Category Archives: Nice Guys

mark groves, feminism, patriarchy, masculinity

Are Women The New Men?

Marry a man who loves you more than you love him. A woman will always give more than what is necessary to her lover. It is ingrained into her, like maternity. But even when a man loves you more, he will still only be able to meet you halfway.”

Halfway?!? Really?! I’m sure I’m not the only man who read this is thought, “F*ck that”. I love like a powerhouse.

I saw this meme posted recently on Instagram and I thought to myself, if a woman subscribes to this she will always be in a victim state, “He didn’t love me as much as I loved him. He could never meet me where I was at. He, he, he _____ (not the laughing hehe).”

But this isn’t the first time I’ve read a quote that condescendingly referred to men and their ability to show up and be human. We are inundated with memes, culture and media which speak to what a “real man” would do or how if a man was “man enough” he would _______ blah, blah, blah.

Imagine how you end up treating the men in your life when you believe he is “less than” you? Even though, when I work with both men and women, they both struggle with communication. Because love and communication aren’t gender problems, they’re human problems. We are all struggling with the same bullshit. None of us have any idea, at the end of the day, what we’re doing. But yet, projecting our confusion and lack of understanding on men curbs responsibility doesn’t it?

Honestly, the language about men is, more often than not, appalling, and the message we send about men to young people, both little boys and little girls, is irresponsible and unnecessary. Because we’re not teaching them love. We’re teaching them to see each other as separate and as if something is “wrong” with men. We teach young men who are scrolling Instagram that they need to become a “real man” by subscribing to what some broken hearted women wrote during their time of pain. Because if the quotes and comments weren’t coming from a place of hurt, do you see how we wouldn’t say them? When we write and/or say things that are demeaning about the other sex, we cause more separation and polarity. We perpetuate the “me vs. you”, the “us vs. them”.

It’s interesting to me, because we’re in this time where what we allow in terms of conversations about men, is like we’re back in the 1950s listening to men talk about women. It’s as though, in all the efforts to move from a patriarchal society to a balanced world, we have caused the pendulum to swing in the other direction… and now men are the new women, and women, are the new men.

It’s kind of funny really, because the usual reaction to this (and you’re likely feeling it) is to say “but men have done this to women since the dawn of time!” And to be fair, you’re mostly right. But do you see what that does? It justifies continuing the separation of genders. It takes the “Men held down women” truth, which we are still trying to resolve, and justifies the same actions. In trying to eradicate inequality, we create inequality.

That’s why war can never be fought with war. Hurt begets hurt. Pain patterns continue.

As a man, I want to say this:

I’m sorry for what we did, but we didn’t know. Just like you we were taught what was right and wrong and what roles our gender was supposed to play. We were raised to be bread winners and to continue the pain patterns of the men who came before us. But, please see, a lot of us recognize that. We are trying to change that. But when you speak of our whole gender being “broken” or “not emotional”, or perpetuating messages about “a real man”, you hurt the ones who are helping create the world you dream of. You have to understand that in order for us to meet you where you’re at and love you from our depths we must go against the very programming which did anything but prepare us to do so. We wanted to love deeply but at the same time, we were told we’re not emotional. We were told “real men don’t have feelings”. We were told that we couldn’t show weakness. We were taught, just like you, to abandon ourselves to continue to satisfy a system.

You blame men, but men have hurt men too, and so have women. The truth is, we’ve all been hurt, and if we continue to keep the hurt alive, no one can ever heal.

We’re all in pain and upset about some parts of the world we were handed. We’ve all inherited hurt. We’ve all been given this planet and these feelings… and we can either fight over who’s to blame, or put our hearts and heads together to fix it.

We all need hugs. We all need understanding and love. We all want to be connected and to feel safe to be ourselves and pursue our dreams. But we also have a responsibility over what messages and narratives we’re not only sending to the world, but also the ones inheriting it.

Be the one who chooses to spread the message of wholeness and unity. See gender issues as human issues. Be the one creating a message, not perpetuating it.

dating advice, relationship advice, nyc, vancouver, couple, breakup, relationship coach, keynote speaking

Maybe Life Isn’t About Getting Money And B*tches

When I was nineteen I was so in love. And like it seems to always happen with great relationships at that age, she went away to college. When she was leaving we had that standard conversation about what the relationship was going to look like, but at that point in our lives it almost seemed doomed to fail. Two people in their late teens, both embarking on the initial steps of creating their schooling and careers, in two different countries. A hard time to make promises, especially ones with such a fleeting feeling as love can sometimes be. So we framed the relationship in a way that we would be allowed to “see” other people, we would just communicate when that happened(Great plan right?!).

So, in the car she went, and go she did.

Being that I was still home, everything around me still reminded me of her. It was torturous. And for her the excitement was never-ending: new school, new people, athletic fame. My heart was attached to the familiar, and hers was exploding with novelty.

The days turned into weeks, the communication was less and less. And then finally she came back for Thanksgiving. Except, she brought her “friend”, the handsome running back with the perfect smile.

I had Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family, and that “friend”. And in hindsight I can’t believe I actually sat there as I was being disrespected with each bite.

I’m not sure how naive I really was back then?!? I believed in the best in people, but I also failed to see the truths that were right in front of my eyes. I skipped the red flags to avoid the pain. Pain that was clearly very imminent to any onlooker.

She would (obviously) go on to date this guy, and I would remain in a crumpled heap of resentment. Resenting myself mostly, for not having a backbone to tell her that her way of being didn’t make my heart feel so good. That she was being sh*tty. But I was so afraid to lose her before that moment, that I let sh*t slide. Sh*t that should definitely not have slid… Sh*t that should’ve been picked up, bagged, and tossed.

A lot of what happened was my fault. I didn’t call her to be better. I didn’t have the tools to challenge her to grow.

Not many people know this, but it took me almost two years(more than that actually… you’ll see) for me to get over this experience. And by “get over”, I mean for it not to haunt me. For her face to not appear every time I closed my eyes. I thought I had known heartbreak before this… but I can honestly say that this was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

As heartbreak can often do, this one would change me in more ways than I would ever have imagined.

I began living life as a different man. I hid my heart. I started to drink more. And I became lady crazy. I don’t mean kinda crazy, I mean they were like a drug to me. I wanted all of them.

I figured that if being a great boyfriend and being kind and loving got me heartbreak, then I was done with it. I decided that I would do everything I could to not let another woman hurt me. I decided that it was time to start accumulating status, money, and ladies. I set the goal to make 100k/year and to have a porsche, a house, and a plethora of female experience.

With my new goals in mind I hit the bar scene eager and naive. Only a couple of weeks after my devastating breakup, on halloween, I did two things I had never done before: I made out with a girl on the dance floor, and brought a different girl home… to my parents’ house. Who was, ironically, dressed as a devil.

I had never done this one night stand thing before. But I did know how to talk shit. So, I talked about all of the crazy sex-fuelled stuff I was going to do to her, and then when I went to have sex with her, I had another first, it was like putting a marshmallow in a piggy bank. One. Night. Stand. Fail.

And I wish I could blame alcohol, but that had never affected my performance. I’ll tell you exactly why: because I was stepping outside my integrity and who I was in my heart.

But that didn’t stop me. I would be committed to this new way of life. My solution to my new found emotional erectile dysfunction would be to drink the anxiety away. To anesthetize my heart, and to win the acclaim of men around me for my skills with the ladies. I would not only get to experience the “love” of many women, but also become an incredible story teller.

It’s interesting to look back at this time, because, to be honest, I didn’t know what I was doing. I couldn’t consciously see why I was doing what I was doing. I just knew it didn’t feel good in my heart. But it definitely felt good in terms of novelty and orgasms.

But it had become part of my identity. To be a ladies man and to be celebrated for the things I saw in rap videos.

relationship advice, dating advice, couple, vancouver, nyc, mark groves, positive psychology

I got asked recently, “Who do you think you need to be to be loved?”

And wow. That floored me. Who I’ve thought I needed to be has shifted for me as I have grown up.

When I was in my teens it was being funny, athletic, kind, and a good man. Striving to help others, and always being sensitive and empathetic to those around me.

After my breakup though it changed. I did something one should never do: I made someone else not choosing me mean that I wasn’t good enough. Since I didn’t feel like I was good enough as I was, I chose to become someone else. I abandoned parts of my true self to ensure I got the love of others. I became who I thought I needed to be to be loved. Because I thought who I was, wasn’t good enough.

In the last seventeen years I have had so many amazing women in my life. Some of them (obviously) shorter experiences than others… Shit, I’ve even had a fiancee. I’ve shared laughs, cries, travel, adventures, heartbreak, and learnings that I would never take back.

Through all of it I see that I have had women who are willing to show up for me. To love me. To choose me.

But I couldn’t see them then. I was so busy running from love that I didn’t see it sitting in front of my eyes at every turn.

It killed me when I realized this recently, but I haven’t let anyone love me in seventeen years. Seventeen effing years. Sure, I’ve been in relationships. But I never  actually let anyone *in*. Mostly, because I thought if I let someone love all of me they would hurt me. They would leave. They would make me heartbroken.

It’s flawed logic isn’t it?

To ask for love and not willing to be heartbroken. Knowing that the depth we love is always met with an equal and opposite potential for heartbreak.

Also, to be in a relationship with the purpose of seeking love and affection, yet never allowing anyone to give it to us. And on top of all of that, expecting others to love us when we haven’t even taken the time to love ourselves.

I now see that the journey is always inside our own hearts first. I see that the amount of love we have for another is limited by the love we have for ourselves.

So I’ve journeyed within. I love hard. I live in the space of absolute authenticity now. I am me. That’s it. I write and speak on the subject of how humans connect because it’s my favourite. To help people find and see their truth so they can then connect better with others. I write about my journey because I’m not afraid of owning my sh*t, and I hope you may see parts of yourself in me so you may learn without making the same mistakes I’ve made.

I do not regret a moment of my past. I do not regret a single relationship or a single decision, and I would take every second, every fleeting romance, and every heartbreak just as they came. They have taught me so much, and any deviation wouldn’t have brought me where I am today. To a place I am extremely proud of.

In the last four years I have been going through an “unbecoming” of sorts. I recognize that no amount of money, ladies, cars, houses, or “stuff” will ever be able to replace authentic connection and showing up as who am in my core. We chase and accumulate these material things to avoid ourselves. To avoid actually showing up unapologetically and saying, “I trust that you’ll love me for me, and if you can’t/won’t, that’s ok, because I’m amazing how I am and if you won’t, I will find someone who will. I am not willing to become someone else to be with you.”

Here’s what I know to be true:

Show up for the world. Show up for you. Let go of all of the bullsh*t and just allow yourself to be who you are. No one is going to give you permission. No one is going to make you. If you truly want to love and build partnership, you have to let yourself be you. You have to stand in your truth. You have to remove the layers of who you think you need to be to be loved, so that you can love all out.

I feel like I’ve just been born again. Definitely not as a virgin though. But more so as me. To fall in love. To be given another chance. To actually give another woman a chance. To focus on being the good man I know I am.

dating advice, relationship advice, nyc, vancouver, couple, breakup, relationship coach, keynote speaking

Maybe Life Isn’t About Getting Money And Bitches

When I was nineteen I was so in love. And like it seems to always happen with great relationships at that age, she went away to college. When she was leaving we had that standard conversation about what the relationship was going to look like, but at that point in our lives it almost seemed doomed to fail. Two people in their late teens, both embarking on the initial steps of creating their schooling and careers, in two different countries. A hard time to make promises, especially ones with such a fleeting feeling as love can sometimes be. So we framed the relationship in a way that we would be allowed to “see” other people, we would just communicate when that happened(Great plan right?!).

So, in the car she went, and go she did.

Being that I was still home, everything around me still reminded me of her. It was torturous. And for her the excitement was never-ending: new school, new people, athletic fame. My heart was attached to the familiar, and hers was exploding with novelty.

The days turned into weeks, the communication was less and less. And then finally she came back for Thanksgiving. Except, she brought her “friend”, the handsome running back with the perfect smile.

I had Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family, and that “friend”. And in hindsight I can’t believe I actually sat there as I was being disrespected with each bite.

I’m not sure how naive I really was back then?!? I believed in the best in people, but I also failed to see the truths that were right in front of my eyes. I skipped the red flags to avoid the pain. Pain that was clearly very imminent to any onlooker.

She would (obviously) go on to date this guy, and I would remain in a crumpled heap of resentment. Resenting myself mostly, for not having a backbone to tell her that her way of being didn’t make my heart feel so good. That she was being sh*tty. But I was so afraid to lose her before that moment, that I let sh*t slide. Sh*t that should definitely not have slid… Sh*t that should’ve been picked up, bagged, and tossed.

A lot of what happened was my fault. I didn’t call her to be better. I didn’t have the tools to challenge her to grow.

Not many people know this, but it took me almost two years(more than that actually… you’ll see) for me to get over this experience. And by “get over”, I mean for it not to haunt me. For her face to not appear every time I closed my eyes. I thought I had known heartbreak before this… but I can honestly say that this was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

As heartbreak can often do, this one would change me in more ways than I would ever have imagined.

I began living life as a different man. I hid my heart. I started to drink more. And I became lady crazy. I don’t mean kinda crazy, I mean they were like a drug to me. I wanted all of them.

I figured that if being a great boyfriend and being kind and loving got me heartbreak, then I was done with it. I decided that I would do everything I could to not let another woman hurt me. I decided that it was time to start accumulating status, money, and ladies. I set the goal to make 100k/year and to have a porsche, a house, and a plethora of female experience.

With my new goals in mind I hit the bar scene eager and naive. Only a couple of weeks after my devastating breakup, on halloween, I did two things I had never done before: I made out with a girl on the dance floor, and brought a different girl home… to my parents’ house. Who was, ironically, dressed as a devil.

I had never done this one night stand thing before. But I did know how to talk shit. So, I talked about all of the crazy sex-fuelled stuff I was going to do to her, and then when I went to have sex with her, I had another first, it was like putting a marshmallow in a piggy bank. One. Night. Stand. Fail.

And I wish I could blame alcohol, but that had never affected my performance. I’ll tell you exactly why: because I was stepping outside my integrity and who I was in my heart.

But that didn’t stop me. I would be committed to this new way of life. My solution to my new found emotional erectile dysfunction would be to drink the anxiety away. To anesthetize my heart, and to win the acclaim of men around me for my skills with the ladies. I would not only get to experience the “love” of many women, but also become an incredible story teller.

It’s interesting to look back at this time, because, to be honest, I didn’t know what I was doing. I couldn’t consciously see why I was doing what I was doing. I just knew it didn’t feel good in my heart. But it definitely felt good in terms of novelty and orgasms.

But it had become part of my identity. To be a ladies man and to be celebrated for the things I saw in rap videos.

relationship advice, dating advice, couple, vancouver, nyc, mark groves, positive psychology

I got asked recently, “Who do you think you need to be to be loved?”

And wow. That floored me. Who I’ve thought I needed to be has shifted for me as I have grown up.

When I was in my teens it was being funny, athletic, kind, and a good man. Striving to help others, and always being sensitive and empathetic to those around me.

After my breakup though it changed. I did something one should never do: I made someone else not choosing me mean that I wasn’t good enough. Since I didn’t feel like I was good enough as I was, I chose to become someone else. I abandoned parts of my true self to ensure I got the love of others. I became who I thought I needed to be to be loved. Because I thought who I was, wasn’t good enough.

In the last seventeen years I have had so many amazing women in my life. Some of them (obviously) shorter experiences than others… Shit, I’ve even had a fiancee. I’ve shared laughs, cries, travel, adventures, heartbreak, and learnings that I would never take back.

Through all of it I see that I have had women who are willing to show up for me. To love me. To choose me.

But I couldn’t see them then. I was so busy running from love that I didn’t see it sitting in front of my eyes at every turn.

It killed me when I realized this recently, but I haven’t let anyone love me in seventeen years. Seventeen effing years. Sure, I’ve been in relationships. But I never  actually let anyone *in*. Mostly, because I thought if I let someone love all of me they would hurt me. They would leave. They would make me heartbroken.

It’s flawed logic isn’t it?

To ask for love and not willing to be heartbroken. Knowing that the depth we love is always met with an equal and opposite potential for heartbreak.

Also, to be in a relationship with the purpose of seeking love and affection, yet never allowing anyone to give it to us. And on top of all of that, expecting others to love us when we haven’t even taken the time to love ourselves.

I now see that the journey is always inside our own hearts first. I see that the amount of love we have for another is limited by the love we have for ourselves.

So I’ve journeyed within. I love hard. I live in the space of absolute authenticity now. I am me. That’s it. I write and speak on the subject of how humans connect because it’s my favourite. To help people find and see their truth so they can then connect better with others. I write about my journey because I’m not afraid of owning my sh*t, and I hope you may see parts of yourself in me so you may learn without making the same mistakes I’ve made.

I do not regret a moment of my past. I do not regret a single relationship or a single decision, and I would take every second, every fleeting romance, and every heartbreak just as they came. They have taught me so much, and any deviation wouldn’t have brought me where I am today. To a place I am extremely proud of.

In the last four years I have been going through an “unbecoming” of sorts. I recognize that no amount of money, ladies, cars, houses, or “stuff” will ever be able to replace authentic connection and showing up as who am in my core. We chase and accumulate these material things to avoid ourselves. To avoid actually showing up unapologetically and saying, “I trust that you’ll love me for me, and if you can’t/won’t, that’s ok, because I’m amazing how I am and if you won’t, I will find someone who will. I am not willing to become someone else to be with you.”

Here’s what I know to be true:

Show up for the world. Show up for you. Let go of all of the bullsh*t and just allow yourself to be who you are. No one is going to give you permission. No one is going to make you. If you truly want to love and build partnership, you have to let yourself be you. You have to stand in your truth. You have to remove the layers of who you think you need to be to be loved, so that you can love all out.

I feel like I’ve just been born again. Definitely not as a virgin though. But more so as me. To fall in love. To be given another chance. To actually give another woman a chance. To focus on being the good man I know I am.

sex, marriage, boundaries, breakup

What The Nice Guy Can Learn From The A**hole

When I was a little kid I never really thought about what kind of “man” I needed to be. I didn’t think about gender roles when I played house or whether I was being “too nice” on the playground. I didn’t brag to other kids about how many chicks I got into the sandbox, and I certainly didn’t think about how long I needed to wait to call someone or whether my heart was at risk by putting it all out there. I just did.

None of us begin our lives considering being anything other than ourselves. But as we age, we are slowly taught the constructs of what makes “a man” and “a woman” so, and we begin to guide our behaviour from the outside in. The influence of culture, religion, media, and indirectly agreed upon norms, determines who becomes “cool” and who gets beat up for their lunch money.

In my first relationship it can be safe to say that by every definition I was the “nice guy”. I was accommodating, kind, empathetic, and I generally put other people’s feelings ahead of my own. I made it a priority that the lady in my life felt loved and appreciated. I mean, this was how my father treated my mother, and that seemed to be working out pretty well for him.

It didn’t work out very well for me.

We have these constructs of what it means to be a man that are reinforced by both genders. And together, we can’t seem to find a balance that allows for us(men) to meet women emotionally, while still retaining our masculinity and what it means to still have our balls.

Our lack of evolutionary development is evident but our inability to do this without having to go bedazzle our jeans, drink lots of beer, and fight other men because they looked in the general direction of our lady. A lady who we have yet to meet.

So what do women need today? And based on that complex algorithm that no mathematician would ever dare attempt, how does a man still be a man and meet all of those needs, while meeting his own?

In order to attempt to solve this, let’s deconstruct the mystery of the stigma surrounding the “Nice Guy” no one likes but woman claim they want, and the “A**hole” that keeps getting these women even though he treats them like shit.

There’s a certain negativity with being associated as the “Nice guy” isn’t there? It’s kind of like calling a girl “Homely”.

I’m no expert but it usually has a very strong correlation to the friend zone.

And, ultimately, their hearts and beds are often lonely places.

A sexless and lonely life. This doesn’t sound too fun does it?

But there are elements of the “Nice guy” that are actually very sought after. Being kind and generous are two of the largest contributors to a happy marriage. Nice guys are empathetic, compassionate and put everyone else ahead of themselves. They most certainly make tremendous fathers and are equally as good sons, brothers and workplace colleagues.

So if that is true then why do “Nice Guys Finish Last”? Or so we’ve been told.

Nice guys put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own at the the cost of their own dignity. And that, my friends, is the least attractive and most powerful libido killer in the world.

If we look at it from an evolutionary perspective though, there must be some genetic benefit or why would these men exist?

Sure there was. Evolutionary psychologists posit that it’s because “Nice Guys” are generally great fathers and providers.

While these pushovers are out there providing for their families and not saying “no” to even the most ridiculous requests like “go get me some ice cream” in the middle of the night… here slides in the “a**hole” and delivers some other cream.

And the nice guy finishes last, well, because the “a**hole” finishes first. On all accounts.

This bastard, with his etched jawline, motorcycle jacket and dashingly dangerous good looks is oozing testosterone. And it’s no surprise women are engaging with this guy. Women are usually more attracted to men with power and who have other markers of genetic superiority.

You know them, the men who don’t bother to call or text too much. They almost seem to not care.

You know why?

Because sought after mates don’t need to chase you. They don’t have the time because they have so many options. The psychological principles that drive those behaviours are what underpin a lot of the interactions for the pick up artists industry and the controversial behaviour of Julian Blanc. That stuff obviously works or else douche bags like that would never get laid.

Research suggests that women tend to be attracted to men with more masculine features during ovulation and for this reason are more likely to have a one night stand with genetic superiority. Physically genetic superiority that lacks the chivalry to pay for her taxi in the morning.

It’s not the lack of taxi slips or next day phone calls that this guy is missing. It’s what this behaviour points to – his kids would never survive with this type of parenting!

But that’s where the nerdy nice guy comes in. He raises this degenerate’s child and ensures evolutionary survival.

So wouldn’t the perfect recipe be some sort of combination of this sexy mimbo with the compassion and kindness of the nice guy?

You’ve got it.

We need the “a**hole” and the “nice guy” to breed and make a hybrid. (I know biologically this wouldn’t work but you get the analogy).

What’s the secret? Boundaries.

sex, passion, truth, love, relationships

Look, as you already know, I have been the nice guy. I have chased women for love. I’ve bought them gifts, driven them wherever they wanted to go, and taken them for dinner without even a peck goodnight. And the shit was like drugs. I couldn’t escape.

I chose to be a doormat.

And you know what happened?

Once my limits got tested and my patience wore thin I lost my shit. I didn’t know how to communicate my frustrations nor how to express to the women in my life that I didn’t like the way I was being treated.

I chose this. And I hated myself for it.

I thought, by expressing my disappointment with their behaviour and that they weren’t respecting my needs, I wouldn’t get their love.

So I stayed quiet and the pain turned to anger. Instead of expressing this anger I would just withdraw. I would put up a wall and run.

Unwilling to express how I felt and ask for what I needed meant what? I never received both the kind of love I wanted nor what I needed.

And the worst part, I resented myself for making other people more important than me.

So then came the opposite. I became the a**hole. I figured that if women wouldn’t respect my feelings then I would no longer share my heart with them and I began to chase affirmation through horizontal love. I disconnected my heart from sex because I would give them my body but never again would I give them my heart. (“You can take our lives but you’ll never take our FREEEEEDOM”).

This didn’t work out very well.

I floated from connection to connection. I never fully shared my heart but I was more than happy to throw on a movie and do a massage exchange. We know where that led. Boom Boom.

Outside of the pleasurable orgasms, sexual variety, and connecting with truly amazing women, I can see in hindsight that I was not being authentic. I wasn’t honouring what they needed and I wasn’t showing up for myself either.

I, now on the other end of the spectrum, still wasn’t asking for and getting what I needed. Sure, my boundaries were being respected but my relationships lacked vulnerability and any real emotional substance.

Truthfully, I had gone so far the other way that I had built walls around my heart and confused them with boundaries.

We are all put here to love. Deep down everyone is capable of compassion and empathy. Often though, after painful heartbreak we build walls and forget to love and honour ourselves and what we need. We are born with an understanding of what love is and the innate ability to love freely. But I, like so many others, feared if I gave it away freely, heartbreak would ensue.

I didn’t know how to satisfy the human need to love and connect and also be assertive and ask for what I wanted and needed to feel safe and loved myself.

In a lot of ways I didn’t feel worthy of asking.

I just didn’t know how to live vulnerably and honour my boundaries.

Fack, I had lost sight of what love really was.

I didn’t realize that love IS sharing all of the things that make you an amazingly giving partner.

It’s putting other people first when they need you and loving them for who they truly are.

It’s being vulnerable and opening your heart.

It’s not pretending to be anyone else but yourself.

I didn’t know how to do all of that AND ask for a partner to show up just as fully for me.

The problem with the a**holes’ life is it’s based on boundaries.

But like I had, the a**hole confuses boundaries with walls. He knows what he wants but he doesn’t know how to ask for it without feeling open to pain and hurt. He thinks that love is aggression, fleeting connections, and being the pimp that bangs the most chicks. He thinks that if he tags enough chicks he’ll never have to love one fully.

He thinks being “the man” is the same thing as being “a man”.

I know, because I’ve been him.

I was afraid to be nice because I didn’t understand how to love while maintaining what it meant for me to be a man.

And truth be told neither the nice guy nor the a**hole are far off.

They’re both scared of the same thing. Love.

And although they think they’re doing it right, they’re both going about getting it the wrong way.

If they combined forces and learnt from one another they would be the perfect man.

The nice guy finishes first when he realizes that being nice isn’t about being a doormat. It’s about being empathetic and kind when it’s needed, and also calling your partner to show up for you and letting them know when they’re not. We don’t need to be a**holes to get and keep the girl. We need to know our worth, love ourselves fully, and honour our needs and boundaries.

And that is what an amazing partnership and relationship is founded on.

The nice guy, as it turns out, is just a regular guy. And we’re all capable of being him, we just have to choose to be.

dating advice, relationship advice, love, relationships, dating

Why You Might Not Be Ready For The Evolved Man You Say You Want

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. Maybe it’s an addiction thing. I don’t mean just to coffee. I mean to people. There’s no better place to watch the comings and goings of random strangers. To listen to consistently similar discussions despite the constant rotation of different asses in each seat. Different people, same subject.

Relationships. It’s why we’re here.

I was recently creeping on listening to a couple of girls talk about their love life and relationships. As most conversations about love and relationships do, it turned to a discussion about what their ideal partner would be like. He didn’t sound much different than what I normally hear from women. The seemingly ever elusive balance between the “nice guy” and the “asshole”.

Simply put, to me this is a man who is kind and compassionate but knows how to honour his boundaries. Who can communicate his emotions. An emotionally intelligent man who is driven in his purpose (has a career and doesn’t live with parents) and is compassionate, romantic, and kind. Let’s call him an Evolved Man.

Let me ask you though: Are you ready for him when he arrives? When you finally get him, will you be able to handle him?

Here are 6 ways an Evolved Man will show up differently than any other man you have met before:

1. You will have to share the driver’s seat. Doesn’t sound so bad does it? When you’re used to being the emotional captain it can be challenging to meet someone in the middle who can finally see things the way you do. There’s a comfort in knowing that the discussion won’t be beyond your scope of ability and understanding.  A comfort you didn’t know you enjoyed till you no longer get to enjoy it. But it can be challenging when that title is shared, and sometimes this man might even be better at it than you. Which leads to my next point.

2. They will see things in a way that you may never have. Their eyes are wide open. Their awareness allows them to share a male perspective in a way that you may never have been exposed to. They will offer opinions and ideas that are different than yours, and they will be the ones that bring up the “issues” first. This is an amazing quality in any beautiful relationship. However, when we’re not used to it because we’ve always been the ones steering the ship emotionally, it can be really intimidating.

3. They will challenge your shit. Remember comfort zones and living small? Remember that guy that pissed on your dreams and constantly asked,”Are you sure that’s a good idea? Have you thought that through?” You won’t anymore. An emotionally intelligent man is going to call you to your greatness. He will see your brilliance in moments where you can’t — That you are capable of achieving anything, and that he won’t settle for less than the best version of you. He will push you to dream. To live. And to grow.

4. You might not feel loved. This man will love you without fail. He will believe in doing the little things. Not to earn your love, but to demonstrate it. He believes love is a verb. He knows that he is worthy of you. He is already full. He doesn’t need you. He wants you. Don’t mistake love for what a weak man does. They can fawn too much and chase you in a way that will make you want to run even faster. You know that feeling where you can get anything you want? Boring. A weak man can use words as weapons and try to make you feel small. They purchase affection with gifts. Because the man you see in front of you doesn’t need to do that — don’t mistake it as a lack of affection. It is self worth and determination in action. He doesn’t need love. He is love.

5. You will love beyond what you’ve ever known. This man loves without abandon. He’s worked through his shit. He’s not looking for a mommy to take care of him. He’s whole now. Because of that he is ready to dive into vulnerability and meet you where you’ve never been. He will push you to love and grow with him and he will expect the same in return. He will invite you to explore his and your sexuality. He will recognize when you need a caveman to ravish you and when you need to be held and loved gently.

6. Communication will be his greatest strength. You will have conflicts. All great relationships do. He will not yell or swear at you. When he’s upset he will take the time to communicate his fears and frustrations. He recognizes that even the most difficult conversations can be communicated with kindness. He will be open to your feedback and look for cues for his own growth. He will have difficult conversations and take the time to make sure that he understands you and that you, in turn, feel understood. Being clear is his priority.

Love, relationships, relationship advice, dating, dream man, dating advice, evolved man, evolved woman, mindful

Understand that this shit is scary. It’s rarely comfortable and always exciting.

These are not just the qualities of a great male partner, but more so a great human. I’ve always been a firm believer that whatever you want to find in a partner you need to exemplify those yourself. So in saying that, I invite you to explore who you’re being. How are you showing up to your relationships?

The greatest relationships take two whole people. Two people who don’t need each other. Better yet. They want each other.

Their love is born of choice, not of necessity.

They challenge each other to grow. To be better versions of even what they know themselves to be. To be reminded of how amazing they are when they might be losing hope or sight of their dreams. The best partners choose each other.

Choose to be with a man like this.



Models:

Jin N Tonic
Joshua Keith Mathews
©Robert Bejil Photography 2013