A few weeks ago, a reader said he’d love to find out more about being the man in a relationship. I think this is a great topic, because too many guys take on the woman’s role when dating.
Instead of being the strong half of a couple, they let their girlfriends make every big decision; pace the relationship; dictate all the rules.
When this happens, a man can’t fulfill his natural role as a man. And what woman feels happy with a weak boyfriend who lets her call all the shots? Such relationships usually end in break-ups, unhappiness or cheating
To be the man in your relationships – for yourself and your girlfriend – follow the tips in this post.
Having The Right Attitude
Being a man in your relationship means being strong. It’s a lot like dancing: no matter how great a woman is, it won’t work unless the man can lead.
Unfortunately, mass media’s constantly showing us images of women running relationships. Switch on your T.V., listen to the radio: it’s always guys struggling to keep a special girl or moaning once they’ve lost her.
Starting now, I want you to forget all that crap. You can’t be a good boyfriend if you’re insecure about losing your chick or afraid to lead. Remember: your girl needs you just as much as you need her. Here are some things to consider:
- Men age slower than women, which means there’s less pressure on you to settle down fast.
- Men get sexier with age and stay desirable for longer. With every year, you’re becoming more and more of a catch!
- You can always walk outside and get to know scores of new women anytime. Girls have a lot less control over the men they meet.
If you ever feel that your girlfriend’s more important than you, this list should put things in perspective. Don’t underestimate your own value: you can’t be a man in your relationship unless you respect yourself as much as you respect her!
Be Kind But Firm
Most women are fine with dating older men but hesitant about seeing a younger guy; some outright prefer older, more experienced guys.
This is because girls desire men who can protect and guide them; something that usually comes with age. However, you don’t have to date a younger woman to be the man in your relationship. You must simply be two things: kind and firm.
Let’s start with the latter. You have to be kind to the girl you’re dating. If you can’t be, why are you seeing her? Express your love freely and give generously; it’s your prerogative as a man.
The problem is, most guys are kind all the time. Why do you think women say, “I left him because he was too nice”? Too much of a good thing quickly turns into a bad thing; a relationship must have balance.
Your role, as a man, is to lead. This means you to set boundaries, make decisions and enforce both in a relationship. Here are some healthy ways to be firm with your girlfriend:
- Call her out on bad behavior. This means regular lateness, lying, negative behavior (i.e. insults), extreme drama, etc.
- Get into the habit of suggesting instead of asking. Women like assertive men – and if she doesn’t like what you’re saying, she’ll let you know.
- In bed, don’t be that guy: stop asking her if “it’s good” or if “this is okay.” Again, take charge – she’ll let you know if you’re going too far.
- Don’t change your friends, clothes and habits for her sake. If she doesn’t like you the way you are, why is she dating you?
- Never let her talk down on your friends and family. If she doesn’t respect them, how can she respect you?
- Refuse to move into the “next step” of the relationship (exclusivity, marriage, etc) until you’re ready – don’t let her pressure you.
- No nagging and no drama. If your girlfriend is giving you too much of either, calmly explain that her behavior is unacceptable.
- Use your own judgment to decide if you agree with her or not. Never say “yes” just because you don’t want her to get upset!
- If you don’t like something she said – e.g. “you look silly in that hat” or “your friend sure is weird” – simply ignore it. Works like a charm.
This is a general list; in real life, each man has his own personal boundaries. If you have trouble finding yours, remember the 3 aspects of healthy relationships: honesty, trust and respect.
Balance In All Things
Sometimes, when guys realize that girls like firm men, they become too assertive. In the early stages of a relationship, this works – a guy who can lead is very attractive to women.
In the long run, though, you have to pick your battles. Having boundaries is a necessity, but life isn’t black and white! Sometimes, you’ll have to compromise.
This is where you can really shine as a man. Being strong means letting your girlfriend act silly and unreasonable once in a while. Don’t react to every little thing she does wrong – just the really important stuff.
For everything else, simply don’t react. Women tend to feel what the man next to them feels; if you’re calm, she’ll quickly cool down too.
Being the man in a relationship comes down to being kind and firm. Being kind refers to generosity; strength; staying calm, even when she’s not. At the same time, you must be firm and put your foot down when necessary
If you liked this post, you can check out “Handling Relationships Like A Man: A Crash Course” which deals with the fundamentals of being a good boyfriend.
Is there anything else you think a man should or shouldn’t do in a relationship? Post in the comment section and let me know!