5 Reasons Men Succeed at Work but Fail in Relationships


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Why do you think so many traditionally successful men have failed relationships or problems connecting with women?

Men, biologically, are programmed to be hunters and providers. Our self worth (incorrectly) often rests on what we make, what we have, the value we bring.

This puts many men on a path of chasing external validation and accomplishments. A good job, a big house, whatever it may be.

And then one day he wakes up and wonders why he “has it all” but is still miserable. His relationship may be falling apart, or perhaps he can’t find/start/maintain one to begin with.

Or, maybe, worst of all – he doesn’t even know who he is, so how could be possibly even know if he wants a relationship in the first place?

Here are five reasons so many men succeed at work, but fail at relationships:

They’re not doing the INNER WORK.

Truly defining your purpose. Your passions. Your path. What you would do even if you weren’t getting paid.

There is nothing more powerful than taking a completely unfiltered and uncensored inventory of your life to determine what direction you’re heading in, and what direction you SHOULD be heading in.

Have you called yourself out on your own shit? Have you faced your inner-most demons and taken a deep-dive to figure out how to defeat them? Have you been brutally honest with yourself about what’s been holding you back from showing up with absolute power in the world?

Have you really reflected on your path and determined if you chose it because it brings you joy and fulfillment every day, or just because you thought it was what you were “supposed to do”?

All of these questions, and more, begin to lead us inward and help determine what truly sets our souls on fire.

They block emotions and vulnerability.

Our society is notorious for discouraging men from showing emotion or vulnerability. This, in turn, prevents men from connecting deeply with women, and as a result these relationships fall apart.

Nobody is advocating for men (or anyone for that matter) to break down into a puddle of tears at every Hallmark commercial, but allowing ourselves to show and express emotion is a fundamental piece of being a fully formed human being.

No matter how strong, or cool, or successful, or hardened someone is – we still all have wants, needs, desires, fears…a full range of the human experience.

Being stone-faced and inexpressive may be helpful in the boardroom or during negotiations, but it pushes people away in your personal life.

We are not building friendships with other men.

There have been a variety of articles in recent years highlighting one of the biggest threats to men is actually loneliness – not just from women, though. A lack of male friendships is preventing us from connecting with others in a way that we simply cannot expect from the woman in our life.

It is unfair and unrealistic to expect our girlfriend/wife to be all things to us, and vice versa. Male friendships allow us to relate to others on a fundamental level and share challenges they will understand and empathize with. We can seek support about issues without embarrassment (hopefully).

The decline of male friendships has added additional weight and stress onto our intimate relationships. We carry our stress home from work and lay it at the bedroom door. Men need to start bonding and being open with each other again. It is easy to find groups of women reaching out and supporting each other, and they are all better off because of it.

We should learn from that model of friendship.

We fill the gap with the wrong things.

What’s left when we can’t build strong intimate relationships OR friendships? Stuff. Stuff is there.

More work. More money. Cars. Watches. Houses. Suits.

Things that should ENHANCE an already enriched life. The frosting on the cake. The decorations on the Christmas tree.

But when these material things are expected to fill the gap of true connection and emotional fulfillment, there is simply never enough.

And the cycle repeats.

We are simply not happy by ourselves.

Not everyone wants to be in a relationship. Not everyone wants to get married. Not everyone wants to have children. We are each free to make our own choices and our own decisions on how we live our life.

I cannot tell you how many clients I have worked with over an extended period of time who started out wanting to find a relationship, and then the further down the line we got, they began to feel like they weren’t actually ready for one.

Why? See point #1.

Filling the gap in our lives with material things is not the only downfall, sometimes we try to fill it with another person.

Relationships bring happiness. They bring companionship. They bring joy. Love. A teammate in life.

But they cannot make a partial person complete.

A man who has not developed his own confidence and self-worth to the point where he is perfectly happy being single, will bring his insecurities and baggage into a relationship and expect his partner to fix them.

It is not her job nor her responsibility to make you whole – it is yours.

Only when you truly dive deeply into who you are right now and define who it is you want to be, can you set on that journey of self creation and empowerment. This takes courage, and risk, and emotional fortitude to face the truth no matter what it may be.

But the bottom line is that if you cannot lay in bed at night and be happy with the person you are, you will never be happy with what (or you) you have.

If you want my help and guidance to finally break through your boundaries and create an even happier and more fulfilled life with healthier relationships, reach out and let’s chat.

Let’s connect: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Speaking & Consulting


  1. Lonstermash (@reallonstermash) on May 21, 2019 at 12:49 am

    I can’t tell you how many workaholic women I have recently tried to date that seem to have this problem too. They are GREAT in their career, beautiful, and sexy, but they seem to usually be single, despite claiming to really want a serious boyfriend and maybe even a husband. They think it’s fine to have a committed relationship in which they only see their man one to two days a week. Hey, to each their own, but for me to be serious with someone, I actually want to see her most (if not all, and “all” can include simply meeting up late at night to be able to see each other before falling asleep and then again when waking up) days of the week once we decide we’re going to be serious. And I need to see her this much in order to know the real her and for her to know the real me, as opposed to the no stress weekend get togethers, in which you are usually on your best behavior, so that we can figure out if we truly ARE compatible for living together. And if we don’t have this quantity of time, to me it just feels like a glorified booty call

  2. CYNTHIA BLOOMFIELD on September 21, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    Dating at 50 is incredibly difficult. Most of the men that are single out there are single or divorced for a very good reason. Most of the men I date seem to forget that I am a single mom who has to pay the bills. I can’t drop everything to be at their beck and call. Most of the men out there seem to have the attitude that they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want a beautiful woman on their arm for social events and to be their date but they don’t really want a committed relationship. They say they do with an act completely differently They want me to take care of them but don’t want to have any responsibilities of a relationship. They will accuse me of working too much (again-I’m a single mom raising my children practically by myself and have to work two jobs to pay the bills) but seem to see no problem at all with doing whatever they want whenever they want – out drinking with friends all the time, going to sporting events, or reliving their fraternity days. I find myself wondering what happened to the real men out there?? I know-they are probably all very happily married 🙂

    • Kayleigh on August 10, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      Yes. This is the same thing with men in their 40’s too. They want all of the benefits of a relationship, but none of the commitment. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. The last man I ended it with liked the idea of having a partner, but not the logistics. I’d be expected to make all of the sacrifices to keep it going, despite me being the one with the least time. A demanding job in healthcare, 2 children to raise, all of the bills to pay and no disposable income. And it’s just not good enough for me, so I end it once it becomes evident that that’s way things are going. I want an equal partnership.

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