You just know you’ve found the one. Finally, a kissed frog has turned into a prince. Or if not exactly a prince, at least a studly dude who laughs at your jokes and squeezes you tight.
And yet, a sickening thought has recently wormed its way into your mind: Is he losing interest?
His work seems mysteriously more tempting than it did when you first met. Discussions about the future are off-limits. In fact, he has no desire to discuss much of anything at all. His body’s with you, but you’re not at all sure about his mind.
Why DO men commit?
Before we look at why men lose interest in a woman, we need to understand why any of us make, and then continue, an emotional commitment. Be warned, this conversation is not in the least bit romantic. Love is NOT enough to keep a connection going.
There are three factors driving commitment:~
- his satisfaction with you and the relationship
- his available options, number and attractiveness
- his investment, of time, money and emotions
These factors act on our feelings of attachment and intimacy, and make us more (or less) motivated to nurture the relationship. Psychologists call this interdependence theory. And not only do they increase motivation, they also change our behaviour in ways that actively strengthen the relationship. For example, by:~
1. Satisfaction with the relationship
If guys value freedom (and we do), why do so many of us happily choose the cage of marriage? Obviously, the upsides of the relationship must outweigh the drawbacks. And this is what we all do, balance the pro’s and cons. So long as the balance is positive, we’re motivated to continue in the relationship.
Few of us will actually sit down and draw up a list, of course. Plus 3 for heavenly hot-pot, but minus 1 for arrogant brother-in-law? But our subconscious mind is keeping a running total, and it finds ways of letting us know the score.
If you’ve had a man mysteriously pull away and grow cold, then you were understandably devastated. But if he’s your typical bloke’s bloke, not prone to navel-gazing, he may be just as confused as you. He probably means it when he says he doesn’t know what’s wrong. All he will experience is an irresistible pressure to withdraw, to get some space. This is subconscious stress telling him the numbers no longer add up.
If you’re worried your partner is losing interest, download my free ebook Why Men Lose Interest (And How To Be The Only Woman Who ‘Gets’ Him)
Linked to this subconscious risk-benefit analysis is his expectation of what is normal and reasonable. So not only does the balance need to be positive, it has to be sufficiently positive. It must cross some hidden threshold.
Most older married men for example, would be delighted with a wife who still playfully offers spontaneous BJ’s. However, if his first girlfriend was a slutty nympho, then surprise! You might not measure up in that column of his check-list. Similarly if he works in an office with young studs boasting of their weekend conquests. His expectations about sex may be quite different from what you imagine is “normal” for a middle-aged married man.
2. What are his options?
This one is even harder to stomach: He will stay committed to you so long as he thinks you’re his best option. And you’re doing the same of course, even if you don’t like thinking of it in those brutal terms.
If you’re his only option, then he’s likely to try to make things work whatever the problems. This is one reason women stay in abusive relationships; tragically, they are unable to see any alternative.
If, every time he steps out of the house, girls slip him their phone number, then you’d better be sure the other factors of satisfaction and investment are stacked in your favour.
Options are not only limited to romantic relationships. Also thrown into the mix might be:~
- an entrepreneurial venture that’s taking off
- a passionate focus on a sporting community
- a rewarding vocation
- an online relationship/alternative life
The more nerdy the guy, the more appealing are these priorities.
3. His investment in your relationship
Shared assets, like a house or joint bank accounts, are not only signs of commitment but also reinforcers of commitment.
We’re not limited to financial investments. Time spent in family activities and mutual friends build powerful ties.
Despite the relentless increase in the number of single-parent families, men still see children as a significant investment into the relationship. Years of nursing, love, teaching, playing (and yes, money too), are not easily thrown away.
My wife, maddening though she can be, is my best friend. The joy of any achievement is magnified by sharing it with her. She puts my disappointments in perspective. We’re a team. A man who feels this way is going to think very carefully before flirting with his secretary.
So why is he losing interest?
1. You are no longer an asset
Here are just a few examples. See What Men Want In A Relationship for more details.
You’re messing with his mind. These behaviours are scored very negatively by all men:
- pressurising him to:
- come shoe shopping
- blowing hot and cold, withholding food and sex, and other assorted games
- needing his constant attention to feel good about yourself
Sex. I’m not going into details here (see sex and lust articles), but there needs to be enough, and it needs to be the right flavor.
2. He has new options
He used to work from home in his study, but has now started in a new office. An office filled with single women, and a team that goes out clubbing every Friday night…
He attends a school re-union…
He loses 30 pounds and inherits 3 million dollars…
3. He is not overly-invested in the relationship
My good friend Ken seems to love his partner Sarah. They’re not married but have been a couple for ever. They chose not to have kids, as they both have fulfilling careers. His mother lives nearby and still brings home-cooked meals round to their rental. Ken keeps in touch with his old school mates, and also keeps us in contact with each other. We meet regularly and discuss love and life over a beer or six.
What is keeping Ken and Sarah together?…
Ken loves Sarah, but he doesn’t need her. Tough concept to grasp.
So, what can you do?
First, download my free ebook: Why Men Lose Interest (And How To Be The Only Woman Who “Gets” Him)
100% privacy. Your information will not be shared.
Next, read part two: What You Can Do When Men Lose Interest.