Why Men Sometimes Lose Focus on Relationships

Why Men Sometimes Lose Focus on Relationships“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived. I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me this has always been enough.”

– Duke (James Garner), The Notebook (2004)

What does it mean to succeed in life?

Duke got it. Success is as simple as real, lasting connection with another. This is true for both women and men. We’re all hardwired to crave relationship. Our connections with other people give life its greatest purpose.

But sometimes men lose sight of this basic truth. By nature, men tend to focus on goals and achievements, and it’s easy for non-relationship goals to take center stage. That’s fine when it happens for a short while. It can even be good as it allows for razor-sharp focus. The problem occurs when a man forgets to bring his attention back to his relationship with you once a mission has been accomplished.

Let me explain why this happens to men. Imagine what life was like for humans thousands of years ago. Men were typically hunters. The man would leave his family and go out into the wild to find food. Why? Because he loved his family and wanted to provide for them. Relationship was his ultimate goal. By hunting, he was providing for his family.

When he succeeded, he felt joy because of what it meant for his family. But the thrill of the hunt, developing new skills, and seeking prestige among fellow hunters can cause a gradual shift in attention. Seeking success in hunting can gradually remove his focus from his partner or family.

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Date Like A Model

Date Like A ModelRuth Wakefield thought she’d made a mistake. She expected the chocolate to melt. It didn’t. But guests of the Toll House Inn loved the dessert anyway, and chocolate chip cookies were born.

There are times in life when success catches you off guard like that. In spite of your best planning, things can go horribly wrong or unexplainably right. Of course, you can learn a lot by reflecting on your own stories of success. But sometimes the best course of action is to skip the analysis and simply do what you did again.

We call that “modeling” behavior. It’s a powerful technique, whether you’re modeling your own behavior or someone else’s.

In fact, one of the fastest ways to accomplish a difficult task is to find another person who has already mastered it. Then, just do what they did. Model their success-building behavior.

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Healthy Relationship Boundaries

Healthy Relationship BoundariesHealthy boundaries aren’t just good for your relationship. They’re essential.

In fact, it’s nearly impossible to have a mature, healthy relationship without boundaries. The problem is that most of us think of walls when we think of boundaries, and that gives the impression of closing yourself off. But that’s not really what healthy boundaries do.

Deepak Chopra uses a powerful metaphor to describe boundaries in a relationship. He says they’re like a screen door. A good screen door will allow a cool breeze to come in while keeping leaves and bugs out. Said another way, well defined boundaries keep the bad stuff out while still allowing the good stuff into your life. Continue reading

When He Doesn’t Let You In

When he doesn't let you in.Jessica dated Kevin for 7 months. In that time, she never met his family. She was never welcomed into his close circle of friends. He was often vague about his schedule. He even avoided deep conversations, especially about the future.

After more than half a year, in spite of the fact that she still cared for him, Jessica did something dramatic. She dumped him.

“I didn’t see it going anywhere,” she explains. “He was just closed off to me. There’s no future in that.”

Sadly, she’s right. If a man won’t really let you into his life, that’s usually a sign he doesn’t see the relationship as a lasting thing.

Of course, guys don’t tend to open up as quickly as women. When a guy is slow to enter into state-of-the-relationship talks, that doesn’t necessarily mean he views what you have as a fling. Many men keep their inner thoughts and feelings heavily guarded and may need some coaxing and patience to open up. There’s no need to bail at the first sign of a wall.

But if he keeps putting up walls? If he shows no indication of ever letting you in?

In that case, you have a tough decision to make.

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