We’ve dedicated a lot of dating advice to teaching men how they can be better boyfriends and husbands. But since it takes two to tango, how exactly are women striving to become better girlfriends and wives?
The fact that he thinks you’re beautiful just isn’t enough to ensure he will stick around. In his pursuit for long-lasting love, he’s trying to dodge these potential relationship landmines that could be detrimental to you both in the long run.
Trying To Control Him (A.K.A. “Nagging”)
What she thinks: I’m trying to steer him in the right direction.
What he thinks: She’s treating me like a child.
A fully-grown man doesn’t need a third parent to enter his life. It’s best to save the raising for when babies are in the picture. This man has been living life in his own way and on his own terms, and he won’t be ready to relinquish his control anytime soon. But if you enter the relationship with a D-I-Y, Build-a-Boyfriend attitude, your “project” will be over before it gets started.
If you enter the relationship with a Build-a-Boyfriend attitude, your “project” will be over before it gets started.
Women tend to find themselves in this situation when they meet an attractive guy but he doesn’t quite check all of their relationship boxes. Instead of passing up his deep romantic stare and his great head of hair, she tries to make it work by forcing her will upon him. This type of relationship goes from dream to nightmare quickly. Women like this must wake up to the fact that she needs to stick to her standards instead of engaging men who only fit half the bill and then trying to control them.
Being Overly Needy and Insecure
What she thinks: I’m expressing my love for him.
What he thinks: She’s in my way.
Speaking of treating a man like a baby, you’re no child either. Playfulness is welcome to some degree, but too much of this turns into childish behavior that interrupts his focus and flow. When you call every hour to check on him, pop in on him at work, soak up all of his “me time” and then want to talk on the phone until you fall asleep, he no longer looks forward to spending time with you because you’ve spoiled all the fun by being in his face 24/7.
The source of this behavior is often insecurity – a constant desire for approval from an external force. By acting overly needy and insecure, you’re informing him of how little you value yourself and also him. You’re communicating that your need for approval dominates your life and potentially his, and he can’t go for that.
Tame this habit by creating a livelihood of your own that helps you feel valued. Make friends, join clubs and organizations, find a gym, and take part in activities that help you love yourself. The right guy will see you for the confident and self-sufficient woman you are – the one he wants to build a life with.
What she thinks: I need to ensure this relationship benefits me.
What he thinks: She doesn’t trust me to lead at all.
Playing tit for tat has no place when you’re trying to win him over. Manipulative behaviors – like not answering his calls because he missed one of yours – will always rub him the wrong way. It communicates that you lack trust in him, and a man who is looking to build a family soon doesn’t have time to jump through hoops to earn a little bit of trust in return.
Manipulative behaviors communicate that you lack trust in him.
Instead, relax and try not to go into a relationship with negative assumptions. If he’s busy or unable to meet one of your needs, know that most guys are not deliberately trying to hurt you.
Not Being Receptive to His Romantic Efforts
What she thinks: I need to hold out to earn his respect.
What he thinks: She doesn’t find me attractive or satisfying.
Once you’re well established in your relationship, there comes a time when he’s going to want to put a move on you. Maybe he wants to sneak a kiss or a peck on the neck. He begins holding you closer and hoping you’ll melt into his strong embrace. But because of some bad advice about playing “hard to get,” you shift and squiggle your way out of it, thinking it will help advance the relationship in your favor. The downside is that he reads your behavior as a hint that you’re just not into him. If that’s not what you’re trying to say, then learn to relax and focus on enjoying your time together instead of trying to calculate the “perfect” moment.
In marriage, this can manifest itself as a rejection of sexual advances. Barring any health concerns being at play, pushing him away sexually is a surefire way to weaken an otherwise healthy bond. (Click here for some tips to help you get in the mood!)
Trying To Change Him
What she thinks: I’m trying to be helpful to him.
What he thinks: She doesn’t approve of my life goals.
For men, constant reminders, complaints, and “told-you-so” moments from a girlfriend are worse than Facebook notifications – except he can’t turn them off without breaking off the relationship.
He’s not with you for handicaps and shortcuts, but rather for your support and respect.
Women who have trouble keeping a man often find themselves offering excessive “corrections” to mold their man into who she thinks is his ideal self. While you think you’re helping, you’re hurting his opportunity to grow and learn from his experiences. He’s not with you for handicaps and shortcuts, but rather for your support and respect. At the end of the day, it’s less about being right and more about being respectful.
Good men do exist and they deserve our honesty, our commitment, and our very best effort. To engage in games and plots to trap or transform him into our “dream guy” evokes the very opposite, as it communicates pride, distrust, and shame – all things that will push a prospective partner away. Meeting the right man – and staying with him – starts with coming to terms with our own needs as well as his. Once we step outside of ourselves and learn how to fully support him, the inclination to manipulate, change, cling, and control eventually fades.
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