We, as women, seem to regularly fall into traps of our own making, as callers frequently remind me. We fall into these traps by making mistakes that, if we really thought things over first, we would not make! Some of these mistakes are listed below. Hopefully, these will serve as a reminder of what not to do.
The first is giving an ultimatum. Yes, we’ve probably all reached that point in a relationship where we say “Do this or I’m history.” But the problem is that you have to stick by what you say, with no going back once the statement is made. Guys recognize an ultimatum just like anyone, and women had better know that there is enough emotional currency in the bank to back them up… or else. The “or else” usually entails either a broken relationship or the loss of respect. Honestly, would anyone like receiving an “or else” from someone they care for? In a solid relationship there should be plenty of discussion and mutual respect, with no need for ultimatums.
Secondly, I’ve rarely seen or heard of a good relationship being built between a man and a woman through neediness. Yes, we all have our needs, but rarely does a man want a woman to constantly ask for reassurance, for example. (He’ll start thinking that there really is something wrong.) Likewise, that includes seeking guidance on all decisions in life that smart women have really learned to do for themselves. Everyone occasionally asks for advice – but not, I believe, on a regular basis. Let your man know that you know who you are, and that you can have a good life without depending on guidance from another.
Third, do not discuss past relationships in detail (this includes who you’ve slept with). None of us like to be compared with others, no matter how far in the past that relationship occurred. Besides, the man you’re telling your stories to may feel that he will be the subject of future discussions with others! Maintain some mystery – he knows you have a past, but really likes to think that your life began with him.
Another topic that regularly comes up is the subject of family – his, of course. You can pick your lover, but you can’t pick his family. This is fact. Hopefully you will love his family as much as he does. But if you don’t, don’t tell him all about it. They’re his family, and that is not going to change. (This includes any children he may have from past relationships.) If you plan on having a permanent relationship with this man, find a way to get along with them. Alienating them will serve no good purpose.
Lastly, once you’re in a relationship with a man, do not assume that he’s going to change. What you see is what you get, in the long run. (Some women tell me they don’t even get that!) But, however, if he eats crackers in bed and forgets your birthday at first, do not assume that he will change these habits. He won’t. Remember, you were attracted to this guy for definite reasons. Repeat these reasons to yourself and don’t make it an (attempted) life project to re-make him.
I hope that these tips are enough to consider as things we don’t want to mistakenly do. As for the five mistakes smart men make… well, that’s for another day!