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Navigating Relationships [for Men]

Relationships are hard. They’re even harder when you’re stupid. Many years and tears brought me to this realization. Truth is, I still may be no better at relationships than you. My best qualifications for writing about the interplay between men and women are a preponderance of boneheaded moves.

Richard Feynman once said, “I don’t know anything, but I do know that everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.” That describes how I think about women and relationships. The human condition has always fascinated me.

“Do not believe that he who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life has much difficulty and sadness and remains far behind yours. Were it otherwise he would never have been able to find those words.” – Rainer Maria Wilke

I Love the Cocaine

Brain researchers have said the early stages of a relationship produce a euphoric high comparable to bumpin’ nose candy. We get “lit up” with dopamine. It’s as if we’re addicted to the other person—they can do no wrong. Irrational feelings and giddiness overwhelm us in the beginning.

Perhaps it’s nature’s modus operandi to trick us into procreating. If given sufficient time to consider the prospect of attaching ourselves to another human for 50+ years, we might pass.

I’ll assume you didn’t “pass” if you’re still reading. Maybe you’re beyond the “honeymoon phase” and starved for information like I was. You want actionable advice that will enable more peace and satisfaction in your relationship. But the thought of reading an entire book about women & relationships sounds as appealing as watching a preseason WNBA game. Allow me a brain dump…

Three Things You Need to Know About Women

Let’s say you’re a man who gets a promotion at work or closes a million-dollar deal. You come home to your woman upset because you forgot to pick up bread at the grocery store like she asked. 

As a man, you’re dumbfounded by what you consider to be a triviality. How could she be upset over a loaf of f*cking bread? After all, the promotion or million-dollar deal will provide the “bread” to payoff the house or put a kid through college.

The bread scenario helps to illustrate three things you need to know about women:

  1. Women think in the micro realm
  2. The feminine believes “love” is paying attention to small details of the other’s wants/needs
  3. Your woman will test you
(1) Women think in the Micro Realm

Women thinking in the micro realm is a good thing; it complements man’s macro-thinking brain. When a baby is born, your masculine brain wonders how you’re going to put food on the table, provide for a family and pay for college; a woman begins nurturing right away. If women thought in the macro realm as men do, many of life’s daily tasks and child-rearing wouldn’t get done.

A woman is in tune with emotional currents a man cannot access. These currents are persistent and unrelenting. They may be the ultimate micro-ism since the emotional currents are always there, either flowing or being interrupted. If your woman has a feminine essence, her highest priority is the free flow of love in your relationship.

Small (micro) things affect the feminine in ways masculine men don’t understand. For example, it is more common for women than men to be triggered by a sock left on the floor, a pillow out of place or trash not being taken out. Women notice these things in part because they have better peripheral vision than men. But also, to the feminine, it can seem as if an overflowing trash bin is literally screaming at her every time she walks in the kitchen. A man may not even notice the trash is full.

(2) The Feminine believes “love” is paying attention to small Details of the other’s wants/needs

Women pay attention to small details of their man’s needs. It is unlikely she would’ve forgotten the bread. One could argue this caring instinct was developed over millennia for survival purposes and comes naturally. Nevertheless, a woman may feel that if her man loved her more, he’d pick up on her likes, needs and other micro details.

Since women generally believe observing minutia of her man’s desires is “love,” she knows her man could never love her more than she loves him. One of the most common refrains by women in marital/relationships counseling is, “He just doesn’t love me as much as I love him.”

As the sexes become more alike in America, I’ve noticed young men exhibiting more micro-behavioral aspects of femininity. Women are correspondingly assuming more masculine characteristics of aloof detachment and arrogance.

(3) Your woman will test you

Your woman is biologically programmed to test you. She may be disappointed by your not picking up the loaf of bread, but learn to view her indifference to your promotion or closed business deal as a test of your masculine capacity. Not testing you would be to deny millennia of hardwiring.

Not being impressed that you “killed it” at work gives your woman an opportunity to feel your strength in not needing her “atta boy.” It’s an easy test—you’re not a child who needs praise. If she responds to your promotion (or mistake in forgetting bread) in a way you believe is incongruent with the magnitude of your achievement (or mistake), remain unfazed and find humor in it all, albeit inconspicuously. If you laugh, you’re on your own. 

Whether you’re in the initial stages of dating, long-term relationship or married, a woman will test you. If you’re dating, she wants to know if you’re worthy of intimacy, a second date, etc. In a relationship or marriage, she is testing you to illicit a feeling (to feel your love, strength, safety, security, etc.). View it is a test of your masculine capacity. You’re essentially negotiating with thousands of years of evolutionary need.

In a pre-technological world, women were avariciously needy dependents. For more than 99% of human history, it was in a woman’s best interests to attract a man with physical strength who was capable of provisioning and the acquisition of resources. Women wholly relied on men for safety and provisioning. Police forces didn’t even exist until ~200 years ago.

More Testing

As long as a woman has a feminine essence, the testing of her man will never end. View her challenge as an opportunity to show you’re worthy of her love, affection and respect.

Her testing is not a rational decision ascribable to linear thinking. Deductive reasoning, or the “if then” logic stream, is innately masculine. Modern woman is fully capable of strong logic and problem-solving skills in the workplace, but workplace and home-life are separate realms.

A woman only succeeds in extracting your masculinity with her testing if you consistently fail her tests. The woman who succeeds in emasculating her man will lose respect for him. The linear path from testing to emasculation to loss of respect is mutually assured destruction—the culmination of a woman’s repeated momentary desire to feel a certain way combined with man’s indolence in maintaining his God-given masculinity.

“The most loving women are the women who will test you the most. She wants you to be your fullest, most magnificent self. She won’t settle for anything less. She knows it is true of you. She knows in your deepest heart you are free, you are Shiva. Anything less than that she will torment. And, as you know, she’s quite good at it.” 

―David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

The more you falter in leadership, decisiveness and accountability, the more masculine traits your woman will exhibit out of necessity. As of the last 50 years, most women are competing with men every day in the workplace (quite successfully), develop your masculinity so she can relax in her wondrous femininity at home.

“But Why Can’t She Just be Happy?”

Do you expect your woman to “just be happy?” If so, you’d be a mediocre man, according to author David Deida. His book on how to “master the challenges of women, work and sexual desire” is a masterpiece. There’s no shame in being mediocre unless you have no desire to improve.

My relationship history is riddled with mediocrity. In arguments, I would say the dumbest things with regularity: “You have a nice house, good job and loving family, what more do you want?” Or I’d get really macro and say, “We live in the greatest time to be alive in the history of the world, how can you not be happy?” I was macro-macho; more dense than a London fog. Perhaps it is the reason women prefer older men—it takes us longer to mature and learn about women.

Dealing with Your Woman’s Mood

View your woman’s mood as you would the weather. Just because Sunday afternoon is sunny and breezy doesn’t mean a thunderstorm isn’t coming on Tuesday that no meteorologist could predict.

It usually will behoove you not to inquire about the source of “bad weather.” Your questions may only serve to exacerbate her mood. Fault Global Warming. If that doesn’t work, blame Climate Change. The weather and seasons will change, as will your woman’s mood. Sun, rain, Summer, Winter…we’ve thousands of years on record to prove it’s gonna happen.

Why do women change

Never adopt the mood of your woman or try to “reason” her out of her moods. She is not a problem to be fixed any more than you are. If you don’t know what is bothering her, assume her complaints or criticisms are a cry for love.

A woman needs your masculine love as you need respect. Consider it your job as her man to love her through her moods. Interrupt the flow of negative energy and turn it positive. Here are suggestions on how you can provide your masculine love:

  • Make her laugh
  • Pick her up off the ground and spin her around
  • Surprise her with something she likes
  • Tickle her face with your scruff
  • Take your clothes off and dance a fancy jig
  • Open the door and scream “Whoooooooo!!”…then kiss her passionately

Those are ideas. Only you know what will work with your woman. Act as though she wouldn’t need you if she could control her own moods (maybe that’s true). Always remember a woman wasn’t raised to “man up,” as you hopefully were.

If after repeated attempts you find that your efforts never yield results, you may not be the man for her—get help or move on.

She Always Wants to Talk

If your woman wants to talk, engage her. Many women (and men) organize their thoughts through conversation. It’s how they gain clarity in a problem’s formulation.

A man with a masculine core is a natural problem-solver. He listens to find the root of an issue and solve the problem. Except women don’t usually want a solution to their problem. They enjoy the communication transfer more than the information conveyed. She only wants you to listen.

Most women feel most loved when you inquire about how they feel with genuine concern. And love is the supreme emotion—union and mutual assistance are the imperatives of life! According to several clinical psychologists, here is the recipe for a loving relationship or marriage:

  • 90 minutes total time engaged in discussion about each others’ lives per week
  • a minimum of one date per week

A willingness to engage in dialogue about your woman’s feelings is a sign of a healthy relationship. If your discussions frequently exceed an hour, however, re-calibrate the “sugar” in your tank. Suggest your woman call her girlfriend and get back to your masculine life’s purpose. Doing so is in both of your long-term best interests. If you don’t have anything to go do, you’re not doing enough with your life.

Be careful not to desire for your woman to be more like a man lest you conflate the masculine/feminine polarity that magnetized you to her initially. It is a societal problem the sexes are trying to make each other more like themselves. I am doing my part to reverse this awful trend. I hope you will too.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback below.

 

11 comments: On Navigating Relationships [for Men]

  • I think I have a book you would be interested in. “Mating in Captivity” by Esther Perel.

    • Hoping for more feedback from a marital counselor 😜 I like the title – will check it out!

      • I was going to and it would have been soooo long and most would have fallen in line with this book. So, rather than babble on like a tend to, I figured i would recommend this book. I have a similar conversation with most of my couple clients..about men’s perspective vs. a woman’s and how most of that is innate and evolutionary and that this whole idea of “romantic love ” Is actually a relatively new idea and one that tends to bite us in the ass at times, because although we like to think we are all enlightened to the new world of breaking through gender stereotypes, there tends to be certain things that haven’t changed…the fact that men are more macro and women more micro minded, but also, that women tend to do things for the experience and the way it makes them feel and men are results oriented. Anyway…see I rambled.

        • Not rambling! Valuable insight and free advice for anyone who reads this. And another learning opportunity:
          If I were a woman and we were face-to-face, I’d get excited as feelings pervade my upper chest and think, “Omg I like this person, I agree with her, we’re bonding.” But for the masculine man, there are no feelings involved in us agreeing. A man thinks, “Yep, I’m right. But I knew that already.” Women who don’t understand this male/female difference are disappointed in being denied all the “feelings” potential that could have been communicated in our hypothetical interaction.

          • Yes, and I have to explain too that the goal is not to change the other persons mind or feelings but to better understand the other person, what makes them tick, and how to relate to each other in a way that honors who they are but also who you are. No one deserves to be treated like s*** in a relationship but also, no one deserves to have unrealistic expectations put on them that innately can’t or won’t change. We can better understand each other and act accordingly to improve things, but ultimately we are who we are. Man, I could go on and on…I want to now get into society and how what it tells us screws us up too, but I will stop.

          • Ha! Now I’m gettin’ the feels, Kish…So many (society) lies! Writing is good for the soul – you should write! If you write ~1200 words, I’ll post it here on ManOverseas.com It could help readers learn from and connect with a therapist. I don’t have tons of readers, but I’m working on a few projects that should increase readership later this year.

          • That would be awesome. I’m so bad about organizing my thoughts. I can give it a whirl. You are very organized…

  • This is a good one. Especially appreciate the insight on the macro vs. micro dichotomy. Helps explain a lot of our predisposed behaviors as women and men and put our words and actions into perspective.

  • All good. So many true things here.
    I’ve learned over the years when wanting to just vent what I am feeling, I preface it with “just listen, I don’t need a solution. I need to just get everything out.” Those sentences help both of us with how to deal with it when the conversation is over and the frustrations won’t be there.

    • Thanks for your perspective, Alison. We should all be so wise. The sooner we can learn these things, the better off we’ll be.

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