Category Archives: vulnerability

love, dating advice, relationship advice, couples, feminism,

Maybe You Don’t Have A Man Because You Don’t Need One

“I don’t need a man.”

I have always found this statement rather disheartening. It’s a phrase that is often expelled from the lips of a spiteful woman.

Its roots are in the wake of a feminist movement that saw many women left abandoned. Wives and mothers who dedicated their lives to family, only to be left without a career, their own money, and their husbands often withholding child support in order to control and manipulate.

I get it, the “breadwinner” marriages of the mid-twentieth century had few winners. Patriarchal relationship structures communicated the role of women to be one of servitude. “Dedicate your life to your man and your family, and he’ll take care of you, meanwhile you’ll compromise everything, including your own identity.” Sounds like a crap deal to me.

So, here we are, in the wake of a necessary feminist movement, with messages that swung the pendulum in a totally different direction. Men and women, who experienced and/or observed the devastation from relationships of the past, communicate to their daughters messages of strength:

“Never depend on a man.”

“Be independent.”

“Never need a man.”

“Take care of yo’self”

It’s important to honour that these messages are absolutely necessary and important. However, when these messages are not clarified, they are left to be interpreted by the receiver… unfortunately that receiver is often a child who lacks the intellectual maturity to ask questions and look for more direction.

Left unexplained, what we often hear are messages like:

“Never open up to a man.”

“Never depend on anyone.”

“If you ever feel like you ‘need’ someone, you’re giving too much.”

And of course, with these messages comes the conundrum:

We are all human, so, inevitably, we fall in love.

And, in turn, we want to give ourselves to the relationship, but there is just something holding us back and we begin to feel the devastating consequence of a message of strength gone wrong.

We live our relationships from the place of:

“Never let your man feel like you need him.”

And that’s where we are today, in a space where often (not always) women are taught to not need a man and when they’re in relationships, they are incredibly scared to do or say anything that could communicate they are vulnerable and want to depend on their partner.

Although that fierce independence is brilliant and inspiring, taken to the extreme it has negative effects on an essential component for relationships:

If our partners don’t feel like we need them, why would they stay? Why would they want to feel vulnerable and give themselves to the relationship?

Men are creatures of purpose. We want to provide and have a role in a woman’s life. We want to be able to love our woman. And when that woman communicates either directly or indirectly that she doesn’t need us, it hurts.

What we hear is that we don’t fit. We have no purpose in her life.

In addition to that, a large percentage of women are out-earning their partners. The role of man’s purpose as a provider in the relationship has shifted. A man’s success and identity have been evolutionarily rooted in being the provider, and when that role is no longer available, men seek to find another role in the relationship and/or in other areas of life.

Let’s be clear, it does not rest on the shoulders of a woman to create purpose for a man. However, it is important that each person create the space for their partner to find and experience purpose, even if that is within the relationship. The challenge is that we need to develop the awareness to step past all of the messages and identities we’ve been taught of what it means to be a “man” and an “independent woman”. 

When we adopt these identities we often have an incredibly hard time gaining deep and connected long term relationships… because most men are still driven and rewarded based on archaic ideals, and most women have moved past old roles and into the role of the masculine… leaving no space for a man to love and appreciate his partner, because she’s now the provider, the parent, and she doesn’t need no man to take care of her.

There’s no space for a man, because women are being that man. 

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So what do we do? Women are the new men, and men have no clue what the hell to do. Where does that leave relationships?

This isn’t about just women. This is about what messages, identities and roles we’re creating and subscribing to as humans. It is our responsibility to take control of our own hearts, and together, regardless of the combination of gender, we need to create relationships that work for us.

We need to step outside of what society, culture and religion have taught us, and create relationships and identities that align with who we are as individuals, and how we want show up to the relationship.

We need to stop trying to be so tough and actually let people in. Men and women need to create space in their lives for each other. And although it is so empowering and beautiful to observe women so rooted in their purpose and taking over the world, women can do that and still be loving and maternal. Falling and being in love doesn’t give a woman’s power away, it actually makes women more powerful. 

We need to see our relationships in the same way we see businesses. Much like a corporate culture, we design our relationship environment, including how we want to feel and who we want to be within that partnership. Relationships today are partnerships, and partnerships require shared agreements and intentions. By discussing and coming up with these agreements and intentions together, we allow ourselves to create the relationship we want. We become the creators of our reality. 

And at the end of the day, if we want great love and great relationships, we have to let people love us. Again, we have to let people in. Till we do that we’ll always be loving with half our hearts. And I don’t know about you, but I’m too full of life and love to waste it settling for “safe” and “comfortable”. I want to be able to depend on my partner, and her feel needed as well.

Let’s get better, together. 

couple, relationships, dating, husband, father, emotional intelligence, EQ

A Shout-Out To The Good Dads, You’re Changing The World

For the most part we learn and develop our relationship skills through the modelling and integration of how our parents communicated and loved. For a lot of people that’s an incredibly good thing, and for others, it can be a challenge to unlearn unhealthy behaviours so that they can thrive in their romantic relationships.

The real struggle (and empowered truth) is that relationship skills appear to be hereditary. And what our parents struggle with, likely theirs did as well. It’s not about pointing fingers, being a victim, or blaming them for our faults. I see many behaviours I’ve picked up from observing my parents and/or other mentors. But instead of using these challenges as the reason to stay stuck and blame them for our relationship failures, we can see that this awareness allows us to change the pattern.

My father and I share many deep conversations on love. Unlike the models that most men are taught, my father has always been exceptionally good at peering into my heart. He would ask the right questions to get to the bottom of my fears, and even further, he would allow me the safe and loving space to be who I was and feel everything I was feeling. Regardless of whether it was considered “manly”.

I realize that this is rare. I also recognize that my father is born in an era where these acknowledgments of emotion are few and far between. After another one of our “talks” the other day I asked him, “How is it that in a time when men were not endorsed or promoted to be emotional, you have embodied so many of these essential skills?”

My father replied, “My past relationships and the one with your mother demanded it of me. And your grandfather often would to talk to us, as kids, about how we were feeling. Your grandfather was a very emotionally intelligent man.”

And it had me thinking… Is being a gentleman hereditary?! I thought about all of those times that my grandfather was transferring these skills to his kids, he never realized the massive impact he was actually having. His desire to be present and defy the mould of the classic male archetype has transcended two generations. And it has inspired a lot of the work I do.

Wow. That, to me, is so powerful. The decisions of one man can change the course of his kids lives, and then, in turn, the lives they touch, and so one. That is incredible. My grandfather wasn’t always a great partner, and my father recognized some of grandpa’s language choices and shifted how he showed up in his relationships. This is the perfect evidence that we have the power to change how we love and communicate in any moment. Unlike the DNA genetics we pass on, the emotional genetics are ones we can consciously choose to change. And that, in turn, impacts people and has the rippling effect to change the world.

I’m not a father, however I can tell you that I take the words I choose and the role I have in people’s lives very seriously. I consider how I’m modelling my behaviour for strangers, kids, and partners.

If our fathers don’t connect with us then it’s important to try to connect with our fathers. Not all of our fathers are going to be open to that, and that reality is okay. We can’t make people become how we wish them to become. We can’t force someone to open up emotionally. But, what we can do is invite them to join us. We can start by being the one who initiates the conversation. Have you ever asked what your father’s greatest dream is? What is his greatest fear? Just these two questions are ones not everyone discusses, but they are a safer gateway to vulnerability.

couple, relationships, dating, husband, father, emotional intelligence, EQ

Now, I recognize that not everyone shares the same childhood experience and some men don’t even have fathers present. So how do we change the way we have learned to communicate and show up so that we can change the lineage of our emotional intelligence? How do we become the “ideal” man who communicates from a place of kindness and empathy, and still knows how to honour his boundaries?

1. Find a mentor: Look for men whom you look up to. Find men who are already the way you would like to be. The types of men who are already doing the type of job you want, emulate the integrity and values that resonate with you, and communicate with their friends and partners in a healthy and loving way. A mentor will offer guidance and feedback which we allow you to get to where you would like to be. To a life that is similar to theirs. My friend Connor Beaton has an organization called Mantalks that specializes in bringing great men together… which leads perfectly to number two….

2. Surround yourself with men like you want to become: When we have people around us who live the life we used to live and choose the things we no longer wish to choose anymore, they will be an anchor to our growth. Maybe the single greatest hack to our evolution is surrounding ourselves with men who reflect who we want to be.

How do we find those people? Go to events that your future self goes to. Ask friends if they have friends they could introduce you to. Every year I go to a conference by myself and/or sign up for a course that focuses on an area I would like to grow and expand in. This choice alone has expanded my network substantially. I’ve met incredible people, created lifelong friendships, and been influenced by the types of people I want influencing me.

3. Hire a coach:  During my whole life I have had amazing men around me and a fantastic community who have always supported me in every way I could imagine. And still, despite all of this, I know that hiring a coach is an investment in myself. The difference between a coach and a mentor is one I didn’t grasp till I hired a coach… We pay a coach to hold us accountable. Research suggests that when we pay someone for their time and to work with us we are more likely to engage in the necessary changes and growth that is agreed upon. Find a coach who works in the specific area you want to grow in.

◊♦◊

I never realized until that recent moment with my father how deeply grateful I am for the man he chose to be and the long lineage of men in my family. The words we choose, and the energy and intention we put behind those words can change the hereditary path of our families. We can literally decide that we will be the last generation to communicate from a place of fear.

Instead of passing on material and wealth, let’s strive to pass on healthy and loving communication. Let’s teach our children to honour their emotion and love their partner with the utmost respect and passion.


Originally published at www.reclaimingmalerolemodels.com

Good man, evolved man, evolved, relationship advice, dating advice, emotional intelligence, communication skills

Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?

The other day I was speaking to my friend about the realities of dating and relationships today. It only takes a glimpse into the interactions on any relationship article or Instagram love quote, to see there are far more women reading and striving to improve their relationships than men.

This isn’t just true in the realm of social media. Women are the consumers of far more articles and books regarding bettering themselves in love. Whereas, we as men, are more open and willing to read a book on how to be a better leader, how to pick up women or manipulate our way through life. Many of these books, I’m reluctant to admit, have had a comfortable life on my shelf.

The line between work and home and how we behave is vague at best. As men, do we not see that the way we behave in romantic relationships and family systems is a form of leadership and teamwork too? That the way we are at home can translate to how we show up at work, and vice versa?

In addition, women are often a much more accurate barometer of the emotional state of relationships. Just think about the percentage of times a man says, “I want to talk about us” or “Things just seem off, I was hoping we could have a chat about how we’re doing.”

Male-initiated emotional conversations are few and far between. And this is even further supported by the mere fact that about two thirds of divorces are set in motion by women.

If we were to survey most established romantic relationships, it wouldn’t take long before we would see that men can exist in a relationship that is not necessarily amazing, but not bad either. Kind of like a “good enough to stay and not bad enough to leave” situation. I don’t mean all men, but most men. And when a woman finally leaves that’s when he says, “Wait!? I didn’t even realize things were bad! You never even tried!”

Oh yes. She did. And we were not listening, and maybe she was not saying it the right way. Or maybe no one taught us how to maintain a great relationship.

In order for men to thrive in relationships, good men need to teach good men.

However, with women there is a belief that they have an inherent ability to thrive in relationships and there is a pervasive arrogance to the messages regarding their emotional intelligence and capacity for love. One needs to only survey a couple of women before you’ll hear the commonly uttered phrase, “There are no good men out there.”

It’s a provocative thought isn’t it? Are there enough good men for good women? 

To move forward there is a need to define the idea of what makes a “good man” and what makes a “good woman”?

We could argue that a good man is one who shows integrity, honesty, the qualities of good fatherhood, supportiveness, empathy, and is kind in his words and offers fidelity. This is going to be defined a little differently by each person, but for sake of argument we can/will assume this is what makes men inherently “good”.

What defines a good woman? It’s likely very similar to what makes for a good man, except for the ever important caveat of women having different genitalia.

What makes a good women seems controversial to even discuss, doesn’t it? Because we usually just assume that on average women are the “good ones”, don’t we?

It sounds insulting to state “There are no good women out there” as it indicates that women on average are not good.

Then why is it ok to suggest that men are not good?

From what I have observed and read in the relationship world, I see that men are under the microscope when it comes to love and relationships, and women are told they are perfect at love, and that men need to step it up.

Have we truly invited men to be emotional?

Brené Brown’s research supports the idea that when a man breaks down and shares emotions with a woman, he loses her trust. His vulnerability reduces the safety his lady feels. This in turn, causes her to become angry and in some ways resent him for displaying a softer side of masculinity.

I thought we wanted emotional men? Is emotional equilibrium what we truly seek?

Based on the vast majority of literature and conversations I indulge in, the mass consensus appears to be that men should be to be able to talk about how they feel.

So what do women really want?

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It’s no wonder men feel confused about what role they need to play in relationships. There is a disconnect between what is asked of them and what they are empowered and rewarded for being.

Now, truth be told, it’s not like men everywhere are shedding tears, opening their hearts, and losing their woman because of emotional transparency. Men do not tend to share their emotions, they do not tell the women in their lives that they are upset or don’t feel loved.

Men are lost, because no one taught them what being a man means, or what they are taught is patriarchal and “old fashioned”.

Brene’s research demonstrates men being their vulnerable selves may actually result in disconnection with their partner, which is the opposite result of the intention of sharing. So on each man goes, pretending that men don’t have emotions and are not good at talking about feelings.

Because if he is sensitive he is a “pussy”, certainly not emotionally intelligent and aware of his emotional state.

We can safely say that all those things which traditionally defined the masculine model for the last couple of centuries have been displaced, and women often find themselves making the money and decisions.

We are quick to point out where men can step it up, but we do not think or discuss the idea of where women can step up their game, do we?

Women do so many things well. They show up emotionally and they create community. Women, are inherently good. They are beautifully kind, empathetic, nurturing and supportive. They build amazing social programs and have rallied to create a female empowerment movement that is unbelievably inspiring, and unbelievably needed.

There is still much oppression of the feminine, and every country and culture has a lot of work to do to have women treated with equality, and empowered and supported by all men.

That’s why I think this conversation is important, because in order for women to thrive, men need to as well.

I think that we are all here for connection and to share our hearts, but we cannot do it alone.

It begs me to ask: Are we forgetting about men, in the effort to save women? Have we forgotten about all the good men out there through our desire not to disturb the feminine?

Celebration of men and the male model is uncommon. We tend not to talk about all the amazing fathers, and unbelievably stand up men who we can call at any hour and would do anything for all the people in their lives.

Because there are a lot of them. 

I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up with, and really have only enjoyed the company of great men. Men of integrity and consistency in how they show up for the women and men in their lives. But, I do not think that it is rare, and it is not only my friends and athletic teammates who are like this.

Everywhere I travel I meet incredible men.

I can see and find good men, because they are who I look for. Just like all the women I know are incredible, intelligent, kind and have some of the brightest souls on the planet.

The truth is, we get what we focus on.

There are a lot of women who focus on their inability to find good men.

I hear “There are no good men out there” from women who have emotional wounds. Women who have chosen men and ignored red flags. Women who cheat and lie to themselves and others. Women who have their own work to do.

I’m not saying men don’t have work to do. We do. And women have work to do too. It’s a human problem, not a gender problem. We, as men, need to build from within first and create conscious communities where men can learn to support and develop together.

We need to teach each other, and even more importantly, we need to teach our sons how to become a good men and what that means. We need to be GREAT fathers.

We need to embrace and embody the emotional skills required of us to be amazing leaders in every facet of our lives. 

We need to show up for the women(and men) in our lives and demonstrate kindness and empathy. 

 We need to remember and celebrate all of the men who are changing the world. 

We need to create a space for men to thrive, and instead of trying to destroy each other, we need to build each other up. 

I commend all the good men who push for change and equality. Who don’t see gender, and instead see hearts; hearts that crave connection and love.

I am so proud to be a man and to share this planet with such amazing and wonderful men. 

To answer the question, “Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?”: YES, I believe that there are more than enough good men out there.  And if this is true, it begs the next question:

Are there enough good women who can hold the space for good men? 

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.

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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.

relationship advice, dating advice, mark groves, love, vulnerability

How To Love With Abandon And Get The Relationship You Want

As a society we make assumptions that women are complex beings and that men are straight forward and simple. No manual needed for us right? Then why, if I may ask, is it called a MANual? Hmmm…

(Yes – I’m hilarious, I know.)

Truth be told, all humans generally seek the same things; to feel loved, safe and understood.

Despite this, our fears can rule our lives and have us making decisions that keep us repeating the same mistakes, choosing the wrong partners, having relationships that don’t last and ultimately never fully opening our hearts.

Our fears of love often manifest from the same culprits; a fear of rejection, shame, and loss of connection.

These fears show up when we get scared of putting ourselves out there or if we take on the responsibility of having someone else’s heart in our hands. I personally know these fears all too well.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.”

~ John Lennon

I want passion, excitement and acceptance! Don’t you?!? Seems simple, doesn’t it?

If we all seek love, then why do we allow our fears to rule our lives rather than the expansive amazingness of love and desire?

And how do we leap into love?

This isn’t about dropping “L” bombs(“I love you”) on the first date or telling someone you’re falling for them right after you swiped right on Tinder. Get it together, you overzealous psycho.

It is simply about taking the first step.

Whatever that step is, you’ll know.

And by taking the first step you invite the other to do the same.

What you are indirectly saying is, “I feel safe, here’s how much. Take my hand and leap with me.”

This lays the groundwork for a relationship based on vulnerability and unfiltered communication. You’ve probably heard about this before, right?! I feel like it’s the  “Unicorn” from the Hot Crazy Matrix. It’s so rare, and what we all say we want, but rarely do we actually practice in our own lives.

What happens if they don’t reciprocate?!? What if they don’t love me back?!?

When you share how you feel, you discover the truth. Finding out where you fit with someone allows you to make decisions that are in the best interest of you and your heart. If they don’t love you back, or they are just not ready, or cannot reciprocate, you then have information you can act on. Vital Information that allows you to move forward in a direction that serves you finding not just any partner, but the RIGHT partner.

Your job is to never convince someone to stay, show up, or be the kind of partner you are capable of being.

Your job is to be the best version of yourself and then invite others to join you.

By doing that you make space for only high performers to show up. People who are flaky or incapable of loving at your level are not of interest to you anymore and as a result you won’t have anyone to fix. Move on.

Put your energy into finding and investing in love that serves your greatest self.

You are in charge of creating the environment that you want to love in.

If you want vulnerability, love, connection, and all that jazz, then you need to put in the work that goes along with what you profess.

Sure, it’s true that if you never love you will never be hurt.

That sounds nice and safe doesn’t it?

It also sounds like the most boring and predictable life ever. You only live once, and you sure as hell don’t want to get to your death bed and think back on all those times you never put yourself out there.

You get this one shot. Each moment of every day could be your last.

So, go home, light some candles, put on some slow jams (or hey – some super dirty rap music, whatever works), and tell your partner how you feel. I bet you‘ll score some booty too.

Win. Win. Win.

dating advice, relationship advice, love, relationships, dating

Why You Might Not Be Ready For The 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.

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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