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Monday, June 14, 2010

For the Guys

Guys I have not forgotten about you. I realize we women are not the easiest things to figure out! Men have just as hard of a time understanding our wants, needs and expectations as we do theirs. 

I believe many women would be surprised to know how difficult it is for you gentlemen to know when it is okay to approach them or what kind of approach is correct.
Men, you also worry about facing possible rejection and you get a bad rap for being “typical” when often times you are nothing of the sort.
It can be really hard for guys because we women tend to hold on to how we have been treated in the past by other men against you! 
For you, the men, often times you not only have to get past your own fears but the fears of the women you would like to be with as well! 
If I can give you one major word of advice guys, be sure of what it is you want before you begin a path with a woman. Now granted it is not fair to ask you to be sure you want a long term relationship with any particular woman before you have a chance to get to know her BUT be sure you want a relationship at all. Most women are looking for the long term thing. No, not all women, I know many women who only want casual fun! Thats great! But be sure you are clear about what it is you want before dating a woman! 
If you know that you do not want anything long term or serious or “committed” say so right up front. It is OKAY to tell a woman “look I am in the dating mode. I want to test the waters, date a few people at a time and just enjoy life. I am not looking for anything serious.” Most women feel that even when a man says this however, that they can change that about him. Win him over, get him to change his mind. Fact is though as long as you are clear up front if she still feels or thinks this way that is on her, NOT YOU!  You can at least always come back and remind her you were honest with her all along. 
If you do want to find Miss Perfect, great! But be sure you do not give mixed signals and please - no stringing a woman along just because you can, have no one else lined up or because she is good in the sack! If you do this and end up with an obsessive woman on your hands then that is your own fault! 
Guys I want to list some of the triggers that give a woman the “wrong idea” or can make her feel that you are falling in love with her even if you are not! Also some triggers that set a woman off into obsessive mode, confuse her or send her the wrong signals. These things are what can start a downward spiral in what could have been a good relationship! If you are aware of these triggers and avoid them then you will have more time getting to know her, relaxing, enjoying good times, and getting closer naturally.

1. Saying you will call, text, email etc and not doing it.  - If you have no intention of calling or following up on a date do not say you will. If you do have intentions of doing so then do it! Don’t play that “its too soon to call” mind game with her or yourself. There is no point in it and if there is real chemistry and both of you are into the other one then calling that very night is NOT too soon! If you want to wait thats fine but don’t wait more than a couple days. These days expectations are different than they used to be because it is oh so simple to send a quick text or email and we all have cell phones. If you are “too busy” to reach out to the person you are dating then there are other reasons why you are not doing it! 
2. Not responding to her emails, calls or texts. If you are really busy, at work, with the guys or even on another date and she has tried to contact you then do her the simple decency of a quick holler back and tell her you are busy right now but will get back to her soon (again if you intend to do so). Now guys, I do realize some women get obsessive after only one date and you find that your phone is blown up with texts and calls, your email inbox looks like a war zone and she won’t stop calling you at work. In these cases you need to end it NOW! CALL HER. Tell her that you are NOT interested in pursuing anything further and hang up. Its that simple. Yes her feelings will be hurt, she may be devastated but if you gave her absolutely no reason to become obsessive and you are clear of all guilt then you should have no shame in stating how you feel. 
You are not responsible for irrational emotions! You are responsible if you allow a means for them to progress or carry forward! 

3. Do NOT tell her you have never felt this way about anyone else ever before UNLESS YOU MEAN IT AND  you are madly in love with her and plan to make a commitment to her! This also goes for talking about how amazing the “connection” is with her dealing with intimacy! When you tell a woman right after sex that the connection is “unreal” or “better than you ever had” for many women that is like saying “I am soooo in love with you.” 

4. Invite her to hang out with your friends! Yes even if you are “just dating”! The thing is, you need to see how she fits in with your group of buddies even gal pals! You need to make her feel you are not keeping her a secret from your world. Give yourself the chance to see how she is in your social group. Men do tend to want to hide who they are dating until they make a choice on if this woman is right for them or not but often times find out too late that this woman does not like his friends, can’t relate to his friends girl friends or wives etc after he has already committed to a relationship with her! If your friends are an important aspect of your life then it is better to find out sooner than later if she can get along with them.

5. If you have been dating someone for a couple months it is due time to have THAT talk. You know the “so where are we at?” talk. Many times both women and men avoid this talk because there is a good chance you won’t want the same thing and someone may get hurt. It does not have to be all or nothing. You do not have to go from casual dating to “you are the woman I want to marry”! If you take the lead more often than not you can avoid the woman feeling the urge to rush to the alter with you and buy yourself some much needed time to continue dating at a relaxed speed. There are many levels you can take things to depending on where you are already at in the relationship.
  1. Casual dating and getting to know them.
  2. Intimacy.
  3. Meeting friends.
  4. Going to a public event together. (not a date but a work event)
  5. Agreement to date only each other. (going steady)
  6. Meeting the family, each others kids if applicable etc.
  7. Getting professional photos taken with each other.
  8. Have some of your items at her place and hers at yours.
  9. Take a vacation together.
  10. Give each other a key to your respective households.
  11. Moving in together.
  12. Buying a large item together. (furnishings, adopting a pet together even!).
  13. Visiting a jewelry store together (just to look!).
  14. Engagement.
  15. Marriage.
Now these events can take place in just about any order really. It depends on the couple. But when you have “the talk” it is a good idea to have the next level that is right for you in mind! If you have been dating and intimate for a couple months but she has yet to meet your friends and there is a cool event coming up you could say:
“I am wanting to take us to the next level. Would you like to go to such and such with me and a group of my friends?”
What this does is establishes in her mind that for YOU this IS a new level! That you are moving the relationship forward! It may not be her exact idea of the next level but it at least lets her know that you want to go ahead to something more solid. It helps her pace her own desires for forward movement and helps her feel good that she is not wasting her time with a guy who has no intention whatsoever of a possible serious relationship.
Most women do fear “wasting their time” with a guy who has commitment phobias and trust me a lot of you guys do! Not saying you do not have reason to have this fear but that is a huge concern for women! 
Okay here is another trigger:

6.  When women feel like an OPTION or “last on his list”.

Alright wether you are casually dating or seriously dating a woman, if you want to do something with her make plans in advance. Don’t call her at 2am when the bars are closing. Don’t text saying “hey my buddies bailed on me - want to grab a bite?” Don’t ask her to meet you half way between her place and your place! Basically show some respect! Women often come to me worried they are being used because their guy wants to “add her into his plans” and is not making direct plans with her and her alone. Women need to know they are special and feel as though you want to make an effort for them. Granted we also love to be included in on your plans with friends and such and if you are in a commitment a 2 am booty call after the bars close is not all that bad BUT until you are in that commitment it is not wise to only see her when you have nothing else going on! A man who wants to be with a woman will make plans in advance and not put her on the side line just in case all other plans fall through. So if you do not want to trigger her insecurities do not give her reasons to have those insecurities. 
Now guys, I know you want to know what she thinks and feels about you too but this is one of the most frequent questions I get from the ladies: “What does he think about me/us, what is he feeling?”

Which brings me to ...

7.  Men, as mysterious and confusing as woman may be to you, this is one area in which we are pretty simple to figure out! If a woman is into you most of the time you will know it. The woman who is aloof and not sure and wavering back and forth from wanting to see more of you or not is few and far between. The mystery of what a person wants, thinks and feels really falls on the guys here. 
You really do not have to be saying I love you when you are not in love. And you don’t have to be terribly direct all the time, but letting a woman know some of your feelings even early on sure can help stop those triggers! Tell her that she makes you laugh. Tell her she has a beautiful smile. Tell her you really enjoy going to the movies with her. Tell her that you feel the two of you have a lot in common. Tell her you want to keep dating her. Tell her you love her perfume. Tell her that you really want to get to know her better. Just tell her something as long as it is TRUE and do not tell her anything that is false. 
Now in order not to cross the boundaries of giving her the impression that the nice things you say mean “I love you” always be sure that you are doing the “where are we at talk” on a somewhat regular basis. It is okay to say “I really love how we like the same music, we should go see a concert together I bet we would have a great time!” then follow that up with “You know I really like where we are headed here but I do want to be sure before we get too serious.” THEN ask HER how she feels! See this is an area men usually do not know about.
 By saying how you feel and telling her where you feel things should go then ASKING her if she is okay with that you can beat the element of surprise when suddenly she is picking out a wedding dress and baby names! Open up the lines of communication so she feels you are hearing her and really listening to how she feels. If you are not on the same page and she is ready for something you are not then part your ways before it gets out of hand and someone is really hurt! Chances are someone will be hurt anyway but at least she has her dignity and you can not be blamed for wasting her time or leading her on! 
Communication is key guys. Being afraid of opening the can of worms by talking about feelings and where you are at and what you want then asking what it is she wants is what will keep you away from the drama! Men often worry that if they ask what a woman wants they may hear all these things that they DO NOT want! Men worry that if they are not ready for commitment and that is what the woman wants once he asks her how she feels and what she is looking for he is then stuck giving it to her. That is not true! ASKING how she feels, what she wants is NOT promising to give it to her! If you ask and do not like what you hear, if it is too much, you are not ready for what she wants just tell her. Be gentle obviously but tell her you just are not there yet. 
Then the next concern she will have is WHY you are not there yet. Is it her? Is she not attractive enough? Do you not find her compatible? Does she irritate you? What is the reason? Oh and lets not forget the big one “Is there someone else?” See women are just geared differently than men. We do not take as long to process our thoughts and feelings, we pretty much know right away if we are wanting to go long term with a guy or not. Not always but usually. Whereas with men they need time for us to “grow on them.” Men need time to process how they feel and what they want. So usually women will feel like if you do not know if you want them in your life long term or at least are not able to commit to something more, then it has to be “their fault”. Guys this is where you need to take some time to explain yourself. If you have been dating a while and you are still not sure tell her why. Does it stem from your childhood? Did your parents marry too soon? Was there abuse in your family? Are you just not the marrying kind? Did your parents divorce? Do you feel you always screw things up when it gets serious? Do you have moral differences? Do you not like her family? Are you worried once you commit she will change? Be honest and upfront. Okay there may be a confrontation, an argument maybe tears even but it is always better to be direct and honest because otherwise you will end up hurting this woman far worse by saying nothing, letting the relationship trail off dying slowing and having her forever seeking closure and that grand old reason “WHY” that only YOU can answer! 
Overall guys, I know you also deserve to be happy and secure in a relationship too. I also know you have fears and concerns of your own. So take control from the beginning and try to remember these subtle triggers that can turn what could be something really amazing upside down. You will be really happy you did! 
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