Agree to Disagree

Imagine this scenario…you find yourself sitting in front of an amazing woman. A woman who is so intoxicating and fascinating in your eyes, your only desire is to get closer to her. You know you want her to approve of you, be impressed by you, and dammit, you want her to like you. As your conversation progresses you suddenly hear yourself agreeing with her opinions, ones you have staunchly opposed in the past, or out of the blue you tell her you’ll take her to the ballet…and you loathe the ballet! You soon realize you’d do just about anything to keep her from growing cold toward you. You diligently strive to be agreeable, placating and may even say or do things completely out of your character (for better or worse) because you see these actions as the path toward greater intimacy. The scenario may vary: she could be a newfound beauty you want to impress, a date you cautiously avoid conflict with, or even a long-term partner with whom you are on the rocks, but in any case your emotions and actions are the same. Now fast-forward a few months. How’d that end up working out for you?

The reality is that, in one way or another, this strategy of conciliation never works. Women almost always see right through it, especially when it is coupled with any degree of neediness. Even if it does get past her initial filter, she now expects you to be congruent in your words and actions from here on out. If you are not, eventually you will be found out by her and inevitably face the consequences. If you are able to maintain this façade, you will be living a lie that slowly eats away at you from the inside out, ultimately leading to regretting her and causing greater conflict than which you were trying to avoid in the first place.   Read the rest of this entry »


Cupid: Angel of Death for Masculinity & Romance

I used to love Valentine’s Day. In the blissful ignorance of youth I saw it as a day where magic could happen. A day where I could profess my undying love to the woman of my desires in the form of a well-written valentine accompanied by candy or flowers and suddenly the veil would be lifted from her eyes and she would leap into my arms seeing what a great guy I was. After all, how could she resist my grand romantic advances? Needless to say it didn’t work out quite the way I planned, but that didn’t stop me from trying the same exact thing the next four Valentine’s Day…toward the same girl!?! (It hurts just typing that!) After all, eventually it will work. It had to. Everything I ever saw and heard about romance told me so. I was eight years old.

This is the very message that poisons our core beliefs about romance in our society. The notion of romance in our consumer culture has shifted from a focus upon the feminine need for masculine polarity to a call for men to place women on pedestals and buy their affection while bypassing masculinity altogether. The result is men are taught that the way to a woman’s heart is through showering her with gifts and kissing her ass, while women learn that if they are not getting this sort of attention there must be something wrong with them. In the end the men are emasculated, the women are left unfulfilled and insecure and everyone settles for less.   Read the rest of this entry »

How Perfection Leads to Failure, and Failure Leads to Perfection.

Make no mistake about it: as guys we like collecting tools. This can be seen in our fascination with tech gadgets, sport gear for whatever activity we aspire to, as well as learning tools such as books, CD/DVD courses and seminars. There is something in the masculine problem-solving psyche that causes men to be obsessed with not only collecting tools, but having the perfect tool instantly accessible for any contingency. Unfortunately many guys get so caught up in having the right tools for the job that they never even get to the job at hand. There is always one more device to acquire, one more book to read, one more thing to know, and THEN they will have everything they need to succeed. Meanwhile the sands of time continue to fall and their life is passing them by.

Sound familiar? Is your garage full of top-notch gear for an activity that you have rarely, if ever, done? Do you have more books, e-books, audio programs and instructional DVDs (perhaps some never cracked opened) than you could possibly go through in your lifetime? Do you feel like you have to acquire “just one more ____” before you can move forward with any given task? Sure, there are some jobs that require precise tools, and it is nice to have a whole garage or library of them at hand to solve any problem at any moment, but waiting to acquire them before taking action is not the path to success but rather a form of procrastination known as perfection paralysis.   Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Make Resolutions

Resolutions. Most of us think about them this time of year, perhaps even make these well-intentioned promises to ourselves, but by the end of January the vast majority are either forgotten or surrendered. Another year passes by and that next December we make those same resolutions again, telling ourselves “this year will be different”, only to delude ourselves yet again. It is a vicious cycle of rising optimism followed by diminishing willpower, self-reproach and deflated esteem.

Nestled among thirteen different definitions in my dictionary is the meaning of the term resolution as it traditionally applies in our culture on this holiday: “a firm decision to do something”. While your resolution may be a firm decision, what exactly backs that decision up? Is it the thin veneer of newly found confidence beneath a core of well-practiced uncertainty or self doubt that you are putting our faith in? Are you simply taking advantage of the socially accepted do-over? Do you really believe this is finally the year that you will lose those pounds, quit that job or habit you loathe or act on that dream you’ve intended on pursuing for the past decade? What is different about today from yesterday that suddenly gives you the magic ability to change?   Read the rest of this entry »

Is Your Judgment Hurting Your Sex Life?

Over the years I have spent a considerable amount of time talking to women about all aspects of dating, relationships and sex. To my dismay one of the most common themes I still hear is that if a woman sleeps with a guy too soon he won’t call her back. To counteract this women will avoid sleeping with a guy on a first date even when they want to. This is especially true when the woman sees the guy as relationship material, and thus she becomes even more demure. This dysfunctional dating strategy can be solely attributed to women’s fear of the stigma that men attach to such behavior, namely that they will be viewed as “sluts” who will sleep with anyone. While this mindset at first seems completely antiquated, it turns out that there are still a lot of men who actually believe this and do not call these girls back for second dates, thus proving the ladies’ point. My point here: these guys are missing the boat.

It has been over 40 years since the sexual revolution began, yet men today are still losing respect for women when they have sex with them early on in their interaction. What’s the deal here? Is this the 1950s? Clearly there is a double standard that exists between male and female sexuality in our society: men are admired for expressing their sexuality whereas women are defamed for it. This gendered double standard has since shaped the social perceptions of modern dating, with the result being its current dysfunctional state. Sure, I could spend time here going into all the sociological and psychological reasons why this double standard exists, but instead I’d rather enlighten you to the fallacy of this thinking and reveal a whole other world of possibilities with women this belief is holding you back from experiencing.   Read the rest of this entry »

Eye Contact Part 3: The Look of Love

In the past two posts we’ve discussed using eye contact in the context of building interpersonal connections and creating attraction with others that we don’t know. Today I want to discuss using eye contact to amplify the attraction and emotional bond you already have with those you care about. The techniques here can be used very effectively to build intimacy, trust and love with anyone you know and like, but are especially powerful when used between you and your intimate partner.

The eyes have perhaps inspired more poetry and prose than any other subject, specifically because they are so closely tied to intimacy and our perceptions of love and passion. The sheer number of metaphors dedicated to the eyes filling volumes of pages certainly attests to the universal emotional power that they evoke. But there is truth in fiction here: academic studies have consistently shown eye contact to be the single most common theme in accounts of people falling in love across a variety of cultures. It seems that people all across the world get lost in the eyes of their lovers during moments of passion, blissfully swimming in the tide of emotions they see within them.

The fact is that eye contact between two lovers is the foundation of the dance of intimacy. For this reason it is crucial to nurture this connection in your intimate relationships. The more eye contact you have with your partner, the deeper the intimacy will develop. If eye contact is neglected however, intimacy will slowly diminish and eventually be starved out altogether. Just like your physical body, relationships need to be fed and tended to, and eye contact is the nourishment that allows relational intimacy and connection to blossom and flourish. The most effective way to nourish this intimacy is to take the time to practice deliberate prolonged eye contact.   Read the rest of this entry »

Eye Contact Part 2: The Secret Language of Attraction

We’ve all seen it before. Two people meet eyes across a crowded room. All the distractions of the environment seem to fade out. The focus on each other is intense. A Carpenters song starts playing in the background. This is Hollywood’s cliché way of reproducing a moment that happens a million times a day all across the world. Yet when it actually does happen to us it feels magical and exclusive, a moment destined to be. What many of us don’t realize is that this moment is happening all the time, only we fail to recognize it.

Eye contact is traditionally how people first reveal their attraction towards each other. Sure there are plenty of interesting and clever, if not cheesy ways to meet that stranger we are attracted to, yet a dance of intimate glances followed by a basic introduction is still how most people connect. It works just as well today as it always has, and why shouldn’t it? The attraction mechanisms in our brains predate internet dating, singles mixers, happy hour, nightclubs, pickup lines, dowries, or even language by a long shot. Sometimes simple, tried and true traditions work best.   Read the rest of this entry »