Now that the US election is over, I can safely navigate blog territory without getting involved.
I promise I won’t make too many more touchy feely posts like this in the future. I just can’t shut up any longer. More snowboarding and surfing coming right up after this!
Lately I’ve been talking to a lot my girl friends, and a lot of my guy friend’s girlfriends, and girls in general… and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some girls out there that have no clue how to handle a man! Why all of this is happening all at once in November, I don’t know… it must be the season. (BTW this is not about any of my friends in particular, just a general observation so don’t take it personally!)
I’m not a feminist. I’m not a relationship expert or a serial dater, but I do know how to treat my man right! Let me talk about the five stages I believe are important to a relationship: Looking Inward, Attraction, Maintenance, Making it Better, and Knowing When to Let It Go. I apologize in advance for my bitchy tone, but there’s no other way for me to get my point across succinctly.
Before you can start looking for someone right for you, you need to know yourself. It sounds cliché , but it’s true. Write yourself a list of the top 10 things you want in a guy. Even Oprah says it is true… if you write yourself a list, you’ll be looking for the right things since they are foremost in your mind, not the wrong things.
For example, my list is: Can hold an intelligent conversation, has a belly, is hairy, is passionate about outdoor sports, watches the Canucks, has a good job that allows him to have free time, is taller than me, has a tough exterior but is incredibly sweet inside, can make me laugh, and is completely spontaneous.
There have been countless articles and books written on this, so I’m not going to bother with this stage too much. It’s simple: Look your best, be yourself, and ASK HIM QUESTIONS. Be interested in his interests. Stop talking about yourself too much. Also: Being a feminist and trying to be in his face probably won’t net you a great guy. Surprise! Most guys don’t want a girl that can kick his ass physically or mentally. And finally, do things that you love often (e.g. snowboarding, surfing, etc) and you’ll likely meet someone great who is into what you’re into.
This is the part where most girls I know fail miserably. You got a great guy, but you’re losing him. You’ve probably beat him up emotionally, pushed him away, or lost his interest within 6 months – 2 years or so.
This is the hardest part.
First, maintain yourself. Just because you’re in a happy relationship doesn’t mean you should stop dressing up or cancelling your Brazilian waxes. Keep it up. Stay sexy. Stay hairless. Stay active. Keep your man happy.
Don’t stop doing the things you love. Keep going to the mountains together, going on photo walks, going to the library together, eating out.. whatever you did when you first met that made you so passionate in the first place. There’s nothing worse than going home after work every day and doing the same old thing every night.
Be fun. No one wants to be with someone who never smiles, laughs, or acts crazy once in a while.
Hang out with his friends and family, and invite him to be around yours. No one likes a hermit… his friends won’t respect you if you imprison your man, and everyone has more fun with more people around. And you’ll feel a lot more involved in each other’s lives.
DO NOT beat your man down. I don’t understand why SO MANY women don’t get this. If you yell at him in front of his friends, if you yell and nag at him at home, if you tell him what to do and keep him from doing the things that he loves, then you will never be in a happy relationship. Ever. Don’t do these things. RESIST THE IRRESISTIBLE URGE. Even if he deserves it. Reward him for the things he does well and be understanding if he screws up. You’ll both be happier.
Which brings me to my final Maintenance point.
I strongly believe, in my narrow-minded very opinionated point of view (feel free to rip me a new one if you like), that men and women have very specific, important roles to play in a happy relationship. And deviating from this can cause big problems. Let me elaborate. I think men need to act manly and more dominant, and women need to be slightly more submissive and womanly. If you try to mold your man into some touchy feely soft girly man, you will not be happy. It may seem like a good idea at the time. But — I guarantee you will miss his confidence and manliness and will probably eventually look elsewhere for that. Let him lift the heavy boxes and open the door for you. Let him feel strong and useful, like he is. But cook him a meal now and then and please him sexually when he asks. This may seem super traditional and backwards looking, but it really works. I have seen so many successful happy relationships last decades and lifetimes because of this philosophy.
Making It Better
Hurray! You’ve made it to the next stage. Let’s talk about some bonus things that will help.
Surprise him. Get sexy lingerie, give him a lap dance every once in a while, bring him a little gift home, bring him a beer on the couch when he is watching TV, plan an exciting trip, or tell him something that you love about him that he hasn’t heard before. It never fails to amaze me how many women forget to keep their relationship exciting.
Make sure he knows you find him sexy. So many men start to look to other women outside of their relationship because their girl makes him feel incompetent and inadequate. A lot of guys get a buzz when other women flirt with them because it boosts their self-esteem. If you are crushing his self-esteem, he’s going to cheat or find someone else who gives him that buzz. Find things about him that you love and remind him; tell him he’s big, strong, funny, talented etc etc. But make sure you’re being honest, and not embellishing things you don’t think are true. Make sure you’re the one to give him that buzz.
Be useful. So many women fall into the trap of being lazy in a relationship. I’ve definitely fallen into that trap and I vow never to again. Help out with the housework, fold his clothes every once in a while. Don’t be his maid, but help out when you can. Learn to cook. I can’t tell you how much cooking in a relationship can help it. Make things from scratch that are more delicious than the restaurants you go to. Try new recipes and experiment. Use good, local, healthy, organic ingredients and cook frequently for him. Sometimes surprise him, and sometimes just plan it out with him and enjoy grocery shopping together. But don’t be too much of a food nazi. Grill a nice big fatty steak with a garlic butter topping every once in a while
Talk. I mean really talk. If you love each other and find each other interesting, this shouldn’t be hard. If it is, then you have a problem that is not easily solved. If something is wrong, you need to talk about it. Never go to bed upset. Don’t overdo it though. You don’t need to talk all the time. And try not to complain all the time. So many girls see talking as complaining. It’s not. It’s a mutual discussion of mutual interests.
Knowing When To Let It Go
Things don’t always work out perfectly. If they don’t, don’t draw it out. You’re not going to be single forever. The worst thing you can do is try to draw out a bad relationship because you’re afraid of being alone. If you can’t talk to him, if he can’t talk to you, if you don’t feel like being sexy for him, if neither one of you feels like surprising each other, and if you’ve beaten down your man to the point where he can’t feel or act like a man anymore……. well, that’s when you call it quits.
So ladies — finally, in conclusion… Please. Stop beating down your man!
Go ahead, have at me.