You Don’t Have To Be Perfect All the Time to Have a Good Relationship

progressI talk a lot about what you should and shouldn’t do in a relationship. These “rules” definitely work and should be used whenever possible.  But even I (self-proclaimed rule-maker extraordinaire) don’t always follow the rules because… well no one is perfect. There are times when you will fight and scream because there is this one thing that has (despite being on your best behavior) bubbled up.  This one thing he does that makes you just want to lose it.

It’s normal.

And while the best behaved me will tell you to keep your cool and use your actions not your words, if you slip up once in a while that is not a bad thing and may actually work to your advantage, as long as it’s once in a while. This can be referred to as the “pick your battles approach” and should only be used when you really cannot take it anymore.  By having a good old fashion throw down once in a blue moon you will be able to put emphasis on the one thing that is a real non-negotiable.  I will let you decide what that is for you (hint. It’s not that he won’t make the bed in the morning).

You see men do not respond to what they call “nagging” and what we call “friendly reminders”. Even though we think we are helping to nudge them along that is the exact thing that makes them dig in their heels.  If you keep your cool about it and explain your issue once or twice, 6 months pass, you haven’t brought it up, and he is still digging in his heels, you have my absolute blessing to let him have it. After all I don’t wish you to be a rug he can walk all over either. By picking your battles (by the way this means waiting longer than you think .. and then a little while longer… to it bring up {again}) you will be able to put emphasis on what is important to you and then he can decipher what issues are more serious than others.

It’s like the little boy (or girl in this case) who cried wolf.  If you are always complaining and kicking and screaming with no follow up actions he won’t take you seriously.  If you are always cool and collected and then one time you just let him have it, he will actually pay attention.

Have a lovely weekend Princesses.

Ash.

Let Romantic Gestures Come Organically

romanticMost women really like when a man does a romantic gesture just for them. Whether it is sending flowers to her work, opening the car door, or telling her she is beautiful.

These gestures tend to come more frequently at the beginning of the relationship then as things progress they happen less often. As things progress she tends to get impatient with the amount of gestures she is getting or the amount of time in between each gesture.

She likes the reassurance, the ability to brag how great he is to her friends. When the gestures fade she starts to make comments to him more often such as “why can’t you just bring me flowers” or “it would be nice if you brought me a surprise gift once in awhile”.

While it can be frustrating when you are not feeling like you are getting enough attention, telling the guy that you want something over and over either deters him from actually doing it or he does it, but just to shut you up (see. not from his heart).

Neither of these things are what you are looking for are they?

You want him to do it so you are reassured that he feels the same way about you as you do about him.  However trying to get it in this fashion, no matter how frustrated you get, does not prove he loves you at all… and I have a little secret for you… HE KNOWS YOU WANT THAT STUFF!… any guy who’s had at least one girlfriend before you or even watched a a few romcom knows girls like that stuff. He is just not interested in doing it constantly because he knows he loves you and doesn’t feel compelled to prove it every day.

To clarify I am not saying you shouldn’t say “I think its nice to get flowers”, or “my favorite flowers are sunflowers”, if you like, but only once or twice at most. There is nothing wrong with letting him know you would appreciate such a gesture…but once or twice and he will get the point. What he chooses to do with that information is up to him. He may listen he may not. He may listen but not buy you flowers for 8 months, be patient. He is not stupid… he just likes to pretend he is. Romance is not pressuring someone into paying for overpriced flowers because you complained so much that he couldn’t take it anymore.

Gestures mean more when he comes up with them completely on his own and unless he is a complete flake, he will if you give him a chance. It might not be as fast or as frequent as you would like but it will be true.

The other catch to this is, if you are not getting stop giving! Because her relationship is at most times in the forefront of her mind she tends to give more in general than him. She will make him big fancy meals, pick him up something she thinks he would enjoy while shopping, and make him coffee every morning. While these things are very nice; moderation is key. If you are constantly doing things for him and he is not reciprocating at a level you expect, cut it off or cut it down. It’s not easy but I have done it and the benefits are doubled.

Now once you finally get your romantic gesture, even something as small as tidying up a bit while you are out with your girlfriends, BE THANKFUL. Overly thankful is even better! Men love being being told they did good. Who doesn’t!? So if you want more gestures like that say thank you and at least sound like you mean it every.single.time. He will be encouraged to do that again or do something else like that again because he likes feeling appreciated.

Don’t be picky with what you get either. Let me remind you again the point of these gestures is to show love from the heart so if he finally picks you up something he thought you would like and it is a super ugly scarf, or figurine, or something, wear it or display it proudly. When I hear about women returning gifts that drives me nuts. He is going to just stop getting you anything, its emasculating. Use your manners and accept the gift for the thought if you really don’t like it. By the way this pet peeve is the same for the ring but that’s a whole different discussion for another day.

The moral of the story.. give him the benefit of the doubt… he may just surprise you.. This past weekend me and my prince were out at a karaoke bar.. I wrote on one of the request papers “I feel like we are going to be famous”.. Drunkenly, and kind of not thinking because we fantasize about being famous all the time, he ripped it up and said “Ya ya I know that already”.

Now I had 2 choices here. I could have got pissy, mopped around, and started a fight… or I could let it go, act like it didn’t annoy the shit out of me, and continue on having a fun night. I did the second one.

Shortly after I got up to go to the washroom. When I came back he handed me something. It was the taped up little pieces of paper that he ripped up. He actually went to the bar and got tape from the bartender to tape it back together. Realizing himself that ripping it up was so not cool.

I didn’t have to say one thing and I ended up getting a super organic gesture that cost nothing, but was so thoughtful, that it meant everything.

If you want to keep you prince, Stop acting like a princess

Ash.

Cheating is Not Okay… and Neither is Snooping

imagesI used to be quite the detective. Ever since the early age of 14 I was convinced that all men were cheaters and not to be trusted. Back in the days of ICQ I learned how to hack my boyfriend’s password and read all the messages he was sending to other girls behind my back. My best friends would come to me for help in their own hacking needs in which I was more than willing to help.. Because if he was cheating behind her back he deserved to be snooped on.

I would always find stuff too… even if it was calling another girl “hun” I would catch it and fly off the handle… It gave me an excuse to keep snooping because I would find something bad almost every single time. With my boyfriend in college it was the same.. I graduated from high school level snooping onto college level.. I was able to record anything he typed into his keyboard.. I was obsessed.. if that ability to control was ever taken away from me I felt like I couldn’t go on being with him. I justified it by the fact that I was cheated on by my last boyfriend so it was okay that I was insecure. He just had to understand or he was an insensitive prick. I would go on to catch him cheating, again, and again, and eventually leave him after 4 long years.

When I met my current boyfriend I had been burned so many times that no matter how amazing he was I still put the same label on him. I was older so I toned it down a bit to only cellphone text messages and email snooping (if he left it open).. again I told myself it was okay because of my past. It wasn’t my fault that I felt the compulsion to snoop. I could never just accept that he loved me and wanted to be with me. I was always looking for a confirmation that all guys are dogs and he would cheat on me like the rest.

Snooping, no matter how justified you think it is, is not okay. If your boyfriend is going to cheat on you, no amount of snooping is going to stop him. The fact that you are snooping in the first place tells him that you think he is a jerk and you don’t trust him. Ironically enough this is the type of stuff that is going to drive your boyfriend to cheat on you.

Now of course cheating is not right but guess what? A lot of people do it and you have probably done it in the past too princess. Now of course there are some men who are simply driven by sexual desire and who are just plain selfish jerks. They know themselves that they are not ready to settle down but will “have their cake and eat it too” until you kick them to the curb.

I would like to suggest something different for the majority of cheaters, and this will be controversial… but… what if he cheats because he has become truly unhappy in his relationship? He loves his partner too much and is too enthralled in their life together to simply say see you later.

Something like his partner snooping through all his shit and never trusting a word he says makes him feel suffocated and he slowly loses the love for her…but they are also still best friends. In this position it is hard to leave and it easier to kind of get back at her to be able to stay a little longer. This is when the kindness of a pretty stranger is too hard to resist.

Now.. and this is a theme throughout my posts.. you can only change you and cannot change your significant other. So it is time to stop blaming your past or other people and start taking responsibility for your insecurities. It is time to trust no matter how many times you have been burned because that is the only way you can prevent from being burned in the future. Stop feeding into your excuses about why it is okay to question your partner’s intentions. Just trust without reason to trust for now and then the real trust will come. It will not come quickly. You will need to resist the urge to snoop many many times. Each time you are faced with this dilemma think to yourself.. you have the ability to look or not look (question or not question). Believe that he loves you, believe that he won’t cheat on you, believe that you are amazing and then act like it. Each time you are faced with this and overcome it you will be one step closer to having the real thing… a real honest to goodness trusting relationship.

Ash.

Let Him Play Video Games

videogames

Pulling yourself away from your lover can be hard. You want to spend all your time with him because you are each other’s best friend. But do you know who else is your best friend? Space. He is your buddy, trust me, and he can make of break your relationship.

Women tend to have this warped view that when their man isn’t spending every minute with them they don’t care about them as much anymore. Not true. They just like video games. Like seriously I don’t get it, you don’t get it.. we never will. And that’s okay. Mystery is a good friend to have too.

Video games are a way for men to unwind and escape from the normal day-to-day, much like shopping marathons or wine drinking marathons are for you.

Especially If you are past the honeymoon stage of your relationship don’t rag on your guy for playing video games! Please use this opportunity for girl time with your bffs or to finally pick up that painting hobby you have been thinking about trying for the past 3 years.

Show him that you will not just wait around like a sad puppy dog until he is ready for you (When he is done is his NHL13 – 6 hour marathon).

Sitting on the couch, bored out of your face, for hours on end, does not command respect. He will begin to take advantage of the fact that you will be there waiting whenever he pleases.

I am willing to bet when you start to do your own thing that his videogameathons will be a lot shorter. They will be shorter because he will now be wondering what the hell you are up to and why your not sitting right by his side talking his ear off like you always do when hes “just trying to game geez!”

If you want to keep your prince, Stop acting like a princess

Cheers!

Ash

What “Being Yourself” in a Relationship Really Means

beyourselfFrom the very first date you are head over heels for this guy. It is that heart stopping, can’t think straight, butterflies in your stomach feeling, and it lasts for a good three to six months from the beginning of your relationship. When you are with him you are on your best behavior. You don’t want to screw this one up. You treat him kindly, you say thank you for making breakfast, your arguments (if any) are not malicious but kind of cute in that very new sort of way that you quickly forgive each other and laugh hysterically about it later.

In this stage you wouldn’t call him an asshole (unless it was jokingly), tell him to lose some weight, or complain that he didn’t take out the trash.  Nope these things come later when you’re comfortable and you feel no guilt at all yelling at him to do whenever you see fit.

You will notice in my writing that I talk about what the woman should do in the relationship. Not because I think the man is never in the wrong or doesn’t do the same type of shit when he gets comfortable.  I talk about the woman because I am writing to you. You are the only thing you can change about your relationship. You are only responsible for you, your behavior, and your happiness.

By trying some of the things I talk about you will be able to be much happier than you have ever been in a relationship because it will still kind of feel like those first six months. Of course some things change.. Ahem sex… but that mutual respect will stay intact when you learn how to get your way without yelling until your blue in the face or making the same comment over.. and over.. and over.. and over… you get the point. If you are unhappy about certain things in your relationship or your relationship in general you can only control your stuff. No amount of telling him what to do will change anything if he doesn’t want to change. The key is to make sure that he does want to change and wants to keep doing things to make you happy. If you are constantly berating him with what he is doing wrong than that will deter from actual change and he will start to resent it; and like a young boy disobeying his mommy he will rebel. Don’t be his mommy.

When I used to think of “being myself” in my relationship I used think that meant I could act as batshit crazy as I wanted and he would still have to accept me for me no matter what. If he didn’t then he was an asshole and didn’t really love me anyway, right? Wrong.

Once women get comfortable they start to gradually make comments about their man. Now this isn’t done maliciously, it starts out by putting different expectations on him than you did before he fell in love with you.

I really didn’t think I was doing anything wrong (the first example I will give was my issue) but only after I was left alone, single, and dumbstruck, in our empty apartment did I do some serious soul searching. I didn’t only analyze what he did wrong for a change; I looked at myself, right in the mirror, for the very first time. Controlling a man to do what you want is different than encouraging him to help you in some way. Controlling is taking away the basic freedoms that he had when he was single so that he will do things your way.

Examples of controlling behavior that will kill your relationship (or at least the loving and sexy part of it) faster than you can say “don’t leave me!” are the following:  Making him feel guilty for leaving her at home so he can get some space with his friends (controlling his time), starting to tell him she doesn’t like the kind of clothes he wears (controlling his choice of expression), starting to tell him she doesn’t really think his friends are a good influence (controlling his choice of who he hangs out with). These are all example of things that women do to control the relationship on their terms. She does this to make herself more comfortable versus thinking that maybe her guy actually hates golf shirts and maybe he has seen her beautiful face for just one hour too much this week! It’s okay he still loves you, he just doesn’t want to be controlled and neither do you. You don’t get to decide what he does with his free time, you don’t get to decide on the clothes he wears, and you don’t get to decide who his buddies are.  Just like when you first started dating.

If you want to keep your prince, stop acting like a princess.

Cheers!

Ash