Dating Advice: 3 Key Truths About 'Doing All the Work' in your relationship

Are you spending most of your time feeling like your fighting or competing for your partner's attention, interest and time – or do you feel that in some way you have to 'earn' it?

Do you feel like you're 'doing all the work'? And if you let up he may leave you?

If you find yourself in this situation I'd encourage you to just stop for a moment and take a step back. I've been there and I have a pretty good idea of what you may be going through.

When I remember the times I've done all of the above and plenty more I do feel a little embarrassed – in my defence this is how I thought it 'should' be done…but it always backfired.

Caring, nurturing, protecting (aka mothering and smothering).  These were the wonderful qualities I thought I was bringing to the relationship – showing how amazing it was to have me in his life. Eventually nothing was ever enough and he would lose interest. I was so intent on 'giving my best' and 'not playing games' just so he never had to feel uncertain about my feelings for him, never had to worry about whether I would be there for him – which of course was actually what I wanted most. The certainty. The care.

So through my own experiences I've learnt a few hard earned truths:

Truth nr. 1 : The harder you work the less he will do – and eventually he'll lose interest 

When I figured out what it was that really attracts a man I couldn't believe how much pain (and a good amount of humiliation) I have put myself through. Of course now I do take responsibility for it – and I realise that at the time I had a large part to play in the rollercoaster of attraction – rejection – drama.

Even though I was outwardly confident (and that would be part of the initial attraction) that confidence would somehow virtually disappear as soon as we got past a certain point in our relationship.

Without particularly noticing at first I would turn into somebody I didn't even recognise at times. You could say a little needy, even a bit clingy. 'Checking in' all the time. I pretended to like things I really don't and I did things I'd didn't really want to. To a point.

Really hard to admit to here in black and white. But nonetheless true.  And considering the kind of conversations I have with so many women I know I was far from being on my own in this tune of scenario.

I was massively letting myself down in the process, rejecting who I am and trying to 'be' the one person that is going to make all his dreams come true while in the process leaving my own behind.

I've learnt that this is one of the quickest ways to get rid of even some of the nicest guys you could hope to meet.

Because you're not you anymore. You're not the one he initially fell for.  And in the end you both lose.

Truth nr. 2 :  Embrace your feminine energy and share it with him 

Men are drawn to our feminine energy.  If he chooses to be with you he wants to feel  like a man next to you.  Simple.  I am very strong willed and independent in my own way, but without sacrificing this part of me I've learnt  that the more 'masculine' I behaved in my relationship, the more conflict there was.

When I figured out that a strong, mature and secure man actually really embraces confident and strong femininity and I didn't need to pretend otherwise, I found that the connection I wanted came easily. And I'm now married to him.

This doesn't mean I've turned into a wall flower without an opinion, far from it. But I've totally embraced my feminine strengths. I've learnt that the best I can do for my relationship is to be my most real feminine self.  And that's one of the things he loves about me most.

If you are used to be the independent go-getter, totally focussed on your career and doing everything yourself there may not be much need or space for him in your life.  While these are great qualities to have when you pursue your own goals, they may actually stop your man falling in love and staying connected with you.

Truth nr. 3 : Focus on your life outside of your relationship – and he will stay focussed on you 

Have a life outside of him and focus on yourself.

You had a life before him that was interesting and fun and part of the reason he fell for you.  When you stop doing what you love and become totally focussed on him and your relationship you may find that he soon loses interest or want more and more space away from you.

Relax. Give him space to pursue you and give yourself space to be pursued. You may just be pleasantly surprised to see how your guy steps up when he actually gets the chance.

The harder you work to keep a man's attention the quicker you may lose him.  I've learnt that men don't fall in love with all the things we keep doing for them, or working harder to keep him from going anywhere.

A man falls in love with the way he feels when he is with you.

In general, he just wants you to be happy. He wants to feel that he is contributing to you, your life, your happiness  and that he is one of the most important reasons for that big smile on your face.

If you take over and take away this role too you are taking away one of the most important reasons for him to be with you.

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