Why You Feel Helpless in Dating
Emotional Manipulation, drama, and taking Control In Your Dating Life!
This is my first article in 8 months and it’s going to a bit lengthy so grab a cup of coffee, get comfy and let’s go. The majority of the articles are about attracting women, selecting mates, and improving your self-esteem and confidence.
I’ve never claimed to be an expert in relationships. However, through my own relationship failures and observations of others, I’ve come to learn a few pearls of wisdom which I’m sharing with you. There are underlying fundamental principles that we all need to grasp.
Two weeks ago, at a social event, I met Jimmy for the first time. He has been experiencing a great deal of problems with a woman he is been dating for 4 months. A friend encourages me to advise Jimmy, why by the way, knows nothing of my blog, eBook and such. Perhaps, you can relate to the type of issues he experiences with his pseudo girlfriend. I am willing to bet most men these days have been through something similar on numerous occasions.
- The Person involved: Who is Jimmy?
Jimmy is one of the good guys. He is the guy you want your friend or sister dating. He has a good job, he is interesting as a person, and he is someone you can count on. He is the one you’d call when you’re in a jam. Here is the irony: he is also the most easily manipulated. His desire to do good deeds is leveraged against him.
- The situations. Who is he dating?
4 months of Dating this girl (let’s call her Lisa), one who emotionally manipulates him, fills his life with drama, and yet strangely Jimmy blames himself. Somehow, he comes to believe he is doing something wrong, and that he can’t do anything right to make this relationship work or make her happy.
There are women like this out there. Plenty of them. I wish the world was a perfect place where less people had Children (and less often), and the people who did, took time to raise them and have great relationships with those kids. You and I know, that’s not how things are. So you will run into such people and it’s best you learn how to deal with it.
- Unnecessary Instigation of Drama:
Lisa consistently makes comments that end up in arguments. These comments end up in dramatic exchanges where no one can benefit. I advised Jimmy that he was being pushed around, and he was quick to reply, “Only towards the end. I kept her in check in the beginning.” He is completely wrong about his method of “Keeping her in check” and I’ll come back to that a little later.
What are these drama-instigating comments, you ask? Well, here are 3 of them Verbatim that Jimmy shared with me. Take a look at these gems:
- I am upset right now. I feel like if I jumped off a bridge, No one would care!
- Sometimes, I am just a lot happier when I am not around you!
- You’re so positive. You always have this positive and helpful attitude. I think you just keep me around to balance yourself out.
Let’s examine a couple of these individually:
I am upset right now. I feel like if I jumped off a bridge, No one would care!
In Law school, it’s my understanding that they teach you about “Loaded questions” such as “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”
In NLP, this is called a double-bind: Meaning that WHATEVER you answer this question with, you’ve lost. Regardless of whether you answer “Yes” or “No,” you’re guilty. It’s a simple logic trap.
This principle applies here. When she said “If I jumped off a bridge, no one would care”, there is no real solution to this.
Key Note: Please understand that this is not a situation where a friend is confessing their sorrow or bouts with depression. We’ve all had friends in the dumps. This is NOT a situation where she experienced something tragic and now she wants to vent and get it off her chest.
However, when in the heat of an argument, someone throws something like that at ya, it’s not a confession or a cry for help. Its sole purpose is designed to get a reaction and TO EMOTIONALLY MANIPULATE YOU INTO A RESPONSE. Most people fall into this manipulation because they feel the moral obligation to help the individual in need.
That moral obligation becomes irrelevant the moment you realize that the aforementioned statement WAS NOT A CRY FOR HELP. It was one person in the relationship attempting to manipulate the other.
Some will emotionally manipulate you. It’s not a cry help. It’s emotional manipulation. They’re counting you to be be morally conflicted. They’re counting on you to try and help. When you do, you’ve taken the bait.
- Jimmy’s Mistake:
He replied: “No, you’re wrong! *I* would care. I care about you.”
In his mind, he was challenging her because he was adamantly disagreeing. His faulty reasoning equated to this being a way of not backing down and not being a push over. In reality, he was completely failing to handle it properly. There is a solution and we’ll come back to that as well.
When I am not around you, I am so much happier.
Jimmy’s awful reply: Why do you say that? What do I do that makes you so unhappy? All I’ve done is try to make you happy.
Wow, where do I start with this?
- You’re not responsible for making someone happy in a relationship. It’s his/her responsibility for making themselves happy. Just as it is YOUR responsibility to make you happy. Capiche?
- Happiness has to start from within first. If a person is not somewhat content with his/her life, it’s doubtful that a girlfriend or boyfriend will make him/her happy. Psychologists almost unanimously agree on this.
- Your peace of mind comes first. Henceforth, when that individual is causing unnecessary drama, it’s your responsibility to keep you happy. Simple logic: If you’re peace of mind is compromised, see step #2. You’re unhappy, and therefore, by our simple deductive logic, you cannot be good for anyone else either (including Family, Friends, Pets, etc.)
Most of all, it’s motherfucking disrespectful. You would not tolerate that from your male pals. If your male buddies said that to you, you wouldn’t take it. A small percentage of you would tolerate that from your male pals, and your priority right now should be getting that handled. Dealing with women is secondary for you.
However, the majority of you reading this would never tolerate such behavior from another dude.
Essentially, this is the main pitfall of romantic relationships: you take abuse that you would not otherwise take in hopes that you might get sex. The lure of the vagina is held in front of you like a carrot on a stick and hence the hopefully pursuer of the vagina thinks he’ll get some if he takes some (abuse.)
In this process, you lose confidence in yourself, your self-esteem takes a hit, and ironically enough, women will disdain you for being a wimp. Many women will flat out tell you that they don’t like men who are wimps.
Yet, you may tolerate disrespect because you’re hoping you might get to stick your penis in her vagina. (see older blog post: Cemented Vagina.)
To the contrary, this is the opposite of what works. This is precisely what separates the proverbial “Bad Boy” from the perennial pushover.
Look, there are only 2 reasons why you would ever take that sort of crap from a woman that you’d never take from a man, (barring any bizarre circumstance like she’s kidnapped your parents and holding them as hostage)
- Lure of Sex. Hoping you’d dip your penis into her vagina
- Your sense of self-validation is somehow tied to being with her.
The first is self-explanatory. The latter is more complicated. Sometimes, a man’s sense of self-worth and validation comes from the particular woman he has just started dating. A false of sense of cockiness/coolness can come from this. Maybe she is extremely attractive and you feel cooler when walking into a restaurant and turning people’s heads…. Well, when she can giveth, she can also taketh away. Most of us have been there at one point.
So if you’re reading this and you’re 22 years old, you may wonder why some girl is dating a “Badboy” and overlooking you. I wondered the same when I was your age. No one had an answer for me, really. Luckily for you, if you stumbled upon this blog, you’re learning those answers right now…
Let’s examine the clichéd bad boy, one who was in the news often last year: Charlie Sheen. Anecdotally, I once met Charlie Sheen for about a minute, and thought he was a pretty cool dude. Quite likeable actually. But the question is: Why would ANY woman on the planet date a guy with that sort of reputation? There are a multitude of reasons, but for the context of this blog post, let’s stick to two of the main underlying reasons mentioned above.
Charlie Sheen may be partially crazy. He may be a self proclaimed Rock-star from Mars with Tiger Blood. He may have cobra DNA. He may be some warlock master, but you know what he is not? Desperate for the sex. He is not Needy. He knows what he wants and if you can’t deal with it, he’ll go elsewhere. Deep down inside, he knows something: There are millions of vaginas, but only 1 Warlock master with Tigerblood.
Why He Wins:
- You can’t lure him with promise of sex. If he has to pay a 1000 Dollars for the hottest escorts/prostitutes in Hollywood, he will do so gladly. BUT he won’t succumb to your “Dangling a pussy in front of me like a carrot on a stick.”
- His sense of validation does not come from the woman he is with. Come on, man! He has Tigerblood. You saw the interview! You’re cool for hanging out WITH HIM, not the other way around. It’s that simple.
Charlie Sheen’s new sitcom just scored record ratings for a debut TV show. Some people say we watch him because he is a train wreck. That’d only be interesting for 30 seconds. I believe we watch, whether we know it consciously or not, because we are attracted to someone who lives his life in accordance with his own standards.
So then, what do you do? How do you change your behavior? Do you carry a baseball bat and start swinging at disrespectful people? The answer is somewhere in between. Obviously, this is partly tongue in cheek but the principles hold true.
So how does this tie to you and your dating life? You know I’m a big fan of bullet point recaps, so let’s do that.
- A lot of you end up in abusive relationships, where you are emotionally manipulated.
- You tolerate abuse that you would not tolerate from any male.
- You tolerate that abuse because of the 2 reasons I mentioned above.
- Learn to recognize signs of emotional manipulation.
- Understand where you’re desire to do the right thing is leveraged against you (like Jimmy)
- Never ever engage in these silly arguments that can never end up productive
- Learn to be able to set standards for codes of conduct you accept.
Let’s revisit Jimmy’s dating life. After my 15 minute conversation, I could see Jimmy was in deep thought. His reaction showed the facial expressions of a man who got it partially, but he still had not grasped the bigger picture I was trying to paint for him. Hopefully this verbose, sometime redundant, blog post has provided you with clarity.
- SOLUTIONS FOR YOU (And Jimmy) WHEN FACED WITH SUCH SCENARIOS: Do NOT ever engage in these discussions.
- They’re not logical.
- They’re not cries for help or sincere confessions.
- Nothing good can come from discussing these issues.
As mentioned before, this was Jimmy’s mistake. Jimmy, thinking that he is challenging her and (not backing down) made comments such as, “Why would you say this? You’re wrong! I Care. I’d care if you jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Depending on HOW LONG you’ve been dating (or are married), there are various ways to handle this. The earlier in the relationships, the more stern you can be. IF you’re married and have 2 kids, assets, and a mortgage, well, you sort of have to walk more gingerly. If you’re 3 weeks in, show her the exit door.
So a month in the relationship and she says: “No one cares. (snivel). If I jumped off a bridge, no one would care.”
My sick sense of humor: Well, with that negative attitude, you’re prob right. Or if you’ve had enough: “I care! You might be wearing my watch.”
OK, this is basically a nice way of showing her the exit door; and that’s a good thing. Let’s say, you’re married and things just are not that simple.
- Well, If you can’t discuss the issue, and you can’t talk about it, then what do you do? CALMLY, tell her you’re not going down that road.
“Look, you’re being hysterical right now. Come back and talk to me when you’re calm and want to enjoy our time together. I’m not having this discussion.”
And yes, you will immediately receive a plethora of accusations:
“You’re selfish. You’re a jerk, you’re an asshole. You don’t care about my feelings. You don’t care about what happens to me. You only care about yourself. How can you be so selfish? How can you be that way?”
Many of you shall fall into that trap. Oh, how I warn you. How I try and prepare you. Yet, many of you will fall into that trap, because it’s new to you. You need practice being firm and assertive. It’s OK.
Come back and read this blog post again. Some of you will make it through and survive. Because you know that is a pattern, almost like an emotional chess game. She moved her pawn forward, and now she has moved her knight into position and has checked you. If you engage in that argument, checkmate; you lose. You lose your peace of mind; you lose her respect & attraction as well.
Again, “Honey, you’re being emotional and hysterical. I don’t appreciate the emotional manipulation. We’ll talk when you’re feeling better.”
You may be a married guy reading this and you may identify with this all too well. First, understand that things got to this point, because you never exercised your assertiveness in the beginning. Now, you have more work to do. Gotta stand firm. Gotta stand tall. The first time will be the toughest, just as it is the first time you stand up to a bully.
Hey, I thought I was done writing this article. That’s it. It was 90% finished, just had to be reread. Before I was able to publish it, a friend called me to chat about issues is having with the current he has been dating for the last 2 months. They’re not an “official” couple but they spend virtually all of their free time together.
- Scenario: My friend Bill, pretty busy dude on his own account, makes plans to meet this girl. When he gets to her apartment, she starts moping and acting distant. She claims, that she is in a sad mood and that she needs “Alone time”. He tries to console but to no avail.
She insists that she wants to be alone. He goes home. She confides to him the next day, that she called a friend to come over to have popcorn and ice cream.
Essentially, my friend cleared all of his events that night just for her, and when he got there, he basically got punked. That’s really what we’re talking about. On top of that, Bill felt inadequate and mistrusted. Why would she not confide in him, and yet call someone else to come over.
Before I get to essence of the problem, I’d like to establish baseline demographics for this blog. Without exaggeration, I receive emails from people who read my articles from all over the world. From U.S. & Canada to Europe, to the Middle East to Hong Kong and Australia. Most of YOU who read this blog are educated, intelligent and have decent jobs. Most of you, in my estimation, act with some sort of honor.
In other words, the action that Bill’s girlfriend just took is something you would never do to a friend. I certainly would never do it. Man, You wouldn’t sleep right at night, if you felt that you somehow cheated a friend.
You’d never tell your friend to clear his schedule for one night to come see you, only to turn him away to go home, because you suddenly just didn’t feel like it. For starters, if your friend had any self-respect, he’d advise you you are an asshole, and on top of that, you wouldn’t feel good about yourself as mentioned.
Yet, you tolerate an inexcusable action that you would never commit yourself.
Because of the 2 aforementioned reasons above.
SOLUTION: From this day forth, you start setting Standards. Up until now, you haven’t set standards. You have tried to get involved in logical arguments. Let me paint a picture for ya:
(Yes. For some of you, I know this can get redundant but it’s absolutely necessary to hit from every angle until most people reading this get it.)
Case and Point: Let’s assume you’re the Owner & CEO of a small business that employs 10 people. Your family’s livelihood, your children’s future college funds, the well being of your 10 employees and their families all depend on this business making money.
What if you had 1 person who showed a repeated pattern of screwing up, negligence, and incompetence?
“Yeah boss, sorry about earlier this week. My college friends were in town, and we got so trashed with my old frat bros on Sunday that I couldn’t work on Monday, and then Monday night stuff came up, and I got here 2 hours late on Tuesday….Totaly missed the meeting with the clients but whatever…”
Would you sit there and try to explain? Seriously.
“Listen Timmy. I don’t understand why you’re so negligent. These other employees have families and mortgages. If our business goes under, everyone loses. This hurts my feelings. Oh wait, you don’t feel like talking anymore because you’re in a bad mood now? No, I am not trying to upset you. No, I am understanding of your feelings, Timmy. Well, when is a good time to chat Timmy? Tonight maybe? OK, I’ll sit by the phone and wait for your call so I can discuss this issue….”
Ok, you get the point.
You would never fucking do that. It’d be either, “Timmy, you’re fired” or “Timmy, if this ever happens again, no matter what excuse, you’re gone! Never Again!”
Is this beginning to make sense? Some of you reading this right now actually ARE Business owners and get this intuitively, and YET, YOU STILL run your romantic relationships by taking abuse. Yes, she is not your employee. You are, however, the CEO of your own life.
In your business, YOU SET STANDARDS! “Be on time, do the work, you get paid every 2 weeks on Friday, etc, etc, etc.”
- SET STANDARDS for your personal life.
How SHOULD Bill engage her? He can do so by setting standards!
“No, we made plans, and we are going out as planned. This is unacceptable. I don’t mope around you. When I see you, I expect a big smile and positive energy.”
Bill should have right then and there SET STANDARDS! That is one of the themes of this article.
And of course, he was most likely going to receive the typical replies of “You don’t care about me, you don’t get me, you don’t have respect for my feelings.” (Remember Jimmy’s girlfriend?)
And this is where you must be a Jedi knight. You do NOT engage in this discussion. Remember that you would not engage in this discuss with your incompetent employee who is costly to your business and peace of mind. You repeat your standards.
And see this is Bill didn’t do. Bill did not set standards. He became engulfed in a constant drama. Every week his mind was consumed with this girl. She did this, but then she said that.
What Bill didn’t realize at the time, was that there are dates out there, just as there are better employees for the business owner example.
There is a girl who’d greet him with: “Hey, I know how much you LOVE Cheesecake and I saw this article about the best cheesecake spot in town! I really want to take you there for a slice.” (Bill happens to be fanatical about cheesecake.)
Just as there is an employee for the business owner: “Hey boss, the meeting went great and clients want to sign with us! I’m excited” To which you can say, “I’m giving you a fucking bonus! Nice job.”
The above is a functional relationship. It, however, starts with Setting Standards. You just need to imagine the right type of person and uphold that standards. If John Lennon were writing this article, he’d tell you, “Imagine a woman who takes you out for cheesecake! I wonder if you can….”
Speaking of John, another brilliant artist who didn’t set standards in his romantic relationships. In came an evil conniving weasel named Yoko and the rest is history.
I started to write a 2 page article, and this is what ended up as final copy. 20 different ways and analogies of explaining the same damn thing from a slightly different angle. Jimmy didn’t completely get it, so I am hoping you will.
Get a sheet of papers and start writing down bullet points for your standards. Please remember these are not about core values which I wrote another article about. It’s about basic codes of conduct. Every business, sports team, and even the Marine Corps have codes of conduct for their employees, athletes, and soldiers.
I’d advise you to write down standards & Codes of ethics you will have for relationships:
“I have standards that my date sticks to plan, and does not flake.”
“I have standards that my date is smiling, glad, and HAPPY TO SEE ME.”
“I have standards that……………………………………………… ”
Lastly, I don’t claim to have mythical answers. This is not an alleged biblical story of some dude going up a mountain and coming back down claiming to have heard God speak to him or send him a holy text.
When you really think about, it’s actually somewhat common sense. You’re tolerating unacceptable behavior that you would not conduct yourself. You create this pattern where you tolerate abuse, then act hurt and say, “Hey, I did x, y, z, for her, I was there for her, and she never appreciated it.” And the cycle repeats.
But then, if it’s common sense, why can’t you see your way out of it? When then are you stuck in this perpetual maze of social mess that creates drama instead of fun & good memories?
For the simple reason that your emotional mind is engaged and you can’t think logically during emotional times. Our brains can’t on both levels simultaneously. We are either extremely emotional or extremely logical. (And if you’d read my eBook, Building Attraction, you’d already know that.)
Nevertheless, the neurological reasons for this phenomenon warrant an entirely different essay/article altogether. The simple takeaway message is , it’s much easier to see things with clarity for a 3rd party who is not emotionally vested in the situation. In this case, that’s me.
Hopefully, the example of the CEO and the incompetent employee provided that 3rd party perspective from the outside that you needed. Through easily seeing the absurdity of that scenario, you’re able to project it and overlap with with your own to see just how ridiculous and dysfunctional your relationship has been.
It must be mentioned while your actions (or lack thereof) affect your relationships, they also plant the seeds for a much larger social impact.
By being complicit in taking this sort of abuse, you’re reinforcing behavior that impacts our entire society. The girl that Jimmy dated will continue to do this with the next guy, because why? Because she can! Because she knows it’ll be tolerated. And in the meanwhile, the girl who was going to treat you out for a slice of your favorite cheesecake resorts to buying books such as “Why men love bitches”
Yes, that’s a real book, and yes, I’ve glanced through it, and yes, I saw it on a girl’s bookshelf. We’re talking about the proverbial “Cool chick,” good family, good relationship with her father, grad-school educated. This is the girl who WOULD take you out for cheesecake. When asked why she spent money on such a book, she replied “Because men seem to like dating such women.”
Yes, that’s the world we create when we tolerate crap from shallow people, and that’s the social dynamic we create when don’t set out to reward women who have substance and soul.
Set your standards in dating, it’ll payoff in huge ways you never imagined before. OK, this is starting to sound Rocky’s speech at the end of Rocky IV after he beat the evil Russian, “If I Can change, and you can change………….”
In the end, what have I really said? Probably the same short message that my favorite musician, Billy Joel, ends every single one of his concerts with: “Don’t Take Any Shit from anybody.”
Oh Yeah, and Set some fucking standards for behavior you will and will not tolerate.