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Men are not a project

October 17, 2016

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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  1. jane permalink

    Just to say loving your responses OneTruth. Have bought a couple of your “advices” – very good! One question though. I am starting out on internet dating. I am 53. Should I shave a couple of years off my age or not. I look young for my age so could easily pass for 10 years younger according to my friends. But not sure about this question. Could you please answer this for me?! Thank you, Jane, London, UK.

    • Jane,

      Shaving a couple of years off your age may seem like a very well-intended move, but if it is only a couple of years, I don’t think it’s worth doing. You see, dating profiles usually offer a desired age range of one’s match, such as 45-55, and even when your age might be beyond what a man’s chosen preference is (as in 40-52), your profile can still end up on their radar due to other things you and he have in common.

      And also remember, men are visually-oriented so the prime trigger to get his attention is your photo. If you can dig up some good photos of yourself where you look ten years younger, then those photos, not your age, will be what will draw him initially.

      Lastly, in the event a man does want to meet you after seeing you online, he may not like that you put a false age on your profile. While to you it may not seem like a big deal, to him, hardly knowing you, it may raise a red flag that you may lie about other things as well.

      Of course, another man may shrug it off, not caring one way or the other as long as you end up looking like your photos, but I once met a man who told me he met a woman from a dating site who stated she was 6 feet tall, when in reality she was 6 foot 3 inches, one inch shorter than he was. When he met her and saw her true height, he didn’t ask her out again. You might say he was being shallow and picky, but he told me he felt she conned him because he certainly would never have asked her out had she been 6 foot 3 inches. And mainly, the lie itself turned him off.

      When you first meet someone, he doesn’t know you. He only has basic information to go by. He can only judge you and decide whether to see you again based on this basic information. If you present a slightly distorted set of information, there are sometimes consequences.

      I advise that you save yourself from potential grief. Trust that you will receive admiration for looking as good as you do at 53 by men both younger and older than you!

  2. Belinda permalink

    What do you think of a man who says he wants to build a relationship with ypu, based on friendship and see where it goes? Along with telling you how beautiful you are. What does this mean? After one date right before xmas, it seems both premature and stifling. Still no second date but lots of contact via texting. He’s seeming to want me to respond to that bc it’s the second time he’s used a variation in that line. He also keeps saying he can’t wait to see me again but then no actual invite. I think he expects me to say: That sounds great want to meet up?!

    • Belinda,

      Friends who start out platonically can end up romantically and in a marriage. However, if you have feelings for him that are not platonic, being friends with him won’t be good for you (as explained in these articles “Friendly Men”, “Friendship, the Ultimate Excuse”, “Why a Suitor is Not a Friend or Therapist”, and “What about Just Being Friends?”.)

      It’s very important you don’t start out telling yourself he’s a friend if you have romantic or sexual feelings for him. He is someone with the power to ignore you and cause pain. A random person doesn’t have that power. All because you have feelings for one and not the other. Therefore, it’s fine he wants to have a relationship based on friendship, but you must know that a relationship is actually based on more than friendship and requires him to date you.

      Otherwise, you’re dealing with a male friend you’re in love with who might never be your boyfriend. That’s the saddest position for a woman to be in, wouldn’t you agree? This position is what can make her go insane because she doesn’t want to lose him as a friend nor does she want to lose him as a potential romantic partner. So she is double stuck!

      Therefore, you should move on. If he wants to set up a date with you, he can always do that. He has more than enough encouragement from you. When you move on, it doesn’t mean you have to turn him down if he asks you out one day. It just means you want to make yourself available to men who will actually be a suitor (one who pursues).

      Dates are how a guy should get to know you romantically. Otherwise, he just wants to be your platonic friend and there is no future with him. A good article to read is “Who are These Men Who Don’t Pursue?”.

      If a guy wants to get to know you as “friends” and not date you, it must mean many things. Here are some:

      1. He is scared but lonely enough to still want to keep in contact with you (and waste your time).
      2. He is not ready but lonely enough to still want to keep in contact with you (and waste your time).
      3. He has other options and doesn’t want to focus on just you (you’re one of the bunch).

      How soon do you want to get a real date? As soon as you are willing to move on. As I told the previous commenter, there are guys out there who do want to ask you out. You do not have to focus on ones who for whatever reason don’t.

  3. NinaNina permalink

    men are not a project

    men are already programmed to have more than one partner

    but like One Truth says, there are men who want to devote to you (provided if you want to pay heed to all the principles One Truth provides on here)

    just a coincidence, I’d like to share something now that I’m reading this very part of the paragraph:

    Subtitle: Freedom and human actions

    “Kant drew our attention to the fact that a question exists which, although it itself unquestionably belongs to the sphere of the essence of logos, nonetheless requires an answer within the practical side of human experience: this is the question of the freedom of will. The assumption that people are free is refuted, or so it would seem, by biologists – particular genetic biologists or neurologists. For well over 100 years we have been hearing that it is proven that the human being is programmed in one way or another, be that genetically, socially, environmentally or through some combination of these. Recently we have been told that the more the human brain is examined, the more clearly it is shown to contain nothing that be referred to as the agent of freedom. In light of such claims, popular-scientific publications have stipulated that the institution of monogamy is contrary to human nature (at least in regard to the male half) since men have been programmed by nature to have several partners. Is it therefore an option for the unfaithful husband, having been found out, to defend himself, saying: “The biologists have proven that I had no choice; I was only following my program’ ? ”

    I think the paragraph worth our attention to the principles that One Truth provides. I think the more reason to agree with One Truth, that all the principles truly make sense.

  4. Anne permalink

    Hi One Truth,

    Can we apply this to friends as well? If you are not satisfied with the way you are treated, etc, should you try to change the situation, or just leave them?

    Should there be a difference between how you’re dealing with your friends, and how you’re dealing with your husband?



    • Anne permalink

      Because I think this post appies to friends equally.

    • Anne,

      There should not be much difference between dealing with a friend and a husband, in that you have to sit down and have a talk. Find out what the problems are between you two.

      Having said that, this also depends on the person you’re dealing with. Sometimes you can’t be 100% honest with a friend, because they may not know what to do with what you’re saying. They may feel hurt and even angry, and not appreciate what you’re saying.

      Of course husbands may not take it the right way either, but remember, friends can simply drop you and not talk to you anymore. Husbands will still be around after a conversation. So it all depends on the person and the nature of the problem.

  5. Belinda permalink

    Great post! It is so important to understand that he is who he is. I’m still obsessing about this guy I wrote about before. There was another ridiculously flirty moment. Totally on accident for me. And he doesn’t flirt with others to that extent. Still….no date invitation. I’m just going crazy bc I like him. But I’ve been thinking all night of how to act when i see him around. I just need to go back tp treating him the way I did before the attraction light bulb went on. I treated him nicely and like the dorky guy that he is. For a while, I thought he might even be gay. Haha. But ever since the attraction switch went on in my brain and he’s not gay …I’ve been way obsessing. The ME project is more inportant. Idk what his deal is…but trying to figure it out is impossible. I just need to concentrate on myself. Thanks for more great advice.

    • Belinda permalink

      Ok. Final notice on this guy.
      He saw me. Didn’t wave. Because he was flirting or just conversing with another attractive office girl. Case closed. I caught him and worse he knew i was right there. Either some mean trick or just doesn’t like me suddenly. I’m too much effort and he’s going for an easier target. Sad. You are right. Don’t read into false indications of interest. Only thing…i did deliberately ignore him yesterday too. At least I haven’t done anything outrageous to embarrass myself.

      • Belinda,

        I think you’ve been investing in him emotionally or attaching to him emotionally, even if he hasn’t asked you out. This can be so easy to do when you simply talk to a guy regularly. I want to, however, congratulate you on remaining aware of what’s going on and also not resorting to desperate moves. One thing I know is he has tremendous respect for you, even if he didn’t wave at you or didn’t ask you out. Any woman who isn’t falling for his antics is someone he knows he can’t fool easily.

        Remember, whichever woman he ends up with that he didn’t have to put effort in getting, is someone he will not value. That’s just how humans are wired. That which requires more effort (climbing Mount Everest or hooking a marlin) is more prized than that which doesn’t (walking on the sidewalk or catching a tadpole).

        • Belinda permalink

          Thank you. He did try to throw the ball into my court on his way out the door leaving for a new job. I was polite but didn’t take the bait. If at some point he decides he can’t live without me…he can track me down. I do believe he has respect for me, but I honestly think he is an extreme bachelor and may consider a serious relationship when nearing 50! Lol. I’m actually glad he left bc I’m no longer distracted by his antics. Feel like I learned a lot from just this tiny flirtation. I don’t want to get sucked in like that again over nothing! Thanks for your great advice.

    • Belinda,

      That attraction switch is pretty hard to control! That’s why I advise everyone to stay busy and focused on other things.

  6. Wow, I love this. Invest in You, Never lose you!

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