Introducing “The Butterfly Method” to Survive the Storms in Your Relationship

how to have a successful relationshipPeople will judge you for trying hard.

I did it just the other day. I was standing in line at Walmart. The line was moving slow, and I couldn’t help but notice something.

Walmart had invested in 30 cash registers, yet only two of them were open.

I snickered at how stupid Walmart is. Then I remembered something.

I’m standing in line because they accomplished something difficult. They managed to give me the best price in town. And still make a profit.

Maybe they’re not so stupid.

Maybe having only two cash registers open helps them keep prices down.

They try hard. I have to admire that.

But a lot of “cool people” snicker at those of us who try hard. Giving up and being pessimistic is cool to these people.

Sorry, but that’s not my definition of cool.

Cool is trying hard even if you might fall on your face. Cool is trying again even after you’ve failed several times before.

Cool is the boyfriend who still holds doors open, tells his girlfriend she’s beautiful, and offers to carry things for her while showing respect. Those are real men. They try hard.

Don’t be afraid to try hard. You’ll attract the kind qualities you build up in yourself.

If you want a man who will try hard, someone who will overcome obstacles in the relationship so he can keep loving you, then look for this one quality: Rejection of cynicism.

Someone who’s not afraid to openly talk about what he wants. Someone who’s not too cool to try. Not too cool to admit some things are worth caring about.

But should you always try hard?

They say life is a balance between holding on and letting go.

Caught in a windstorm, a butterfly may have to release its grip on the branch it was clinging to. Or else its wings could be torn off by the intensity of the wind.

The butterfly must go with the flow. Allow the wind to take control. Stop resisting.

But that’s not the same thing as giving up. When the wind dies down, the butterfly can resume its journey.

I was amazed when I first learned that monarchs migrate thousands of miles each year to gather at a specific location in Mexico. They seem too delicate for that long journey.

But somehow, they manage. Apparently, they try hard. One day life might blow them off course. The next day they’re moving toward their goal again.

Trying hard says something about you. It says you value something. Something is meaningful enough to be worth your effort.

how to have a successful relationshipYou’re not too cool to embrace something good… even if it’s hard to achieve it. Even if you fall on your face a few times.

Even if you sometimes have to let go and let the wind blow you off course for a while.

Relationships are among those things I value. I think it’s worth trying hard to have a brilliant relationship.

If you read my blog, you probably agree. And in my mind, that makes you special. So I encourage you to look for a man who shares that special quality.

Find meaning. Embrace life. Try hard.

Always on your side,

James Bauer


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36 thoughts on “Introducing “The Butterfly Method” to Survive the Storms in Your Relationship

  1. Brandi Gutierrez said:

    Hello James. I have been wanting to try and talk to you about the man in my life. So we have been together 2 years and we have lived together almost a year. He had been married before and has told me a lot how he’s scared to get married again. I have had some health issues come up in my life that has put a lot of stress on me and I haven’t been as fun. Well here last week he decided he needed space so I packed a bag and went to my mothers house. So about 4 days later he contacted me and told me he wanted to see me. So I went over and he shared with me how much he missed me. He told me he missed me a lot and he’s not asking me to move back in but he wants to date me again. So we went on our first date and it went really well! We laughed flirted all of the above. Well the next day I didn’t really hear anything from him. Also on the date he would me that every time he thinks about us getting married and or having kids he freaks out and gets nervous. I know I shouldn’t expect him to text me. It is just a difficult task when I used to live with him and talk to him everyday. I asked our roommate who lives with him if he still loves and wants to be with me and she said yeah i really do think so. So here I am buying your book and on this blog trying to get by day by day to be this calm cool collected girl for him. My biggest thing James is. Do you think it will work out and also should I be initiating the texting/calls. I don’t want to scare him away so I’m trying to limit what I do. Please help if you can. Thank you James. I am willing to do anything to help this relationship I love him. He is a great man. Please help me feel better and not so sick to my stomach all the time

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Brandi. This is the perfect kind of question to submit to our relationship coaches. You can do so here.

  2. Susanne said:

    Awesome and encouraging article, giving perspective of the process in relationships and qualities to look for in a man. It brought some clarity of mind to me. We might work hard ourselves, but we have to watch the “fruit” in someone else’s life, to see if they are willing to the heavy lifting too, or just want to go for what feels good in the moment. Really appreciate your wisdom.
    Thank you
    Susanne

  3. Donna said:

    Bravo James…Exactly what I needed to read this morning..Thank you 🙂

    • I’d venutre that this article has saved me more time than any other.

  4. Julie said:

    Hi James, I love what you have said here. It is so true and so beautiful. I always look forward to reading your work! Life is about our journey daily, not the destination. When we get blown off course, sometimes that is just what we need to get to where we are really meant to go. The long path can get you to the right place a whole lot faster than taking the short one.
    Many blessings to you.

  5. Ahanonu ngozi said:

    This time is the point that I need this book in my life just to get my Mr Right get connected to me, because I have make a lot of mistakes. Tax for this book Mr James

  6. p said:

    Another great article. Thank you again!

  7. Penny Needham said:

    I’m in a 8 year relationship with a man but he is very insecure which causes a lot of jealousy on his part! I was married before and my ex husband had the same problem although he became physically and emotionally abusive, he ended up committing suicide. But this relationship I’m in now, I find myself not really being happy because I feel controlled and he constantly wants sex all the time, he stated he don’t want any man stopping by the house when he’s not home and he calls numerous times a day to see what I’m doing, who I’m with how long I’ll be there, I know he loves me and I do love him but I don’t think I’m in love with him, can I get some advice? I don’t want to hurt him but at the same time o want to be happy as well because right now I’m really not! My name is Penny

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Penny. It’s an interesting situation because he’s really “trying hard,” just not in a good way. Jealousy is really about trust. He hasn’t learned how to trust a woman and as a result he’s driving you away. You might start by being upfront with him about that fact. For more personalized advice, please see our private advice service here.
      James

  8. Joyce said:

    James Bauer, You are one amazing man! I can’t put into words how valuable you are as they seem too shallow to express what I mean and can only, really be felt. But, I’m going to try.
    Your pursuits are noble to say the least. You seem to enjoy what you do, while serving your fellow human. With your Be Irresistible program and your articles here, you help so many. Though I believe you to be younger than I, I feel like I’ve got this older brother looking out for me. You’ll tell me the truth even if it might hurt. Because, you genuinely don’t want me to be hurt. The beautiful way you word things really helps to minimize the “duh!” factor. The analogies you use make it so easy to understand. I always feel that you come from a place of love. In my view, you are the romantic, poet philosopher. I respect your opinion and value your work.
    I believe in encouraging and empowering others. Telling others things that make them feel good.
    Thank you so much for encouraging me to be a better me and empowering me with your thoughtful insight! I appreciate you! Joyce

    • James Bauer said:

      Wow, Joyce. You just made my day! Thank you for encouraging me like that. It means a lot.

      James

  9. Michelle said:

    Hello

    I have a question regarding respect and masculine/feminine –

    I’m going on a second date this weekend and the guy told me if his plans for us. Without thinking, I mentioned I liked doing activities like going to the zoo, etc as I wanted to steer away from a night out drinking. Is this considered disrespectful?
    I know it’s important for a man to feel like what he planned will make us happy, I did convey his plans were great and gave praise there.

    Just wondering if this might have sounded dis respectful and that I’m difficult to please? I was thinking to clarify I would send a text this week and let him know I’m excited for whatever he had planned?

    • James Bauer said:

      Michelle, the degree of thought you put into this tells me something about you. You’re a thoughtful and insightful person who is overly cautious about offending others.

      Because of that, I trust you said it with a vocal tone that was respectful, rather than demanding.

      I personally would love to have information like that. It will give him confidence regarding the things you will most enjoy while spending time together.

      James

  10. Amy said:

    James, I was in a relationship off and on about 6 1/2 mo. I left my husband in April and my boyfriend was a friend from work for several months before I left my husband.We did not plan it @all…in fact I never expected he and I would end up dating.Anyway my boyfriend helped me get back on my feet …put my kids and I in a hotel until I found an apartment…he paid for deposit and everything…bought things for my home….he was a great man….but very insecure and jealous. We’ve broke up 3or 4 times for his jealousy or my not telling him everything about my ex and our seperation. I fell inlove with him…he saved me ….like my Knight who rescued me from HELL. I love him and try to make him understand I am committed or was committed to only him.I’m trying really hard to keep him but he has no trust in women. Please help…it’s been a month since he has talked to me face to face..I’ve text and e-mailed him…i get short responses…but i know he loves me! I need him back. Should I keep trying or leave him alone?

    • James Bauer said:

      Amy,

      It’s best to keep the door of communication open. But you also want to reduce any appearance that you are chasing him. He pursued you when you needed help. That triggered the hero instinct I talk about in my relationship mastery course. You might wait a few weeks and then ask him for help with something small…something that does not require a big commitment of time.

      James

  11. Debbi Phelps said:

    My husband and I have been married for 2 yrs. He has 2 children (13 and 9) from previous marriage. The kids have been in care for 2 yrs before he divorced his ex – I believe he still blames himself. Middle of last year he started coaching U14 girls team for football as his daughter plays. I have asked him to spend a little less time coaching but he has said that he cant split himself into 4 parts – work, kids, coaching and me. He also feels that we do not need to have a common interest(s). I don’t see how we can carry on if we don’t. I have therefore decided to remove myself from the family home for at least 2 weeks to see if we can decide whether we stay or split up. I should say this is my 4th marriage – the nunnery is looking really good at the moment lol. If he doesn’t want to change and I feel so unhappy what do you recommend?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Debbi. I wish he was more open to discussing solutions with you. You should join our private forum where members can get into longer, more meaningful discussions about this kind of question than what we can tackle in blog comments. beirresistible.com/members/irresistible-insiders-club

  12. Ruth Pallett said:

    Hi James,
    There is a card I bought my son last year which says on it ‘Being Cool is easy, but being awesome takes practice!’ as he is always going on about kids at school who are ‘cool’ because he gets bullied quite a lot. I love your reiteration of this concept and the detail you have brought to it. I hope he can take it to heart as it is so true, and if he can believe it, I think he can move on from the rubbish he gets at school to be a really awesome grown up. I know this is meant as romantic relationship advice, I bought your course when I was trying to save a marriage (unfortunately too late as he was seeing someone else) but I continue to read because you make me feel uplifted and a little more in control of my own emotions and hopeful of eventually starting a new life. I also think you make great life and general relationship comments which can be brought to fruition in all areas of life.

    I love what Joyce said and would like to add my own thanks for giving me the ability to start to see a future for myself. (I’m a bit weepy lol)

    • James Bauer said:

      Thanks, Ruth. I appreciate that. I’d say your son is lucky to have a mother who is dedicated to the art of raising kids well. Keep up the good work!

      James

  13. Rosemary said:

    I was engaged to a man I loved deeply. I trusted him wholeheartedly at the start but months into our relationship I found out he was in contact with and ex he said he had not had contact with for over two years. He had been in contact and had sex texted her. I ended the relationship but we remained friends, no sex. He then asked me back out three months later. I agreed as long as he had no further contact with his ex (who apparently hurt him). Two and a half years later I found out he was still in contact with her. He had deleted texts so I do not know the nature of their relationship. We were living together and he left. We got back together after he told me he would change his phone number. In short I kept trusting him again and again. We got engaged and he booked our wedding but became aggressive because I asserted myself above his mistrusting behaviour. I had lost trust. I felt insecure in the relationship and I told him that I could not put up with his violence. We had therapy and the therapist agreed that he went into rages over slights. I had an early trauma, and he was re-traumatising me. I focused on my behaviour and made changes to help deescalate the situation. He made slight changes too but continued unhelpful behaviour and put much less effort into the relationship. I tried hard to stop my bad behaviours (asserting but becoming frustrated and shouty because of silent T’s but it would surface again when he acted badly. In the end it dawned on me that he was behaving in ways that created mistrust. I wondered why a man would do that? Only an uncommitted man would do that, so I ended the relationship to rebuild my shattered self esteem. Men shut out women because of their early traumas, sadly he did not want to work on his and just wants to find ‘another bird who doesn’t winge and moan or act so called jealous and tie him down’. He had a choice to be honest at the start. I realise he could be honest with me throughout the relationship. Perhaps you could right about men who shut women out because they are cowards? what do your think?

    • James Bauer said:

      That is a disheartening experience, for sure. I’m sorry you had such a negative experience. I wonder if he might have an avoidant attachment style. You might do a bit of reading on “attachment styles” formed in childhood and how they can affect adult relationships.

      • Sandra V said:

        I am living in a similar relationship at present. We planned to get married 4 times and each time he found a reason to detach, blaming me for his mind change. Each time I go back to him forgiving his action and hoping it will get better or he will see the pain he is causing in the relationship. He has 2 ex’s or more, that means a lot to him. I am not happy with way things are going ,and have decided to end it. He continues to apologize, only to repeat the same actions. What am I doing wrong?

  14. Dorothy said:

    Well. I just want to say.
    I read all signals wrong.
    I went out with a guy, thought we hit it off really well.
    Went to his house and he came to mine.
    We took walks and talked, then he said he just wanted to be friends.
    Now 2 months later, he tells me he is seeing someone and they are doing well and he cares about her a lot.
    I am hurt.
    And keeping blaming myself.
    Truth is you can’t make someone want you, just because you want them.

    • James Bauer said:

      Sorry to hear that, Dorothy. He clearly felt attracted to you, but I realize that doesn’t make you feel better when he chose someone else. I sometimes remind my clients that it’s rare to find someone we are highly attracted to. And when the attraction has to be mutual, it decreases the odds even further. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on finding the right person who is crazy about you. So I hope that person finds you soon and sweeps you off your feet!

      Wishing you strength and comfort,

      James

  15. Donna said:

    Hi James,
    I am lucky to have a “real man” in my life. One who tries hard, the “cool” guy you describe in this blog. I find myself reading this post just at the right time in my life. You see, we have run into a little turbulence in our relationship. My boyfriend and I dated for 2 years before we moved in together 4 years ago. We had a whirlwind dating relationship. I fell madly in love with him! We had so much in common and had so much fun together. We built a solid relationship of love, trust and respect for each other. I learned a few months ago that he has not been totally honest with me about his financial situation. I knew about his financial issues before we met, but I thought he got everything squared away. I had reservations though about some things, tiny red flags were present, but I chose to brush it off and focus on the positive since we were/are truly blessed. One day he mentioned something about financial honesty, which I thought was odd. We shortly went on to another topic but it gave me pause. He always contributed to the household expenses and picked up most of the groceries and restaurant expenditures. We talked about our plans for retirement, 10+ years away, but I (we) have certain things we want to do and we always seemed to be on the same page. Well, I knew something was bothering him. He started looking tired, getting sour on me, where he was always the positive force in my life. I thought I did something to cause him to be unhappy, all of a sudden. We finally sat down and had an honest conversation about where he (we) stood financially. When I learned how much he was in debt, I couldn’t believe it. I had paid off all my debt except house and car and I thought he was in a good financial place as well. Not the case. When was through with the shock aspect, we started talking about a plan to get out of this mess. He has cut up all his credit cards and allowed me to take over paying the bills. He is really ok with it. We’ve already paid off 2 credit cards, 4 to go, plus a personal loan, car loan, debt to IRS… We figure it will take 2 years to pay everything off. Fortunately, we both have jobs and God willing, will continue to be employed for a while. He is a soccer referee which brings in about $5000/season and all of that will go to the debt. To the positive, I am very proud of the way he has taken responsibility for his actions and taken steps to correct things. To the negative, I have this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach because I feel he was dishonest with me. I feel embarrassed that I didn’t see the enormity of the issue earlier when I could have done something to stopped the bleeding. I feel God is testing me now, throwing me into this uneasy state, to see what I am made of. I love this man and he loves me. I guess my eyes are more opened then they were before. I sure don’t want to get off this love train because it feels so good. Do you have any advice for me on how to let go of the disappointment I feel? How long do you think it will take to feel normal again or is this the new normal?
    Sorry for the length of this post and thank you for your blog. It is most helpful and comes to me at a time when I really need it.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Donna. What a blessing you have been in this man’s life!

      You have loved him with all your heart, and shared the financial wisdom that he apparently lacks.

      To be honest, it’s not uncommon. This scenario you described happens over and over again in relationships.

      It’s rare to find two people who have equal levels of common sense around money. There’s usually one person who has a better grasp than the other. But it’s not uncommon to find huge differences between the financial literacy of one partner versus the other.

      Our tendency is to think that everyone knows what we know. And that’s why it’s often a huge shock when people discover the true financial situation of a person they have known well for many years. The problem is compounded by the fact that talking about one’s personal financial situation is generally considered impolite.

      When it comes to disappointment, it helps to realize that it’s really not your fault. In fact, it’s not really his fault either as he would never have done this to himself if he had financially savvy parents to teach him how to avoid these kinds of financial traps in the first place.

      The two of you have built something beautiful together. Finances can create strain in our lives, but as I’m sure you already know, money does not contribute much to our overall happiness once our basic needs are met.

      So it seems that you are already on the right track, and hopefully on track to a brighter future you will both enjoy even more because of having fought through this difficult situation together.

      I do recommend that you consider keeping separate finances even as your relationship becomes more committed. You might want to avoid entangling your credit with his.

  16. Tracy said:

    James,
    I met the man of my dreams a couple of months ago. He’s everything I was looking for and didn’t realize I was looking. Odd thing is that he kept me at arms length for a month after our first initial date. Then, out of the blue, he messages me and wanted to see me. I went to his house and we had an amazing afternoon together. Afterwards, we talked and he told me he’s still in love with his ex wife. I was hurt at first but, I can relate as I’m divorced and have been in that place before and I told him this. It was just an overall very intimate and loving experience.
    The next time we talked was a week later and he came to see me saying he needed to see me, even though he had plans with his friends. It was another amazing afternoon. He even opened up me about his family and what happened in had marriage and he cried in my arms. We’ve been together one time since then and, each time, it is better and better. We have an undeniable connection and he makes me feel as if I’m the only woman in the world at that moment. What was supposed to be a friends with benefits relationship has become a bit more, even though he won’t say so. We are like two kds at Christmas when we’re together. Taking about our interests and creating that intimacy that I’ve always craved. He treats me as if we’re boyfriend and girlfriend already. It’s very confusing.
    Every fiber of my being tells me he’s mine but, he has to get past his feelings of remorse and guilt with his ex or he’s not going to be ready for anything else nor will he be good for anyone else. It’s now been over a week since we’ve talked and I don’t know how to proceed from here. I’ve sent him an hi how are you message with no reply. Do you have any advice? He is ten years younger than me and rather emotionally stunted but, he’s such a good, kind and caring man and I really want to start our future together. Please help!!! Thank you so much for all you do.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Tracy. It sounds like the two of you have built a rather beautiful connection despite the obstacles that have anchored his heart to a previous relationship.

      I find myself wondering what you want most right now. I imagine you want certainty. You feel a deep connection with this man, and you want to believe that he has decided to invest his life and you, yet your question reflects uncertainty about that.

      I think you are right to feel uncertain. He has mixed emotions and he feels drawn to you despite the fact that he is not emotionally ready to let go of another way of thinking and feeling about his relationship identity.

      So proceed with caution. Love him because it’s what you want to do. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that the relationship has been sealed in his heart and mind. Give it time. Practice patience. At this moment in your relationship journey, time is your ally.

      • Tracy said:

        Thank you so much. You’re right. I am uncertain about him and am trying to be cautious. I have tried to tell him how I feel but, I’m afraid I’ll chase him away if I do this. That is the last thing I want to do. I’m the type of woman who usually always says what she feels so it’s rather hard for me to do this. However, he’s worth it and, even though I’m not sitting around waiting on him, I know that no one else will even come close to him. Now that I’ve found and experienced this type of connection, I don’t want to waste my time or anyone else’s. It’s really a double edged sword here.

      • Tracy said:

        I forgot to mention, he cheated on his exe wife so, I know he has tons of regret.

  17. Rayan said:

    Hello James I tried hard to reconnect with my ex after the breakup used many techniques but it didn’t work out one of the technique that I tried lately it seems to be working he is hoppy of seeinv planets through telescope he asked me to see his hoppy before I rejected because it’s on his place in conservative person and I didn’t want to go to his place after sometimes reading through various topics I found mercury one of interesting planets to see I asked for his advise to buy telescope to tell me which type I can buy he said he will give me advise and he asked me if I want him to let me see the planet through his telescope I mentioned the time should be early I couldn’t mention again about his place basically it’s public area at the roof but I’m not comfortable what would be a good advise to show standards without being rude ? At the same time it will be good opportunity to reconnect again maybe

    • James Bauer said:

      That’s a great example of using a request for help to re-spark conversation and increase the propinquity (the opportunity to interact). Nice work!

      As for your desire to maintain boundaries while still showing openness, it might be best to use this basic formula…

      Anytime you set a boundary, open another door at the same time. This prevents him from feeling rejected. It allows him to see clearly that you want more of him in your life, just not under the specific circumstances that didn’t fit with your boundaries.

      • Rayan said:

        Yeah he is becoming very active although he is traveling now but he is replying to me very fast yeah I got your point I’m trying to strict about the point I want to purchase the telescope Instead of taking the offer to come to his place to see the planets may be that way we can the opportunity to meet and I don’t want to feel pressured to do anything I’m not comfortable with it

      • Rayan said:

        And by the way I started my request with 12 words in the his secret obsession magic indeed

  18. Rayan said:

    I meant seeing planets as passion for him I guess the main reason he is becoming active now is I showed him interested in his hobby which came to me accidently .. but I want to communicate my standards in away which is acceptable because I’m coming from conservative person he is more liberal person than me so sometimes he takes things personal ? At the same time I don’t want to compromise my standards in order to get back to him it should be the right way

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