Only to feel that soon after this period, things start to crumple and you get a little voice inside that tells you something is not right? Something like you are more a support and friend to him than a lover or a partner.
You notice that most of the talking between the two of you is more about him and less about you.
You soon find out about all the problems and sentimental dramas in his past, all the fears and challenges in former relationships he has been through. He keeps telling you that all women are the same: materialistic, selfish and mean… but only you can understand him well.
A woman’s natural instinct is to help, respond to somebody’s needs, understand the person and put a lot of effort and passion into a relationship in hopes that he will see you are better than others, you are special. We fall deeply and fast into the “savior’s” role. Unfortunately this role does not help us too much in a relationship with a man.
What should we know and understand?
After a man breaks up with a woman he has been deeply in love with and has invested a lot of energy and emotion in his relationship, he can react in the following ways:
- He isolates himself from other people, he withdraws from the world and takes time to manage and digest his powerful emotions in order to heal on his own from the pain.
- He tries to rekindle his former relationship with the woman he just broke up with for fear of loneliness, hurt ego or just to take revenge at a later stage.
- He denies his real feelings and jumps right into other relationships or one night stands because he cannot stand loneliness or because he wants to fake a break-up recovery.
- He is looking for emotional “crutches” that will help him express the emotions he cannot manage himself. He just needs to have somebody around him for a while.
When you get involved in a relationship with a man who has just gone out of a long term commitment, there are big chances that you fill in the emotional crutch role for him.
What are the red flags that indicate you are becoming a second choice and not the Woman in his life:
- He cannot let go of his former relationship. He keeps giving you the details of the past, brings the other woman in the picture and he rarely speaks about you or what he feels about you.
- Dates and interactions between the two of you happen at his will and when he needs it. Your needs never count. It seems that your only purpose is to listen to him and support him.
- He tells you frequently that he is not ready for a committed relationship
- He uses you for sex
- He suggests dating other people in the meantime
- You feel drained after talking to him and you cannot be yourself around him
- You don’t grow or develop with him.
- You always feel in an emotional roller-coaster next to him.
A relationship with a man in this emotional state is usually a toxic or imaginary relationship. I would strongly advise you to stay out of it, although it might be good just for a lesson. But there is rarely a winning game on the woman’s side in this story.
What can you do in a situation like this?
- Please answer this question: What am I doing in this relationship? What’s in it for me?
- Do you feel good being the second choice in a man’s life?
- Does it do any good to you to fulfil the savior’s role in a man’s life? What will happen to you when that man recovers from the emotional pain and stops needing you?
- Are your own emotional needs met in this relationship?
- If you really like the man and you want to give the relationship a chance, you need to give him time to recover first. Tell him that you really like him and that you would love being together, but when he will be ready for a relationship with YOU.
- Set very clear boundaries in terms of his past relationships. Tell him that you understand his past, but you do not want to hear the stories. You want to be in a relationship with him now.
- Focus all the attention on your own needs and passions. After every meeting with him, check what you feel. What is the feeling after this interaction?
- Close your eyes and mentally take a step back from this relationship. Then take three or more steps back. How do you see now things from a distance? Do you want to go back to the relationship? If not, then you will have to decide what you want to do. You will always find the answer within you.
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