Perhaps your guy has said outright he won’t make plans with you – but it’s more likely you know that he’s not interested in making plans by his actions. Either way, you want to spend time with him and look forward to it in advance, and he’s got something else he needs. Whatever that is? It doesn’t matter because we’re going to fix this right now. Ready?
Determine What’s Really Going On
Our first step is to figure out what’s really going on and then act on it. Sounds simple, and it really is. The only problem? Most people think that they need to ask their boyfriend about what’s really going on when they don’t. In fact, I strongly suggest you keep your boyfriend out of this process altogether. Not only will asking him, “What’s the deal, dude?” frustrated and upset him, but it might also even make matters worse.
Just assume you can figure this out on your own – because you will – and vow to leave him out of it.
So, what’s really going on? In this case, we’re asking ourselves what it is that’s actually, truly happening in this situation. If an outside observer were to look and describe it to you – what would they say?
Most people would answer, “Well, there’s this guy, and he’s refusing to make plans with his partner,” and leave it at that, which is okay. BUT. Is that what’s REALLY going on? Nope.
If a guy “refuses” to do something, what would you see? What physical actions would he be taking? How would a complete stranger know he’s refusing if he hasn’t said a word?
Take a moment to really let that sink it. Because, wait for it, yes, I think you might get it now.
There’s really, truly, nothing going on at all. The “problem” is in your head.
What’s happened is that you’ve taken an action (or lack of action) and attached meaning to it. You’ve created a story, one that you can share with others or remind yourself of, over and over again.
“My boyfriend won’t spend time with me! He refuses to make plans! What a jerk”.
Whereas instead, you could just as easily have created, told a different story.
“My boyfriend is so busy, he really weighs where he spends his time. If it’s not something he really, truly wants to do, he just doesn’t do it”.
See what I mean?
So, the first step in figuring out your situation is simple, but it involves a bit of playing around in your brain. How can you see this situation differently? Is the story you’re telling yourself, and others, really what’s going on?
Once you’ve accepted this important and crucial tidbit, it’s time to move to the next step.
Reframe the “Problem”
We’re already halfway there if you really took in the first step, so congratulations!
To figure out how you can fix your problem with your boyfriend, you must next reframe the situation. How can you talk about it – to yourself or others – in a positive way? How can you see your boyfriend’s position? Is there another way to see what’s really going on?
Take a bit of time to write down anything that you think might work as an alternative answer to the “truth” of the matter.
Give it a few good minutes, and make sure to do this on your own. It has to come from you; you have to believe it fully, so the only person who can do this exercise is – you got it – you.
Ready for the big step? Let’s go.
Act As If
I’ll warn you now: this is the hardest of the steps I’ll ask you to do, and it definitely takes some getting used to. Having said that, it’s also really easy, and once you get the hang of it, effortless. In fact, it should create even more time and space in your life, instead of the time-sucking activities you’ve been focused on, like, you know, waiting for him to call or begging him to make plans with you.
So, what do you have to do now? You must act as if.
As if what? As if he is making plans with you. Or as if he does love you. As if he wants to make plans with you, as if he did make plans with you, as if you were going to do these things with or without him.. you get the gist.
Pick ONE thing to act as if about. You can choose more later once you’ve done this a few times; just try one for now. Which one thing on your list in the second step can you do, right now, as if it was already happening?
Here’s an example: Michael never made plans with Rachelle, no matter how many times she asked. He’d just wait until he had some free time and ask her to come over – and she did every time. So when Rachelle decided to act as if, she committed to acting as if she was busy – no matter what – if Michael tried to make last-minute plans with her. She didn’t beg, cajole, or even ask him to make plans – she just got really busy. She started doing all the things she loves to do because she acted as if Michael was always too busy to join her anyway.
She just did them.
See what I mean? Try it. Find something you can do “as if,” and then make a commitment for the next week. Then, see what happens.
Ready for the last step? You already know what it is…
See What Unfolds
Our last step isn’t really a step, but it’s still something that needs to happen: you watch, whatever happens, unfold on its own. You continue to follow through with your busyness. You refuse any requests for last-minute dates or “hangouts” because you’re too busy, right? And since you know that your guy, in step two, can’t or won’t make plans with you, you just accept it and do whatever you want.
When you follow this plan, you’ll see magical things happen. When Rachelle did it with Michael, within the week, he was begging to see her. When she said she couldn’t cancel her plans, he asked her what she was doing – and because she genuinely enjoyed doing her thing, Michael wanted to come, too. Look! He made plans.
While I can’t guarantee your guy will want to make plans with you after you institute these tactics, I will guarantee this: you’ll be happier, you’ll have more time for yourself, you’ll truly be loving yourself and your guy as-is, and you’ll get more information that can help you decide if he’s The One or not.
Dating Expert, Contributing Writer
Cathy is a dating site consultant and dating expert. I possess a strong passion for people, heart-felt facilitation, and provocative storytelling. I use my voice in writing, speech to provoke awareness and positive personal change.