Frequently Asked Questions About Relationships

This page contains the answers to some very common problems people have. If your problem is similar to one of those listed below then the answer to your problem is probably here.

Relationship Questions

Q. How can I make the person I am interested in notice or like me?

A. There are two ways to make someone notice you. The first is to dress or behave in ways that attract attention. This can backfire and get you attention you don’t want or create an impression of you that is not good.

The second, preferable, way is to show the person you like them by showing an interest in them. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Don’t grill them or ask questions that are too personal and don’t ask questions if you are not prepared to listen to the answer. There is nothing as appealing as someone who lets you know they think you are interesting and they genuinely like you. This answer applies to finding love or just making a friend. It may even make the boss like you better.

Q. How can I make the person I love/my boss or friend treat me better?

A. You probably can’t. People tend to treat us as badly as they think they are entitled to. If they are treating you badly because it gives them a feeling of power nothing you do will stop them long term. They may seem to change if they think they will lose you but, if treating you bad makes them feel good, sooner or later they will go back to it. Changing who we are is difficult and there has to be good reasons to go to all the trouble of making changes.

The person hurting you will generally not feel there is any reason for them to change. They may believe they cannot change and you have no right to ask them to. Sometimes they feel they are not at fault at all.  They think it is your fault you are hurting. They think you are the one who needs to change and may accuse you of being too sensitive. They may even believe you are doing things to make them hurt you and you need to stop doing those things.

In two of these beliefs they are correct. Nobody has any right to dictate who someone else should be. You have no right to make them change to please you. You are the one who needs to make a change. You are the one who is hurting so you are the one with the motivation to make change happen. The one, the only, way for you to force someone else to stop treating you badly is to remove yourself from their company. They have the right to choose to act badly but you have the right to choose to be with someone who does not act that way.

This does not mean other people can’t change — it means you can’t change them — you can only change you! .

If you think they are treating you badly because they are just thoughtless you can try to bring about change by using a formula for good communication.

Q. How can I make the person I love/my friend or boss stop doing things that hurt me?

A. Once again, you probably can’t if they really don’t want to change.  To find out if they are willing to change use the formula for good communication given in the answer to the last question.

For example:
 “When you look at other women I feel jealous, hurt and ugly and I would like you to stop looking at other women when you are with me or make an effort to pretend you are not looking at other women when you are with me.” 

It is not reasonable to ask someone to stop looking at other women.  Nobody can control what catches their eye or attention.

Q. My neighbour is dreadful.  What can I do to stop them annoying me or causing me problems?

A. Communicate with them.  See the formula for good communication.

Q. There is someone I really care about but they don’t want me.  How can I stop wanting them?

A. This question has no easy answer.  The heart has a will of its own and hope is hard to kill.  As long as hope lives that someday, somehow, your love will be returned your heart will be difficult to get back.  Even after all hope is gone the heart can be stubborn and refuse to stop wanting the other person.

There are things you can try but there are no guaranteed ways to forget your unrequited love.

The first thing you need to do is find out if you have some unrealised issues that are making you cling to the person who does not want you.  People can also, it seems, become quite literally obsessed by love.

For most people, however, the answer is simple in a way.  Love has died or it was never allowed to live and you are dealing with grief and loss.  Grief and loss take time to recover from.  Recovery time is as individual as fingerprints.

You will recover from grief when you have finished grieving and the harder you try not to grieve or to cut the mourning period short the longer it will take to recover.  (See Stages Of Grief)

Q. I’m making my partner so unhappy but I don’t know how to stop.  Nothing I do seems to work and I feel so guilty.  How can I change myself?

A.  There are a dozen answers to this question depending on the individual story.  

Any time I hear this question, or one like it, my first course of action is to check for verbal abuse.  The victim of verbal abuse will often come for help because their partner has convinced them there is something terribly wrong with them.  

If this is your question I strongly suggest you seek professional help.  Either you are toxic or your partner is and, either way, you need more help than this site can offer.

If you are not ready to seek help there is a book you can buy that will help you work out if you are the person who is toxic in the relationship or if it is your partner.  The book is written by Patricia Evans and it is titled “The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognise it and how to respond.”