“To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.” –Richard Bach
Here’s a destructive relationship cycle that many women have experienced—and it can occur whether you’ve been married to a man for decades or are on your very first date:
1. You feel like your guy isn’t giving you enough of something (his time, his attention, his affection, etc.)
2. As a result, your inner glow starts to dim. Instead of being warm and enticing, you send out signals that he is failing, big-time. That’s the kind of message men are hyper-sensitive to. (In fact, some men learn to simply expect that response from a woman and then tune it out because they assume they’ll never win.)
3. Now he feels even less motivated to figure out what would please you. So he withdraws further.
4. You feel even less understood and supported. You may even decide to “clear the air” and initiate a talk about all the ways in which he is disappointing you. (Does a high-pressure talk ever produce good, long-term results?) The negative spiral continues….
I call this the “Gimme First” cycle because you are waiting for him to give to you first before you give back to him (affection, affirmation—whatever it is). While I advocate letting a man lead the pace of a relationship—allowing him to initiate each new level of intimacy—he has to feel that he has plenty of “wins” along the way. Otherwise, he may simply dig in his heels, and no amount of pushing will get him to move forward.
How do you break out of this damaging cycle?
First: Don’t give him all that power. You are allowing his behavior to dim your sparkle and while that’s not good for him, it’s really not good for you.
Second: Switch on your abundance mindset. In practical terms, act “as if” your man is already giving you what you need.
I know, I know. It sounds like I’m suggesting that you let him off the hook and forget about your own needs.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. But you’re not going to get your needs met if your only strategy is “Gimme First.”
Next time you find yourself in a scenario where you are feeling unappreciated or unloved by your guy, practice acting “as if” you were really connected. Go into another room, if you need to, and imagine that you are getting what you need—enough—from him. Would you be feeling warm and cozy? Would you feel satisfied and relaxed and confident in his love? Allow yourself to experience the sensation of being loved and taken care of by him. Take that feeling with you, when you return to him.
Fortunately for all of us, positive energy is just as infectious as negative energy. When you come back to him—mentally and physically—he will feel the change in your attitude. Don’t rush into anything. Don’t have a talk or feel you must take action right away. Just let the good vibes percolate.
Once you’ve created an atmosphere of good will, I’d like you to also assume good intentions (they go hand in hand). If you’re in a committed relationship, assume that if he loves you he will ultimately want to figure out how to please you; talking about it may not be necessary to get the result you want. If you’re in a dating situation, and just beginning to know each other, having the ability to hit the reset button by acting “as if” will keep you from getting stuck.
Feel free to use this strategy in non-romantic relationships as well, such as at work or with family members. In a normal, emotionally healthy environment, acting “as if” can be a great way to take back control and set yourself and those around you on a more positive path.
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