Reader #2: Hello, Steve, I want to know how to get your man back after
you have lost him, or at least ways you can win him back, or how to
make him jealous?
Response: How does a person know when to "pull the plug?" In other
words, when do you know it is time to stop trying?
When relationships are cooling off or ending it is natural to try to
save them. Sometimes it is possible to do so, and sometimes it is not.
Sometimes it may be possible but is not advisable. How do we know?
Here's a few indications:
Time To Pull the Plug:
How's your self-esteem? If you have to behave in a compromising way
that damages your self-respect it may be time to let go of the
When you repeatedly invite the other to engage in developing the
relationship and nothing happens, it may be over. Notice that I did not
use the word "manipulate." Respectful behavior calls for straight
forward communication and negotiation. If you have to manipulate to get
the other back into the relationship it's not a sign of good relational
Are you being realistic? Has your
partner said "No" in every way
possible, but you refuse to pick up on it? Are you being foolishly
Sometimes true love means letting the other go. Do you love your
partner enough to embrace what's best? What if the other's spiritual
journey does not include you at this time? What if something has to be
worked out separately first?
If your partner's behavior is dangerous for you it's time to consider
distance. Drugs, irresponsible sex, violence, or demeaning behavior can
seriously endanger you. We all want to stand by our loved ones as they
work out their problems, but denial of the seriousness of such problems
may get in our way and endanger us.
Whenever there are children involved it is worth the effort to see if
the relationship can be salvaged. Children are always the ones hurt the
most when relationships go bad or break up. They are definately worth
our best efforts as adults at such times.
When your partner is still giving mixed signals it may mean that there
is still a chance. He may not be sure yet. She may not really know her
true feelings. At such a time, respectful invitation to relationship is
appropriate. Too much distance or too much clinging are not very
helpful. If there is a hint of "Maybe" then there is a chance.
Many times I have couples keep at it because they believe it would be a
great waste to let the relationship go. Years of effort, tons of
emotional energy, or missed opportunities that may still be available
can suggest there is still a chance.
One of the easier couples to help is the compassionate couple where
neither wants the other to hurt. Compassion and empathy are great
building blocks for any relationship. Passion can often be re-created
when such caring partners decide to try again.
To Try Or Not To Try?
You're not alone in the dilemma of decision. Most couples experience it
at some point, if not repeatedly. Just be sure that everyone is safe,
that you are not being unrealistic, and that your self-respect always