Hopefully, these tips give you something to work with, and you will find something that can help you approach your relationship problems in a different way. You don't have to be Freud, you don't have to do it all at once; instead, see which of these ideas catch your attention. Then pick a situation, a pattern, a problem, and map out a different approach, a concrete behavior that you can put into place. Start small. Focus on you. One change will lead to another.
4. Think of problems as bad solutions. Whatever you see as a problem – the socks on the floor, the lack of sex, your partner’s anger – ask yourself how it may be a bad solution to some other problem. You want to be curious about the driving impulse. You don’t have to have the answer but you need to raise the question: "Help me understand why you leave your socks on the floor." "We haven’t made love in a long time – how come?" And because anger is often driven by worry and fear, ask “What are you worried about?” rather than “Why are you so pissed off?” What is important that you sound calm when you ask the questions – like Mr. Rogers. If you sound angry or irritated, expect shutdown or anger in return. 

Being friends with benefits makes it easy for him to get what he wants and often results in men pulling away. Maintaining a real friendship without an attachment of the desired outcome can give him the opportunity to see you in a different light when he is ready. It’s important to keep your options open and not focus all of your energy on one person if you know what I mean. 😉
This is essentially the difference between a healthy relationship and a toxic relationship. A healthy relationship is one where two people feel fulfilled by their individual lives and let that joy and sense of fullness spill into their relationship. They each bring something to the table and can comfortably give and receive. A dysfunctional relationship is when one or both people believes the other person can “give them” something or that there’s something to “get” from the other person.
I love this article, I am definitely going to follow your advice. My only concern is that my ex might’ve done the 4wk no contact along with every thing else to me already. He now texts me everyday and he recently told me that he loves me and he misses me but hasn’t said he wants to get back together and he is talking to another girl. Should I still do this?
I’m going through this exact thing. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve been seeing a guy for a few months now. He told me a while ago that he had fallen for me. I told him I felt the same. The last few weeks have been really hard. With either really short texts or no reply at all. He’s been busy with work. I know this is true. I get that he can’t answer every text straight away. I also understand he has a life of his own. We’ve barely said about 5 sentences to each other over the last few days. It’s taken a lot for me to start this relationship. After being single for about 11 years. I don’t want to end up in the exact same place as I was a few months ago.
One thing is for sure; the “classic techniques” for getting back together with your ex will bear fruit sooner than later. Using complimentary actions alone (such as using texts messages to get your ex back) are less sure-fire. These actions need to be combined with something like a handwritten letter for example. This way you can insist on an important point or they can come after the crucial point in getting back together: when you meet up with you ex.
So he moved out of my flat but he left the majority of his stuff here at my apartment. I went on a trip and I asked him to take his stuff from my place for good, he had 7 days for that. When I arrived home, nothing happened, his stuff were still here. During my holiday I didn’t contact him, when he messaged me, I didn’t respond him. When I was traveling home he messaged me like “we need to talk.” I didn’t know what could happened, so I replied with a simple “about what?” when he told me he didn’t have the emotional strength to take his stuff and he also was worried about me that if something terrible happened to me or what? So I replied to his messages focusing on the context like “I’m gonna pack your stuff alone” and then he asked me if I need help with it, I answered him with a simple “no”. So did I violated the “no contact rule” here? Can we consider all this as “emergency”? and also do you think I made “one of the biggest mistakes” by being too cold or rude? Please help me, I don’t want to drive him away, I don’t know what to do. :(

My boyfriend broke up with me over a month ago. He won't answer my calls or texts and blocked me on Facebook. I am trying so hard to stop contacting him via text but it's hard because we talked everyday for six months. I cry and miss him terribly and he won't talk to me. I am trying to hard to do the 30 day no contact rule. my email is girl8eliza@hotmail.com
Im also experiencing this right now. I’ve been talking to this guy for a month. He texts and calls me everyday and after two weeks he said that he is falling in love with me. I told him that if I want to commit it should be with someone who is serious and for long term. He said he’s looking for the same too. And so we decided to meet and spend the day together. We were so happy and compatible. I felt safe and comfortable with him so I decided to get steady with him. Even it was time for me to go he’s still the same. Sweet and caring he even said that he wants to come and visit my home. Few more days and texting and nothing is changed he’s still the same guy I met so I was really worried when suddenly he stopped communicating with me. I let the 4 days passed without asking him what’s the problem. As I was so worried and confused I texted him like this ” I’m afraid my bf has been abducted by Pokemons. Do you know anything about this?” Just to make the convo light. Then he replied ” who are you?”. That moment I felt like my heart was torn into pieces. Here I was, so worried but then he just don’t care. I’ve waited a few days more and I asked him what’s the problem? He said that he’s been thinking if he’s the right guy for me cuz he has no direction. He doesn’t know what he wants in life and asked me if he is someone that I would like to spend my life with. He said that he love me but he’s too scared. I told him that love is a gamble. And I gambled for him and that I was really hurt by his actions. I even said that I thought we could achieve what we want together, but he didn’t say anything. I ended up the convo by saying that I will always pray for him and I wish that someday he would find what he wants in life and I hope he could find someone who would make him happy. He did not reply . So I guess that’s it. He pulled back and im not sure if I did the right thing. I think that he doesn’t want me anymore but I still love him and would be willing to figure out things together but it was him who gave up. I asked myself if I want someone like that I think I don’t. So yeah we broke up.
Been trying to slowly get my long distance ex back since January, and we’re on speaking terms again now, and even though that’s a huge step forward, I still have doubt. He’s always been a kind of distant person, and since he first reached out to me like 2 months back, I have initiated all conversations since then. I’m suspecting that’s what you call the hot and cold-treatment? Still, I really wanna get him to open up and finally realize that he loves me after all. If y’all have any more tips, I’d love to hear them.
Our relationship was not a relationship at all ,I see now..I was too naive to understand how to handle a relationship.It began suddenly within one week of Facebook chatting,then we went on dates whatever but I never tried to show the rights on him! I didn't call if he didn't and he used to remain without calling for several days ,I wondered if he doesn't miss me at all! But I didn't understand the difference between being needy and being way too nice to not being needy at all ,like whatever he did,even if I felt bad I used to remain too much cool and told him that it was okay!!! Because maybe I put him on a pedestal,maybe I thought that it would cause resentment and fighting ,so let it be and I compromised! Probably I lost my high value and he started pulling away and I also didn't say anything to him at that time..but when he ended the relationship he just said that he never felt that he was in a relationship with me..
If you’re directly asked whether you want to get together, you can say, “If you want to get back together in a clear, committed relationship, let me know if that’s what you want.” And if he says anything other than, “Yes, I want that” tell him that you understand and are open to the future: “If you decide that that’s what you want, let me know down the road.”
I didn’t realize it then, but I don’t think I should’ve jumped back into the relationship so quickly. Because very soon afterwards, I started to fall into another slump after I lost two jobs within two months. I was stressed again, and started to feel depressed without realizing how much I put on his shoulders. He never complained. He was there for me. I feel like I took it for granted a little bit.
All anyone really wants is to feel OK, and most of us don’t. When a woman worries and needs constant reassurance, it comes from feeling from “I am not OK” and the feeling beneath that is fear. What makes it so destructive is that it’s not an overwhelming, gripping fear; it’s a vague feeling of unease. It’s so quiet and subtle you may not even realize it’s there. You know how sometimes you’ll go to take a sip of water and you literally can’t stop chugging? You didn’t even realize you were thirsty, it’s only when you begin to quench the silent thirst that you realize how potent it was. That’s kind of what’s at play here.

He broke up with me a week ago over the phone. We were together for 7 months and had a deep connection. I have not contacted him since. Yesterday I received a text from him explaining why he did it and apology. Pretty much he is not over his divorce, has health issues, dealing with work problems, trying to work on a relationship with his kids and now is not a good time and not fair to me to continue the relationship. Should I respond or keep no contact for 30 days? Or should I acknowledge the text and respond?

because only men pull away…all my life is full of all that “it’s not you it’s me” crap,every single time,you try to be nice,understanding,give time and offer encouragement and every time…this…i’m starting to think something is wrong with me,i am already in enough despair as it is and hearing this when i am choosing my words like before a trial or something…it is the most horrible feeling i have ever experienced,and i have been through loss,rough accidents and others…and this hurts worse than all together,the feeling of hopelessness when you pull out even your own soul to show that person everything will be alright and still…nothing.


Talking about your previous relationship with your ex girlfriend can be pretty tricky because it is bound to bring up old memories and not all of those old memories are going to be very good. On top of the “bad memories” things get can get really emotional and if you don’t know how to handle those emotions the conversation is going to eat you alive.
My boyfriend is negative, accuses me of things, tells me things like “can’t make a hoe a housewife”. He never admits he’s wrong. He can’t accept the fact that I don’t talk to people I used to like. The ones I do talk to are not a threat. Only recently has there been one – and this is after him accusing and accusing me of things from lying to always hiding shit from him. And for these reasons.. I no longer want him in my life. I am done with it.
8. Think support. You can make changes on your own, but it is a lot easier with support. Obvious supports are people in your corner – your friend who encourages you, your mother who calls up and asks how you’re doing, a therapist who coaches from the sidelines and keeps you on track. But it can also come from reading and learning more about relationship change, from the online support of others dealing with the same problems. Or even from within you. Take the time to notice not failure, but success, not doing it right, but taking risks. Pat yourself on the back hard and often. 
If you do happen to hear through the grapevine that your ex is seeing someone new, try not to jump to conclusions or let jealousy set in. By no means should you do anything to try to thwart a new relationship. Let your ex have some time to find out if you are really the one; you don't want to force a person to be with you who really wants to be with someone else.
The therapy mantra is that the pattern is more powerful than the people. (Try sitting in someone else's seat at dinner tonight and see what happens – just make sure all the knives are out of sight). So rather than wasting your time worrying about who is right, use it to try and decode the dysfunctional pattern. Once you do, change it. A good way to do that is to talk about it (the pattern) rather than the people: "I notice that a lot of times that when if I ask if you could pick up your socks you say you will but then don't, and then I get annoyed and nag you and then you blow up. I'm wondering if we can do this differently." But even if you can't do that, for whatever reason, just try changing it and if you can, let the other person know your intentions: "I'm doing this because I'm worried that ________." The beauty of patterns is that if you hold your ground, the pattern has to change. You, all by yourself, become the change agent of the relationship. Certainly a good and important start. 

Change it up. If you continue to respond in the way that's brought you pain and unhappiness in the past, you can't expect a different result this time. Just one little shift can make a big difference. If you usually jump right in to defend yourself before your partner is finished speaking, hold off for a few moments. You'll be surprised at how such a small shift in tempo can change the whole tone of an argument.
Use body language to show you're listening. Don’t doodle, look at your watch, or pick at your nails. Nod so the other person knows you're getting the message, and rephrase if you need to. For instance, say, "What I hear you saying is that you feel as though you have more chores at home, even though we're both working." If you're right, the other can confirm. If what the other person really meant was, "Hey, you're a slob and you create more work for me by having to pick up after you," he or she can say so, but in a nicer way.
Hello, it’s the best article I have ever read. I have just ended up the relationship with my boyfriend and the article gives me some insights indeed. But I was wondering if I could get personal advice? May I share my whole story and may I possibly get the most effective and suitable advice for my problems? I would be pleased if you reply me. I will be looking forward to….

Hopefully, these tips give you something to work with, and you will find something that can help you approach your relationship problems in a different way. You don't have to be Freud, you don't have to do it all at once; instead, see which of these ideas catch your attention. Then pick a situation, a pattern, a problem, and map out a different approach, a concrete behavior that you can put into place. Start small. Focus on you. One change will lead to another.
My girlfriend and I have been together for 15 months and we are facing a major problem. I just want to start off with saying that she’s the one that recommended me to ask you for advice because right now, I am pretty much confused to do at this point. My girlfriend has told you about what she did when she went over to that guys house and about another guy who is a co-volunteer that volunteers at the nursing home as she does. I have gotten numerous screenshots about she herself committing to what she have done, which is cheating. I also have her best friends claiming those that she did do those things. When i confronted her for the first time she only told me one third of it. Again i find there’s more to the story from her friends. Again i try confronting her and now she told me 2/3. You know where I’m going with this. Anyway now that everything has been cleared out, i asked her why. She told me “i just said all those things because out of anger”. But then i asked her why would she say that. She was angry at me at the time when this occurred so i would understand that she could be saying this out of anger but why not clear this out with her friends? Plus this been hidden for 6 months so why this long? Also one of my friends saw her but they said nothing was happening, just her and this guy in the park talking. I let that go. Then another friend who is currently dating one of her ex-best friends told me that she told him about her cheating. I asked him why would she say that and he said that she was claiming to hurt me by the way is not because she kept it hidden. I asked her about that too and she claims the something, it was out of anger she said all those things to hurt me. This situation happened throughout last summer. I admit that i did not reply to her text for 2 days and keep making her feel bad but i always made sure to make up for that. Now we are trying to work things out but I’m still something sort of confused what to do, so that’s why i writing to you for some advise.

Though it can be difficult to ask a man what he is looking for, it also challenges you to get one step closer to your goal. The more comfortable you are with this the easier it will become. I know that some people may not always take my advice to challenge themselves and ask the man what he is looking for, so I want to give you some other clues on what to pay attention to if you don’t want to have this conversation with him. Side note, I am in no way I offering you a pass to wiggle out of the conversation! Remember, challenge yourself.
I also want to add that this isn’t the only reason a man will lose interest, it’s just the most common and most misunderstood one. The problem is most people don’t accurately define what the problem is. It gets written off as the woman being too available and not making him chase her. That is not really what’s at play here. Being available isn’t the issue, the issue is really not being present. It’s an issue that comes from seeking validation through a relationship rather than in your life.
I want you to imagine something for a moment. Lets say that you and your ex girlfriend are texting pretty frequently. The two of you are responding at a pretty good clip (meaning both of you are responding to one another.) I think in this case when she has already proven that she is responding to you in a frequent manner you don’t have to pay as much attention to neutral responses if they are in the middle of a texting conversation.
Learn to give in. It’s as simple as that. It’s surprising to see that so many individuals fail in a relationship because of this one thing alone. Seriously, how difficult is it for couples to learn to give in selflessly once in a while? Over recent years, men and women have become too bullheaded and stubborn. Couples don’t like to give in, and it’s always my way or the highway. But think about it, if you truly love your partner, seeing them smile or have a good time would make you happy too, wouldn’t it?
Hi, my ex broke up with me a while ago. We went full no contact for about 8 weeks and then he finally texted me to catch up. We talked for about a month, hooked up a couple times, and he was treating/talking to me as if we were a couple. I want to get back together. So I’ve told him I still have feelings for him and eventually want to get back together. I know he still has feelings for me but he says he doesn’t know what he wants (We’re also doing long distance so this is a big reason of why he doesn’t know). I told him a week ago I can’t be just friends anymore so I went into no contact again. Was this the right move? I want him to realize he does want to get back together and be more that friends. Should I have just stayed friends and waited? Or was it smart to go no contact again!!
In addition to the pulling away he is very cruel when he drinks. Calling me horrible names and tries to make me feel beneath him. I know this is huge red flags but love makes us do crazy things. We’re both sexually open minded but he tells me I’m a liar about talking about having another woman intimately. I feel him and I aren’t ready for this. At least I’m not ready. It’s a unhealthy dysfunctional relationship and while he has his faults I know I push him to the limits. (Blowing up how phone etc)
This is absolutely no excuse for you to be cheated on. Your independence is important and if he wanted the attention he should have spoken to you about this before he cheated instead of cheating and then placing blame on you. This is narcissistic behavior and I encourage you to stay strong. If you need further help you can reach out to me for a private coaching session here so I can guide you towards working through this. https://www.apolloniaponti.com/private-coaching-2/
Long story short, this article helped put things in perspective again. I’m going to try my Damndest to give him space when he seems to pull away, play the cool understanding girl a little while longer, & endure. I do love him with every ounce of my heart & soul. I have always been a very confident person & have NEVER let anyone “treat me” this way. But, I’ve also never loved someone so deeply nor with this personality type before.
Hi Ray! Thank you very much for the male perspective. I am dating a man who is 11 years older, I’m 26 and he is 37. He works out in the ocean and a lot of times we have minimal conversation via text/call. But when we are together everything is great and we get along very well. When he doesn’t have to wake in the wee ours or work out of town, he is with me every single weekend. We have been together six months and I have met all his close friends and friends kids. I have done well so far in respecting his space. When he’s a weekend with his guy friends, I am understanding and just ask him to contact me once when he is back in town so he feels he is not missing out on what he loves. However, this past weekend he had a sailboat race on the weekend which he let me know in advance and we had plans for friday night. He reached out friday night saying that turns out he had to be at the venue in the wee hours so he would not be able to make our plans. I was emotionally unstable that weekend due to some work stress and family leaving so I needed him the most that friday. I did not think of my actions and instead of politely rescheduling for Monday, I blew him up – sent him various texts showing how I did not appreciate he canceled although it wasn’t his fault. I called numerous times in the weekend and texted many times while he was supposed to have time with his friends in the tournament. On Sunday I was so desperate that I passed by his house. His roomate was there and told me he hand’t come home yet. Since I blew him up friday, I have had no response to any of my texts nor has he answered any of my calls. I am very afraid that I scared him away and threatened his freedom. I also came out as desperate for going to his place. Today is Wednesday and I hadn’t reached out till Sunday. I sent him a very short/casual text apologizing for taking out my stress on him and for not letting him have his space, to which I got no response. I am going to wait a few days and hopefully he will come around, as our relationship has matured and he’s told me how much he cares for me. Did I blow this up completely since it has been 4 days with no response?
Couples can learn to talk with each other effectively. They can work through even the thorniest problems if they have strong communication skills, and know how to make win-win decisions. Anger can derail a relationship. Emotion regulation is also key for keeping things on track. Finally support and positivity are the glue that hold you close to each other, for the long haul.
My boyfriend has serious depression and anxiety, he feels worthless even when i’m the one at fault. How do i make sure that he knows i won’t leave him? I’ve told him countless times and he says he understands but sometimes he’ll make a comment like “well this will cause you to leave me” or “you’re gonna leave me after I say this…”. I really need some guidence because we are the love of eachothers lives (both of us has said it and he said it first)
It was hidden for 6 months. Kevin, I have seen married couples keeps issues hidden for many many years. It is not about the time. As of now you know about the situations and it is not something to distress about. I need you to put in into your mind that your girlfriend has not cheated on you. Do not let issues as such break into your relationship. I have read your part and I have read hers. I have also see the list and I agree to it. Both of you will grow stronger and closer by using it. Love and cherish each other. You stated that it has been cleared out. I am very ecstatic to hear this. I ask you both, do not let anyone into your relationship. Do not assume anything. Always tell each other if something has happened. Make you bonds stronger and your walls higher. Your relationship has a very long way to go.

In 2012, my little brother Adam died. My life shattered, and I spent the next month drunk in bed. It had been four years since Mary and I had spoken, but it spoke volumes to me that she came out of the woodwork to send me a handwritten note expressing her sorrow for Adam’s death. Through everything—the fights, the skipped plans, the immaturity—she found it in herself to reach out to me. I was blown away, and she was back in my life. We learned that we only lived a few blocks away from each other, and that is how we started dating for the fourth and final time. Once again we started seeing each other as friends. We always met up at this one café in the Lower East Side. I’d get a coffee, and she’d get a bagel.
I tried to ask him why and fix things but it got worse everytime I tried and when we were on the ph he ignored me the calls were silent and when I did say something he ignored me :( we used to be close we were friends on snapchat he chose to ignore me but still watched my mystory and it went on like that 4 weeks till I got upset and blocked him on my snapchat but still have him on Skype and his # we even would mail each other presents for holidays I fear he may have moved on and doesn’t like me anymore

The reasons men pull away are VERY important to understand. Why? There are two general reasons, and one doesn’t include you. He is either pulling away for reasons that have nothing to do with you and the relationship is fine, or things have gone sour and he requires some space. For now, do not panic because any feelings of anxiety from you will make him pull away more regardless of his reason. Also remember, things could be perfectly fine right now. There is no need to rock the boat and tip things into bad territory.

good food for thought dave. my partner is 53 and divorced twice. so having his assetts split twice, and in second marriage time splitting with his son. i commend his bravery for taking the courage to still take the risk for seeking companionship with me. (who has also experienced both divorce once and child access splitting) we reassure each other that our assetts and finances are to remain our own, and up to self choices made for how much is shared towards gifts and/or meals etc neither of us want each other to be in our past experiences ever again,… Read more »
Hello I can imagine your going through a hard time trying to understand this guy. He’s confusing you because he’s confused himself. He has distanced himself because this is what guys do when they are thinking if they want to be with you or not. This also shows how he doesn’t care much about you and more about himself. He says these things like I miss you and all that stuff to make sure your still around for him as an option but does his words match his actions? If he missed you he woukd see you. Does he see you? No ? Then he’s not telling the truth he’s using words to keep you about for his own ego and loneliness. There’s a way u can find out if he wants to be with you or not and that’s by ignoring him he sends u a msg like I miss you can I talk to u or just hello no mater what his msg says u say nothing. A woman’s silence shows and expresses your hurt more than your anger and words do. This also gives him time to properly miss you and it also stops you looking easy in his eyes men want a challenge they want to chase so give him what he wants and don’t feel bad about it either he hurt you did he care ? Sounds like he didn’t.
Getting back together with an ex via text messages is too uncertain and results are far from guaranteed. There are definitely other unconventional methods of getting back together with your significant other that work much better! The most important thing is to not go about reaching your goal without having properly planned it. This is why I highly recommend that you read our eBook that can be found here.
You should investigate whether he is not being loving or interested, or if he’s just not doing that in the way that you expect or are used to. You may have unspoken expectations or fantasies of what a relationship should look like, and your projections are getting in the way of appreciating the good relationship you actually have. It sounds like you might have different love languages as well, where you need a lot of verbal affirmation and maybe that’s not his strong suit. That is something you can discuss with him and ask for more of. You can tell him what’s working for you and what’s not, or that you’re unsure whether he’s into you romantically despite all the evidence, and try to hear and understand where he is coming from.
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