Should I press for improvements in the relationship or just move on?

Relationship Decisions Angie was excited when she met Scott. He seemed to be everything she wanted. An embodiment of the very affirmation she held over the past two months while working with me as her relationship coach.

I knew she was truly smitten with love when she said, “He just makes my heart sing!” That phrase was a part of an affirmation we had been working on since day one.

In my initial assessment of Angie’s situation, it became apparent that she had a self-defeating belief about relationships. There are many variations of this particular belief, but the general theme of it was this: “Guys are all pigs. True romance is a Hollywood illusion.”

This was an unconscious belief for Angie. It became apparent as we began discussing what kind of guy she would be really happy with.

We were trying to get through an worksheet on building a positive vision for the kind of guy she wanted to find. We were both in tears from laughing so hard by the time we got to the sixth item on the worksheet. Because every time Angie began to say something good she would like to find in a man, she had two sarcastic reasons why such a man could never actually exist!

The more we talked about it, the clearer it became to both of us that deep down in her heart, she did not believe any man would actually rise to the challenge of joining her in a truly satisfying relationship.

Your Beliefs Determine Much of Your Reality.

So we got to work on replacing that relationship-sabotaging belief with a new, more empowering one.

The new belief went like this: “I fully accept all the love and joy I experience because of my open embrace of a man who truly knows how to make my heart sing.”

This was a very personal affirmation for Angie. There is deep personal meaning in the particular words she chose. But it contains a general theme that’s helpful for many women. A positive expectation for something truly worthwhile.

In fact, that affirmation embodies one of the themes you will find in much of my advice about men, dating, and even yourself. Expect the best, demand the best, embrace the best, and you will get the best out of men and your relationships with them. It’s not just a catchy theme. It’s a rock solid foundation for real life results.

But I need to warn you about something.

I encourage you to give deeply of yourself in relationships. I encourage you to find special ways of demonstrating respect to bring out the best in the men you meet. But there is a warning that must go along with these positive expectations and selfless expressions of love:

Not all men are deserving of your love and devotion.

I wish I did not need to write this particular email, but this is a twin truth that forms the whole. There are men that are not your equal. There are men that do not deserve you.

It is important to me that you recognize this and that you recognize your authority and right to take all measures necessary to release yourself from interaction with toxic men.

If you find yourself in a relationship with a man that is abusive, bring the full power of your mind to the immediate first step of leaving that relationship behind.

If you find yourself in a relationship with a man that threatens or uses fear of any kind to manipulate you, no amount of respect will make that relationship into a good one.

Here is the message I want to make clear. The respect principle is a tool to empower you , as a woman, to bring out the very best in a man and cause him to feel attracted to you. But it has no place in a relationship with a man who does not intrinsically desire to reciprocate that respect.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me call your attention to your own affirmations. I want to encourage you to fully commit to finding a partner who can join you in creating lasting love and happiness. That kind of commitment can be difficult if you have had negative experiences with men in the past.

In the end, a commitment stems from a solid decision about what you want to pursue with your life. As such, your commitments are powerful shapers of your future.

A commitment is a promise to take action. The action of bringing your attention back to the decisions you made for your life over and over again. A commitment means sticking with your decision even in the face of disappointments.

What decisions have you made about the kind of relationship you will be a part of? Have you made a choice yet? Have you committed in your heart and mind to pursue the very best kind of relationship?

Your commitments will serve as protection against false relationships. And they will create powerful magnetic attraction with the right kind of man you truly desire. Make your commitments strong.


What Men Secretly Want

After consuming this short-guide, you will possess a secret that men cannot express well because it is so foundational to their view of the world that they don't even realize it is there.

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73 thoughts on “Should I press for improvements in the relationship or just move on?

  1. Karen said:

    Re: the comment: “They say some of the things that are most valuable in this life are the product of a disciplined investment over time.”
    The best investors such as Warren Buffet, invest in what they know and are interested in, not in what others tell them is ‘valuable’. Buffet, the second richest man in the world has never touched technology stocks. He doesn’t know it and he doesn’t invest in what he doesn’t understand. Great life lessons and probably partner choosing could be gleaned here. Just because society tells us what is hot or valuable doesn’t mean it will bring us the dividend of happiness and love. Listen to your heart and you gut. Commit to it and don’t jump off during a minor dip….that usually happens just before the increase in true value.

    • Paula said:

      Love the analogy too. And not just minor dips. Lasting relationships go through chasms sometimes. Any yes, invest in people. They are worth it. So are you. 🙂 From a person married more than 30 years.

  2. Good blog 🙂 I totally agree with you and like your choice of questions to determine how valuable each person is to the other.

  3. Monica said:

    Hi James!
    Thanks for your thoughts & “different” perspective… I am in a place of “confusion” with a guy whom I can answer a YES to your first three questions, yet followed by two NOs! :\
    The weird thing is that I DO feel “more energized and alive” when I think about investing in a relationship with this guy… I feel a great potential and chemistry– and I see/ feel his heart is there too!! However, he has some “mental block” that he shies away from responding “whole heartedly” to me!!
    Sooooo… what do I do??
    (There is a lot to my story/ our history, that I don’t want to write out publicly… would love some advice/ coaching… how/ can you do that for me??)

      • Monica said:

        Hi James…How come you answer some women’s questions… and then mine just got a generic link for “private consultation??”

        • James Bauer said:

          Hey Monica. It depends on the complexity level of the questions. Some questions require back-and-forth interaction and background knowledge of the situation. Also, I can only pick a few questions to answer in depth each day because I have limited time.

        • Monica, you initially write that you don’t want to share publicly. Then you, it seems too me, chastise James for respecting that and asking you to contact him privately.
          1 perplexedVenus here.

    • Monica, it seems you clearly stated about publicity & history that you would love advice/coaching.. Asked how he was able to assist you, correct? I found his response was extremely thoughtful, offering you a his email for a private consultation. I hope you find the solutions your looking for. Searching deep within ourselves does a lot of good.

  4. Donna said:

    Hi James,
    I have learned so much about men and relationships in general since I downloaded “What Men Secretly Want” and began reading. Thank you for the insight that I am embarrassed it took me 53 years and a failed marriage of 24 years to understand. When I began dating I had no idea what to expect, how to have a healthy relationship, when I was used to an abusive one. The thought of another man in my life made me very anxious. I met a wonderful man 2 1/2 years ago and after applying some tips from “What Men Secretly Want” as well as my new understanding of a man (men) in general, I am now in a committed, successful relationship which is going strong in every way. I have you to thank for that. I’ve tried to spread my new found knowledge to others, and in particular to a good friend who remarried in her 60’s to a man I don’t believe was right for her. I think your advice will her her in learning about how she can approach her situation in a different light, enabling her relationship to be all she wants it to be.
    In 2014, can you share some advice on having successful relationships for people who find themselves over 50, have history that is not with the man they are dating.. successful ways to mesh two pasts that span over 25 years. At this age you really have to like the person you are dating, if you are going to have a future. By this time, you are both set in your ways, although there is still some flexibility left to each of us. My boyfriend and I are beginning to seriously think about our future and how living together will change the dynamic of the relationship, maybe not in ways that are all positive. My boy friend has more of a “past” than I do and some unfinished financial business with his ex-wife. I feel it’s best to wait until he is done with the old stuff before we start a living arrangement.

    • James Bauer said:


      First of all, thank you. That was practically a testimonial for my What Men Secretly Want course! 🙂 I appreciate the time you took to write those encouraging words, but I am even happier about the time you invested in putting those principles to work in your relationship. Congratulations on the success you built with your partner!

      Your suggestions about relationships for those over 50 are appreciated. I believe you are on to something there. The kinds of situations you describe are becoming more and more common.

      • Dear James,

        I’m so happy that Donna started the ball rolling for us ladies over 50…I’m 51, single now for 16 years. Partly because I wanted to raise my three sons first, but mostly because I wasn’t attracting the quality of man that I wanted to influence my boys. By reading everything I could find, I’ve realize I have made just as many mistakes along the way as many a single sister out there !!. I believe I have grown and learned tons! Like Donna says, we get set in our ways. I’ve not only raised three sons on my own, but I have been a business owner for over 25 years…so strong willed to boot! Dig up some solid advice for those of us ready to start the “Rest” of our lives with a true love.
        And thank you greatly for all the help so far.


        • It’s interesting to hear what both Donna and Kendra have said.

          I am 47 and have not dated in 3 years – mainly because I have been so afraid to repeat the disasters of my past. I had 2 abusive/failed marriages and am really just scared because I don’t want to attract the kind of men that I have in the past.

          I will say – when I saw this I was intrigued and got the book and feel there is some hope.

          Hope that I can start over and have a healthy relationship.

          Thank you for this – for sharing your insight.

          • Kimberlay Kiernan said:

            Hello James, and other women over 50. I am 66 and have grown greatly due to lessons from 2 previous marriages, followed by a 7 year relationship with a man 20 years my junior. I have been totally on my own now for 3 years, and love my space and my solitude, but also think a long term relationship with a man would be wonderful. Finding and growing together with such a man is my challenge. I am “dating” at the moment, but really recognize the “set in my ways” issue with both of us. I too would LOVE to have you address this. There are lots of us out here, James!

  5. janice said:

    hi,im in a relationship with a guy 9 yrs younger than me,im 51,,we have been in a relationship16 months,he lives with his mother still and at the moment i like it like that,,we get on well but theres just no intamacy at all ,,this has gone on now for the past 7 months,,i feel like were best friends not a couple,,im seriously thinking of ending the relationship and staying friends,,fell i need to move on ,,,hes a lovely guy but i want that intamicy in a man not a friend,,

  6. Becky said:

    Have been in a relationship over 8 years with three unsuccessful engagements. Now we live together in another state, both being away from
    our immediate families and children (6) total. Seems to be best whenever we are away from our prior environment. I have recently taken a fulltime job which will be a huge change. He said I did not have to work but lots of complaining changed my mind on that. I am concerned how much time to invest into this otherwise good relationship. Any ideas?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Becky. A decision of that magnitude should be made based on a lot of factors (which I do not know about), so please do not put to much stock in my thoughts here. I am thinking you have invested 8 years in a relationship with this man for a reason. I don’t know what those reasons are, but they seem to hold less sway over your desires now that you have experienced life with him. It seems your question implies you are happy, but not happy enough unless something changes (like a completed engagement perhaps). If you are not satisfied now, ask yourself what would need to change for you to say, “Yep, this is it. This is what I want for my life.” If an honest analysis of your situation suggests those things are becoming decreasingly likely in this relationship, perhaps it is time to let him know he is going to lose you unless he wants to work with you toward positive change.

  7. Flory said:

    Hi James,
    Much like Donna I was married for 26 years. A year after my divorce I met a younger man and fell in love again. Unfortunately, our relationship has been a crazy roller coaster ride and I feel confused and emotionally exhausted. I love many things about him, but a lot of times I feel like a total misfit in his world. When we are together we usually have a good time, but lately when we are apart he doesn’t call or show any interest in being with me for days. Then he shows up again and acts like nothing has happened, like his behavior is normal. Is it?? I am thinking about ending the relationship for good. Please advise.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Flory. This is not a good pattern. I strongly suggest you communicate openly about the confusion his behavior causes for you. If you are considering leaving him anyway, you have nothing to lose by talking openly about it to see if he is even aware of the way his actions have been impacting the relationship.

  8. Madelene Belle Galupar said:

    Dear James,

    I need to talk to someone– I have so many questions— where can I Email you?

    Madelene 🙂

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Madelene. You can get personal support by hiring me and my coaching team for private email consultation. Just click here to access that level of support. Look forward to hearing from you!

  9. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    Some very intersting thoughts here. I love your articles, James – you have taught me so much. I, too, am struggling in my relationship. Based on my recent experience, I believe that having a relationship as we get older can be extremely hard work (I am 65 and my boyfriend 61). I was married for almost 40 years. We will all have accumulated a lot of emotional baggage as we go through life, and sometimes that needs addressing and working on before we can move forward. Being open and honest and understanding is the only basis for any real, loving relationship – whether with a partner or a good friend. No-one is perfect, and imperfections build up over time – if we can see past them, discuss them and try to resolve them – surely that is the basis for true love? One good thing about getting older is that we also have more experience of life and are probably more understanding than when we are young. Good luck to you all – I wish you all love and peace for the future – don’t give up – being loved and loving in return is the most important thing in life. Lorna (LaLa)

  10. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    PS – You may find that your partner is really hurting inside and is unable to “commit” in case they get hurt again. The same will probably be true of you, too – we cannot hope to come out of any loving relationship without some degree of hurt. I believe that looking deep into this past hurt, understanding it and eventually coming to terms with it will be very effective. Scary stuff – but if it is left inside it will only fester and make things worse. This will not happen overnight – so patience is also called for. LaLa

    • Flory said:

      Hi Lorna,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your good wishes. Yes, it is extremely hard work to move on to a new relationships after years of being used to someone’s patterns of behavior in response to your own and viceversa. Getting to know and learning someone new is very difficult and challenging. I find that the happier I am with myself, the easier it is to approach the challenges in the relationship and communicating exactly how we feel in an effective way. We all want more than friendship. We want to be truly loved and connected with that special someone without it always having to be a struggle. We want love to flow freely and naturally and it is really hard to get past hurts and fears and insecurities, but it’s not impossible. My struggle right now is deciding whether this relationship is worth my continued time and effort. In other words will I get the results I desire if I continue to do the right things, loving, giving, caring and sharing myself with this person. Or is it time to move on?…Is he willing to grow and change and morph for the relationship to be stronger and lasting and more fulfilling to both of us and if not, will I have the courage to end it? Perhaps it is not as complicated as I think it is. Perhaps I just need to embrace things as they are at this present moment and just go with the flow…whatever happens in the future, it will still be a positive experience if I have learned and grown as a result of it.

      • Grace said:

        Hi Flory,

        I can very much relate to what you’re saying. I am 56, and two years ago l ended my marriage of 32 years. It was a very painful decision, and long time coming. I invested everything I could into this relationship for 32 years, but during the latter part of the marriage my husband chose to take a job in another state and was ‘not ready’ for me to come with him. He was very content to come back to our primary home twice a year and then live apart for me the rest of the time. After 12 years of this arrangement, I finally decided I could no longer invest in this type of relationship. I never expected him to be perfect, but I just expected to care and to want to be with me because we already have invested 20 years of our lives together.

        It so important for a relationship to meet basic needs for both partners, otherwise it’s just creating more confusion, pain and hurt in the long run.

        • Flory said:

          It saddens me to hear this Lorna. How can anybody expect to have a loving lasting, sustainable relationship in this way. You were patient for 12 years! WOW! I hope you have found some one since. If not, I hope it happens soon. I,m still mourning the loss of my marriage. Some days are better than others and i know with time it will get better. As far as this other relationship, he moved away for work around Christmas time and haven’t really had much contact with him except for one phone call. So it is time to let go. I can’t be holding on to fairy tales. I’m slowly becoming more acquainted with just being who i am and staying busy with other things that make me happy. I hope you do too. If love comes along It’ll be when i’m ready.
          Thanks for your reply!
          Take care 🙂

          • Flory said:

            Sorry Grace, I was replying to you not Lorna…oops!!

          • Lorna (LaLa) said:

            It was so nice to find these replies on this site. It made me cry. BUT it is wonderful and very supportive to hear that other women are going through exactly the same things as I am. Some days I wonder if I am actually going MAD and can’t make any sense of what is happening. Then I read these comments and know that it seems to be practically NORMAL. I am sure that our menfolk are probably going through similar feelings, you know. Perhaps we lose sight of the fact that they are hurting just as much as we are, but it is hard for us to get an insight into their minds. I have read lots of self-help books, as well as receiving emails from sites like this one, and that has helped me enormously to try to understand where men are coming from. (One wonderful book is the old favourite “Men from Mars Women from Venus”. I think, probably, we are all – men and women -just terrified of being HURT again. One thing I picked up on is that men can be described as being “an armoured tank full of marshmallows” – a lovely image. Surely, talking to one another and being open and honest in a loving way has to be the way forward? Not always that easy, especially as men tend to run into their cave and slam the door on us. I wish all you ladies the very best of luck for a future full of love, understanding and happiness. We all deserve that. And thank you, James, for this wonderful site – as I have said before – you get us thinking! Love and Peace to You All. Lorna (LaLa) x

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Hi, Flory, It is so lovely to get responses back from real people. It seems that half the world is hurting. (Or possibly more than half!) I think the current trend for easier and more socially acceptable divorce has a lot to answer for. We are all hurting and afraid to move on. Your reply, Flory, could be word for word for my situation. I think we are both terrified of being hurt again. I don’t know what the answer is. Because, when I try to talk it through with him, he runs a mile, but surely talking is the only answer. The book Men from Mars, Women from Venus is still very relevant. Leave them in their caves for a while to figure things out. Don’t follow after them or sit at the door waiting for an answer. Get on with your life and be patient. Believe that they will come up with an answer, eventually (it takes them longer to process thought!) But then, does he think you are not interested? My guy at the moment is “playing it cool” because I said that after 2 years of a long distance relationship, I want to feel we are moving on into a more committed relationship and I want to eventually share my life with someone – i.e. live with them. I want to go to bed in the evening and wake up in the morning with the same man. Kiss him goodnight and kiss him good mornng. The old fashioned way, the way it used to be. Is that so much to ask for? If he cannot provide that, I have told him I am too old to wait, and I will start lookng on the internet. (I am just turned 66) Also, I will not be intimate until he has made up his mind. He seems to be terrified of intimacy, too, but I suppose that is giving all of yourself, and that is very hard for some people when they have been badly hurt. Now he has gone all distant, and I don’t know if he is still interested or not. Although, I suppose if he was not interested, he would just call it a day and move on. It is so difficult – much harder than when we were teens, as we had no emotional “baggage” then. We were a clean slate, we had a larger pool to fish in, and all the time in the world. Maybe that all makes us more anxious. All I can say is, we all seem to be in the same boat, so that is quite comforting, but not a lot of help!!
        I think one important aspect is to look deeply inside yourself – see if your old habits and attitudes may be holding you back. After so many years on the planet, we can become very set in our ways. It is important to analyse these ways of thinking and try hard to change and accept that what other people think may just be right, too. I read a lot of self-help books, and enjoy informative emails and forums like this one. (Thank you, James, once again, you are wonderful!!)
        As you say, just go with the flow. Do you have anywhere else to go, anyway? What harm is it to hang around for a while longer, always keeping your options and your eyes open? I find that by meeting and chatting to other people, it helps me see that my guy is not that bad, after all. And he is trying very hard now to please me – so time will tell. “Give Time Time” and KEEP TALKING. Love and Best Wishes to you all from (sunny today!!) Old England. Lorna (LaLa) xx

  11. Josie said:

    Hello James, I’ve left a post on this site before. The situation i previously told you about has changed, yet I am still confused. I don’t know what to do. I was in a relationship with a man for 7 years. We were engaged to be married (as of this post, we’ve been broken up for about 9 months). He had become distant and I knew something was wrong but couldn’t figure out what it was. I tried to ask him about it but he’d just clam up and wouldn’t tell me anything. I found out he liked another woman. He said he still loved me but wasn’t “in love” with me anymore. I was crushed. My world crumbled beneath me. He broke up with me and after about 1 or 2 months they started dating. That didn’t last long because she said she didn’t want to date him while he still lived with me. We had no way to change that scenario since we had both lost our jobs and were staying with a friend. We had no where else to go. They continued to see each other and talk but weren’t really dating anymore. He told me they argued a lot and she would blow off meeting him (when she had already planned to meet him) to hang out with her friends or family. They are still friends, but they rarely talk and even more rarely see one another anymore, if at all. I eventually picked myself up off the ground and tried to get my life back on track. Since he didn’t want to date me, I decided to go on some online dating sites. I’ve had a lot of guys who are interested, but I still love him and I always have this hope that he’ll realize his mistake and come back to me. I don’t want to lead anyone on or cause anyone the same kind of pain I went through, so I’m hesitant about getting in too deep with any of them. He recently has seemed like he was coming back to me. He’s been very attentive and loving toward me and we have basically gotten back together. The problem is, he won’t say we’re back together. People we interact with, strangers and friends/people we know alike ask me are we together, and I say no, but I think we might get back together, I’m not sure. I don’t know what to do. We’re sleeping in the same bed, we act as if we’re dating, but I can’t call him my boyfriend. I love him so much. Why won’t he say we are together? I just wish I knew what was going on inside his head. I’m not getting any younger. I need to know so I can move on if he doesn’t want to pursue a relationship with me. What should I do?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Josie. I think I remember some of the things you told us about before. This is a situation where he is allowing a relationship with you out of convenience. That is not enough. He is planning to find someone else and that is why he will not publicly (or privately) label the relationship as a thing that exists.

      Sure he likes you, and yes, he probably has some feelings for you, but it’s not enough to make this man worth your time. Like you said, you are not getting any younger. Success in finding a good match requires that you cut men like this out of your life to make room for men who want to build something with you.

      I know it is hard to make your heart let go. Start by getting out of the shared living situation (even if it takes time to pull it off). You cannot expect your heart to move on when he is in your bed each night.

      You also have a “sunken investment” in this man, meaning you are psychologically attached to the years you spent investing in a relationship with him. Don’t let the past fool you into chasing after the wrong man. The past had value (it was not all bad), but it is over. Time to move on.

      • Monica said:

        SO how DOES one “let go?” … Can’t really change one’s feelings & a caring heart! I am struggling with the “letting go” — despite being an active person & involved in plenty of things that I enjoy and are good for myself. How does one “un-love” someone– so to speak??
        My friend “comes back” & I welcome him. I know we are good together & enjoy each other… I just want more than he is giving me! Even though I KNOW that, I still love him & don’t know how to “let go” of him!! Please help!

        • James Bauer said:

          Hey Monica. It’s a great question you raise. You’re not the only one who has been asking me this, so I’ve put together a mini-report on this exact topic that I will be releasing as soon as my tech guys get a new part of the website set up. I will send you an email about it when it’s ready, but it may be about 10 weeks before it is ready.

          • Monica said:

            THANKS! That would be great! I think it is a “lesson” that I still find hard & don’t do very well with “letting go!” 🙁

        • Hi James,
          (another 50 year old here– we are everywhere!) I am in the same situation where I know in my heart that even tho my guy loves me on a certain level, he is holding out for someone better. After 4 years of this, I am ready to make a move. My question is this: how do I handle it, because certain relationship coaches suggest the simple approach is best: “this isn’t working out for me, so I am moving on” kind of thing– and leave out any details because they say the guy truly knows what he has and has not been doing. I was curious to know how you would handle it? Details or a one liner? Leave the door open, or close it completely? Thanks for any advice,

          • James Bauer said:

            Hi Mary. Great question. I think you have been following my blog posts long enough to guess my response, but you wanted confirmation. I tend to disagree with those who say you should leave a relationship and let him figure out what he did wrong and chase you if he is motivated to do so.

            My opinion is that people are far more complicated than we expect and the variety of possible internal beliefs/thoughts/perspectives/hopes/fears and other variables make it hard to guess what is truly going on in someone’s mind unless you give them the encouragement to take a chance and share their thoughts.

            So many people come to me (both men and women) wondering what in the world happened with a partner who suddenly did something they did not understand. The other person often had one interpretation of the relationship (and what certain actions or inactions meant) that did not fit with the perspectives of the other.

            You are probably right about this guy, and you probably need to leave him. But do it with an explanation of the circumstances under which you would have been glad to stay. You just never know what he might say.


          • Monica said:

            Hi James!
            Any closer to that “mini-report” that you were going to do on the “letting go” topic?? Mary’s question is more about logistics– mine is more about “the heart”…
            Looking forward to your thoughts! =)

          • James Bauer said:

            Very close! My tech team has been working on a new platform for hosting a series of reports like this one. They ran into some setbacks, but I believe they are getting close with a new software system now.

  12. leslie said:

    Well being that my biological clock has run out I no longer have a specific agenda. I’m in the situation you described. He messed up. He’s a wreck and I’m convincing him that he has a second chance with me. But I’ve now, at my age-60 come to the firm belief that you can’t demand a specific behavior in someone. They are what they are and then you have to decide if you want to live with it. If not, no harm no fowl, go your separate ways. We’ve been seeing each other for a year and he has never made me any commitments and our communication has always been open. I usually have to bring up the questions. He has never lied, sometimes doesn’t really answer the question but that in itself is the answer. He has to many loving qualities to be kicking him to the curb. So I’m choosing to kick back and wait till the drama is over. I’m dating and he knows it and he also knows I love him and that means I want him to have the life that makes him happy even if it’s without me. I truely believe this principle avoids sleepless nites and if he heads my way I’ll have the real man at my side. I do have his back and he knows it. :))) This article was great and very timely.

  13. Thanks James. For the first time in my life and in a new relationship I can honestly answer Yes to every Question you posted. I’m extactic to see where my life goes and your pages have helped me ten fold to be a better partner and person. Thanks. You Rock !!!!

      • Donna said:

        Hi Kirsten,
        I was hesitant to comment at first, but then realized that there are so many of us 50 somethings in the same boat. We stayed in a marriage for many years, raising children or maybe financial reasons, and one day we find ourselves in the singles pool and wonder “now what do I do”? It’s frightening to say the least…our lives for the past 20+ years have been consumed caring for others and now we are perplexed by this new found freedom/life. There is no one solution for everyone. I tried an online dating website that focused on people in my age group. I was not interested in pursuing a relationship with a man that was looking for someone younger. I figured if they were on this website then we were looking for the same things.
        I am so happy you have found a new relationship and wish you all the happiness you deserve. Jim’s book and emails helped me to look beyond my own experiences in relationships and take a look at the man pool from a different perspective…respect is key! Best of luck!

        • Oh – I’m not in a relationship – I’m so sorry if it was implied.. BUT I am at least starting to date. And for me – that is a huge step :). The book and emails have been a huge eye opener!

          What is interesting to me is that I have realized that that I deserve respect too. I don’t think I ever realized that before.

          It’s funny – the more I learn about what men want, the more I learn about myself.

          Thank you – and best of luck to you as well!!


  14. Chri said:

    Hi James

    First I just want to say thank you for the insight about men and relationships. I downloaded “What Men Secretly Want” and I have learned so much.
    I have been dating a guy for 3 months. He doesn’t spend much time with me (once a week). We decided to be in a relationship one month ago. When we are together everything feels good and safe. I feel that he cares a lot about me. I told him that I wanted to spend more time with him. He agreed and promised me it would change. It has been 3 weeks now and I don’t feel he is taking it seriously. I don’t want to be the one who brings these things up an other time. I have also tried to invite him to meet my friends, since I have met his friends. But he is either tired or doesn’t have time. I can understand because he is working much and usually comes home in evening (20:00). However, we are in a relationship, but it sure doesn’t feel like one. He is free in the weekend Saturday and Sunday, but spends these day by himself or with his friends. His friends are very important to him. Usually he goes out Friday and Saturday.
    I don’t want to waste my time. So my question is: how can I know when or if I should just move on before I get stronger feelings for him?

    • James Bauer said:

      Well, because there are so many positives in this relationship, and because old habits die hard, you might want to give him a little more time to change after bringing the topic up again. Yes, I’m afraid it is up to you to bring it up again because you want this relationship to succeed and he has failed to rise to the challenge based on your first request.

      I suggest you ask him to tell you what he has been doing in his effort to spend more time with you. Tell him you do not mean to be antagonistic, but rather you want to make sure you are not calling him out on the carpet when maybe he has tried to be more “present” in ways you have not noticed.

      This kind way of putting it should lower his defenses while also helping him to take an honest look at why he has failed to change anything. Next, invite him to have a discussion of ways you could make traditions for certain days and times when you will spend time together. If that does not work I would not continue to invest in the relationship.

      • penny said:

        I too am in the exact type ofrelatioship except i accused him i wanting vajaja only,he got very angry and said lets dont talk or text for a while even tho i apologized havent heard frim him in two weeks,should i move on? Penny m.

        • James Bauer said:

          Hi Penny. People often get angry when confronted about a problem. Some people get angry quick and get over it quick, while others form a grudge and never want to work things out. I suggest you ask him where he is at right now. Something sort of like this, “I care about you and I want to respect your need for space right now, but I also want to know if I should hold out hope that we might be able to work things out between us.” His answer may reveal irrational anger (in which case you should move on) or it may reveal a desire to work things out. He wasn’t very mature about all this in the first place, so that is definitely something you’ll want to consider when deciding if it is worth working on this with him.

  15. Julie said:

    Hi James –

    Thank you kindly for this article, as it shed some fresh perspective with respect to my situation. I actually got a little teary-eyed reading the questions. LOL. I’m thankful for this article because I believe I was shifting my focus from increasing commitment to him, to focusing on what MY ideal relationship would look like…and why ours doesn’t look perfect. And let me tell you, that is not a place of high-value.

    I have to remember there are TWO individuals involved here, each with our own beliefs, morals, wants, needs, likes and dislikes; we won’t always see eye-to-eye and it will take some compromising, at times.

    But I feel good. I feel happy. We’ve been together almost a year and have been friends since high school, so about 20 years. We have MUCH shared history but romance has only slowly entered the picture. However, as I read each question, my heart smiles, my eyes are a little wet. I can say “yes” to all of them.

    And in my heart, even if it doesn’t work out in the long run, I wouldn’t trade this adventure for anything! He is the most exhilarating, challenging, sexy, caring, generous, ambitious alpha-male I never knew I wanted. 🙂

    Just another lil’ token of wisdom navigating this exciting world of relationships! Thanks James!

    • James Bauer said:

      It’s people like you who inspire me to keep writing. Thanks for your kind words.


  16. In_Need_of_a_man's_opinion said:

    Talk about pressing for improvements in a relationship…

    I’m in a new relationship.. After three months of dating, he told me that he wanted to take it to the next level, and asked what I thought about doing that. Because he wanted to know if I’d be his girlfriend. I really enjoy being around him. He calls and texts me throughout the day. He’s romantic in the things that he does with me and how he is when he is with me.

    His last long term relationship was a few years ago. So I don’t know this is because he’s still in a “single mindset.” But, I noticed that he’s been flirting with other women on his social media sites. Letting them know how “Ravishing/ Stunning/ Gorgeous” they look (Maybe it’s my insecurities because he never uses words like that on my pictures). Or, calling them by the same pet names as me.

    He has even invited them to out to dinner or lunch, or invited to take them site-seeing on a trips to some parks. He’s made arrangements for certain days that I was not around. When I would ask what his plans were for that day, he would just say “Oh, I just ran in to a friend” or “buddy”. These secretive things make me feel uncomfortable. Maybe I’m just not used to someone treating me this way during the times that I’ve been in a “relationship”. Since I’ve noticed these things, our sex life has been decreasing. He seems less interested.

    How do I approach this in communicating how I feel with him? I don’t want to appear that I am being overly jealous or insecure. Is he just being friendly and not remembering boundaries once in a “relationship”? Am I wrong? Help.

    • James Bauer said:

      This is definitely a situation where you need to make it clear to him what being his girlfriend means to you. If he wants to have an open relationship, and you don’t, then I suggest you move on. If he says he wants to be exclusive with you, but continues his current behavior, you definitely need to move on. When you set a boundary, it is also an invitation to rise to your standards if he so chooses. It’s not a bad thing. It’s an explanation of how the two of you might be able to find compatibility.

  17. Marina said:

    First let me start of by saying that I’ve come across link to purchase your book when I was going through someone else’s work on how to get over the breakup, I’ve purchased your book and have been new mature, strong, confident and empowered woman ever since then, it happened during Valentine’s evening which I have spent alone and reading your thoughts of wisdom have made me look at that evening with excitement about what life is rather than regretting spending that evening alone, so thank you for your work, it has had tremendous value for me and I will strongly recommend to all my female friends to purchase your work as well irregardless of their current status.

    Also I would like to mention that I’ve used some of the respect principle technique on few of my previous failed relationships without any expectation of getting back together with any of them and have heard back from all of them how much they are impressed with my new wisdom, little did they know that the real person behind this new wise me was Mr James Bauer 🙂
    So thank you for this as well!

    As a side note I would like to get your feedback if possible about my recent year long relationship experience.
    I’ve known this man for a year now, after about six months of dating he had suddenly disappeared without word or any explanation, shortly after Christmas he has contacted me with holiday wishes and after that started showering me with compliments about how intelligent, hot, sexy woman I am with great sense of humor and a genuine personality that he is attracted to, also said that he has been thinking about me a long time during our time apart and the reason he left was mainly due to his fear of being too serious, a cop out of sorts on his part.
    He then invited me to dinner, I have accepted invitation,we had great time like before he disappeared and a passionate night. I was hoping that since he had thought about me for such a long time before contacting me again, he probably has been able to overcome his past fear, yet very next morning he started acting very cold and distant yet again, responding with one line texts and referencing his busy schedule (of course!)
    So I have decided to express to him clearly that my desire in life is to eventually find a partner that I can share my life with on a more
    Meaningful level than just silly banter. He has responded that he hopes to be able to rise above his fear of hurting others to be able to love again and has cut communication since then. It has been a week and I’m not initiating any contacts either as I would like to give him space. I would like to hear your feedback if I should work on moving on and working on getting over him as quickly as I can?

    Thank you for your time in advance,


    • James Bauer said:

      Wow, that’s a difficult situation, Marina.

      One of the advantages of being clear about what you want is that it allows a potential partner to politely bow out if they feel they cannot meet your desires (or want something else). This particular gentleman seems to be vacillating between cowardly actions (disappearing) and honorable actions (honestly admitting that he is not ready for a relationship of the sort you desire).

      It makes me sad to say it, because the two of you seem to have a special connection, but he is not ready for a relationship with you at this time. His actions have shown that more than anything else. Therefore, my advice to you is that you work to get your heart to let go of him.

      If you desire, you could explain your decision, but also invite him to reconnect with you in the future if at some point he decides he is ready. Tell him it is possible that you might still be looking, or not yet in a serious relationship, if that change ever occurs in his life.

      • said:


        Thank you very much for your insight, I was thinking pretty much the same.

        What other courses would you recommend for me to purchase?

        • James Bauer said:

          Hi Marina. I was actually thinking (when responding to your last question) that I wish my Communication course was ready. My tech team is still working on getting it set up on the website. When it comes out in two or three weeks you might look into it and see if you agree with me that it would likely be useful.


      • Kendra Goering said:

        Hi James,

        Thank you for all of your insight into relationships, I’ve learned a lot from you. However I see this situation a bit differently then you. This guy doesn’t sound afraid of relationships, he sounds more like a predator. He has the “How to get laid with these one liners” script down. I mean, it’s so obvious. He shows up out of the blue, tells her a little story, compliments her, takes her to dinner, and that is all it took my friend to get laid. Then all he has to do is say he is afraid, and that is all it takes to get off the hook….so simple. The rule should be no sex until monogamy….make him do his do diligence. Come on girls, be smart, not suckers….

        Love to all,

        • said:


          I appreciate you taking the time to read my story, what you are saying makes lots of sense, I did extend him the invitation to possibly reconnect in the future should he decide he is ready, have never heard a word in response, so most likely your definition of him as chronic predator is correct, at least I know that he has gotten the clear message that there will be no more dinner/compliment/sex/off the hook encounters between us, so I’m perfectly ok and this helped me put a closure on this experience, learn from it and be happy knowing that I have used James wisdom of not wasting more of my time on someone who doesn’t deserve it, I’m so much better for it.

          Thank you Lady, great advice 🙂

  18. Jacque said:

    James, Thank you for the post. I was in a committed relationship with a man for 8 months. We are older adults (he is 49 and I am 50) There were many great things about our relationship, but in the end, it came down to our view on family. He wanted us to have children without an immediate commitment to marriage. I didn’t mind having children, but I didn’t want to be a single mom at my age. Marriage was very important to me, but to him, it was something you maybe did one day. Because he had numerous qualities that I loved, I considered relaxing my desire for marriage. In the end, however I found out that children were the most important thing to him. If I was unable to get pregnant at my age (I’ve never had children, even though my doctor confirmed that I was still able to, but many risks existed because of my age, he would not simply commit to our relationship. So I broke up with him. The break up was very recent (about a month ago) and I find myself second guessing my decision. Reading your post makes me do so even more. Do you have any advice for a situation like this?

    • James Bauer said:

      Jacque, I believe if you are willing to meet his great desire (having children) he should be willing to meet your great desire (marriage first).You are not stopping him from having what he wants. It was his own choice.

      • Jacque said:

        I appreciate your feedback. Thanks

  19. Megan said:

    Hi James.

    I have recently got involved with a beautiful man who is a polyamorist. I love everything about him and can even see the beauty in being polyamorous but I’m definitely feeling like a manogamist at the moment.

    I said yes to all your questions.

    What are your thoughts on polyamory? Should I give it a try? He’s given monogamy a try for 2 months and though he’s still over the moon about me feels he can’t deny who he is in that respect.

    • James Bauer said:

      Megan, experience tells me it simply does not work for the long term. Human hearts were not built to be able to easily tolerate the hurt feelings and frequent change of life paths when trying to make more than one person the center of your relationship attention.

  20. Monika Cullen said:

    Met a nice man during training and intermittent work (50/50 trg and work over 12 weeks). He sat behind me in class for 6 weeks. Both in our early sixties and both are divorced with 5+ out of prior marriage(s). For sure not married and indications unencumbered. In fact, stated he was looking for a “girlfriend” in playful banter. I bought into that, but he seemed a little desperate for a girlfriend so I was not really attracted at that point.
    Duh, I finally figured out the ladies were quite interested….and duh, he is a very attractive guy.
    We are both happy, positive people, naturally smiley and both extroverted sales people. He started to flirt, a real struggle for me (now learning from James’ flirting tips!) Nevertheless had lots of fun though and giggles over his endless humor. Clearly adore him. Group get-togethers at local bar with colleagues weekly is where sparks deepened. Very attentive (over the top affectionate hugging etc and much to my liking), complimentary, tells me how attractive I am and very clear he likes me (though it took me a while to feel very certain about that, I am convinced……but then have doubts). Yes, I do feel attractive, but certainly not a beauty…just well put together at my age, good shape, confident and energetic.
    When we moved into our respective work areas he made a point of coming by a couple of times during the week in a low key manner given the corporate environment. Daily IMs with emoticons. Couple of dates here and there (we worked a lot of hours). Outwardly (at the office) very much showing his interest in me.
    At one point, he was strongly indicating to me his interest in “lovemaking”. I told him I was not available given his noticeable lack of availability on weekends. He made a strong case we should get intimate. I said NO (when in doubt, No is my auto default). I was presumptuous at that point that he had a girlfriend and he neither denied nor acknowledged. I told him I was not crazy about the thought of competing for him. He was quiet. (Neither of us is looking for marriage at this stage).
    However, now very smitten with Mr. Personality and Good looks, I gave it some thought over a couple of days and then sent him a short text stating basically “to let me know when he is “unshackled” and available and I would have him over for dinner and do my signature dessert (wink/leaving it up to his imagination….being a neophyte, I thought that was pretty clever).
    I am extremely patient in general and a good thing because there were the pull backs I had read about and that certainly happened. Typically I would do nothing and he’d show up at my work station saying hi every 3-4 days, a quick semi “hug”/touch, but daily IMs.
    Meanwhile I moved onto another job 2 weeks ago and we met for drinks subsequently and as usual had great fun getting together. It was really fun because the relationship evolving at work was kind of a damper. Now, however, Stalemate stage, sort of. Couple of texts a week only (following experts advice – though I did that intuitively anyhow). Seems like he can’t get off the fence.
    Meanwhile, I am busy with new work related challenges (which helps) , but short of doing nothing except a couple of texts / teasers) a week (one every 4-5 days) I have no strategy or plan to move this forward. When in fact, I would love to move this forward to a steady relationship with intimacy. Logically, the ball is in his court.

  21. Melissa said:

    Hi James !
    I would really like some piece of advice with this question…
    So there’s a guy I ‘ve known for a few months and we see each other usually once a week at our violin class. A couple of weeks ago, I had a talk with my teacher about my studies and my other hobbys, my interests and so on, and he was there too. About two weeks later, he called my teacher after the class to ask him for my phone number because he wanted to invite me to a concert. My teacher couldn’t give it to him and the guy asked me if he could have it, so I gave him my number, which he checked twice and called rightway to make sure I had his number as well. He told me that he would really enjoy going to another concert and the week after he called me to ask if I wanted to go and also meet his friends. I went to the concert, he introduced me to his friends and we really had a great time together. He kept asking me questions about me, my family and what I studied, etc. Even when I didn’t know what else to say, he reinitiated the conversation. He teased me, was kind of touchy, we spent some time apart from his friends and he mentionned that he definitely wanted to do that again. He sort of took me in his arms when he had to leave. However, I’m wondering if he is interested or if he just wants to be friends. Any clue ? I would really need some help, I am kind of confused…was he just being polite and friendly, or does he want more ?
    Thanks a lot!

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Melissa. It definitely sounds like he is interested in something more. But don’t rush. Enjoy the relationship at each stage as it unfolds. Sometimes the mystery can be fun.

  22. Chelsea said:

    hi james

    I keep reading your posts, newsletters etc etc

    I have so much to ask you.

    I am currently talking to a guy from USA and hes been a really nice guy to me. i really like him and so does he but we both are scared to fall in love again .

    as he is divorced and was cheated by his ex wife. and now hes extremely scared to love again…although he says that i want to love you but i dont want to get hurt again…

    where as im afraid because i was dating a man for 3 years who was divorced and had a kid but never took a step to marry me. And finally left because he couldn’t handle the long term distance relationship as i live in Pakistan.

    i do not want the past to repeat so i am very scared.

    although im finding ways to meet this guy in USA. lets see if things work out.

    what do u suggest?


    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Maliana. If you want a true, lasting romantic relationship rather than just a solid friendship, you must have a plan to eventually live in the same area. If you really felt deeply in love with each other you would refuse to have it any other way. So if I was in your situation I would look for love in Pakistan or make the jump to relocate. Even being open to this idea (moving) gives your current relationship a better chance, but don’t leave your life behind for a guy you only just started dating long distance.

  23. sarah jones said:

    What is the timeframe for the early statges of the relationship. ie at what timescale or what indicators are there that you invest more in the actual person rather than the vision of the relationship? Thanks, Sarah

    • James Bauer said:

      That’s a good question, Sarah. The change is a gradual one. You will never completely ignore one side or the other.

      And in fact, investing in your vision for the relationship should include the idea of investing in a person.

      That’s because any good relationship involves a conscious choice to invest in another person. But that choice really has to do with commitment. When you realize it’s time for commitment, you’ll know it’s also time to invest more in the person you love and admire.

      And hopefully, he’ll feel the desire to do that as well. That’s the magic of a great relationship with the power to enhance both of your lives.

  24. Kerin said:

    Awesome article, it all makes perfect sense! Would love to get my hands on the worksheet for building a positive vision and a guideline for creating a ‘mission statement,’ so to speak. Is that something provided on the Be Irresistable site?

    • James Bauer said:

      Not right now, Kerin. But that’s a good idea.

  25. Mary said:

    Yes, yes and absolutely YES! I am 60 and a Widow now for 2 years after a very long marriage. I allowed myself the time to grieve and heal and it was really a very difficult time to endure. I realised 3 months ago that I was ready to love again. I was very specific about what I wanted in a new man and made a commitment to myself that when he turns up, not only will I know, he will as well. Not that he will be perfect, as “Mr. Perfect” does not exist. But that we would be perfect for each other … and both have that sense of just knowing.
    Well, I am very pleased that he has indeed materialised in my life. We not only tick each and every box of the other, but a whole bunch of additional boxes that were not of high priority, but would be nice to have.
    I would like to thank you personally, James, for all your wonderful advice and guidance. You are a treasure. Thank you so much!
    Ladies, be positive, love yourself and your own life, be very sure of who you are and exactly what you want in your life. Never settle for any of those creeps out there who do not deserve you! When “The One” arrives, be ready to commit yourself to creating a life of bliss! God bless!

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