With a lot of talk on this website lately regarding men who won’t commit, as well as what type of woman would actually make him want to commit, there have been many questions from women about where (or how) to find a man who is actually serious about a relationship. What’s more is – where to find the right kind of man who is actually serious about a relationship.
The truth is, good men are everywhere. I believe that often times what happens is that some not-so-good-guys put forth a facade and pretend to want one thing, when in reality they just want the complete opposite. Unfortunately this leads to a lot of heartache and jaded women who become increasingly convinced that all men are jerks, players, or whatever unflattering label you want to toss in our general direction like a hot potato.
You are not likely to find a guy who is going to fit seamlessly into your life. A guy who understands your preferences and quirks. A guy who knows what you like and don’t like. A guy who can ‘speak your language’ and knows how you communicate, as well as how to communicate with you.
That is…not unless you tell him, first. Even the most intuitive, highly emotional intelligent man is not a mind-reader and could use some help sometimes. And, the one who wants to be with you will be willing to put in the effort to do what it takes.
So, rather than convincing yourself that you are going to stumble into Prince Charming in line at Starbucks next Tuesday, here are some suggestions that may help you give the man of your dreams a push (or two) in the right direction.
As men, having the right woman in our life can easily influence, motivate, and inspire us to become the best version of ourselves (without changing who we really are, of course). If you want to be that for him, keep reading.
Let him advance at his own pace.
I have had more than one woman tell me that they tend to unload quite a bit onto men on the first couple of dates, because they are concerned about wasting time. They figure if they tell a guy right up front from the beginning what they want and expect, it’s a great way to weed out the ones who aren’t serious.
While this might be a decent idea in theory, in practice it’s a great way to push away men who might end up being a perfect match for you. He may be completely on board, but unloading a list of demands like a hostage-taker on the first date will drive him away before he even knows if he is or not.
If you don’t like something he said or did, tell him.
Sometimes, men are clueless. I’ll admit it. We might piss you off or aggravate you without even realizing it, and if you don’t say anything or react at all, we will just go about our day thinking everything is fine.
When you let him know (nicely, ladies…) that he has done something you disapprove of, it helps to set the bar for what you expect in the relationship. This is a good way to tell if he is willing to step up and reach it. Or, not.
Let him know your intimate desires.
I’m not telling you to pull out your highlighted copy of 50 Shades Of Grey and run through every scenario with him, but the reality is that when it comes to pleasing the woman in his life, a man’s eyes and ears are wide open for learning.
It doesn’t matter if it’s something small like letting him know you think he looks sexy in that hoodie he wears, or that it turns you on when he acts in a certain way or says a certain thing – he will remember your hints and utilize them in the future. This is another instance where open and honest communication is essential in a relationship. He wants to hear it, learn from it, and improve.
If you want something done or to do something together, make it sound positive.
As mentioned in the last point, men want to make women happy. This goes for both inside and outside of the bedroom. If there is something you want him to do and he hasn’t, or something you’d like to do but he doesn’t want to, letting him know how much it would mean to you is a way to tug at his heartstrings and motivate him to get up and get it done.
If you insult him or tell him he’s lazy for not getting it done or make him feel badly about himself, it will just emotionally shut him off and make things worse.
Obviously, this strategy goes for before you’ve asked him repeatedly to do something and he hasn’t done it. That’s a different story.
Let him make up for it.
Guys mess up. Some more than others. We make mistakes, say the wrong thing, or forget something important. Sometimes a guy needs to make one of these mistakes in order to learn and improve – but he needs you to give him a second chance in order to do it. Any guy worth his salt, will.
For me, there are certain things that don’t get you a second chance. Cheating, being emotionally or (especially) physically abusive, are a couple of them. Obviously what I’m talking about here are genuine, honest mistakes that he can make up for. It is another way for him to learn your standards and show you he’s willing to meet them.
Understand the importance of matching values.
It doesn’t matter how much chemistry you have or even how well you get along – if you have opposing values, you will always be clashing.
Of course we are not going to have everything in common with our significant other, but the key here is to find someone who has already chosen to live a life that is compatible with yours. Regardless of how attracted to someone you are or how much you want it to work out, if you are on completely different pages for what you want out of life and your future, you will consistently be facing roadblocks in the long term.
When he shows you who he is, believe him.
There is a quote that I often find attributed to Maya Angelou that says: ‘When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.’ We must understand the difference between giving second chances, and ignoring red flags. If someone is clearly showing you that they are not ready for a relationship, has no interest in self improvement, or consistently pushes you away due to deep-seeded commitment issues, draw a line for yourself for what you are willing to accept (or not).
(Do not) tell him what your standards are.
Instead, talk about them. Talk about what you expect out of life or how you like to have things organized or what is important to you – but don’t put it directly on him.
Here is an example: My girlfriend once told me how important it is for her to date someone who works out and takes care of himself. She did not say: You better keep working out or I’m going to break up with you.
This statement always stuck with me because it told me what she valued without directly pressuring me to do it. She knows I already work out consistently anyway, so it wasn’t really a risky statement. This is also related to the point about values that match up with each other. Someone who always eats healthy and who is up early to go to the gym, will always be clashing with somebody who wants to order pizza every night and just sit on the couch.
Two words: Positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is lacking in all of our lives. It goes for men and women, personally and professionally. Everyone always tells us when we do something wrong, but rarely do we hear about what we do right.
When a man hears and feels that you love it when he does a certain something for you (no matter how small), it will make him feel valued and more willing to continue doing these things for you in the future.
Should a man need praise in order want to do things for you? No, of course not – but regardless of how kindhearted someone is, feeling taken for granted will always lower the amount of effort they put in over the long term.
Hold yourself to the same standards.
When I write articles on what I feel is proper conduct for men, I would never write about something I don’t or haven’t done myself, first. It would be hypocritical and take all of the value right out of the message completely.
The same applies to any relationship or team – if you are holding someone to a certain standard of conduct, one of the best ways to ensure they are willing to meet it is to actually hold yourself to the same standard. You don’t need to be great or to get it right all of the time, but refusing to lower the bar you set for yourself is a great way to motivate the man in your life to meet it, too.
Remember – nobody can change a person, but someone can be a person’s reason to change.
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