You’re out a party one night and you meet this amazing girl. She’s every flavour of feminine you desire: tall, thin, athletic, beautiful, articulate, charismatic. When she smiles, you feel it in your chest. After spending the night ping-ponging the sexual tension, you exchange contact info and a second date is almost assured.
Sure enough, a few days later, after splitting a bottle of wine in a trendy neighbourhood lounge, she’s back at your place. A conversation on your couch eventually becomes a kiss. As your lips paint each other’s faces with affection, your hand slides down to her waist, tracing a gentle journey over her delicate figure.
Suddenly, she pulls back and the kiss is no more. She looks at you silently. It is not a look of playful affection, but rather one of awkward apology and regret.
“I’m sorry”, she says fadingly.
“Why?”, you wonder aloud.
Her next four words flatten you: “I have a boyfriend.”
Why is it that most guys seem unhappy with women? Either they’re single and frustrated or in a relationship and…more frustrated. She likes to hang out with her guy “friends” and that drives you insane. You’re out with her at a club and she’s dancing with some guy, and she doesn’t seem to mind that his arm is around her. You’ve been together for two years, but not had sex in four months. This thread of bitterness and resentment seems to weave its way into all your relationships. “Sheesh, it’s always something“, you tell yourself.
Does it have to be this way? Are all women crazy? Is there any hope of ever finding that “special someone”? Is it possible to go from continual frustration in your relationships to continual bliss?
In my own experience, I’m one of the only guys I know who isn’t constantly complaining about women. I don’t refer to them as “stupid” or “bitches”. I dare say I’m even happy in my outlook.
But I wasn’t always like this, to say the least. I used to be bitter and doubting of the sanity of the entire female species. But after a string of coarse romances and brutal breakups, I started realizing that I must share at least some fault in this constant stream of bad experiences. In fact, maybe I was approaching things from the wrong angle altogether.
About a year ago, I changed my view of women and relationships entirely, and I feel much happier for it. I took full responsibility for my unhappiness. I was constantly imposing false expectations on the women I was with, was relying far too much on them as my source of happiness, and would often get so tied up in a girl that the rest of my life would fall behind.
Expectation Is the Mother of Disappointment
Consider the following scenarios:
- You break up with your girlfriend. The next day she has a new boyfriend.
- Your girlfriend’s been acting aloof lately. You haven’t had sex in months. She confesses that she cheated on you with a good friend of yours.
- You’ve been on a few dates with this amazing girl you met recently. The last time you were together, you spent the night at her place in constant lustful embrace. You’re scheduled to go out for dinner on Saturday. On Friday, she tells you she thinks you’re better as friends.
What do they all have in common?
First, they are completely normal. These scenarios–and thousands more involving lies, deceit, infidelity, fighting, and other forms of intrigue–are being played out all day long around the world. Second, when it happens to you, you’ll say “I can’t believe she did that. What a f@$%# b@#%!”
The single biggest mistake most guys make with women is to see girls for what they want them to be, rather than for who they are. Instead of projecting onto a woman what you think she should be like, tune into the signals emitted by her actions, and use that to form your own judgement of the quality of her character.
If she cheated on her last boyfriend to meet you, take the hint. If she spends half the conversation talking about all the guy “friends” she hangs out with, and you think you’ll be able to get her to spend time only with you, don’t blame the brick wall for making your head hurt.
Whenever a woman does something that you “can’t believe”, realize that in the broad spectrum of human experience, your situation is neither unbelievable nor particularly unique, whether she cheated on you with your best friend or a zoo animal.
Of course, being human means having emotions, and it’s hard not to be extremely angry at infidelity. But by fully accepting the reality you’ve been dealt, and seeing it in a universal context, you will moderate your emotional reaction and recover more quickly than through the harmful and blurry lenses of denial, resentment, and disbelief.
Don’t Rely on Women for Happiness
Relying on women to feel “truly happy” is an unhealthy way to live. I believe that lifelong monogamy is one of the many fairy tales imposed upon us through social conditioning. A much more sane approach, for me, has been to fully accept the ephemeral nature of relationships, and let women flow into and out of my life in a natural way.
Not relying on women for your happiness implies several things:
- High standards. When you derive your happiness from things that you can control like, say, the contribution you make the world, instead of depending on female approval, your standards automatically go way up. You shift from being needy and validation-seeking to being the one doing the qualifying. When you see a girl you want to approach, your attitude changes from “What if she thinks I’m creepy?” to “Hm, I wonder if this girl’s as awesome as she looks…”
- Willingness to walk away. While a lot of guys will tell their buddies they’d “never take that kind of crap from a girl”, the reality is that most guys will say and do almost anything to get laid, especially by women of particular beauty. For the same reasons, they often find it almost impossible to dump a girl, short of having already found another one. When you make the fundamental shift to deriving happiness from self-validation, this desperation melts away.
- Breaking up is no big deal. I’ve had some painful breakups. Even after adopting the model of reality I’m currently describing, I still get stung from time to time. Getting hurt is human. But some people act like a breakup is the end of the world, as if you have to “pick up the pieces of your life and start all over again”. But making your relationship so central to your life to begin with is a recipe for disaster.
Be Your Own Force of Nature
If you find your relationships to be a constant source of disappointment, the first question to ask yourself has nothing to do with women at all: What do you want to do with your life? This isn’t merely a career question, it’s an inquiry into the very essence of who you are. Once you know the answer to this, you’ll know a lot more about the kind of woman you want.
Be the center of your own universe. Have your own mission in life and allow others to come along for the ride, if they’re interested. For example, my mission right now is to help others grow. The heart-centered pursuit of this objective has taken on a life of its own. 30 sleeps is not even two months old and is already growing way faster than I anticipated. I’ve received loads of positive feedback from readers and users around the world and tens of thousands of unique visitors in the last three weeks.
While women have flowed into and out of my life this summer, 30zzz has proven to be a lasting adventure.
The Power of Now
I’ve talked about acceptance, but how do you learn to accept? I mentioned being willing to walk away, but how do you really let go?
The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, is an excellent book for understanding the “how” of everything I’ve said in this article. It does a great job explaining how much we are controlled by our ego and how, through surrender, we can eliminate the source of so much pain and suffering. It even includes an entire chapter on “enlightened relationships”.
I read this book a couple months ago and found it invaluable in my social skydiving adventures. It also helped me realize that you can fully accept reality without merely resigning yourself to your circumstances. While the subtitle is “A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”, don’t let that scare you off. Think of it as a manual on how to find the “off switch” on your own mind, and so be able to eliminate many negative thought patterns.
The single biggest cause of suffering in relationships is false expectations, seeing the other person for what you want them to be, rather than letting their actions speak to who they are underneath. False hopes inevitably lead to disappointment, and disappointment to bitterness and resentment. Unfortunately, we’re often so “addicted” to the other person at this point that it feels impossible to let go, and the downward spiral continues.
If this sounds like you, start by taking full responsibility for the situation. What is causing your frustration and what adjustments can you make to avoid those troubles to begin with? What worked for me was learning to see things as they are, and living my life to suit.
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