5 Signs He’s Not Really In It To Win It

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I know we like to keep it positive on this site, and I try, I really do. But sometimes I gotta touch on some tough topics. And today's tough topic of choice is: Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.

Ok, not really. Well, kinda. Just keep reading and you'll get it. Promise.

I’ve been watching Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars on WE Tv (whut? Don't look at me like that. It's like auditing a sociological, anthropological course in human behavior... right?). As an avid Real Housewive-r, I am of course too dialed in to how this Gretchen/Slade dynamic is unfolding. Because she’s trying way too hard and he's faker than JWoww's boobies and Tanisha's weave combined (and I think they both would agree).

In epi 4, in no more than three subsequent scenes, Slade served Gretchen with all of the following:

1) “I’d let you go.”

2) “I can’t give you what you want.”

3) "Find someone else."

Gretchen’s teary-eyed response: “But I don’t want anyone else. If you could just [do this, and be that, and try this…]”

Oh, boy.

This makes me think Clive isn't the only one in the house that has a hearing disability.

Gretchen, like many of us in the same situation, isn’t listening.

Regardless of Slade’s motivation for dragging this out and leading her on, the point is, he is being abundantly clear about his feelings and intentions with Gretchen.

Not only is Gretchen not listening, she’s caught up in the dangerous game of dating Slade’s potential. She doesn’t want to marry Slade right now because he’s not the man she wants him to be. But she has attached herself to a fantasy of what he could be. The problem with that is: 1) All you have is what’s in front of you right now. You can’t date a future projected fantasy. And 2) He obviously doesn’t want to be that man. At least not for her. Or guess what? He woulda done it already.

But enough about that Real Housewive's real problems. This got me thinking.... I see a lot of this happening to a lot of women out there. I've said it once and I'm gonna say it again, men tell you EXACTLY how they're going to show up for you. They tell you EXACTLY what they will not give you. Only they use the word “can’t,” which sends our all-powerful, female, problem-solving brains into a hyperdrive of, “Yes, you can, I believe in you, if you just…[fill in the blank].”

It's up to you to hear, listen, take notes and pass the exit exam. STAT.

Even if it’s not what you want to hear (and that’s the hardest part).

Otherwise you end up settling for a relationship that will never give you what you want. One that you struggle and force and cajole to make it kinda work. And then you're stuck and confused.

You get all twisted up in a web of half-truths, questions, confusion, what ifs, and sometimes manipulation, and you can't think straight. You have no clarity around the situation. Because he'll tell you he really cares about you. (Then disappear.) Because you have this insane connection that you've never felt with anyone else. (If he's actually paying attention to you.) Because you love him. (And you can't imagine this strong connection is one-sided.) Because he's kinda been there for you sometimes, maybe. (And tell yourself you’re fine when he's not.) Because the sex is mind-blowing. (And, well, there's no substitute for that—I'll give you that one.)

Since the confusion can be debilitating, here’s what it looks and feels like when you’re in a relationship with someone who’s not 100% all about you:

1) You don't know how he feels about you. He “loves” you one minute, then shuts you out the next. He's there for you but never shows up 100% all in. When you ask him point blank what he wants from your relationship, he dances around the question or says, "I don't know." A man who is sure will make you sure that he's sure. You got that?

2) He's in and out of your life. He's the most inconsistent of inconsistents. He may seem to always be available via text or Facebook (aka extremely low-effort means of communication), but seeing him on the reg is another story.

3) This on-again, off-again pattern drags on. For endless months, years, and maybe decades if you're not careful.

4) You're not positive you're the only woman in his life. He's not always around and/or available, giving him ample time to be philandering or having full-blown relationships with other women. You may even lie to yourself that you're totes kewl with this.

5) He flips things on you. You ultimately end up thinking it's you that should change to fit his choices, lifestyle, needs, wants.

If any, ANY, of the above are true, girl, we need to talk. Because hear this: A man that is unequivocally yours will let you and the world know. No question.

I know these types of situations bring up a lot of unanswered questions. Leave a comment and let me know what plagues you.