Imagine you had a boyfriend who said things like:
“Why don’t you grow your hair longer?”
“Why do you always complain about your job?”
“How come you can never do anything spontaneously?”
“Maybe you should start working out more.”
“Why are you always talking to other men at parties?”
“How come you’re always hanging out with your annoying girlfriends?”
Yeah, guys can be really critical and blunt sometimes. I’m not going to defend their behavior for a half a second.
However, I’d like to point out that you probably do the same exact thing:
See, it’s easy to remember all the minor criticisms you’ve received.
It’s a lot harder to recall all of the digs you’ve taken at the men you’ve dated.
“Why can’t you put away your clothes in the hamper?”
“Would it kill you to make plans with me more than a day in advance?”
“Why didn’t you make a bigger deal about my birthday?”
“How come you’re always running 15 minutes late?”
“Why is watching football with your friends more important than seeing me?”
“Why do you always wear that ratty old shirt?”
See, it’s easy to remember all the minor criticisms you’ve received. It’s a lot harder to recall all of the digs you’ve taken at the men you’ve dated.
But you’ve done it. We all have.
Alas, nobody likes criticism – even if it’s valid.
Your observations may be correct, but your messaging needs a lot of work.
So if a guy told you to lose weight or stop seeing your friends, you’d probably get really angry with him. You’d have every right to, and I can see why you feel justified in your anger.
Because you want to be loved unconditionally. Because you want to be accepted for who you are. Because you don’t want to have to change for anyone.
Yet, somehow you still think it’s fair that your boyfriend should change for you.
It just doesn’t work that way.
True love is about accepting his flaws – not because he’s perfect – but because you want him to accept YOUR flaws as well.
By telling you to accept your man for who he is, I don’t mean that you should start putting up with unacceptable behavior. The man who cheats or lies or can’t communicate or commit is a man that should be LEFT, not changed.
But if you’ve got a decent guy who is flawed (as all of us are), it means offering him more positive reinforcement and less negative reinforcement.
What happens when a man says something nice to you – compliments you on your eyes, or your wit, or your triumph at work? It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
It works the same way for us.
Positive reinforcement makes a man feel great about himself AND about you.
On the other hand…
Why He Disappeared is the smart, strong, successful woman's guide to understanding men. If you want to learn how men think, and rediscover how to have meaningful relationships - all from a man's point of view - click here to learn Why He Disappeared.
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