In the dance of relationships, we as men often encounter stumbling blocks that hinder our pursuit of peace of mind and freedom. Understanding the common mistakes and pitfalls men make is essential to create the kind of healing relationships we all want and need.
As a consciousmasculinity coach, I’ve delved into the core principles that guide the masculine energy as well as the biggest traps we encounter. So with that in mind let’s explore three of the biggest mistakes men make with women in relationships and learn how to avoid them.
As a man who has had his fair share of unconscious relationships, I’ve made all of these mistakes countless times. It’s important to start catching yourself in these patterns and start charting a different path for yourself. Changing these things will take time and you will make many errors, but if you can start becoming aware of the problem and gradually catching yourself in the middle of the problem, in time you will be able to prevent these problems from happening altogether.
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The Major Relationship Complaints Men Have
The things that men complain about the most gives us some powerful insights into the biggest problems men are facing in relationships with women.
According to the fellows at the Gottman Institute who are backed by 3 decades worth of research into the dynamics of relationships, the top two complaints men have regarding women in their lives are (Brace yourselves for the familiar concerns) 1. “too much fighting” and 2. “not enough sex.”
Now often these tricky topics are obviously very connected so let’s briefly explore the interplay between these issues before we dive into some of the major factors that lead to them.
Obviously when various needs, wants and desires are unmet in a relationship, conflict is the natural byproduct. If there is regular or constant fighting, a couple is splitting apart and coming back together energetically. Or we could say closing and re-opening towards one another. This is known as the conflict repair cycle.
The more we fight, the more time we spend going through the various phases of this cycle and intimacy usually gets pushed way down the list. Excepting the cases where couples use sex as a means to ‘makeup’. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, it rarely gets to the root problems that triggered the fight in the first place. Which is usually some form of security issue related to a lack of safety in some form or another.
Given that women often need a certain degree of safety to open up intimately, let’s take a look at some of the key triggers that will cause a woman to close up and take intimacy off the table.
Mistake 1: The Logic Trap: Men Trying to ‘Fix’ A Woman’s Emotional Problems
Perhaps the most common mistake men find themselves bulldozing into in relationships with women is the innate desire to fix their partner’s emotional problems with the sharp tool of logic. As a coach, I’ve witnessed this all too common phenomenon unfold, and it’s essential to shed light on this well-intentioned yet misguided approach.
The Fix-It Mentality: An Innate Masculine Trait
The inclination to solve problems is deeply ingrained in the masculine psyche. Throughout history, men have played the role of providers and protectors, relying on their practicality and rationality to navigate through challenges. This “fix-it” mentality has been passed down through generations, and while it’s a valuable trait in many situations, it can be a double-edged sword in the emotional landscape of your relationship.
When Emotion Meets Logic: A Clash of Worlds
In relationships, women often seek emotional support and understanding rather than a quick fix. When men attempt to apply logic to address their partner’s emotional distress, it can lead to frustration and disconnection. Emotional struggles are complex and nuanced, often defying the simplicity of logical solutions.
Imagine a scenario where a woman expresses her feelings of anxiety about an upcoming job interview. Her partner, with all the best intentions, may respond with logical advice like “Just prepare thoroughly and be confident; you’ll do great!” While this advice may be valid, it overlooks how she’s actually feeling about the looming interview and her state of anxiety.
The Need for Empathy and Understanding
Women often simply need emotional validation and a safe space where they can express themselves without feeling judged or “fixed.” When men offer solutions instead of listening and acknowledging their partner’s feelings, it can actually invalidate her emotions, leaving them feeling unheard and unsupported. If this continues over time women will be likely to close down and build resentment towards the man she’s with because her core need of feeling seen and held is unmet.
Embrace the Power of Active Listening
So, instead of rushing to provide solutions, men can learn to embrace the power of active listening. Engaging in attentive, non-judgmental listening enables him to connect to her on a deeper level which helps her to regulate her nervous system. This practice involves giving undivided attention, validating feelings, and showing empathy, even if the emotions seem challenging to comprehend from a logical standpoint. Trust me, I’ve been there too many times to count.
Emotional Availability: A Gateway to Deeper Connections
By shifting the focus from ‘fixing’ to emotional availability, men can bridge the gap between masculine and feminine energies in relationships. Emotional availability allows for authentic connections to form, where both partners feel safe to express vulnerability without fear of being “fixed” or dismissed. When you start to become aware of this, you’ll start to notice the massive difference and appreciate the value of someone who listens to understand you instead of trying to fix you.
Balancing the Masculine and the Feminine
In the pursuit of conscious masculinity, men can embrace their nurturing side, allowing space for emotional expression and understanding in their relationships. Recognizing the value of emotional availability alongside their logical strengths creates a harmonious balance that enriches the connection with their partners.
Remember, a listening ear and a compassionate heart can often heal emotional wounds far better than any logical solution. It’s the embrace of both the masculine and feminine aspects within us that truly paves the way for fulfilling, emotionally intimate relationships. Trust me, this also scores you some major brownie points in a woman’s eyes, since most men on the planet are incapable of this kind of connection.
Empathy Over Fixes: Avoid trying to “fix” her emotions; instead, aim to understand and connect with her feelings on an emotional level.
Mistake 2: The Pitfall of Pushing Intimacy
In the realm of relationships, men sometimes find themselves walking on a delicate tightrope when it comes to navigating intimate moments with their partners. Working with hundreds of men over the years, I’ve observed a common misstep that can create tension and often lead a couple towards a sexless relationship – the act of pushing a woman into more intimate time instead of allowing her to initiate it.
The Desire for Connection: A Natural Longing
Intimacy is an essential aspect of a loving relationship. Men, driven by their desire for closeness and connection, may mistakenly assume that pushing for intimacy is the key to fostering a stronger bond with their partner. However, in this approach, there lies a potential major pitfall – the disregard for a woman’s boundaries and her unique need for emotional connection.
Understanding the Feminine Perspective
For women, emotional connection often paves the way to physical intimacy. Feeling emotionally connected and valued is crucial for them to fully embrace intimate moments. When men push for more intimacy without allowing the woman to initiate, it can create feelings of pressure and detachment, leading to a sense of disconnection rather than the desired closeness.
If this continues over longer periods, sex will become a chore or duty rather than a heartfelt longing to connect with each other. Or in serious cases, get taken off the table all together. This is where couples find themselves being in a sexless relationship or marriage. Which isn’t where anyone wants to be.
The Power of Being Attuned To The Feminine
It’s important to become aware that the feminine arousal is highly contextual. There are certain times of the month when she will feel open and other times, completely shut off. When men are unaware of her energetic or emotional state, it’s all too easy to push intimacy at the wrong time and face the discomfort of rejection.
Effective Communication: The Key to Understanding
Open and honest communication is paramount in understanding each other’s desires, boundaries, and comfort levels. Men can express their feelings and intentions while also allowing space for their partner to communicate her needs and preferences. This creates an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, essential for navigating intimate moments.
Quality Over Quantity: Emphasising Emotional Intimacy
In the pursuit of a deeper connection, men can shift their focus from pushing for frequent intimate encounters to nurturing emotional intimacy. Emotional closeness builds a strong foundation for physical intimacy and strengthens the bond between partners. Engaging in meaningful conversations, sharing experiences, and actively listening to each other’s thoughts and feelings contribute to building emotional intimacy. A simple rule of thumb I like to follow is to create the ‘context’ for lovemaking to occur and remove your expectations. The less pressure you create around intimacy, the better.
Adopt an Attitude of Detachment From Outcome
Women like to feel that a man wants her, but doesn’t need her. This is the sweet spot because she knows she can have you, but at the same time, that you’re not needy or fawning all over her. There is nothing more unattractive to a woman than a weak and needy man who’s always begging her for attention.Men should seek to focus on their mission, passions and purpose and relate to sex as the cherry on the cake of their life. If it happens, great! – and if it doesn’t happen, it’s also fine because you have plenty of other pursuits that bring you joy and satisfaction. There will always be more days and opportunities to make love.
Transition from ‘push’ to ‘pull’ energy: Entice you’re beloved into intimacy by creating the context for it to happen naturally. Focus on making her feel comfortable, safe and connected and the lovemaking will flow naturally as she’s more able to drop into her feminine.
Adopt the attitude of ‘wanting’ but not ‘needing’ her: Let her feel that you’re moderately detached from sex and are quite happy focusing on your projects and purpose in life. This will take the pressure off her and she’s much more likely to come begging you for attention.
Mistake 3: The Fear That Vulnerability Makes a Man Weak
One of the most significant mistakes that I see men making in relationships with women is avoiding vulnerability. This common misstep arises from the misguided belief that showing vulnerability will make them appear weak or unattractive in the eyes of their partners.
However, this perception has some truth to it of course. Typically women are very attracted to emotionally unavailable guys. Picture the typical alpha stud. There is a tangible aura of strength that comes from a stoic and emotionless character. Yet underneath that facade of strength is all manner of insecurities, wounds and fears.
This is often the reason women choose so called beta males to have long term relationships with. The truth there being that women want emotionally available men because relationships ain’t all about raw sexual attraction.
Women also want and need deep emotional intimacy and that’s what the typical alpha struggles with a lot. So what if you could combine all those qualities and learn to balance your archetypal masculine qualities with emotional availability. That would be the perfect combination right?
So now, let’s explore some of the roadblocks men face in finding the sweet spot inbetween.
The Illusion of Strength: Breaking Societal Norms
From a young age, men are often conditioned to embody the archetype of stoicism and unwavering strength. Vulnerability, on the other hand, is perceived as a chink in the armour of masculinity. This societal conditioning can lead men to believe that displaying emotions beyond the realm of toughness is a sign of weakness.
The Hidden Cost: Emotional Disconnection
The fear of vulnerability erects invisible walls within the relationship. By keeping emotions guarded, men unintentionally create emotional distance from their partners. The desire to protect themselves from perceived judgment or rejection can inadvertently lead to a lack of authenticity and self expression.
This makes emotional intimacy much more difficult. As a result the depth of connection within the relationship suffers and women are finely attuned to detect this. Note: The typical alpha male makes this major mistake often and women may seek more emotionally available partners for long term relationships.
A Myth Dispelled: The Strength in Vulnerability
In truth, vulnerability is a testament to emotional courage and authenticity. It is not a sign of weakness but an act of profound strength. When men embrace vulnerability, they grant their partners a glimpse into their true selves, fostering trust and emotional closeness.
When you think about it, to intentionally reveal your weaknesses requires courage. You have to be prepared to face the consequences of the exposure. When a man truly knows himself he is not afraid to do this because he’s confident in his ability to validate himself if others are not able.
Another major complaint on this topic I hear from men is that they fear a woman will use it against them. While this may be true, when A man can articulate and enforce his boundaries in a healthy way, this gives him the courage to reveal the deepest parts of him, because he knows he can handle it.
The Power of Emotional Expression: Nurturing Intimacy
By allowing themselves to be vulnerable, men invite their partners into the inner sanctum of their emotions. This openness creates a space for both partners to feel safe to express themselves freely, leading to a deeper level of emotional intimacy and understanding.
Women absolutely love to feel that they are the special girl who you let into the secret parts of you that no one else gets to see. By revealing your tender and sensitive side to her and her alone, you will not only make her very happy, but she will also feel a much deeper bond and connection with you.
Challenging Assumptions: The Path to Growth
Overcoming the fear of vulnerability requires challenging assumptions and reframing perceptions. Men can recognise that vulnerability is a bridge to authentic connection rather than a pitfall of weakness. Embracing vulnerability leads to personal growth and strengthens the foundation of the relationship. Personally I’ve found this to be undeniably true. Some of the biggest steps and stages I’ve been through involved me breaking down the walls that we’re keeping me trapped. I was forced by my sufferance and difficult life circumstances to admit my flaws and weaknesses. While difficult at the time, this actually led me into a deeper kind of strength that comes from truly knowing myself.
The Vulnerability Paradox: Empowering Partnerships
Ironically, by avoiding vulnerability to protect the relationship, men may inadvertently cause the very disconnection they sought to avoid. When partners sense emotional barriers, it can lead to feelings of isolation and frustration.
True emotional empowerment lies in embracing vulnerability and cultivating open communication. Only then are you truly connecting with someone on the deepest levels. This kind of authentic relating leads to profound levels of trust, intimacy and turnon.
Unleashing the True Self
The major mistake of fearing vulnerability is a barrier that hinders the blossoming of authentic and meaningful relationships. Men must recognize that vulnerability is not a weakness but a testament to emotional depth and courage. By breaking down the walls of emotional guardedness, men can forge genuine connections with their partners, built on trust, intimacy, and true understanding.
Remember, embracing vulnerability is a transformative act of strength and a powerful key to unlocking the full potential of love and connection within a relationship. By dispelling the myth that vulnerability is weakness, men can unleash their true selves and embark on a journey of profound emotional growth and fulfilment.
Embrace Vulnerability: Acknowledge that vulnerability is a powerful tool for emotional growth and stronger connections.
Practice Vulnerability: Experiment with gradually revealing parts of yourself that you’ve kept hidden and watch how your lover reacts. You can even express that this is an edge for you that you want to explore with her. I almost guarantee you, she will be open to receive what you have to share.
We’ve explored the major mistakes men often make in relationships with women and how these relate to the most common complaints that men have of too much fighting and not enough sex.
It’s time for you to self reflect and find where you may have fallen into these traps. Moving forward, seek to catch yourself engaging these old patterns and try to adopt new behaviours that create deeper safety, trust and turn on with your beloved.
Reclaiming The Masculine
If you’d like support and a more structured approach towards developing conscious masculinity and how to apply that in your relationship, make sure to check out the online course Reclaiming The Masculine.
We cover all these concepts in great detail and give you in depth homework and embodiment practices so you can turn the theory into powerful practices that transform your relationships.
This all get’s supported by a tight-knit men’s community with regular live calls to discuss in detail all the topics and nuances of this work.
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