Often women complain that dating or relationships aren’t working for them. If you’re reading this now, it could be that you’re a woman who would like to have a happier love life. Maybe you even have a vague feeling or fear that you’ve settled for less than you deserve.
Although they’d like to be happier, many of these women aren’t so comfortable when it comes to figuring out how to get what they want from men. Does it make you nervous to talk about strategies? Do you hate to feel like you’re playing games? Are you afraid you’ll appear manipulative?
A feeling that you’re playing games may mean you aren’t really sure it’s OK for you to want to be treated well. There is nothing manipulative about refusing to accept anything less than top treatment from a man. If you are thinking it is manipulative to have strategies, has someone convinced you that that’s true? Or is it simply that you have some lingering doubts about whether you deserve to get what you want?
Take Wendy, for example:
Wendy met some interesting guys with her recent online dating adventures. She really hit it off with Robert and thought he might be into her too. Now that they’ve become sort of a couple, she’s noticed that he seems to be taking her for granted. He rarely compliments her, and he assumes that they can have “hang out” dates rather than nice nights out. Also, he never offers to come to her place, so she’s always making the drive to his apartment. She’s afraid to bring up her concerns and rock the boat. She much prefers having a boyfriend to being single again.
Although Wendy isn’t happy, she’s letting Robert take her for granted. She doesn’t see the choice she’s making in this situation, because she’s afraid to be single again. It’s true that there’s always a chance that when you stand up for what you want, it may cause problems in a relationship. But you can learn good communication skills to help the conversation go as well as possible. Watch for next week’s blog when we’ll discuss some of those skills. For example, you can say “no” without having to get into a deep discussion of how you feel. Wendy could say, “I’m not up for driving tonight. Want to come here instead?” Remember, if he doesn’t care how you feel, then he may not be as into you as you had hoped. Sure, it may keep you in a relationship to keep your mouth shut when you’re unhappy, but it also leaves you disappointed and prevents you from moving on to someone who will treat you well.
You and Wendy deserve to be treated well. There’s nothing manipulative or game-playing about finding effective ways to protect and stand up for yourself. All you have to do is to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. That’s what being your own Brand of Sexy means: figuring out what you want, what works for you as an individual, and what skills and strategies will help you achieve your relationship goals, whatever they may be.
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