& Jim


No Matter What I Do, It's Never Enough!

“You never express your feelings!”

“I wish you’d share more....”

“Can’t we just be intimate and talk about what’s really going on?”

You’ve heard this before, right? The woman who claims to love you, but she keeps badgering you to open up. And then when you do, what happens? She accuses you of not being romantic enough, or manly enough, still not enough somehow. Right? Right!

Enraging? Frustrating? You bet! So, you keep saying to yourself, “What does she want from me?” as if you might find the magic answer.

Forget it. You can’t!

It's a Closely Guarded Secret

We’re going to let you in on a closely guarded secret. Why? Because for too long men have been seen as the problem in relationships. The myth is that women are the ones who are emotionally available and skilled with intimacy. It’s simply not true. Women are just as limited and confused about love as men. In fact, many women are allergic to genuine love, preferring instead the fantasy of “true romance.”

Ask most women, and they’ll tell you they grew up believing the romantic myth of Prince Charming—the perfect man who would sweep them off their feet, carry them to bed, make passionate love and propose marriage. No effort. No complications. No discomfort.

He would be tall, wealthy, and blindingly handsome. His elegant sophistication would be offset by the dangerous glint in his eye. Marriage to him would arouse envy in everyone around.

These fantasies usually have a theme of pursuit and conquer, heroic rescue, and sexual and financial bliss forever.

Those Dangerous Messages

Forget the powerful impact of feminism. Mothers, sisters, and friends still pass on some version of the following disastrous recipe for romance. Although today’s language may be a little different, the message remains the same:

  • Play hard to get—men love a challenge.
  • Don’t reveal too much about yourself—men love a mystery.
  • Never call a man--he’ll think you’re chasing him.
  • Never beat a man in sports or cards—men need to feel like the winner.
  • Build up a man’s ego—especially in public.
  • Don’t be so outspoken—men don’t like opinionated women.

This kind of advice is usually topped off with: “It’s just as easy to love a rich man.”

So women go into the dating game armed with seductive man-catcher manipulations andfilled with unrealistic ideas of who men are, and what romance will be. They hope and pray that this man (or the next one) will be the fabulous Prince. Then worries and trouble will be over. Forever.

Not Really Available

These women, who will swear that they are serious about finding a good man and settling down, are, in fact, not available for a real relationship. Their heart belongs to Prince Charming. Or, rather, the dream of Prince Charming. When this is the case, it makes no difference that you may be intelligent, funny, successful, talented, worldly-wise, and emotionally available. That you are a good man, a caring friend, and a terrific lover is irrelevant, if not annoying. Real men aren’t what these women are looking for, so reasons have to be found to reject you.

“Not good enough,” is their secret mantra. “Someday the Right Man will show up.”

How many times have you suffered this kind of unfair rejection? How many times have you asked, “What am I doing wrong?” when often the answer was “being human.” After all, how can you, as a regular guy, compete when you’re secretly compared to a woman’s perfect fantasy lover?

Worse yet, you might be susceptible to falling victim to the Prince Charming myth. You’ve been raised to provide, protect, and care for the so-called “weaker sex.” So in your misguided attempts at playing the Prince, you find yourself somehow attracted to dependent, demanding, or troubled women who seem to need your emotional care and financial rescue. Many of you still believe that it’s your responsibility to bring a woman to orgasm. That can only produce disaster. Because, if she doesn’t want to surrender, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it!

In this way, many good men set themselves up to get used and rejected by “romance addicts.” Nevertheless, it’s tragic that your honest and imperfect love gets bludgeoned by the unconscious fascination with the famous, dangerous, impossible-to-find Prince Charming.

Then these very same women describe men as “commitment phobes” who “can’t express their feelings” and “all they want is sex” as if they, simply by being women, are ready, willing and available for committed, surrenderful love. Don’t you believe it.

If anything, women can be even more terrified of commitment—because, in their unconscious heart of hearts, they know that a real relationship will require them to abandon the perfect love of their dreams in favor of an imperfect, regular guy who, by the way, sometimes needs to be reminded to get his hair cut and forgets where he put his car keys.

But being a “romance addict” is not necessarily a fatal flaw. Many women are able to recognize, when it’s pointed out to them, that they are caught up in fantasy and not dealing with who you really are. And many of those women genuinely want a relationship that will bring them real love and lasting fulfillment. In fact, they often feel tremendously frustrated and confused about why its been so elusive. This can be as true for married woman as those who are single.

So, if the woman you are with shows symptoms of never finding you to be enough, and you think that she and the relationship are worth the effort, by all means bring your frustration to her attention.

Be very clear that the endless complaints and criticism you hear from her is her problem, and at the same time, your vulnerability to feeling “not enough” is yours. After all, the two of you are doing this dance together.

Real Love is the Differences

If she is willing to examine her impluse to never feel satisfied with you, and you are open to looking at the reasons you cave in to feeling inadequate, then the path to real love and genuine intimacy has been opened.

We’re not promising an effortless, discomfort-free walk-in-the-park. Remember!?

We’re inviting you to enter the adventure of real love, which requires the two of you to open yourselves to your differences. For it is in the differences between you, and the challenges they provide, that you can set yourselves free from old self-destructive beliefs. And you can support each other to cast off allegiances to old beliefs that no longer serve you or your relationship.

This adventure into mutual wholeness, what we call discovering the magic at the heart of your differences, can only be discovered when you both recognize that you want to be available for real love and that you both have to grow into the fullness that real love requires.

After all, what a woman really wants is a man who has enough confidence to be just that—a man.

And a final note: If you confront her idealistic expectations and she blows you off, congratulate yourself for having the courage to confront her. Then, from us to you—“Good riddance!”

© 2010, Judith & Jim

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I have always made a distinction between my friends and my confidants. I enjoy the conversation of the former; from the latter I hide nothing. - Edith Piaf


Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski are husband and wife and the best-selling authors of four books: "The New Intimacy", "Opening to Love 365 Days a Year" and Be Loved for Who You Really Are: How the differences between men and women can be turned into the source of the very best romance you'll ever know. Their fourth is The Smart Couple's Guide to the Wedding of Your Dreams, an important book for anyone who cares that weddings support the couple and the marriage they are creating. And their latest book, The Heart of Marketing: Love your customers and they will love you back. Claim your free relationship tips at www.makingtheordinaryextraordinary.com or www.fearofbeingfabulous.com

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