“You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Cliche but very true. I’m sure every person has had that experience of ending a relationship or being dumped, only to wonder afterwards why we weren’t appreciative of the person when we were with them.
Barry Schwartz wrote a fabulous book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less where he talks about how dating can often be compared to surfing channels on TV. You are just about to commit to a show, but you always wonder if one more lap around the channels will give you the “perfect” show to watch. The same can apply to dating. Say you’re dating a woman for a few weeks, things are going great, but what if there is an “even better” match for you. Even more so with online dating, since it can reduce the partners on Match.com to start looking like a commodity to be traded in for an upgrade.
For guys, one big factor in this is the myth of “if I were single right now I’d have tons of hot women throwing themselves at me.” Um, sure dude. So your woman is giving you a hard time today. But if you were a bachelor again, you’d most likely have the same ups and downs of any single man: Hot Pockets for dinner, lame first dates, feeling empty after a random bar hookup. Fantasize all you want, but reality checks are healthy, too.
I know for me, after most of my relationships ended, whether short or long-term, I usually went through a period of remorse, rehashing all the opportunities I had to tell her the things I loved about her, but didn’t say a word. By rehashing, I mean sobbing while curled up on the floor. After I eventually got out of my victim story, I took the experience as a lesson to carry into and practice in my next relationship.
“Praise is literal food for feminine qualities. If you want your woman to grow in her radiance health, happiness, love, beauty, power and depth, praise these qualities. Praise them daily. A number of times.” – David Deida
Unless you live in a monastery in Tibet, as a guy you WILL see attractive, sexy women throughout your day, for the rest of your life. And that is a wonderful thing. But just be mindful of the thoughts that come up AFTER you notice a beautiful woman. “Oh, she’d make a great girlfriend.” “I bet SHE wouldn’t nag me about my socks on the floor.” “She’d probably do all the kinky things I want in bed.” Those are thoughts that may be true (not likely) or may not be true (likely). Either way, the reality is that it often just kickstarts an endless loop of thoughts that take you AWAY from your current woman. Enjoy the energy that attractive women bring to the world. But also keep your ultimate intention alive. And unless you want a distant and unfulfilling connection with your woman, get on the appreciation bus.
Here are 3 suggestions for having your own woman’s grass be the greenest in your world:
- Remember that we don’t have to believe our thoughts. They are just thoughts. Just because we see an attractive women doesn’t mean she’s automatically a better partner. Or that we “should” have sex with her. She is one of many beautiful gifts of femininity. Feel and enjoy your attraction toward her, but also appreciate her with respect. Biology and evolutionary instincts may draw our awareness to other women, but we do have control over what ultimate impact she will have on ourselves and in our current relationship. The practice is to notice feminine beauty but also be present to what’s happening in your head and in your body. Allow the women that you see throughout the day to be sources of inspiration, and if you’re in a relationship, channel that energy within yourself so that you can give more fully to your own woman.
- Appreciate and praise your woman. When you appreciate something, whether it’s a person, a painting or a house, they increase in value. So while it’s good to notice and appreciate the women you see out and about, if you are in a relationship, make sure you spend WAY MORE time appreciating your woman. And express it to her from a genuine place. Woman can tell when you’re just giving them lip service. If you’re really having a tough time, how about shoot for at least one compliment a day? “I love the way you care so much about eating healthy.” “You look stunning in that dress.” Invest fully with the woman you’re with. Live with no regrets.
- If you’re single, make a list of what you’re really looking for in a woman. What are the top five qualities that are a “must have” for you? But really give it some thought and reflection. Listen to what YOU and your heart want, not what your parents want for you or what your buddies thing is hot in a woman. And be open more to character traits (honest, flexible, smart) than just physical traits (nice butt, blonde, sexy calves). Physical traits will change over time. Character traits often stay the same. So if the woman you think is a potential long-term partner is loving, sweet and confident now, chances are she will be down the road. You can’t say the same about physical traits. And once you find a woman who meets those traits, go for it. Give her a whirl and see where it goes. At the same time, don’t be so desperate for love and sex that you put up with behavior from a woman that is disrespectful. You always have a choice in how you are treated.
The BIG P.S: Of course, all of this is NOT to say that relationships end simply because a man didn’t appreciate his woman enough. There are always many factors in a relationship, and it’s a mix of both partner’s personalities, patterns and intentions. And this also isn’t to imply that women don’t do their own things that push men away. That’s another blog post.