"I am in a new dating relationship with someone I’m very interested in maintaining. I think he may be my “Mr. Right.” Things started out very well for us in the beginning but over the last several months things have faded. Neither one of us is “out” and I believe I’m the first guy he’s been with. How do I foster and maintain this relationship?"
Dear Holding On:
Conflagrations on finding someone whom you feel a strong connection with! It sounds like you’re very excited by the prospects that abound with this new relationship and are wanting to maintain and grow it in light of a recent sense of decline in interest in your friend’s part. That can be very frustrating, especially when you feel you’ve found someone truly compatible after such a long search!
I wish I had a special formula I could give you that could ensure the continued positive development of your relationship, but chemistry and relationships are more art than science and I can only offer you some tips that might possibly help you stay on track with your goals.
There’s nothing really anyone can do necessarily to “make” someone like them back; attraction is a natural phenomenon and can’t be forced or contrived. The problem in trying to do so is that it increases the likelihood of someone behaving in ways that aren’t true expressions of who he is because he’s too focused on performing and becoming someone he thinks the other guy wants. This is a recipe for disaster and I encourage you to try and take the focus off of what you can do to impress the guy and to just be your genuine self.
Nothing is more sexy than a guy who is authentic, honest, and true to his personality and values.
All relationships require pacing and must evolve at their own rate. Pushing things too hard or trying to make things happen too quickly can sabotage what you want because intimacy and connection needs to develop and mature on its own accord. Particularly since you’re dealing with someone who’s never been involved in a relationship before, he will likely need time to fumble and figure things out along the way…at his own speed.
Any efforts on your part to try to get him to want the same thing you do could put undue pressure on him to where he might feel smothered or pressured. You will have to find that delicate balance between showing him of your interest in him while tempering your desire to push things to the next level until he begins to reciprocate your feelings.
So be yourself and let him get to know the real you. You can always add some extra spice to keep his interest going by planning creative dates and surprising him with spontaneous gifts or affirmations of your interest him; just don’t overdo it and make sure the things you do are in alignment with your true character and personality. Some playful, non-demanding flirting doesn’t hurt either.
You can try keeping him engaged by being sure to show interest in his life and asking relevant and supportive questions, validating him and keeping good boundaries. Making sure you live a full and invigorating life yourself separate from the relationship is also vitally important; not only does this help you take the emphasis off your relationship worries, but it also tends to be a magnet for others to be drawn to you.
Somebody who is happy, passionate, and energetic about his life and has intriguing and eclectic interests/hobbies can be quite an attractive turn-on. Also, keeping yourself physically and emotionally healthy is a plus and having a great sense of humor also goes a long way; taking some comedy classes or improve can be great ways to learn how to integrate humor into your life if you’re not a born comedian.
I hope this helps! My fingers are crossed for you and I hope your guy quickly comes to realize the good catch that’s right before him! Take good care!
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com