Stop playing games to win a man

There’s a lot of talk on the internet concerning whether or not women should chase men. Most sources tell you that chasing a man makes you look desperate and can bruise your ego if the chase doesn’t end in capturing his affection. Some sources add that chasing is biologically programmed in men and that they like hunting down and winning their prized partner and when the woman becomes the pursuer, her value drops and she is no longer worth winning to him.

Sure, there is some truth to the concept that men like to pursue women, but most men also enjoy it when a woman reaches out to let him know that she’s thinking of him. In the vastly confusing world of dating, it seems that women are being told to turn “the chase” into a well-orchestrated cat and mouse game. They’re told to count his calls and only answer after he’s called two or three times. They’re told to wait before answering texts and to never text first.  If this seems a bit manipulative and deceitful, it’s because it is.

Be authentic

The first step to building a relationship is to be clear on your feelings and expectations. The other person deserves to know how you feel about them and what you’re looking for. If you’re truthful from the start and he stops reaching out or responding, you have your answer. He isn’t looking for the same things from you, at least, for right now.

If you want to send a text or make a call, do it. You don’t have to wait for him to make the first move. If he responds great. If not, pull back. He may be busy or he may not be interested.

Think of a text conversation as if it were happening face to face. If you speak to someone and they don’t reply, you don’t just keep talking so don’t keep texting. If he answers, great. If not, consider yourself ghosted and move on.

Avoid gameplay

Life would be so much easier if there was a magic formula for meeting someone and making them fall in love with you. Sadly, there isn’t and as more women start following the advice they see on social media, more men become aware of the signs of gameplay. Just as we figured out fuck boy language, men are figuring out the ways that women manipulate.

What you want is commitment and that comes from honest connection. If you’re using subversive tactics to win a man, when do you stop and become your true self? Gameplay is exhausting because the cycle never ends. Once you have his attention, you modify the game to keep his attention. Before you know it, you’re playing games to keep him faithful because you can’t be certain what his true intentions are. You never allowed him an opportunity to show you.

Listen

If you listen with the intent to understand, you’ll have a pretty good idea of where your relationship is going. Too often we take what men say and try to interpret it like it’s a foreign language. If he tells us that he isn’t interested in a committed relationship we tell ourselves that he’s been hurt and we need to prove that we’re different and worthy of his commitment when the correct thing to do is to take his words at face value.

Express your truth

If the man you’re interested in doesn’t share your values or feelings, tell him. Let him know that you’re not on the same page. Chances are he won’t change his mind for you and that’s okay. That’s when you value yourself enough to move on.

Be empowered

There’s an amazing sense of confidence that comes from living your authentic truth. Having solid boundaries and upholding your values is an empowering stance that high-value men find very attractive. Choosing to not play games may limit the number of players on your field but the quality of those players will increase exponentially.

The best way to attract an honest, confident, strong man will always be to be an honest, confident, strong woman

Original Post: https://tomilynchromance.medium.com/stop-playing-games-to-win-a-man-1f9df726557b

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

But You Can Get Through It

Breakups happen. When we’re lucky we experience clean breaks where both partners agree that things aren’t working and part ways amicably. Unfortunately, clean breaks don’t happen as often as we’d like and someone is left devastated by the loss of what they thought was true love.

Being dumped is difficult. We experience a range of emotions from sadness to anger and perhaps a little desperation as we hope our partner will change their mind and come running back to us. Getting back on our feet takes time of course but following the advice of relationship experts might just speed up the process so that we can get on with our lives and be happy again.

Grieve and Process but don’t Dwell

It’s perfectly natural to mourn the death of a relationship. You’ve invested your time and emotions into developing an attachment to another person. You’ve bared your soul and shared your most intimate parts with them. The world sees you as a couple and now you have to face that world alone. Let the tears flow as you reminisce about the good times and process the fact that it’s over but once you’ve had that good cry find something productive to do. Get up, get out and have a day where you don’t mention your ex to anyone. The quicker you begin developing new routines, the easier things will get.

Don’t Look for Excuses to Reach Out to Your Ex

If they’ve left something behind, mail it to them. If they took something of yours, shoot them an email requesting that they ship it back or give it to a friend. There is no reason to initiate direct contact. If you have children together or mutual property to deal with, it’s best to wait until you’re emotionally calm and in a good frame of mind.

Take Better Care of Yourself

Get your hair done or have a spa day. Develop a workout routine and get active. Improve your diet and get more sleep. Even something as simple as changing your makeup or updating your wardrobe might add a boost of confidence and help you to get back on your feet.

Tell Your Friends and Family

It’s okay to rely on your support system. It’s even better If you have someone to call when the urge strikes you to reach out to your ex. Let them know that your relationship has ended and put your feelings on the table but also ask them to help you by telling you to look forward and not back when you need reminding.

Try Something New

Step away from your old routine and take on a new challenge. There’s nothing better for the healing process than coming out of your comfort zone and finding new things to get excited about.

Take a Step Away From Social Media

There’s no pill more bitter after a breakup than seeing happy couples on your timeline. Stepping away will also prevent you from becoming consumed with stalking your ex to see if they’ve moved on. When you’re ready to return, purge your pictures and quietly change your relationship status. For those who are deeply invested in social media, this step feels like closure.

Change Your Future Plan

You likely thought your relationship would last and changed your future plans to include your ex. It’s time to modify those plans and set goals for yourself, alone. You no longer have to compromise. The sky is the limit. Get excited about the next phase of your journey!

Start Dating

When you’re ready, consider what you want in your next relationship and begin dating again. Join an online dating site and take time to seek out the type of man or woman that you’re looking for. It may not be the best time to commit to something serious but seeing what’s out there can be just as fun and exciting.

Men Need Safety in a Relationship, Too

They may not talk about it. They might not even realize that it’s what they’re looking for but for a man to fall in love and stay in love, he needs to feel safe. So, what does safety look like for a man? He’s probably not expecting his female partner to defend him against muggers. What he needs is to feel safe emotionally.  He needs security.

A Person to be Vulnerable With

Phrases like, “crying like a baby” and “just man up” are common in our society because many men were taught that talking about feelings is a feminine trait. To the outside world, your man wants to appear confident, secure, and brave but, like all of us, he needs a place where he can talk through his doubts and fears. He needs someone in his life who will allow him to express his feelings without shaming him or viewing him as less of a man for doing so.

Men carry just as much emotional baggage as women and they want their partners to understand what they’ve been through. It’s a normal part of the bonding experience and helps to grow a relationship. Ridiculing a man, invalidating his feelings, or using things that he’s said when he was vulnerable as ammunition later may cause his love to die on the vine.

Acceptance

Men want someone who accepts them as they are, not someone who sees them as raw material that can be molded into something presentable. If a woman can’t accept a man’s flaws and also compliment his positive traits, his needs won’t be met and he’ll likely lose interest. No one feels safe when they’re consistently told that they aren’t good enough.

Trust

For a man to feel safe with you, he must first trust you. Like women, men feel insecure when their partner is evasive or aloof. If he feels that his partner thrives on attention from other men, he may just jump ship. Even the most secure man will become doubtful if he feels that his partner is too secretive or too eager to give their attention to other men.

Appreciation

Our society has created women who can masterfully balance masculine and feminine energy within themselves, We can be the hard-nosed boss during the day and the soft, loving mother at night but this is a bit more difficult for men.  Men tend to spend most of their time in their masculine energy.

Men are naturally inclined to protect and provide for their partners regardless of how independent and capable that partner may be. If a man feels “unnecessary”, he will not believe that he holds a place of value in the relationship and that may make him insecure. He wants a partner who is willing to accept his help and express gratitude for his effort. He wants to know that his relationship isn’t a competition. He wants a partnership and he wants his role in that partnership to be acknowledged.

When Your Romantic Partner Won’t Commit

You have someone special in your life who takes up much of your time and, although you aren’t in a relationship, you see each other exclusively. After months, or years, in some cases, you decide that you would like to take things to the next level. When you mention this to them, they panic and you’re devastated. You don’t understand. You know they enjoy being with you. They’re with you all the time! You begin to question their intentions. You wonder if they are playing you. You think there may be someone else. You may also wonder why they think you aren’t worthy of a relationship and begin to doubt yourself.

This isn’t a time for you to overthink or create these kinds of scenarios. This is a time to listen and observe. If you truly care for this person, you need to hear what they’re telling you.

If they tell you that they’re happy with things the way they are, believe them. If they tell you that they aren’t ready for a relationship, believe them. If they want to hold on to you, but don’t want to commit to you, believe them, and, if you find yourself still wanting more than they are willing to give, leave.

You may think that if they call you every day and have sex with you every chance they get they will eventually feel comfortable enough to commit to you. They won’t. You can’t make someone love you by giving them more of what they already don’t appreciate.

You may think that you can convince them that you’re the one. You can’t. It’s likely that they already love you, or, at least, care very deeply for you because they want you in their life. If they fear that they might lose you, you may succeed in convincing them to make a commitment that they aren’t ready for.  It won’t last and one or both of you will likely harbor resentment toward the other.

Communication is a two-way street. It takes truth from the speaker and acceptance from the listener. They’re saying, “I don’t want to have a relationship with you”, and you’re hearing, “I’m confused and need you to make me realize that I will be happy with you.” These situations often end with the pursuer feeling used and misled when in reality, the other person has been honest about their intentions from the start.

If you care for this person but can’t be happy with an unspoken commitment or casual “situationship” you are better off ending it before you create unnecessary animosity. Allow them the time to work on their commitment issues while opening yourself up to new experiences. You may come together at a later time when they are more stable. You may find what you’re looking for with someone else. Either way, you will both be better off.

If you do decide to stick it out with them, make certain that your intentions are pure and that you’ll be fulfilled by the level of commitment that your partner is willing to give. Happiness, for both of you, should be the goal.

Relationship Failure in 2021

There are as many reasons that relationships fail as there are failed relationships but some relationship issues don’t have to be fatal. If they can’t be avoided, (they’re already happening) they may simply need to be addressed so that behaviors can change.

Non-Acceptance

You meet someone and think, “He’s great, but…” We’ve all done it. We find someone that we like who has many qualities that we really dig but there are some things about them that are kind of a turn off. We weigh the good against the bad and decide if we want to go any further. Deciding to over look a partners personality traits or behaviors that we find annoying is fine as long as we commit to acceptance. The problem is that more often than not, we don’t. We go in to it thinking that we can change them. We believe that once they see how great life can be with us, they’ll change for us. In most cases, they won’t.

Over time we get frustrated with our partners and either demand that they change or use passive aggressive ploys to elicit a modification from them. We may even make insensitive comments about them or worse, point out their flaws to others in an attempt to shame them into complying with our will. These doesn’t work. They may even agree to make changes but, depending on the issue, the changes are unlikely to stick. They may grow to resent us for our overbearing behavior.

How do you avoid this pitfall? There are two ways. First, talk about these things before getting serious. Some things need to be ironed out ahead of time. For example; if your partner isn’t ambitious and works a low paying job that they love but you expect them to foot half the living expenses when they move in, you can’t just assume that they’ll leave their great job for a higher paycheck. Let’s say that you believe your partner spends too much time out with the boys. If you’ve accepted this behavior when you were dating, they are likely to expect you to accept it when things get more serious.

Second, simply accept your differences. You picked him and for better or worse, if you value him, you need to let him be himself, no matter how flawed you think they may be.

Lack of Trust

The only things as bad as wondering if your partner is unfaithful is being accused of being unfaithful when you’re not. If your trust issues are justified, forgive or run for the hills but if the lack is trust is manifesting without justification, you need to find out where your trust issues are coming from. We carry our baggage from one relationship to the next and it’s unfair to our partners. I was once told, “You carry the burden of proving that you’re better than every woman who came before you.” but that shouldn’t be the case.

If you find yourself cracking the lock code on his phone while he’s sleeping or sniffing his laundry for left over perfume when there have been no signs that he’s been cheating, you probably have trust issues that you need to address. If you don’t, they’ll cause you to do “Crazy Ex” things until he leaves you.

Differing Priorities

For some, a romantic relationship is the most important aspect of their lives. For others, it’s just a part of the equation and things like family, work, friends, or a hobby hold equal or greater value. If one partner expects to be the center of the universe while the other wants to spend a large part of their life apart from their partner, one will end up with hurt feelings while the other feels smothered.

Relationship building is like building a fire. If you just toss a bunch of logs on the fire without leaving room for air circulation, your fire won’t burn. If you’re relationship can’t breath, you also run the risk of losing the flame.

If there is trust in a relationship, there is no reason why partners can’t have aspects of their lives that they keep separate from the relationship.

Communication

I saved communication for last because it’s a pivotal part of the other three. Proper communication helps to avoid most pitfalls in relationships. If you communicate your expectations in the beginning, your partner can decide if they’re willing to change for you. If you communicate rather than being passive aggressive your partner is more likely to hear you. You can’t just assume that you hold a place of importance in someone’s life. You need to know where they see your relationship going. If you’re uncomfortable speaking honestly with your partner, you need t evaluate the situation and determine if it’s a problem on your end or not. If you are justifiably worried that communicating with your partner will make them angry, you may be dealing with a gas lighter or narcissist and it may be time to move on.

The Red Flags of Social Media

Social media red flags span the gamut from huge to almost trivial and likely depend a lot on your partners age. The younger the man, the larger the role social media plays in his life. The red flags are different at different stages in the relationship as well. A little predate spying may uncover red flags that cause you to call of your first meeting while a change in social media behavior during a committed relationship may be a sign that your partner is unfaithful. Whatever the case, you have boundaries for the way your partner behaves in public. The same should be true for how he behaves on social media..

He values his single status more than he values you

If you are in a committed relationship with a man, he should want the world to know about it. Heck, he should love you so much that he wants to brag about it because he feels lucky to have you. If he drags his feet about changing his relationship status on social media or comes up with excuses why he won’t do it, he is probably trying to keep his side chicks or potentials from knowing about you. If he changes his status to “In a relationship” but doesn’t tag you, he doesn’t want people to know who you are. This may be because he feels like he could do better than you or because he fears that women that he has wronged will reach out to you. Either way, red flag!

The same is true if he never posts about you or pictures of you. You tag him in a photo of you together and sometime later he removes the tag or archives the post.. He’s not that private, he’s hiding something.

He’s never deleted the public pictures of himself with his exes

These photos are his bragging rights. He’s saying, scroll through my photos and see what I can bag. If these were simply fond memories, he’d keep them on his phone or on a hard drive. He’s keeping them public so other people see them and that’s disrespectful. As women, we know that when we break up with a guy, we delete their photos from our social media. Normal men do, too.

He picks fights on social media or flaunts his good deeds all the time

You know the guy who is always up in someone’s comments flexing his imaginary muscles? This guy either has anger issues or an intense need for social acceptance. Both of these traits are toxic.

Is he a good guy because it’s his nature or does he do good things for social status points? If he has to pose for a selfie with the homeless man before he gives him his spare change, he has issues.

He wants you to text via Snapchat

There are two possible reasons he wants to only communicate on Snapchat. One is the lack of permanence allows for fewer inhibitions. You may be more likely to sext or send nudes if you know they’ll disappear in 24 hours. The other possibility is that he’s seeing someone else and worries that they’ll check his phone. Snaps disappear within seconds so his other significant other is less likely to catch him in the act.

He’s always online

When a man, or woman, is always online, they aren’t present in the real world. Social media addiction is real and those who suffer from it rarely have real hobbies or interests. Who wants to date someone like that?

He follows a lot of sexually explicit accounts

You may be thinking, “Hey, he was single when he added those.”, but is he still liking the photos or commenting on the posts?

The same girls keep liking and commenting on his pictures and posts

Huge red flag! While he can’t control who interacts with his social media, if he isn’t reciprocating in some way, most women will simply stop and move on. If they keep coming back, you can be sure that he’s throwing them a bone!

Another woman is commenting intimately on his posts

Perhaps she eludes to the fact that she may have been the one who took that picture he posted of himself in the bar, or worse, in his bed. In my case, a girl used language like, “I’m proud of you,” and “I love you.” When I questioned it, he replied, “I don’t know why she’s like that” Later, I stumbled upon the nudes that they were sending each other on his phone.

He’s reacting to other girls’ pictures

This one is huge! If he’s heart reacting a female friends graduation photo or birthday celebration or leaving a cry emoji when her dog dies, that is probably acceptable. If he’s doing the same to her selfies, particularly the scantily clad selfies, he’s a dog. Let him go.

More red flags

He goes dark to hide when he’s online from you. He has to approve anything you post on his timeline before it becomes public. The number of likes on his posts don’t match the number of profiles you see when you click to see who is liking his stuff. When this happens, someone has intentionally blocked you from seeing their activity. He was big on Facebook when you met but now he only uses Snapchat so you can’t see his interactions. You can see that he’s online but he doesn’t read your messages. He shields his phone from you when he’s reading his messages or looking at timelines on apps like Instagram where only he can see posts from those he follows. He has reconnected with an ex as “friends”. He has thousands of friends and the majority of them are female. And, finally, he paused but didn’t delete his Tinder account.

Tune in tomorrow for “How to Translate Fuckboy” and let me know if you like this red flag series.

Tomi

Red Flags

Relationship Warning Signs for Modern Dating

Is that a Cape or a Giant Red Flag?

What is a red flag? According to dating psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree, a red flag can be defined as “something your partner does that indicates a lack of respect, integrity or interest towards the relationship”. Over time, we’ve broadened the definition to include personality traits and behaviors that indicate that someone would not make a good partner, like, lack of drive, addictive qualities, and a history of commitment issues.

By now, we’re all pretty familiar with the existence of red flags. But, sadly, we’re also adept at overlooking or ignoring them.

As a romance author, I have researched and written about all kinds of relationships and one thing that stands out to me is that, no matter the decade, romance books about bad boys are always on the best seller lists. What is it about the bad boy that we find so irresistible? We claim to want loving, loyal, responsible men, but our knees get weak when we fantasize about the rude, crude loner who treats women like toys.

Whatever the draw of the bad boy, it could be our desire to change him that causes us to dismiss so many red flags when we see them.

What about the guy who seems perfect in the beginning? You’ve used your natural gifts as a woman to stalk him better than an NSA agent. His apartment is tidy, his dog is fed, there is an actual bed frame under his mattress and the food in his refrigerator did not expire last year. Do we become complacent in his perfection and blind to the red flags when they appear? Maybe, or maybe because women invest emotionally so quickly, we make ourselves believe that we can love the red flags right out of him because we don’t want to admit that our time and investment were wasted.   

Now, I don’t want to come off as man shaming. As women, we have some red flags, too. Some of us are too needy, some of us have trust issues, some of us are narcissistic; the list goes on. Because we are all imperfect creatures, it is important to know when red flags are real and when we invent them as excuses to disconnect from someone. Sometimes, it’s our red flags that do us in. Our own insecurities and tendency to overthink can have us accusing men of all sorts of horrid things when in actuality, they really did just fall asleep on the couch or get too busy at work to answer your text.

The world can be crazy and, believe me, as a single “cougar” aged woman, I know there’s a lot of pee in the dating pool.

I’ve asked a question to myself, and my girlfriends, more than a handful of times; “Is this a problem, or am I overreacting?” I believe most of us have. If you’ve ever had to question your own sanity because of his audacity, this journey is for you!

I’ll be back with part one of my Red Flag Ramblings soon! Stay tuned!

Tomi

Older Women and Younger Men

Older men with younger women somehow seems natural in our society. Men seeking sexy, young, trophy wives and secretly high fiving each other when they catch one. Socially acceptable? That’s debatable. While it seems to be more of a cultural norm than older women with younger men, there are still all those negative cliches and stereotypes that come with this relationship; dirty old man, gold digger, daddy issues, mid-life crisis affair, the list goes on and on. Biologically, there are some explanations for a mans’ attraction to a younger woman. It’s our biological imperative to multiply and younger women are more likely to be fertile and successfully carry and deliver off-spring. But, let’s face it, most relationships aren’t consciously driven by the biological imperative to breed. They are about attraction and, frankly, no one has the right to dictate who another person should be attracted to, (as long as it’s legal!).F

What about older women and younger men?

Let me get personal for a moment – I’ve been married twice. Once to a man my own age and once to a man more than a decade my senior. I was attracted to different things in each of these relationships. When I married my first husband we were both inexperienced in everything. We learned how to navigate adulthood together as equals. It was stressful and bewildering at times but we loved each other and had a great deal of things in common to keep us grounded. Sadly, my first husband and love of my young life was killed while we were in our twenties.

My second marriage was to a man who was my superior at work. He was older and more experienced and had a nurturing tendency that made me feel safe at a time in my life when I felt all alone. I was a newly widowed mother and needed someone to anchor me before I floated away in a cloud of sorrow, fear, and self-doubt. My older man did this for me but our relationship ended when I found my own legs and became independent. He wasn’t capable of allowing me to grow into my own identity so we split.

By the time my second marriage ended, I was a successful professional at a media company. My identity was defined by my tough but fair, logical approach in my dealings with my contemporaries and subordinates. When my work day ended, I went home to be a mother and a creative. The polar opposite of my hard-ass corporate persona. For a long time, I didn’t date or socialize with anyone outside of my small group of life-long friends.

Then, it happened. I was being pursued by an incredibly attractive man at work. He was new to the company and a favorite piece of eye candy for all the girls and he was young! Fifteen years my junior. He would flirt and I would tell myself that he wasn’t really flirting. I talked myself out of the idea that he might be attracted to me. Maybe he was trying to get in good with the boss. Maybe it was just his charm. Either way, why would he want me when every girl his age was falling all over him?

As time progressed, he pursued harder. I guess he thought that I was oblivious to his advances so he moved from verbal flirtation to accidental touches and, eventually, marched up to me and said, “I’m very attracted to you. Would you like to get a drink with me?” I said yes.

Now, this isn’t a love story and it isn’t even about him. It’s an explanation of the attraction between us. So, first of all, the sex was the best I’ve ever had. He was strong and dominant. He was confident and had amazing staying power and he wasn’t afraid of experimentation. When I wanted to close my eyes and drift in to that place of ecstasy and escape, he could bring me there. When I wanted something hot and fast and wild, he could perform at that level, and when I wanted something tender and more controlled, he let me take the lead. Our love making sessions were all night main events but it wasn’t all about the sex.

I loved that I could nurture him. When he had problems, he could talk to me and I had enough life experience to give him advice. It made me feel good to see him succeed at things that he’d asked me to help him with. I couldn’t do this with either of my husbands.

Trust was a non-issue

We both knew that this relationship was not going to lead to marriage. I spent a lot of years building a life for myself and I didn’t want to share. I wasn’t ready to compromise with anyone when it came to my home, my money, and my lifestyle.

He didn’t want to parent my children and we wasn’t ready to settle down.

With none of that “relationship” pressure we were free to explore a completely open and honest dynamic and in time, our feelings grew from lust to a love based on mutual respect and ten years later, though we’ve never been an official couple, we still love each other and would do anything we could for each other. And, though we don’t see each other as frequently as we once did, the sex is still pretty hot!

Though my story hasn’t ended in a traditional relationship, I do understand how older women and younger men fall for each other.

It’s about being open to the idea that love and attraction are possible in unlikely places and partners. It’s about defying the stereotypes and giving in to your own feelings; knowing that sometimes other people will be cruel or say things without thinking; like calling you a cougar or asking if you and your son go out to dinner often.

When this happened to me, my new lover grabbed me and stuck his tongue in mouth. Then, he smiled at the waitress and said, “Mom and I are really close!” while I laughed my ass off. She gave our table to another waitress.

This is not a relationship dynamic for the insecure. If you aren’t confident in yourself, you will forever be looking for judgmental glances and younger girls who want to take your man.

I suppose it’s really not any different than any other relationship. Love is love, right? And… oh, the sex? The experts were right when they determined that women reach their peak later than men do and if you’re lucky enough to come together during those peaks be prepared for fireworks!