Often (too often) women blame men when a relationship falls apart. We fail to take ownership of our part in the demise of a romance. It’s really hard to look in the mirror and point the finger at ourselves when we’re angry and hurt. Some of us have the ability to reflect back on the situation and be honest with ourselves about how our actions or words played a part in the fall-out. Some of us (thankfully) have close friends who give us a well deserved ass-whooping to make us see that which we can’t or won’t.
I’m not saying we’re solely responsible when a relationship sinks but I am saying we’re partly responsible for not having a bail bucket on board when the water starts pouring in.
Call it women’s instinct but we always know when something’s not right in our relationships. Our gut tells us (even if our men don’t).
Instead of doing the work required to save things, some of us put up walls in an effort to save ourselves from the inevitable hurt which we know is sure to come. Instead of trying to open up more, give more and love more, we shut-down. Some women take a begging approach, others begin pushing away. Women, like men, have their own “flight, flight or freeze” responses.
Women love to complain about how men just “don’t understand”. Okay, so maybe they don’t understand everything about us but I think in a lot of ways we’ve failed to give them what they needed to understand us. We often say one thing yet we mean another. We say yes when we mean no, and no when we mean yes. We are confusing the poor souls!
Here’s some of the stupid s#!t we do or say to screw up relationships with men (some are my own experiences, others are those I’ve witnessed):
We state “I don’t need a man!” – Ladies, put your hand up if you’ve used this one. Yes, my hand is up…..in shame. Geez, since when did women stop needing men? I’m vowing right here, right now, to stop saying this. It’s a defense mechanism we use for various reasons (each of us has our own stupid reason). Men – we DO need you, really.
We expect men to be strong …….all the time – Men aren’t always strong and we shouldn’t expect them to be in every situation. We need to be the “rock” sometimes and let them lean on us. It’s okay for them to show weakness. It doesn’t mean they’re weak. It means they’re human. Allow them to be. Women need to learn how to say “It’ll be okay”.
Meeting expectations – Yes, it’s perfectly fine to have a list of what you’re looking for in a partner. Most of us do. Whether it’s memorized or written down, women have a good idea of what we’re willing to accept (or not) when it comes to our relationships. Unfortunately, some of us accept men into our lives knowing full well they’ll never be able to meet any of our requirements. I’m guilty as charged on this one. We need to take the rose-coloured glasses off and stop accepting certain men into our lives. We also need to recognize when we’re not able to give men what they’re looking for. It’s okay to say “Sorry, but we don’t seem to be a good fit for each other”.
We don’t allow men to pay for dates (even when they insist) – Single professional women are notorious for this stupidity. Unfortunately, we’ve been convinced that we’re better “catches” by pulling out our wallets. It’s probably a good idea if we allowed men to pay more often than not. They know we can pay our own way. We don’t have to throw it in their faces. Give men a break and let them pay more often.
Even worse is when …………
We expect men to pay for everything – I’m not sure why women do this but I know several. Men should NOT be expected to pay for everything. Whether he makes $50,000 a year or $500,000 he shouldn’t be footing the bill every time you go out. Respect him (and yourself) and bring your wallet when you go out on a date. Be prepared to pay as well.
Rolling your eyes when he compliments you – If he says “you’re beautiful”, he’s being sincere……so don’t roll your eyes. (I’ve been guilty of this one). Unfortunately, women in their 40′s & 50′s have been brought up being told that we shouldn’t be “vain”. It’s been ingrained in us since our childhood. It’s important that we rid ourselves of those old (harmful) tapes and accept compliments with grace. We want so badly to be called beautiful by our men but when they say it we ruin the moment for them….and us. Duh!
Accusing him of not opening up – How many women have you heard complaining about this? What most women fail to understand is that men aren’t wired like us. They are taught to keep their emotions inside….at all costs. Men need us to provide a safe environment in order to be vulnerable and share their deepest desires, fears and needs with us. Start opening up to your man more often, show him how comfortable it is to share your thoughts with him. Show him there’s nothing to be afraid of and that no matter what he shares you will be compassionate, loving and understanding.
Making him responsible for your happiness – This is a biggie. It’s a confusing one as well. Men often use the term “I just want to make you happy”. It doesn’t mean they want to be responsible for all your happiness. If you can’t be happy without a man then any man you meet will fear that he will be responsible for your happiness……and he’ll run for the hills. You are responsible for your own happiness. Your man is responsible for his own. Together, you bring extra happiness to each other.
Making all the plans – Yes, a lot of women feel it’s their job to make all the social plans. Why do we do it? Because a lot of men don’t like making decisions and they know we’ll take charge so they let us. Women, stop making all the decisions about where to go and what to do. When your man asks you what the plans are for the weekend, let him know you’d like him to “surprise” you. Have faith in him that he can do this. It may take him time to get used to it but he’ll catch on…..eventually. Conversely, don’t allow a man to make ALL the plans either. Take turns.
Obviously, there’s a LOT more s#!t women do to screw up relationships and I’ve only covered a few of them in this post. Watch for Part II (which will include ultimatums, making him jealous, being too clingy and other such s#!t).
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from my female AND male readers on what they would add to this post.