10 Things Women Should Stop Accepting

I’d like to start this off by saying that I believe it is 100% the responsibility of an individual to control their own actions. If a man is going to be a gentleman, he should be a gentleman towards everyone – not just a certain type or class of people. It is dependent on who he is, not who they are.

That being said, today’s dating world is tricky. People talk about courtship and romance as if it is some fabled tale of unicorns and leprechauns. The truth is, these things are alive and well, and we find them if we stop settling for less than we deserve, and have the discipline to be patient and only accept the love and respect we should receive.

If women accept less, then (some) men will continue to do less. Here are a few suggestions to help bring back chivalry and romance.

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“Hey, wanna hang out?” texts.

This of course only goes for situations where you want something more than just a casual arrangement with someone. If this is a guy that you’re feeling out to see if he would be a good partner in the long term, then it’s important to recognize whether or not he is making a real investment in building a relationship.

If the maximum effort he puts in during the courting phase is inviting you over to watch a movie on a weekend, what reason do you have to believe he will pull his weight in a committed relationship?

If you keep agreeing to go and hang out with him, you have little to no chance of him changing his ways. Why would he?

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ANY SORT OF ABUSE WHATSOEVER.

Were the bold italic letters really necessary? Yes. They were.

Too many women stay in relationships where there is abuse. This doesn’t *necessarily* mean there is physical abuse, but mental and/or emotional can be just as hurtful, in different ways.

It doesn’t matter how much you “love” someone or how much they’ve convinced you they love you in return, if they make you miserable more than they make you happy, you need to let them go.

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Carrying the relationship.

Relationships are a partnership. A team. A two-way street. They’re supposed to enhance your life, not complicate it. If you are with a man who is complacent in life and love, puts no effort into you or the relationship, then it’s time to re-evaluate.

Keep in mind, it’s natural for people to get depressed and unmotivated at times. If this is someone you’ve been with for a long time, I’m certainly not saying kick him to the curb at the first sign of a slump. We all go through them – but what I’m referring to here is someone who is just apathetic and makes you feel like he doesn’t care.

You deserve someone who will wake up every morning and pledge to do and be the best they can for you.

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Invasion of privacy.

In a healthy relationship, there is no need to hide anything. Texts, emails, facebook messages – whatever. But that doesn’t mean your partner has the right to snoop through them if you happen to leave your phone around or your computer open. Someone who does this is showing you a massive insecurity on their part and is likely projecting their own infidelities and issues onto you. This should not be ignored.

*Note – This is assuming you haven’t done anything that would make him suspicious or betrayed his trust.

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He doesn’t improve your confidence.

My belief is that a man should always be making his woman feel beautiful. It doesn’t have to be a grand romantic gesture, but a simple text during the day or a kiss on the forehead can be enough to make her smile and feel appreciated.

If your man doesn’t help you feel better about yourself (he should never make you feel worse), you might be settling for less than you deserve.

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Cheating.

Some people think that second chances are acceptable. I, on the other hand, think that if someone discarded your feelings enough to cheat on you once, they’ll do it again. There is no excuse for it, and you deserve better.

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Continuously repeating the same mistakes.

A second chance means nothing if they haven’t learned from their first mistake. Someone who keeps promising to change or do things differently, but repeatedly doesn’t, is showing you a clear pattern that you need to recognize. If these are issues that are causing problems for you or your life, it may be time to walk away.

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Having to keep working for their approval.

The minute you feel that you have to prove your worth to the person you’re with is the minute you’ll know to walk away. A man or woman should be with you because they value and appreciate who you are, not what you do or how well you sell yourself to them.

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Constantly feeling put aside.

While a relationship shouldn’t be someone’s entire life, it is certainly a large part of it. I’ve heard too many stories about women who constantly get cast aside for “guy’s night” or something.

A guy’s gotta have a network and individuality, sure. But there is a difference between leading an active social life, and knocking the woman in your life further and further down your priority list.

If you feel like you’re waiting for him to come home more than you’re actually with him, it’s time to step back and take another look at where your relationship is going.

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His lack of ambition.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen women online talking about how they just want to find a guy who has “a job and a car.”

Like…que? What? Huh?

Has society become so desperate that women are actually hoping for something so basic and rudimentary?

Women used to look to meet a man who had ambitions, goals, and dreams. These days they’re being forced to stick their hand into the proverbial lottery wheel and just be content with whatever they pull out.

Gentlemen, we have got to collectively step our game up and become better men. We can only build better, happier relationships with ourselves and with others if we start from within.

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Do you justify their actions to your friends or family? Even worse – are you justifying their actions to yourself? Making excuses for the way someone is consistently falling short in a relationship really means that you’re aware of the problems, but aren’t willing to admit them. The first step towards happiness is being honest with yourself.

It is not your job to carry someone through life. It is their responsibility to continuously improve both as an individual, and as part of a team. There are plenty of men out there who want the best for themselves, their life, and their significant other – if this is the type of person you want, and you’re not with them, it might be time to start asking yourself why.

Not yet convinced? Here are five reasons you should never settle for less than you deserve.

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54 thoughts on “10 Things Women Should Stop Accepting

    • Quite true, it’s all supply and demand. Ultimately women choose the type of guys they find attractive, and if it’s the Bad Boy’s that are getting all the action, then guys will adapt to that strategy. If Women truly wanted decent guys, dated and stuck with them, there soon would be plenty of them to go around.

      • I think your statement very true. However, it doesn’t apply for older women. I have found that many decent and good men are already married. I don’t even look anymore although I am considered attractive and young looking. Yes, the bad guys are still around but who truly wants them?

      • Though true, we have to remember that men play an equal and opposite roll. Women aren’t exposed enough to open gentlemanly behavior. This makes gentlemanly behavior a fantasy rather than just an expected part of life. If we hold ourselves to the standard, then women will too. But it’s up to us as Men to do this. To be a Man is to be a better Man than you were yesterday.

  1. Excellent post, James. But I would hasten to point out that these are also things men should stop accepting. I’ve had more than one client completely addicted to a woman who’s come back with pretty much this identical list, wondering why he’s not happy.

    • + 1000 and i believe this to be more a male problem than a female one due to sheer supply and demand We as men have cultivated a culture where some girls (read not mature women) feel that they are entitled to everything because they are women. Men who pay for dinner and demonstrate the values that would make a decent gentleman are seen as “thirsty”, weak, or are undervalued. Some females feel this to be their birthright and put no effort into any portion of the relationship simply because there’s always a shmuck that will give her what she wants. we as men must hold ourselves to much higher standards both in what we give to our women, and what we accept from them

  2. The problem is not the Men, they’ve just adapted to become the guys women actually will date. Men who are the embodiment of chivalry, intelligence, truth and honor are not first on the list when it comes to women’s choices until they are in their late 20’s to early 30’s.

    • Exactly, hence this article – to encourage women to recognize these warning signs and stop settling for them.

      “Chivalry is not dead, it’s just reserved for women who demand more from the men they give their time to.”

      • I agree with Ronin, but would also like to point out that if women were to stop accepting these things, then men would stop doing them (in theory). I have learned so much from these posts, and I am learning to not accept less than what I deserve. What I deserve not anything that is listed above. I deserve a man who will rise above these stereotypical behaviors and be a better man. Granted, I’m single right now, but that is because I have quit accepting “boylike” behavior and am waiting to find a true man who will treat me like I deserve. James is proof that he is out there. I just have to make sure I’m in the right frame of mind to recognize him when he shows up.

  3. Excellent advice! I tell women (and men) the same thing about cheaters…no second chances. Been there….it won’t work out for you, the forgiver…It only enables the varmint to hurt you again.

  4. You nailed it, man! Thank you! : )))

    I think, you’ve missed one point, though: “If he gives other women the eye, while he is being with you, then…”

    Well, unfortunately that happened to me and to girlfriends of mine, too. And we are quite a catches, so it seems that doesn’t help.

  5. Great post. I want to be the best me possible and I strive every day to be better than I was yesterday. I was looking for that in someone else and I found it. My wife tried to be the best she can be and strives to be better every day. There are days that we fail, but that is why we are there for each other – to push each other through tough times and keep moving forward because you are never going to be the best you when you sit around waiting for things to happen or sulk about your life.

  6. Which is why I married late in life…I refused to settle for 2nd or 3rd best. I’m glad I waited and did accept things so many women seemed to think they should simply because they were so desperate to “be” with someone.

  7. I love everything about this post. It’s so true-especially the part where you said If women accept less, then (some) men will continue to do less.” It’s all about how high and un-alterable our expectations are. Great post, and great blog! Care to check out mine? downwiththenorm.wordpress.com

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  10. I love your point of view. It’s great hearing certain stuff from a man. Many women have great input on such matters but I respond better with a male point of view. Care to check out my blog? It’s still very new but I have some input on some similar topics.

  11. Hmm, ok from a woman’s view: I left fiancee number one over the confidence, approval, and prove yourself concepts in my late 20s and fiancee number two in my mid 30s over the confidence and the fact I kept dropping on his priority list until I was below the dog, literally. So I’ve known this list in my heart as far back as I can remember. I refuse to settle, I want a mature man with ambition, wit, intelligence who is crazy in love with me and I with him. So of course I’m now in my 40s and single.

    I am constantly told my “standards are too high,” that there is something “wrong” with me, “just find a guy with a job,” and the best one – I’m gay; I just don’t realize it. If you look at all the sites/books/services out there that teach women how to “change” to “catch” the perfect man then compare that to the number of sites focused on men “improving” their relationships I think you might get where the issue really lies. I have made myself into a renaissance woman, I’m intelligence, successful, witty, not bad looking, self supporting, well educated. I love international adventure travel, skiing, OCRs, broadway plays, reading, etc, etc, etc. The point being – I’ve done everything this culture has told me I need to do to be the perfect woman but I’m still being told I’m single because I need to “change.”

    Second point: I’m not seeing guys out there trying to be truly “chivalrous” men… the few I do know are married. I have been “dropped” because I expected to be treated well on a date, I expected him to open the doors for me, I expect him to care for me from date one, basically I expect respect; and no I don’t feel “entitled” I work hard on my end to make the date (and the relationship) relaxing, fun, comfortable, and easy. I strive to bring out the best qualities in my date – however… single. lol.

    Many of my dates hold the door and pay for the date because they are “expected to by society.” They don’t think those conditions apply outside of the dating realm or to people they aren’t interested in dating. In other words, they were taught that these things are part of a courtship ritual not something to eternalize, nor the more important part of WHY they should be this way all the time to everyone.

    Here is an errant thought: Sons are often neither taught nor expected to treat their mothers with this kind of respect so why treat a date this way? Ladies, teach your sons to respect people, that’s all this is – a list of how to tell if someone respects you as a person. This will hopefully lead to more gentlemen in the coming generations at least.

    I agree with James, women need to embrace this list, however, there seems to be a shortage of men who are the counterpoint to this list, which means James has a lot of work to do…or I need to move out of the deep south….;)

  12. I agree with a lot of these and I think these can go both ways. It’s one thing saying them than actually doing them though. I know many people who say one thing and do the opposite.

  13. First, this is an OK article. For one it’s not fair to say that a guy who has lack on ambition is a deal breaker. You know how bad I feel being a 28 year old new yorker with no car and a basic job. Even with two degrees no one wants to give me a chance. I send out 150 resumes after moving back to the usa and who gives me a call? no one! because all starting positions want 3 years experience… WTF and women will judge me because I make 10k less than other Joes? Im sorry even if im a hard worker and quick witted and intelligent enough for those 90k a year jobs it doesn’t matter. beacause I know NO one… I have no connections to give me opportunity so I have to start out at the bottom. And this article could be just as well set for women. Why do i need to have a career. Why cant I be a stay at home dad? whats wrong with being content in a relationship? do we always have to strive to make it better? Its nonsense because the real world doesn’t allow you to expand and grow like its a fairytale. .. i really think this article needs to be re-worked because this sounds like a CW tv show relationship

    • Aaron, first – you have ambition in spades.

      Second, your generation is being taught to look for excessive wealth in a partner. Look at the protagonist in Twilight and Shades of Grey. Well, ok, you’re a guy so you probably didn’t read them, let’s just say they are wealthy beyond reason, I think the book said Grey made $300,000 an hour or more. If your bottom line is what they are interested in then you shouldn’t be interested in them, income makes a terrible foundation for a long term relationship. Also, wealth is easier to accumulate with support. It is easier to make money grow when there are two people working together at it or even an entire family. You have the drive and ambition to move ahead very fast once you do have support so don’t sweat the small stuff right now, keep doing what you are doing.

      Third, at 29, in this economy, in NY no less, you are going to have problems getting a high paying job, so take a lesser paid job that will get you those three years experience then hunt again. Honestly, if you have no family or connections you are simply going to have to work your way up and it will never happen as easily nor quickly for you as it does for your friends who have family, social connections, and support. But you can still get there – you have plenty of time. Turning 30 does not mean you’ve failed in life, the emphasis on being “set” in life by 30 is also a generational concept, ignore it.

      Forth, you can be and should be content in your relationship – that’s the goal. What James is stressing is complacency. If you are in a good relationship and you stop trying to constantly improve, stop trying to grow together, just stop…. the relationship will eventually fail. Relationships require constant and continuing work to stay healthy and happy. New situations, new problems, children, changing jobs, all cause changes in how a relationship works. If you don’t work together to adjust to the changes the relationship can fall apart. You don’t just get married and say “that’s it, it’s happily ever after – now I can stop focusing on making my partner happy and do what I want.” If you truly love your partner you will look every day for ways to make them happy and to make the relationship better. James is saying if you aren’t in that mindset then you may not actually be in love or in a loving relationship.

      Finally, James in no way implied you couldn’t be anything you wanted to be, a stay-at-home dad IS a career. Anyone who watched their stay-at-home parent (regardless of gender) knows it is a 24/7 career path.

      Most of James’s articles could easily be applied to either gender. He just likes to focus on one gender when writing his articles (its easier) and since his blog is for men they get the focus more often.

      Bottom Line: Keep doing what you are doing; stop getting worked up about what “others” think. If they are judging you then, they either don’t understand your situation, or don’t care to. Find people who don’t judge you, who accept you as you are and appreciate the things that make you you. Those are the people make the best friends, companions, support groups; however, they can be quite hard to find.

  14. To James:

    I absolutely love your blog and think you offer great insights for both men and women. I’m a mid-twenties ambitious woman and up until now always thought my lack of (“respectable”) prospects was due to physical appearance/preference..but recently a girlfriend of mine asked me if I thought my intelligence and ambition intimidate men. I never thought this was a problem, but now that I think about it, it makes sense…I don’t want to dumb myself down but I don’t want to be alone forever..what can I do? Men rarely approach me and if I initiate interest I’m just embarrassingly shot down…

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  19. Catherine Michael,

    You have moved me with your insights. I have to concur with you that your standards are way too high for most men to reach. However, character attracts character, and some day, not too far from now, you will meet the gentleman you deserve and that deserve you. I would say you do not need to make a mission finding the gentleman to have as your life partner but make it a mission to interact formally with as many men as possible without expectation and I guess it will work for you. I fell in love with my fiancee long after our interaction and I presume our relationship stands strong till now. I had high standards for my dream lady just as you are but I was lucky to find her.
    Just an aside, Men hate women who are pushy…. let things grow to maturity when you meet a man later… do not be rushy with anything. Diligence and patience will always pay.
    I like your points and keep on with your maturity, you will soon attract someone with the same sense of maturity.
    Good luck!

  20. I don’t really disagree with anything particular that you are saying but I must say that this article has this weird old timey feel to it. When I have truly cared for a person this list basically embodies me and my actions but I feel like these articles feeds into this odd old stereotype of what men need to do to chase down women. It doesn’t touch on the fact that relationships are a two way street. With women there is kind of this sense that there is always another guy lurking around the corner willing to give an arm and leg to be with them. I don’t like this predator and prey bs. It’s 2014, so why are men still “courting women” maybe I don’t fully understand gender roles in society. I guess my point is that I would love to see the reverse article written for more to have a clear picture of what a healthy relationship between a man and woman looks like

  21. Sorry for my spelling errors…. My question was if you have an article about what a man should not accept from a woman?

  22. Dear Mini,
    Hi! Don’t give up. This very much applies to older women.
    I’m 62 and here’s my story: I was married for over 20 years to the man who is the father of my children. When I turned 50, he considered me too old for him and asked for a divorce. Looking back on that marriage, there had been very little I could do that was “right.” At least in his eyes. So I raised the girls on my own. Five years ago, after my girls had gone, I decided to find a mate. I thought I had and we became engaged. About 10 months into our engagement, things started to change. He started doing some of the things that James talks about. Bottom line is I started feeling like I was doing everything wrong again. (Repeat mistake? — Oh yeah!) After 4 frustrating years of trying to make that relationship work (because I just KNEW no one would be interested in me at my age, and that all the good guys were already taken) I decided that I’d rather be on my own, than living the daily hell I was going through. He wasn’t physically abusive. I just felt much worse about myself around him. It was really subtle stuff, but nonetheless, devastating to me.

    In July of last year, I found James Sama’s site. I can’t tell you how much it opened my eyes about ME. I’d been settling for less, because I felt I deserved less — although in actuality I am CEO of my own company, as well as a published writer.

    Then, I put myself back out there in the dating market. (Scary? You bet!) But the big difference this time was that I wasn’t looking at myself through someone else’s eyes. I was looking at the guys to see what they’d bring to the table in a relationship. Almost like a business tactic. I didn’t care if I was their type or not. I didn’t care if they weren’t interested in me. Believe me, there was some real jerks out there who, if I’d been in that frame of mind, would have made me feel bad about myself again. Met some really nice guys, too. Finally, a guy approached me. He was not the physical type I’m usually attracted to. He’s 5’9″. He’s 5 years older than me. His face isn’t particularly handsome. But I really liked the way he treated others and me. As we got to know each other more and more, he became more attractive to me. His own self-assuredness was one of his leading qualities. He knows who he is and he knows what he’s willing to have in his life and what he’s not willing to have in his life. He REALLY likes me, as I am. Turns out he’s a mountain of strength, a true gentleman and even a man’s man. He used to be in Special Forces in the ’60s. He’s built several flourishing businesses and still helps others to do the same. But the most important part to me, is that I feel great about myself since we’ve committed to each other. Every day is better and better. We keep finding things that we both enjoy doing together. He fully supports my odd hours as a writer. He thinks I’m hot! (Believe me, at 62, I’m not at my physically hot stage anymore.) However, he likes the whole package. When I look at him now, he is the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. I’m looking forward to many more years with this wonderful man.

    So, Mini, PLEASE hang in there. There is definitely someone out there who will make your life better. I found mine when I refused to settle for less than what I deserved.

    To James Sama, thank you for leading the chivalry cause! I think you’re exactly the right guy to turn around our currently decaying relationship culture.

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