By Marianne Beach, GalTime.com
I Love You More Than You Love Me
I used to love a particular New Order song when I was in high school called "Getting Away With It." The chorus went something like this:
"However I look it's clear to see--that I love you more than you love me."
It was a sentiment I often felt growing up--falling head over heels for a guy who returned my affections...somewhat. As I sat by the phone pining, he maybe remembered to call when it was convenient for him. And as my entire life became wrapped up in my obsession, he started to back away--eventually breaking my heart.
In a sick way, this is what I preferred. Heaven forbid a guy liked me more than I liked him. What a turn-off! As Groucho Marks once said, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." In other words, if a guy was that devoted to me - there had to be something wrong with him.
Thank goodness I eventually got over this and met and married a man who loves me with all his heart--and am now able to enjoy his devotion and affection and return it equally. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure I would have set myself up for a very miserable existence.
Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D., relationship psychologist, dating coach, and founder of MySoulmateSolution.com, says it's common in a new relationship for one person to feel more in love than the other, while the other takes some time to catch up. But if it lasts more than three to six months, the relationship may not be destined to last.
"The way to deal is to limit the amount of contact and the depth of contact for a period of time," she says. "So, you go slow and keep your interests in other areas of your life active, say only calling a couple times of week (instead of every day), not emailing constantly, only going together for a date once during the week and once during the weekend (rather than the whole weekend…)."
She says giving into your love obsession and pursuing the man can cause him to withdraw. If you instead create space, it'll act like a magnet to draw him back. "So, you also hold back on so much showy displays of verbal and physical affection as well, or talk of feelings. Allow him to come to you. Allow him to instigate contact, affection," she says. "This will give him enough breathing room and if it's meant to be, he'll move towards you. If he doesn't--he's not the one."
Some other tips from Dr. Jenn:
- Go SLOW- do not jump in with your whole heart- get to know the person so you don't fall in love with the idea of him, but the actual person and what he is offering you (not what you hope or wish he'll offer you.)
- Limit the mental space you give him- avoid thinking about him all of the time, which creates a habit of preoccupation which can lead to obsession- which definitely isn't based on who he is- but the idea of him, and will make moving on more difficult to do.
- DO NOT envision or plan the future in your head, or plug him into your life before you know whether he is worthy of being a big part of your life. STAY in the moment. Enjoy what's in front of you and let go of the need to define "what this is" or "where this is going." Simply enjoy and allow it to unfold without clinging to what you hope will happen.
Related: 3 Biggest Mistakes Women Make in Bed
- Stay active in your own life, with your own passions and pursuits. Stay active with friends, hobbies, activities that do NOT involve him. If your world doesn't revolve around him, but he's only a piece of your world- then you are solid, stable, and less vulnerable should he leave the picture. If he's your whole world- you'll be devastated. Never lose your Sense of Self!
- Also, never tie your sense of worth (or your feeling good) to how he's behaving toward you. You are beautiful, talented, and loveable no matter who he is, what he feels, or how he acts- never lose sight of that!
Okay, so what if it's the opposite? He is smitten by you and you're getting turned off by his intensity? Dr. Jenn says it's important you set boundaries right away. "Feel free to ask for the space you need, without blaming him or putting him down or slamming the door and running away. Help him understand that's just a part of who you are," she says. "Give it some time to see if your feelings end up growing to match his, but with time and space."
And if the unequal feelings stick around for a long time--no matter if you're the one who loves more or less? Dr. Jenn suggests you re-evaluate the relationship.
"These kinds of relationships are uncomfortable and painful for both parties- for the person who is always pursuing, feeling hurt trying to get needs met- and for the person who is always withdrawing, feeling smothered and guilty that he/she can't give the other person what they want," she points out. "Ultimately that kind of relationship takes too much work and causes too much pain. Why not go find someone with whom it is easy and feels good most of the time!"
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