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Erroneous views of marriage

In America, some statistics show over 70% of the divorces are filed by women. Yet women more than men are the ones who seek marriage as the ultimate validation of themselves, often making a big fanfare of their wedding day.

When the marriage isn’t working and a divorce is filed, some women celebrate as well — often very publicly on social media, blasting it out to the world — when perhaps it should be a time of grieving, reflection, and learning.

This means only one thing. These women have a very erroneous view of marriage and what it takes.

It is not supposed to mimic a fairytale, a romance novel, or a movie.

It is not so you can change the man (who has so much “potential”) and make him the man of your dreams.

It is not so you can start a family even though he doesn’t want to be a father (or would make a bad one).

It is not so you can validate yourself as a desirable woman.

It is not so you can make your parents or peers happy and earn their approval and acceptance.

It is not so you can be a princess for the day.

It is not so you will never be lonely.

It is not so you won’t ever have to worry about money again (which you’ll pay for in other ways).

The common fantasy is that marriage should solve all these problems — when it does not. In fact, these issues are often the same reasons why women file for divorce. They are STILL lonely after being married. Their husbands are STILL the same guy who refuses to change. They are STILL living a mediocre life that doesn’t look at all like a fairytale. They STILL don’t feel good about themselves despite making everybody else happy. And after having a baby, life actually doesn’t get easier but tougher.

What does this tell you?

If you are single, be glad. Be very glad. You can now screen your suitors carefully. You can decide on the right guy to be with so you can be good partners for each other.

Now is the time for you to avoid being a statistic. Marriage is not a means to happiness. It does not get rid of loneliness, anxiety, stress, nor does it give you self-esteem. For these problems, you have to do inner work or consult a good therapist.

Marriage works best when two people are ready to share the abundance of what they already have, not when they are seeking to eliminate their deficiencies through a spouse. And that is only ONE factor. (Read about the Five Pillars of what makes a relationship work.)

To minimize drama and stress, marry for the right reason:

To commit to a long-term relationship where two people can share their love and grow — both individually and as a couple. 

This way, if any problems arise or even if a divorce becomes unavoidable down the road, you will know you put your best foot forward and you can live without regrets.

Remember, we are talking about the 21st century marriage, not the antiquated concept of the past where marriage is to take place at all costs because the clock is ticking, it’s economically convenient, or society approves.

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Does initiating EVER work?

Let me tell you why some people claim it works when women initiate. Both women and men have told me this. Even some of you readers!

Now don’t think I ignored you. I pondered for a long time on it. But I think I’ve cracked the mystery…

One man I met last year told me, “If it weren’t for my wife telling me she wanted to date me, I would never have gotten around to it.”

Now this man and woman are pretty happy together as far as I know. And they’d been married for a long time.

So why follow my advice that as a woman, you shouldn’t initiate? Since I can’t assume you are convinced just because I say so, I will lay it all out for you. I will tell you why initiating works for some women with some men. Then you can decide if you want to do the same.

When would initiating work?

Besides approaching a man in the manner and under the circumstances delineated in my EGuide “How to Show Your Interest in a Man”, which should be in every Prize Catch’s dating arsenal, here are the instances where your initiation is more likely to work than otherwise:

  • When you are initiating with a man BELOW YOUR LEAGUE (as in level of attractiveness, education level, income level, position in society, etc.) Example: You are a nine in the looks department and he is a three. You have a college degree and he is a high school dropout. You come from parents who are doctors and he lives in the trailer park. You are 25 and he is 55.
  • When you are initiating with a man who may or may not be in your league, but has self-esteem issues, lacks social skills, or has some kind of limiting belief that temporarily keeps him passive — all of which he is WILLING TO OVERCOME because of you. The man I mentioned above had doubts about being in a relationship again after a bad divorce, and after the woman initiated enough times, he found himself enjoying her company so much he decided to commit to her and eventually marry her. She was also 20 years younger than he was, so she had two factors in her favor when she initiated. It was a gamble of course for her, because she could have wasted her time on him if he hadn’t responded to her positively — which can happen even if a man is below your league.

You get the gist.

This is why rich, famous women can initiate and have relationships work in their favor. Most of the men they encounter and are attracted to, while perhaps younger, are below their league in terms of income and position in society.

And this is also why men face more challenges when they initiate with women above their league than when they do so with women in the same league or below their league.

This “league” is a popular term that is thrown around a lot but it does accurately describe why most couples are usually of the same league (as in level of attractiveness, education, income, and background). And why there are fewer couples out there with a big disparity between them, where one is obviously out of the other’s league in every category.

Of course, what constitutes a “league” can be pretty subjective. If a man you are in love with is overweight and you’re not, but you don’t mind because he’s a gentleman and knows how to make you happy, you wouldn’t say he was below your league even if your friends think so.

So, voila. now you know when initiation MIGHT work.

And let me add, because most women almost instinctively want to end up with a man in the same league or higher, avoiding men “below their league” if they can, it is imperative that these women do not initiate with the men they are attracted to. Chances are, it just wouldn’t work.

Now if these men were below their league, these “higher-aiming” women would have a better shot.

Of course, there are exceptions to everything, as a man “below your league” can still lose interest or won’t commit. But hopefully this gives you a clearer picture as far as when initiating can work and when it most likely won’t. So if you are one of these “high aimers”, you’ve been duly warned.

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Why a date is no big deal, yet it is

A date has two ramifications:

  • A date is a big deal because it is proof he views you romantically as a potential love interest and not just a quick, easy, and reliable source of female attention (which won’t get you anywhere).  A date means he is making an investment in you because you are worth his time and energy for him to get out of the house and impress you in person.
  • A date is no big deal because there may not be a second one, and it is not a marriage proposal. It is just a way for the two of you to spend time together in person. A date doesn’t mean he needs to put on a show to impress you. Instead, he needs to impress you with who he is and how he acts, so the date can be anything from taking a walk together at the local park to eating ice cream at the mall to having coffee at Starbucks to dinner at a fancy restaurant. (Beware when the first date is extravagant, like a ski trip to the Alps. Such a thing often means it’s just a one time thing where a man is willing to pay for companionship and isn’t at all serious about a long-term relationship.)

So there you have it. Don’t get freaked out if he never comes around to asking you out. And don’t freak out if he does ask you out, because guess what? He’s not trying to marry you. He might be dating multiple women or even sleeping with them. Or he might be bored of being alone and just wants to have a good time with a girl.

Don’t overanalyze the meaning of a date, except to remember it is important he makes it happen if you are to continue chatting with him!

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Worrying, wondering, and waiting…

Do you find yourself doing that?

If you are experiencing the three W’s, it’s time to take a look to see if you are in any of these situations:

He isn’t asking you out.

He isn’t asking you to be exclusive.

He isn’t contacting you when he said he would or when you expect him to.

He isn’t…

He isn’t…

He isn’t…

Anything he isn’t doing is causing you to Worry, Wonder, and Wait. What should you do in response?

Well, if you’re engaging and paying attention to him and he is still not initiating, the answer is very simple. But it can be hard to do for a lot of people. Why? Because many people hold on to a fantasy of someone instead of facing the reality of that someone.

The answer is you need to move on. Of course, you don’t need to make a scene or cause him grief. Just let him know you’re moving on. Or, if you want to, quietly move on and let him Worry, Wonder, and Wait!

But I doubt if he will be doing that. Why? Because a guy who wants to be with you in a relationship is not going to disappear or be flaky.

A guy who wants to be in a relationship with you is incompatible with the above behaviors that cause you to Worry, Wonder, and Wait.

So anytime, you find out he isn’t stepping up, you don’t have to ask him how he feels about you. The answer is boldly and loudly stated in how he behaves. It’s your move now.

Have you been through the three W’s? How did you tackle it? Share your story!

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Men are not a project

There is saying going around that explains why so many marriages aren’t working:

“Men marry women and expect them to stay the same. Women marry men and expect them to change.”

There may be truth to this. Perhaps because the basic biological nature of women is that of nurturing, women are more inclined to encourage progress and make improvements on persons they care about.

Women use this same instinct on just about everyone and everything, including family members and friends, careers, household decisions, etc.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this tendency. Except when it comes to a man.

When you’re with a man, curb your tendency to want to fix and improve him. Sure, if he asks for your input, give it to him. If he wants your influence, he will be influenced. Just don’t try to make him interested in you, fall in love, or commit.

Or be more romantic. Or x or y.

He is not something to work on like losing weight or growing a garden. He is his own person with his own ideas and preferences and interfering with them will only frustrate you more.

This doesn’t mean you should tolerate bad behavior. Non-interference doesn’t mean you hang on to someone who treats you badly. It means you let him know his behavior is unacceptable by your action: the action of letting him go.

A man makes his own choices and he alone is responsible for that. No matter how much you’re itching to do something, you are not responsible for his choice to avoid commitment, fail to show up, or not ask you out. Sure, if you did something to turn him off, you can shoulder the blame of losing his interest. But if you’ve done nothing but be reasonable and nice, then guess what, he has made his choice.

Meanwhile, there is a project waiting for you. It’s a lot more rewarding. It’s the YOU PROJECT.

You’re better off working on yourself because the rewards are guaranteed. You will enjoy all kinds of advantages and benefits, such as experiencing self-worth, recognizing what is healthy and unhealthy, being at ease and never desperate, and being able to let go without hesitation and confidently move on from a man who isn’t able to give you what you want. And, you will be able to graciously and happily accept good treatment, because it takes a healthy mindset to enjoy a healthy relationship.

And always keep doing the YOU PROJECT while you date. Men can come and go and even stay, but the YOU PROJECT is for keeps!

Don’t wait. Quit the Man Project and start on the You Project!

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Friendly men

How do you respond to a friendly guy if he’s attractive?

It seems he likes you, enough to look at you, show warmth, and even affection. He hugs you when he sees you. He likes to hang out with you. He might even be texting you a lot and following you around in social media.

Is he just a friend? Is he a potential boyfriend? What in the world is he?

Friendly men are exactly that. FRIENDLY MEN. Is there the word “suitor” somewhere in there? No.

There won’t be even if you wish it so. You can dream all you want, but until this friendly man sets up a date and pays for it, he doesn’t see you in a romantic way.

It is very important that a guy regards you romantically if you want more. When a guy doesn’t see you as romantic material, he will not court you. He will text, hang out, text, hang out, text, ….. anything but court you.

Courtship is a sign that a man is NOT satisfied with friendship, and wants you as a romantic partner. It is also a sign that he wants to cherish you, which places you in a different category.

And a man who insists on waiting for a woman to ask him out, courting HIM, is a man who you can never be sure of and a man who requires you to do the work to earn his attention. There are many women willing to step up to be with such a man. It’s up to each woman to decide what she is willing to do to be in a relationship.

Just remember. If a man you’re attracted to is satisfied being your friend, move on.

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The Hiddleswift Danger Zone?

The Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston whirlwind romance has taken the news media by storm and got fans into a tizzy. This starry combustion supposedly began in New York City, then onto Nashville, Rhode Island, England, Rome, back to Rhode Island, and now Australia for Tom to work on the movie Thor: Ragnarok. All supposedly in less than a month.

And they’ve even met each other’s parents.

If you’ve been reading my Prize Catch Dictionary, you’ll know what the Danger Zone is. In short, it means when it’s all too much, too soon, too fast, and too often.

Where’s the mystery? Where’s the anticipation for more? When you give the guy the whole banquet, he overeats. Being satiated and engorged with you, why would he crave for more of you?

Assuming what we’re reading about the two lovebirds is true, this is exactly what I’ve been warning everyone about.

Now if they end up happily married forever with children (a total myth by the way, as no one is 100% happy all the time married or single), I’m sure I’d be hearing about how wrong I was. But I’m not here to predict their demise, only to caution against ENTERING THE DANGER ZONE.

The most common reasons for entering the Danger Zone:

1) When two people hurry the dating process to avoid long distance separation.

2) When two people cram their time together due to conflicting schedules.

3) When the need to be with each other overrides the will to discipline and pace oneself.

Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston not only flew together, but can we safely assume in this day and age they are sharing the same bedroom as well? I think so.

The two of them can certainly afford to fly to each other whenever they want to, whereas regular folks such as you and I just don’t have such means. And Taylor’s private jet conveniently jetting the two around definitely has not helped pace herself (the only time when owning your own plane is a liability!). Remember what I always advise: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

What would my advice to a lovestruck Taylor be?

“You just got off a relationship with someone else (Calvin Harris), which should give you pause to reflect on what went wrong and what you can glean from that relationship t0 avoid the same mistakes in the next one. Instead, you threw yourself into the arms of someone else rather quickly. And yes, sometimes you can’t help whom you’re attracted to, and if it’s this English gentleman named Tom Hiddleston, you thought, why not?

“But you didn’t let him do much wooing, which he should be perfectly capable of. Instead, it seemed as if you suddenly took over. Yes, you have more wealth and means than he does so you can take control and make things happen quickly and easily, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still need to be empowered as a self-respecting man. Sometimes finances emasculate men. Read my EGuide “When & How to Reciprocate”, it explains how to respond to a guy treating you and how to treat a guy on a date in a way that doesn’t disempower him.

“And yes, some men are beta males perfectly happy in the role of recipient and sidekick to an alpha female. We’ve seen those pairings. And maybe a beta is what Tom is. If so and if you are fine with it, then you can stop reading right here.

“But in case he’s not…”

“Long distance for the two of you is inevitable for the time being, so be in contact via Skype or phone calls now and then. You see, so far, your dates aren’t even dates but full-blown vacations, which set up the Danger Zone of no return perfectly. This is where witnessing each other’s personal habits (as in hearing each other flush toilets) before genuine love has set in for good, potentially ruins chances for something lasting.

“Playing house when the bond is still fragile is always risky. Even for the rich.

“Deep, long lasting love is built upon slow burning embers, not flashes of fireworks admired as a spectacle that dies an equally quick death. Yes, the two of you might sizzle and pop sexually. But slow down. Let him miss you. Let him wonder what you’re up to. He can’t if you’re right next to him in bed every night, every meal, every swim, in three continents.

“The Danger Zone ultimately crushes dreams and breaks hearts, because there is no return and no do-over. It’s the beginning of the end. Hopefully, for fans of Hiddleswift, your case is the exception!”

What do you think? Do you think Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston are in the Danger Zone?

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