Why do some boys end all communication with girls they are dating at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason?
Honestly, many boys are rubbish at communicating, particularly when they need to send a negative message. Sometimes it can depend on their past experience, like if they’ve broken up with a girl who’s cried or become angry, so they just want to avoid the situation and it’s much easier just to let it go. They figure we’ll get the hint eventually! It’s particularly frustrating if you’ve been getting on well and you might even wonder if something bad has happened to them.
This happened to me once, and then I happened to see him a week or so later, walking down the street with his ex-girlfriend. I think it’s more likely to happen when your relationship has been based on physical attraction, or it was simply a quest for him to get you into bed – once he does, he might lose interest, and if there was no friendship or emotional basis for the relationship, he really has nothing to lose by just moving on.
Something I’ve learned through my study of coaching is that many of us are not great at having conversations which involve bad news or constructive criticism, because we’re often taught not to upset people or not to rock the boat. There are so many intricacies of body language, tone, wording etc which go into delivering a message – and if we get one of them wrong, the other person reacts, and it all goes pear shaped!
If you’re old like me, you might remember the episode of Sex and the City where Berger breaks up with Carrie on a Post-It note, and she completely loses it when she’s talking to his friends because she didn’t get a chance to respond to Jack personally. She unleashed a whole lot of crazy, telling them he was bad in bed, basically giving them the exact reaction men are trying to avoid! So it sucks to be dumped without your knowledge, but this is the risk they take!
Move on, sister.
My partner and I have been seeing each other for just over a year and I can already see the level of affection on his behalf has depleted. How can I ask for more attention without sounding needy?
Physical touch and affection doesn’t come naturally to many people, and if you’re like me, it’s really important for making you feel loved. You could buy him the Five Love Languages book – Men’s edition – which talks about what love languages are (see last week’s column for more info), and why it’s important to meet the needs of your female partner. Find out what his is (it might be ‘Acts of Service’ or ‘Quality Time’ for example), and let him know that keeping your relationship passionate is important to you, and if you both make an effort to deliver the others’ love language, your relationship will flourish.
It’s possible this might be a long term sticking point, because it’s just not natural for him beyond the ‘honeymoon period’, so you could be in for a long road to be honest. Perhaps you could suggest that him giving you affection is like giving you a gift.
In addition to the above, my other advice is to accept this is not his normal behaviour and continue to show affection to him regardless of whether or not he initiates it. At the same time, take some time to work on your own self-esteem and confidence, to ensure that you’re happy and fulfilled within yourself. If we rely on others to make us feel loved (and I’m guilty of this myself), then our happiness will always be susceptible to volatility.
I have a group of friends who have stopped inviting me to dinner parties & gatherings, etc. I feel like it’s because I am the odd one out in terms of being the only single one in the friendship group and excuses that have been given is, it would be an odd number which is hard when booking reservations, etc. They’re all either married, engaged or in long term relationships. I don’t know whether it’s because they feel awkward inviting me because I don’t have a plus one or maybe I am unworthy of being invited because I DON’T have a boyfriend/fiancée, etc. How do I go about questioning this without overacting or letting them know that I am not bothered by being the odd number?
I suggest their reluctance to invite you is based on the fact that I imagine you are awesome, charming, gorgeous and basically irresistible. Nobody wants a woman like that around their partner, particularly when you’re single!
Even if you wear a potato sack, you’ll still demand attention, so perhaps you could use humour. Have you seen Bridget Jones’ Diary, where Bridget talks about this exact problem? She talks about single women having scales under their skin. I’m not really sure what that means, and I think nobody else at the dinner party did either. On second thoughts, scrap that idea.
If all else fails, you can always just focus on your single friends for a while, or join a group (dancing, fitness, hiking, rock climbing, photography) to explore a new activity with new friends. Other people will appreciate your fabulousness and you’ll be flooded with invitations.