I want to talk about a few questions and complaints about relationship advice that have been popping up repeatedly.
“Why do we spend all this time hearing that we need to change? Why don’t men change?”
“Why is all of this relationship advice for women when it’s the guys who really need to appreciate us more?”
“Why is it once again that women have to pick up the slack and do everything when it comes to relationships? Shouldn’t men have to work in relationships with us too?”
“Why are we the ones seeking out relationship advice when we’re supposed to be the prize to men?”
One of the thorniest concepts (and most frequent arguments) I see in relationship advice land is the idea that most relationship advice for women is just another way that women are expected to do all of the work.
And, I get it. The perspective that we’re the only ones out there looking for answers and trying to improve our relationships with men DOES feel one sided.
As a woman, this can be really annoying at times.
However, there are a few reasons why all of this might not be as one-sided as it seems on the surface.
Here’s are several important things to know about commitment, love and getting him to cherish you.
1. You’re the proactive one asking the questions.
Women are usually the gatekeepers when it comes to relationships.
As the saying goes, if “Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
In my own relationship I have my ear to the ground when it comes to my man.
While he’s a smart and perceptive— unless something is immediately bothering one of us, worrying about the health of our relationship without a clear, obvious reason just isn’t on his mind. I’m out there thinking of problems before there are even problems.
A lot of the time, it’s women who are out there researching, plotting, thinking about how to get through to men. It’s us who were more likely to fantasize about marriage, family and children since we were kids.
I haven’t met a man yet who has admitted to vividly picturing his wedding at 8 years old (I wasn’t either, but that’s another story). Men don’t have the same triggers that cause them think about relationships that women do. As a result, they ask different questions than we do.
This isn’t to say that men don’t seek out relationship advice, because they absolutely do. However, that advice is geared toward what they are searching for.
If you go outside and look for yellow cars, you will see yellow cars. If you go out and look for relationship advice for men, there is plenty of that out there– and lots of good advice applies to both men and women. Men have different perspectives and ask different questions even though they want a lot of the same things we do.
2. Different behaviors on your part (or any one partner) can singlehandedly change the whole relationship.
If you act differently he WILL act differently. The idea that it takes two to tango and both people should be “working on” a relationship for it to change is not true. That’s because if either person acts differently, the other person cannot help but treat them differently in return.
Picture a scenario where you’re happily going about your day. You’re in an unusually good mood and your man comes home. He slams the door when he walks into the house and starts yelling at you for no identifiable reason.
Did he singlehandedly change the happy day you were having?
Even if you magically maintain your happy mood, I bet you treat him A LOT differently than if he came home with flowers and declarations of love for you. He singlehandedly changed the dynamic between you.
Did you intend to participate in this dynamic? No. But you’re both there on the dance floor anyway. That’s why the idea that one person can’t change a relationship is complete hogwash. If your spouse is resistant to change and you believe that, you’re in trouble. Treating someone differently cannot help but change the dynamic between you.
This is great news, since it means that you have a tremendous amount of power in your relationship. My goal is to help you get the happy love relationship that you deserve with that power.
3. Should-ing anyone never really accomplishes anything.
Sometimes women comment that men “SHOULD” do XY or Z when it comes to them. Sure, that’s cool, but he’s not the one I’m talking to. I’m talking to women for the most part. If a man comes around and asks me for advice, I’ll tell him to do whatever makes sense for his situation— as I’ve done before in the Q&A section.
One of my favorite psychologists, Dr. Albert Ellis, refers to thoughts that things should be different as “MUSTerbation.” It might feel good to go in circles thinking about what “SHOULD” happen, but in the end, you don’t actually get anywhere. In fact, shoulds simply make you unhappy with the present moment.
You can’t happily inspire anyone to do anything for long by guilt tripping or should-ing them. Thinking that a man should be different only prevents you from finding solutions that make both of you happy.
4. You can’t cause change by simply feeling entitled to it.
If you’re the one in front of me, my job is to teach you to act in such a way that solves your problem and INSPIRES a man to meet your needs without setting him on edge, making him defensive or driving him away.
You can get upset that he’s not doing what you want, or you can take steps to change the dynamics between you. You can absolutely NOT get him to change by simply feeling entitled to changes or wanting him to change first. Men do change, but it has to benefit them. The same is true for you and every other human.
In fact, you can’t get anything by simply feeling entitled to it. You can wish and hope all day and until the cows come home, but you have to take action to have the relationship you really want. Men are not mind readers. That’s just not the way anyone is wired. People are largely self interested and will make changes that benefit them. That doesn’t make him uncaring or not in love with you. That makes him human.
5. “A lot of these dating, love and relationship techniques feel like games and manipulation.”
Relationships have a definite game aspect to them. Men play games with our hearts, minds and souls. They may or not mean to, but sometimes what a man wants is completely at odds with what you want. You’re playing a game whether you like it or not.
Now, would you rather know the rules and how to play or would you rather lie down and give up your substantial power?
You’re a smart woman. Not playing is NOT an option unless you quit men completely, so I might as well help you be the absolute best you can be.
I’m about helping you get results. Why is getting what you want an evil thing? ESPECIALLY when what you really want is a man who you can love deeply and who loves you back. Is that evil? Not on any day I’ve been alive for.
Unless you’re a sociopath with evil intentions, getting what you want doesn’t have to be a negative thing.
I highly doubt that in the long run, your deep, sincere love for a man is going to be bad for him. Historically, men have suffered and died for love. You can be the kind of woman who inspires that kind of devotion, but it takes skill. I teach those skills.
6. “But, I want to be myself in my relationship. I feel like these techniques mean I’m being fake.”
Do you yell at waiters when you’re having a bad day? Do you wear your pajamas to the office? Do you go on first dates right after rolling out of bed?
Is that fake? Maybe.
Would you argue that the polished, made up, emotionally happy and stable version of you isn’t actually you? No.
I completely understand that you don’t want to put on an act or be someone else for a man. I don’t want to do that either. In fact, I’m very strongly against morphing into anyone else.
What I am about is inspiring you to become the best version of you that you can possibly be— for yourself. You are “the one” in attract the one.
You don’t have to transform into a woman you aren’t or pretend that you are someone else. That is never the spirit of my advice. If you’ve ever gotten that impression from me, I apologize. Yell at me in the comment section.
What we’re doing here is digging for the best version of you. The sparkly, genuinely happy, adorable version. The version of you who draws men to you like a magnet. No matter who you are, she’s in there and my job is to help her come out.
Then, no matter what your individual idiosyncrasies are, you’re you, and he’s happy as can be because there is nothing more attractive to a man than a genuinely polished, consistently happy woman. And if he sincerely doesn’t like your flavor, he can exit stage left— but not before you have a shot at winning him over.
I hope that answers some of your questions about relationship advice. I welcome your questions and comments in the comment section below.