When His Friends Are a Bad Influence on Him

When His Friends Are a Bad Influence on HimWhat would you do if you caught your man sitting quietly among his friends as they engaging in “locker room talk” that was disrespectful to women?

He’s not participating in it, but neither is he calling it out as the harmful and inappropriate thought pattern it represents.

Would you call him out on it?

Would you let him off the hook, because “men will be men” and it wasn’t him doing the talking?

As a relationship coach, I’ve seen many discussions between couples about behavior they regret. While there are all kinds of excuses (most of them pathetic), I have seen a trend worth noting.

The trend is that some of the nicest, most loyal, and kind people do dumb things that hurt their partners, and it’s often related to negative peer pressure.

Instead of focusing on that one incident, ask yourself what your guy’s friends can teach you about him.

Friendships tell us a lot about people.

You may have heard the saying that we’re the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with.

Which means you can look at your guy’s closest friends to find out important information about the sides of himself he doesn’t show you.

We all have aspects to our personality we’d rather keep hidden. They represent our shadow side. We started developing our shadow side as children, when we discovered that our parents and other adults didn’t approve of certain things we did or said.

We couldn’t wave a magic wand and make our “badness” vanish. It was part of us, just as much as our goodness. So we shoved those parts of ourselves down and tried to forget about them.

It didn’t work.

Because what you refuse to acknowledge about yourself ALWAYS comes out in other ways.

Like finding friends who act out in ways you’d never allow yourself to do.

Ever wondered what your guy sees in certain friends?

Maybe he sees aspects of himself he’s not allowed to express.

Aspects of himself he buried long ago.

Your man’s friends tell you a LOT about the man he thinks he is and the man he wishes he could be.

So try this:

Look at what your guy admires most in his friends. Listen to how he talks about his friends. Notice what he does with his friends when they spend time together.

Then ask yourself whether those traits promise great things for your future together…

Or not.

There’s another reason friends matter.

Close friends influence each other’s behavior. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

The science of how social networks impact health is still in its infancy, but thus far it has shown that everything from obesity to smoking to happiness spreads through social networks.

Here’s an example that might shock you.

Research has found that couples are 75% more likely to divorce if a close friend gets divorced.

Even if a couple just HEARS about the divorce of someone they know through the grapevine, their own chances of divorce go up by a third.

So if your guy’s friends don’t believe in marriage, treat their partners poorly, or disparage women, then their influence can rub off on him—even if he doesn’t share their beliefs.

The answer is not to get rid of his friends.

You may wish they had less influence over him, but they’re part of his life.

Here’s a better solution:

Increase the amount of time you spend with strong couples.

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How Far Are You Willing to Go?

How Far Are You Willing to Go?How far would you be willing to go to meet someone?

There seems to be two schools of thought.

The first says that you should always be yourself, no matter what.

  • Don’t wear a lot of makeup, because if he doesn’t find the “real you” attractive, then he’s not worth it.
  • Don’t fuss a lot with clothes, because he should see you as you normally dress.
  • Steer the conversation towards your favorite topics, then talk his ear off.
  • Always tell the truth up front, even if it might put him off.

The second school says that you should always put your best foot forward, no matter what.

  • Never let him see you without makeup.
  • Always dress in flattering outfits that highlight your best features.
  • Find out what he likes to talk about.
  • Avoid letting him know about possible deal-breakers until after he’s fallen in love with you.

The first school of thought is idealistic. We’d all love to believe that love is simply a matter of seeing the right person and falling for them just as they are. Movies and sitcoms caution us against inauthenticity: pretend to be someone you’re not, and the person you love will find out eventually.

The second school of thought is more pragmatic. After all, you’re not going to walk into a job interview and say, “Here I am! Take me or leave me.”

You’re going to put your best foot forward. You’re going to dress appropriately and practice your answers beforehand. Being polished gives you a better chance of getting your foot in the door.

Both schools of thought have their limitations.

“Love me as I am” is a wonderful motto, if who you are is the best version of yourself.

But if you use that motto to avoid making an effort, then you can shoot yourself in the foot. You expect men to show up clean-shaven, nice-smelling, with clean jeans and a stylish shirt. Why wouldn’t you make an effort, too? Looking attractive for the opposite sex is simply a nice thing to do.

“Always be your best self” is also a wonderful motto, if your best self is authentic and genuine.

But if you use that motto to hide parts of yourself you’re ashamed of, then you run the risk of attracting men under false pretenses. You don’t want a huge gap between who you are on a date and who you are at home.

The solution is to balance both philosophies.

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The ‘Kiss Test’ That Makes Men Behave Inappropriately

The ‘Kiss Test’ That Makes Men Behave InappropriatelyYou’re on a date with someone you met through an online dating site.

You picked him carefully, because you have standards. You don’t go out with anyone who doesn’t look nice or doesn’t treat you with respect.

It’s a half-hour into the date, and you’re starting to relax. You’re laughing a little. The awkward phase is over. You’re starting to open up to each other.

Then he does it.

That thing men do.

That thing that makes you pull back and feel awkward all over again.

He leans forward…

And touches your leg.

He’s not trying to grab you. But it kind of feels like it.

He’s pretending he’s just patting you on the thigh to emphasize a point. Like you’d touch someone on the shoulder to get their attention.

But his touch feels awkward, a bit to high on your thigh, almost like he’s trying to feel you up.

Just like that, your trust for him evaporates. It’s three o’clock in the afternoon, for goodness sake! You’re not rubbing up against each other in some bar.

He sees you flinch back. He withdraws his hand quickly. Conversation falters. You shut down.

And just like that, the date is as good as over.

Maybe that’s never happened to you.

These days, many men know to ask permission before they go in for that first hug or kiss. It’s respectful. It gives you the option to say no.

But other men grew up with a different sort of “education.”

One of the most influential (and controversial) seduction teachers for men, David Deangelo, taught a simple “kiss test.”

He recognized that springing a kiss unexpectedly on a woman is a sure-fire way to get a man rejected.

Instead, he taught men to use “simple, innocent” physical contact to test the waters.

Stuff like stroking a woman’s hair…

Or moving closer to her without actually touching.

If she tenses and pulls back, then she’s not ready for a kiss, Deangelo explained. But if she smiles and relaxes into his touch, then he can assume she’s open to exploring their chemistry.

Most men you meet haven’t studied under Deangelo. But they may have heard some version of the kiss test:

Find some pretext to touch a woman and observe her reaction.

But not all men do this well.

Some men slap you on the shoulder, like they’d slap a male friend.

Other men do it sneakily, so fast you almost don’t realize they’ve touched you.

Still other men invite you for a hug, then embrace you too long or too intimately.

When you assume he’s doing it to cop a feel rather than to test your chemistry, your reaction “tells” him everything he needs to know. You’re not into him.

And, of course, you might have been right. His intentions might not have been virtuous.

So how can men and women navigate this mess, without ruining any chance of romance?

I don’t have all the answers. I can’t tell you what is best for you.

But I can give you some suggestions that might help you decide on an effective strategy to break the touch barrier.

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Make It Easy for Him to Get to Know the REAL You

Make It Easy for Him to Get to Know the REAL YouThere are things guys don’t want to know about.

Female stuff.

How much you wish he’d finally propose.

If he knew how you REALLY felt?

It would terrify him.

Or at least that’s how common dating wisdom goes. Keep some things to yourself.

He doesn’t need to know you’ve doodled your first name and his last name—or dotted the i’s with love hearts.

He doesn’t need to know you stay up late worrying about whether he’ll still feel the same way about you in a year.

He doesn’t need to know you stand in front of the mirror picking apart how you look and wishing his last girlfriend hadn’t been so much younger/blonder/whatever than you.

He doesn’t need to know you’re feeling sad under your happy face.

And that’s how it’s always been done. Ever since dating was invented.

Women must be charming, fascinating, light-hearted, easy-going…

But never needy, emotional, complex, or difficult.

Because guys hate difficult. They want easy.

I think that’s sad.

Not just because women feel they have to hide their true selves.

But also because men don’t get a chance to rise to the occasion.

Confronting difficult, messy emotions gives us men the opportunity to learn ways of supporting you.

It’s a gift to be trusted with a woman’s inner world. Yes, it’s challenging. But that’s how guys mature into men who can partner with a woman, rather than just have a good time.

A lot of guys just want a happy, easy-going woman. She requires nothing from them. They don’t have to work at the relationship. If she’s upset about something, that’s her problem.

Those men aren’t great at relationships.

They’re even worse at marriages.

A man who’s looking for conflict-free happiness should probably stick to dating. Marriage involves problems, conflicts, and LOTS of messy emotions. The fun part is growing to meet those challenges!

And that’s where conventional dating advice goes awry.

Sure, you could present yourself as the “ideal woman”—fun, happy, drama-free…

But you may find yourself attracting “boy-men” who haven’t grown past their fantasy of a beautiful woman with no needs and no desires other than to have fun.

This is where letting him see the REAL YOU comes in.

See how he responds when you reveal something inconvenient to him.

Can he handle the fact that you have complicated emotions, insecurities, and maybe even a personal problem or two?

If so, then great! It shows he’s grown-up enough to realize we ALL have messy lives.

But maybe you’ve been burned in the past because you were too open.

You wish you wouldn’t have been so honest. You know that what you said drove him off.

If so, here’s a technique that will help you share your personal truth in a way that awakens a man’s desire to be your hero.

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