Five Awful Truths About Relationships

Relationships are so full of bullshit.

We bring so much baggage, expectations and all around retardation to our personal relationships… there’s no wonder we have so much divorce, infidelity and secrecy going on. We construct worlds in our own mind that are NOT based in reality, but they keep anxiety at bay and fend off the “end of the relationship” demons for one more day.

It’s time we dispel with the ignorance, denial and all around shit-headedness…  and drop some much-needed truth bombs. After my 40+ years on this planet, one failed marriage under my belt and countless chats with awesome people of both sexes, here are the truths as I see them. I’m sure some of these will piss you off.

TRUTH #1: No, women… You alone are NOT enough.

Here’s a common scenario: Woman catches her man jerking off to porn. Or, she sees porn on his phone/computer/ipad. Or she sees an ATM receipt from the strip club. Or she overhears him talking about that one hot girl at work. Her instant reaction is anger. How dare he?! How embarrassing for her! Then she shames him. A common phrase is “Am I NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?!” Short answer: No. You’re not.

I can bring up an infinite supply of pornography right now with a quick google search. It’s all FREE and available in seconds. Even with this infinite supply of FREE product at our disposal, people STILL buy porn… and 98% of those people that buy porn are MEN.

Conclusion: Men are horny. Men like women. Men like variety.

We are committed to you, so we need an outlet for this energy. Are you not in an open sexual relationship? Then he’s at least looking at and fantasizing about other women a great deal. There is absolutely positively nothing you can do about it. The best you can do is go along for the ride and use it to your advantage and watch porn and go to strip clubs with him (or whatever his sexual outlet might be). Being more open to his “kinks” puts that extra spice in your sex life. Not only does it add a little extra oomph to the relationship, it is also an acknowledgement that you understand his needs and desires as a guy, and as far as you’re concerned they are every bit as normal as eating and breathing. You are in no way threatened by something so natural. In fact, you love it.

With or without your approval, his sex drive will be there and it will find a way out.

Side note: Your reaction to his sexuality is a good barometer of the status of your romantic relationship. If you are disgusted or laugh at the idea of your man in sexual situations… you need to take a long hard look at your feelings towards him. Is he just a friend?

TRUTH #2: Looks matter.

Women – You spit out a couple kids and put on 40 lbs over the past 6 years… but you do a shit ton of work to keep the home in shape, you maintain a job and you’re a fantastic, nice, supportive and sweet bundle of awesomeness to your husband and kids. Sorry… it’s not enough. Lose the weight. He’s not in shape? Who cares. Get your shit in gear and hope that he follows. Your weight gain bothers him. The fact that you don’t want to stay sexy for him bothers him. Ironically, your weight gain helps enable the sloth-like behavior in him that you are so turned off by. Men just need ONE little excuse to be a lazy slob and they jump into that world with gusto. We are longing for a break. For a reason to justify the sirens of lazy sloth we hear so often. Don’t be that reason.

Are you dating? OH BOY do you need to lose weight. Yes, even though you’re overweight you will still get men to sleep with you. This isn’t a testimonial to your attractiveness, but rather to the rabid libido of men in general. The quality of men that you attract directly correlates to what you present to the world. We really don’t care about your career and level of education. We like nice women who look good and are interesting and have a good heart. That’s about it. The rest is fluff. Your looks are what get you noticed right away, so get in shape. Anyone telling your otherwise is lying to get into your way-too-big pants.

Men – Working hard and helping out around the house and wiping baby butts? Think that’s enough? Not by a long shot. Look good. Look sexy. Make your woman feel like she is lucky to have a dude like you. She doesn’t look good anymore? Who gives a shit. You take care of you. You’re the man in this relationship. Be the leader. Show her you mean business and you take this relationship seriously. It’s not just about money and kids… it’s also about the two of you and romance. Remember, if you don’t fulfill her needs, she WILL find somebody else that will.

Are you not married? Dating? Get in shape. Be the lover, not the provider. You don’t want a woman that pegs you as the paycheck right away. You want the woman who has a visceral sexual reaction to you. You want one that doesn’t know or care about what you do for a living, but rather that you are fun and interesting and sexy. If you’re a frumpy mess you only have PROVIDER status to fall back on, and that never ends well for men.

TRUTH #3: Women can rationalize anything.

It’s true that women need both that emotional and physical connection to make the leap into the bedroom. Their body may be ready to go, but their brain needs to play catch up. So, when a woman is caught in a physical affair outside of her monogamous relationship, that must mean that she has a deep emotional connection to the other man, right? Not necessarily. The bitter truth is that it doesn’t take much to get the gears spinning and have the woman rationalizing such poor behavior. Before you know it, your perfect gal is completely rewriting your past and painting you as a monster. Why? She had to to have sex with that one crazy ex-con guy from the gym that made her hoohah all tingly. That’s it. She can’t say “I fucked up. He was hot. You’re not. Sorry.” Female logic doesn’t work that way. She needs to create a story that paints her as the victim, or at the very least the woman who “had no choice” but to do what she did. She realizes she did a horrible thing that makes no logical sense.. so why not change reality so that it DOES make logical sense?! Problem solved.

Regardless of the creative narrative, the end result is the same: She slept with some other dude. She wanted it, she got it.

Us men are way more in tune with our visceral sexuality. We don’t need to rationalize the urge. It’s just there and it’s always there. We don’t see that same level of blunt, all-encompassing sex drive in women so we assume “Men are pigs… women are more wholesome and thoughtful.” The reality is that you just have to push her mental buttons in the right combination at the right time…and voila. Her depravity will make your crazy fantasy world look like something out of Sesame Street.

TRUTH #4 : Men are ranked, too.

Men have our typical ranking system of 1-10 to judge a woman’s physical attractiveness. “Dude… she’s a solid 8. She’d be a 9 if she had bigger boobs.” It’s juvenile and demeaning, but it happens.

What we don’t know is that human beings as a whole have a system for ranking a man’s value in society… and it’s a little more sinister than a simple 1-10.

Take the typical good ol’ comfy blob of a husband for example (most of you readers). He can be the sweetest man on the planet, the greatest dad, the greatest partner… but all that can get wiped out when they go to a dinner party where all of the other husbands there have better jobs than him. They all have titles like President, CEO and VP of Sales. He’s in middle management in a small company nobody heard of. He watches his wife’s body language change throughout the evening. She goes from bubbly to pensive and withdrawn. They finally get back home and he gets a  “Not tonight honey, I have a headache”. Finally after several days of moping and being distracted she opens up. “Maybe you should ask John if he has a position open in his company. Sally says he got a big bonus last month and they bought a condo in Florida with it.” There it is. She’s been preoccupied by the fact that other men in her social circle out-rank her own husband.

Yes, there’s a ranking system for men. A dominance hierarchy, if you go by terms we use for the animal kingdom. It’s a complex system that takes into account multiple factors to determine a male’s place in the mating scene. How likely is he to bang that attractive woman he wants so bad? How much do he and his wife have sex? Well, depends on his ranking.

Some common scenarios to demonstrate:

  1. Man X is married to Woman Y. He is a blue collar laborer by trade. His wife is way more educated (a scenario that is more common than not in today’s age) and she makes a great deal more money than he does. The knee jerk reaction by people she knows is “Interesting… what is she doing with a guy like that?” In other words, his lack of ability to provide for her financially what she can’t already provide for herself instantly knocks him down a few pegs on the male ranking system. There’s gotta be SOMETHING more to the story, otherwise it makes no sense. His provider status has been nullified. Then they meet him. “Oh… he’s a decent looking and strong dude who is charming, sweet, intelligent and confident. We get it now.” His personality and looks jump him up a few pegs on the scale. He’s a lover not a provider. Makes sense. All is right with this scenario again. The lower ranking males scatter and leave Woman Y alone. On to easier targets.
  2. Man A is married to woman B. He makes a great deal MORE money than she does as the VP of Finance for his company, but people say that “She wears the pants in the family.” When you see the two together, he folds up like a scared little boy and she has to drag him around to get him to socialize. Physically he is not imposing or impressive. He blends in with whatever furniture he stands next to. It’s not uncommon to hear her belittle him in front of mutual friends. She’s often heard pointing out his shortcomings. She is telling the audience “Your suspicions are right. This male is of lower status than me. Don’t let his money fool you. I’m open for business if anybody wants to take his place.” She is flirted with constantly. She flirts back. The males are circling. They see that they have a very real chance with her.

In our original scenario with the wife at the dinner party, the man in question had a much lower ranking than the other guys in attendance. Their ability to be better providers trumped all of his positive qualities. In that brief but shallow moment he went from “What a great husband” to “Is he REALLY such a great husband after all?” He has no other ammunition to combat this with.  They make more money and provide more lavish lifestyles, but he has…. What? Looks? Charm? Confidence? None of the above? By bringing up his inability to provide in a way that is at least equal to the rest of the group, she is pointing out his deficiencies and reiterating his role as provider. “You’re a PROVIDER here, dipshit. Why the hell aren’t you better at it?!” They both know he’s not a lover…Just look at him. Therefore, his ranking depends on his paycheck. Yes, it’s that shallow and stupid.

TRUTH #5 : Kids can VERY easily ruin a romantic relationship.

As the relationship with your wife grows, you inevitably become more and more comfortable with each other. The anxiety and stress of “What if they find somebody better?!” starts to fade (and with it, her raging libido). The urgency to prove your worth takes a back seat to work and maintaining a home. The monotony of life takes hold.  An then… you decide to have kids. Oh boy. Here comes the fun.

Kids suck. They suck money. They suck time. They suck energy. At the end of the day you are left exhausted and still running a million kid-related things through your head. Planning the day tomorrow. Thinking of all the ways you can can shake the last few remaining coins from your pocket to make their life a little easier.

If you allow it to happen, the kids can take you down a deep rabbit hole that many of us never come out of. You become another god damned parent. Every single thing in the universe comes second to that role… spouse included. Especially the spouse. This is more so the case for women. When that baby comes, everything changes. Her body and mind work in concert to keep her glued to that little creature for as long as possible. Everything else just fades to the background. Men all know this. We get it completely. She’s supposed to focus on the little person. She’s responsible for keeping them alive and well. It’s a lot of time and pressure on a woman. This is when the utilitarian nature of the man comes to the forefront. What can YOU do as a man to help with this new, awesome responsibility??

If the mere presence of the new human wasn’t enough, many women start questioning their long-term careers and professional goals at this point. The baby gives them a new life meaning and purpose. They may go part-time at work or drop their career all together. Then they look to the man to fill in the earning gaps. If he had any Lover points in his social ranking, they’ve just been wiped out… and he’s left with only his Provider role.

Many men feel the pressure of their new role and become resentful. They withdraw. Deep down they are jealous of the unconditional love and attention the new baby receives. So, they slide into their new 100% Provider role and never look back. Lover status is long gone in their mind. They wish it wasn’t gone… but what can they do? Go out and screw girls and risk ruining it all? Leave the wife and kid alone to do his own thing? He can’t. Society tells him he can’t. The new dad wipes butts, goes out to work, coaches soccer, takes girls to the mall, paints toenails, knows how to do a french braid… where’s the time for that old Lover stuff? None. There’s no time. Get back to work, Provider.

The cruel irony in all this is that with the pressure to become the slave… err… The Provider… his ranking slips further and further and further down. A ranking built solely upon Provider points is not sustainable. Something always has to give. This is where you hear guys saying “I haven’t had sex in 2 years” or “She won’t let me touch her anymore”. The romantic relationship is completely over at this point and the only hope the man has is to forcibly swing the pendulum back to Lover and hope for the best.

 

 

SEO: Sexual Energy Optimization

A little background on me… I do marketing work for companies. Mostly local small/mid-size businesses. I help them push their brand, look professional, and grow their business. I do a lot of creative design work, branding, photography, videography, social media… and website work. I’m the cost-effective and just-as-good alternative to going with a full ad agency. It’s basically just me and a young man helping me right now. I sometimes work in my pajamas from home. Yes, I have a good life.

When it comes to websites, I get the same question. Every time. Every single time.

“How can we be #1 in Google?”

In other words “I want the magic bullet that will propel my company’s website to the top of the list so that people looking for what I sell can very easily find me.”

So, here’s what I tell them:

“What you’re talking about, in part, is Search Engine Optimization. We need to construct your website in a way so that people will have no choice but to see you online and learn more about you.”

*client nods emphatically*

“Okay, here’s what we have to do. It’s not easy, and I will need your help on this. We have to add good, real content to the website. We need to update it often. We need to create separate pages for each product line. Separate pages for each of your branch locations. Photos of products. Photos of your staff. PDF’s people can download so they have the detailed info they need about your products and services. You have to be the undeniable go-to resource of information for your industry.

We will work with you to create the right content. We will do the work behind the scenes to make sure everything is programmed correctly and that Google can see what it needs to see. This is the nuts and bolts of SEO work.

In addition, we also need to work on your social media presence. Your prospects and clients are there, and you need to be there too. You will provide links and references that go back to your website. Google likes that. You are creating the connections in the ‘web’. We need to create a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Instagram and Snapchat may also be helpful. All of these sites should be reflective of each other. If we’re pushing XYZ widgets this month, ALL of your sites showcase XYZ widgets. There should be no doubt that you have a special on XYZ widgets going on.

We also need to create videos and post them on Youtube. Video is, in my opinion, the best way to convey an idea in a relatively short amount of time. A one minute video can cover A LOT of ground, and if done right, can make you guys look like a million bucks. We will then link to those videos on all of the social media sites. We will embed those videos right on your website as well. The videos will reference your website.

We also need to work with your vendors to see if they will be kind enough to post the link to your website on their own sites.We can also post press releases out that that have links to your site. These may get picked up by the news sites… and they will in turn give links to your site. Google loves that. Again, we’re creating the connections in the web. That’s what the internet is all about.

When all that is done, you will most definitely be higher up on the Google results than you were before… but I can’t guarantee you will be #1 on the list. After all that is done, somebody out there may be just a LITTLE better than you. What I can guarantee is that somebody will find you and you will be better off than you were before. It just takes time and patience and you will see the rewards.”

At this point I get one of two replies:

  1. “Awesome. Let’s get rolling. What do you need from us?”
  2. “Well… we had a group come in that told us we could pay $700/month and they would make us #1 in Google..”

Can you guess which group is successful?

#1 recognizes the hard work involved, likes the idea of seeing their company out there and getting recognition, and is willing to do what it takes to get the work done and reap the rewards of a few extra clients. They are also more likely to trust me to get the work done and help out however they can. Their success will snowball and they will be a client for a long time

#2… They just want a quick fix. All of that stuff sounds daunting and they’re not sure they trust me 100% to get it done. Somebody already told them that it shouldn’t be work on their part… they should just pay $700/month and they will get them leads. What they don’t know is that the company will just put up Google ads, get some mediocre leads, and move on to the next sucker after milking them for a few grand. The scammy SEO firm will start doing work but also send the client emails saying things like “You guys should also create a Facebook page. That will help.” Client gets pissed that they have to do something. They thought $700 would take care of it all. They then come to me for help.

The game of sexual attraction is very similar. I call it SEO: “Sexual Energy Optimization”. You want your partner to be in a frenzied sexual state. You want them to WANT you. You want to see that spark in their eye. That desire. That “I just can’t help it” lustful gaze. You want her to grab you by the hand and take you in the back room and blow you.

You want to be #1 search result when they type in “Guys I really want to fuck.”

You don’t want pity sex. You don’t want excuses. You don’t want another “Not tonight, baby. I’m sorry.”

If you’re like most, you just don’t wanna do the work. In fact, you’re in denial that work is even necessary.

Instead of alt-tags and content, your SEO work should be fitness and health. Mental and physical. It should be a healthy combination of the “shallow” physicality and the deeper programming of abundance mentality and independence. It should be an acceptance of knowing that even if you do everything right, you still may not be #1… and that’s ok. You’ve constructed a great presence. Others will find you and are ready to buy.

Let this be hammered into your head: She cannot help that she is not sexually attracted to you. She can’t. It is not a decision. Sexual attraction is not negotiable.

It’s like getting mad at somebody for not finding your site. “How come you didn’t click on my site when you did your search?!!” — “Ummm… you weren’t on page one of results. I never go past page one.”

The physical act of sex is a decision, yes… but that visceral drive and feeling is not. It’s there, or it isn’t. It’s the difference between starfish “Just hurry up so we can watch Game of Thrones” sex and “Did we really do it for three hours!?” sex. You know it when it happens.

So many people buy into the magic of sexual attraction. That “spark” is just there with this certain guy, and they just don’t know why! They want to love their perfect little angel of a sweet husband/boyfriend… but why are they thinking about fucking that asshole from work all the time!?

It’s not magic. It’s not some little certain super secret undefinable quality… it’s a combination of things. It’s pushing buttons and needs in the right combination. It’s doing a lot of little things. It’s becoming undeniable. It’s being ok with not being everything to everybody. She doesn’t want to fuck you? Cool. Not a big deal.

Here’s a common scenario. Let’s look at two different ways it can play out:

Woman standing in kitchen cooking. Husband walks up behind and puts his arms around her waist. Kisses the back of her neck. She winces. “Babe… I’m trying to get this done quickly. We have to be out the door in 30 minutes for the PTA meeting. Not right now.”

Reaction #1: Husband – “Sigh… whatever.” *He starts slamming things around in the kitchen. Stomps off mumbling something. Very obviously pissed.* Wife chases after him. “You know… you’re a real asshole sometimes. Don’t you see what I’m trying to do?! I don’t see YOU doing the cooking! It’s not like I can just get turned on and do whatever, whenever you want! Stop being a baby!”

He’s furious. He escapes to the basement to look at porn. “Can’t she just fucking ACT like a loving wife for once?! Fucking Christ.” He will probably pout and fume for a while. He will try again later with more forceful touching. She will once again roll her eyes and shame him for trying. She may even get physical and push him away or hit him. She is now officially repulsed.

Reaction #2: “Okay, baby. Mmmm… Those potatoes smells good.” Then he smacks her on the butt and goes away.

Reaction #2 says “I am not a slave to your emotional response to my physical advances. If you don’t want to do anything or don’t feel like it right now… that’s perfectly fine! No pouting. No anger here. Your libido and response is not my responsibility. I’m happy and sexy and awesome either way. I got shit to do… so see you later, sexy pants!”

The breakdown of reaction #1: Man wants woman. Woman says no. Man gets pissed because, gosh darnit, she doesn’t like him like she’s supposed to like him in that moment. He has NEEDS, dammit! She’s SUPPOSED to like him at all times. He had a vision in his mind of how that little kitchen groping scenario was supposed to work out, and she didn’t play her part appropriately (an example of a Covert Contract).

She really wasn’t feeling sexy in that moment right then and there. She hasn’t felt sexy in a while, actually. She has come to accept his needy ways and it’s a giant turnoff. She wants to NEED HIM, but she doesn’t… and that’s bothersome to her. Must she remind him every day of his inability to turn her on? Why doesn’t he get it? Why does he put her in that position? Just give her some damn space. Oh great… he’s pouting again. Awesome. What a fucking baby.

The breakdown of reaction #2: Man wants woman. Woman says no. He’s cool with that. Gives her a pat on the butt to assure he that he’s confident and all is well. He goes away.

Her mind at that moment: “Sigh… I kinda feel bad for that… but I have to cook this food right now. We’re running late. Hehe… little stinker spanked my butt. Jerk face. Where’d he go? Is he mad? He never gets mad when I turn him down. Why is that? I’ve only seen him mad like twice since I’ve known him. Does he just not care? No, he loves me. He says it all the time. I love him so much. Shirley at work said I’m lucky to have a guy like him. She’s pretty. Her boobs are awesome. Wish I had those. But my butt is better for sure. I showed her that picture of him at the beach and she told everyone about it. I wonder if she would do him? Probably. I think a lot of girls would. Would he do her? Not sure. Why does the thought of that turn me on? LOL. I’m such a perv sometimes. Wait, does that mean he has affairs? Oh god.. he did go away on that trip that one time and didn’t respond to my texts for two hours. This is how Sally said her husband left her! Oh man… where is he?? Did he leave the house? Oh shit, the potatoes are burning.”

Take scenario #1- What happens if husband walks in a second time, pushes her up on the kitchen counter and plants a fat kiss on her? I would think a very strong “WHAT DID I JUST GET DONE TELLING YOU?!” would happen. She feels assaulted.

Scenario #2? She’d probably not stop smiling for the rest of the evening.

This relationship thing… it’s a game. Stop acting like you don’t have to play it. Stop acting like you don’t have to play by the rules and put in hard work… just because.

Do the SEO work. Most of the work is attitude. The attitude comes naturally if you truly ARE the kinda guy who can get sex if/when he wants from who he wants. Women can smell it. Just as much as they can smell neediness.

If you do the hard work and you’re STILL not #1 in her search results… that sucks…but no worries. Got other shit and other people to do.  The ironic part is that with that “abundance” attitude, you are less likely to have to use it.

For the Ladies: Advice from the DSO

A different little spin on things… some general relationship advice from me to the ladies.

1. Empathize more. It’s not always about you. Put yourself in his shoes. For those of you saying “Well yeah, duh!”… you’d be surprised how many women just flat out do not know how to empathize with the day-to-day life of their man. They get caught up in kids, work, the house, etc.. they don’t stop to say “I wonder what my man is feeling now…” This was illustrated perfectly by an article that recently went viral:

http://thebluntblonde.com/working-husband-makes-feel-lonely-do-his-laundry/

face palmSummary: Wife is resentful and pouting that she never gets to see her hubby. Then she does the laundry and notices that he has clothes worn from hard work. “OMG… he works for our family! Maybe I should be nice to him!?” Millions of women read this and said “Huh… I guess he does work hard for US. Whoa. I never thought of it like that.” The same number of men face-palmed so hard they got a concussion.

Ladies… your man loves you and respects you, otherwise he wouldn’t work so hard FOR you and the family. It’s not rocket science.

2. Realize that he has a libido you can’t comprehend. Big assumption I’m making here: he’s a healthy male. horny manHormones in line like they should be. He’s in shape. Sorta. If so… he’s beyond horny.

YES, HE WANTS TO FUCK OTHER WOMEN. A LOT OF THEM. ALL THE TIME. That drive is always there.

NO, THIS DOESN’T MEAN HE DOESN’T LOVE YOU OR WILL BE UNFAITHFUL TO YOU.

YES, HE PROBABLY LOOKS AT PORN.

NO, THIS DOESN’T MEAN HE DOESN’T LOVE YOU OR HAS NO INTEREST IN YOU, SEXUALLY.

Embrace his sexual drive. Use it to your advantage. Play with him. Tease him. Remind him what an awesome thing he has at home. Remind him how much he turns you on.

Is he attractive? In good shape? Nice personality? Women are flirting with him. So what? You are the prize. Keep yourself in shape, keep yourself sexy, realize he’s a male human… love him for it.

Novel idea time: You know how when you are out at the mall with your man and you notice he’s eyeballing some young girl’s butt? What do you do? Elbow him and tell him to knock it off? Get angry and call him a perv? Remind him that’s he’s older than her and that’s creepy? How about saying this instead: “Oh, she is sexy. I can see why you’re looking. I like her. Maybe a little too skinny… but I’d do her for sure.”  If you did this you would go from typical wife to BEST WIFE ON THE PLANET.

Men look at women ALL the time. It’s no different than looking at the pretty sunset. You just HAVE to look. So why not take that innocuous moment and flip it and show him that you’re not threatened, you’re secure in your sexuality and remind him of just how lucky he is to have a woman like you as his wife/girlfriend? Remember, even if you elbow him, shame him, or get angry at him… he’s still going to look. In fact, he’ll probably look next time with an additional thought in his mind: “OMG… that chick is hot. Not like my wife. My wife is a bitch.” Instead turn that into “OMG… that chick is hot. But she’s not my wife. God damn I’m lucky.”

If you are shaming your man or trying to keep his sexual urges focused SOLELY on you, you are accomplishing the opposite. You are playing an unrealistic game with a very predictable outcome. You will just knock yourselves down a few dozen notches on the attraction scale and everyone else will be further above you. Bad move, sister.

3. Stop putting yourself down. “I feel fat. I’m gross. Ugh… I hate my belly. God… look at these thighs.” Fucking stop it already. What do you want? Sympathy? Want us to lie and say “What?! Belly?! It’s as flat as can be! You have a six pack!” Yeah, we probably notice your body change, too. Our bodies aren’t perfect, either. We get it. We’re human. We don’t want perfection. We also don’t want to hear you bitch and draw attention to your faults. At the most, we want to hear “I need to watch what I eat and go workout tonight.. gotta keep sexy for my man.” When we start to hear repeated references to your faults, we will eventually either just agree with you or say “So, shut up and do something about it already.” It’s like your husband repeatedly coming home and complaining about his job. Shut up and get a new job or make the best out of what you have.

4. Don’t let your job define you. We don’t care about your career. We really don’t. I mean.. We will certainly be interested in and learn all we can about your job, as your partner in life… We’re not total assholes about it… but it has zero bearing on our attraction and intimate bond with you. You could quit and be a stay-at-home mom and we’d still think you’re every bit as awesome and sexy (please note: that would mean a big decrease in take-home pay, which would mean you would have to cut down on your spending… yeah, didn’t think you’d go for that).

Don’t think taking that promotion will help out the marriage. You’re thinking with woman feelings. We know that us men getting pay raises and more responsibility makes us more attractive to you. We get it. It doesn’t work that way in the other direction.

I just recently met a couple. Both attractive. He in his 40’s, her in her 20’s. He was divorced. His wife divorced him because she made more than him and couldn’t respect him… and that filtered down into everything about their relationship. He has been with his current girlfriend for 3 years and says that he will never be with a woman his age or a woman that has a career ever again. Now, my knee-jerk socially aware and sympathetic response would be to say “What?! But you’re missing out on a lot of potentially good women out there!” But… in reality… I get it. I’m with my woman not because of her career, but in spite of her career. She’s with me not because I’m older and bald, but in spite of that. That’s okay.. that’s human nature.

We look at you as a feminine, sexy and wonderful oasis away from our hard and stressful lives. We love your smile. Your playfulness. Your beauty. Your sexy ways. Being VP of Sales puts you on the level of our friend Bob. We don’t want to fuck Bob.  It’s not that we’re THREATENED by your success (I always cringe reading that)… it’s just that it does nothing for us. It just adds stress to your life, takes you further away from the “oasis” we want, and makes you more like, well… Bob. Yuck.

So, go for that job! Seriously… if it fills a void, go for it. If you like the challenge, awesome. Do it, sister! But don’t think we get anything out of it. We don’t. We just ask that you keep what made us fall in love with you.

Comfort

comfortable dude

A question I recently received from a reader:

“What tips do you have for a happily married person to strive to be the best they can be?”

My reply:

Don’t get comfortable.

You now how when you first started dating that you worked hard to look your best? You put on your best clothes. You got frequent haircuts. You went to the gym. You were happy and outgoing. Yeah… keep doing that. Don’t take your situation for granted.

Comfort is the enemy of men. It lulls you into a sense of complacency. Comfort tells you that everything is “good enough”.

Comfort is the way of saying “Ok.. I can relax now. This feels good and SAFE.” Safe… meaning you have NOTHING to worry about.

Tell that to the guy at the office who did his job every day and was passed over for the promotion, or was canned to free up money in the budget.  Tell that to the guy who did everything “right” in his relationship but found the wife banging the 18 year old pool boy.

Safety and comfort are an illusion. If you let your guard down, somebody will come along to remind you that your moment of relaxation is fleeting. All of it can be flipped in an instant.

So why do we insist on actually SEEKING out comfort in our relationships and try to expedite the inevitable “holy shit” life moment that will flip us upside down?

MEN THINK “BORING = SUCCESSFUL LIFE”

I often say of the bored, depressed wife: “Their man feels that the lack of drama and relative boredom in life is a sign that he has done his job. There are no dangers. Bills are paid. Food is on the table. All is well.  Men are fixers and he has done all of the preventative work to keep things from falling off the rails. Job well done. He can rest.” 

What he doesn’t know is that there are demons lurking… waiting for him to let his guard down. Ready to pounce on any sign of weakness.

The wife is yearning for more. She’s daydreaming A LOT more now about the grass being greener on the other side. If only he had kept going to the gym and kept playing guitar in the band he was in when he first met his wife. What happened to the guy she fell in love with?

The boss at work is about the drop the axe and cut 20% of the workforce. Our boring man is expendable. The poor schmuck has his feet up and is watching the Packers vs. Vikings game with a bowl of pretzels on his belly and his third beer of the evening in his gut. He has no idea just how close he is to losing it all. If only he had taken those night classes to earn his certification that would’ve given him that promotion last year.

So… they think comfort equals success, when it absolutely doesn’t. Why?

Well, ladies.. I’m looking at you first.

It’s a known fact that a woman will do everything she can to knock her man down a few pegs and mold them into the blob of comfortable bubble gum that she so despises. We call these things “fitness tests” or “shit tests”. It’s one of the more interesting phenomena in the relationship game.

A woman will be yours because of who you are… and then do everything she can to see if she can change you. If she succeeds, she will leave you for somebody that is like who you were when you first met.

Very often a man will err on the side of “safe” when his woman bitches or questions his authority. “Yes, dear.” Instead he should err on the side of doubling down on his decisions and reminding everyone who the man is in the relationship.

Again, he thinks lack of drama is a good thing. Why rock the boat?

“Happy wife = Happy life!” <– The biggest bunch of relationship bullshit ever uttered.

Another reason for a man’s desire for comfort: our culture.

In the minds of many people, “Dad” = guy sitting in recliner with beer belly and football jersey, yelling at the TV. You see it on TV on a daily basis. It’s so pervasive, that every single man I know emulates it. It’s not like it’s a natural state of being. No human being has “be a slob and sit for long periods of time in one spot and yell at glowing entertainment box for hours on end” imprinted into their DNA. Sure, us men need escape and time to ourselves fairly often, but that doesn’t have to manifest itself in such a way. You can read. You can go out. Take up a hobby. Hang out with guys doing guy stuff. Hit the gym.

I remember when I found out that the local rec center in town had open gym hours. Sweet! I’ll ask some guys I know if they want to get together to play some ball. You would think I asked them if I could bang their wife in the ass. Nobody was interested. So… I went by myself. Played with a bunch of 20 year olds. Felt awesome. Now I coach my son’s team. To me… that’s life. That’s masculine. That’s fun. Helps get me in shape and takes my mind off things.

Now, I enjoy my TV games. I like college basketball. I like the occasional NFL game or NBA playoff game. But I draw a freakin’ line at some point. I don’t do fantasy football. I don’t put on a team’s jersey while watching a game like I’m 12. I don’t schedule my entire life around watching other men play. It’s just fucking weird.

I think if every man could float outside of his body for a moment and look at himself watching game after game after game… watch himself cave into his wife’s shit tests… watch as he slouches his shoulders and says “yes, dear” for the 500th time, he would have an epiphany.

What the fuck am I doing? What does THAT accomplish?

Nothing. It accomplishes nothing. Oh, wait… yes it does. I makes you comfortable. It makes you unaware. It makes you less of a man.

Don’t lose your edge as a man. Don’t get comfortable. You’re holy shit moment is right around the corner.

Being The Man is a JOB.

You go to work. Monday through Friday. You do your job. You don’t complain. You don’t ruffle feathers. You come in, do your tasks, clock out and leave. You’ve never called in sick.

You don’t like to attend the after-work parties or cocktail hours if you can help it. The company Christmas party is torture enough. All of the gatherings are giant drunkfests that make your skin crawl.

You don’t golf with your boss. He’s invited you a couple of times and eventually gave up and stopped asking. Finally. Someone in his golfing entourage keep asking you, too. “No, I don’t even know how to hold a club.”  You like to avoid the boss and the asshole golf dudes as much as you can and spend time with the family.

You eat by yourself at your desk and read. Why listen to a bunch of whiny coworkers babbling about nothing? You’ve been reading an average of one book every other week. Gives you time to just relax and think in the middle of the workday.

The quality of your work is fine… nothing above what you’re supposed to do, but nothing below, either. When they hired you they gave you a list of responsibilities and you have stuck to it.  You’d be a schmuck to do more and an asshole to do less.

The day is here. Promotion day. You had a great annual review and the boss is calling a meeting to announce who in the group gets bumped up to the two open positions in the management group. Every other year they rotate people in and out of groups to keep things fresh. If you do well in the management group, you eventually get into one of the six figure executive jobs everybody dreams about.

You’re pretty sure you have one of those two spots this year. You’ve been around the longest. Both you and Gary do the best work. They’d be idiots to not promote both of you. You have a seat next to Gary in the conference room. He’s sitting up front like always. His arm around the person next to him. Gary always charms the people around him. You like Gary… he’s a cool guy.

The boss gives the usual BS about profits and losses. Budgets. Project goals and achievements. Finally after the first coffee break he gets to the good stuff. “Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I’m just going to get right to it … and say a very big congratulations to both Gary and Dennis for earning a spot into our management team. We’re lucky to have them aboard!”

You start clapping along with everyone else. Somebody in the back is pumping their fist and barking. You start to do the same but have no idea why. Problem: You’re not Dennis. You’ve never been Dennis. Your name sounds nothing like Dennis. This has to be a mistake.

You see your buddy Gary standing up and shaking hands with the boss. His grip is so firm his knuckles are turning white. His teeth are also white as snow. Shoes polished. Wears a tie every day. Gary is a good looking dude. Everybody likes him. Sigh…

You take the long walk back to your desk. You slump down in your chair and just stair at the book you just finished over your lunch break. You wish you lived in that imaginary world of elves and wizards. Seems like a simpler time… except for the dragons and regular deadly battles.

“Come on, my friend. Let’s go for a walk.” It’s your best office buddy, Sandra. Sandra has been with the company a long time. Worked her way up from mail clerk to now management. She’s a good 20 years older than you. A mother figure.

“I know you’re pissed about getting passed up. You didn’t hide it too well. You didn’t hear the boss calling for you as you were walking out? Don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. He just wanted to tell you that Gary will be your boss now. You’re lucky. Gary likes you a lot and he’s a good dude.”

You nod. Still very bummed. Another two years before you get a chance at that promotion. The promotion you fucking DESERVED now.

Sandra sees you seething. “Alright, look. You and I need to have a talk.”

She grabs your arm and leads you into an open conference room. She flips the sign on the front to “occupied” and shuts the door, loudly. “SIT. DOWN.”

You get wide-eyed and have a seat. This isn’t going to be good.

“Are you one of THOSE guys?”

You’re genuinely confused.

“You know… one of THOSE guys that thinks that you can just come in here, do your job, keep to yourself, and everything will take care of itself? You’re not that guy, are you?”

You manage to stammer out “Well… yeah? Why the fuck wouldn’t I think that?” Sandra is the only management person who welcomes cursing and you do it every chance you get around her. It’s now habit. You once saw her at the grocery store and yelled “How the fuck are you?!” She had her kids with her.

“Well who the hell told you that’s all it would take?! Have you SEEN anybody in management that you would say is quiet and keeps to himself and doesn’t talk to other people? Do you?!”

In an instant you are shocked. She’s right. You’re not cut out for management. You never have been. You’re in a dead end job. What the fuck were you thinking?

She notices your shocked face. “Yeah… you thought you could get comfortable here. Amigo, this is the CORPORATE world. This is kill or be killed. These guys here will chew you up and spit you out. The second they feel like they get all they can out of you, they are DONE with you and you’re taking your stuff home in a box and trying to explain to your wife why you’re home early.”

You feel like your heart is stopping.

“Your call, tough guy. You want to play along and get ahead and stop bitching… or do you want to be one of THOSE guys who sticks to himself and complains every time there’s a promotion he gets passed up for?? You can do your own thing if you want, my friend… but that shit ain’t gonna work HERE. I’ve seen way too many good people come in here and get passed up and get depressed and end up getting fired.”

She said it. The F word. This is real.

“I’m not asking you to be somebody you’re not. I’m telling you that the writing is on the wall and it’s up to YOU whether you want to play by the rules the rest of us follow, or the rules you’ve written in your own little head. Because, frankly, seeing you mope around here is getting old. You’re too good for this little game you’re playing. Wake up.”

You finally look up at her.

“Okay… fuck it. I’m ready. What do I do now?”

=====================================

I’m always amazed at just how much a relationship is like a JOB for a man.

So many guys grinding it out in their job. Playing by the rules. Being the “good” guy. In the end… the gold watch, a pat on the back, and if he’s lucky… a pension. Or, he becomes obsolete and gets fired. Either way, he spends the rest of his days pleading with his grand kids to never give up on their dreams.

The same occurs in a relationship.

Men are lulled into a state of either “I’ve made it. This is good enough” or “Why is this relationship not what I want? I played by the rules. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Eventually the relationship will come around.” Either way, it’s a fantasy land conjured up by the dude who is too lazy and too comfortable to flip a switch and fucking MOVE and do something about it.

Your boss looks at you as a resource. You are the thing that costs him $65,000 a year and in turn makes him $200,000 a year in extra revenue. You are a good investment and a valued team member. That is until a younger and spunkier version of you comes along. One that wants $100,000 in salary, brings in the same $200,000 in return… but also is fun to be with, shmoozes with the executive team, looks nice and flirts with all of the ladies in the office. He’s the shinier, quicker, sleaker model Ferrari that makes people say “Ooooo… nice.” You’re the dependable station wagon. Nobody gets wet over a station wagon.

As the male half of a relationship, you are only as good as the resources you provide… as well as the confidence and flair you bring to life. Stop kidding yourself. Everything in life is a sales job. It’s a game.

The game is going on whether you like it or not.

Your wife/girlfriend will surely appreciate all of the things you do for you as a couple… but she will frustrate you by continuously bringing up just what a charming and funny guy that dude Chad was at the party. She’s subconsciously saying “Be more like Chad, okay?” You left one of her many needs unattended.

Same thing with your status at work. You thought you checked all of the boxes on the good employee checklist, but you completely skipped over the “be a charming and fun guy that everyone wants to be around” and “learn how to be a more powerful person in the office” boxes.

You’re surprised when the boss says “Yeah… we’re gonna need you to take the office in the basement. Behind the furnace. Next to the stacks of toilet paper and copy machine toner. Thanks.”  You’re shocked when your wife says “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”

Both of them are saying the same thing. “Yeah, I may not be able to explain why exactly… but I don’t feel like you’re a good investment.”

They lost attraction to you. You can’t negotiate attraction. No amount of begging with the boss or the wife will get them to suddenly change their mind. They may say fine and keep you around a little longer, but the clock is ticking, as Chris Rock so eloquently puts when describing the differences between men and women.

Just as with the wife, your boss is rarely going to pinpoint WHY he picked Dennis over you for the promotion. It may come down to something vague like “Dennis is just a real team player. He gets things done. He’s going places. I can see him being on the executive team down the road… I know he won’t let me down.”

Your wife may bang Chad from the party and rationalize it away as “He just understands me. He gets me. It’s not you, it’s me.”

Both sides are telling you the same thing: You neglected a particular need that they had. You didn’t play the game properly. They’re not about to TELL you what those specific needs are.. because they may very well not know how to verbalize it themselves! Chad just… he’s just.. Chad. Dennis.. is just cool. You.. are dependable.

You’re THAT guy. Don’t be THAT guy.