6 mistakes women make

What is it that some women have, that allows them to have men wrapped around their little fingers? What are we not doing and where do we go wrong? Keeping in mind that men have their personal preferences (ie. sporty, career driven, outgoing or soft, gentle, homely types etc, blondes or brunettes, tall or petite),  most of those I’ve spoken to generally find the following attributes attractive in potential partners:

  • humour
  • a certain independence
  • approachability
  • being comfortable in one’s skin,  and
  • taking care of oneself

Neediness, nagging, game-playing and being sexually indiscriminate as a definite turn-off.  We all know this; its not exactly rocket science. Yet, here we are still making the same mistakes:

Mistake No.1:  We need approval

Shelly Argov hits the nail on the head in her book ‘Why Men Love Bitches’.  Her of description of “Bitch (noun): A woman who won’t bang her head against the wall obsessing over someone else’s opinion – be it a man or anyone else in her life. She understands that if someone does not approve of her, it’s just one person’s opinion; therefore, it’s of no real importance. She doesn’t try to live up to anyone else’s standards – only her own. Because of this, she relates to a man very differently.”

We all want to be wanted and needed, and the ‘disease to please’ can be tough to discard. We do ourselves a lot of harm trying to fit in with others and become who we think they want us to be, just to be loved. When you interact with a man in a manner that says “I’m prepared to take the risk that you may or may not like me, and I’m ok with that”, you relax and have an opportunity to be free to express you who you are. And if he doesn’t like you, your ego might be bruised for a while but you will survive.  There is someone out there who will like you, so don’t waste your time on those that don’t. Move on to the next guy who will appreciate your independence of spirit.

Mistake No. 2:  We give in too easily

We give in to sex too soon, we give in to his needs and demands, we go along with what he wants,  we don’t rock the boat and pretty soon we find we’re giving in to being single again. It seems there is a very fine line between giving a man what he needs, not necessarily what he just wants. Enough, but not too much. All well and good for the anointed few who seem to effortlessly exude just the right touch, but  what about the rest of us mere mortals? It can be a perilous process becoming a ‘bitch’,  with those pesky self esteem and boundary issues running rampant and ruining our chances. Especially as, grammar notwithstanding, we “don’t want to play so hard to get, that we don’t get got”. The trick is to realise that we can say no. We are allowed to say no. The sky is not going to fall on our heads if we disagree. Just be sure to say no nicely. And say it again if you have to.  Sweetly. And if you receive a hurt, disappointed or angry response, remind yourself that its only temporary. It is necessary however, to steel yourself against the initial backlash and stand your ground. Its a sad fact that most women cannot seem to outlast the inevitable negative response. Its not personal, it is inevitable and it will pass. Its also natural that men will test your boundaries, so accept that he’s just doing what comes naturally, train him early and he’ll get the hang of it. He will respect you, and if he really likes you, he will come back for more. Give in and it might make things easier initially. He might like you but he won’t respect you. And he probably will move on to someone he does respect.

Mistake No.3: We don’t set clear boundaries

Getting back to Mz Argov’s book, she relates an incident regarding a couple in the early stages of their relationship. Not particularly taken with her choice of nail polish, he makes a comment along those lines, which she neatly – and with pithy humour – deflects. The relationship flourished, and she continues to use that very same shade of nail polish to this day.  More to the point, he is ok with it because she is ok with it. If we keep this wonderful analogy in mind and use it as our guiding compass, we will find it easy to set clear boundaries.  Sometimes compromise is necessary, but not at the expense of our own happiness. A man can handle you standing up to him, and will respect and love you all the more for it. He likes to know where he stands, and he likes to know that you’re happy. If you like that damn shade of colour on your nails, and if you’re important to him, he will quickly adapt to minor issues. Problem solved.

Mistake No 4: We get needy

When a man meets a woman he likes, he will make time for her. He will focus on work, go to the gym, see his friends and family and do whatever it is that he normally does. He might shave a little extra time off gym, his hobbies and friends, but he will fit you in. The difference with women is that when we meet  a man, we lose focus on work, we skip gym, ditch the hobby and sacrifice time with our friends and family. We do more than fit him in, our life begins to revolve around him. Its just what we do. We offer our more of our time and heart and mind and body than men do. And then we lose our perspective, because the attention of all that focus does not return the favour. Instead he unwittingly goes about his life as he did (mostly) before we came along. He retains his focus at work and thrives, as we become increasingly resentful and insecure because we’re not receiving the same level of attention. As we begin to cling, he begins to withdraw and so we turn into the ‘needy’ person he wants to leave. Far from the focussed, independent, happy person we once were.  The irony of course, is that if we can learn to be a bit more selfish, he will respond by becoming more unselfish and everyone wins.

Mistake No 5: We nag

One of my favourite sayings is:  ‘men don’t listen to what woman say, they listen to what we do”.  And women tend talk before we start ‘doing’.  A lot. We explain, we analyse and we offer far more information than is necessary. Most men put more emphasis on the end result, and so they become adept tuning out the inbetween stuff that women talk about. Because  woman don’t get to the point, men lose interest, patience or respect. Much like children and animals, men know that we’re a long time coming before we back up all our verbalising with action. They see empty threats where we see communication. This is why, when women finally do get to the point of action, men are often surprised. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen a man on the brink of a break-up or divorce genuinely bewildered, which would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. In the same way that women have the 9 month gestation period to bond with her baby while men do so only when the baby is born, women are emotionally involved in the talking experience, while men only pay attention at the end, when its often too late. This miscommunication obviously results in women feeling unloved or taken for granted. We feel compelled to continually repeat ourselves because we do not feel heard, not realising that our partners have switched off because they can only understand, or relate better, to action. A lot of resentment and dissatisfaction could be alleviated if only we spoke less and consistently took more action. So simple and yet so far from easy.

Mistake No 6: We let ourselves go

Its natural to settle down into the security of a relationship as we become more comfortable with each other and let certain things slide. An unfortunate by-product is that it becomes so easy to take the little things for granted and so we settle into a rut. Its sounds terribly old-fashioned and clichéd to say that we need to pay as much attention to sexy underwear, grooming habits and personal interests within a relationship, as we did when we were single. We also forgo our interests, hobbies and friends and lose some of that spark and aliveness that makes us so interesting.  I recall Dr Phil once relating that he chatted to into a client who, after her divorce a changed, lost weight and had a new lease on life. His thought was that he wished she had done the aforementioned while still married. A sobering thought; it takes effort and hard work to maintain self-pride and take care of ourselves and our appearance.

If we let our ‘inner bitch’ out to play every now and then, with a little practice we all learn to enjoy the power of little red nail varnish on the arm of a man who adores us.

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