How to Deal with His (Insane) Expectations

dealing with men's expectationsThink about the last time you experienced really bad service at a restaurant.

Maybe it took forever to get a table. Or the food was cold when it arrived. Or your order was wrong.

Whatever the case, THE THING that made the experience negative was an unmet expectation.

Expectations are powerful. And the feeling of disappointment that comes with unmet expectations HURTS.

Literally.

When you feel disappointed, your dopamine levels drop like a rock. Neurologically, dopamine plays a big role in feeling good. If dopamine levels dip, that’s when emotional pain kicks in.

The implications for your relationships are huge.

Trust can’t survive in an environment of constant disappointment. Neither can intimacy. If either of you feels let down all the time, that’s not a good sign.

Good-bye happily ever after. Hello broken heart. You don’t want that.

But what about his crazy, unrealistic expectations? He’s a guy, after all. Some guys go into romance with pretty off-the-wall ideas about the way dating should play out.

Let’s take a quick look at three common male assumptions about women, and what you can do to deal with his (possibly insane) expectations.

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Don’t Take This Well-Meaning Advice

when to take adviceSometimes, people who want to make you happy give you really bad advice.

For example…

It’s frustrating to watch someone you care about agonize over a guy who doesn’t even know she exists. Her unreciprocated love doesn’t just make her suffer; it makes everyone around her suffer, too.

Think of that classic scene from the film Love, Actually. Sarah, who works at an ad agency, swoons over her gorgeous co-worker Karl. Her boss finally pulls her aside and tells her to do something about it, for the sake of everyone in the office. He offers a plan:

“Invite [Karl] out for a drink and then, after about 20 minutes, casually drop into the conversation the fact that you’d like to marry him and have lots of sex and babies.”

Should she take his advice?

Of course not!

Every woman alive knows just how terrible that plan is. It only works if you want to scare a guy off for good…or get used by a heartless guy.

But some advice given to you by well-meaning parties can sound good on the surface. You might be tempted to take it, particularly if you don’t have any other ideas.

Before you do…

Think it through first.

A lot of so-called “good advice” can actually backfire. At best, it moderately improves your chances of catching his eye. At worst, it wrecks any chance you ever had with him.

Here are 4 examples.

  1. Look really attractive, and he’ll notice you.

Have you ever put special effort into doing your hair and makeup, or choosing just the right outfit, because you knew you were going to be seeing someone you were interested in?

Most women do. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if it gives you confidence. The problem with this strategy is when it is all you do.

When you put all your effort into looking great only to stand there, hoping to be noticed.

Looks are a starting place, but they’re not a plan. Your LBD can’t do all the talking for you. It is still up to you to strike up a conversation and create a connection.

There’s another bit of advice that’s even worse…

  1. Just tell him how you feel.

Life’s too short. Be brave. Grab the bull by the horns and tell him how you feel. The worst he can say is no.

It sounds so right in theory. Honesty is always the best policy!

But there are some very sound reasons not to tell him how you feel—at least, not until you know him well.


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Stop Getting Hurt by Untrustworthy Men

how to stop getting hurt by menOne of our biggest fears is giving our love to someone who betrays our trust.

It’s probably already happened to you. It happens to most of us over the course of a lifetime.

For some, the lesson is etched in memory. They never fully trust anyone again, not like they did before. They can’t bear the thought of going through that again.

Whether it was a divorce, a lie, an affair, or a broken promise, the people we love can betray us in a thousand different ways.

Some betrayals are like paper cuts that sting badly at the time but heal. Other betrayals cut us in half.

How can you keep yourself from being deceived, walked all over, or taken advantage of?

How can you stay safe when you give your heart away?

 

Here are some ideas.

#1. Don’t give him your trust right away.

Falling in love sweeps you off your feet. When you’re in love, you’re in a different reality. Everything is beautiful; everything is right. Those rose-tinted glasses transform him from just another guy into your beloved, a knight and a hero among men.

But new love is a form of intoxication. Chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine, and PEA cloud your senses. You can’t see your beloved clearly until the honeymoon period has worn off. Until then, you’ll only see the best in him.

Nature designed us that way for a reason. Ideally, the intense bond of new lovers keeps them together long enough to raise a child to toddlerhood and ensure the continuation of the species.

But these days we’re not as interested in passing on our genes as we are in finding a compatible mate. Those rose-colored glasses distort reality just enough that we can’t be confident that who we see is who our beloved really is.

There’s a simple remedy:

Allow for the distortion.

Recognize that you are seeing him at his best. You’re in love; that’s how it works! Don’t give him all your trust right away, no matter how passionate you feel. Take it slowly. Wait until your vision has cleared before trusting him with the big things.

You’ll know that you’re seeing him more realistically when you start to see his bad points as well as the good. He’s not perfect. You don’t think alike on everything. You’re going to argue sometimes.

The end of the honeymoon period can feel like a bucket of cold water dumped on your head, but that bucket of cold water also wakes you up. It’s a shock, but it’s necessary. You’ve got to see the truth about one another eventually.

In the harsh light of day, you’ll find that you can trust him on some things and not others. You can trust him to be faithful and care about you, but maybe not to balance his checkbook or pick up the right groceries. And that’s fair enough. Trust should be realistic.

#2. Don’t trust a man more than he respects you.

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How to Keep Worry from Capsizing a Date

How to be calm during a dateDoes self-doubt get in your way? Does it take some of the fun out of dating?

For me, one of the hardest things to see is wonderful women who doubt themselves.

They can’t see all the qualities they have that would make a man fall in love.

They worry about how they come across. They chastise themselves for messing up. They just want to do everything perfectly, so he’ll fall for them and they’ll have a shot at happily ever after.

One of my hardest challenges is to convey a new mindset to dispel worry.

Because worrying causes more problems than it solves, especially on those first few dates.

It’s natural to worry, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.

Worrying takes you out of the present moment and puts you in your head. It makes you self-conscious, which makes you more likely to stumble and make mistakes. It makes you tense up, which can cause you to speak faster and louder than normal.

That’s not even the worst part.

The worst part is that tension is contagious.

He’ll pick up on your tension. He’ll start to feel it, too. He’ll become uncomfortable. He’ll start to worry that he’s doing something wrong to make you so uncomfortable.

And the whole date is pulled toward a less genuine level of connection between the two of you.

All of us, men and women alike, put so much effort into a first date. We make sure we’ve chosen the ideal place to meet. We make sure our appearance is perfect. We practice saying witty things in front of the mirror.

Then, when the time comes to actually meet, we blow it. We’re so nervous and anxious that we stick our foot in our mouth, spill the water glass, say something offensive when we were trying to be funny, and slink away at the end of the night without suggesting a repeat.

This is not a gendered problem. Men do it, too! (And probably more often.)

So how can we keep worries from destroying a first date, both for you and for him?

There’s a simple solution:

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