More Reasons Men Change Once in a Relationship
The fact that people change how they act once they get into a relationship is a common phenomenon. Both men and women do this, albeit in different ways. Though men and women may have similar reasons for acting different at the beginning, there are also reasons unique to men which I touched on last week. Another trap men fall into includes BOTH men who acted different in the beginning of a relationship AND men were confident enough to be themselves from the beginning. That trap is Complacency.
Complacency can be a relationship killer. All too often we fall into the habit of our relationships being refuge from the stresses of everyday life rather than a place where our best self is brought to the surface. A good relationship combines aspects of both: a place where there is mutual support, but also a place where each partner challenges the other to be their best. So, why do men let that part about being their best self fall to the wayside?
Is it really just that the excitement of the chase is over? Well, if you plan to be in it for the long haul, this is the perfect set up for a really boring relationship, a ho-hum sex-life, and disappointment if not a broken relationship.
Often people focus on seeking security, and in many men's minds securing a relationship equates to that security, and all of the stress about impressing other people should be over with for good, right? Um, no.
(1) first of all it shouldn't have been about impressing others in the first place, and
(2) She fell in love with you because you were putting your best self forward… hopefully. Now you expect her to lust after you the same when you lounge on the couch every night in your torn pajamas or hole ridden boxer shorts? Not gonna happen (see great parody of this is the video below, from Flight of the Conchords). And, do you really want to live your life not putting your best self forward anyway? Maybe you do, but if so it should be a conscious choice on your part, not something you do blindly. But, I doubt anyone truly would feel content to settle for less of themselves than they really want.
Yes, your partner should be one that is supportive, and if you are not feeling any support from your partner or feel constantly challenged to the point that it becomes some sort of stressful competition, then it may be time to rethink your relationship and have a serious talk with your partner. But, if your partner is challenging you a lot lately, it may just be that you have succumbed to taking your partner for granted and not bringing enough of your best self into your relationship.
Also, a good relationship requires that you grow together AND grow as individuals. This growth as individuals does not come to a halt once you are in a relationship, or even married. There is no dead end to personal growth. Over time partners will lose respect for each other if they are not continuing to grow, and hang their hat on the relationship. She will ask: what happened to the man I knew? Sometimes this is how affairs begin. As I said a few weeks ago, "Women are going to test our integrity as men, and that is a good thing." Her frustration with you might be a signal that you need to check in with yourself about where you are at with what you're bringing to your life and your relationship.
Navigating and understanding these signals alone can be difficult for men. There are not a whole lot of things I can imagine to be more emotionally painful for men than keeping the depth and complexity of their emotional lives, especially men in a relationship but also for men who are not in relationship. This is one major reason I started a men's group this past year... So that men don't need to feel alone in their pain. This first group I have going is for men like you who have felt inadequate, not good enough, undeserving, or reluctant to be more assertive about going after the things you want out of life.
If you're a nice guy who is tired of being left in the dust, not getting the girl, or feel like you keep getting the short end of the stick in relationships, I am running an in-person and online group called Self Respect for Nice Guys. I'm here to coach you how to use your authentic personality to your advantage to get you where you want to be in life, and the type of attraction you want and find a happy, healthy relationship or turn the tide in one that is not making you happy. No more getting walked all over by women, no more seeing only other guys get the girl. It's your turn now... It's time to make it happen! This is for motivated men who are willing to take the next step, but need some direction. If you want to sign up for this group, do so here: www.selfrespectforniceguys.com. This is more than the regular email list. This group is for men who are ready to be active in the next step in their personal transformation.
Make sure to reserve your spot in the group! Availability is limited... www.selfrespectforniceguys.com
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Photo Courtesy of dearanxiety (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dearanxiety/317547405/)