You've met the man of your dreams. He is crazy about you and you can't get enough of each other. You feel like you have a deeper connection with this guy that is rare, spiritual, meant-to-be. Phone calls at night go on for hours as you share with him your deepest thoughts and feelings. You're seeing him at every opportunity - several nights a week and all weekend if you can. Things are moving fast but it's ok because you express to each other how you've never felt this way before. It's all so easy and comfortable and for the first time in a long time, you feel alive.
I hear this very often from girls in a new relationship and I feel very uncomfortable as I fear she's heading for heart ache. It's not that I'm skeptical about love at first sight. On the contrary, I believe in it! It's just that in my own experience and in my observations of the experiences of hundreds of other women, I also understand that nothing truly worthwhile comes easily. The deepest, most beautiful and enduring relationships don't start in such a whirlwind of emotion and infatuation. They begin a little differently.
What could you be doing that's stopping you from holding on to the man of your dreams and moving forward into a wonderful, enduring relationship and marriage? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Did you sleep with him too soon?
A man is biologically wired to hunt for his dream girl. If he sees you across the room and is enamoured by you (or sees your online dating profile and contacts you first), you're off to a good start but the hunt is over if you sleep with him within the first few dates. A man working hard to win your affections is no game. It is essential if he is to truly appreciate you. We are talking about your heart here. I suggest 3 months wait time but at least wait until you feel confident that it's only you in the picture and you're not simply one of many. Don't ask him this by-the-way. He will leave you in no doubt about this by his actions.
2. Are you letting him pursue you and miss you a little bit?
Here we are back to the hunt. If you're seeing him three or four (or more!) nights a week, where is the pursuit? He's missing out on the thrill of the chase. He doesn't get to miss you, wonder about you, strategise on what he needs to do to win your heart. Instead, it's right there in his lap. It's hard to appreciate something you haven't worked hard for. When he goes fishing, would he want someone to throw a fish in the boat and say, "There, save yourself the time and effort!" Of course not, it's the work involved that makes the prize all the more rewarding.
3. Are you taking control and telling him what to do?
No one likes to be bossed around but this is especially true for men. Let him take the lead, plan dates, take you to dinner and pay for you. If you don't give him the space to take the lead here, you're doing both him and yourself a disservice. Don't criticise him either. No one is perfect and he's free to be himself and make mistakes. If you don't like it, ask yourself if it really matters that much to you. If it does, and it's a deal breaker, you might have to leave the relationship, rather than try to control or change him.
4. Is your relationship all over Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and/or Instagram, etc?
If anyone is going to make any announcements about your relationship status, or put up photos of the two of you together, it needs to come from him first. Men are easily freaked out in a relationship if he thinks it's moving too fast or if she has taken his freedom of choice away. His feelings shift away from what he can do to win you over and prove himself to you and into, "I'm-not-sure-if-I'm-ready-for-this" territory!