Three Nonromantic Tendencies to Encourage

signs of moving forward in a relationshipNo, the title isn’t a typo.

It may seem counter intuitive, but some of the non-romantic things guys do signal that your relationship is actually moving forward. When he does one of the following three things, don’t discourage him.

What he does: Act protective of you.

You’re not helpless. 99% of the time you don’t need a protector. But there will still be moments when a guy goes out of his way to defend you. Sometimes it shows up in an annoying form, like trying to help you with something you’re pretty good at.

What it means: He’s invested in you.

You may not be a damsel in distress, but do you really want to stop him from playing the role of prince charming?

When he comes to your aid, he’s not making a statement about your ability to be self-sufficient. Instead, he’s doing it for the same reasons you’d go to bat for a friend. Because he cares.

What he does: Include you in his adventurous play.

You may not be into sports or the outdoorsy type. It’s entirely possible that you don’t care at all about hunting, fishing, football or Frisbee golf. And yet, he keeps trying to pull you in.

What it means: He wants to share the things he likes with you.

Think about the last time you experienced something that moved you. A book, a movie, or a conversation with a friend. You probably had the urge to share those positive feelings with someone else. He feels the same urge.

Okay, so you’re never going to live and breathe football. That’s fine. Still, make the effort to be open to the things he’s passionate about. He wouldn’t bother sharing them with you if your relationship weren’t headed in a good direction.

What he does: Stops trying to impress you.

When the two of you first met, he was all about putting his best foot forward. He was careful to avoid doing things that might put you off. His manners were impeccable. He’d watch whatever movie you picked, eat where you wanted, and plan elaborate, romantic dates. But as the relationship progressed, he stopped trying so hard.

What it means: He wants to build a genuine, lasting relationship.

No one can keep up the pressure of trying to impress all the time. It’s too much work. At some point, our comfort levels rise enough that we drop our guard. We let others see us for who we really are. Even the bad stuff.

This can be a good sign.

signs of moving forward in a relationshipInstead of putting on a show, he’s letting you see who he really is. He’s being himself. You want to encourage that by letting him know you’re comfortable with him, too.

Sometimes non-romantic things mean your relationship is headed in the right direction. When you notice him doing these three things, don’t flip out. Instead, read between the lines.

When you see what he’s really telling you, you’ll want to encourage the occasional lack of romance. After all, it means he’s serious about you.


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48 thoughts on “Three Nonromantic Tendencies to Encourage

  1. Tina said:

    Hi James,
    Any advice to help my man who feels “inadequate in so many ways”? We met six months ago, he is very romantic, swept me off my feet. He was hurt in the past, has suffered emotionally, with losing a child, two failed marriages, five siblings…unbelievable heartache. He is such a good, hard working guy, I adore him. We met, instant chemistry, both wanting the same things…he kept saying “You deserve better ” “I don’t know what to do with you.” Telling his friends, “she’s too good to be true”. Finally I said he should should marry me…crazy? Surely out of my comfort zone but he happily said yes! We both wanted marriage and are over 55. He moved in with me, we bought a business from his son, established business, he does the physical labor, cleaning swimming pools, I am doing the bookkeeping. I invested the cash, we are partners. Basically he feels inadequate because he was struggling financially, I was retired with a decent income. I know he felt bad, he wanted to be the provider. At first our sex life was great, now he has little interest, says he has no answers, feels inadequate. I tell him how I am proud of the work he is doing, how I could never have bought a business alone. We are in this together. I just need advice on how to make him feel better about himself.
    Thanks for any advice
    T

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Tina. The sex drive a man experiences has far more to do with his own internal chemistry (hormonal responses), which are affected by a myriad of factors from the amount of saturated fat in his diet to the confidence he feels about the future. It’s surprising to many couples to learn that libido has less to do with a couple’s relationship and more to do with his own biology (at least for men).

      For some women it helps just to realize this. It’s not you. You’re not doing anything wrong. He just has less libido right now. It may ebb and flow over periods of time. It sometimes helps to remove any pressure to have a “sex life” and instead just focus on enjoying what feels good at any given moment in time.

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