Be Friends with Your Man (Just Not All The Time)

How To Be Friends with Your ManDo you consider your partner a friend? You should.

Sometimes.

The French philosopher Jean de la Bruyere once said, “Love and friendship exclude each other.”

This is a deep topic. I mean, think about what the average dating relationship is like.

There are similarities to friendship, for sure. You share mutually enjoyable activities, hang out, talk, support each other, and generally stay in close communication. That doesn’t sound all that different from your connection with your best friend.

And then there’s the stuff you DON’T do with your best friend. Like kiss.

In one sense, an underlying friendship makes romance stronger. But, to our French friend’s point, there’s a reason we use terms like “the friend zone” to describe guys you’re not into. Friendship is NOT romantic love.

Researchers have even studied the tension between the two concepts. Here’s what they found.

When you’re not friendly toward your guy, he’ll want you more. Basically, he’ll be more inclined to chase what he doesn’t have. But without the underlying likeability of friendship, he’ll be less satisfied with what he gets when he catches you.[1]

What a catch-22. Be his buddy, but kill the passion. Or keep the passion alive, but crush your actual connection.

How in the world can you be friends with your guy without wrecking the romance? You have to be his part-time friend. Sometimes he’s your pal, and sometimes he’s your MAN.

Striking that balance is tricky, but doable. You have to intentionally cultivate both the friendship and the romance. That means doing two things…

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When He Doesn’t Want All the Love You Have to Give

When He Doesn't Want Your LoveThere’s nothing worse than knowing you have a big heart…

A heart that any man would be privileged to cherish…

And yet feeling that men don’t want your love.

If you’ve ever felt like that, let me share with you a story I sometimes tell my clients.

You’re standing in a crowded mall, holding a bunch of the most beautiful long-stemmed red roses.

Your task is to hand out each and every one of these roses to passers-by.

At first, no one will even stop for you. They keep their heads down and walk past quickly, like you’re just another salesperson trying to get something from them.

It feels humiliating to put yourself on display like this, just a woman with a beautiful gift no one wants. You feel vulnerable.

But you’re not leaving until you’ve done the job, so you start to think.

You realize you can get people to stop by making eye contact with them. So you start looking out at the sea of people, searching for friendly faces. If you catch someone’s eye, you wink conspiratorially and hand out a rose with a smile. You give away your first few flowers, and you’re ecstatic.

But soon you notice that the men are still avoiding you. Why? Is it because roses are a symbol of romantic love?

You set your sights on trying to get a man to take one of your flowers. At last you manage to shove one into a man’s hand, but as he walks away he quickly drops it into a trash bin.

That’s no way to treat a gift from your heart!

By the time you’re finished, you feel drained and bruised. Facing that much rejection made you angry. You don’t know why so few people would take your gift, but a little voice inside your head is whispering that the problem was you. Maybe if you looked different, everyone would have wanted your roses.

This little story is a metaphor for how it feels to search for love.

You have a heart full of love, and you keep trying to give that love away.

But no one will take it. Men either assume you’re trying to get something from them, or they value your love so little they drop it in the trash when they think you’re not looking.

It’s not easy finding someone who’ll accept all the love you have to offer. Which is insane, because love is one of the most beautiful gifts anyone can give.

It’s unfortunate we live in a world where there are no free gifts. Everything comes with strings attached. That free sample at the cosmetics counter isn’t proof of the company’s generosity; it’s a taster designed to get you to buy the full-sized product.

So no wonder men look askance at your offer of love. They wonder what you’re “selling.” They don’t realize the value of what you have to offer.

How do you get men to be open to all the love you have to share? Here are 3 ideas.  Continue reading

Getting Your Romance In Alignment with the Rest of Your Life

how to find the right relationshipHave you ever given thought to how much influence your man has over your life? Both day-to-day happiness, and your overall direction?

His influence is profound.

If you were a fan of the TV show The Office, you’ve seen a fictional version of this in action. By the end of the series, Jim and Pam were married and had kids. But they started as friends, and Pam was engaged to one of the guys who worked in the warehouse.

Pam was the receptionist back then, though she dreamed of a career in graphic design.

But her former fiancé wasn’t supportive of her artistic interests. He wasn’t invested in planning (or even setting a date for) the wedding, either. In fact, Pam was more of an accessory in his life than a focal point.

And it showed. She didn’t pursue any of her dreams. Her boyfriend was a HUGE factor.

The people you surround yourself with can raise you up or pull you down. In fact, recent research shows that even the person you sit next to at work can affect your performance!

Think about how much more significant your partner is.

You need a man who fits with the rest of your life. I’m talking about romance that aligns with everything else that matters to you.

If you can find alignment in the three areas below, you’ll be happier, healthier, and much more likely to have the kind of love you want.

This is the stuff of lasting romance…

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When It’s Time for a Romantic Upgrade

When It’s Time for a Romantic UpgradeI don’t know about you, but the last month before I upgrade my phone is painful. By then, my old phone feels outdated and sluggish.

It doesn’t have enough storage, can’t really handle the apps I use daily, and, maybe worst of all, it’s just not exciting anymore. More than once, I’ve thought it would be really convenient if I happened to drop it in a lake or run over it with my car…just so I can go ahead and get a new one NOW.

I’m not the only one.

According to a recent study, people tend to embrace more reckless behavior with their phones when they’re looking for an excuse to buy the latest model.[i]

You won’t even risk putting a small scratch on your new phone. But your old phone? Eh, you’ll toss it across the pool so a friend can take your picture. Why not?

Which makes me think of something else. Sometimes we do the same thing with relationships.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this. You’re dating someone, things have gone from good, to stale, to not-that-great. But you’re not quite ready to break up.

So maybe you pick a fight or two. Maybe you’re not as supportive as you’d be otherwise. Maybe you get a little careless with the relationship itself because you’re ready for an upgrade.

While this behavior makes perfect sense, it’s not the best way to handle a dying relationship. It just makes the worst part of dating last longer.

If your relationship is in that not-so-great place, there’s a better way. First, you have to answer a critical question (that I’m about to show you). Then, based on your answer, you should take one of two actions.

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