I’m a natural fixer and I wanted my relationship with my boyfriend to be smooth and problem-free even if it meant I had to put my own needs on the back burner. But being constantly fixated on him only made our relationship worse. To my astonishment, things only got better for us when I finally stopped trying so hard to make him happy.
He put in more effort. When I took a step back from our situation, he could tell that things had shifted. I was no longer the whiny, nagging, clingy girlfriend he had grown accustomed to. Instead, I was unbothered by most things he said and did, which caused him to put more effort where he knew he was lacking. He was sure something was wrong, but in reality, everything was completely fine. I just wasn’t the obsessive and needy girlfriend I once was.
I regained my sense of self. With the focus off of him, I was able to put the spotlight on my own needs. I felt a bit selfish at first, but I knew it was something that needed to be done. By honing in on myself, I was able to reclaim my identity outside of my relationship. I was no longer so consumed by being a good girlfriend. Instead, I was more focused on just being a good person period. By being happy with myself and my life, that joy was able to transfer over and seep its way into our relationship.
We communicated more and better. I stopped texting, calling, and sharing my day with him. As a result, he couldn’t stop talking to me! He’d dial my number all day long once he realized he hadn’t heard from me. It was shocking to see things change so much and to observe him acting the way I used to act. I felt more at ease when I stopped caring because it made him step up to actually show that he cared about me.
Intimacy increased and we felt closer than ever. To stop caring about someone means to no longer fret about spending alone time with them either. Things had gotten to the point where I was always begging him to accompany me on date nights, but once I stopped pestering him, our relationship did a 180. It gave him time to miss me, and when we did eventually link up, we missed each other so much that our intimacy was off the charts.
The pressure was gone and a weight was lifted off my shoulders. It wasn’t as if I didn’t care about his well-being, I just stopped trying to force us to be something that we weren’t. Without that added pressure of attempting to create the perfect relationship, it actually helped our bond grow even deeper. More than that, though, I felt so much less stressed and anxious all the time, which was a relief.
I became more of a challenge. Acting aloof was easier than I’d expected, and the change in my behavior towards him had him bending over backward just to make me happy. He saw my new attitude and the fact that I was no longer obsessing over him as more of a challenge. This helped to even out the dynamics of our relationship, pushing him back into the role of the pursuer.
He was open to listening. When I stopped caring, I also stopped talking. It was my silence that prompted him to reach out to me to discuss the status of our relationship. He really thought I was acting disinterested because I was about to pull the plug on us, and I guess that was a good thing in the long run. He was more open to hearing my thoughts and concerns when he thought he was losing me. It helped us put our relationship back on the right foot.
He saw what he was missing. As I continued on with my life without giving him a second thought, he finally had his lightbulb moment. He actually realized he missed all of the little things I did for him back when I was overly caring. He tried hard to get me to go back to being the way I was before, but I wasn’t about to budge. I was digging the results of not caring way too much to revert back to my former self.
I got what I wanted in the end. I didn’t want to break up or push him away, I just wanted to focus on myself for a bit and stop spending so much energy on him. In the end, my actions actually helped our relationship flourish, and now things are better than ever. If I ever feel like we’re both slipping back into old habits once again, I’ll gladly stop caring again to shake things up in our relationship.
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