his life, do not tell him what he should or needs to do… until he asks for your input. Your job is to listen and offer encouragement. You only need to express sympathy in the event that his grandmother or best friend has just passed away. If you’re going to take care of washing his clothes so that he can focus on making emergency calls, there’s no need for you to verbally bring it to his attention that you’ve done so. Simply dry his things, fold them and put them away. He will notice on Monday morning that all of his underwear and tee shirts are clean. Never throw in his face what you have done to help him during his time of need. It’s tough enough for a man to accept money from his partner for food, gas or other bills. Even in the event that you two are upset and arguing with one another, avoid bringing up the gifts or favors that you’ve extended to him. He will often respond by LEAVING YOU, simply because he never wants anyone in life to feel that they can take full credit for the man he has become. And even if he doesn’t walk away from you in that moment, the resentment will send him on his way the moment he gets back on his feet.
Men don’t simply leave the individual who “held them down” when times were tough. Men walk away from the person who constantly held it over his head.
Guys rarely forget the individuals who helped them keep their heads above water. If you want your relationship to remain intact following the struggles your man is presently enduring, please don’t overwhelm him with your desire to take total control of his circumstances. Help him without stealing his power to help himself.
As Labor Day Weekend is coming to a close, everyone has begun to upload their group photos from the local pool parties, different out of town excursions and final summer outings at the beach. Meanwhile, you are sitting behind your computer screen and suffering from feelings of rejection or dealing with other self-deprecating thoughts. As you’re seeing pics of fun times filtering through your social media timelines, it’s tough to not wonder, “Why was I not invited?” – Another holiday weekend passes by and all you’ve done is clean up, watch movies and order carry out for ONE.
It’s easy to begin questioning whether or not you’re to be considered socially awkward when you’ve spent three free days behind closed doors and no one in your life has bothered to call or text about making plans. Your friends who decided to stay in town never made mention about going out to eat or getting drinks at the downtown bar, and the guy you’re sort of dating never said anything about coming over to keep your company. As far as you were concerned, everyone was going to lay low, lounge around the house or maybe engage in family activities. However, seeing pictures of people you thought you were close to, hanging out with others you don’t even recognize has made you feel out of the loop. You aren’t necessarily angry or upset, as much as you have become frustrated by not being included in the group activities.
Often times, we see or hear about our friends spending time with their other associates and we make ourselves feel insecure about those relationships. We assume that we are being intentionally left out of “exclusive” outings. As a result, we force ourselves into this mode of questioning our friendship status with certain individuals. It rarely crosses our minds however, that no harm was meant by the parties involved that did not directly include us in their group plans. Circumstances simply created a moment where a circle of people came together for a social event and you were not in attendance. It may seem shady on the part of your good friend, but you have to keep a few situations in mind…
THE PLAN WAS SPONTANEOUS – Every outing isn’t scheduled or detailed ahead of time. Sometimes, plans fall through with one circle of people and your friend is invited to join their associates at the last minute. Since your friend isn’t close to the majority of the group they’re being asked to hangout with, it would be inappropriate for him or her to simply invite you to come along. Their intention may have been to stay in the house the entire weekend. However, your friend never said that they wouldn’t go out if an opportunity presented itself. Did you make any suggestions to your friend for you both to see a matinee movie together or to randomly grab a cocktail on some uptown rooftop? NO.
THE OUTING HAD AN UNSPOKEN OPEN INVITATION – Sometimes, our friends assume that if they are hosting a cookout, movie night or game party at their place, you automatically know that you’re invited. Since the two of you have known one another for so long, your friend doesn’t always deem it necessary to formally ask you to come over or stop by. If you understand the dynamics of your relationship with certain people, the ones you are closest to consider you family. Family is usually the first to arrive with helping hands and possibly a homemade dish as well.
YOU DON’T GET ALONG WITH A PARTICULAR GROUP OF PEOPLE – Your friend has decided to attend an event where the majority of the attendees will be a group of individuals you don’t like or enjoy mixing with. On numerous occasions, you’ve made it clear that you don’t want to be present in the company of certain people your friend hangs around. Keeping this in mind, your friend didn’t even bother to mention the plans because they knew based on past experiences that you’d be uncomfortable or annoyed. YOU SAID IT.
IT WAS ASSUMED THAT YOU ALREADY KNEW ABOUT THE PLANS – Your friend sent out an Evite via email or created a Facebook Event. The digital invitation was sent to you along with everyone else days in advance. Somehow, between your busy schedule and other responsibilities, you had not been able to check your online inboxes. You can be bothered by the fact that you missed the party, but you can’t be angry at the host for not personally calling or texting to invite you. We are adults living in an age where most people plan casual get-togethers online.
YOU NEVER SHOW UP ANY OTHER TIME SO WHY SHOULD THIS EVENT BE ANY DIFFERENT? – We tend to exclude ourselves from group activities so often that our friends become too frustrated to even make mention of an upcoming party or get together. While your second job, romantic relationship or financial obligations don’t always allow you to hangout, the people around you become use to your absence. When the invitation list is being created, it’s assumed that you won’t be able to attend for one reason or another. The fact that you’ve missed the past three or four outings makes people think that you’re too busy or preoccupied to participate. Begin making yourself more available to socialize in public and your name may inch itself back to the top of the invitee list.
Most often, it is a harmless misunderstanding between friends that results in one person not being formally invited to attend an event, or another individual never hearing about a particular outing. However, we can’t rely upon our friends or other people to fill the voids in our lives. While being left out of group events or holiday weekend plans can be hurtful, our happiness or sense of comfort should never depend upon inclusion in social circles or other activities. It is the responsibility of the individual to engage themselves in solo tasks and hobbies that are just as entertaining behind closed doors, as hanging out with other people in public. Create situations for yourself where the absence of an invitation cannot create a hole in your attitude, mood or demeanor.