Attention vs intention - you choose: Here are the clues

Never and l mean never, rule of thumb here, invest in someone because of how attracted you are to them! Invest in them because of how invested they are in you.


This needs to become a mantra because it is how you are going to save yourself from a lot of pain. Sounds logical. Sounds easy. Sounds even maybe like common sense. However, this is where the pain usually starts if we invest only in the attraction, if there is going to be pain of uncertainty when it is not progressing.

Key clue. It isn’t going anywhere, you are basically always back to ground zero. With zero.

Don’t invest in the fantasy. Nobody enjoys being in anything when we don’t feel that somehow it is a forward-moving thing.

Progression is really important. It affects our happiness, our self-esteem, our hope. Without these important emotional states being felt, we are in fact either standing still or in a relationship version of Groundhog Day, living the same thing over and over again. This can also feel like dating burnout. Or just burnout across the board because it robs us of living a fulfilled life with a sense of joy and personal achievement however that is individually identified or perceived.

Please remember that uncertainty is a trigger. When we are triggered we are not using our rationale we are in a helpless child state. This is neither where you want to be nor where you need to be that makes you feel grounded.

Here, right in this place, are where so many of our mistakes at the beginning of a relationship take place. Here is where you forget to take notice of the clues that you “feel” even without the information.

The stages of a relationship:

  1. Admiration attraction 
  2. Connection 
  3. Compatibility
  4. Commitment

In the attraction, when you are buzzing with the chemistry, you take notice of it. It feels good to have this, of course it does, but it is not enough and it is not always what carries you to commitment - if commitment is what you want.

Most especially true if this person you are attracted to is not investing in who you are by showing you that who you are is important to them.

Another clue. When they do, then they show up. 

This is tangible and felt. You don’t end up consulting friends or clairvoyants or searching the internet and YouTube for anything that will 'explain' their irregularity. To feel better. Or to unravel their inconsistency.

You probably wouldn’t be reading this either. And, if l hadn’t been through this, l wouldn’t be here writing it!

Instead, there is the continued curiosity minus the agony of the questions about why they are not calling or texting or why their interest is being felt.

Another clue. You feel still calm, centred and happy.

Instead of focusing on wondering why the three calls and messages you did get daily initially, slipped down to them just replying to yours but not initiating and then when you stopped there was/is zero contact.

Nobody is that busy. I genuinely do not buy that. Here is often where we know this but kind of overlook it.

A person interested in you will be in touch because they won’t want to take the risk of losing your interest. Or of losing you.

You’re on shaky ground here where you feel lost and alone, and you lose yourself when you are with people who treat you in this way.

Volatility, lots of not knowing that is peppered with fleeting 'nirvana' moments when they come back or they check-in. Here you are emotionally deregulated. Here, cortisol is rushing through your veins and you are not thinking straight.

Another big clue, you don’t feel good. The red flags, inconsistency in both their energy and their attention, on the radar and then off the radar.

This is an awful place, and it is so common, often because of the feeling of scarcity.

When meeting someone you like who likes you back, connects with you, and has shared values is so thin on the ground in the Wild West of dating, you lack choice and so you are more willing to put up with being treated poorly. 

Some signs are not good and are far more about them having an “experience” with you. Because they do not want or care enough for you to know that they are thinking about you and want to let you know that they are still on the radar. Even though they “said” lots of really lovely connecting things. 

Another clue. It is not what they say. It is what they do. And someone on board will be “felt” and known through deed. The words are nice, but they are the icing, not the cake.

If you don’t hold value for yourself and you get caught up in the scarcity scenario, you are investing in an old and painful pattern that has been taken from you, not given to you. 

One where you allow yourself to be undervalued is so common amongst insecure attachment. More so if the insecurity is felt anxiously and this is because others' boundaries are felt as threatening and scary because they echo potential abandonment, so you are more likely to play into that poor treatment - because anything feels better than nothing because in childhood early doors you were only valued for what you could give and do and not for who you are.

Your value was unknown and, therefore, unfelt. Your value is then sought out through what is external. Internally, you are too crowded with the nasty emotional vagaries of impending abandonment.

You have to start feeling your own value so you can start the value ball rolling. Try and remember also to listen to your gut. It’s called “gut instinct” for a reason.

Ask yourself, have they asked you questions about you, you know what you like what your dreams are, and shown an interest in who you are?

This is an important part of someone who is genuinely wanting to get to know you who shows growing interest and is researching your compatibility with one another.

But don’t invest beyond the evidence that is both felt and also actually experienced. This person, no matter how much you love them, is not making you happy enough to feel like what you share is going somewhere good where you can belong if you have none of the feelings that go with that. Which are good and known, not bad and unknown.

There is also the “l love you, but” classic.

Really? Then why aren’t you coming through for me?

Another clue. Actually, this is equivalent to the writing on the wall, and also it shows you their understanding of loving someone is totally different to yours when they don’t show up and you do.

This isn’t complex. It’s actually very simple. It just isn’t good.

There is no “mutual” or reciprocal situation going on here. Just the attention versus the intention and the experience that is fleeting and ephemeral, even if this comes and goes and then is repeated and comes back. 

Missing you, life isn’t the same without you, said again and again isn’t advancement, it isn’t progress. It’s just another 'nirvana' moment when you think "Thank goodness he or she is back. I don’t have to feel alone anymore, l don’t have to go back to the hollow experience of dating and searching..."

This mantra is just digging up hope for nothing unless it comes with something real, that is felt through the experience of change through progress.

You are here in fact only anchored to something that feels safe not because it is either safe or good for you but is in fact not a real harbour. It just feels better than nothing, but actually, it begins to feel like better than nothing less and less.

Don’t moor there.

So how do l conclude here? I think by saying please, let the reality and the self-honesty of being aware of this wildnesses process with you.

Walk in nature, journal, listen to music, however, processing works for you. Give all this information an internal voice by allowing it some space.

Your own, all of our own emotional understanding needs to be brought into the light for us to see what doesn’t make us feel whole or good or peaceful anymore. But in fact the opposite.

Don’t waste your time and your life. The 'lie'. Lies don’t ever feel good. Sometimes epiphanies can surface in their own way and own time. 

It isn’t a race. But l will say, what you become aware of you will never be unaware of again. And what is learnt cannot be unknown again in quite the same way.

It is a journey. Try if you can to stop getting on the same train that doesn’t take you where you truly want to go.

I specialise in coaching people emotionally because l have been on the same train, and got off, and now teaching others how to navigate through this labyrinth is such a worthwhile joy.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
London, N8
Written by Gail Berry, Emotional and Relationship Coach
London, N8

Written by Gail Berry Emotional Coach - both a therapist and an alternative medical practitioner who works with healing people’s core wounds and uses Bach Flower Remedies alongside talking and behavioural therapy to make real change and transformation possible.
07771 715072
First enquiry consultation free

Show comments

Find a coach dealing with Relationships

All coaches are verified professionals

All coaches are verified professionals