For the past 20 years I have been helping men discover their strength, both through sharing my own personal exploration as well as professionally. This can look different for different men. For all men this happens through opening up to vulnerability. For nice guys connecting to their personal power means letting go of their people pleasing ways and being assertive.
Dan Bolton's blog
Negativity is common for those of us who have had a difficult life or even a series of recent bad experiences. Even if you aren’t predisposed to negative thinking it is difficult to resist negativity under the forces of hardship or social pressure.
We are living in a very heated time when it come to male-female relationships. As a man the messages can seem contradictory and confusing. On the one hand you hear the message that men are entitled and need to respect what a woman wants, yet on the other hand you hear that women are attracted to confident men, and see women go for the jerks who do what seems disrespectful. You may have even been told to “man up” by women who are frustrated because you haven't made a move yet (but, you were trying to be respectful, right?).
The other weekend I was out in Newport, RI with my wife celebrating my birthday. It is one of my favorite places to go, near my favorite beach to surf, and it has one of my favorite restaurants, The Red Parrot. They have the best Surf 'n Turf, this amazing lobster filled steak with garlic sauce. I can never resist it.
Anyway, as we were walking back to our bed and breakfast there were some guys sitting on a bench, obviously a little drunk. They started complimenting me that I was with a woman, "Good for you, man." It was clear that the compliment did not come from a place of feeling good about themselves, but was more self-pity. It seemed from their tone of voice they were saying "What's wrong with me that I can't get a woman to go home with me?"
All this talk about relationships in my blog sometimes detracts from the overarching goal of self-development: happiness. Being happy in your life, with or without a relationship, is the key indicator for relationship readiness and relationship satisfaction for any man. This same rule applies to any part of your life, whether it be work, family, recreation, or friendships. If you're not happy with yourself, anything outside of you will provide temporary satisfaction at best.
Happiness can be simpler than we make it. At it's most reduced form it is a way of thinking. The pattern that defines your particular way of thinking, you have likely been doing most of your life. This way, pattern, or habit of thought determines whether you feel happy or unhappy.
Sex in a long term relationship or marriage has the potential to be the best sex of ones life. Unfortunately rather than doing what helps keep the excitement going with their long term mates, many people give in to the monotony of everyday life and throw that potential away and then falsely attribute monotony to monogamy.
When nice guys maintain their typical nice guy pattern in a relationship they have often been putting their own needs second or may not have been expressing their needs at all. This often builds to resentment in the nice guy, especially when he has been silently expecting reciprocity from his partner or starts to perceive a lack of reciprocation. Resent accumulates to anger and it really has more to do with the nice guy than his partner. What I mean by this is that the nice guy has not expressed his needs, has not communicated his feelings if something does not feel right, or set boundaries for himself to make it clear what is OK and what is not OK for him.
Last week I went over how giving too much of a shit can lead to chronic rejection, pain, and lack of success dating (click here). Today I am addressing how the aspect of caring too much that nice guys have a tendency to do can hurt your relationship. I want to share a personal example to point out how nice guys can appropriately assert their needs without having to do the complete opposite and be a total asshole.