The days of being single were full of excitement. You had no one to answer to and the only person that you needed to be concerned about was yourself. But perhaps at times lonely nights were difficult despite your care-free lifestyle and you wondered if you will ever meet the right person. As you started to get a bit older, most of your friends started to fall off the map into relationships, and after going to countless bars and nightclubs, the bachelor lifestyle has finally come to an end.
Before you met her there may have been times when you asked your friends in relationships how to find a good person or you watched a few “chick flicks” to get advice on how to treat a woman in a relationship. As you look down memory lane, some of the people you dated were unforgettable and maybe, you made mistakes.
Others seemed promising but you simply knew you were not interested. It’s difficult for some men to change their lifestyle even when they are happily in an exclusive relationship.
Other men are naturals at being a Romeo while others need to take it one step at a time. Do you have what it takes to commit to only one person? Are you getting cold feet thinking about it? Dr. Phil wasn’t interviewed to share his advice for this article, but after speaking to some of my male friends, I share with you the truth.
15 Thinking Only About Themselves
When the woman you care about tells you that she is moving or looking for a new job, a man that is truly interested will be there to help. If he looks at any opportunity to be of service to you, you know what time it is. Most men (much like women) are very selective with who they spend their time with. Spending time with a person they look at as a casual fling is out of the question. There are times when a man will make plans with his friends, and he makes the decision to call off his plans just to be there for the one he has feelings for.
The last thing he wants to hear is that you called an ex-boyfriend or your “male friend” to come over and help you move. Men can be territorial when they have a special someone in mind and losing a chance with a woman they like to another man will only put a hamper on his pride. Think of it this way, being there for her shows her that you want to make sure she is fine. The little things count the most and trust me, women pay attention to the little things all of the time. This may sound like a very small task but you will be in her good books if you show her that putting in the effort and time to put a smile on her face is important to you.
14 Clubbing Days Are Over
Not all men like to go to the club and have a good time. Sometimes we all get pulled into the nightlife for a friend’s birthday party, a graduation or a night out with friends. However, there are men that will show up to a lounge or club every Friday for a number of different reasons. They might be looking for a fling, or even a relationship (yes, there are people in serious relationships out there that met in a night club). Whatever their reasons are, a man that is interested in a woman will put this part of his lifestyle to rest. Or, at the very least, will invite his special lady every once in a while to dance and enjoy themselves.
In the beginning of getting to know someone, some men may not always share their “clubbing” plans, but when it starts getting a bit serious, most will ask themselves, why do I need to go clubbing this weekend when I can spend my time with ____? When the day comes that your boyfriend is spending more time at a night club than spending time with you, you have to ask yourself what is lacking in our relationship or is he the right one for me?
13 Hiding Her From The World
This is what I call a gray area topic only because there are players that introduce a woman to everyone he knows (even his family), but then also has no plans to become serious with you. Ladies, tread wisely with this one, and men choose your actions wisely. At the end of the day, men like to puff out their chest when there is an accomplishment in their life they can share with others.
When a man is not serious about his partner, he might bring you to a friend’s get together or family outing, but then largely ignore you, leaving you to find other ways to entertain yourself.
If he is serious, he will be proud of you. This means he will introduce you to the people that he knows and tell them about your job or business, the new condo you bought or your last trip to Brazil to watch the Olympic Games. Bragging about you to others (in his mind) tells other people that he found a good one. Whether he realizes it or not, it means that he sees there are things about you that he appreciates, and that makes you special in his eyes.
12 Short Term Planning
Now, I know what you’re thinking. A horse and carriage is not the definition of planning ahead. The time when he starts planning trips for the both of you or schedules dates months in advance, you have caught his attention. He may start asking you what you think about your favorite artist coming to your town this fall for a concert, if you like going on road trips or if you are interested in attending his friend’s get-away wedding.
If he is not interested, he won’t even arrange a date with you 2 weeks in advance. This means he has other women in the picture or is simply playing it by ear to see if his guy friends have something more interesting coming up. Men aim to impress women, especially in the beginning of dating.
Unless you told him, he doesn’t know if there are other contenders that you had lined up before the two of you became exclusive. The both of you decided to be together but this doesn’t mean that another person isn’t still trying to win your heart. To keep your interest and make you feel like you are important, he will want your schedule to include him, even if it is months in advance.
11 Not Caring About Her Feelings
I was told once that when a man asks a woman that he is seeing how she feels, you know she means a lot to him. Men typically do not care how a woman feels if he believes they are “just friends.”
The reason for this is when a lady shares what is happening inside of her heart, it can open up a whole lot of conversation he is not ready for. For the ladies that are listening, if a man intentionally (or unintentionally) hurts you, one of the first things to mention to him is how it made you feel. This doesn’t mean he will instantly stop doing it, but it will give him a lot to think about. This also applies to the decisions that he makes when the relationship becomes exclusive. If his best friend is getting married and invited him to go to Las Vegas for a bachelor trip, he will talk to you to see how you feel about it. When the two of you are planning a date and he mentions a few options for you to choose from, he can easily dictate the date but this shows that he cares how you will feel.
10 Not Being Concerned With Defending You
There are three women in a man’s life you don’t want to mess with; his mother, sister and the woman he cares about. It doesn’t matter where he is in his life, this law is universal. If you are being harassed at work, he will have a plan of action for you. When he brings you out and another man tries to approach you, he will not allow it. If his friends ever step out of line and offend you, believe me, he will take care of it in a quick second. In the beginning, he simply doesn’t know you very well and may not act immediately in one or all of these situations, but the minute you two are exclusive, the dynamic will change.
The other point that I have to make to you ladies is he will expect the same. If he is constantly defending you or looking for ways to ensure you are safe when he is around and you do the opposite, this might put a screw in your relationship. I mentioned before that men are territorial. When you are hurt, he can feel it too and you need to hope you are with someone who will always have your back.
9 Hiding the Truth
When you talk to your best friend or a family member, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to be honest. The dynamic of a boyfriend / girlfriend relationship is certainly different, but be sure to still let her know what is on your mind. It is one thing to have a casual conversation, but opening up to her about important issues is essential. If you disagree with something she believes in, let her know. When she crosses the line, you need to be ready to mention it and be real. A real man can say no when he doesn’t agree with something. At the end of the day, most women want a man that can think for themselves, not a yes man. This shows character and strength as you set the standard early in the beginning before the relationship gets serious.
There is a time and a place for everything and the both of you have to learn more about each other and see where you stand as time passes, what makes her happy and how she can handle your honesty. If you tell her your thoughts in a respectful way this shows that you are a man that isn’t afraid to be emotionally available.
8 Using The Infamous "Little Black Book"
The Little Black Book can literally be a phone book or a long list of phone numbers of women he had relations with, or at some time had an interest in before he met you. For some men, burning this book or deciding not to use it anymore can take time but if he is sure that you are what he wants in a girlfriend, it will no longer exist.
As a matter of fact, he might even forget about it. Now, ladies, there are times when a man stops getting in touch with an old flame but she might reappear and it usually happens right when the two of you start getting close.
If you find out on your own or through a mutual friend that he is keeping in touch with an ex or a previous contender, bring it to his attention. It might simply be him trying to get her out of his life, but don’t wait for him to come to you with the information.
This is a game stopper that women need to follow as well. Biz Markie once rapped a song called “He’s Just a Friend.” Men are logical thinkers and can put two and two together. Being real in a new relationship will have an impact on how the relationship flows.
7 Avoiding “We Need to Talk” Conversations
It has been said that men cringe when they hear the four words “we need to talk.” In their minds, it usually means the relationship is going to end or they are in big trouble. Don’t assume that this is the queue for the beginning of a negative conversation. This is the time for her to open up and tell you what is on her mind. It can easily be a comment you made to her that she was uneasy about. You will never know until you arrange a time to talk or see her.
Avoiding important conversations can come off as if you are immature and not capable of being able to deal in a relationship. Women are looking for real men that do not have the time to play games. Since most men are more logical, it should be very easy for you to figure out a solution that will put a smile on her face.
Remember, being exclusive means late night phone calls, being challenged at times because of your actions and getting down to the nitty-gritty of what is important to the both of you. When women talk, they love to be heard. Be prepared to be able to be responsible for those personal conversations.
6 Playing Mind Games
Mind games are a famous part of the bachelor life. It can attract a woman that you like or turn someone off that is familiar with the games. An exclusive relationship is two people that relate to each other with loyalty and honesty. It’s simple but can be hard for some to follow. If you keep the games going, after a while she will get tired and walk away. When you find a good one, don’t let her go. The last scenario you want to be in is in a relationship with a person that is insecure because of what you do, or do not decide to do. A relationship is about give and take, it is not a board game to play with.
This is the time when you have to pull your maturity out and use it. In the end, a man or a woman that plays games will end up playing themselves. How would you feel if she knows very well that she is into you but wants to play mind games, instead of just being real?
Treat her the way that you want to be treated and there will be no need to play the game of hearts.
5 Comparing Women Out Loud
If the day comes that you start to compare your girlfriend to another woman, please stop yourself and reconsider what you are about to say. Comparing two women in your mind is safe because it is bound to happen. However, comparing her to another woman is an absolute no, no and can be viewed as an insult. It is telling her that she is not good enough even if you are trying to make a compliment. The first thought that will come to her mind is if you are day dreaming or thinking about another woman. Or that she is the second pick to a woman that is more attractive than her. Whether it is her best friend, an entertainer or her sister, find another way to express your thoughts.
What if she compared you to her ex-boyfriend? Mentioned that you look like a guy she used to know or compared your baby fat to Idris Alba’s chiseled abs. Maybe your intentions are not to hurt her but women in a relationship want to feel that they are the only one you have eyes for. We get it, your celebrity crush is your fantasy, but your partner doesn’t need to be reminded.
4 Putting Work First
We all have a job or a business to go to 5 days out of the week (for most of us). Some men drown themselves in their career when they are single to keep themselves believing they are not alone with the outcome of more pay or awards.
While this can fill in an empty spot in your heart, working extra overtime hours or on the weekends can complicate a good relationship. If you have a goal to achieve such as getting rid of debt, or you are saving for your own place, she will understand if putting in the midnight oil 7 days a week is temporary.
If your career is the most valuable part of your life, you can also have a growing relationship, you just have to be creative.
Ask her out for lunch during the work week. Bring her with you to work-related networking events. Bring your work ideas with you if the two of you are going to stay in one night. Maybe she might have a few good ideas to share with you. Most women want to feel special, even if you have a busy schedule. If you care, find a way to make it happen.
3 Sharing Everything With Friends
Our friends are there for us through thick and thin. How much do you share with them about your girlfriend? If your friends are in successful and happy relationships, this is a good indicator that this person is a reliable source for advice. The ones that are single may not be the best people to be having a relationship conversation with. The other side to this topic is everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Your friend’s experiences are in no way a reflection of how you should handle situations. They might be speaking from a place of joy, fear or pain. This will definitely have an effect on the type of information that you share with them.
We all hope that when we share a personal moment with our friend, they will have our best interest in mind. This might sound philosophical but the answer to most of life's problems is within you. Women especially are not happy with having their dirty laundry shared with your friends. This is especially true if you share the same friends. Certain information can be embarrassing or there are other moments in the relationship she would prefer to keep between the both of you.
2 Keeping Secrets
When a man is single, he has the luxury of picking and choosing what he wants to share with the person he is dating. Every man is different and “no more secrets” will depend on his personality and the experiences he had in other relationships, whether they were good or bad. For the ladies that are reading this article, don’t have high expectations on a man being 100% open with you in the very beginning, and men remember that most of the time women are driven by emotions.
When you take initiative and open up to her about your past relationships, where you want to be in life, or personal areas of your life in general, she will appreciate you even more. Gentlemen, unnecessary secrets always have a way of being discovered. They say what is hidden in the dark, will show itself in the light. If you have baggage from an old flame, release it in the way that is right for you.
Settle the personal issues because even when you think you can suppress your problems, it will have a way of impacting your mental health or relationships in general.
1 Being Rigid
I was told once that the older a man gets, the more he will be set in his ways, which basically means being rigid. But having an open mind in a relationship is more important than you think. There will be times when she might ask you (as time passes) if you want to see a relationship counselor. She might love Hot Yoga and couples night might come up one day that she will invite you to. Maybe she wants you to be her new gym buddy?
Heck, her friends may invite the both of you to a weekend at a cottage and that means no cell phone coverage for 72 hours! All of us have pet peeves or things we have no problem with saying no to in a split second, but you’re in a relationship now. This means saying yes to activities you would normally say no to when you were single and ready to mingle.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to be a yes man. Women like to know that their boyfriend has a personality and his own individual interests, but when she sees that even though you don’t like classical music you will attend a show with her at the opera every once in a blue moon, it will remind her that you really care.