Don't let your man go through the harrowing experience
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Seems like the farthest thing in the world from attracting men, but stay with me…
Now, think about all the hard work you put into slapping the foundation together with water and sand, etching in those little details and so on.
Imagine how it felt laboring under the hot sun, adding all those bells and whistles, such as the ridges along the towers and their individual windows.
After immortalizing your masterpiece with a snapshot, it’s probably occurred to you that the building process was just as enjoyable as the actual outcome.
In many ways, being romantically involved has a lot of elements similar to the image we just discussed. The little bursts of excitement and fluttering emotions that courtship brings can be just as sweet as the day you officially became a couple.
Once you’ve got everything set up the way you want, it’s easy to eventually neglect the health of your relationship as time goes by. The problem with a lot of women is that they assume being a couple means you can be complacent and take things for granted.
Before you know it, all the hard work you’ve put in will crumble and wash into the sea. With this analogy in mind, I’d like you to take note of the following mistakes before they pull the rug right out from under you:
# 1: Poor Conflict Management
Leigh, a friend of mine from college, told me about a recent slip-up she made with her man just a couple of weeks back. They were at a party with some colleagues and common friends when she overheard her boyfriend Paul make a joke with his buddies that he was “perfectly happy being the boss at home”.
Leigh immediately took Paul aside a few moments later and just TORE into him about how insensitive he was for making a remark like that. She told me embarrassingly,
“If someone took a picture of me at the time, they could have put it right next to the ‘hell hath no fury’ phrase in an idiom book!”
Sure enough, it was hard for the other people nearby not to notice Leigh as she tossed up a storm before Paul could even get a word in. Eventually, he got her to calm down after venting, and Leigh felt like a child after having her little fit.
“It turns out it was just an ironic inside joke. What Paul actually meant was that he felt emasculated by the fact that I was the only one working at the time.”
Leigh explained that Paul was in between jobs and had to stay at home and wait for his prospective employers to call him back or schedule an interview.
Here’s the thing: if you suck at handling disagreements, your guy is going to feel less inclined to stick around. Most men are taken aback when the cool, sweet girl they first met turns out to be a hellcat with a frighteningly short fuse.
Whether it’s your preferred brand of toothpaste or the amount of time you spend with your friends, some conflict will eventually come up.
It’s simply a reality of being in a relationship, so you might as well be prepared for it as early as you can.
Of course, I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy the good times, but you should commit a couple of basic things to memory for future use.
First of all, remember to have your discussions at an appropriate time and/or setting. If he does or says something objectionable, RESIST the temptation to call him on it right then and there.
It’s a known fact that a lot of men put a premium on social value. Guys believe that the amount of which they possess this trait is directly related to their manhood. After all, they relied on this very “commodity” to impress you in the first place.
So berating him at the wrong place and at the wrong time is like cutting off his you-know-what, and that won’t be taken lightly, no matter how nice he is. Whatever it is you have to get off your chest, wait until you can discuss it in private.
For all you know, getting ahead of yourself could blow up in your face like Leigh did. You could very well be making a big deal out of a perfectly harmless situation, so get the facts before you start bringing out the big guns.
While you’re at it, be a good significant other and keep your trigger finger off the blame. Firing off a salvo of accusations is going to tear through his patience faster than you can say “emotional meltdown”.
Of course, in the heat of the moment, the first thing that comes to mind FEELS like the best thing to say. But the habit of blaming your guy for making you upset ON PURPOSE will kill the relationship in the long run.
The better way to soothe ruffled feathers is by talking about the things that made you feel bad. In Leigh’s case, she could have saved herself a lot of grief by telling Paul something like,
“Honey, do you have a minute? I couldn’t help but overhear that joke you made with the guys, and it honestly kind of upset me. I just wanted to know what your thoughts were on that or why you said those things.”
Now, that’s much better than what she actually told Paul (which I won’t be quoting here in the interest of good taste!). MATURITY really does matter when it comes to settling disputes with your man.
So the moral of the story is: a hefty dose of level-headedness effectively contains flare-ups without anyone getting burned in the process. Vent if you must, but do it in a constructive and focused matter…even if you feel like turning into She-Hulk.
Or for a more constructive use of your energy, stop past Connect And Commit and discover how to restrengthen your commitment:
# 2: Insecurities (or endlessly pestering him for reassurance)
Here’s a great way to mess with your guy’s head: take him on one of your four-hour shopping marathons what great FUN he’ll have! and try on an outfit. Now, ask the poor guy if what you’re wearing makes you look fat.
Here’s the best part: before he even opens his mouth, convince yourself that whatever answer he gives you is the wrong one!
This is a classic way to drive him up the wall. Nothing says “turn-off” better than being a needy bundle of anxiety and self-loathing. Have you noticed how exhausting or draining it is to be around certain people?
Being with an exceedingly negative person feels like standing next to a black hole – their powerful gravitational well sucks the fun out of everything. Now, who’d want to hang out with someone like that?
Here’s a simple remedy: stop being a victim to the circumstances in your life and drop the whiny act. Sure, your man might be cool with your emotional neediness… for now.
However, if you’re content with complaining about how you look (or anything else you hate about yourself) WITHOUT actually doing something about it, then your attitude will wear out his patience soon enough.
Want to be sexier in your partner’s eyes? Take the responsibility to face your issues head on and lessen the negative self-talk. We all have bad days, but you can always choose to rise above it OR simply let it happen to you without a fight.
Feel out of shape? Hit the gym and consult with a dietician. Think you’re fashion-challenged? Have your fashionista friend go over your closet and take her along when you pick out a new wardrobe.
While many guys like to take charge and be the “top dog”, they still want to come home to a confident, resourceful and self-assured woman who doesn’t need validation 24/7.
#3: Keeping Score
Sadly, it’s not rare for a lot of women to fall into the mentality that they’re the ones contributing more to the relationship than their man. This kind of thinking is eventually going to make you miserable, and your partner won’t be far behind.
Once your attitude is locked into this pattern, it will poison all of your actions. While he assumes that you’re giving with a free heart, beneath your smile is another story.
Little does he know that in the back of your mind, you’re tallying your “points” against his, calculating who’s giving more. The folly of it all is that you’re simply postponing the inevitable break-up.
All this could happen unless you choose to approach things from a different angle.
Think about this: your actions, thoughts, and words can either hurt OR preserve the health of your relationship.
It’s really up to you.
Even if you believe that you’re doing more than he is, remember that your own initiative, (plus a little gentle, non-imposing nudge here and there) will encourage him to reciprocate your kindness.
Here’s another thought – maybe you’re too caught up in keeping score that you’ve overlooked some of the things he’s done to love you in the way he knows how.
If your thoughts are so fixated on what you’ve done, it can blind you to HIS efforts. What’s worse, you’re defeating the purpose of your actions by being resentful to do them in the first place.
In other words, you’re robbing your relationship of the value it deserves because giving begrudgingly makes your contributions empty and hollow. How do you free yourself from this bitter disposition?
Simple, open your mind and learn to be more appreciative of the things that your partner does to make you happy. Every time you do this, you’re keeping your relationship in good shape.
Focus on the positive aspects of your man and give credit accordingly. Divert your mind by remembering the things that first endeared you to him. What was it about him that made you fall for him anyway?
Don’t just think about them, though – REMIND HIM. The occasional email of endearment or random note slipped into his favorite book does wonders to reduce the resentment you may be unconsciously accumulating.
Being happy with your guy isn’t rocket science. Better to be mindful of the things you shouldn’t do today than to go through the heart-wrenching process of working on your relationship tomorrow.
These simple, easy-to-remember habits will keep you both on the right track…and not towards splitsville.
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