Seven Off Ramps to Nowhere Men Take on the Road to Love

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As a relationship coach, I have found that men are truly from Mars when it comes to love, commitment, and relationships. Many men I work with say that they don’t understand women. One man described it as brain damage. He claimed that all he was experiencing was brain damage from the woman with whom he was in love and was ready to end his relationship.

Not all men in the dating scene are searching for the ONE. Others are just looking for someone to help them through the holidays, or for companionship on their next trip down the Nile. You are probably not a married man or a divorced man who is a regular bachelor. Here are seven steps to help you find her, for those who are.

#1. Judge a book by its cover. Many men only screen for beauty when it comes to dating women. But, my mom used to say, “Beauty does not come from beauty.” Although it may sound cliché, inner beauty is what matters in love and commitment. Don’t get me wrong. Physical attraction is important. But, if you aren’t attracted to someone, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are. However, no amount or beauty can make up for the woman who continues to cause you brain damage. Screen for beauty and your type of beauty. Then, screen for character, values and emotional maturity. Don’t give your heart to a woman until you have a clear idea of what is important.

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#2. First Date Monologues. This is the number one problem for women who have spoken to me about their frustrations with men. One woman claimed that she spent nearly two hours in a booth talking to a man who kept on talking about himself all the time. He only asked her questions that required a short answer of one to two words. The conversation turned to another topic that was only of interest to him. He looked at her in shock when she said she needed to go. Although he had been having fun, it was too late. She had already decided that he was too self-absorbed for the type of man she was looking for. This is an issue for men, since it is part of their mating ritual to show who they are. This is what you see in animal kingdoms where males have to raise their chests or flap their wings to attract females’ attention. But, we live in modern times and such things can’t continue for too long. Men should follow the 10 minute rule, I advise them. For about 10 minutes, talk about yourself and then ask her a thoughtful question. Then listen to for connection. It is important to establish a connection with her and not just check off a list of similarities or activities. One man said to me that he asks women every day, “What is the most important thing men don’t know about women?”

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#3. #3. Before you tie your knot, let me tell you what I mean. Research has shown that people are more successful with a partner who is at least as attractive, intelligent, emotionally mature, and who shares their values and preferences. This is the “like attracts like” hypothesis. You’ll recall from high school that the prom queen was most likely to have dated the quarterback, and not the president of the chess clubs. This is because they were both in different leagues. Take stock of your own self. Are you a ten in terms of appearances and other attributes? You don’t want to be taken advantage of or rejected if you are a six. Find a woman who shares your values and is as happy as you.

#4. #4. Once I was at a singles conference where they had this forum in which people were asked questions from the other gender. One question that stood out to me was from a man looking to find out if a woman would make a good partner for him sexually without having to first date her. This is the “cart before the horse” idea. It seems that most men want to know if a girl will be what they desire in the bedroom. This can be a major concern for many men. Is this true? Is it possible to have a successful relationship if a man can seduce a woman in a matter of days? Do you think being good at the bedroom is the most important element of a long-lasting relationship? This is not my experience. My experience with couples has shown me that sex is not the main reason they seek counseling. The problem is not sex, it’s other things like poor communication, emotional maturity, narcissism and personality problems that cause a relationship to fail. It’s great to learn how to please someone in bed if you love them. But if you become too attached to someone who is not right for you, no amount of hot sex can change that. After a while the sex will stop. Take your time and search for signs that you are with the woman of your dreams. Romance and sex start in the brain, so use your brain to find the important things and sex will take care of itself.

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#5. Talking trash about other women or talking about other women all the time. Talking about other women or telling them stories about how they have been treated is a red flag. Talking about other women is also a red flag, except when it’s an answer to a question that you have asked. This is also true for women. Men will get the impression that you are going to be bashing them in no time. Let’s face it, if you believe that women you were involved with made you feel inferior, then you should stop and find out why. Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one can make you feel inferior unless you give permission. You should stop allowing women to make you feel inferior by cheating or lying to you. There are usually no innocent partners in relationships. We all conspire with each other. There’s always WIFFIM, the old “What is in it for me?” idea. It was worth it if you didn’t get something else. Find out what it was, then accept responsibility and stop the blame-game. No one believes this for very long.

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#6. Jumping from the Frying Pan into the Fire Many men see having a relationship like having a job. They never want to live without it. They are always looking for the next partner before a relationship ends. This is why, even though divorce rates are the same for men and women each year, more women are available than men. Women tend to be slower in figuring out what happened and how to heal their wounds. This is a dangerous way to go. If you don’t take the time and evaluate the reasons for a failed relationship, or you don’t heal your wounds, then you are more likely to do the same thing again. You will repeat the same mistakes again and again if you don’t have the ability to gain personal insight and make changes. Take some time to reflect on your relationships and make inner changes. If you don’t, you could end up in a relationship that isn’t working.

#7. #7. We have all been seduced to love and romance by fairy tales. The prince rescues the princess, the fair maiden, and they have a happy ever after. It is our romantic ideal. It is true, and there are some valid points to it. Women want a man they can trust, who is strong, capable and can save the day when necessary. All men desire a beautiful woman who can depend on them. He wants her to be able to take care of herself and she will do the same. This is what’s fascinating about it. None of these fairy tales shows us what happens after a Prince saves the Princess. What happens next? It’s clear to me that he doesn’t keep saving her. He doesn’t continue to save her day in, day out. He creates a cripple if he does. This is what I call co-dependency in my business. It’s not a happy tale. Some men want her to be a princess in dire need of rescue, or a damsel-in-distress. Some men want her to grow up and become a contributing partner, but she might prefer to be dependent if she is the fair maiden. This woman is in constant distress, is always in trouble, and is often the maiden who doesn’t know what to do. This is a recipe to disaster in any case. If you’re a man who loves to rescue the damsel in need, take some time to assess that damsel. Is this a pattern or a one-off deal? Are you able to see her true self or are they just trying to get out of trouble? If you don’t want a father/daughter partnership, then choose a woman who isn’t really in need of saving. While she may want a strong man to be her partner, all women desire that. However, she should be able and willing to care for herself until he arrives, as well as afterward.

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If you see yourself on these ramps to nowhere, take a moment to think about how you can improve your chances of finding love. A key ingredient to a happy and fulfilled life is the ability to self-correct. You can reach me at 720-350-4092 for help. I love helping men find happy, lasting relationships.