When it comes to dating, finding a “keeper” can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Then, when we finally meet a great guy, the excitement can spiral into a fear of losing him. If we worry so much about keeping the relationship moving in the right direction, we can drive ourselves crazy with questions about how to proceed. When should I text him? What if I text too much and scare him off? What if I don’t text enough and seem uninterested? Sometimes it can feel like one wrong step could derail everything.
So how do you keep a keeper?
- Appreciate him. If he does nice things for you, thank him. Tell him that you enjoy being around him. Men like to know that they are doing a good job of making you happy. They want to be your hero. Make him feel appreciated. If you don’t appreciate, admire, or respect him, maybe he’s not the guy for you or maybe you’re not ready for a relationship.
- Enjoy yourself! Enjoy getting to know him instead of rushing into sex or obsessing about the future. When you spend time together, have fun. If he feels happy, relaxed, and comfortable when he’s around you, he’ll want to stick around. You’ll figure the rest out together as you go along.
- Slow down. Until you are sure that you are both on the same page about your relationship, don’t sleep with him. If you have sex, you might be more likely to feel insecure about where you stand with him. Sometimes, acting insecure can push him away. Slowing down can protect you from heartache if it turns out that he doesn’t want a committed relationship with you.
- Give him time. It’s OK if it takes him a little longer than you to figure out that you’re a good match. The best thing you can do for a new relationship is give him time to figure that out on his own. If he does, he’s more likely to put in the effort to win you over, and you’ll know that he’s with you because he wants to be, not because you pressured him into it.
- Don’t jump in if he’s still testing out the waters. Giving him time doesn’t mean you should sit back and wait patiently for him to fall in love with you. Until you are exclusive, you are free to see other people and explore your options. If you date for a couple of months and he still hasn’t decided on his own that he wants to be with you, he probably isn’t a good match for you. If that’s the case, you can walk away without a broken heart if you haven’t let yourself get too invested.
- Try to understand your fears. Why do you worry that you are going to ruin things? Have you had a difficult breakup? Are you afraid you don’t deserve this guy? Understanding what’s driving your fears can help you let go of them. If he’s really into you, he’ll stick around, and the relationship will naturally evolve. He’ll call you, ask you out again, and make sure that the relationship keeps moving—but he’ll do all that at his own pace. If you let your fear of losing him take the reins, you can push him away without meaning to. When we text frequently, get upset about him not calling, or call him to go out again, we can seem needy. Most men don’t want to feel pressured into a relationship.
Have you ever felt nervous about losing a great guy? How did you handle the experience? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your experiences in the comments below and on Facebook and Twitter.
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