Relationships and Love

Romantic Reciprocity

Romantic reciprocity is the belief and action of each person in a relationship caring about one another, their well being. Each person is invested and engaged. They initiate communication and caring consistently and equally.

Have you been in a romantic relationship where you feel either you are working too hard and the other person isn’t? Or that the other person wants to move forward with you, but you are holding back?

The Suave and Sexy Guy

I have!  I really like a guy and he gives the intention of feeling the same, YET…he isn’t really all that into me. Or perhaps, he seems to be, but when I question him, he is defensive instead of trying to understand, or if I am not at my best, stressed or feeling ill, he is not inquiring or checking up on me. His level of care is not so great. He just isn’t working that hard to know the real me or move the relationship forward.

I call men like this breadcrumbers. Or men who feel ambivalent about you but would love to get into your pants!

I did not make this term up; it was fashioned about three years ago. Here’s a blog written by Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Samantha Swantek, Jan 26, 2017 explaining a breadcrumber:

Breadcrumbers will send you sporadic messages, slide into your DMs here and there, or throw you a like on Instagram just frequently enough so you don’t lose interest, but not too much so the relationship actually moves forward. It’s a twisted, methodical practice that takes serious effort to perfect — effort that, seriously, WHY DON’T THEY PUT INTO DATING YOU PROPERLY?!?!

Breadcrumbers have a sense for when you’re close to moving on, so they seize the opportunity to leave you a trail of breadcrumbs — or brief flirtations — so you don’t forget about them quite yet.

The important thing to take notice of when dealing with a potential breadcrumber is-how do you feel? Anxious when you don’t hear from him? Irritated when you do? A feeling that he’s not really interested in you as a person? More interested in being flirtatious and sexual?

You, on the other hand, go just the opposite. You give more, compliment more, and receive less. You try to fill in the gaps of a feeling you want from him. You instead are either giving it to him or just frustrated or despondent.

Let’s stop right here and say this…You need to leave this kind of behavior. Don’t reward it. Don’t deal with it. Yes, he may be handsome and sexy, but if you think he’s enough to fill your love needs, you are sadly mistaken! These type of people come off as a good person, and they may be in general. But in relationships, they are toxic.

The Nice Guy

I have found men don’t like being called the nice guy. It denotes weakness or not being virile or sexy. Women don’t think this way. Nice is a word for feeling safe. When women feel safe, they open up and become their true feminine selves. For most women, it is a word for a man being dependable, someone to count on when you need him.

These guys carry a different energy, personae. They aren’t predators. They are usually givers.

So let’s say you also have a man who is a nice guy and really into you. You are not as attracted to him. You even give it a good try and go out with him several times. You enjoy his company but sadly, the fit isn’t there.

This person is very attentive, usually very open about how they feel about you.  His actions line up with his words. He puts you first. He tries to anticipate your needs. He wants to spend lots of time with you.

But you aren’t feeling the same, and you sort of drift along in the relationship reciprocating out of a feeling of being nice, courteous and fair.

Being IntegriousCharming gorgeous Afro woman keeps eyes closed, smiles with pleasure, shows white teeth feels comfort, hugs herself, wears orange jumper, tilts head, models over blue background, has high self esteem

Either are wrong! What is really happening is you lack integrity- not with the other person but with yourself!

I’ve been on both of those sides, and I don’t like how either one makes me feel.

Girls are raised to do more pleasing, to be agreeable. It’s part of our feminine nature. I’m not saying guys don’t have this. I know some very loving and kind men who defer their feelings to me or others. But as a result, we sometimes ( a lot of times, if I’m being honest) defer to the situation and man instead of being true to what is right for us.

I have grappled with this- both sides of the coin in regards to a man who bread crumbs me and a man who is over attentive, and I can’t seem to fall for in the way he would like.

You know in your gut the ambivalent breadcrumber really doesn’t care for your well being. And having someone in your life who does (the opposite of the coin) makes you aware of the vast contrast.

So why aren’t you crazy gaga for someone who treats you so well?

Chemistry-the right additive 

This is when that double-edged sword appears: Chemistry. Chemistry is different things to different people.

It can be:

  • A visual -biological and physical attraction
  • Great connection through communication
  • A sense of similar identities in the way you see the world
  • Some slice of familiarity that connects you to a fond memory or emotion
  • Kinship of personality- what I call a similar energy in what drives and motivates you

What I don’t think Chemistry is:

  • You have the same interests
  • You have similar backgrounds- level of education, socio-economic, socio-cultural values 
  • Ethical and moral beliefs
  • Political and religious beliefs and practices

This latter list is important. They may be as important as chemistry because the stats say people who have similar backgrounds and values have more sustaining power.

People also have an image or identity in their mind of what this potential man or woman looks like and acts like.  This can be a slippery slope. If you have created a person who is your Ken Doll personified then you are actually not looking in the right direction.

You are looking more outward to a fantasy wish than seeking a real relationship with a real man.

Or you could have just come off of a bad relationship and swing to the right to find a feeling of healing and love.

The concept of having integrity with yourself is only something I have been actively practicing in the last few years. It’s not being a person of integrity with others. It is what being true to you means. It’s not being concerned about how the guy likes you, but how you like the guy!

The spiritual guide I work taught me a simple practice. Two questions to determine how I feel when in a relationship. It may seem too simple to you, but they work! I ask myself how I feel, how my body feels, and it tells me.

Two important ways to see how you are in the moment with a person or after you have been with them:

  1. How do I feel?
  2. Is this working for me?

When you answer these questions as you explore a new relationship, you are giving yourself an opportunity to be in integrity and to grow from this integrity.

Being true to you, being honest is not as easy as it looks. Sometimes you have to say goodbye to the suave and sexy because you know it is an old pattern that sets you up for hurt. Or, you know you have to be honest with the incredibly wonderful and nice man because he does not have the same energy, chemistry or va-voom, you need.

This doesn’t make you wrong. It doesn’t make you weak or weak-willed if it takes a bit to make this decision. Being honest can hurt and disappoint, you and others.

It is the first step toward finding your true romantic reciprocity.  Even if you give up the idealized sexy man who doesn’t serve you in a good way. Even if you give up the lovely attention of the nice guy, you are doing the right thing.

You are being truthful with you, and this will lead you toward knowing more of how to recognize and handle the next potential romantic encounter. Your energy, who you are will be clear and ready!

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