Relationship Model

Relationship Advice for Guys

A lot of the posts out there are focused on how you can get a woman. There’s so much focus on game, which is basically just a bunch of cheap tactics to bed women, and almost zero focus on what to do when you actually have a partner / wife that you’d like to remain with permanently. Game is easy, believe it or not. I can sum all of the main schemes in one simple world; ask. There’s no harm in asking for a woman you want. There’s also no harm in being rejected. I always say, “do you really want to be with a woman who doesn’t really want you?” Rejection is actually a great blessing! I want to focus today on how to keep a woman you’ve already got. Lot’s of long-term relationships go sour and more often than not, it relates to things that one can actually do something about. 

Don’t Over-indulge

When I was a student, I came across a model for team development written by Bruce Tuckam (d.2016) in 1965. It held that the first stage of a relationship is called ‘forming’ where the two are  busy discovering each other. It is obviously the most exciting part of a relationship. People who mostly engage in short term relationships usually develop an addiction to this state and are unable to easily sustain long term relationships. People often crave excitement and when you don’t yet know your partner well, you have the strong impulse to want to discover everything about her. My advice is simply that you take one step at a time. Don’t get too excited. She’s a woman, not a goddess. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Weather the Storms

You met a woman who has a background of her own. She has a history, and her life decisions, her parents, her ancestors, her culture and her sentiments all inform who she is now. There are so many variables in everyone’s life, including yours. You have some basic assumptions you may not have yet discovered are assumptions! When any two people come together, there is bound to be some conflict and the right thing to do, when you are interested in a long term relationship, is to fight it out (I don’t mean physically). If you experience discomfort in the relationship be sure to let her know. Relationships are about compromise. You give up some of your freedoms you had as a single person to be with the woman you are with. For example, you might have decided to take yourself off the market. That’s not an easy thing to do with an abundance of single women all looking for a mate. You might have to spend less time with your buddies and more time at home with your wife. You might have a few extra chores; like when you get that call to pick up a few things at the shop on your way home. You do some of those things in exchange for other things. Your wife also makes several changes to her life, since she’s not single anymore. That comes with some responsibilities too. If you decide to have children, she might have to give up her career because she wants to be there for them as a full time parent. We all have competing interests and ambitions and we must be prepared to negotiate with our partners regarding how that fits in with what they want. Sometimes we have to give up some things to create that sacred space for each other. 

Norming is Normal

Ok, so you slept with her a thousand times, you laughed at all her jokes, and you have discovered all her little quirks. You’ve seen her cry a few times and you’ve watched her battle with some of her demons. The highs you felt in the beginning are gone, now what? Believe it or not, now the best part of a relationship starts. It’s when days are smooth and things have reached an equilibrium that you actually go through some of your best experiences. But, if you miss some of the earlier excitement there are things you can do. You can still go out on dates, even if you’d rather stay home and watch football. You can take on a project together where you are both learning new things. Basically, you have to keep improving yourself. You have to be a new person every few years by constantly evolving because then your normal won’t be boring. You have to try to improve yourself anyway, not because of your wife but because it will help you in your life. 

Achieve stuff together

When you are in a relationship, don’t make the relationship about the relationship. Rather, use the relationship to help each other grow and achieve common goals or not so common goals. There’s nothing wrong with each party supporting the other in their unique goals and ambitions and taking turns to play that role. Relationships are at their best when it is assumed that it is permanent and when the parties work together. Stop thinking that the option to leave is an option. Take divorce and break ups off the table. Don’t consider that as an option and you are likely to achieve greater success in your long-term relationship. Tell yourself, ‘this is it!’ There are very few good reasons for divorce. 

Maintain clear boundaries

I can never emphasize this enough. You should attempt to know yourself well enough to know where your boundaries lie. It doesn’t have to be the same as other people’s boundaries. Don’t repress your angst if you have it. Don’t say things are fine, if they aren’t. I’ve seen men go nuts because they try to be something they’re not. They try to accept things they can’t and eventually it doesn’t just break the relationship, it breaks them. If you have certain expectations regarding your partner that are a make it or break it, get that out of the way early on. Similarly, there are things that just won’t be acceptable to her, you should make it your business to know what those things are. If you’re in it to win it, don’t piss each other off in ways that are hard to undo. As a man, one of my clear boundaries in my marriages has always been that my wives should not allow other men to usurp my position emotionally, physically and territorially. I have long ago acknowledged that I am territorial and that I won’t forgive infringements on my domain. That’s how my boundaries are drawn, others may do it differently. Whatever it is that you know will end your inclination outrightly to your partner should be made known. There are always a host of people who like ruining a happy relationship. Anything you consider valuable, you’ll naturally guard, and that’s okay. 

Work hard

One of the hallmarks of masculinity is the drive to be better. Men are meant to shape the world and they can only do that through hard work. You need to come into being in your own right and hold a good position outside of being a husband or father. Women, throughout history have practiced hypergamy. As a result, society has historically evolved along polygynous lines. Everyone wants the best man, nobody wants the worse. It’s an instinct that is hard wired. There’s no getting around it even if rationally it makes little sense to the woman herself. If you slack, she’ll dump you. The minute a woman loses respect for a man, it’s over for him even if she stays with him. Life will be miserable after that. Hence, it’s important for you to imbibe qualities of integrity and success. You need to keep going forward in your life because your partner respects that. She wants to believe that her choice to be with you is hands down the best choice she could’ve made. She will believe that if you are, hands down, the best version of yourself you can be. 

Further Reading:

https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/features/2010/02/21/stages-of-a-relationship#:~:text=Bruce%20Tuckman%2C%20an%20educational%20psychologist,relationships%20but%20also%20emotional%20relationships.&text=The%20stages%20are%20Forming%2C%20Storming%2C%20Norming%2C%20Performing%20and%20Adjourning.

https://www.breakthecycle.org/blog/setting-boundaries-relationship

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