First, if you haven’t read the prelude to the article, you probably should check it out first:
Can I do anything about this?
Yes and no. You can try. If none of the situations on the previous discussion apply to you, then it may just be a waiting game.
There is a chance you will be successful at urging your significant other into a commitment. But, before we talk about this, let’s look at the situation and what it’s going to take from you and cost you.
The first thing may be your self-respect. Right now you may not care about your dignity. Maybe you are blinded by love and don’t care or you just never had a lot of pride. Maybe you are already the giving sort.
So, first consider this: If what you try doesn’t work, are you going to be able to look at yourself in the mirror afterward? If you are not an overly prideful person, this is a moot point. But if you are worried about making a fool of yourself to friends and family, then you need to start thinking about walking away. Remember, you may still come up empty-handed in the end.
Secondly, there is no guarantee that the “make him love me” thing is going to work. Yes, there are a lot of books with great tips. However, what you invest into this effort may never pay off and may leave you the worse for it.
Third, you may waste a big chunk of your life waiting. If you are in your 20s, this may not matter to you so much, but I guarantee it will be something you think about later if it doesn’t work.
Fourth, there is a good chance that your own feelings are going to start wearing off in the process. That intense love you feel – that ache that you think only he can fill – that thing that blinds you to other men? That won’t stick around forever, because he isn’t doing anything to nurture it or make you feel secure. There is a high chance of bitterness when you start sacrificing who you are for someone else or you keep throwing love at someone only to be rejected.
Fifth, this will cost you. It might be financially, it might be physically, but it will cost you. It will probably be both.
Sixth, will this cost you in other areas of your life? What about your friends and family? Life is short and time with them is more valuable than you probably realize.
Finally, in order to make yourself into someone else’s ideal, you are probably going to do things that you regret later on in life. It’s running a risk of making you into something that you are not. How long can you keep it up and what are you going to compromise?
This is not to lecture you, but to make you realize that you will be a different person when you are done with this. So, if changing for him or her is going to make you into someone that you like better, then go for it. Maybe he’s a good boy and you want to be a good girl and settle down and be the sort of girl he can take home to Mom. If so, that’s great! That’s love!
However, if it’s going to compromise your morals – maybe doing drugs, smoking, doing things sexually you don’t want to, breaking the law, or some other habit you don’t already have that will take you down a rough path and compromise you physically, emotionally, or financially. Those habits are likely to stay, even if he’s gone. It’s not worth doing that. Don’t do it.
If you’re considering getting pregnant to keep him (or getting her pregnant), you have to realize that this has been tried for hundreds of years and almost always leads to disastrous results. You might be saying “I don’t care” now, because you are frantic to get him to love you, but that reckless attitude will pass and leave you with a lot of messes to clean up if you aren’t careful. Plus, you’ll be involving a precious innocent which is completely unfair. That’s not the way to win a person’s heart.
One more thing on this…
So if that’s what you’re thinking, don’t bother. He’s already expressed he isn’t changing in the way he has refused to commit. Take him as he is or leave him. He may grow up and mature someday, but there’s a good chance that you are stuck with a lot of the habits he has right now that are hurting you. The only people that can change him are him changing himself or God changing him.
Are you trying to make him act like he did when you first dated? You probably aren’t going to get that either. People tend to put their best face forward in the initial stages of dating and once they let it all hang out, it will continue to hang out. So, don’t get your hopes up on that.
All of that being said, let’s look at some options.
Ways that You Can Encourage Security and the Growth of Love in Your Relationship:
You’ve been warned. If you haven’t been warned and instead jumped to this part of the article, then back up and read the warnings and examine your situation. If you have and still believe in your relationship and merely feel that it’s a matter of him growing used to the idea of settling down, here are some things that you can do:
1. Be patient.
Sometimes it takes a while before he will be ready to give up being young and free (even if he is 50). He may never do it, but you can stand by and wait. You can’t force it, because even if you somehow accomplish that, he will feel unsatisfied and chained. It is a conclusion he is going to have to come to on his own.
2. Do loving things for him.
These create attachment. We have other articles on tips and tricks for loving gestures. Try a few. These make the person you are in love with feel cared for and experience affection that they probably aren’t going to get from everyone.
3. Don’t let yourself go bankrupt trying to please him.
I know you love seeing a smile on his face when you buy him a new Abercrombie shirt, but stop. You aren’t going to win his everlasting love with gifts. He isn’t a prostitute. You can’t buy him. Sure, gifts now and then are completely appropriate and are part of loving gestures. But if you are watching your bills climb from buying things for him that you can’t afford, then you have to restructure that.
4. Be supportive in the things that he tries to do.
Show up at his art displays. Encourage him to try out for a position at work. Do NOT finance his college for him or do his homework, but do give emotional support.
5. Create an environment where he is comfortable with you.
Be the one to comfort him when he is sad and down. Be the one to care for him when he’s sick.
6. Don’t try to control him, but don’t let him control you either.
If he insists on going out with his friends alone, then don’t sit at home and mope about it. You go out with yours or do something special for yourself. You should be asking yourself, though, if this is how you want to live your life.
7. Try to be part of his world.
You should never change who you are or what you like for someone else. If you don’t like something, then you don’t. Don’t pretend. However, it is a good idea to give something a try even if you don’t think you like it (as long as it isn’t something that will harm you or your beliefs or is illegal.) Does he love sailing and you’ve never been on a boat? Take some Dramamine and hop on! You might love it and those sort of things are part of living life.
8. Don’t be a doormat and don’t act like his dog.
Biting your tongue to avoid the occasional argument is one thing. That’s part of a relationship. Constantly crying alone in your car because he hurt you and you don’t feel you can say anything is another. Sometimes people argue. You have to stand up for yourself at least occasionally or he will lose respect for you and you will lose respect for yourself.
9. Obviously, do things that you know please him that don’t cost money.
If he loves your tall boots and thinks you look great in them, make sure you wear them when you go out.
What you really need to decide is if you can be happy with the way your relationship is right now, because that is what you have and there is no promise of tomorrow. There is a chance that you can, but no promises. Even if your significant other decides they are ready to commit doesn’t mean that your life will change. It will likely be as it is now with a ring on it. Again, remember, you can’t “change” a person. If you want a person to change, maybe you don’t really want that person at all.
What usually happens in these relationships?
About 1 in 30 of these relationships will end with the “hard to get” person finally settling down and deciding to marry the girl who stood by him (or vice versa).
Sadly, that point usually doesn’t come until the waiting person gives up and decides to move on. Then the person who has played “hard to get” suddenly realizes what they have lost and it’s too late. Most of the relationships don’t work out in the end, though some do. Occasionally, the couple takes a break and moves on for a few years then reunites and marries.
One thing I’ve witnessed and experienced is that you can wear a heart out trying to make someone see things your way in a relationship. By the time they do, it’s often something you don’t even want anymore. The heart gives up after a while and realizes that was never what it wanted all along.