You like intimacy, but he, however, is not touchy-feely. In his ways, though, he makes any moment you're together the best time of your life.
Such moments are a rare occurrence. Twice a month at best. So yeah, your relationship has become a cycle of hot and cold moments.
Nonetheless, you have these happy moments you're holding on to. I understand, but you see, as Mathew Hussey (a dating coach) puts it…
In Love Life, The Whole Equation Is Time
Life is short. We have limited time, thus, we should prioritize how we spend it.
So, who do you want to give your precious time to?
Yes, the 'hot-and-cold' guy could change. But do you want to stake your time on that? Or are you better off quitting and looking for a better person who fits more easily?
According to Hussey, "Any time spent with a person who is unsure about you is wasted time. Precious time that`d have otherwise been spent with the right person."
In other words, staying when you should leave means you're depriving yourself of time to be happy with another person.
So, how do you tell whether he is toxic or just clueless?
The Top Two Red Flags To Watch Out For
If you're struggling in romantic love with a partner who is sweet one moment and ignores you the next, says one thing and does another, blows hot and cold; take a closer look at his:
The adage 'actions speak louder than words' a cliché holds in most relationships.
Yes, there are times when there is no substitute for words. Because words are used to discuss and convey a concept, and there may not be an action version of the idea yet. But when laid in parallel, actions speak louder.
So the next time your partner says they love you, study their actions. You might realize that it's all but a bluff.
The Downside Is That Love Is Blind
BBC News reported that,
"Once we get close to a person, the brain decides that the need to assess their character and personality is reduced."
The very reason why Sara Reistaad-Long (of CNN) claims that love, though not blind, can blur our vision.
Quoting a study by the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience at UCL (the University College London), Reistaad-Long noted that,
"The part of the brain stimulated by love is not exclusive to love. Rather, it is shared by other rewards such as food, drugs, and money."
In that, drug addicts and gamblers experience similar dopamine activity to love.
But unlike food and other reward systems, love cannot solely activate certain areas of the brain. "It deactivates specific neural zones," notes Kate Melville of Science a Gogo.
Andreas Bartels, one of the researchers in the UCL study notes that,
The overlapping activities throughout the different parts of the brain inhibit not only the negative emotions but also affect the network involved in making a social judgment about the person in question.
Bartels and his colleague Semir Zeki claim that we tend to chase after the reward we feel from being in love. In response, the brain flicks a switch, and we can no longer see the flaws.
That explains why it's hard to believe rumors about your partner cheating on you. Sometimes even when presented with damming evidence!
How Do You Take Note Of His Actions?
According to science, it's hard to spot our lover's flaws until our initial feelings of infatuation have cooled down. A notion that is perfectly discussed in an article posted in The Psychologist by Adrian Furnham and Viren Swami.
That means you need to take a step off of the love train if at all you're to have a clear sight of your partner's actions.
Take a break with the whole attraction and infatuation. Or go slow so that your senses can be heightened into noticing his actions.
I'm not insinuating that people in love lack common sense. But hey, some believe that that tingly feeling experienced when falling in love is actually the body losing common senses.
And while at it, consider the impact resulting from the actions, otherwise they'll be lost in time.
So, is he toxic or clueless?
If he keeps repeating things that you have made clear you're not okay with, consider him toxic.
2. Negative Statements
Massive evidence shows that people pay more attention to the negatives.
A concept that the media has embraced largely to increase their viewership.
To paint a picture, Stuart Soroka (post published on The Politician) noted that,
The Newsstand Magazine sales increase by approximately 30% when their cover is negative. And "good news day" resulted in a 66% decrease in readership in an online Russian newspaper.
Stuart Soroka (the Michael W. Traugott Collegiate Professor of Communication Studies and Political Science) suggests that the bias towards negative news,
Could be attributed to the potential cost of the negative news outweighing that of positive news.
Despite the human brain being predisposed toward focusing on the negative information,
It Changes When In Love
In relationships, we perceive our partners more positively than we perceive ourselves.
How positively do you view yourself? Now imagine more of that to get a picture of how positively you view your partner.
That's why even when confronted with their partner's faults, individuals tend to deny the significance of those weaknesses (Murray & Holmes).
While others are likely to misinterpret, misunderstand, or try to explain their partner's shortcomings.
Besides, one could be too comfortable or too afraid (of being alone) to leave the relationship. The reason you might find yourself ignoring/minimizing the negatives in a bid to make the relationship work.
How Do You Take Note Of The Negative Statements?
He has probably said a gazillion times that he doesn't want to commit. Yet you're still there, holding onto this positive illusion you have of him. Placing a 'one-day-wager' – that one day he'll change. He will commit to you.
It's time to take a step back; cool off this whole love thing and find your non-smitten mental state. For only then can you be more attentive to what he says, how he says it; his tone, facial expressions, and everything in between.
The reason being, if he is bold enough to utter negative stuff that could cost him what he`s enjoying with you, then he must mean it.
Especially statements uttered when angry or when things aren't going his way. And while at it, take note of his tone and body expressions - they may hold a clue to how he really feels about you.
So, is he clueless or toxic?
If he often says negative statements such as 'we are just having fun' or 'commitment sucks,' then consider him toxic. I don't suppose there is any time-sensitive way you can change a guy to commit to you when he thinks that commitment sucks.
At the end of the introspection and examination period, you'll discover that he's either clueless or toxic.
So What's Next If He's Clueless?
If he's just a good guy in disguise, then… Change your perception. How you speak and act around him.
But first, change how you feel inside. Use his negative actions (drinking, little-boy problems, or whatever) to make you feel 'stronger' and 'better' than him.
Yes, believing you have higher standards than someone else will sure boost your esteem.
Examine how your focus on his shortcomings has made you neglect yourself. It could be you are not taking care of yourself as you used to. You no longer wash up, clean up, or brush up as you used to.
And while at it, examine how the self-neglect is depriving you of chances to receive love.
Next, refocus your energies. Develop yourself outside of the relationship. Join a cooking class, a gym, a nutrition center, and focus on your health. Take walks, revive that girl's nights.
And whenever you feel angry following his behavior, attend to your sense of discipline in doing whatever makes you happy or taking care of yourself.
Is he cheating? Allow yourself to feel the pain, but then shift the emotional pain into something creative, productive, or something that'll bring you fulfillment.
Did he say something provocative? Take a deep breath. Breath slow. Count to 10 with your eyes closed. Do whatever you have to do to not lose your composure.
With time, you'll, as Rori Raye (a relationship coach) puts it,
Climb out of that pit of despair and get a better picture of yourself.
" You`ll no longer feel drained by all the work you`re doing to make the relationship work. No more telling him what to do to be responsible. Rather, you`ll rediscover yourself. And that whole new, happier, stronger vibe will change your relationship completely."
What If He's Toxic?
Mathew Hussey advises that,
If you have had an honest conversation and he has not improved, and the person is making you wrong for feeling that way – it`s better to find someone who it fits more easily.
He says, "In a case where he does not need you, or he`s unsure about you, then he ain't the one."
It's time to move on.
And no, do not wait for closure.
Hussey says, "Getting closure is overrated. Finding out that he does not need you should be enough. The rest is you torturing yourself or finding a way to get back in."
And while at it, choose to grow stronger from the heartbreak. Do not build a wall or swear to never let anyone hurt you again; for, in the end, heartbreak is a step closer to finding the right person.