I’ll give him his space, I’ll never get angry at him over little things, I’ll look good for him. That’s it, right? Well, not exactly. Not even close. While women are often targeted as being high maintenance and hard to care for, it’s not as though men don’t have buttons to push either. We women often have a way of taking care of men in such a way that doesn’t allow them to be…men.
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days was a hilarious romantic comedy that will go down in history as one of the best 2000s chick flicks, but your real relationship isn't a movie that you can cut, rewind, or redo. If your goal is to lose your man, read on for three steps that will inevitably lead to him walking out the door for good.
Step One: Mother Your Man
Life isn’t easy for anyone, gender aside. Society seems to find it much easier to talk about women's issues, leaving men on the sidelines to fend for themselves. Causes for concern in men like depression, loneliness, anxiety, and pressure aren’t often discussed. It’s even more taboo for men themselves to open up and discuss these issues. Some of these themes have been carried down through families, causing generational trauma and the like. One issue that has been perpetuated and is only fed into by dominating girlfriends and damaged masculinity is aptly named mommy issues.
Quick test, how many plot lines in a movie or book have revolved around changing him? “I can fix him” is a phrase that’s become so common that we don't stop for a second to think about what it is we’re admitting. That is that we, as women, believe we have the power to change men. This is far from the truth – women and men alike have very little influence on true change in other humans.
Daddy issues and mommy issues are both reflected in a relatively similar way. Insecurities, trust issues, attachment issues – all the good stuff. It’s tempting to approach a broken boy with the hopes you can guide him into being a whole man. But your guidance as a woman is only furthering that divide between boy and man. After all, if you’re trying to replace his mother and heal his youth, all you’ll be healing is that youthful aspect in your partner.
Mommy issues are much more common than we would think, but they aren’t solved by becoming a mother-like figure to your boyfriend or husband. Rather, encouraging them to stand on their own two feet with or without that motherly figure is the real task at hand. And trust me, it isn’t an easy one. This isn’t to say don’t be a comfort to your boyfriend. It’s okay to be his safe space, it’s okay to give him a place to share his emotions without judgment. He needs that, but he also needs a woman who encourages him to be confident, trusting in himself and you, and someone who wants him to be a leader. You’re not his mother; he already has one of those. Whether she was around or did a good job, you can’t replace her. All you’ll end up doing is deepening the emotional stress that mommy issues inflict and lessening your romance in the process.
Step Two: Try To Change Him
If you’ve ever been in the position to have a relationship with your boyfriend’s mother, it might not take long to realize that she has tried to shape him into something his father wasn’t. It’s a sad reality, but so many mothers try to create their own ideal man in their sons – to create for someone else what they feel they missed out on (even if they rarely want to give him away to someone else). Sometimes as girlfriends we try to do the same.
It’s not uncommon or wrong to have an ideal partner in our head. However, it is wrong to assume we can carve our ideal partner out of our current partner. Love is a constant compromise, and going into a relationship with the assumption we can change someone is dangerous waters. The easiest solution to feeling that your relationship is incomplete isn’t to try to make your partner whole, it’s to try and complete yourself. A lack of completion in our own lives tends to make us notice the hole in others. It’s easy to focus on others instead of ourselves during this time, but for once it’s time to put yourself first.
Your man, just like anyone, has to find himself. He has to discover his drive, his passions, his spirit. While it’s very possible and more than likely that you’ll encourage that as his partner, it isn’t your job.
Step Three: Make Sure He Knows He Isn’t Needed
You don’t need a man, your TikTok feed and the latest women's rights spokesperson have both told you so. Maybe they’re correct, maybe you don’t need any assistance from a male counterpart. And if you’re wanting to give him a clue to get gone, make certain that he knows he isn’t needed. His talents are unwanted, his strengths unnecessary, his brain power redundant.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Men are human too! Crazy, isn’t it? But it’s true. And as humans, we have to belong. It’s a primal desire and need. But belonging is far more than just feeling welcomed, it’s striving to serve and have a purpose. Being in a relationship brings on newfound purpose. Or, at least, it should. The trend of independence that new wave feminism has brought on has persuaded women to do it all, leaving a man standing by to question his purpose in the relationship.
“It’s okay to ask for help” seems to be advice from the past, but it’s more than that. Men in relationships that leave them without purpose is an insult to everything that makes them them. Their intelligence, strength, creativity, and the like are all wounded when they’re restrained. Problem-solving skills, open conversation, kindness – these are all things necessary to a functioning person in a relationship that are simply shut down and discouraged when one person decides to take the full lead and leave the other partner directionless.
A relationship of any kind isn’t always fifty-fifty, but it is always a compromise of give and take. Every bit of everything shouldn’t fall on either partner’s shoulders. Likewise, no one should feel purposeless or unwanted in a relationship. After all, relationships are another beautiful stage in growing as humans, and encouraging each other to do so means giving room to lead, follow, help, and be helped.
If you haven’t discovered how to lose the dude by now, let me narrow it down: Make sure he doesn’t feel human. What makes him himself is invalid as soon as he is welcomed into your relationship. Stunt his growth, destroy his drive, make sure he feels useless and unwanted. Encourage him to be less than you – and everyone else. Whether he walks away from the relationship or not, discouraging a man to be a man will make you lose him either way. You’ll either end up alone, or with a boy. Being your partner’s support and muse is one of the greatest feelings I have come across. It’s growth for both individuals and it’s the knowledge that you’re bettering yourselves for each other – there are few things better, in my opinion.
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