Now that a man is in a relationship, he might be very different to how he was before. When he was single, he might have been aware of certain needs and done what he could to take care of them.

However, although he will still have needs, he could typically act as though he doesn’t have any or only a few. So, regardless of what he did for himself before, he will have more or less turned his back on himself.

An Automatic Response

Still, this is not to say that he will have consciously chosen to behave in this way. No, most likely, this will be something that has happened without him even thinking about it.

And, as being there for the woman and neglecting himself will be what feels comfortable, there will be no reason for him to notice that he is out of balance. Being in a relationship, then, won’t have caused him to slightly change; it will have caused him to become a totally different person.


But, while he might not be aware of what is going on, a number of his friends could wonder what is going on. They could be only too aware of how he is no longer the same person as he was before.

Not only might he no longer have time for them or do some of the things that he did before but they could notice that he doesn’t appear to have as much energy as he had before. In other words, they could see that he often looks drained and unhappy.

A Brick Wall

Yet, if they were to talk to him about how he has changed, he could dismiss what they say and accuse them of being critical. If this takes place, it will be clear that he is not willing to face up to what is going on.

Nevertheless, sooner or later, he is likely to end up in a position where he can no longer behave in this way. Due to how drained he is, he will no longer have the energy to neglect himself.

Inner Conflict

At this point, he could be filled with guilt and not be able to truly accept what is going on for him. To make matters worse, the woman that he is with might not be interested in what is going on for him and could just criticise him.

If this takes place, it is likely to show that she is very self-centred and can’t accept that he is an individual who has his own needs and feelings. As far as she is concerned, he will just be there to take care of her needs.

A Blessing in Disguise

Not being able to function in the same way could be what will cause their relationship to come to an end. If this does take place, the guilt that he was experiencing could be replaced with a deep sense of being helpless and hopeless.

He could then experience a strong need to be with the woman that he was with and it won’t matter how dysfunctional their relationship was. Instead of being able to accept that being this way, as painful as it will be, has allowed him to cut his ties with someone who wasn’t good for him, he will see it as a bad thing and will crave her presence.

The Same Old Story

This might be the first time that he has been with a woman who was like this; then again, he might have been in this position many times before. If he has been, it will mean that being there for himself to one degree or another, turning his back on himself once he is in a relationship and then feeling very low after won’t be a new experience.

Assuming that he was to end up reflecting on his life, he could wonder why he continually has this experience. What could enter his mind is that this area of his life is out of his control and women are just self-centred.

A Deeper Look

As this is something that has taken place on a number of occasions, it is likely to show that he is unconsciously trying to resolve what took place during his formative years. This is likely to have been a time when his mother used him to meet some of her adult and unmet developmental needs.

His mother wouldn’t have truly been able to be there for him and this would have caused him to be deprived of the love that he needed and to lose touch with himself. He would have had no other choice but to focus on his mother’s needs and overlook his own.

A Replay

His unmet developmental needs won’t have disappeared and this is why he will be unconsciously pulled to women who are self-centred. A big part of him, thanks to transference, will see these women as his mother.

But, as he will be looking toward women who are unable to love him, not to mention it will be too late for him to meet these needs; he will be deprived all over again. As for feeling helpless and hopeless once a relationship comes to an end, this will be how he felt when he looked towards his mother to meet his needs.

Drawing the line

For him to put a stage of his life when he was deeply deprived behind him, he will have pain to work through and unmet development needs to experience. This is something that will take courage and patience and persistence.


If a man can relate to this and he is ready to change his life, he may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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