How you can avoid relationship purgatory and the trap of relationship mediocrity.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a female viewer who feels like she is stuck in relationship purgatory with the guy she has been dating for the past five months. Everything is okay, but it simply is not progressing. She is initiating most of the dates and it’s obvious the guy is simply not that into her, but she is ignoring his lack of effort and hoping he will change.
He recently asked for space and is pushing her away. She’s obviously way more into him than he is into her. This email perfectly illustrates how people end up settling for mediocrity in their relationships and in their lives, and how you can learn from it to make sure your life and relationships are spectacular. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of her email.
What’s interesting about this mindset and the way most people interact with other human beings in their lives, whether it’s their friendships, the people they work with, the people that they date, you just see that once you settle in one area of your life that’s important you, then it becomes acceptable and it becomes your standard. And then you start doing this in all other areas of your life. And when you look at stats of people that have gotten married, the crazy thing is there’s a whole lot of people, especially a lot of women that marry guys that they’re not in love with and vice versa. A lot of people are hanging out with friends that aren’t really that great of friends to them. And a lot of people are in relationships with people that they just shouldn’t be in relationship with just because they’re too scared to go it on their own or become single again.
I wrote about this in How To Be A 3% Man. When you don’t know any better and you’re surrounded by people that are settling and being average and mediocre, it seems normal to be this way. But if you want real, true, explicit joy in your life’s work, your friendships, your relationships, your social life, you’ve got to have high standards. Because when you tolerate low standards in one part of your life, then it becomes justification for settling in other areas of your life. Especially when it comes to choosing a life partner or somebody that you’re going to have kids with, or start a family with, or just live together, you don’t want to be settling for somebody that doesn’t really set your whole your soul on fire.
Just like a job you’re not that into, you’re not going to put in the extra effort and time to really love, care about and nurture that other person and vice versa, because you simply don’t feel it. In the same way, if you’re not on fire about your job and you don’t love your life’s work, a big part of what I talked about my second book, Mastering Yourself, you’re never going to become exceptional at it. Because if you don’t love it, you won’t obsess over it, you won’t work 24/7. You won’t stay up late at night and get up early in the morning for and really suffer for what you love and what you’re passionate about, because there is no passion. There is no love for it. You do just enough to not get fired.
And then when you’ve settled in your relationships, you’ve settled in your your business or whatever it is you do for a career, your happiness is going to suffer. And then you get to a point where you’re like, “Eh, what’s the point? Why go work out? Why eat a healthy meal? What does it even matter? Who cares about taking care of your body if you’re not that into the person that you’re with, you’re not that into your job? Why take extra good care of your body? What’s the incentive?” The only reason why we do what we do in life, about anything, is we have to have a compelling reason, an emotionally compelling reason why we do it. In other words, we have to have a really strong “why.”
So, when it comes to your friendships, the people that you date, what you do for a living, make sure you have a really strong, emotionally compelling reason why you’re doing it. And if you don’t, then you need to be focused on finding what it is that would be emotionally compelling, and either change your job or start interviewing and looking for another job, get different business partners, move across the country or the world, or change your relationship. If it’s mediocre, you can’t make somebody else feel something that they’re not already feeling themselves. And you have to be strong enough to recognize, no matter how much you love somebody and want them to care about you, if they don’t, they don’t.
Self-love says, “Hey, I want to be celebrated. I want somebody that thinks I’m spectacular,” and you’re going to move on. The same thing with friendships. If you’ve got friends that aren’t treating you the real the way you want to be treated and they don’t reciprocate in the same way, and you try setting and enforcing healthy boundaries and they really just don’t give a damn, then keep searching and keep circulating until you find people who do love and value and appreciate you. You’ve got to go out and find your tribe. Sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of, especially if you’re having a hard time finding it.
Sometimes you’ve got to let people go. You’ve got to let them go on down the road. If their goals and values are not aligned with your own and they’re not making the kind of effort that you expect and you’ve tried setting and enforcing healthy boundaries and they don’t do it, you’ve got to let them go. Sometimes you’ve just got to leave people in the rear view mirror and not feel bad about it, because in order to get from where you are to where you want to be and reach your full potential, you’ve got to have the right people on your team.
Just look at the NFL, look at all these different ball clubs that are constantly every two or three years, “Oh, they didn’t go to a championship.” They fire their coach, they fire the GM, and then the same teams just suck year after year, decade after decade after decade. It’s really hard to build a great, winning team if you don’t have the right people on your team.
By the way, the hardcover copy of my third book, Quotes, Ruminations & Contemplations is out finally, and it’s in paperback and digital format. You can get it on Amazon.com and it should be in the iBookstore. The audiobook will be out in a couple of weeks, once it’s filtered through the system.
I have been dating this guy for 5 months. Everything seemed to be going okay but not necessarily progressing.
Well, the reality is, if there’s real high enthusiasm and interest on his part, he’s going to make the extra effort. Because a great friend, a great lover, you just love spending time together, it’s going to be easy and effortless. You don’t have to try to force anything. It just kind of flows. They’re happy to spend time with you, you’re happy to spend time with them, and they make you feel like they really appreciate and value you being there.
You’ve got to look at what the other person does, not what they say. And we are the greatest self-bullshitters. We bullshit ourselves all the time. And a big reason why we bullshit ourselves, especially if we don’t have a high opinion of ourselves, we’ll tolerate somebody that’s not reciprocating or showing mediocre interest, because we don’t have a high opinion of ourselves. And so, their level of effort matches how we view ourselves, and this justifies us sticking around. Because if we can justify mediocrity, then why would you leave to go find something better?
If you feel all you deserve is mediocrity, that’s what you’ll put up with. But if you have high standards, you’ll be like, this is not acceptable. It’s not good enough. It’s like, the women I wrote about in “How To Be A 3% Man,” with those kinds of women, those kinds of relationships, you get spoiled. And then you realize that most people that you’re going to encounter in life are just average humans. And so, when somebody good comes along, you really recognize it because they’re so much different than everybody else.
We’d see each other maybe two times a week, and I only ever slept over at his place two times.
So, if you’re dating a guy and you slept at his house, or a girl for that matter, if you’re a guy dating a girl and you’ve only slept over at her house twice in five months, you’re probably just a booty call.
He’s a light sleeper. I am a deep sleeper. He is in med school and focused on achieving his dream. I think I initiated most of the dates.
Women typically reach out the most. Now, what does that mean, you asked him out on those dates? That should also be something you should pay attention to. If he’s the guy and you reach out and you call him just to see what he’s up to, and he never asked you out and he’s not making the effort, you have to have enough self-control to where you recognize that the other person is not making the effort. And like I talk about in “How To Be A 3% Man,” the quickest way to get somebody else’s attention is to remove yours. And so when you go out on a date, you spend time with him and you notice he seems to be taking it for granted, I wouldn’t call or text him and see what happens. Because if they don’t reach out, then you know where you stand. You know they weren’t really that into you.
I felt like I was helping him out, but in retrospect maybe emasculating him by doing so.
Well, you’re pushing the wet noodle, and you’re kind of ignoring the fact that you’re making more of an effort. In other words, you’re more into him than he is into you. And as hard as that is and as unpleasant as that is, when you recognize that somebody’s just not that into you, you’ve got to cut him loose and move on. Maybe they come back. But the reality is, you can’t fake feelings. You can’t force yourself to feel anything. You either feel it, or you don’t. You either feel high interest or you don’t. And when you feel high interest and you highly value someone or something, you’re going to put in the extra effort and care.
You’ve got to think of relationships, or your business or your friendships almost like children. What happens when you don’t love and nurture children properly? They misbehave. But when they gets lots of love and attention and you fill their bucket of self-esteem up, they’re sweet, they’re fun to be around, they’re well-behaved. But you start ignoring and neglecting them, just like a business, the business starts misbehaving. You start having problems, because you’re not doing the little things that need to be done to maintain that relationship or that system.
I also felt that I was easing his school burden by trying to make the relationship easy.
Well, at the end of the day he’s supposed to be a fucking man. And if he can’t handle a good woman making his life better, then either he’s fucked up or he’s just not that into you. And either way, that disqualifies him right there. You shouldn’t be putting more effort in than the other person is reciprocating. It should be mutual, because love is about giving. You go there to help each other grow and become more. You rejoice in his success and he should be rejoicing in yours, but it’s all one way.
A few weeks ago, I called him later at night and we chatted for a bit. I told him that I’d like him to meet my friends. He said ‘soon’ and invited me over to dinner on the following Sunday.
That’s not going to do anything to cause him to want to be more serious, but you suggesting that he meets your friends shows that you’re placing a high priority on him. But again, you’re ignoring the fact that he’s not really reciprocating.
Saturday night I get texts from him about his nervousness about going to a party with a bunch of doctors.
This guy sounds like a fucking beta male.
I picked up the phone, called him and listened to him work out the nerves and pick out an outfit.
He’s like a child, he’s like a man-baby.
I didn’t hear from him for the rest of the night – whatever. I was out with my girlfriends. But Sunday rolls around, (dinner at his place night), he texts in morning and says he really tied one on the night before. I asked if he was still up for dinner, and he said yeah. By afternoon, he asked if he can swing by my place. I get knots in my stomach but tell him of course. He’s distant when shows up. He communicates that he needs space.
So, basically what’s happening is, from his actions, you’re his occasional booty call. And he can tell you’re way more into him than he’s into you, and that’s the real reason why he’s coming over to kind of push you away. And a lot of women do this to guys. It’s basically saying, “Hey, slow your roll.” But you’ve got to recognize that he’s just not that into you. As unpleasant as that is, it’s reality.
He says he’s 95% sure about our relationship.
That’s bullshit. If he was 95% sure, he wouldn’t be coming over asking for space. Look at what a person does, not what they say.
But he’s nervous about when he goes on ‘away’ rotations (out of area) for 4 weeks at a time.
That’s all a load of bullshit. It sounds logical and it kind of makes sense in a logical way, but what is going on here? He’s taking a step back and going, “I want to spend less time with you.” Does that sound like somebody who’s hungering for you and thirsting after your body?
I had drunkenly commented once to him that long distance relationships ‘don’t work’ and he threw that in my face. I explained that I felt it’d be different considering the short-lived nature of his distance, but regardless, he asked for space. I asked for terms etc. for clarification. We talked through it, and he agreed to text me to let me know he’s thinking of me.
So, you’re basically saying, “Hey, please act like you care, when I can tell right now that you really don’t.” Because that’s that’s what your ego is avoiding at all costs, is admitting or realizing the guy is not that into you. And guys do this all the time with girls.
I don’t know how to feel at this point.
Well, he can go on down the road. If somebody wants space, never call or text him again for any reason. And then when he texts you to see what you’re doing, take your time to respond to him, make him a low priority. Make him actually a little bit lower priority in your life than you are in his, and that will be interesting.
He texts nearly daily. The messages are always something to the effect of him bitching about studying and wishing me a great day.
Do you really want to listen to a guy call and fucking complain all the time? That’s not masculine. He’s a little boy looking for a mommy.
What is my move?
I wouldn’t do anything.
I like him.
I know, but he’s not that into you. Look at his actions. That tells you everything.
I’m trying to get a read on if he’s just downgrading the relationship.
No, you’re just an occasional booty call, because you slept over twice in five months. You’re not important to him. I know it’s not nice to say that and it’s unpleasant, but I’m not going to sit here and blow sunshine up your ass, because I’ve got to be real with you. I’ve got to tell you the way it is, because it doesn’t serve you to blow sunshine up your ass. Because I’m sure a lot of your girlfriends are going, “Oh, it’ll be fine, don’t worry. He’s just going through a difficult time. I’m sure it’ll work out in the future.”
Do I start ignoring him to see if he starts taking action instead of just talking?
Yeah, I wouldn’t call or text him for any reason. He said he wanted space, so if I were you, I would start meeting and dating other guys. If you’re interested in an occasional booty call with them, hey, it’s your your life, you can do whatever you want. But if you want a man who really loves you, and values you, and appreciates you and celebrates you, you don’t waste your time with douchebags like this.
Too many people do this shit and it goes on for years, and even more of them end up settling and marrying somebody that behaves this way. They have sex, they have a few kids, and after they’ve had a few kids, it’s a loveless, sexless relationship, and now you’re roommates with somebody you don’t really like and who doesn’t really like you. That sucks.
I don’t want to pressure him, but I also feel it’s unfair for me to be in this relationship purgatory… and for how long? Any insight would be much appreciated!
Confused by his confusion,
I would say it ends today. I’d say it ends as soon as you see this video. It’s like, no more. You’re a free agent. I would go out and start saying yes and meeting and dating other guys. Optimize your body, get your ass in a gym, work out. Do squats, take care of your body, look good, eat healthy. Do the things I talk about “Mastering Yourself.” If you want to get the best guy you can get for you, look as good as you can. Take care of yourself.
There’s no reason to even reach out to him. And when he does reach out, just say, “Hey, you know, I’ve been doing some thinking. I just want you to know that I want to date other people, because we’ve been seeing each other for five months and it’s not progressing. You’re not in the right headspace.”
“I want a guy who knows what he wants, who has confidence in himself and his abilities, and he’s going for it. Because what you’ve shown me in five months just doesn’t work for me. You’re a great guy, but I need more and I’m going to go find more. And I’m not going to wait on you. Yeah, you can call me occasionally, we can occasionally date, but your level of effort sucks.”
The other thing, if you do that and he starts making the effort, you don’t want him to make the effort for a short period of time and then as soon as he thinks he’s got you, he goes right back. You’ve got to look at how is he right now, today? What kind of effort is he making today? And it’s not acceptable. You deserve somebody who really wants to be with you and who really wants to be deep inside you. Let’s be honest.
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Most people settle for mediocrity in all areas of their lives that are important to them. Out of their need for love, they give their love to people who do not feel the same way and do not reciprocate. When it comes to friendships, they spend their time with “friends” who really do not value or appreciate them. If you have low standards, you’ll settle for someone who also has low standards. You attract how you act. Only spend your time with people who love, value, appreciate and celebrate you.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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