Many women ask me why they have to be the one in the relationship to be flexible, be the one to have to stroke the guy’s ego to cultivate change. Women were designed to adapt, it’s the maternal instinct we were born with. It is not easy, but I can almost guarantee you that to experience a shift between a man and woman, the woman almost always has to make the first move in the relational chess game in order to transform the relationship for the better and empower herself. She’s the nurturer, the caretaker, the catalyst for change.
Understanding our male counterparts is the first part of building and sustaining a happy partnership and negotiating our differences. A large part of our disappointment comes from expecting your guy to think and act like a woman.
* Get Into His World: Educate yourself in one of your man’s main interests…..sports, politics, current events, travel, music, etc. Converse with him often on this subject. He will be most impressed that you took an interest in something he is passionate about and may very likely reciprocate. I learned very quickly, early into my relationship, how the NFL draft works every April and believe me it is a great day my husband and I share.
* Compliment/ Compliment/ Compliment: Your guy needs to feel amazing when he’s with you. A man gauges you on how he feels about himself when he’s with you. Research shows his brain is infused with a splash of dopamine (happy chemical) when his experience with you has been positive, thereby creating a need to be with you when he starts associating you with the chemical high.
* Men Fall in Love With Reality; Women Fall In Love With Potential: During my research the past two years, I had the opportunity to ask 1,000 men what the biggest disappointment in their relationship was. Most responded with “My wife or girlfriend changed, I liked her better when we first met.” The women I interviewed responded with, “I thought he would make more money or get a better job or would pay more attention to me.” Apparently one of a man’s greatest resistances to commitment is that a woman will change him or that she will make unreasonable demands of him. Try turning complaints into gentle requests using “What would make me happy” statements instead of “You don’t” statements.
* Men Hate Domestic Duties: Men are wired with survival skills, a drive to compete, a hunger for challenge, and an innate need to provide and protect. Unfortunately laundering dirty boxers and doing dishes falls short of those categories. To improve domestic participation I highly recommend you research Dr Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. For example, if your Love Language is Acts of Service and your partner’s is Physical Touch, then I suggest you use these to negotiate a fair trade.