Ask a Guy: How Do I Get My Boyfriend To Be More Romantic? post image

Ask a Guy: How Do I Get My Boyfriend To Be More Romantic?


I have made it very obvious to my significant other how much I love it when he texts or does “little things” for me.  even though he rarely does it, I’ve let him know that just a simple email or text can make my day.

He says that all he wants to do is make me happy, so I don’t understand why he doesn’t even make the effort to do the things he knows I like! When I know he likes something, I do it. I want to tell him this bothers me, but I don’t want him to do it just because I “asked him to,” basically ruining it.

Plus, I feel like he should WANT to do things that make me happy anyway. What gives?

This is something that I hear all the time from women in their relationships.

You want him to do X, but if you tell him to do X it ruins it because then he would be doing it because you told him to and not because his emotions/love for you told him to.

Then you say: He should know to do it, I shouldn’t have to tell him.

And you also say: When he does what I like, I tell him how much I like it.

There’s a reason that I am restating this…

So first off, you want him to do “the little things” because they make you feel amazing when he does them.

Do you know why they make you feel amazing? They feel amazing because he’s the type of man that has more going for himself than just trying to please you constantly. His attention is valuable because he doesn’t just give it away freely and carelessly.  If he did, it wouldn’t have as much value.

People tend to put value on that which is rare and that which they have to work for- not just in relationships but in all aspects of life.  And we don’t value what is just handed to us nearly as much.

Think about it: If he was some guy who was obsessed with trying to please you constantly in every way, you would think he was a pushover. You would take the behavior for granted and you wouldn’t place much value on it.

You wouldn’t be able to respect him or trust his strength because everything he was doing is based on trying to “win you over”, get your approval or please you.

Before I go any further, you should take a moment to be grateful that you are with a man that has enough of a life and enough security in his value that he doesn’t need to try and please you all the time. Appreciate that he’s the type of guy that he is.

Now, here’s a major, major point in terms of understanding men: In the context of relationships, men do not think in terms of “little things”. Women think in terms of little things.

I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate the little things, but I would much rather have a single mind-blowing, unforgettable experience with the girl I’m with rather  than 100 “little things”. To use an analogy: one amazing time with a woman could equal 10,000 “points”, whereas 100 little things might only equal 10 points.

This should be a relief to you since it means that you could have a tremendous positive impact on your relationship just with one night of making your guy feel amazing instead of spending countless hours doing “little things”.

Here’s the problem: In the same way that women will do “little things” for guys and then be confused and frustrated when the guy isn’t smitten by all the little things she’s done for him (in the way a woman would be), guys think that one grand gesture will make up for months of neglecting “little things”.

I’ve been guilty of this. I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve let work and life in general consume all my time and attention and neglect my relationship. Even a great date, filled with all sorts of grand things can’t repair all the “little moments” of neglect throughout the month.

In other words, I’m trying to give her a 10,000 point night, but it actually goes down in the “relationship books” as just 1 point. Meanwhile, if I were more conscious, I would have done 100 little things during the month and been 100 points ahead.

Now I realize that I’m putting this in “relationship nerd” terms, but I’m trying to get across the difference between the genders so that you can understanding him better, appreciate the differences and communicate to him in an effective way.

So here’s the solution: If you want to get more of the little things, you should reward him for the good behavior.

Thing is, just saying ‘thank you’ doesn’t have the same emotional impact as doing something that feels as good to him as he makes you feel when he ... (continued - Click to keep reading Ask a Guy: How Do I Get My Boyfriend To Be More Romantic?)

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Meche

Oh this is just bullshit!

A man SHOULD be texting his woman or helping out around the house.

Its just unfair to say in order for a woman to get her man to do these “little things” he needs to recieve physical “feel good” things.

WHAT THE FUCK does a woman have to do to get the same? We are not damn slaves!

Personally, if my man didnt text or do things for me, I’d give him the silent treatment. Not touching, not talking, back turned. Ofcourse this should be done after you let him know what hes done wrong – just like animal training.

LOL.

Reply December 14, 2014, 9:34 am

corey

I have made it very obvious to my significant other how much I love it when he texts or does “little things” for me.  even though he rarely does it, I’ve let him know that just a simple email or text can make my day.

He says that all he wants to do is make me happy, so I don’t understand why he doesn’t even make the effort to do the things he knows I like! When I know he likes something, I do it. I want to tell him this bothers me, but I don’t want him to do it just because I “asked him to,” basically ruining it.

Plus, I feel like he should WANT to do things that make me happy anyway. What gives?

this is the exact feeling that made me google this. It’s like these words were taken rigjt outta my head. what gives guys? if u love your woman, show it or she will eventually leave u for someone who actually wants go do these things. When u really love someone, doing things for the should come naturally . so what gives?
one night is one night. No matter how much they went all out. It’s one night. The little things are what keeps a relationship strong and worthwhile sometimes. why should we have to wait around for a spectacular one night event. We want romance alk the time.

Reply November 27, 2014, 1:08 am

Martin

Romance… ahhhhh the good old natural attraction. Romance cannot be made to happen, it is a natural reaction and interaction between a man and a woman. When there’s none it means there’s something missing, and in order for your partner to b romantic with you, he should love you and be attracted to you enough to be romantic. For starter, you should change somethings in your behaviour in order to make him drool over you with love and attraction. To know what to do, you should know what attracts a man to a woman. (same applies vice versa, but now we’re dealing with a man’s side). ( IN A RELATIONSHIP) A man feels less and less attracted to his woman if she behaves as follows: 1- she’s too much after him. 2- she reveals too much of her attractive body parts, both at home and in public (legs, cleft(s), belly, shoulders and armpits). 3- She brushes her teeth, floss (and leaves the thread in the sink or floating inside the toilet seat, go to the toilet etc…) in front of him. These things and similar behavior make the man feels not attracted to a woman, because he did not fall in love with that, he fell in love with a woman’s ideals and completed the picture in his mind, which doesnt include the above mentioned visuals. A woman should show compassion to her man but also make him go after her, and yes like cats. Always. she should try to make him not see her when she’s flossing or brushing her teeth, or see her Kotex etc… eliminate the floss thread after use, wash well your mouth with water and soap after brushing and wear colorful attractive “combinaison” at home, and play hard to get, both in bed and out of it, but maintain a smile and compassion to him, he needs both ways in parallels. Romance is lost when intimacy and modesty is lost, it is why romance is still highly available in conservative societies and almost extinct in liberal ones. You find Romeos and Julliettes in each corner in conservative countries. 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 year old couples still write poetry to each other and can’t get home to their partners. Make sure to visit the hair stylist for a fix, not less than once a week, and wear high quality shoes.. A balance of elegance, modesty, high-status and attractive wear and the above mentioned, should keep things romantic. Unless he doesn’t deserve that, then leave him peacefully, take a 2-3 months break and then go look elsewhere.

Reply August 3, 2014, 4:41 am

Patricia

This…this helped me a lot ;) thanks

Reply July 3, 2014, 6:39 pm

Jessica

I need an answer to my question ASAP from a guy. How do I get my boyfriend of a year to be romantic and sweet like he was a few years ago with his ex. See thing is she cheated on him and had a child be the other guy. He was hurt badly. How do I make him see I’m not like her and get him to be sweet and romantic again? I’ve tried everything!

Reply July 3, 2014, 5:11 pm

lady

it’s not true that all women want the little things because he’s the type of man who is busy. Some want the “little things” because on average it’s expected in our culture, because it shows he cares and he is a loving person, it shows he isn’t lazy and puts small efforts into the relationship – showing he’s able to put effort into things that matter to him and this adds to attraction.

Reply February 15, 2014, 4:40 pm

Bo

Romance can so different to everybody. I am in a long distance relationship at the moment and we have just been together recently. We had just come back in from dinner and after a “cuddle” we always talk about nothing and everything. I had mentioned that I would really love some fish and chips wrapped in paper well the evening that I was ready to leave my beautiful man came in with, you guessed it fish and chips,so you see that to me was absolutely romantic because he knew that it
would make me happy. It’s all give and take, we teach each other.

Reply January 29, 2014, 4:53 am

Lush

I am in a relationship with a girl. She loves me to death. Her parents want us to get engage soon. My problem is I dont have feelings for her any more. I dont know when and how that happens. I tried my best to convince her to let me go but she wont give up. I really like her but I dont love her. She is a great person. She keep forcing me to tell her sweet things, lovey and dovey things, she keeps telling me to tell her that I love her, and buy her things and talk about things. I get angry when she does that and I dont know why. And few times I have thrown the phone away and broke it. I cannot talk to her about politics, or mature issues or topics, she thinks about me 24/7. I dont feel like saying her anything sweet or buying her anything. I hate when she texts me or calls me. I avoid answering her phone calls. She keeps sending pictures of herself from the weddings or parties she goes to and she wants me to COMMENT on them, if there are no weddings, she would just send random pics of hers and asks me to comment on them. I am so depressed deep down, I feel like breaking down. Cus I cant stand the sight of me treating her or any person in such a way. I am not an ass. When I was with my ex, I could make her melt by saying the most romantics things to her out of no where. I can talk to her for hours and hours and hours. I would buy anything for her and surprise her and come up with most creative ways to woo her and she would just melt. However, this is not the case if my current gf and this is killing me inside. She doesnt care who I am with and where I am and what I am doing, she just wants me to answer her phone call and keep talking to her. 99% of time I got nothing to tell her whatsoever. I cant even tell her that car she bough has serious transmission problem. I just dont know what to do Eric. I do not what to do really. Its killing me inside. I hate to treat her that way.
Thank you
Lush

Reply January 12, 2014, 5:03 am

Amanda

Lush,
Im a girl, please dont take this harsh…1# Be honest, with yourself, her and anyone involved..one thing people cant argue with is honesty. 2# Don’t compare your current relationship to your past, not good for anyone involved. You can only learn from past “experiences”. 3# I understand where you are coming from, however, wouldn’t letting her go now cause her less pain instead of in the future….It seems you feel like you have a problem communicating to/with her, your feelings. I would start there. Explain how you feel, what upsets you, etc… Maybe she will see how she’s acting. She is most likely unaware of her actions. It also seems that she is at a false sense of where yall relationship is and that is partly because you are giving in instead of telling her the truth. you are beginning to “hate” her because of the strain and situation you two are in….in short if I was her and you felt this strongly I would be less hurt by you just coming out and saying how you felt and then trying to console me by explaining my short comings so that I may learn what “turned you off”. Never know it may be a great learning experience for you both. It could also have a turn for the best and could improve your relationship with her. You must of had feelings for her at some point. They are still there is about nurturing each other back to that point, if, that’s if it can be salvaged…Hope this helps best of luck. Muster some strength. You not wanting to hurt her shows that you are sensitive. Just don’t let it go on to long…its only more damaging then.

Reply January 17, 2014, 5:37 pm

Lush

Amanda, Thank you for your feedback and sincere advice. I will you this:
1. Last one year I spent telling her openly how I feel. I told her I dont want this relationship directly, no beatings around the bush.
2. I told her I needed a break – when I did that she kept bickering that I am getting married to someone else.
3. I dont Hate her at all – I just dont mind myself romantically attached to her.
4. She is 23, I believe she still lives in lala land – doesnt think about anything or take any other factors into consideration.
5. These things were killing me inside, she just not UNDERSTANDING what I am trying to tell her even if I tell her straight up. It got so bad that I had to divulge all this to one of her good friends. I think she talked to her few months back, but things are back to square one. Just 3 days ago, I was driving, she kept calling me and texting me, the moment I told her I am driving, she called me right back. I dont like to talk to her when people are around me (cus I feel that I need to have my own privacy/my private life – what I do and who I talk to is none of their business).
6. She told me how her friend told her not to call me or text me excessively. But she wont stop at all.
7. I work at nights, she knows I will be at work around 11pm, she calls me right at the time when I get to work. She knows I work at nights, she calls me in the morning when I am sleeping.
8. You know Amanda, I got this 2nd job working at nights so that I can save money to buy her things cus money I make with my other job is to pay off my school loans, my bills and I save whatever I can for myself and needy people.
9. I made every effort to tell her how I feel but she just wont give up on me.
10. She is beautiful/gorgeous but I dont find myself attracted to her romantically or even sexually.
11. I dont find anything to talk to her about. There is no topic that I can talk to her. I just dont feel the connection or she has any knowledge about politics/religion/careers/cars/sports/business/work ethics/ she doesnt even know what kind of car she drives, or other things that a person should be aware of.
12. But what I really like about her is her BIG HEART. She has a heart of gold and I cant see her cry. This scares me the most, hurting her in any way.
13. I am not even talking to other girls, I could if I wanted to but I dont want to make those moves towards them.
What kind I tell her and how? Open and straight forward talk is not helping either.

Reply January 19, 2014, 5:43 am

Sarah

Hey Lush,
You left your comment quite a few months ago but I hope it’s not too late.
First of all, I admire you. You sound like a very decent and selfless person, you can’t stand that girl anymore but you can’t stand hurting her either. But buddy, I’m sorry you’re going to have to make a choice. If you’re hurting that relationship isn’t good for you, even though you just can’t make her suffer and leave her. I know how this can be hard. My guess is, and I could be wrong, you are emotionally attached to her even if you don’t love her, that’s maybe one of the reasons you were unable to leave her and instead talked about it to her, which is the right solution. If you can’t stand to see her cry, that means you care. And when you care about people, it’s hard of course to make the decision to leave them.

Now, before, I was like that too with my girlfriend (I mean not as much as that but I get her point), until I realized that’s just not the way you treat a guy! Because i loved him too much, I had to change, I had to be SELFLESS. If you really talked to her about it, and she ignored it and stayed the same, then maybe she doesn’t love you that much after all, not enough to change and make you happier, at least. If the situation is still on, talk to her again, but some kind of other method like telling her you feel like leaving her, don’t be afraid of her tears, something thtat will just have to make her WANT to change.

Thing is, Lush, it’s hard for people to change. At least, it takes time. My guess is, if she’s as gorgeous as you say she is and you still aren’t attracted romantically and sexually, you never will. You can’t fool yourself and teach yourself how to love someone just not to hurt those people. Make things right and fair for YOU, AND for her. Because at least, she deserves to have real love, someone that will maybe make her change, and not just a guy who is forced into commenting her pictures. Think about yourself and your sanity, but also think about what she deserves! If she has a golden heart, then she’ll understand and forgive and realize it was for the best.

Cheers and good luck!

Reply May 6, 2014, 7:22 am

Honest

When you look at relationships honestly, I think this is spot on and may be able to help me immensely.

For everyone hating on the article for it being from a man’s perspective, I think most of the information could be flipped to a woman’s perspective quite easily and works both ways in a relationship. Thank you for the honesty Eric.

Reply September 25, 2013, 3:03 am

Jessica

Wow, I can’t even begin. First of all, there’s such a thing as a happy medium between a guy who has his own life/thoughts going on and a pushover. Men (ok, some) are fully capable of being strong males yet making the occasional sweet gesture for their lady. My late fiancé was the manliest man I ever knew but he would still do amazing things like throw pebbles up and my window at midnight, or hide chocolate and jewelry in Easter eggs and throw me my own Easter egg hunt in our house. He was a military man and everything, far from a pushover. Give me a break.

And then we should be grateful that a man has his own thing going on to be romantic? Would you like a sandwich whilst I get back in the kitchen too, massa?

Reply August 22, 2013, 12:00 am

Preach

Hallelujah! Thank you for sharing what I was thinking while reading that entire article. its disgusting.

Reply October 8, 2014, 8:37 pm

Eric Charles

Actually, in all honesty, I was about to come at you, but after re-reading that section, yeah, I could have been more clear about how I meant it.

Sorry to hear your fiance passed away. He sounds like he was a great man and I have nothing but respect for a man who had the courage to serve in the military and the heart to be good to you as his future wife.

There’s nothing about what you described that’s against anything I advocate or encourage… When I have a moment, I’ll probably edit the article and clarify some stuff, remove some stuff, say some stuff differently…

Now — with all that said… and again, I think that your point had merit… but come on: “Would you like a sandwich whilst I get back in the kitchen too, massa?”

Now you’re just being… silly. So I’m just going to pretend you didn’t make those implications and thank you for the rest of the comment which was illustrated a solid point.

Reply October 9, 2014, 1:21 am

Cecilia

So…It’s November 9th and this article has not been ‘edited’ like you said it would be ‘when you have time’. Your response to the above comment is a complete reflection of what I hate about your stupid article and this entire topic. I’m not hating on men. I have been in a relationship where the man out of his own volition made small and big efforts to make me happy and keep the romance alive. It’s nothing but laziness and selfishness.

Reply November 9, 2014, 11:46 am

Julie

This article is such bullshit. The woman needs to train the man when he doesn’t fufill her needs but he doesn’t need to give her the time of day “because self confidence”? Fuck that. Women are not fucking maintenence workers whose job it is to subtly figure out and fix what’s wrong with your ego. Maybe, just maybe, you could try having an honest conversation with this person who you’ve chosen to be with about a problem in the relationship. It won’t shrivel your dicks, I promise.

Reply June 22, 2013, 4:13 am

Ann

I agree. I am sick of all this stuff directed at women doing all the work and teaching their man. Screw that too. It’s not rocket science, it’s give and take, not give and give.

Reply July 23, 2013, 2:59 pm

Heather

I found this article to be interesting. At first,I didn’t quite know where you were going with your ideas, but as I kept reading I found myself nodding in agreement and thinking, “hmm, I never thought of that. It just might work.” Sometimes it is extremely difficult to get into the mind of your spouse, and when your spouse is not great at verbalizing what they need, things can seem pretty impossible. I think this article is talking about finding ways to reward your partner the way that they would like instead of assuming that when you reward them in a way that you would like that it will mean as much to them as it does to you. I appreciate whoever took the time to write this article. And for those of you bashing it, if you don’t agree with what he has to say, then go read another article, but since you’re here I’m guessing your method of trying to get attention from your significant other is not working. So why not explore the advice this article has given? If it doesn’t work, it’s not going to kill you to have tried:)

Reply May 8, 2013, 7:14 pm

Gaby

I stumbled into this article because I was given an assignment to write a paper on how to make a guy be more romantic. I was struggling because I know from experience that there is no 1-2-3 step plan and I hated the idea of a paper that encourages women to try to change their man. Call me odd, but I never went for the cliches. I would promptly blow out candles, turn off the music, and crawl into bed in my thickest pjs on hand. I was called an anti-romantic until I realized the reason I couldn’t be romantic was because I didn’t care about my partner. Once I left that relationship and started dating a man I fell madly in love with, I started to feel more “romantic”. However, I’ve also realized that men think differently, like you said. I learned to value the small ways he showed that he loved me, even if it wasn’t what the books or magazines called “romantic”. Once I stopped being stressed about what I thought romance was, I enjoyed our relationship a lot more. To me, having him complement my cooking, wrap his arms around me as we watch a movie, or watch the kids so I can sleep is so much more romantic than taking me out for dinner or playing sax music. We went through long-distance phases and I had to learn that while I enjoy writing long, newsy emails, he does not. He responded in Skype. So what? Let him be, and then be blown away when he calls long distance out of the blue, just because. He knows what I like and goes out of his way to do them, but like you said, more of a monthly build up. I think the women who whine about making their man be more romantic need to ask themselves if it’s really something they “need” or is it just a rom/com stereotype they need to rethink.
Thanks for giving me the voice to state my own thoughts on the matter. I won’t be writing a fluff piece, but an honest one.

Reply April 15, 2013, 1:56 pm

Erika

Wow. I didn’t manage to get past the withholding affection because it means more. Wow. Breaking someones heart repeatedly when they state their needs is not healthy or fair. If the female takes the mans actions for granted, then she doesn’t deserve him and neither does she deserve to be neglected in a reverse scenario. You make me sick.

Reply March 6, 2013, 3:58 pm

Eric Charles

… what are you talking about?

“You make me sick,” is a bit harsh, don’t you think? Would you say that to me if you were speaking to me in person?

Probably not.

This site talks about having better relationships – maybe instead of attacking me, you’d do well to do a little self reflection on how your relationships are going.

Call it a hunch, but usually people who leave spit vitriol via comment walls tend to be people who would benefit from stopping their critical behavior. Just a suggestion in the interest of your self-improvement… since… that’s why I’m here… which brings me to my final question: Why are *you* here?

Reply March 22, 2013, 6:40 pm

Erika

To answer why I am here: I read your article because I am 7 months pregnant with our second child in the two years we have been together and I feel so sad most of the time. Shouldn’t this be the happiest time for us? I desperately wanted to find a solution and I was feeling particularly low that day. I also forgot about your article since then and just came across it again today. I guess it is not a coincidence. There is little to no romance unless I do something. This leaves me feeling exhausted, last on his priorities and neglected. My closest friends and family are ridiculously happy couples who give and take equally. It’s hard to see that and feel like something is wrong with me. Maybe not everyone relates the way you do in the romance department. It’s really none of my business. I personally do not want to resort to playing games or starve my heart for a bit of affection. I verbalize my needs and do my best to love him as I would like to be loved. I am an incredibly demonstrative, romantic person and nothing makes me happier than loving him or being loved back. Or at least it did. It just hurts now. Maybe I am doing everything wrong or he is just not the right man for me. I feel like I can’t just give up or walk away, but every day I die a little more inside. I feel like all my actions towards him are tainted with sadness at this point. And in answer to your second question, I would tell you you make me sick in person. I’m outspoken and prego hormones only add fuel to the fire. I don’t feel that way anymore, I think I was just very upset.

Reply April 17, 2013, 4:49 pm

CafeGirlswPress

You’re an a**hole, Eric, and your advice is crap. Tell me where you got your graduate degree, so I can put it on my list to avoid.

This is a column for douchebags and douchebaguettes.

Ick.

Reply January 17, 2013, 11:35 pm

Eric Charles

Haha, wow…

Someone is an angry person. How is that working out for you?

Reply March 22, 2013, 6:35 pm

G

You don’t even need to respond to these very few negative comments Eric. Lol, seriously, screw them! They like to bring other people down with them.

Reply July 9, 2013, 1:50 am

Ann

I totally agree. Why should anyone have to train someone? Pleaseeee. It’s not rocket science!

Reply July 23, 2013, 2:55 pm

LornaLilo

SO, first I want to say I agree with you.. I do believe in the pschological part of it all.. I am all for telling him what he is doing is right and reaping the rewards..
Let me give you an insight on my relationship: My man used to be my FWB, we didnt kiss, go out on dates, cuddle, hold hands, etc.. And then he wanted to be exclusive… –__–

He has been in my life forever, and I love him, I went ahead and entertained the idea.. he is funny and good working man. Could take care of me. Plenty of security. But.. Um.. still no cuddling, kissing, holding hands, etc.. No little weekend trips, no throw me against the wall and make out with me type of stuff, that I have been craving.. So, my mistake was that I told him I wanted this stuff.. instead of him doing it and me saying “well don’t do it because I want you to” he just doesn’t.. It almost seems very hard for him.. He only kisses me when I tell him to, while were intamate.. .. He even told me, well lets switch roles, you be me and I will be you.. And then I will know what you want from me.. ??

I am so confused on what I am supposed to do.. I realize we have an odd relationship.. We live seperately and an hour away from each other with very busy schedules.. So I am not sure where to go with “our” relationship.. to make it more .. Romantic…

Any Help?

Reply November 15, 2012, 1:25 pm

shweta

Eric,
this is great stuff.. thank you for sharing. This is exactly what i needed to be told at this stage in life.. i realise i ws being quite selfish in my relationship (we’ve bn together since i ws 15 its bn 8 yrs nw.. long time i knw :P)but nw i wil certaintly try dis..

Reply November 4, 2012, 4:24 pm

perla

Hey i have a problem with my boyfriend he doesent act romantic could you help me to be romantic pleaeese/.\

Reply November 2, 2012, 8:47 pm

Rickie

What if you believe your boyfriend should know what you want because you’ve leafy told him? I don’t expect him to know me well enough to know what I want but I’ve told him many times what I want and he still refuses to do anything for me. I don’t even care if he can’t figure out to do 100 little things. He never even does one big thing. Or even a medium thing. I can’t leave for vacation because I’m broke and I work full time so even living together we get daily breaks from each other. I can’t with hold sex because we haven’t had sex in a week and he doesn’t seem to care. I just want him to plan something awesome for me. There are guys dating girls way uglier than me who treat them better and I’ve even offered to pay as long as he comes up with everything else . I don’t think I’m being too demanding I just want to have fun that I didn’t orchestrate.

Reply May 17, 2012, 11:03 am

Jenna

This woman’s question applies to me exactly* right now. But, the thing is, my boyfriend has ALL the time in the world, but never takes a moment to do anything special with it. How am i supposed to feel grateful he’s taking time out of his busy life to do something for me, when he is hardly ever busy (no job), and never does anything?
how can I reward him for good behavior when he never does anything, let alone something little?
Its been almost a year, and nothing. not even a love heart on a piece of scrap paper found on the floor.
It really hurts because i not only do little things, but extravagant things, and he makes me feel like im not worth any effort. Not even the effort it takes to pick up a pen and put it to paper.
I am feeling really worthless right now. Text messages dont count for much when thats all ive recieved from him in the last year. :(
I am too scared to tell him for fear of sounding selfish and yes – doubting his motives for whenever he may do something after i tell him.
What should i do? its eating at me all the time and i dont know how much longer i can take feeling like this

Reply May 17, 2012, 8:25 am

LC

Hey Jenna,
I really think that if it’s been a whole YEAR and he has yet to show you the affection that you require and DESERVE then you should let him go. End it and move on. Nobody deserves to be treated that way. A relationship is about give an take. Ok, one person might give a little more and the other might take a bit more. But you can’t just give, give give, and get nothing in return. It’s not fair, it’s not right and it is not healthy. I know it might be hard to let him go after sticking it out for so long. But I would say you can give yourself 2 options:
1) Break up with him ASAP
2) You can voice your feelings to him. If he really cares, he will change his actions, if he doesn’t, no amount of you telling him how you feel will change his actions. And there is nothing wrong with you telling him how feel and him doing things for you. You shouldn’t doubt his motives. It is his job to make you happy and vice versa.

Most of all you need to ask yourself: Is he really irreplaceable? After a year do you really see him changing? Are you really, truly happy with your relationship?

Don’t settle, it is not healthy.

Best of luck.

Reply May 17, 2012, 12:51 pm

Rose Bailey

Hey Jenna,

I hear where you are coming from as I too was once in the exact same situation. It almost seemed helpless and I just couldn’t figure it out. I tried everything like you have except I tried talking to him and telling him how I felt but nothing changed.

It went on like this for nearly a year! I nearly gave up but I did love him so I didn’t want to just give up. I started looking to males for advice, rather than taking advice from my female friends (as I tried everything they suggested ie: talking, nagging) and it didn’t work. No wonder it didn’t work as everything I was trying was wrong! Rather than look to my female friends for advice I realized I needed to understand male psychology. Men and women are different as this article discusses we are different sexes and therefore have different ways of expressing and showing love. We play different roles in the relationship. I found a few interesting articles, in particular one by Rori Raye about the dangers of woman “overfunctioning” in a relationship, which I feel may be your problem here. You state that you are the one constantly doing things for him, the little things and the bigger mind blowing things you know he appreciates but yet you see nothing on his part. It sounds to me like you are doing too much and need to pull back a little and give him a chance to assess why you are not doing so much anymore. It will likely make him miss the little things you do and give him the space to become “the doer and provider” in the relationship. By us “doing” too much for our men it is using our masculine energy, therefore stopping him to use his masculine energy. Men need to be the “doers and providers” in a relationship and we need to get in touch with our feline energy that allows a man to come forward to us and chase us again. If you do too much for him, he may just take it for granted while deep down he may feel lazy and unmotivated as he is unable to be the provider and make you happy. Men need to feel like they are a success in everything they do, this includes making you happy. He probably already senses this vibe of not making you happy so he starts to feel like a failure and withdraw from the relationship.

Here are some articles on “Overfunctioning” that will probably explain it much better than I have with my long rant lol. It really helped me. I took the advice in these articles and pulled back and things changed dramatically. I also took the advice of Eric here in this article on how to reward him when he does please me. My relationship has turned around dramatically because I took the time to learn about how men work by studying masculine energy and male psychology. It has made me grow more as a person and I feel much better about myself as I feel I understand my partner more and he appreciated this!

Reply September 4, 2012, 7:00 pm

Mary

I loved your comment! I think it’s exactly what I need to do in my relationship.
It’s only been a few months but I can already see signs that I’m over functioning and it’s starting to drag me down. I want to fix it as soon as possible before it gets to be a serious problem.
As I’m reading more of “Overfunctionning”, I’m having troubles understanding how to be a bit more withdrawn without looking like a bitch? And when do you show emotion (ex: when is it okay to do kind things for him)?

Also, I’d love any sites/articles you have on male psychology! Thank you so much. :)

Reply October 10, 2012, 5:14 am

ziggy

I am a guy that is in a very great relationship with a girl that i love so much but sometime whenever we want to go out on a date, she would ask me to invite my cousin to come along with us. She once called me and told me that she wanted the three of us to go out and catch fun but when I told her that the two of us should just go, she said that she would only come along on the condition that my cousin came with us. What do you make of that eric.

Reply April 26, 2012, 7:44 am

Eric Charles

Hey Ziggy,
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It sounds to me like she might be into your cousin. Or she’s throwing in blocks to prevent it from being a date…
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It sounds like she sees you as more of a friend than a potential lover…
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And my bet is that in your mind, you image that you and this girl would be perfect together. The truth is though, when you fixate totally on the girl and she’s not attracted to you in that way, the more you push the more she’s going to push you away.
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I’m giving you a really quick and condensed answer here, but I think you would do best to get yourself some other options to date. It’s not unusual for a woman to see you as more attractive if she witnesses that other women are into you (of course, don’t force this or try and fake it to make her like you… that will backfire).
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I’d encourage you to read my post on here about how to get out of the friend zone. I write to women on this site (since that’s the audience), but there’s plenty in that post that you can use too, as a guy.
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Good luck dude… I was in the friend zone with a girl I fell *hard* for years ago. Sadly, it didn’t work out with that girl, but it was one of my best learning experiences in the world of dating, attraction and relationships. Disappointing at the time, but massively enlightening for my future.

Reply April 26, 2012, 12:31 pm

Julianna

Hi Eric,
What if you’re with a guy who used to be more romantic and then just stopped. He doesn’t bring you flowers or candy. He didn’t get you anything for Christmas or do anything for your birthday. But yet you know that in previous relationships, even short ones, he was always very romantic. He says that he’s not “that type of guy”. But again you know of instances of him bringing flowers to exes or surprising them with concert tickets to a show. I’ve been very romantic and loving with him. I’ve also been very vocal about how I want him to be more romantic. At this point, i’m ready to throw in the towel.

Reply April 7, 2014, 11:37 pm

Duo

Hi Eric,
I would just like to thank you greatly on what you are doing here, this blog is exactly what I needed at this stage of my life. Through changes in our personal situations, my boyfriend and I are experiencing a larger strain on our relationship. Simple things like going on dates has become more difficult, granted our relationship was never that simple from the beginning due to me coming from a cultural background, so family and their values that are different to ours, sometimes got in the way. However until about a few months ago we have managed well, of course things weren’t perfect but we were happy. Since then he has lost his job and is hitting a very difficult part of his life. He is no longer as communicative and has slipped partially into his own shell. Talking about it, he explained that this is his way of dealing with things, he is not one to lay all his problems onto someone else, and likes to figure things out on his own (as like many other men). I eventually grasped this concept and have been giving him more space. Saying this, of course I am very understanding to his situation and I have stuck by him and provided support. I understand why he is not himself, but my question is – how do I provide him with the space he sometimes needs and doing my own thing, yet take advantage of the times when he reaches out and plans a date or hangout for example, with out seeming like I’m just sitting around waiting for him? Because I really appreciate the time we spend together and he makes sure i know he does as well, but due to his state of mind at the moment, things are more dependent on whether he can or cannot. How do I show him I am understanding by being there when he needs me but not give up my self? I know this is not a permanent thing, but like you say in your articles, I don’t want to fall into the needy “I NEED reassurance” type of thing :).

Thanks

Reply April 25, 2012, 12:02 am

Sheila

Wow, Duo, I find myself in a similar situation where my boyfriend has hit a really rough time financially and with family things and I am trying to find the best way to be supportive while still being able to get him to spend time with me and communicate with me. I would love to get advice from Eric as well.

Reply April 26, 2012, 6:45 pm

Duo

Yes it is a really tough situation! I honestly feel so helpless, because he has a lot of pride and does not want anyone to feel pity for him or help him, but I know he is struggling on his own. I really care about him, I just don’t want to suffocate him. I think the best thing for us to do is to give them space, because doing otherwise would just backfire. I read somewhere that the best approach is to not fall into the trap of giving off maternal comfort, that’s the last thing they want from a girlfriend, as men HATE their manhood coming into question, but instead it was stated that supporting them in a way that made them feel capable is the best thing to do such as “I know you can do this” and “you will be great in that interview, just do what you always do”. Basically just subtle boosts of confidence, nothing that involves you trying to fix the situation, trust me I’ve tried I never can :(. But yes!! the hardest part is the trying to still get them to spend time with us! because I never know if i am being selfish secretly wanting him to see me more often, but on the other hand, we are their girlfriends we must be prioritised to an extent as well right? I just really wish he wouldn’t separate me from his problems, I’d be more than happy to talk or even listen to him let off some steam about it..

Reply April 27, 2012, 2:28 am

Sheila

I agree that not suffocating them and acting “maternal” is the best route along with encouraging them of course. I don’t know about you, but I think one main thing I am having trouble with is knowing how long of being “supportive” and being left out and practically ignored at time is long enough. Or at least how to get that point across to him. As I’m guess you’ve experienced, it’s pretty stressful having a boyfriend, but not really feeling it…(If that makes sense…) Being left by the wayside so often and for so long isn’t something we should be expected to deal with forever. I don’t want to leave because before all of the stresses he recently acquired things were going well, but I also don’t know how much more of this I can take and on the flip side, what the best way to deal with it is. *sigh*

Reply April 27, 2012, 1:00 pm

Duo

That is exactly what I am struggling with, yes I never know whether being “supportive” and understanding is really making me appear like I’m giving up myself in a way? All the while I’m thinking “I’m a person too”. Personally I have tried really expressing every thought about the situation I’ve had to him and explaining how at times it makes me feel really second rate. He says he fully understands where I am coming from and why I am feeling upset, he attempts to improve the way things are going, ie. try to spend time with me and talk, but the whole time I can see he is distant and just not the same. This cycle used to repeat until I just decided to just give him the space he obviously needed. Yes I still feel like crap at times because like you said it’s hard to have a boyfriend with out feeling like a girlfriend, how long are we expected to wait, should I be feeling guilty for thinking like this? I’m not sure.. because they do have reasons. Exactly! like you I do not want to leave because yes things were great. As hard as it is for us to admit, the best way to deal with this is to just give them the space they desire. If you really see yourself lasting with this guy and that he is worth it, you could always go on a “break” until things improve. It does not mean a break up but it just allows the both of you to get away from relationship duties, by taking yourself away you allow yourself time to enjoy other things, friends, family, events, hobbies, things we have possibly neglected stressing over the whole boyfriend thing. On the other hand our boyfriends would have the time they need to clear their minds and hopefully get back on track, I am still going to talk to him and provide some support, but I am in effect allowing my mind to be taken up by more personally constructive things and we won’t be feeling like we have been left behind. I know it seems like the opposite of what we want right now but this way we won’t be pushing them away and they may even feel the gap we leave behind and reach out for us, all it will take is time patience and self control! I really wish men would just deal with problems like we do but ohh well

April 27, 2012, 10:16 pm

Duo

wow sorry for the huge reply haha

April 27, 2012, 10:17 pm

Sheila

huge replies are awesome!
And yes, I’ve actually heard that same advice about just giving each other space for a little while. I guess it’s worth a try…for those who are good at putting it into effect. It’s not easy though.

April 29, 2012, 8:36 pm

Shedevil

I’m actually here to give you props. I think you just might know what you’re talking about. Stumbling across your page was no accident, as I’m sure you’ve already suspected that, considering the fact I stuck around long enough to read your post. The hardest thing for me to grasp is the that my man is not a girlfriend of mine, he’s a dude. A die hard pens fan, once a week beer night with his buddies, loves my black lacy underware, forgets I need to sit on the toilet seat kind of dude. Frustration, confusion, and assumption are three things I go through once a week with our communication technique. A woman’s mind: over analyzes every damn word, gesture and movement your kind makes, believe me I get that. Sometimes I have to tell my brain “just stop, seriously that thought was just straight up ridiculous.” so I know when I’m being out of line. In my relationship we believe that having our own lives and meeting in the middle is the key to our happiness and respectful relationship. I just need to know one thing, why is it always “us” asking all the questions to fix what is supposed to be a joint effort. We hear the “stop thinking so much into it” and “it’s ok I know it was your time of the month”. Why are women the ones that are always trying? I work out 5 days a week, always look nice when we go out, make sure his clothes are clean, understand that playoff week means 24/7 hockey and masters week means that’s what I’ll be watching too. He wants me to be happy and whenever I am honest with he tells me he feels awful I feel that way and never wants me to be upset or hurt and will try to fix it. My boyfriebd does nor work out, he smokes (promised to quit when we first met) and in bed likes when I’m in charge. I’m starting to think maybe I’m too dominant, but when I’m not my confident self I can feel that’s not what tickles his fancy. So if any of this is remotely understandable – Id love to hear back. Word.

Reply April 16, 2012, 3:11 am

Eric Charles

First, thanks for the props. I appreciate that.
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I work with men and women as a dating coach professionally. You’d be amazed, but when I work with men, they’ll inevitably say, “Dating is so unfair to men. Women have it so easy.” And they go on and on about all the reasons that women has it great and men have to slave away…
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And women will say that men have it easy and that women have to do all the work.
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In the end, the reality is that whether you’re a man or woman, you could *choose* to be a slob all day: never work out, eat potato chips on the couch all day and make no effort towards aspirations, social status or social grace.
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You *could* do that!
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You don’t because you don’t want the consequences of that. And you don’t want the results of that.
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You want to have choice and power in your dating life – so you CHOOSE to work out. You CHOOSE to dress nice, smell nice and put effort into your relationship.
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And the second you want something that you have to work for, it’s always your choice if you want to put in the work for it or not. At the end of the day, life is unfair to men and women in different ways – being that that’s the case, I have the mentality that I’m going to make whatever moves I have to make to WIN in life… none of us are victims here.
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At the same time, being that you put in all this effort to be a great girlfriend… maybe the real question to ask is whether or not he’s worth it to you. If he is, then do as you’re doing to keep your relationship with him. If he’s not, then consider yourself “on the market” and look for a better man to date… one you feel is worthy of you.
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Sounds harsh, but the point I want to make here is that there’s no middle ground. There’s no sense in being in a relationship half-way, where you feel he’s not good enough for you and yet that’s who he is…
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Why would he change at this point? You’re already doing EVERYTHING he could possibly want – what carrot do you have left to dangle?
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All that “thinking” is just wasted energy. Most of the “thinking” women do is trying to convince themselves that the reality in front of them isn’t actually happening…
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Movies, TV shows and romance novels have painted a picture of relationships in such a way that you believe something special is in store for you in your current relationship if you’re just “good enough” and “patient enough” to get it.
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And then of course there’s the epidemic of low self esteem in our culture, which has women believing that the relationship they’re in could be their only chance for happiness and that they couldn’t do any better. And that tremendous fear of loss results in them staying in a unsatisfactory relationship, waiting for a happy ending that will never come and wasting time.
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So that’s my answer for you…

Reply April 16, 2012, 9:38 am

Captain Planet

True that, definitely worth some more “thinking” ha ha. I am a true believer in not settling to settle considering I am 28 and we have been dating for three years.

Reply April 16, 2012, 2:24 pm

aliza

Hi eric did u recive my message??

Reply January 10, 2012, 9:41 am

aliza

Hi my name is alizaa
I would be really grateful if you could provide me with some advice, I have generally a great relationship and my bf is very loving and caring. He has also been there for me in all my bad times and hes very sincere to me. The problem is that sometimes i do not understand his psychology and it makes me feel very depresses. My problem is a bit personal my big ask me to seduce him initially i did not know how to but i learned how to now when i seduce him i want him to do something for me he does it he does make love but i feel that he does not give me everything i want. He just do a little bit and he goes like u have to beg me for it. I really get irritated because I am already making efforts to seduce him and I am trying hard and now he cant please me that well and for him he wants me to please him a lot of times do not know how to be tactful in that way I am very very depress sometimes all i want is a deep french kiss and he knows i want but hes does not give it fully i do not know why he is like that that he cant give me a lot. but ask for me he always want me to give him a lot and i do every time when it comes to love making which refers to sexual giving. Its many times i satisfy his sexual needs but he does not satisfy mine. I m not into sex i just want him to be romantic to him but he understand and the most irritating part is when he tells me that you have to beg for it. I am already trying hard to seduce him what else i should do.

Reply January 10, 2012, 9:40 am

Confused :/

Hey Eric,

I just stumbled upon this and I love ur advice =) But I just dont know wut to do anymore with my bf. He just doesnt call me and I do all the calling. He texts me good morning sometimes though and sometimes asks about me on whatsapp. Like u said I get so happy when he calls me because he never does. But thats not the case anymore. Now Im starting to feel like he doesnt love me. He doesnt make the effort. Is it my fault :'( Im so frustrated. Were doing long distance. so I see him like every month or two. so calls are important to me. since we dont c each other like normal couples do. my birthday is coming up in 3 days so Im guessing he will call because if he doesnt than that would be very bad. This sounds so stupid right? I just dont know if I should break up with him or not. I do love him and I think he does… ugh. and btw 3 days ago was our 11 months anniversary and because I had so much work I forgot for the first time, cuz im usually the one who remembers and he forgets. so suprisingly he texted me the next day saying did u forget? happy anniversary. and i really did i wasnt acting. then ever since then he hasnt been asking about me its been 2 days. he usually asks me how i did on my finals and etc… Sorry this is so long. Give me ur advice if u have time. It wud be very helpful =)

Reply December 17, 2011, 8:51 am

Sara srinivas

Help me please am in bad sitution my Bf went with his x gf to out of country she is married he is also married bt I have relationship with him for 2 years he was fall in love with his xgf but not happen be together for 5 years after both married not talk to each other when I was with him all was cool suddenly she came on the picture all good friends together
Recently I came to know both went to Italy and ….
I was hurt still I am, look I know I don’t have any future with him but I love him he told me just forget and forgive I went just for trip I didn’t sleep with her cause she is married
What ever for me I want just love please help me for 2 days he wAs with me nw he went to his city we are far just for 3 hours
When yesterday he drop me I felt he change what ever he says
Might be now am becom detail to detail I don’t know am just become mad plaza help me

Reply October 30, 2011, 9:12 pm

Megan

U should just dump that man! You should find yourself a man who love u more than u do.

Reply October 27, 2011, 10:27 am

Concern girl

Sorry, I mentioned Lynn sorry Liz.

Reply October 17, 2011, 8:55 pm

Concern girl

Hey Liz, how are you? Girl I sooo love your post. And I would definitely like to learn what you refer to. It is so true that my parents (single mom) didnt teach me about men. My mom was very strict and work long hours so there was NO conversation about men and how to deal with them. I want to get in contact with you Lynn so I can learn from you. I am in New York but e-mail and text messaging works great. I hope you are willing to help. I know you mention getting hired so I dont think you will want to communicate with me. I read the Steve Harvey book and it was really good. I think my issue is that growing up my mom always taught us to be lady like. It was almost like you are not suppose to have sex or even like it. A woman showing her sexuality was always a bad thing for my mom and I havent quite yet master that art of sexuality but I do want to learn. I have my own issues with the person that I am with now because I too am needy. I always assume you are suppose to show a man how you feel and tell him but I realize that my approch is off. I definitely want to learn this process because even if things do not work out with him, I do plan on dating again eventually. My partner now due to my needy ways ignores my text. He came out of a bad relationship that lasted 3 years 9 months and we have been dating for 7months. I probably should have move on because in a sense I feel he is not emotionally ready and he had told me he wants to be with me but I have to be patient. But instead I nagged him and complain about what he doesnt do and what he should be doing. As a result, I distance myself from him for almost 2 months. He text/call me for those 2 months. When he did come back in my life I told him I wanted to be with but at this point it really didnt make difference to me. And now, he doesnt text. Is like I stress him out or maybe he is seeing someone, I dont know. I would like for things to work with me and him but if it doesnt then I guess I will need to add him to my list of failed relationships. I am so tired of failed relationships. I want a good relationship, teach me how. Liz, if you willing to speak with me, maybe by what books you read (besides the Steve Harvey book) or personal experiences then pls e-mail me at ib2brownforyou@yahoo.com. I hope to hear from you and Eric I send you an email already and posted on your forum but still have not gotten a response. Liz, you a female and these is nothing sweeter than a woman mastering the art of SEDUCTION!!. teach me how.

Reply October 17, 2011, 8:53 pm

Liz

Hire me!! :)
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Anyway thanks Eric for the complimentary remarks. I really find this subject fascinating just wish there was money in it to make it more a substantial career path.
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I currently live in Boulder, CO where I see day in and day out young women get used and abused over and over again throughout their college years and early twenties… not due to these young men, but rather because they were never taught by their parent’s generation how to uphold their own standards and expectations… to value their bodies and how to “act like a lady” or “act like a gentleman.” Maybe this is due to some sort of rebellion against the rigidity of the 1950s and on, and perhaps parents just never thought to pass on such valuable information to their kids. Either way it is really sad to see… and the STD rates are soaring (at least around CU)…
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I agree with what you said. Milestones are individual and specific to the couple. That said, no third party should really have any determining say in a relationship between two people past warranted advice unless it involves both partners. I have had my fair share of bad experiences with the third party trying to sabotage things (I blame it on jealousy :)). Another interesting future post? haha
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As for the 2-3 months thing… it just works. Are you single? If you are… then I wouldn’t be surprised if you just haven’t met the girl who has pulled that one on you yet. From my opinion, it’s pretty fail proof. Oh and I didn’t mean that the girl shouldn’t date around as well during that period… this period is ultimately there to have some fun, but also see how committed both people are to each other. Her time and presence alone should make him want more… and if not? Then she didn’t waste any more time in seeing that perhaps he isn’t looking for anything serious. Smart? Yes. Evil? No.
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Just some more thoughts… will check out the forum one of these days.
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Thanks again for keeping this up! You now are a perfect excuse for all of my real-life procrastinations… :)

Reply October 11, 2011, 3:35 pm

Eric Charles

Perfect… I am looking forward to future comments.

Reply October 11, 2011, 4:09 pm

Liz

Eric-
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I ultimately agree with everything you have stated. Yes my words were a bit harsh (it’s always taking a risk when politics etc. and words like “feminism” are thrown into the conversation) and yes I did have some weak areas of my argument, but overall I think my point is clear.
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A lot of women fall back on the word “feminist” to justify and explain why men are “evil” or why things didn’t work out. On the otherside of the coin, many women also use this word to justify giving up themselves to “meaningless” sex and essentially becoming someone (they later realize) they are not, solely out of spite for the “entire male sex”. This is not only unfair to the men who are thus unjustly put into this category, but it is also unfair to these unaware or misinformed women as well. I just feel like it is a topic that needs to be brought up (maybe an idea for one of your future posts!). I hope I am getting my point across and that it is clear. I am trying to show that women should embrace their sexuality in the way that Beyonce has made a superstar out of herself by embracing her sexuality without coming across as angry, objectifying herself, or spiteful. Be the feminist that stands for equality but does not diminish our essential counter components– the great men in our lives.
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When I speak of “those” men, I am referring to the men out there who are in a sense “sport fishing” in that they are looking for a quick lay, nothing serious, perhaps a one-night stand (or if they are willing to go back for seconds– a two night, max three night lay)–in otherwords direct, physical pleasure. I am sure you can relate with me towards recognizing that there are men who are at a point in their lives where they are purely looking for this sexual gratification without the attachment. And I am not saying that this is by any means something that is “evil” or “bad.”
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What I am saying is that women need to be aware that there are men who roam bars trying to pick up women purely for one reason: sex. Men often cheat because they seek the physical gratification, but are not looking for anything emotional (as they probably have that already at home) which is why devastation occurs when they realize that the one they have lost (their partner) was the one they truly had a deep, loving attachment to.
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When I mention this system of rewards (I think you took the flavor of manipulation out of it) I meant it only in the warmest of ways. A man should see the woman for who she is and there should be nothing that falls into the zone of lying or manipulation when it comes to one party getting what he or she wants out of the relationship. I guess the term “whipped” might sound a bit too extreme… falling into the category of “gold digger” among other words. However, this is not the point I am trying to get across. Each partner in the couple must adapt themselves to the other. In a sense each party finds a way to live or get along with the other through these small subliminal messages. Reward your partner for the things you like while making it clear (in a loving way) when there are behaviors you do not like. This goes back to a relationship being 50/50. I know this is all fairly obvious, but often there are too many women (and some men) who give up themselves either while dating or in their relationships and they end up feeling used and unsatisfied– not getting the romance they need or the love they deserve (although the men often have the love but just don’t know how to express it so that it will be appreciated by their women). And as you note in so many posts these women come across as “needy.”
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Women take charge of your lives, educate yourself, and thus take responsibility for getting the love and (fill in the blank) that you think you deserve from you partner.
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Lastly, withholding sex. I know it seems wrong (and in my opinion it is), but there are certain rules that we have to play by in this society that we live in. I am adamant on this point in the sense that if you sleep with your date on your first date then the odds of actually having a long-term, serious, committed relationship with this man are slim to none. Yes, there are always those exceptions, but in general men just lose a bit of interest when they no longer have to take part in the chase–when the women come to them so easily. I say 2-3 months because I think in this busy world that we live in with hectic schedules, it often takes that long for two people to really get to know eachother. For a woman to really see if a man is serious, she needs to see how much time he is willing to invest into getting to know her (as she should do as well). By putting the messiness of sex out of the picture for the first few weeks of getting to know the other person, she is essentially allowing (what you said) the man to see her best assets, to see her beyond her body.
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After that initial courting period, she should in no way withhold sex that would come across as manipulation or to get what she wants. That is wrong. Once she lets the man see her in such a close and intimate setting, she should embrace her sexuality and be free with what she wants to give and receive in terms of intimacy and pleasure. She should not fear coming across as too eager or having too high a sex drive. This is because she has already shown him that she has standards and expectations.
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Okay I think that is enough for now. It really is fun to talk about men (and women too of course).

Reply October 9, 2011, 9:38 pm

Eric Charles

Awesome comment.
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I consider myself really lucky and privileged to have someone like you commenting on this site. Outstanding perspective, clearly stated and accessible to anyone reading it.
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I hope that you are in the ANM dating forum (http://dating.anewmode.com), I need help responding to the avalanche of messages posted there every day. Your perspective would be a god-sent.
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As for the withholding sex thing, I get where you’re coming from and your reasoning is sound.
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I just don’t make time the milestone – I look at it more like hitting “depth” or “emotional” milestones in the relationship itself. My life is based on being an effective communicator and understanding other people – so to me, I can recognize who’s a good match for me and who I have a deep connection with fairly quickly.
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But your approach is more user-friendly since it doesn’t rely on communication / intuitive / perception skills (which rely on experience).
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You clearly have all those skills, but there are readers who just haven’t had enough experience to know the distinction I’m talking about yet.
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Having them experiment with getting to know a guy first (by waiting a bit) and connect on the many other levels that a woman and man can connect will be an enlightening experience for her, versus trying to grasp the concept of hitting “relationship milestones” that she hasn’t directly experienced yet.
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Two to three months though…. damn. :) I probably would have dated 8-12 different women during that waiting time span.
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Kidding. But… yeah… :)
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You rock, I hope you stick around and keep commenting. And I hope you hit up the forum too. People like you make me happy and proud to have this community.

Reply October 10, 2011, 2:54 pm

Liz

Eric- as do most of the women on here, I love your posts. Women do not take advantage of the resources and reading material out there that really can give them an edge in terms of their relationships (imperfections and all)–and getting everything they want and need out of their partner.

To all the ladies out there: this advice (as feminist as you think you are) is there to give you GAME. Power (i.e. getting what you want out of your man–the romance, the nice things, the flowers, the love-making) is all up to you and how you wield yourself (and your game) in your relationship. In order to be the independent, feminists that we are we need to play by the rules of the game (and listening to men like Eric who are very aware of these unspoken rules– obviously since he is a MAN).

Why do we always seem to forget about the game? It is fundamental and no matter how much you think you can rise above it or avoid it, at somepoint in your life (or as you become more mature in your relationships) you will realize that the game does not go away. Instead you should master it. Playing the game means training your man (subconsciously and through a reward system) to do the things that you love.

I used to be one of those women who thought that I was beyond the silly games men play with women. I was an independent feminist. I wouldn’t get emotionally involved or care enough to get hurt. I should play by my rules and rebel against those “cliche” relationship/dating structures that we are supposed to abide by. Men would be there to satisfy me and me alone (I was convinced that I could compete with these men who use women and never call them back the next day). However, after getting used and hurt enough times myself I one day picked up a book (“Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey) and I put in the time to realize that in order to be the power-wielding independent woman of the 21st century I had to master the game. By doing this I could (and currently do) get everything I need out of my relationship.

Have you ever heard the term “whipped?” Or that the most successful married couples usually started out with one person not interested in the other? Well it is usually the woman who is at first un-attracted (in these scenarios) to the man and makes him WORK for her. This woman realizes from the start that she can and should set up standards and expectations for this man. He needs to rise to her level in order to have her. He needs to show her that he is the strongest man who can protect and provide for her. He needs to be her knight in shining armor in order for her to ever even consider being with him.

Do not give men the leeway (or the laziness) to not live up to your expectations. If you want the romance then use your power (mainly your sexuality as Eric says) to be that sexy girlfriend that loves her boyfriend beyond words but will not put up with the shit… the girlfriend who will call him out when he doesn’t live up to her expectations, but will also call him out when he does. Be bold, be daring, don’t feel afraid to push the envelope or crack open some of your most hidden vulnerabilities. If you do this, you will be keeping your man on his toes, interested in YOU, and you will be progressing the relationship each and everyday.

As strong, independent women we need to value ourselves and our bodies. Restrict the sex ladies– don’t give it up so easy (I made him wait almost 3 months) and make sure he plays by your rules. If you’re busy then let him know you’re busy. Let him come to you.

Reply October 9, 2011, 6:21 pm

Eric Charles

Liz – I read your comment and 90% of it made me say, “Holy ****, this might be the best comment ever.”
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It’s smart, it’s experienced and it’s practical.
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However, there are two things that I would tweak slightly and then I’d be 100% on board with your message.
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First, feminism. I’m not anti-feminist or pro-feminist. I’m familiar with the core of most major philosophies, but I find that bringing feminism into the discussion (either pro or con) that it can derail the message that I’m trying to get across.
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I do like how you highlighted the cliche “fight against THOSE men”… you know, the archetypal asshole that “independent women” are supposed to rise up against.
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Here’s my take on it: There’s a lot of dating advice that makes a comment about that and then their big finish statement is: So ladies, MANIPULATE THE MEN to get what you want, but don’t be a bitch about it. And then the commentary turns into a twisted celebration of treating another human being poorly… but it’s OK because he’s a man and men are evil.
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You didn’t take it to that extreme, but it had that flavor of “manipulate him to win”.
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I try to get understanding of a man’s mindset across, but my follow-up is always towards pursuing self-fulfillment and a relationship where both parties bring their best to the table (because they’re coming in whole).
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The withholding sex model of manipulation (from my perspective) is flawed because it presupposes that the sex is really the only thing of value. It’s important, but I would rather have women focusing on their own fulfillment and happiness versus having the mindset that their best strategy is to withhold their own asset (subliminally communicating that sex is their only bargaining chip).
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In other words, raise the value of the rest of her (which is really what the relationship is made of) versus trying to build anticipation for sex (and then once that bargaining chip has been dropped… then what?)
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Despite the long explanation, I really really liked your comment. I’m glad you wrote it.
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I haven’t checked out the Steve Harvey book, but I think I’ve heard good things from other people as well. I’ll check it out.

Reply October 9, 2011, 7:21 pm

alexis

how do i get antbody to like me as a girlfreind

Reply September 17, 2011, 9:54 pm

Lisa

Eric, thank you so much for this explaining everything here so well! Word for word, it was as if it were speaking directly to me. I’ve been experiencing this problem recently, but you really put it all into perspective. Thank you so much for the explanation and the advice you offered. This is my first time coming onto the website and I’ll definitely be coming back for more! Keep up the good work! :)

Reply August 17, 2011, 4:00 am

Megha

Hey Eric,

I think the way you describe Machoism and help women and men both understand each other through this is great!
We only understand love of the other person when they love us OUR way… Which really is the easy way out.. But I guess accepting someones imperfections perfectly can only come when there is loads of patience and love for the other person..
P.S: Never ever have I read a guy explaining relationships so well.. U ROCK MAN!! :)
Also, the way u handled criticism.. One word.. COMMENDABLE.. Gud luck!! :)

Reply August 3, 2011, 5:24 am

Eric Charles

Cool – thank you, I appreciate that. Glad you like what I’m putting out there.

Reply August 3, 2011, 11:10 am

klee

You have a great gift of empathy and putting yourself in both a gender’s shoes. It is definitely great to allow us to see the perspective differences. Great posts you write, I enjoy reading them.

To those who get offended and do not agree to the advice, I suggest you not to take it so personal. In the end of the day it is a blog to help…not to demean or upset you. You may only feel that way due to your own personal problems.

Take care

Reply July 18, 2011, 11:55 am

Eric Charles

Thank you for everything you wrote there. :) I appreciate it and I’m glad you enjoy reading them.

Reply July 18, 2011, 1:44 pm

piikaboo

I liked your reply a lot! Yep it all drills down to accepting someone the way they are!:) loving them for what they do in their own ‘style’ to show love and not a stereotype boyfriend stuff that we read or hear about!:) thanks Eric!! Loads of luv

Reply June 10, 2011, 6:53 am

Eric Charles

Cool – I’m glad to hear that. It’s not always easy (sometimes it’s the toughest thing in the world), but it works well. And good relationships make the world a better place.

Reply June 10, 2011, 11:50 am

piikaboo

If someone told us women that they liked smthing we did, we do that just to make/see that person happy, and coz we love them and want them to be happy. I think its the male ego playing here. Its almost like ‘She can’t ask for what she wants, I won’t give her even if she wants it, this will keep her wanting more and more! Its just simple gestures of love that we women understand, why don’t just give them that out of love! Why make them ask u!:(

Reply June 9, 2011, 11:54 am

Eric Charles

I get what you’re saying and I can understand why you might have found what I’m saying here frustrating.
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Still… you can’t control another person’s behavior. Whether you like what the other person is doing or not, that’s what they’re doing. Doesn’t matter what you think they should be doing… if you resist what’s happening, you’ll just end up frustrated.
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On the other hand, if you focus on what you can do to improve the situation, things will improve.
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If a guy were asking me how to get his girlfriend to open up more to him (and plenty of guys have asked me that question), I would tell them to change their own behavior too – since that’s what they have control over.
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Even if it was the male ego, blaming “men” or the “male ego” isn’t going to make things better. It’s just going to make you angry and your angry energy will repel men from you.
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When you take a moment to really look at the destructive effect blaming a specific person or men in general has, you will quickly see that you want no part of that kind of energy.
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Focus on what you can control (yourself), focus on positive solutions that feel good for everyone involved and avoid blaming.
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If blaming made you smell, you wouldn’t do it. If blaming made you gain fat, you wouldn’t do it. If blaming made you look ugly, you would stop doing it immediately.
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Funny thing is – blaming others has a far worse impact on how people respond to you than smelliness, unshapeliness and ugliness combined.
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Be happy… it’s better.

Reply June 9, 2011, 4:00 pm

piikaboo

But what about what a woman wants? Why are guys like this? When she is clearly saying she likes it why doesn’t he give it to her without a fuss!!

Reply June 9, 2011, 11:49 am

Eric Charles

@Noelan and @Sexxyco – Thank you. Much appreciated.

Reply May 16, 2011, 4:33 pm

Sexxyco

Ditto what Noelan said Eric! I thought your advice was so simple, but insightful. I emailed this to all my girlfriends. :) Thanks again!

Reply May 16, 2011, 10:36 am

Noelan

Eric thank you so much!!!!
You have really helped me in my relationship!!! Keep up the good work!!! : )

Reply May 16, 2011, 10:26 am

Eric Charles

@Staccato – You sound like you are in a very critical, unhappy and frustrated place. I wish you good luck in your quest to getting your boyfriend to be more romantic with you.

Reply May 8, 2011, 12:19 pm

Staccato

What a disappointing read, honestly. I was expecting too much – I’m sure you would label that as a common problem for women, but most likely it’s because you can’t live up to any expectations. You sound incredibly self centered and most likely you’ve never truly been in love and by that I mean, loved someone unconditionally. Your advice was nothing short of a waste of time and a reminder to me that there are unfortunately men, like you, still out there, giving advice in areas they obviously know nothing about. My advice, don’t quit your day job.

Reply May 8, 2011, 4:07 am

nelda

well im pretty shure if guys like you they will at list say hey to you but if they dont well i guess they dnt but keep on eye on him

an to keep a guy romantic first you have to follow his rules then hi will follow you’rs =)

Reply April 7, 2011, 1:13 pm

carm

Thank you Eric. Your blog is very helpful.
My girlfriends & I have many debates over this complaint. I totally agree with your advice, however I could never have articulated my response as well as you did. I am will be forwarding this to all my friends. :)

Carmen

Reply February 3, 2011, 1:46 pm

Eric Charles

:)… My my, what a mouth on you.

Reply November 17, 2010, 8:11 pm

alexis

how do i get a boy to like me.

Reply September 17, 2011, 9:53 pm

sweetheart

honestly your answer contradicted itself several times and didn’t make any sense. Men should just do nice things and not expect crap in return what bullshit.

Reply November 17, 2010, 10:11 am

Eric Charles

@Sweetheart,
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I’m certainly not excluding sexual, but definitely not limiting it to sexual either.
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Here’s my point: The things that would make US happy might or might not be what makes the other person happy. If we want to be as good as we can possibly be in relationships, we need to learn what truly makes the other person happiest without clouding our perception with what WE think they “should” like.
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There’s all sorts of things that make a man happy. When a woman genuinely acknowledges something that her man did well, that usually means a lot to the guy even if he doesn’t show it on the surface. Society takes people’s good deeds for granted and when you can be the woman that acknowledges the good that he is doing, it makes him feel good (and makes him want to do more of it).
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You asked about whether sexual or not I meant sexual in terms of reward. In the context of this article, I want you to see that sexual is included when I talk about being rewarding, but not in the context of giving “sexual favors” in exchange for “good behavior” (that would technically be prostitution.)
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What I’m talking about (to restate how this fits into the context) is how sexuality is one of many ways that you can make him feel truly happy, comfortable and good to be with you in a way that he doesn’t get anywhere else. In a way he won’t get from his friends or family.
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Just food for thought…

Reply November 10, 2010, 12:20 pm

sweetheart

by reward do you mean sexual?

Reply November 5, 2010, 2:11 pm

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