Fuck… this isn’t easy to release publicly…
I did this exercise for myself (behind the scenes) as a way to learn and reflect on some of my previous failed relationships. Too many people allow their shortcomings to define them FOREVER and I don’t believe that has to be the case.
If we want to change our external world we MUST first change our internal world in order to move forward and grow.
I honestly feel like it’s my duty to put out this post maybe in hopes of helping some of my younger followers to avoid making some of the same mistakes I’ve made over the last few years…Who knows if I’ll achieve that but here we go…
These are in no particular order…
#1 – SPEAK UP ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL
It’s important to voice your opinion about how you feel if something upsets you or goes against your values/beliefs.
In the past, I would avoid tough conversations in order to side-step uncomfortable communication which “could” lead to arguments/fights. For me personally – this only led to; emotional withdrawal (and hidden anger/resentment) on my end, which then caused my partner’s needs to not be met. It won’t take long for this to destroy a relationship.
#2 – AVOID VALIDATION SEEKING BEHAVIOR
As a man it’s very important to be confident in yourself, what you stand for, and how you choose to view the world/live your life even though you are not perfect.
When we don’t truly LOVE ourselves for who we are we consistently seek external validation from others and this is one of the BIGGEST TURNOFFS for women.
How can a woman trust you to keep her safe if you don’t even trust yourself? Be a fucking LEADER!
#3 – FOCUS ON YOUR MISSION AND PURPOSE
Women are attracted to men who know what they want and go after it with passion. In previous relationships I had the tendency to put my mission/purpose on the side and solely focus on her needs.
As much as this contradicts some of my statements later on in this post; the truth is – a woman doesn’t want a man whose ONLY goal in life is to make her happy. She wants a man who loves her, makes her happy, AND lives from his heart with a desire and passion to take on the world to change /improve it for the better!
#4 – KEEP THE MYSTERY AND DON’T MAKE IT SO EASY…
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in all 3 of my relationships during my 30’s. I moved WAY TO FAST, Put EVERYTHING on the table, and completely exposed everything I felt way too quickly. Many women won’t admit this but they actually want a challenge.
As much as they love being chased – they also love chasing a man and having a bit of uncertainty about how the man feels. Too many men (including myself obviously) make it way too easy and take all the fun out of the relationship in the early stages. Don’t be like all the other guys out there….
#5 – QUALIFY AND TEST WOMEN!
Women are extremely smart. They consistently test and qualify men during the early dating stages to make sure they are the fit right for them. Most men think only with their “ you know what” and then realize “ when it’s too late” that the woman they are now in a relationship with 6-12 months down the road isn’t the right fit for them.
Before getting into a relationship it’s important to know exactly what it is you want in a woman based on your needs, values, beliefs, etc. Test and qualify womens just like they do to you during the dating stages and don’t be afraid to walk away if things are not fit. Sex and the intital chemistry during the honeymoon stages will only take you so far…
#6- STOP TRYING TO CHANGE SOMEONE…
This hurts me to say but it’s what I’ve come to realize as the truth. Most people won’t change nor are they willing to change. They are who they are! In the past I took on the mentality of wanting to fix others and uplift them with my positivity – but this is a dead end road.
People may change for a bit – but long term change/growth takes a strong commitment that can only be fostered by the individual when they are ready. Don’t try to change people. It usually doesn’t take too long to really get to know someone.
That’s why It’s so important to get to know someone outside of just physical intimacy before you get into a serious commitment. People can only hide their true selves for so long until it comes out…
#7 – KNOW THE PURPOSE OF A RELATIONSHIP…
One of the worst mistakes I made during some of my previous relationships was focusing only on my needs. This is a recipe for disaster and will only lead to break-up or a miserable existence.
The goal of a relationship should be to selflessly give love to your partner and to meet their needs. When you start doing things only to receive something in return OR if you’re counting what you did for them as if keeping score for a basketball game; then your relationship becomes transactional. Do things from the bottom of your heart to love your partner not in order to get something in return.
#8 – LEARN YOUR PARTNER’S LOVE LANGUAGE
One of the things I learned over the last year was that not everyone “feels” or “receives” love the same way. I read a great book called “ The 5 Love Languages” and it taught me that people can experience love differently. Most people have 2 main love languages.
It’s important to learn what love languages your partner has or else you’ll be hitting your head against a brick wall! All because you feel loved when your partner gives you physical touch or when they share words of affirmation doesn’t mean she feels the same. Acts of kindness or quality time may be more important to her. Find out what this is!
#9 – OPEN UP 100% “WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT”
During the beginning stages I mentioned that I believe it’s important to take things slow and be a bit of a challenge (which I wish I would have done in the past). When you rush things too quickly it causes a lot of complications and additional pressure that isn’t necessary (at first) when everyone is still getting to know each other.
With that being said, when you’re finally ready to make things more serious it’s important to fully open your heart and give 100%. As men it’s tough sometimes to be vulnerable and put our hearts on the line… especially if we’ve been hurt in the past or have some type of limiting beliefs holding us back. The reason I share this is because many times in the past I would only give 50% effort and then I would be angry that my partner didn’t give me 100%.
People aren’t stupid and most people know when you aren’t giving it your all. If you give 100% of your heart and become fully vulnerable and the other person isn’t willing to match your level of love or at-least put in the effort to reciprocate then maybe it’s a sign you guys aren’t right for each-other.
#10 – GROWTH & IMPROVEMENT NEVER ENDS…
The old saying that goes “ if you aren’t’ growing then you’re dying “ couldn’t be more appropriate in this final part of the post. When it comes to being in a serious relationship I’ve learned that the growth never ends. We as men must always be exploring who we are always looking for ways to improve and grow as individuals for our partner & relationship and for the world. Reflecting and pondering consistently on our purpose, mission, values, and how we are showing up in our lives EVERYDAY is so fucking important.
We must have the courage to admit our shortcomings and put a plan together to improve. I truly believe that we are all imperfectly perfect in our own unique way and bringing two people together in order to form a bond as one is no easy undertaking. While I’ve clearly communicated how much work it takes to build a relationship I believe it’s the most important thing in life.
Too many people chase money, career, materialism, notoriety & clout. I honestly believe the love we share with someone who we fully trust and admire is the most extraordinary spice of life.
Hope this added a little value.
And thanks to all my friends & coaches who’ve helped me to grow over the years in many areas of life.