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Attention-Seeking


WomanWriter

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Do you think people ignore each other in order to seek attention? It's funny when someone claims to be gaga for you and says they were looking at you all night but it seems they are purposely trying not to pay that much attention to you...especially in a relationship. If you weren't together, you might try to disguse your affection, but why would you in a relationship? Why would you act cool and disinterested after appearing so warm and loving? Is it playing games?

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Well, he is either conflicted, playing games or has the type of personality where he doesn't feel comfortable showing his feelings too much. There are several personality types that are more private about their feelings. I'm not sure if this pertains to your guy because he seems to be going back and forth. I guess I would not assume he is playing games just because you cannot read him clearly. If he is playing games it sounds like the game might be trying to see if you pursue him if he backs off. He might be doing this out of insecurity.

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Might be fear as well you know. Like, I know that I can be quite the attention seeker (bad thing, trying to work on it). And that in relationships I can get quite clingy and needy. So he might be doing this so you don't view him as insecure, and needy, and clingy. I mean, it seems like to me that when you really do get all in love and head over heels for a girl, she starts to take you for granted. So overtime we learn to hide it, so that we don't end in that situation again, and so that our girl will respect and value us.

 

Just a guess. Not sure. Might be this, might not.

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I'm so tired of the games. Is there anyone who is not insecure (including myself)? It just seems like these games perpetuate a continual cycle of non-trust.

 

And it hurts that someone feels the need to guard their heart by showing disinterest. I mean, sure, tone it down if you're coming on too strong, but don't play games. I'm guilty of insecure games too, don't get me wrong. I'm just tired of them.

 

These games totally mess with our self-confidence and cause so many problems. When can they stop? When will we feel secure enough to be the bigger person and just love a person sincerely and with confidence, without resorting to defenses to protect ourselves from rejection.

 

Man.

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Nothing happened per se, but I notice a change in my bf's demeanor lately...he hasn't been talking to me really except at church. I should have figured, but how was I to know? He came on sooooo strong in the beginning with buying me jewely, showing up to my house unannounced (without a car), waiting for me for hours to surprise me, etc. And then just when my feelings are growing deeper, he is being cooler, less physically and verbally demonstrative, gives simple kisses now...and sometimes I see him looking at me and he'll turn away when I look back (and it's not a flirty way, it's like he doesn't want me to know he's looking at me. Why not just meet my eyes and smile?)

 

The other day we were working on a project for our church and he barely talked to me. When he walked by me, he didn't even look at me or say hi or anything. But afterwards, he was affectionate and friendly. I asked what was gonig on and he said "nothing." He said I looked beautiful and it was hard not to look at me. So why was he trying not to look at me? Does that make sense?

 

I don't know. It's like he goes out of his way to talk to other girls and make them laugh, like to get a reaction out of me. I told him that I don't get jealous and that if a guy does that to me, I will just ignore him. He said he hates being ignored and I told him I hate being ignored too. He said that when he's ignored, he feels rejected and is inclined to ignore the woman back. I said I feel the same way because I am not about to kiss butt.

 

This just reeks of insecurity, stubborness, and immaturity. From me too! I don't like it.

 

But I want to add, it's not my boyfriend's fault. It happens in all my relationships (friendships, family, etc.). It's my issue to own as well. My pastor suggested that I stop withdrawing and "go after" my boyfriend when he shuts down. He was cheated on several times and has trust issues, so my pastor suggests I be the bigger person and reach out.

 

But it's hard to reach out when I feel like I will be reinforcing ignoring behavior. Also, I feel rejected, so for me to reach out is comnig to him, but what about how I feel? I guess someone has to be the bigger person. Ugh.

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MissFireCracker,

 

I don't think we are broken up. Last time I saw him, he gave me a hug and it was OK. He just seemed cool and quiet. He will talk to me, but seems more withdrawn unless I make the first move.

 

He doesn't call you or take you out, right? OMG! WomanWriter, please stop this. It's killing me to read your posts. You can do better, I know you can!!

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He doesn't call you or take you out, right? OMG! WomanWriter, please stop this. It's killing me to read your posts. You can do better, I know you can!!

 

He does take me out and has been for the past month (movies, pool, hiking, out to eat, etc.). He doesn't call because he doesn't have a phone...lol...but he used to email me almost every night or get on chat, which was hard for him because his housemates have first dibs to the computer until they go to work. Even so, he hasn't been emailing me this week and just seemed cool last time we saw each other, which was at church. That's why I am wondering. He didn't say anything about breaking up. He's just been distant.

 

Intererestingly, we took a walk before evening church started and he said something about thinking about marriage. So I am getting conflicting messages here.

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He does take me out and has been for the past month (movies, pool, hiking, out to eat, etc.). He doesn't call because he doesn't have a phone...lol...but he used to email me almost every night or get on chat, which was hard for him because his housemates have first dibs to the computer until they go to work. Even so, he hasn't been emailing me this week and just seemed cool last time we saw each other, which was at church. That's why I am wondering. He didn't say anything about breaking up. He's just been distant.

 

Intererestingly, we took a walk before evening church started and he said something about thinking about marriage. So I am getting conflicting messages here.

 

Marriage? Well, I hope there is a good explanation for the way he is treating you. Didn't he pretty much leave you to find a way home at church last week?

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What I say next may strike a chord with you and others reading, but I have been following your threads with this guy since the very beginning and I find your relationship with this guy to be very juvenile. You two do not act like mature adults in this relationship....I oftentimes forget that you guys are in your late twenties.

 

So that leads me to believe there is alot of immature emotions and behaviors happening within this partnership, so I'm thinking this is not a compatible matchup.

 

I think you need to let this one go and see if 1) You are really ready for a relationship right now and 2) Find someone who is a better match for you and who is a bit more mature.

 

I feel like he is a square peg you are desperately trying to fit into your circle of wants and needs. It's just not ever going to fit.

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^ I agree.

 

I too have been reading these threads and this new relationship seems a bit too much of a struggle.

 

The first few months or "honeymoon" stage are supposed to be the fun times, getting to know each other, being cute, butterflies in your tummy, pure unadulterated infatuation. Like Diamond said, you guys seem to be trying to fit the proverbial square peg into the round hole.

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I think you made it very clear that you want this relationship with B right now, no matter what your motivation might be, thus trying to suggest otherwise seems a bit like a waste of energy, thus I'll skip that.

 

Maybe this relationship can be a huge opportunity, maybe not because he is your soul mate or because you will marry him some day and start a family, but because it seems you both have similar as well as individual issues. Considering that you are not heavily in love with him (it's my personal opinion based on all your threads that you do like the idea of being in love, but that you are not feeling true emotions for the particular person in front of you) this might be the right 'environment' for you to work on those issues without fearing of losing someone who you are too attached to.

 

When you are infatuated with someone or completely in love, some people are too scared to think of that there might be emotional issues that should be worked through, since one is too afraid of creating difficult situations and risking the relationship.

 

Working through issues while you have no emotional backup when you are single can also be very daunting.

 

Thus being with someone who you are not too attached to could be a scenario which gives you enough backup (just by the knowledge that there is someone in your life rather than maybe active support from that person), yet while reducing the anxiety of maybe risking the love of your life.

 

This might not be very popular with some people, but not every relationship has to be about testing if this could be the one for the rest of your life. As long as you are not pretending to yourself and to the partner what your intentions are, there is intrinsically no problem to have a relationship for the sake of companionship.

 

This is a quote which I believe has a lot of truth:

"People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you will know what to do"

 

 

Maybe if you wouldn't try so hard to convince yourself that he could be someone for the rest of your life and then desperately 'induce' all the changes in him to make that possibility even remotely feasible you could relax and enjoy each others company much more without doing this forward/ backward dance

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If he doesn't have a phone (unless he has a grand reason for that) it at least means he lean towards being very introverted. Many guys don't show affections the way you want them to. If he appears to be ignoring you, maybe he is not exactly comfortable around you. I wouldn't automatically assume it's a game.

 

Does this perspective contradict with anything you many know about him?

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Victoria and Penelope, I agree with you two. I don't want to let this relationship go right now. I am learning a lot besides the fact that I do enjoy him when I just relax and stop analyzing. If I were to forgo relationships until I '"figure out all my baggage" and he figures out his, we would be single forever. I know I have baggage and issues and so does he. That's why I am trying to take the more mature route and face these problems head-on so I don't mess things up like I did with my ex. I can't go back and fix that but I have a chance now.

 

I don't think I am trying to fit a square peg into a round hole because that's just my personality which I really explored yesterday. I have a tendency to do that to people. But there is a lot I like about him and I am trying to see how I can do my part to be the best partner...and if it doesn't work out, it will be because we don't want it to, not because of stupid issues that could have been worked out.

 

I think I know the answer...I just like to explore options. The answer is that I am too old now to play games and I won't. I am going to reach out to him when he starts shutting down and let him know that I understand where he is comnig from. I could act the same way he is acting because I feel rejected, but that won't solve anything. At the same time, I want to let him know that I need him to not shut down when he feels hurt and that any time he feels hurt, it's probably because I feel hurt too. I know it will take time, but that's why I joined the church too. We want to get past these things and if nothing else, we can get past them as individuals or friends. But I'm not going to just break up with him. I want to do the work, at least on my end. Because I just want to be a better person in general.

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This is an update.

 

I decided to be open and friendly, but not needy about it. I went to church, didn't see B...so I talked to some other people including his dad and just enjoyed myself. Then when B came in, I kept talking to them but I smiled at him and he smiled back and came over to me and hugged me.

 

I didn't bring anything serious up, just asked him casual questions and joked around a little...then he brought up the other night on his own. He said he was thinking about it and realizes that he knew what he was getting into when he got with me and although he wants me to develop more trust, he can accept my personality for what it is right now. I told him I am working on being more accepting of the moment and he said he will try to be more analytical to balance it out. I decided to hang out with him in his youth group (I brough my student over there) and we had a good, casual time.

 

We have Valentines plans for the weekend that I'm looking forward to. I'm glad I didn't play games.

 

Also, I learned why he couldn't keep in touch with me...he had a legit reason for it. He's even the one who brought it up. And he said he was sad not to be able to talk to me for a few days. See, I had nothing to worry about. I should have trusted.

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Good to hear that you two are open and honest with each other. I have a question though. You said you are glad you didn't play games. I'm curious--what is going through your head when you are? Are you aware of it when it's happening? What exactly are you "playing"?

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Good question, hersmudders.

 

In my mind, if I see him not paying attention to me when we're out (or he doesn't contact me for a few days when he used to), I start thinking things like "He doesn't want to talk to me, so I'm not going to talk to him. I will just ignore him and see how he likes that. I'm not kissing his butt so he can take advantage of me!" Then I don't pay attention to him. He starts playing the same game and then we are both at a stalemate. It's like a battle of the wills to see who can have the most pride.

 

But that's stupid. Inside, we both feel rejected and we are trying to hide it by being stubborn. That's how I got in trouble in my past relationship...we had too many control issues and lack of trust towards the end.

 

I don't want B and I to get into these insecure games where we both act like we don't care when we feel rejected. I want to be able to stay open and trusting and try to understand rather than jump to conclusions on my end or just shut down and not deal with anything on his end. I would like us to learn to solve the big problems and let the little ones go.

 

And I think my duty is not to worry about what HE does, but focus on what *I* can do to be a good partner. Because that's what I'm responsible for.

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