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August, 2015

Asking for What You Want in Relationships

Asking for what you want in relationships is the only way to get what you need!

Asking for What You Want in Relationships

Do you have trouble asking for what you want in relationships? Lots of women do. Part of what makes asking for what you want in relationships so hard is that well-meaning friends, Hollywood gossip columns, blogs by other disillusioned daters, etc. tell us not to speak up for ourselves and to wait for men to make all the moves.

Are you being needy if you ask a man about the future of your relationship?

Maybe you’ve read that asking for what you want in relationships will make a man think you’re pushy or needy. I’ve coached many women who wasted months or even years in the wrong relationships because they took this advice to heart. They really believed that asking a man to discuss the future of their relationship would push him away. It saddens me to think that we’ve made such amazing progress as women in so many ways, but that we’re still allowing ourselves to be cast in a passive role when it comes to pursuing relationships with men.

Rachel’s Story

Perhaps you can relate to what my client Rachel is going through. She’s been dating a man named Evan for three months, but she still doesn’t know where their relationship is going… and it’s driving her crazy. Like Rachel, you might have trouble asking for what you want in relationships. The more time that goes by without her talking to Evan about his intentions, the more anxious she feels. Sometimes a week or two passes where she doesn’t see him. During that time she agonizes over whether or not the relationship is really going anywhere. When they finally get together, she feels momentarily better, but it isn’t long before her anxiety sets in again.

When I asked why she hadn’t asked Evan where their relationship is going, she had many seemingly good excuses: he had a big presentation at work, his crazy ex was harassing him, his daughter was going off to college, he moved into a new place, his Chia pet died… there was always something.

I told her that she was 50% of the relationship and she had every right to ask if Evan was thinking about a future with her, but Rachel protested. She said she’d been listening to an audio book by a well-known male dating expert who said, “You have to be careful about asking for what you want in relationships because it makes men feel pressured and pushes them away. Men are hunters by nature. They are hardwired to go out and find what they want. If a real man wants you, he will pursue you.” In other words, she should act like a helpless bystander and let Evan have all the control.

Why it’s dangerous not to speak up

Here’s the deal: many men will take sex and companionship when and where they can get it, especially if a woman is good company and she isn’t asking for more. So, if you don’t speak up, many men will make the assumption that you’re fine with the current arrangement.

Not asking for what you want in relationships can have serious consequences. Rachel is falling in love with Evan and it’s agonizing for her because she doesn’t have a clue if he feels the same way. Have you ever been in a similar situation? Rachel told me that her obsession with the relationship was starting to take over her life and causing her to act out:

  •                             She was becoming snarky with him
  •                             She wasn’t returning his phone calls
  •                             She was withholding sex
  •                             She was starting to drink—a lot
  •                             She was over-sharing with her friends

 

To make matters worse, Rachel was concerned that her behavior would sabotage the relationship. Rachel was embarrassed to admit to me that she was feeling so lost and desperate for answers she had contacted three online psychics. Hundreds of dollars later they all told her not to say anything to Evan and that he would come around on his own within a few months. If you look hard enough, like Rachel, you will keep finding ways to justify not asking for what you want in relationships.

No one wants to face rejection

To be fair, Rachel’s hesitation about talking to Evan wasn’t irrational. It’s easy to buy into the idea that you shouldn’t be asking for what you want in relationships because then you can live on hope and you don’t have to face possible rejection. Rejection is a scary thing. The truth is that many men will stay in a relationship for sex and companionship, especially with a woman who seems uncomplicated and easygoing. Smart women know they need to get clear about what a guy is after early in a relationship, and that means asking the right questions in the right way.

Understanding men is the key to asking for what you want in relationships

There is a way of asking for what you want in relationships without appearing aggressive or demanding. It starts with understanding how men work. Consider these four insights into how most men operate:

  1. Men don’t like being told what to do; they want to come to their own conclusions.
  2. Men don’t like being given ultimatums; they want to have dialogues where they can also express their wants and needs.
  3. Men don’t want women who are doormats; they are looking for women who aren’t afraid to be themselves and ask for what they want.
  4. Men don’t like to be asked how they feel; they want to be asked what they think.

I encourage you to try the following approach when asking for what you want in relationships:

  1. Tell him how you feel
  2. Tell him what you need
  3. Ask what he thinks about what you said

For example, Rachel might say:

  1. “I feel like I’m developing feelings for you and I would like to move forward with our relationship.”
  2. “I would like to spend more time together. I was thinking we could see each other on Tuesdays as well as on Saturdays.”
  3. “What do you think about that?”

I know this may sound easier said than done. Often times we avoid conversations like this because we’re afraid of the answer we’ll receive, but answers can be telling. If Evan doesn’t want to get closer to Rachel, he might respond with something like, “I feel like we’re already spending enough time together.” In this case, Rachel would have to consider whether Evan is really interested in getting closer to her. On the other hand, if Evan wants to get close to Rachel, he will welcome a chance to spend more time with her and be happy she brought it up.

Asking for what you want in relationships can be challenging, but you need to find out if a man is really interested in a future with you or if he’s just getting his needs met. If you follow this simple formula it should open up a dialogue where a man will be able to tell you what he’s really thinking. You might not get the answer you want, but you will get the answer you need.

If you’re having trouble asking for what you want in relationships book a consultation to see if I am the right coach for you.

CLICK HERE to book now:

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BAD DATING ADVICE: Won’t get you the man you want

Following Bad Dating Advice Won’t Attract the Man You Really Want

 

confused young woman posing on a white background

 

Recently, I’ve been receiving calls from several highly intelligent, attractive, and independent women who had been following some bad dating advice they’d been reading online and in some popular dating books. They told me they were afraid to initiate contact online, return texts or calls from men, or ask a guy if he wants a relationship. They’d read that such behaviors would be perceived as aggressive and chase men away. These women had been advised to “let the man be the man” and trust that he would pursue them if he was interested. (As a funny aside: I was once putting away the many bags of groceries we had gotten from Whole Foods, my husband call out from the other room: “Babe, I’d help you put the groceries away, but I’m letting you be the woman!”)

Following bad dating advice will make you feel worse!

I could see that this bad dating advice was causing these women to suppress their true emotions and making them feel more anxious and insecure. In fact, they seemed so inhibited and confused that it would be very difficult for them to relax on a date. I can’t imagine the kind of emotionally available men they want to attract being emotionally attracted to them in the state they’re in. What I find troubling is that these women had really bought into this bad dating advice and it wasn’t easy for me to convince them that it wasn’t true.

Are women being encouraged to go backwards?

So, here’s the deal: not only is much of this information antiquated, it is also wrong. The last thing women need is to be told that we should revert to acting helpless to get a man’s attention. It is ludicrous to wait for a man to call or ask us out online. If you want to contact a man, contact him. You have every right to reach out once or twice to let someone know you’re interested. If he doesn’t respond, you need to let it go and move on. No one likes to feel rejected, but men have to deal with it all the time.

Another piece of really bad dating advice is the idea that, if a woman asks a man what he’s looking for in a relationship, he will think she’s being pushy and it will scare him off. Sure, if he’s the wrong guy, he’s only after sex, or the timing is bad, it might scare him away. But if he is a mature man and he’s genuinely interested in getting to know you, he will be open to having a conversation about your relationship so he can get closer to you.

You need to let a man know you’re interested

I never applied any of this bad dating advice when I met my husband. It never even occurred to me that it would chase him away if I showed interest. In fact, after our first date, he went home and took his online dating profile down. He’s told me that that, if I had been following this kind of bad dating advice, he would have be turned off. The truth is that, if a man wants to get to know you, he will be grateful if you meet him halfway. A man wants a woman who is receptive, responsive, and appreciative of what he has to offer. This is the kind of woman a man will marry.

If you listen to bad dating advice and you play hard to get, it will make you seem like you’re unavailable and you’ll actually attract the wrong kind of men; men who are attracted to unavailable women are also unavailable—players, relationship avoidants, commitmentphobes—call them what you will… they will chase you, but they won’t want you when they get you because they really don’t want a relationship. The minute you show interest in having a relationship, they will run for the hills. Been there?

A real man knows what he wants. If he is attracted to you and wants to date you, he will want you to be available and he won’t get scared if you ask to spend more time with him. If you turn him on, he will be excited to spend more time with you. But if you play hard to get and you sit around and wait for a guy to call, he might think you aren’t interested and he will give up.

The Bad Dating Epidemic: A Cautionary Tale

I once met a happily married couple that told me that, because of some bad dating advice, their relationship almost didn’t get off the ground. She had been told not to return a man’s calls. So, when her husband originally left a message asking her out, she never phoned back. Believe it or not, this happens all the time. Months later, they ran into each other at a party. She joked with him about not getting together, and he told her that he thought she wasn’t interested because she never returned his call.

She suddenly became serious, and said, “But I didn’t want you to think I was too aggressive.”

“Huh?” he asked, looking at her like she was speaking a strange foreign language. “You thought I would think you were too aggressive because you returned my call?”

“Well, yeah. I mean men like a chase, right?” she said.

“But you would have been returning my call,” he replied, looking even more confused.

At that moment, this woman realized she had been suffering from a serious case of bad dating advice. Luckily, she got a another chance to set the record straight. Not everyone does. So watch out, bad dating advice is becoming something of an epidemic, and it could kill your chances at a relationship if you’re not careful.

If you want to attract a man who is honest and upfront, you need to be honest and upfront. If you want to date the kind of men you’re attracted to, you need to start initiating contact. If you want to find a man who communicates and isn’t afraid of emotional intimacy, you need to start having emotionally intimate conversations with men.

I am sure many of you cringed when you read that last paragraph, but I will say it again: If you want to find your guy, you need to stop following all this bad dating advice and start going for what you want. A man is either interested in getting to know you or he isn’t. Playing games will only chase the right men away!

Naked Dating and learn how to attract the love of your life!

Book a consultation with me, Lisa Shield, by clicking here:

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