There’s a way to meet single men who can measure up to empowered, single women, but it starts with women raising their awareness about how they treat men.
More and more, single women say they are dating grown men who act like teenage boys. They claim there is an epidemic of Peter-Pan Syndrome sweeping the land as men refuse to grow up. There are even books about it, including last year’s “The End of Men.”
Single women are growing tired of getting into relationships with guys who leave all the decision-making and all the responsibility to them. They say it’s challenging to find a man who is supportive, strong and secure enough to handle empowered modern women.
Women today not only have their own very successful careers, but are starting small businesses at a rate higher than men. Statistics clearly show more women graduating with MBA’s and professional degrees as men fall behind. It’s getting harder and harder for a woman to find a guy who measures up.
So what does it take to find this mythical man, or is he extinct? If he does exist, where can he be found? These are all the questions I answer when I give my “Date Men, Not Boys” programs for successful women. I want to share some of my inside secrets with you, to help you find confident, masculine men in real life (before this endangered species joins the ranks of the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot).
So what can you do to avoid dating men who end up acting like teenagers? Here are some tips that will keep you from feeling like your boyfriend’s mom.
- Do not step in and solve problems when he’s not quick enough to do so. When you do this, men respond with their efficiency filter (this is proven through neurological studies.) When you grab a task right out of our hands and do it for us, we will de-prioritize that task. In our minds, that has now become YOUR job. We men will narrow our focus to only do those things we feel must be done to accomplish a goal. As soon as you take that off our plate, we stop doing it. That includes making decisions, paying bills, getting important household chores done, speaking up to rude waiters, etc. Also, it’s a bit of an insult to our manhood if you treat us like we’re incapable and you step in and start doing things for us. There is no reward for us in that. We don’t want to compete with you, especially once you’ve already made us feel like losers for not doing something to your liking. We shut down our attempts to serve you, please you and perform for you.We let you do it, rather than risk hearing you say that we screwed up, or that you did it better, faster or sooner. “But Barry, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done!” is probably what you’re thinking, as you picture your slack-jawed boyfriend on the couch. Well… that’s true, unless you use tip number two.
- Come from an intention of believing in him and seeing him at his best. When you address things that need to be done, or that you would like to see happen (whether it’s going out for dinner, or having an important decision made) he has to feel like you are inviting him to step up and demonstrate his greatness.We are ego driven creatures. If you say, “Baby, I know you can do this and when you do, I’m going to be SO happy” we not only feel like a hero, there will be the reward of knowing we satisfied our woman.Studies show this ranks higher in making men feel good than praise from his boss or his best friend, because our highest fulfillment is to know we can satisfy a woman. The flipside is, the minute we suspect we cannot satisfy you, we will no longer try. If we sense that you come from and attitude of, “Are you going to open the door for me, or what?” we feel that you already doubt us and see us in a low light. Even if we DO open the door for you, we know there will be no praise, no glow, no feeling of reward. Why bother if we’re already in the hole and all it will do is get us back to zero instead of ahead on the scoreboard? Yes, we men think like this. The good news is he CAN step up if you believe he will, and if you offer him small rewards (not sex — well, not always) of praise, approval, and appreciation because he did something that pleased you.Train us, like a dog, by offering rewards when we please you. But unlike a dog, if you punish us when we don’t please you, we will check out of the relationship to protect our ego.
- No ultimatums. When you express your needs keep it in the “I” — for example, you can say, “I need more help around the house because I’m tired after work. I’d love for you to take this one thing off my plate. I’d feel SO supported and loved, if you would do this for me.” That gives us a chance to be a hero. Compare that to, “Why don’t you ever take out the garbage?” or “I’m sick of always being the one to figure out dinner. If you don’t do X, Y or Z I am not going to do A, B or C!” That reminds us of being a kid who’s in trouble. You just became a mom. Instead, make it clear what kind of partner you need in order to be happy. Let us know your needs. Many boys will react with frustration, fear and panic when you communicate needs because they are terrified they can’t meet them, nor do they know how to set healthy boundaries. Many had over-dominant mothers and never learned how to say yes and no to women in a self-respecting way. If your guy acts like a boy, and panics at your needs, reassure him by letting him know you believe in him.
- Don’t stay stuck. Be willing to move on. Sometimes it’s scary to leave a comfortable, but unsatisfying relationship and go back out into the dating world. But if you invite your man to be your hero, see the best in him, praise and reward him when he does step up, but he still reverts to being a boy, then you have to leave. Don’t settle for a guy who’s not capable, not confident and doesn’t make you feel safe. A man should be able to protect and provide for you if you ask him for that. So be willing to move on and get the love (and the man) you deserve.
Copyright © Barry Price / 2013 Singular Communications, LLC.