Everyone will throw advice at you on “how to attract a man,” but what about asking whether he’s even WORTH attracting in the first place?
No one is doublechecking to make sure that the man you want is worth the investment. It’s assumed that if you want him, you can have him.
I was told this explicitly in the early days of my work as a dating coach:
“Your job is not to tell women who they should want. Your only job is to get them the man they want.”
The longer I did this work, the more I saw women desperately working to win the affections of men who DIDN’T treat them well.
It became harder and harder to stay silent.
Yes, it was not my place to tell them that they shouldn’t want what they want.
But surely it WAS my job to teach them what a healthy relationship looked and felt like, so they knew how it felt to be loved.
When You Love a Man Who Can’t Love You
We don’t always know how it feels to be loved like that.
But we do know how to love.
We know how to love REALLY well.
Our hearts are so big and so generous that when we give our heart away, we don’t want it back. We want him to keep our heart forever.
And that quality of ours, which is so beautiful, can burn us badly.
When a man has our heart, it is SO hard to criticize him.
It is so hard to admit that he has something precious of ours that he’s not taking care of.
It is impossible to imagine leaving while he still has our heart, but we don’t know how to get it back. We don’t even want it back. We’re torn.
So instead we choose to believe that there’s a way to change him.
Surely the problem is NOT that we’ve given our heart to someone who’s destroying it little by little.
Surely the problem is that he doesn’t understand.
He doesn’t understand how badly he’s hurting us. He doesn’t understand the depths of our love. He doesn’t understand what a beautiful love story this could be.
And if we can only make him understand, then he’ll WANT to change. He’ll want to be the man we know he’s capable of being.
So what makes men change?
What makes a man who’s been treating you poorly or indifferently treat you well again?
If Only You Could Get the “Old Him” Back
It seems like there should be some trick to make him fall in love with you again.
After all, you remember what it was like in the early days of your relationship. You remember how wonderful it was. You remember what a gentleman he was.
You wish you had the old him back.
Sometimes you do. Sometimes he wakes up and acts like his old self.
But more often you see a man who takes you for granted, expects you to cater to his needs, and isn’t all that interested in you.
No matter. You still believe in him. You believe that the man you fell in love with is still inside.
So you look for information on how to make him want you again.
The idea gives you hope. You’ll follow the advice, it will work, and he’ll realize what he has with you.
He’ll open his heart, and you’ll fall into it, and you’ll never be apart again.
What a love story that would be!
But right now it’s JUST a story.
And a somewhat unlikely story at that.
In real life, change requires more than a magic bullet. Changing your relationship dynamics takes patient, persistent work.
You can give him a jolt of passion, or turn on his obsession chemicals, but chances are he’ll go right back to treating you the way he’s been treating you.
That’s because the way he treats you is the way he’s USED to treating women in relationship. It’s a habit.
It’s a reflection of who he is. It’s not a reflection of how he feels about you.
Making him fall in love with you again may not be what you need.
What you really need is for him to commit to do better.
He Has to Want to Change
He’s got to see that the way he’s acting isn’t loving, and it doesn’t reflect the man he wants to be.
He’s got to be open to learning new ways of talking with you, new ways of respecting you, new ways of coordinating with you. He’s got to be willing to try and fail and try again.
And he may have never seen a man do that.
He may never have seen a relationship before where a man listened to a woman, thoughtfully considered what she said, and worked with her to find a solution.
It’s REALLY hard to do something we’ve never seen done before.
It takes motivation and dedication and determination.
He’s got to be really motivated to push past the resistance and discomfort.
His friends may make fun of him for working on his relationship. An inner voice may tell him that it isn’t manly to share power with his girlfriend.
And what is powerful enough to motivate him like that?
If his feelings for you aren’t enough to get him to change, what will?
From what I’ve seen, there’s only one energy source powerful enough to fuel this work:
His desire to be a better man.
How Real Men Treat Women
For so many men, being a man is everything.
It’s not just their identity. It’s their purpose.
At the end of the day, they judge themselves by whether they were “man enough.”
When you are with a man who defines “being a man” as “showing up for my girlfriend as a gentleman, protector, and passionate lover”…
Then you get a VERY different relationship than if you were with a man who defines “being a man” as “being in charge, having lots of sex, and always winning.”
I’ve written before about how important it is to find out what being a man means to your guy, because his views on manhood will have a huge impact on your relationship.
Some men think that a “real man” never gets tied down by a woman. He keeps women in their place. He never lets a woman prevent him from going his own way.
Other men think a “real man” makes a commitment and raises a family and contributes to his community. A real man sacrifices. A real man keeps his word.
Keep this in mind.
His desire to be a man is one of the great motivating forces in his life.
It’s often more powerful than his romantic feelings. Women come and go, but his legacy as a man lasts forever.
You Need to Know This
So don’t assume that the way a man treats you is a direct result of his feelings for you.
His behavior is more often a result of his belief system.
The way a man treats you reflect the way he thinks men SHOULD treat women.
Some men think a man should wine and dine a woman in the beginning. Then, once they’re together, it’s the woman’s job to bring him beer and food!
You need to find this out BEFORE you give your heart away.
So talk to him about what being a man means to him. Who are his role models? What qualities does a real man possess?
And then think very carefully about what his answers say about who he’d be as a partner.