Have you ever wondered what are the mistakes you make in the way you relate to men but weren’t so sure what was wrong or how to change it ? To improve a relationship with a man, whether it is your husband, boyfriend, male friend, colleagues, or father, it may not be just about understanding the man and his behaviour, but taking an honest look at your own behaviour as well. Sometimes, we, as women, unconsciously bringing out the worst in the men we love by how we behave around them.
Mistake No. 1 : Women sacrifice who they are and put themselves second in importance to the man they love
Do you give up your own hobbies and interests because your partner dislikes it or to avoid conflict with your partner? Do you give up friends or family members whom your partner disapproves of? Do you turn your back on people who are important to you rather than risk the loss of a man’s love?
Why do some men try to separate you from the family and friends you loved? Some men are insecure within themselves and thus they try to cut you off from your support system. When you are getting less support from these people, you will depend more on the man for love. Your relationship will also become isolated from these people’s criticism and negative feedback of his treatment to you, thereby protecting your partner from the scrutiny of these people. You then put yourself second in importance and become whatever your man wants you to be.
When you sacrifice for love and put yourself second in a relationship, you believe that your man will end up loving you more. This may or may not happen. What will happen is, as time goes by, you will end up loving yourself less. Each time you give up an interest, a family member, or a friend in the hope of winning a man’s love, you give away a piece of yourself. The more you sacrifice, the less of yourself remains, until one day, you wake up and find yourself feeling empty inside. You’ve given up all of yourself to become more acceptable, and in the process, you lost your essence, the soul of your womanhood. The loss is often followed by anger, depression and loss of self-esteem. You feel resentful towards yourself and the man you sacrificed for, who, more often than not, didn’t end up loving you the way you expected.
Mistake No. 2 : Women hide their excellence and competence
Do you have the tendency of putting yourself down in front of the man you love ? Do you often have difficult times receiving praise and compliments? Do you talk about yourself in derogatory terms for the slightest mistake you make, appearing not to like yourself very much ?
“I can’t believe how stupid I was to forget about your business function tonight.”
“I’m getting so fat, look at this cellulite!”
“My boss said he is pleased with my presentation today, but I didn’t think I did a good job. I got quite confused with the budget projections and I didn’t really know what I was talking about.”
Some women cover up their competence thinking that men will love them more that way. Have you ever been told, “Don’t act too smart around men, or they won’t want to ask you out. You have to build them up and make them feel smarter than you.”
The fact is, men are turned on by competence and turned off by weakness. Men admire competent women. They are trained to be competent themselves and recognizing it in someone else makes them feel attracted to that person.
Mistake No. 3 : Women cover up or give up their power to men
Some women sacrifice their self-respect, self-esteem, sense of personal dignity and integrity in order to get men to love them. Do you act more as a confident and powerful person at work or with friends than you do when you are with your partner ? Do you feel insecure or uncomfortable giving negative feedback to your partner ? Do you put up with intolerable behaviour of your partner in hopes of winning him over ? Do you sacrifice what you wants and needs in order to accommodate your partner ? Do you live in constant fear of disapproval ?
One of the biggest mistake women make with men is rewarding them with loving behaviour after the men treated the women badly.
Each time you give your power away to a man by allowing him to treat you disrespectfully or unlovingly, you lose respect and love for yourself. Your self-esteem will drop.
For many women, they have become so accustomed to not being treated with respect and dignity that they allow men to love them much less than they deserved to be loved.
Owning your power with men does not mean having power over them. It is about empowering yourself with love and respect and making sure the men in your life do the same.
Mistake No. 4 : Women act like mothers and treat men like children
Have you ever said any of the following things to a man ?
“Honey, did you remember to pay that overdue phone bill ?”
“You forget to make the hotel reservation ? It’s ok, I’ll do it for you.”
“Don’t forget to switch off the lights before you come upstairs.”
“Don’t you think you will feel cold with that light jacket on?”
“Darling, don’t forget to take your medicine.”
“How many times do I have to tell you to wash the cup after use?”
“The last time I asked John to do grocery shopping for me, it was a disaster. He came back with almost due bread and milk. I should have just done it myself.”
When we keep asking questions such as listed above, we are treating men like children. We are assuming that they cannot take care of themselves and need constant reminders. We act as if they are incompetent and they need us to run their lives for them.
When you treat a man like a little boy, he will act like one. When you expect a man to be incompetent, he remains incompetent.
Mistake No. 5 : Women act like little girls to get what they want from men
When you were a little girl, you got attention for being sweet, cute and vulnerable. For some women, this behaviour carries on till adulthood.
Some women act naive or ignorant when in actual fact she knows the truth and the answer. She tries to give men the false sense of self-esteem.
Do you act hurt, cry, pout or sulk when you are angry over the way the man treats you? Do you pretend to be lost or confused when you are not? Do you speak to a man in whiny, little-girl voice rather than as a woman ? Do you create chaos in your life so that you can get a man to rescue you and secretly enjoyed being rescued?
Men may enjoy feeling big, strong and in charge, but they will not respect you. They will end up treating you like a little girl, not the woman whom you really are. This means less passion, less real love.
For some men, they are already overwhelmed by responsibilities in life. So, even though he responds to your helplessness and rescues you, he may end up feeling resentful and annoyed by your behaviour in the end.
Do you expect yourself finding men in need, and focusing much of your time and energy on “helping” them, “rescuing” them, “fixing” them? You give them time, love, money, energy and advice. And when you succeed, you pride yourself on your ability to “bring out the best in a man”? If your answer is yes, then, you are not falling in love with the man, you are falling in love with his potential. You are not really in a relationship; you are actually “working on a project”.
Having a healthy relationship with a man means loving him for who is now, and not loving him in spite of who he is today, or loving him with the hope of who he will be tomorrow.