I have noticed that you guys (and most dating advice sites, actually) focus a lot on things women do, but do you send men emails to help them with things? It just seems like women are somehow always the problem. It should go both ways to help a relationship, shouldn’t it?
Why is it that women are the ones who have to work on making the relationship better?
Believe it or not, when I started out with the whole dating advice thing, I worked with men exclusively.
In fact, my thought was, “My god… guys REALLY need dating advice… women have this all figured out but the guys… wow… this is heart-breaking.”
The vast majority of men just want to meet a girl they can fall in love with who will love them back. They want to meet that one special girl and settle down with her. The vast majority do not want to be the player-type that’s crammed down everyone’s throat by the media.
As for being into dating advice, men seek it desperately. The dating advice for men niche is ENORMOUS compared to the woman’s dating advice niche.
The thing is – men seek their dating advice very privately. They don’t want anyone to know they are seeking dating advice help. Men would be less embarrassed having their mother walk in while they were looking at porn than having someone they know find out they sought dating advice.
Why? Because seeking dating advice help to most men feels like a defeat… like they are some kind of loser.
A fraction of men are more open minded and look at learning to be great in relationship as just another life area to be educated in, like fitness or finance. But this is few and far between.
Make no mistake though – men are terrified of being trapped in a bad relationship, not being good enough, not being attractive to the woman they want, ending up alone or being cheated on by an ungrateful/unfulfilled spouse. Men have these fears and desperately want to know how to never end up in that place.
In today’s society and culture, it is readily acceptable to blame a man or hate a man or condemn a man… simply because he’s a man. There’s this air that men have bad intentions and are out to take advantage of women.
The truth is that only a very, very, very small percentage of men are scumbags in the dating world. Most are great guys who just want to love and be loved… but women have been so traumatized by myths about what is going on in a man’s mind that they suspect that these good men have bad intentions.
There are forums all over the internet of men privately and anonymously pouring their heart and soul out there, hoping that someone can answer their dating question.
They talk about their insecurities. They talk about how they don’t feel women are attracted to them or even notice them. They talk about how painfully shy they are or how they are deathly afraid of rejection. They talk about how no matter how hard they try, they can’t seem to get a girlfriend or make their girl happy.
And these aren’t bottom-of-the-barrel guys. These aren’t losers at life or freaks or weirdos. The majority of them are normal people who just want to be happy – with themselves and with their relationship… just like you.
Funny story actually. I once had a guy I was working with one-on-one to help him in his dating life. He was very shy at first but we made a lot of progress together and he got way better at talking to women (and in the social scene in general).
About two months into the coaching, he’s in his office and he asks one of his female co-workers to hang out. She says, “Sure, but do you mind if you hang out with some of my friends? My friend Eric works with these guys to help them get over their social fears and be able to talk to women? Can you believe that? Can you believe that guys would need that? Isn’t that crazy?”
I wasn’t there, but I have to imagine that he immediately broke into a sweat. One the one hand, he’s a client of mine. On the other, his co-worker happens to be one of my good (and hot) female friends who was just expressing her amazement with my job. She couldn’t believe that guys needed this and she never would have guessed that she was talking to a client of mine.
The point of my story is that most men really do want to be as good as they can be in relationship, but also don’t know where to turn for help and would never want the world to know that they looked for help. We all value relationships with the right person, but men have a lot more trouble ponying-up when they need help… but men do care.
As for A New Mode and the Ask a Guy column, the reason why I talk about what a woman can do to improve her relationship or what she could be doing wrong is simple: This is a female audience and, in the end, you only get to control one side of the relationship–yourself.
It’s not that anyone is to blame – blame doesn’t get anyone anywhere. No progress or improvement started with blame.
Since you can only control yourself and since you are only half of the relationship equation, the best you can do is to be the best you can be on your half. 9 times out of 10, that’s enough: your improvement spurs improvement in the overall relationship and it’s an upward spiral. You can be the catalyst that starts the positive momentum in the relationship – by putting in better energy, you get better output.
As human beings, we’re all in this together. Yes, there are bad men. And there are bad women. The majority of humans are good though. And loving. And desire love.
In terms of advice to women or to men… my particular brand of advice could be boiled down to this: Find happiness within yourself and your life fully FIRST and relationships will never be a problem for you.
Hope that helps,