6. What does it take to have a relationship with a man?
“I’d love to know how to manifest and sustain a relationship with a healthy man.” —Kali
First, believe that these types of men exist. Feel it in your body. Know, without a shadow of a doubt, that these types of men are out there, even if you have never met one of them in your life thus far. Nothing I say past this point matters if you don’t engage this step honestly.
If you secretly believe that all men are simple neanderthals and that there aren’t any men who can truly meet you in the depths, then you will find ways to sabotage or stop your search early by settling for someone who isn’t your equal.
Next, constantly be seeking out any places where you may still be carrying heavy elements of self-rejection. What parts of yourself do you routinely make wrong? Engage talk-based therapy. Note, own, and drop any beliefs you carry about yourself that do not serve you. Be kind to yourself in your daily life.
Next, cultivate your openness and receptivity. When a woman is open to relationship, it can be felt by men. Be easy to approach when you see a man that you feel drawn to, while maintaining your standards completely.
Be easy to get along with, but hard to impress. Similar to a queen. The queen of a kingdom is approachable, accessible, and kind to the people of her land, but that does not mean that she would be best friends and close confidantes with just anyone. Cultivate your queen energy, while also being completely open and accessible to the right men.
As for how to sustain a relationship with a healthy man, be a healthy woman. Do your work. Take responsibility for your projections. Make generous assumptions about his thoughts, words, and actions. If you feel that he is a trustable man, trust him fully. If you respect and support his direction in life, then support it fully.
You sustain a relationship with a healthy person by doing everything anyone should do when they have met their match. You love them fully and let them love you in return.
7. How can women make men feel safe when labeling a relationship?
“I have been in a semi-relationship for the last year. We have been friends for longer, but we have been on and off lovers for the last twelve or so months. He has been divorced several times and is generally gun shy about naming that what we are in is a relationship. How can I help foster a safe relationship where he doesn’t feel so afraid of me? I am genuinely not trying to trap him. How do I help him go from this current pattern of hot/cold/hot/cold… to just being there for me consistently, and feeling comfortable enough to call me his partner?” —Maria
There’s two layers of feedback that I would give to this.
First, if he is truly dead-set on not being in a relationship, and you want a relationship, then I would recommend believing his words and moving on. He is telling you that he doesn’t want a deeper commitment, and has shown so consistently, so honor your standards and find someone who wants to be with you.
Second, I will address how to get a man to commit to you in general. I like to think of people as fairly simple, and fairly logical. In my world view, people do everything that they do for a reason that makes absolute sense to them, whether they are aware of their internal process or not.
The equation that men run through their minds when it comes to deciding to commit to a partner or not is simply: “Will the benefits that I glean from this relationship win out over the amount of headache that I will endure to be in said relationship?”
For example, if a man is deeply in love with his career, he will run a cost/benefit analysis on whether or not entering into a relationship with you will result in a net-positive win for his career. If you need constant hand-holding, and the emotional processing is incessant, and you take up so much of his time and energy that he can no longer engage in his life’s work, then you will not make the cut.
But if he sees all of the benefits that being in relationship with you would bring to his life, and the amount that those things would add to his career (and to his life in general) is greater than the energetic costs dating you would take, then he will happily be two-feet-in in your relationship.
Does this sound decidedly unromantic? Too heady or formulaic? Well, too bad. People can be calculating and cold. But I would encourage you not to see it as heady or transactional, but rather, a simple diagnostic tool that he uses to test for alignment in his life.
Men who are up to things in the world run this diagnostic tool on everything in their lives, not just their romantic partners.
Does eating this food serve or inhibit my ability to maximize my greatest potential? Does maintaining a friendship with this man serve me or limit me? Does waking up at this particular time serve me or limit me?
So why would there be any different assessment tool for his life partner? And so, the action step that you can take away from all of this is simple. Find a man whose life you believe in, see ways in which you could add to his life, and then communicate those benefits to him directly.
8. Do men really care about physical imperfections?
“Be honest with me. How much do men care about physical imperfections (wrinkles, cellulite, love handles, and all that)?” —Kim
It depends completely on the type of man that you are referring to.
If you are in a relationship with a man who is predominantly driven by the tangible, superficial world, then those things will matter very much. He will have his identity and his ego bolstered by the fact that he is with a smooth, conventionally attractive and acceptable partner.
If you are in relationship with someone who values more than just the superficial world, and who sees himself as more than just a body or a wallet, and who sees you as more than just a body or a sex toy, then those things won’t matter in the slightest.
Ultimately, a man who has done any amount of deep inner work recognizes that he is not in a relationship with a body. He is in relationship with a heart, a soul, an essence. So he fully expects that the body will fluctuate and change with time, because all anything ever does is change.
So, speaking personally for a moment, not only do wrinkles, cellulite, love handles, stretch marks not turn me off, I actually prefer them because they speak to a body that has lived and experienced life. I would rather a body that shows depth and experience than a smooth, new body that hasn’t yet lived a fuller spectrum of experiences.
Similar to how I feel a deeper sense of trust and comfort in conversation with people who have experienced great loss or grief, as opposed to someone who has yet to be put through the paces of those parts of life. As always, this stuff is all just a hall of mirrors.
If you carry self-rejection around certain parts of your body, then you will be more likely to meet and attract partners who share that same judgment about those parts of your body. Conversely, when you come into a place of love and acceptance of your body, you will be much more likely to call in romantic partners who love and accept your body in a similar manner.
9. What does it mean when he wants to be alone?
“Why does my partner seem to need so much more alone time than me? Is that a guy thing? I know that his work is really important to him, but it seems like sometimes when I am telling him about my day he can just hit this internal wall and his eyes start to glaze over and then he needs to decompress from our conversation. Might sound tangental but it’s related. Do guys simply need more alone time than women? Or is it more something to do with masculine/feminine energy dynamics?” —Rachelle
When women need to dig up deeply personal insights, it is often best for them to go deeper into their community. To talk it out with close confidantes. Whereas when men need to get in touch with deeply personal insights, it is often best for them to take a break from people and be completely by themselves.
Now, I am not advocating that men build a life of isolation (as this is one of the core things that leads to the high suicide rate among men), but it is one factor as to why men might need more alone time than most women.
Furthermore, men have more steps that they need to take in order to get in touch with themselves. I know 10x more women who can drop into a place of feeling connected to their bodies, or connected to something that they would consider spiritual and/or their higher selves, whereas men tend to need to work at this with a bit more intention and effort.
So if your partner seems to need a lot of time alone, he could be in a time of transition and simply needs to quietly be with his innermost thoughts (that come up as whispers instead of clear directions), or he could just be on the more introverted side of the spectrum and doesn’t need as much social stimulation.
10. How can you get a guy to be open about changes in the bedroom?
“How do I bring up things that I would like to change about my sex life with my man without hurting him or making him feel insecure? Is there a sexier way than just saying ‘I would like it better if you did X instead’? I have had negative experiences in the past where the guy just did not like being told what to do and so I feel nervous about bruising his ego, but I also want to be a stand for my pleasure, and, ultimately, our relationship.” —Marissa
As long as you dance around his feelings, you will be enabling his smallness, as well as your own. As long as you avoid difficult conversations, you will be someone who avoids difficult conversations. And as long as he is in a relationship with a partner who isn’t willing to ask for more, he will be (knowingly or unknowingly) delivering sub-par pleasure to said partner.
This question feels akin to when people ask me: “How do I ask someone out without being rejected?” Stop trying to avoid the difficult emotions and just do the thing.
If he gets so hurt about the idea that he hasn’t been an 100 percent perfect lover for you without needing to be told what to do, and he hates getting feedback so much that he breaks up with you on the spot, well then, there’s your answer. And I am assuming you don’t want to be with a partner whose ego is that fragile (because otherwise you wouldn’t be asking such a question).
Sit him down at a time where you are both feeling calm, resourced, and connected to each other, give him the heads up that you would like to talk briefly about your sex life, tell him a few things that you do enjoy about your sex life, and then ask him for the changes that you would like going forward.
He can’t read your mind, but he wants to win when it comes to loving you well. So give him the tools and directions so that he can start winning more often than not. If he cares about you and your pleasure more than he cares about safeguarding his ego, he will be grateful that you brought these things to his attention.
Another thing to consider is how are you bringing this up to him.
Are you bringing it to him from a grounded and loving place, or is sideways/buried anger slipping out in the way that you are naming it? There is a huge difference between saying, “I really love when you do this thing” (even if they’ve only done it once) versus, “I need you to do X more!”
People, by and large, respond to positive reinforcement much more than to being told how they’re messing up or lacking. So speak to him in proactive, rewarding, complimentary ways, and you’ll get much faster results than if you’re telling him that he’s messing up and you’re pissed off at him.
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