Why Your Standards in Love Are WAY Too Low

Why Your Standards in Love Are WAY Too LowWhen you haven’t met anyone you’ve liked in a LONG time…

You can get a bit antsy.

Is the problem YOU?

Are your standards too high? Are you not giving these guys a chance?

There’s so much pressure to get it right.

To pick the right person. To not overlook a diamond in the rough. To not waste your time on duds.

But here’s what I know:

No matter what your standards are, they could ALWAYS be higher.

Don’t waste your time looking for a man who’s wealthy, erudite, cosmopolitan, and a dead ringer for George Clooney, though.

Instead, look for a man with one key trait that will determine a lot more about the quality of your relationship:

Emotional intelligence.

Women tend to be the emotional leaders in relationships.

They’re the ones thinking of ways to connect and get closer. They’re the ones reading books and newsletters like this one. They’re always learning how to love better.

Men?

Well, you’ll spot the occasional man reading a relationship book. (Probably bought for him by the woman in his life.) Men will make an effort if they have to. But they’d rather leave all that stuff to their wives and girlfriends.

That’s a problem.

When a man abdicates his responsibility for the emotional labor of the relationship, the woman gets stuck with it all.

SHE feels responsible for the emotional health of the relationship. If the relationship is struggling, it’s left to HER to fix it.

It’s too much responsibility dumped on one partner. It just doesn’t work.

And the studies are emerging to prove it.

A 6-year study of 130 newlyweds found that the strongest predictor of happiness is the husband’s attitude.[1]

If he’s willing to work with his partner, listen to her input, and take her recommendations on board, their marriage is much more likely to last.

Only a third of the men in the study were willing to accept their partner’s influence, however.

Others reacted to their partner’s suggestions with defensiveness, anger, or stonewalling.

They didn’t feel they had to do ANYTHING their partner suggested. They saw the work of relationships—negotiating, compromising—as a struggle for power and control.

Their thinking went something like this:

“She isn’t the boss of me. How dare she criticize me! I work and work, and she doesn’t appreciate it. If I let her have her way this once, she’s going to keep asking. She nags all the time. She just wants to control me.”

That refusal to address conflict or work through disagreements hamstrings a relationship.

What can you do, when your partner refuses to let you influence him?

Not much. You’re stuck.

You may think you can live with it, but know this. If he won’t listen to you, your relationship has an 81% chance of falling apart.[2]

Of course, women don’t always listen to their partners, either. No one is perfect.

But in general women are better at taking their partner’s feelings and preferences into account. That’s their job, as emotional custodians of the relationship. They try to balance everyone’s wants and needs.

So how can you use this information to spot the perfect partner?

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Why Won’t He Do What You Want Him to Do?!

Why Won’t He Do What You Want Him to Do?!What’s the most painful thing you’ve felt because of a romantic relationship?

When he didn’t feel the same way about you?

When he didn’t do what you asked him to do?

When he couldn’t love you the way you really wanted him to?

Much of the pain in relationship is caused by expectations.

We want people to behave in a certain way…

And they DON’T.

Grown-ups aren’t like children. We can’t tell them what to do (though we try).

Nevertheless, you need to be on the same page when you’re in a relationship with someone. It doesn’t work if he goes his way and you go yours.

Different expectations are stressful for both of you.

Men often complain that the women in their lives are always trying to change them. They don’t feel loved and accepted for who they are, warts and all.

So what’s the answer?

New York Times bestselling author Michael Singer decided to try something unusual.

He decided to give up.

He’d stop trying to make life go his way. He’d accept whatever happened. He’d say yes to whatever came up, even if he didn’t like it.

“[S]urrender gave me clarity in one essential area: my personal preferences of like and dislike were not going to guide my life,” he writes. “By surrendering the hold those powerful forces had on me, I was allowing my life to be guided by a much more powerful force, life itself.”[1]

My first thought was: That sounds kind of crazy!

Surely it’s our RIGHT to live life exactly the way we want.

In fact, most of us would like nothing better than to have everything go our way. To have other people do what we want them to do. To have our world in perfect order.

But wanting things to be different from how they are causes us an enormous amount of stress.

Our control over things is actually quite limited. We can’t control other people. We can’t control world events. We can’t control the weather or politicians or the price of milk at the grocery store.

The only place we have complete control is inside our own minds.

And, funnily enough, it’s the one place we don’t seem to exercise much control.

Our minds tend to be a maze of conflicting thoughts, emotions, and opinions about everything. It’s not a peaceful place.

Even if something DOES go our way, we immediately turn our attention to all the things that AREN’T going our way. We’re never satisfied.

How would life feel different—how would our relationships be different—if we, like Singer, simply surrendered?

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How Your Social Network Can Wreck (or Support) Your Relationship

How Your Social Network Can Wreck (or Support) Your RelationshipQuestion 1.

Would you date someone your parents didn’t approve of?

Question 2.

Would you date someone your friends didn’t approve of?

The research is in.

The days of listening to parents are over. You’re much more likely to be swayed by your friends’ opinion.

Relationships don’t take place in a vacuum. How you feel about him will always be affected by how those closest to you feel about your relationship.

You get to choose your boyfriend, but they don’t get to choose this new person entering their close-knit circle. They’ll keep a wary eye open, not just for your well-being, but also for the well-being of the group. If he doesn’t fit in, you might be on the receiving end of a high-pressure campaign to boot the guy out.

A study from the December 2015 Journal of Family Psychology[1] found that disapproval from friends is particularly harmful for interracial or same-sex relationships, which can suffer from “lower relationship commitment, trust, love, and sexual communication” as a result.

The study found that disapproval from parents or from the public at large has less impact.

Given the importance of social networks, both online and offline, that’s not surprising. You may not spend much time with your family, but you do spend a lot of time with your friends. Whether your friends like the guy matters.

There’s even a term for it:

The social network effect.[2]

If your social network approves of your choice of mate, then your relationship gets a boost.

On the other hand, if your social network doesn’t approve, your relationship will struggle. You may stop getting invited to parties and social gatherings. The time you do spend as a couple with your friends may feel stressful. You can end up isolated and on your own.

If you were forced to choose between him and your friends, what would you do?

You can try to prevent anything like this from happening by making sure your friends like him as much as you do.

One study[3] found that the most effective strategy, at least for future in-laws, is to show them what a good influence he’s been on you.

If you’re happy, bubbly and overflowing with well-being, your friends are more likely to try to overcome their initial resistance. If he’s that good for you, the least they can do is try to accept him.

Strategies that don’t work as effectively include trying to win the doubters over by inviting them to lavish dinners or taking them aside to convince them what an amazing guy he really is.

You might also want to consider why your friends are reacting this way. Can they see this relationship more clearly than you can?

Friends you’ve known for ages, who have no personal stake in who you see, can often see the impact of a relationship on you better than you can yourself.

Being in a relationship changes a person. Ideally, those changes will be for the better. But sometimes your friends might notice that you’ve become quieter, more deferential, eager to please, or not quite like yourself. They’ll cast a suspicious eye on him … and they may be right.

But aren’t they just jealous?

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This Creates More Freedom in Your Life

This Creates More Freedom in Your LifeIs there something you KNOW you need to do…

But you just can’t seem to do it?

I mean something like looking for a new job. Or organizing your photos.

Or putting serious effort into dating.

We often put off things we dread or things that aren’t urgent. That’s normal. It makes sense.

But here’s what doesn’t make sense:

We even put off things that are important to us.

Things that would make a BIG difference to our lives.

Things that would make us happy.

Like picking up a paintbrush after years of having no time for art.

Or investing in a social group you’ve been on the fringes of.

Or agreeing to meet someone instead of mindlessly browsing profiles online.

We do this because there’s one thing scarier than the status quo:

Change.

All things considered, we’d rather do what we’ve always done. It may not work, but at least it’s predictable.

Change is Good (But Hard)

As a relationship coach, I want to create positive change in people’s lives.

But I face an uphill battle.

People don’t change until the discomfort of continuing as they are outweighs the discomfort of trying something new.

Even then, they may desperately WANT to change…

But some invisible force pulls them back.

It’s not a lack of willpower.

It’s not inertia.

It’s something called Resistance.

What is Resistance?

Back in 2002, a little book called The War of Art was published.

Its author, Steven Pressfield, was no creative writing teacher or self-help expert. Yet this slim book would come to redefine the conversation around what holds people back from expressing their gifts.

Pressfield believes that anyone trying to create something—whether it’s a work of art or a new life—encounters a powerful force determined to stop them. He calls this force “Resistance.”

This force never sleeps. It takes up residence in your mind as a litany of excuses as to why you can’t do that thing you know you need to do.

It distracts you, reasons logically with you, and—when all else fails—scares you.

If you start painting again, your work will be awful. If you ask to join that group, they’ll reject you. If you go out on a date, it will be a flop.

“Resistance is experienced as fear,” Pressfield explains. “[T]he more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”

Is Resistance showing up in YOUR life?

Is there something you feel called to do…

But you’re utterly terrified?

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