I bet you just read the title of this article and let out a big sigh. That's ok, we did too. It's all too familiar, isn't it? You meet a guy, get on great and have a wonderful relationship.
That should be it, right?
But then one day you bring up marriage or kids and he starts to get defensive; tells you to stop getting at him, and that he'll talk about it another time.
Then, within a few months he's gone. And the kicker? You hear that a mere 6 months later he's engaged to another woman.
Another few months in, she's pregnant.
What happened? Why did he propose to her and not you? What did you do wrong? Why did he want her to be the mother of his children and not you?
The answer is not simple, nor is there only one, but we're going to go through some of the reasons:
Why a Man Chooses One Woman Over Another
The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side
Even if you haven't heard this expression, you'll certainly know what it means. If you have curly hair, for example, you've probably wondered if you might prefer having straight hair instead.
The same goes for men in a relationship. They may feel happy enough with you, but harbor feelings that maybe there's a better option out there for them.
You may be a good listener and a calming influence, but perhaps your partner has been thinking about how great it would be to have a spontaneous, impulsive girlfriend.
If your man has suddenly dropped you for a woman that is the polar-opposite, this could be the reason, and it's just one reason why men pursue one woman instead of another at different stages of their lives.
With so many ways to meet new partners in the world, the stakes are constantly being raised and the goal-posts shifted.
Apps like Tinder and Plenty of Fish asking people to summarize themselves in 500 characters or less.
So you might be right in thinking that people are looking for love instantaneously, and that women are in competition with one another to “win” the man they've set their sights on.
These women (and men!) are putting so many filters on their photos to create impossible versions of themselves that you feel you can't possibly compete.
Flawless skin, huge lips and a waistline that the Victorians would have been proud of are all ways that women are snatching up the men of their choice, without a thought for those who they may be hurting.
If your partner is targeted by one of these women, it takes a strong man to resist the temptation to stray, and possibly end up committing to her instead of you.
Sex isn't everything in a relationship, but having a strong, intimate bond with your partner strengthens your relationship and keeps it feeling new and fresh.
We've all heard the story of the man working late at the office and, of course, it turns out months later that he was having an affair with his secretary.
The reason we hear this story, or a version of it, so often is because it happens every day.
Men are sexually-driven creatures, and if you and your partner aren't enjoying a fulfilling sex life, it's perfectly possible that he's seeking it out further afield.
That's not to say that affairs end up with the man marrying the secretary. In fact, that rarely happens.
But what is true is that you and your partner must be sexually compatible for you to enjoy long-term success in the relationship.
Without this, your man may find himself pursuing another woman and, if the sexual chemistry is right, he may decide that she's the right one for him.
Friends and Family
Who are the most important people in your life? Your friends and family, right? So if you don't like your partner's friends, don't you think it may have a damaging effect on your relationship?
Have you ever asked your husband to come back early from a night out with the guys under the pretence of needing him to do something at home, but really it's because you don't like his best friend?
He always comes home drunk after being out with him and is completely useless and hungover the next day. Fair to say? This will not go unnoticed.
We all have friends and don't want someone else to tell us when we can and can't see them. Even if you don't say anything directly, your animosity towards his buddies will inevitably lead to resentment on his part.
If a woman comes along that enjoys spending time with his friends as much as he does, who do you think he and his friends are going to want him to hang out with more?
You Were Never The One
Your relationship was going great but he broke it off and seems to have moved on so quickly, and yet you're still devastated 6 months on.
How is that possible? Ok, this is hard to hear but it's quite likely that he always knew you were not the one for him.
A man will often enter into a relationship without much thought, and will end it in the same fashion.
You might have been dreaming about what your children would like like, and how it would sound to have his last name instead of your own. But perhaps he didn't give those things a second thought.
A new woman is on the scene, and his attitude to relationships mean that he will now invest his time and energy into this new, exciting fling to see if she could be “the one”.
Why Buy The Cow When You Can Get The Milk For Free?
Another expression! This one relates to making it too easy for your man to walk away from you and pursue other women.
If you're constantly telling him how wonderful he is, and forgiving any and all mistakes he makes without so much as a disgruntled huff, you may be making his life far too easy and taking away his respect for you.
And if another woman comes into his life and shakes it up, who is he going to want to spend his time with? If he does something wrong and she's upset, he's going to have to work to make it up to her.
Being nice all the time isn't understanding and compassionate: it's being a pushover, and unfortunately, being a pushover doesn't usually go hand-in-hand with passionate relationships.
Dreams and Aspirations
What are your dreams for the future? Not even thinking about the big questions like marriage and children, but what would you like to achieve for yourself in your life?
Maybe it's going back to school and getting your degree, or learning to play the piano. And what are your partner's?
If it's completing the Spicy Wing Challenge at his favorite chicken joint, or getting a black-belt in Jiu-Jitsu, maybe you aren't on the right path together.
This isn't to say that you can't have different aspirations.
If one of you is into health and fitness and the other into TV dinners and game-shows, it might be time to admit to yourself that you both might be better off with more like-minded partners.
Maybe You've Changed
So far in this article, we've explored some of the reasons why men pursue one woman instead of another, with the onus being on the man being at fault in the relationship.
But maybe, just maybe, the reason he's looking elsewhere is because you're the one that has changed since he met you.
We all look back on our younger days and make comments like “I used to be so wild” or “man, I just didn't care back then”.
While we all grow up and gain responsibilities, it's also perfectly possible that you've changed to the point of being unrecognizable to your partner.
Sequin skirts and vodka Martinis are replaced with nappies and club sodas, and cool gigs and cigarettes are thrown out in place of talk radio and herbal tea.
It happens to everyone but the care-free, impulsive woman you once were may just have been the person that your man fell in love with.
If that girl is gone, it's no wonder the man in your life might start looking for his next free-spirited soulmate.
You're Not The Trophy He Wants
Men strive for success. They want to be at the top of their game and be financially stable, in order to take care of their families and send their kids to college, correct?
Well, most men yes. But there's another type of man and this one doesn't just want to be good at his job; he wants to be the boss.
And he doesn't just want to be fiscally comfortable; he wants as much money as he can get his hands on.
These men value status and wealth above all else and they like to show everyone just how rich and successful they really are.
Think big, garish houses with a water feature in the driveway, and a ridiculously impractical car to drive around town in.
When you date this kind of guy, do you really think their wife could be any less opulent and expensive-looking than everything else in their life?
What if your man is climbing the ladder, and enjoying the trinkets and bonuses along the way, chances are he's going to be looking for a woman that he can place at the very top of his trophy cabinet.
And if you're not prepared to work out 6 days a week for that bikini-bod, or to check your personality and opinions at the door (so that you can hang off his arm like an expensive accessory).
It might be time to think about pursuing other men!
Otherwise, you might get a shock when you're introduced to his new fitness instructor, “Debbie”, in a couple of months.
Have you ever looked back on a past fling and thought “that was so crazy! He was so wrong for me but I just couldn't see it”.
We've all been there: you can't get them out of your head, you think they're perfect for you even though your friends and family can't understand what you see in him, and you want to be with him every minute of every day.
That is infatuation, and it's a dangerous state to be in. A man will choose a woman with whom he's infatuated over any other woman in his life.
The opinions of his friends and family won't even come into it, and he will move home, job, State or country just to be with her. He won't see her faults because his brain is totally focused on being with her and only her.
With men, infatuation is like a switch: it's either on or off.
If the switch is turned on, your man will be completely powerless to the woman he's infatuated with.
When the switch is turned off, he will have no problem in walking away from her without a care in the world.
So how does a woman activate a man’s Infatuation Instinct… to make him so overwhelmed with desire for her he’s willing to do anything to show her how much he wants her?