Over the years, I've read many of the popular books on dating. I've read books that teach women the rules, why I should be a bitch, and how to be married in 365 days. (Really? Should that be my goal?) Books that teach me how to send a flirty text (I don't know what revolutionary ideas I thought I'd find there), how to think and date like a man, and books telling me why I'm still single. I found some tips to be valuable, and I incorporated what I learned into my dating life. But I wasn't any happier with how things were going. Perhaps the guys I dated were happier, but I wasn't. Because the guys I dated clearly hadn't received any guidance on the topic, and it takes two.
Also, over the years, I've told off many guys. The guys who tried to string me along while they had girlfriends, the guys who clearly had no respect for me, and the guys who thought they could get in my pants without having to care about me at all. The guys who told me "good people are hard to find," yet treated me poorly, thinking I'd still be there because I was "so awesome." I never expected any result of telling them off (other than feeling better myself), but a strange thing happened. In almost every case, I later found out that my words had resonated. One guy had a long conversation with his mom about how he couldn't get things right with me. Another told me that I psychoanalyzed him so well, I could make it a profession. (It wasn't that difficult; he was a momma's boy.) And others called months later wanting to talk about what I said to them. They heard me. And I found myself with even more to say. I started writing it all out, thinking maybe I'd turn it into a book some day. I'd call it "How to Be a Good Boyfriend."
As I was writing, I thought about what guys were looking for. If they were to follow my advice, I wanted to make sure they'd be happy with the results. I paid close attention to what I heard around me. There were stories about girlfriends who were annoying and jealous. Clearly these women were insecure, but the guys didn't see it and probably didn't know their actions could have anything to do with it. And then there were the stories about the "crazy ex-girlfriends." Not the "I just met her and she stalked me" kind of crazy, but more like "my sane and well-adjusted girlfriend of two years just flipped out" kind of crazy. Again, these guys had no idea their actions might have had some influence.
There are lots of books out there saying how complicated relationships are and how men and women are so different. And while I think that information might be useful to fine-tune some relationship issues, I think the basics of relationships are much simpler. Women want to feel special, cared for, and secure. When we feel this way, we're happy. We're not annoying, we're not jealous, and we don't act crazy. And that's the basis of my book. It offers advice to both men and women about how to treat each other well. And it offers many, many stories of dating gone wrong.
This article was recently posted on the Urban Dater: http://theurbandater.com/advert/how-to-be-a-good-boyfriend.php/.