Are You Trying to Get Him Back? Maybe You Should Reconsider.

Are You Trying to Get Him Back? Maybe You Should Reconsider

Every day, I get women contacting me for dating coaching. Almost invariably, they’re calling about a guy.

But not just a guy. A guy they’ve got great chemistry with. A guy that makes them weak in the knees. A guy who could be the one… if only he weren’t being so elusive. These days, all he does is text once in awhile and hint at making plans.

It’s almost as if he’s forgotten how amazing that first intense month was.

It’s almost as if he’s acting like he’s not interested in a serious relationship.

It’s almost as if he doesn’t care.

And yet every woman who http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/ wants to know the same thing:  How do I get him back?

To which I invariably ask: Why do you want a boyfriend who doesn’t call you, doesn’t communicate with you, doesn’t make you feel special, doesn’t make an effort to show you he cares, doesn’t follow up quickly to see you, and doesn’t indicate in any way that he’s currently interested in an exclusive relationship with you?

“Because of how he makes me FEEL”.

You mean anxious, insecure, needy and depressed?

“Well, not that, exactly. I mean, it’s not like that when we’re together.”

How often are you “together”.

It’s been a few weeks. It’s definitely not like it was in the beginning. I just want that feeling back. Evan, how can I make him want me like he did before?

Here’s what I say, ever so gently, to those women:

It’s not about this guy. It’s about you. If you want true power and control over your love life, it’s about breaking that pattern of trying to fix relationships with broken men who treat you like crap, and making healthier decisions about men. If your goal is to “get this guy back”, you’re really missing the point. Dating coaching isn’t about making men do anything. The emotionally unavailable guy is STILL going to be unavailable when we’re done coaching. But when we’re done coaching, you’re going to realize that you don’t actually WANT a guy who doesn’t make you feel special. You’re going to be free to have a relationship with a man who actually gives you the love you deserve. How does that sound to you?

Most people think it sounds pretty damn awesome. If you read this post and can identify, please, give up on the idea of “getting him back” and focus on the idea of “letting him go”.

The reason to http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/ is to learn how to let go, instead of spinning your wheels on some jackass whom, I can assure you – you do NOT want to spend the next forty years with.

Life is too short to waste on unrequited love. Find a guy who treats you like gold.

That’s what it’s all about.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Melissa

    Probably the single most valuable piece of knowledge you gave me in coaching. For some reason, many others said things like this to me, but you got through.

    It’s a strange, bittersweet feeling though (giving up the emotionally unavailable men) because I feel that the roller coaster ride of emotions are behind me forever, so its almost like losing a piece of myself. The addiction… the highs and lows.

    Also, not being attached to the outcome is a part of me now, but still feels foreign. I’m currently doing it… but it’s strange. ha, ha.

  2. 2
    A-L

    This is a valuable, but hard lesson. I’m still learning it, in fact. After having that intense chemistry high, you sort of expect that from a romantic relationship, you expect that from your long-term partner. So though you can realize the guys from your past with whom you had that feeling may not have been the best matches, you’re still out there searching for the fantastic compatibility with the tremendous chemistry.

    And I’m still trying to get used to the idea of an “easy” relationship where the guy always calls when he says he will, who is interested in spending lots of quality time with me, who doesn’t try to push my boundaries, and who essentially just tries to make me happy (without being a total suck-up). Because it almost feels too easy, as though a relationship should be hard, that it should have more trials and tribulations. Though I realize that ideally one’s relationship shouldn’t be hard or be a major stresser in your life.

    Amazing how warped one’s sense of what love is can be.

  3. 3
    Robyn

    If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were. – Richard Bach, author of “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull”.

    Chasing after a guy who has drifted away ain’t gonna bring him back. As tough as it is, you have to just let him go….

  4. 4
    Steve

    FWIW, the guy isn’t always the defective person in this scenario. Sometimes it is a matter of a healthy person deciding that things aren’t going to work and the woman refusing to move on despite being communicated with in a compassionate, clear manner.

    The advice part of this post is gold:

    If somebody acts like they are not interested, then they are really not interested, that will likely not change and there is more happiness in moving on.

  5. 5
    Melissa

    Steve – if every “emotionally unavailable” man that I’ve dated communicated in a clear and concise manner that they weren’t interested, my dating life would have been a cake walk.

    The part I think your missing is that these men will do just enough dangling of the carrot to keep you constantly in a confused state. They DON’T (as you stated), say it’s over and walk away. They still send texts and make the occasional phone call about how much they miss you, and you OCCASIONALLY see them. They’re hot and cold, up and down… and as Evan stated… many are “broken”, as in unhealthy. Or else… you’re just not the right one, but RARELY do they tell you this in a mature manner that allows women to just walk away; least you think women who tend to hang around with men like this are pursuing them and calling them… we’re NOT… we’re just often accepting bread crumbs…. which is not good enough.

  6. 6
    Jennifer

    What I got from Evan’s post is that we need to decide for ourselves what is and is not acceptable treatment- regardless of what the guy (or girl) that we want to be with does. It’s about taking things at face value and not waiting for the magic that was there in the beginning to reappear if we find that it is currently gone.
    When you’ve decided what type of treatment you’ll accept BEFORE anybody specific comes along, the decision to leave when you aren’t being treated well becomes much clearer. It becomes a no-brainer whether you are being given breadcrumbs or not.
    Of course waay easier said then done, but it becomes a lot easier when you start focusing on you and keep the focus there, instead of focusing solely on whoever your potential bf/gf is at the time.

  7. 7
    Donna

    Evan, I just want to tell you how valuable your posts are. You get straight to the point, and then explain why. Especially this week, for some reason. I’m almost 50 years old, divorced and dating, and just wish I’d understood this reasoning in my 20s and 30s! Thank you so much for what you do !

  8. 8
    Karl R

    Melissa said: (#5)
    “these men will do just enough dangling of the carrot to keep you constantly in a confused state.”
    “RARELY do they tell you this in a mature manner that allows women to just walk away.”

    No one can unilaterally keep you in a confused state.

    I’ve had a date who was wonderful to be around and encouraged me to set up a date every time I saw her in person … but she never had time to go on dates.

    Another lady was always available by e-mail or phone, but she couldn’t find the time to go on a date three weekends in a row.

    One girlfriend was wonderful … right up to the point where she suddenly vanished.

    I may have been unable to understand what they were thinking, but I was never confused. I don’t accept this kind of behavior in a date or girlfriend. When this situation occurs, it’s time to move on.

    I agree that it would be preferable to get a clear explanation in a mature fashion, but I won’t let the lack of one impair me.

  9. 9
    Steve

    @Melissa, post #5. I’m sorry you ended up dating players or the guy who can’t “shit or get off the pot”. Taking your post with Karl’s ( #8 ) it seems as if there are both women and men who lack whatever it takes to tell someone they aren’t interested.

    @Karl, post #8, that was one of the best posts ever. Yes, the writing on the wall is clear, I think it is just that people find themselves in situations where they don’t want to see it.

    I’ve had all three of those things happen to me too. I think I can take them a little bit less personally knowing that I am not the only one.

  10. 10
    A-L

    I think most of us can agree that a lot of the people we end up chasing do the carrot dangling action and we go for it because we’re so insane/desperate for their affection. But how does one distinguish between someone who is genuinely trying to reignite a relationship in comparison with someone who is trying to put in a few breadcrumbs to get back in your good graces?

    For instance, imagine there was someone who you went out with for a while and had an intense fling but ended up breaking up. What happens if s/he starts calling or e-mailing you daily? Are you to have a self-preservationist attitude and be polite but obvious that you’re not interested because you want someone who really wants you? Or do you go on ahead and engage fully with the chance that the person has matured and wants a serious relationship, or with the chance that once they know they’ve got you on the hook again, they’ll vanish? Because I know there are lots of people who have on-again/off-again relationships, or have broken up with someone only to get back into a serious relationship, sometimes leading to marriage. So how do you figure out if a rekindling of the relationship is a carrot or a sincere overture?

    Jennifer,

    Your advice in post #6 is golden. Though I think many of us may dream of having a relationship, and perhaps even dream about what that relationship would look like, I think very few people set clear standards of what they expect from their partner. If they did then a lot of the carrot dangling/bread crumbs stuff would never have worked.

  11. 11
    Anisa

    I have a friend who says: “men will always always leave the door on an ajar….”

  12. 12
    Kristyn

    A-L
    I would agree that I’ve seen plenty of couples who do the on-again, off-again relationship that sometimes leads to marriage. I have yet to see any one of those marriages succeed.

  13. 13
    Karl R

    A-L said: (#10)
    “how does one distinguish between someone who is genuinely trying to reignite a relationship in comparison with someone who is trying to put in a few breadcrumbs to get back in your good graces?”

    Effort. If I was trying to reignite a relationship, I’d assume that I would need to put in some effort to show that this wasn’t just a momentary deal.

    And if a lady was trying to reignite a relationship with me, I’d take steps to ensure that it was a sincere effort.

    Example:
    A little over a year ago I was in a wonderful relationship. We broke up (very amicably) because she wanted lots of kids and I didn’t want any. During the long conversation following the breakup, she mentioned that while she wanted lots of kids, she would prefer (if her dream relationship wasn’t possible) to be in a great relationship with no kids than a lousy relationship with lots of kids.

    For the sake of arguement, let’s assume that she said that specifically to dangle a carrot, just in case “Plan A” didn’t work out as she had hoped. But as the Behrendts so eloquently pointed out, “It’s called a breakup because it’s broken.” At least in this case I understand how it was broken.

    If she tried to reignite a relationship with me, I would have a couple immediate concerns that would need to be addressed:
    1) Has she given up on the idea of having kids, or is she hoping to rekindle the romance, then change my mind? If it’s the latter, it would be a recipe for creating a lousy relationship without kids … and that relationship would be with me.
    2) If she’s given up on having kids, is that decision temporary or permanent?

    There are a couple other breakups where I don’t understand the reason(s) why the relationship ended. In those cases, I would need to understand what happened the first time before considering trying again.

    And in any case, I’d give a previous relationship one more chance. If it didn’t work the second time, then we were clearly unable to fix the broken parts.

  14. 14
    mic

    Finding someone can be hard. Finding someone with the sought-after qualities the last one had could be especially hard. If there were research on it, likely it would show that people tend to pine more over those who outrank them in physical attractiveness.

  15. 15
    Jennifer

    @A-L Thanks. I’ve learned (am still learning it?) the hard way!

  16. 16
    starthrower68

    It’s my experience that when a woman it a bit too dazzled right off the bat, then nothing good will come of the situation. She looses her ability to remain objective. The guy should have to put some effort into winning her and if he doesn’t even try, then there is your answer. Talk is cheap. Unless there are actions to back it up, then it’s probably best to close your eyes, empty your heart, and move forward.

  17. 17
    downtowngal

    Evan, this is the best post I’ve read so far on this site, if not the best out there! And I agree with everyone’s comments above.

    I, too, have had an experience similar to OP, as have many of us. We had intense chemistry, shared values and interests, he seemed like the perfect guy. Then after a month, once I was hooked on the dopamine, the drama began, the mixed signals, and I found myself making excuses for him.

    After getting fed up and calling him on the nonsense I realized this guy didn’t know what he wanted, was never going to change (had the same pattern w other women), and my sticking around wasn’t going to increase his appreciation for me. So I broke it off. It was tough but a good learning experience

  18. 18
    downtowngal

    Another comment -

    In a perfect world people would be upfront about what they want, but often that doesnt happen. Even if they do communicate, (as in Steve’s example above), you have to know what you want in order to have a fulfilling relationship. Actions speak louder than words.

  19. 19
    Moving on!

    How is it that these blogs almost ALWAYS are speaking directly to me? Oye!
    I was in (up until yesterday) one of these ‘dopamine’ filled relationships. Extreme highs and lows, drama, chasing the unavailable lover.
    It was a 2 year and some odd month relationship. Now that I look back on that first month, he blatanly told me he wasn’t any good for me. Yes, he actually used those words!
    “I’m no good for you”
    “You have so much going on, I have nothing” etc etc.
    Oh but no, I insistented on showering him with all this affection. HA! The joke was definitely on me!
    We recently have been talking about moving in together (this is probably the 10x time we’ve had this “discussion”. At least 4x he ‘disappeared’ and came back saying he was scared.)
    Well, yesterday I come home to a completely empty house. Yup, he had taken all his things! Didn’t even bother leaving a ‘dear jane’ letter.

    I’ve unbuckled my seat beat and I’m jumping off this rollercoaster ride. I should’nt be shocked, he’s done to women before me (yup…he told me).

    well, it’s a HARD lesson learned but I’m moving on. And to think, he had the nerve to text me and say “I love you”. HA!
    Thank God I read Evan’s other topic about why the guy dumps you and still tries to maintain a connection.

    I’m so over him….

  20. 20
    Cilla

    I agree with the previous posters who are really intrigued by this post. There’s a lot to chew on here.

    Evan, I completely agree with your assessment of the situation and your suggestions for what women should be looking for. I think where a lot of women, including myself, get bogged down is somewhere between understanding intellectually what they should be seeking and emotionally what they’ve become accustomed to wanting. It’s like eating broccoli–just because I know it’s good for me, doesn’t mean I’ll choose it over a pint of ice cream.

    I’m the first to admit I have adrenaline junkie tendencies in certain areas of my life, especially dating. Over the last year, I’ve dated a couple of players and had one very dysfunctional semi-LTR. Right now I’m seeing someone who seems balanced and happy. The amount of time he wants to spend with me seems appropriate. Four-hour conversations go by in the blink of an eye. Our life paths and life goals mesh very well. He tells me I’m gorgeous, but not too much. His interest in me seems genuine and healthy. I find him smart, attractive, and interesting. And yet I find myself with this nagging ambiguity about our relationship.

    Is it a case of classic conditioning, where my previous dating experiences have made me wary of belonging to any club that would have me as a member? Am I waiting for the adrenaline fix that comes with a less stable situation? Or am I protecting myself and just waiting for the other shoe to fall, as it has in my last relationships? Is it my intuition telling me there’s some friendship there but it’s not enough overwhelming chemistry to make a lasting relationship? Is early chemistry overrated–if there’s a little spark there, should I blow on it and see if it grows into a bigger flame? Am I stringing him along if I do that? Am I settling or just suddenly finding myself on the foreign soil of a normal adult relationship? Are a healthy relationship and excitement mutually exclusive?

    Not looking for answers here so much as thinking out loud. I can’t imagine I’m the only one whose mind churns over these same issues.

    And BWT, A-L, I totally agree with you, obviously about the “chemistry high,” and also about the dangling carrot of an off-again, on-again relationship. In addition to men who do the back and forth dance subconsciously, there are guys who are now reading books and paying for workshops to learn how to do this intentionally. I think we buy into it, because we extrapolate advice about not being too aggressive, always letting the guy ask first and following his lead, trying to make a guy’s life easier, etc. We wind up with an extreme (and warped) version of masculine and feminine roles. I’m sure, Karl R, there are times when women play these games too, just not as often.

  21. 21
    Cilla

    @ Moving On

    Sorry to hear about your break up. Been there: “I’m a lost soul,” he wrote.

    “When people show you who they are, believe them.” -Maya Angelou

    I should have that tattooed on my ass.

  22. 22
    A-L

    Oh, Cilla, all I can say is ditto, ditto, ditto! I was just nodding my head the whole time while reading your post and even had an “amen” here and there. Your whole thinking out loud paragraph mirrored many of my thoughts exactly. Glad to know I’m not the only one!

  23. 23
    delicia

    Dear Moving On, congratulations and GOOD FOR YOU!!! I have been in your shoes and I know how difficult it can be, I just want to “pay it forward” since I am blessed to have had great family and friends in my life who convinced me that I deserved better and gave me the strength to change my situation. This blog has been a huge help too so THANK YOU EVAN and to everyone else, unbeknowst to you, your positive energy has helped me move my life forward, and it’s a great feeling!!! I wish everyone much love, peace, and happiness.

  24. 24
    downtowngal

    Cilla, “..there are guys who are now reading books and paying for workshops to learn how to do this intentionally. I think we buy into it, because we extrapolate advice about not being too aggressive…”

    So true! One of my guy friends who’s on the younger side, is a great catch but a bit shy when it comes to women. So he’s been reading these books and online blogs that give horrible advice i.e. making women wait a week before calling and other games. And he’s still single.

    And women have been conditioned to think that guys think this or that, or if we communicate our boundaries too soon guys see it as nagging and will stop calling, but if it’s too late it’s our fault for putting up with it.

    Enough already! know what you want and don’t put up with crap! Even if he gives you a dopamine rush.

  25. 25
    Life is Good

    This is so obvious that makes me want to scream! How on earth can I consider myself such a smart woman and then find myself thinking exactly that: “how do I get him back”?!?!?! First and foremost, how can you get back something you never had?? And if you did, WHY would you want that again?? It’s just perfect.

    Amazing how we can find so many excuses, such as: “he says he loves me” (but he doesn’t act like he even cares); “he told me he can absolutely imagine me as the mother of his kids” (so why the hell, after all this time, he cannot even consider him as my boyfriend???). Anyway, it’s just really so obvious that it’s almost insulting.

    Thank you so much,
    and thanks, Cilla, for the Maya Angelou quote.
    Again, so simple.

  26. 26
    Natalie

    I recently met a guy with whom I had intense chemistry with. Our first meeting we sat and talked for 3 hours. I am 52 divorced with 2 kids and he is 46, never been married and no kids. We had a lot in common, same values and beliefs and seemed to have intense chemistry. He asked me out for that next weekend after our first meeting (which lasted for 3 hours) We had a great time and he said that he would call, and he did. We continued to see each other for the next 5 weekends and became intimate on our 3rd date. We have come to a crossroads in our relationship because he is not sure that he is ready to give up on the fact that he has wanted to have his own biological children and my baby factory is closed. He was completely honest with me and told me his reasons for wanting to end the physical part of the relationship. He does not want either of to get hurt. He wants to maintain our friendship and keep in touch but we both agreed that we cannot be in a situation alone together as we can not keep our hands off of each other. It is just a sad situation that we just cannot be together, he did say that he could change his mind in 6 months (given the fact that he will be 47 and the chances at this stage that he will find somebody compatable that still wants to have babies with a nearly 50 year old man sound pretty slim). I feel that when you hit this age finding someone that you share the same feelings on every level is so rare that having great chemistry is so hard to give up based on a dream that may never happen for him. He was very honest and open when he explained this and even said “you are exactly the person I have been looking for my whole life and if it was for the baby thing I could spend the rest of my life with you.” I feel that he was my soul mate and feel that the whole situation is just tragic. He gave me inspiration to be a better person and I will always want him in my life as a friend if thats all I can have. I care about him enough that if he wants his own family that he gets it but a part of me prays that he sees that at his age and given his busy lifestyle that a baby at this stage could possibly be a hardship for him and he doesnt give up on what we had. We both said that we would miss each other and I am just very sad.

  27. 27
    Jennifer (TW)

    Evan, thank you.. This is the single best advice I can find to save myself from the sadness and heartaches of being dumped just before Christmas, after six months of dating, by a guy who was verbally abusive and judgemental. In the back of my head, I knew it wasn’t right to fall for a guy who always made me feel insecure, treated me like crap and make me feel that I need to improve myself in every way in order to win his love. But in reality, his ruthlessness made me angry but also keep me on my toes and just make me want him more. It was wrong, I know. But the knowledge didn’t get through until I saw this article today. I’ll have to print a copy and read it whenever I feel weak or sad about losing him.

    Once again Evan, thank you for saying what I need to hear with such grace and sincerity.

  28. 28
    Jennifer (TW)

    To: Moving On!

    Your post reads so familiar to me because I met a guy who said exactly the same thing to me like your ex. And like you, I insisted on showering him with all my affection. He was the one I gave the most effort to, all because I wanted him to know that he was worthy of my love, not the other way aroud like he “warned” me in the second month. Alas however, unlike you, I was the stupid one wanting to remain connection after he dump me. How sad was that.. I’m glad that you’ve moved on and so will I. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s good to know that I am not the only one who’s been through things like that.

  29. 29
    neverlearn

    Wow – This is exactly what I needed to hear – and I will also print this and read it in my weak moments… Its funny how I already know all this but I need to have someone to tell me how it is. Even today, it hurts to just think about cutting him out of my life, but it really shouldn’t, its hurting me more just waiting here in case he decides to maybe call and if he does, try in every aspect to make him want me. Even when I hear that he has been lying to me, if I confront him, at the end of the day, I end up apologizing for accusing him even if it’s probably true. I wish there was an on and off switch, and that it could be easier. My favorite phrase in this is Why do you want a boyfriend who doesn’t call you, doesn’t communicate with you, doesn’t make you feel special, doesn’t make an effort to show you he cares, doesn’t follow up quickly to see you, and doesn’t indicate in any way that he’s currently interested in an exclusive relationship with you? Because of how he makes me FEEL. You mean anxious, insecure, needy and depressed? Let’s all wake up and stop making excuses for them! Every minute wasted on these losers is a minute lost, to being simply happy!!!!! I could of said, a minute lost to meeting Mr. Right but, I think at the end of the day, everyone just wants to be happy. And no one can make it happen but yourself. So it’s about time that we stick up for ourselves now, concentrate on the good in life. We need to have confidence in life, even when it’s very challenging, and instead of looking at these situation in a negative light, look at it in a positive one. We must always have faith in life, and all the good things will follow.

  30. 30
    regrets

    I was in a relationship with a great guy who reminded me there are still great guys out there even when your 45. First 2 months were wonderful but my fears got the best of me and I think that contributed to him breaking things off. Instead of being the cool relaxed woman he meant I felt him pulling away and got scared. He still wanted to be friends and keep in touch because we had so much in common but I couldn’t do that because I had strong feelings for him still. Its hard when you think you messed up something so great and I wish I could do something now but people say move on and I have to believe that even though I learned what I did wrong I can’t go back and change it.

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