Are you forcing it when you know it isn’t right?

Every winter for the last three years, Hemal and I go out to LA for a few months to spend the winters here. We’ve just got settled into our place, and this week my brother came out to visit us.

On the very first night, a group of us went out and my brother invited a girl he’d been introduced to by a family friend a while ago.

They’d never met, but had kept in touch since they were introduced. So when my brother decided to come to LA, he reached and asked if she would like to meet up.

She was a YES.

Because it was kind of a friendly date, we all hung out as a group. She was lovely. She was pretty, funny, approachable, and it was seamless to have her around interacting with all of us.

By the end of the night she and my brother were getting along well…but given I’m a Love Coach, I can read energy really quickly!

I could feel there was some good, friendly energy occurring between them – but the romantic energy was stagnant.

So, me being me, the next morning as we were having breakfast, I was itching to ask him what he thought about her.

I started off by saying, “So what did you think of her?”

He paused for a bit, and then said, “She’s really nice!”

I said, “Right and…..??!”

He replied, “I don’t know what else you want me to say. It was one date, I don’t know her well enough yet.”

I said, “True, AND you don’t actually have to know her really well to tell me you’re excited about her.”

He was a little annoyed and said, “Fine I don’t know exactly how I feel. I want to hang out with her again and I think I will know.”

Cue me pushing a bit (lovingly)…

“No, you already know. You don’t need more HEAD information to know how you FEEL.”

He argued and said, “Yes I do! I can’t just make a decision after meeting her once.”

What I was trying to convey to my brother was that he had very little excitement, but he was trying to talk himself into “seeing” how it could go because she was lovely.

There wasn’t anything bad to say about her, and yet there wasn’t any excitement from him.

I knew he wasn’t into her but he wasn’t letting himself admit it, so I let it be.

He asked her out the next night for dinner.

Again, I was waiting for him after the dinner. I know I’m a crazy sister 🙂

I asked him how it went, and he told me he was still trying to figure it out.

This is where I really jumped in.

“You need to admit you’re NOT into her. And it doesn’t require more information or time. It is just something that you FEEL when you are with someone. It’s something unexplainable. It’s just a feeling of being drawn to someone.”

He said, “But she’s so great. If she was the right person then it would be good. I would be done with trying to find the right person for me.”

It hit me in that moment.

My brother was so stuck to getting to the end. To finding the right person and being done with his search, that he was FORCING it when someone seemed great, even if he wasn’t feeling it.

He didn’t know he was doing it (and I have to say proudly my brother is a super self-aware, confident man.)

What I explained to him, I also want you to know, ~Contact.FirstName~:

You deserve to feel excited. ESPECIALLY in the beginning. To feel like you can’t wait to see them again. That’s the kind of love I want for you. I don’t want you feeling mediocre or average. That sucks.

He finally cracked, and admitted to me (and HIMSELF), “Yes I’m not that excited about her. I’m forcing it because there was nothing really wrong with her.”

I said, “Now doesn’t that feel like a RELIEF – that you don’t have to force and keep trying to make something happen when it just isn’t there for you?”

He said yes, and told me that he was sure he would have figured it out, but my outside perspective helped him not waste his time and energy (or hers) by not admitting something felt off.

And he’s right – he would have figured it out on his own. But after more dates. And maybe after even getting into a relationship with her because he couldn’t find anything “wrong” with her and wanted to keep trying to make it be IT.

What I want you to get from my brothers experience is that there doesn’t have to be a specific quality WRONG with a man for you to stop seeing him.

If you don’t feel excited, like you can’t wait to see him again – that is reason enough.

If you don’t feel drawn to him, or like there’s more you want to discover about who he IS on the inside – that is reason enough.

I understand it can feel frustrating – because you just want to FIND HIM already, right?

But you’re not here to have “eh, he’s a good guy so I should be able to learn to love him” love.

You’re here for “YES I WANT TO BE WITH THIS MAN” love.

Which means, it’s okay to stop seeing a man after the first date if you don’t feel excited about him.

EVEN if he’s nice and wants to commit.

Your lovework this week is to tell in the comments below if you’ve ever tried to “work it out” with a man who was good to you, but who you knew deep down didn’t make you feel inside the way you wanted to feel.

Can you relate with my brother?

I want to hear all about it!

In Love,


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  • Misha W

    Yes, I’ve been excited about the wrong guys for years. A nice guy has taken interest and is very kind to me. He’s considerate to my children but I don’t feel more for him than friendship. I feel guilty and shallow for not wanting more and I wonder if there is just something wrong with my ability to want to be with “nice” guys. Humph I feel brokenish

    • Kavita J Patel

      Misha you are so not broken. Thanks for sharing and getting vulnerable here. Appreciate the things about this man that he sees in you, that he loves about you and believe him. And also know the right man will see all those things AND you will want to be more than friends.

  • Shar

    Trying to make it feel good! We have all been there. I have a wonderful friend that I just love talking to and being around. He is great company. I love to talk and when we do it is just a joy. And sometimes he flirts and there is where that feeling of resistance kicks. I have tried to imagine us as a couple and every time I do, I mentally and physically balk. I do look forward to seeing him but we can go months till we see each other and that is fine by me. I finally came to the conclusion that I am not interested in this man on a deeper level and let it go as a possibility in my mind and it was freeing. A friend of mine and I always say we want that ‘tingle’. Thanks for naming it as excitement to see him again. I am grateful that the guy I just talked about is a friend and he is going through some heavy things right now. I will be there for him as a friend, very clearly as a friend.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Thanks for sharing Shar! You’ve got it right – to want that ‘tingle’ which is exactly what the right man will give you. It’s so normal to imagine being in a relationship with men who are close friends, so exploring that and getting clear on your answer is powerful. Happy you are able to be there for him and support him through whatever he’s going through xx

  • Roxy

    I am wondering about if you have that excitement and pure interest in the beginning and then through the ups and downs of dating for a year you begin to question if you and/or if he continues to have that excitement. Does the excitement shift into something else? Is it possible for it to come back? If life’s circumstances create a distance between the two of you, can time apart offer a refueling of that energy? I always hear that the excitement will fade yet I wonder how people maintain their connection and interest in one another to successfully grow a healthy relationship.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Roxy that’s a great question. What I will say is that the “high” of falling in love does go away, and it settles into something that feels even similar to the kind of love you have for your family and closest friends. However, the spontaneity, the playfullness, the physical chemistry will be there. The KNOWING that you are with the right person will be there. Yes there are days you may be really irritated at your partner and not find them sexy in that moment 😉 but it is about always staying vulnerable and opening up to your partner especially during those times that will bring about continued and deeper connection.

  • Beth Gates

    I went on three dates with a guy simply because I thought he was a good man. He was also emotionally available and relationship oriented. But of course, the spark was fairly small and I felt something was missing. Finally came to the conclusion that he just wasn’t right for me. As hard as it was to let go of those wonderful traits, we both deserve partners with the whole package.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Beth, YES! Absolutely. Kudos to you for trusting your gut and backing it up with aligned action. Thank you for sharing

  • Tam’e

    It is really really hard to choose being single, which can feel really lonely and downright miserable 99% of the time when you want that special partner to share things with instead of just friends and family. I’ve just passed up 3 lovely men who were emotionally available, attractive, attentive, ready to commit and it is just about the most discouraging thing ever. Sometimes if feels like I’m chasing a man unicorn dream but goshdarnit, that’s what it’s going to need to be I guess! My man unicorn:).

    Thank you for saying it again “don’t settle”. I spend allot of time being worried that the last good one might have just gotten away cuz I didn’t want him!

    • Kavita J Patel

      Tam’e thank you so much for sharing. I totally understand, in fact that’s part of what my brother was sharing, feeling frustrated that it couldn’t just work out with someone already! If you are staying open and getting vulnerable while you’re dating, you will know if a man is right for your fairly quickly. Proud of you for following your gut. Just curious, what did you feel was missing for you with those 3 men?

  • Megan

    I live in Spain and I’m 150% in love with my ex. I know our story isn’t over and when I’ve tired with others I’ve found that I didn’t have any excitement or illusion and in the end I just daydream about my ex. So until he finishes his masters and is able to think about other things, I’m stuck waiting it out, which I’m ok with because I’d rather have him than anyone else.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Megan. Thank you so much for your comment! I love that you are standing strong in your values. But I also noticed that you use the word “stuck waiting”. Have you gotten super vulnerable with your ex and let him know that this is your intention?

      • Megan

        Absolutely he knows! I called him a week ago to talk because so much is lost via text message and he was extremely stressed and took all of his frustrations out on me. The next morning when I woke up he had sent me 3 messages saying, “Don’t take everything I say to heart. I’m really stressed and overwhelmed and take everything badly. Anyways, relax, ok?” That is as good of an apology I’ll get from him and I know that he cares about me as well.
        I honestly don’t feel like I’m stuck waiting, but I’m not sure how better to word this period of time. For the first time in my adult life I’m single and while I find it to be very uncomfortable 90% of the time, I’m learning about who I am, who Megan is.
        Thank you for your response! 🙂

        • Kavita J Patel

          Amazing, that’s great Megan. I trust that if you do get uncomfortable or if at any point you feel like you’re settling in waiting for him, you’ll know and have the power to express that and take any next steps you need. Plus, you’re in the right place here with us! 🙂

  • Marie

    I know pretty soon if there is the excitement or not on my side. I don´t feel necessary chemistry, but I feel that there is an either possiblity for it or there isn´t. If it is not there from the beginning, it has never showed up later on. I was in contact with guys who I wanted to have as male friends -there was no chemistry, but they wanted relationship. Sad. I thought why not them? They semt to be interested in me, we were friends, had lots of things in common…it could have been so easy ! Also, I experienced the impleasant feeling being “hunted” by men to whom I feel no chemistry, trying to persuade me, make me to settle, make it work (because we know each other for so long…time to settle, last chance to have kids, everybody else from friends already partnered…). I even had a dream about that that I settled for a guy friend, had children with him and was so unhappy, so empty. I refused this guy friend as a romatic partner, friendship over since then, he did not replay anymore.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Thanks for sharing Marie. You definitely are doing the right thing by staying true to your heart. Not everyone will understand, but they also don’t need to 🙂 Kudos for trusting yourself so much. Truly!

      • Marie

        Thanks, Kavita !

  • Sam

    I recently went out with a work colleague that i really got on with. The first couple of dates I felt the excitement but by third date I realised that it’s because I really got on with him as a friend and since I hadn’t been on a date for a while I really wanted it to work. After I realised I decided to end it
    Although I enjoyed dating again it was the right thing to do.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Love love love Sam. So proud of you for listening to yourself rather than try to make something work. THAT is the action that aligns you for the right man 🙂

  • Lisa Richards

    This resonates with me so much – I dated a (great) guy for two months this past summer but was never excited about hearing from him or going on dates. Just in a world of Tinder jerks this guy was a good catch so I saw no reason to stop seeing him! He eventually ended it with me and I’m glad he did b/c I likely wouldn’t have.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Ah thank you for sharing Lisa! You are so not alone in sometimes feeling like you’re just hoping the other person will end it. What’s true about it is, when you start to feel not excited or closed of even just on the inside, it really can be FELT by the other person. Now that you recognize that feeling, you will be able to trust yourself if it happens again and filter out the wrong men even faster 🙂

  • Elaine

    Kavita, when I read your post yest my eyes welled up because I am the female version of your brother! I so get where he’s coming from….you meet the most wonderful person that seems to tick so many boxes but the right feelings aren’t there:-( it’s so frustrating as you really want it to be right & to work. I can see why your brother would want to meet the girl a few times because you have to give it a chance too. I have friends that weren’t so sure at the start but ended up really falling for the person & committing to them. I totally feel for your darling bro…time is passing by, friends & siblings have settled down with someone & like me probably wants the same. There’s obviously a disconnection there when meeting a potential partner when the right feelings aren’t being felt. Having you any advice on this Kavita. I know you believe it’s goes back to our parents relationship & I totally agree with you. My parents loved each other but in a strange as I don’t remember any real love or connection between them growing up but there still married 50 yrs later! Would really appreciate some advice. Thank you

    • Kavita J Patel

      Hi Elaine. Thank you for sharing and feeling for my brother 🙂 Are you able to ask your parents about their love story? I suggest asking them and being really curious (as if you’re a little kid who asks 20 million questions) what it was like when they met, before they had children, and how they fell in love. That will open up some new perspective for you.

  • S.

    Compelled to put in my two cents, I hated this article. Hated the fact that you were an observant sister to a well-meaning brother….. and how family can nudge a decision when a person “needs” these types of relationships to discover things otherwise missed. You have to learn where you are at within the dating scene. Some more evolved, some less advanced. Think about the horrible eHarmony commercials depicting hysterical crying woman, extremely raunchy guys, and the fact that you need a few bad or less than perfect dates to decide when you are finally emotionally available……. Is being instantly attracted to someone better? (I know a lot of single mothers going around with that frame of mind)……. The fact that some people “grow” on you after awhile can have some great outcomes. (An ex-boyfriend of mine is so important to me and I would have never known that if I didn’t go through the first “not-so-into him” dates to realize he was someone I loved. Later, he broke up with me but he shaped how I give men a chance even if I am not instantly crazy for them)………. Needless to say, I am going through this exact example of your brother in my own life right now. Nine dates, very good dates, checks off my requirements (non-smoker, over 40, good teeth, loyal) and yeah….. I cannot get “into” him. I have had this before, but they were less attractive than I was willing to settle for. The guy now is attractive and kind. Everyone has their own pace. However, I learned to love your article by the end because there is this one other guy who gives me the butterflies and the excitement you spoke of – yet, I dare not put myself out there (he is not a sure thing) and I am scared of commitment once again. This article reminded me that I lost one great man because I played it too cool and avoided any talk of marriage (my ex-boyfriend is now happily married to a nice woman) but I only found that out about myself by several dates before falling for him. However, waiting for the guy that gives me excitement may prove just as futile. I assure you, if I do decide to go for the butterflies, I won’t hold back again. I often go for the safer bet instead of risking my heart over someone I could instantly fall in love for and be hurt.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Hi S. Thank you thank you for getting vulnerable here and for letting me know how you feel 🙂 I agree, there are truly no mistakes – even if my brother were to continue to see this woman, he would have come to his own conclusions and learned his lessons. There is truly no right or wrong way. I would like to lovingly encourage you to follow what FEELS good for you, rather than what looks good on paper. It is true, you can learn to love the person you are with to an extent. AND will you always be wondering what if about this other man? You’re so not alone in this, by the way. Often the fear of getting vulnerable with someone we’re really drawn to and staying with someone we know isn’t quite right is because of a deeper belief that we’re not good enough to have everything we want in love. If this man were to say he wasn’t interested, it would be like “proof” that we were right. But there is always a 50/50 chance – and you are selling yourself short by assuming it will fail. There are so many layers to this, and if you keep exploring the blog you’ll start to make some more connections for yourself. Bottom line, S – you are worth EVERYTHING you desire, including feeling a SPARK with the man you’re with.

  • XYZ

    Hey Kavita. I think you need to be very sure of what you want, in order to be able to tell whether ‘raw attraction’ (which was missing in your brother’s case) isn’t just another perpetuation of an old pattern that needs to be given the heave-ho. I felt that kind of crazy attraction towards ‘bad boys’ for YEARS. Then I met a nice, dignified man who wanted to treat me well and what I felt for him (admiration, respect) was so different from what I’d felt for the bad boys that I almost passed up on the nice man. It took me some months to clean up my act and to figure out what I really wanted from my life, which none of the previous men had been able to give me, simply because I’d been playing out the same pattern again and again. P.S. The nice man got the girl in the end 🙂

    • Kavita J Patel

      Thank you so much for sharing. So happy the nice man got the girl!

  • Liz

    This was sooo me! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself 1 or 2months down the road thinking “Yes I’m not that excited about her. I’m forcing it because there was nothing really wrong with her.” it’s a hard habit to break.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Hi Liz, yes it can be a hard habit to break.

  • Aravis Lune

    I think this is happening to me, only the other way around. My “boyfriend” whom I’ve been seeing for about 6 months on and off is very distant and it feels like if I didn’t make plans to see him we or call him we could just stop talking all together and he wouldn’t notice. When we first started dating he told me he is very bad at making plans but he wants to see me so will I please make the plans. But now I’m not so sure. I think he just follows my lead but couldn’t care less if we are together or not.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Hi Aravis, have you asked him what he wants and have you shared what you want?

      • Aravis Lune

        I have asked him, his answers are usually “Do we have to have this conversation right now?” or “I just want to take it slow”. And I’ve told him what I want, but when I say things about my future he is supportive in a “You should have those things for yourself” kind of way and not in a “We” kind of way. The other day we talked about my roommate moving out and I mentioned he could move in if that ever happened and he said “oh here we go..”

        He does seem to be more attentive lately, things for him are going really well and when he’s in a good mood he’s more interested in our relationship. But when things in his life start getting stressful he pulls away and wants lots of space.

        • Kavita J Patel

          Aravis, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to wait then. Or if you are willing to be with someone that isn’t on the same page as you. There are deeper patterns at play here, stemming from the way you saw or felt loved from your parents or those that raised you.

  • cheers2life

    I am going through something similar. I met a lovely guy in a bar two weeks ago and hit it off.. we dated for two weeks and saw a lot of each other, he is perfect bf on paper but there was something missing on my side..He was everything I was looking for in a bf but still I couldn’t feel the connection. I broke up with him after two weeks as it wasn’t fair on him and I didn’t want to string him along… I do think if I acted too soon and if I should have given it more time for my feelings to evolve

    • Kavita J Patel

      Hi. Thank you so much for writing here and expressing yourself. It feels like you can sense this is a pattern for you, like this has happened before. I would say just off of the little information I have it’s okay to honor this feeling, but if it is a pattern it’s important to look at where’s it’s coming from.

  • Giulia

    I’m going through it right now and I hate myself for it.
    I met this wonderful man online.
    We met many months ago and I became severely infatuated with him shortly after we began contacting each other more often.
    Then we began speaking to each other every single day (we still do).
    He is wonderful and I love him but I don’t feel in love with him.
    And it hurts so badly.
    He is everything I have ever wanted to have in a companion and in a relationship.
    For years I had longed for such a profound connection and it finally happened.
    Yet as soon as he let me know he also felt love for me, my feelings just vanished.
    I have a past history of abuse so I don’t know how that could be affecting my emotions (I do know I have a deep fear of intimacy and severe attachment issues.)
    So we’ve talked a lot about all these things (also because the idea of a relationship made me deeply stressed out and spiral into a depression for a couple days.) so we told each other we’ll wait until we are ready to be with together.
    Yet we have been acting as if we’re in a relationship now (without being officially in one.)
    He is wonderful and just the kindest, sweetest, most loving man there is.
    I have never met someone as thoughtful and kind as he is.
    And I do love what we have.
    But this part of our relationship (still technically a friendship) is stressful to me and makes me deeply upset.
    He loves me so much and I do too, but the problem is I don’t feel in love 😞
    I keep hoping and waiting to feel that tang of romantic love at some point.
    I want to love him so badly and I do want to spend the rest of my life with this man.
    But I feel as if I am forcing myself to love him romantically.
    It feel as if I’m playing with him and that’s the last thing I would ever want to do.
    I’m staying in this not only because I still have hope to feel love at some point but also because I’m deeply afraid of hurting him and breaking his heart.
    Yet it hurts me so much in return.
    It hurts that I didn’t fall for him like he did for me.
    It hurts so much that’s all I want is to be in love.
    I want it so much and it upsets me so much that it’s not happening to me.
    It hurts because I found the man of my dreams (quite literally) the most loving man I could ever ask for and here I go feeling totally numb.
    I don’t know what to do I feel so upset.
    I do feel attraction to him to some level.
    I would love to cuddle with him, hold him, kiss him even.
    Spend time with him, hold his hand, be there for him, and sometimes when we text I do get slight pangs of excitement or happiness here and there.
    I have been going through a depression lately (also accompanied by anxiety) and it’s been happening before this whole thing with him has.
    So I don’t know how much of that could have an effect on me.
    I’m also going to therapy to let go of deeply rooted issues regarding opening up to others and accepting love (both of which I have trouble with.)
    So I don’t know what’s going on.
    Could anyone offer me with some advice please?