Thursday, June 11, 2009

How to get a girl and keep her

Some of the men on my blogroll regularly despair of ever getting a good woman to pay attention to them, let alone get into a relationship. I thought I'd try to help out by giving some pointers on how Ken got me, and how he's kept me happy.

1) Be Approachable
I met Ken in a climbing gym. I was climbing with an odd-numbered group, and I was the one left without a partner. Since it's unsafe to climb alone I had to choose a stranger to approach to be my partner. Ken was warming up by himself. He looked friendly, and when I came up to him his first reaction was to give me a big, open smile. It was a great first impression.

2) Be A Friend
This one is controversial, but I have never had a long-term relationship with a guy I haven't been friends with first. Ken was friends with my husband and I while we were still married, as part of our general friend-group, for a year and a half. We got to know each other pretty well.

3) Be A Good Listener
After my separation, Ken was a good listener. He let me complain as much as I wanted to. He commiserated. He was supportive. We were still just friends. But he liked me, so he was already taking notes. When I raged that in my next relationship I expected the guy to do 50% of the housework or take a hike, he put that in his memory bank for later. There were a few other points that I was feeling pretty strongly about at the time. He soaked it all in.

4) Speak Wisely
Ken gave me lots of compliments back then, to raise my self-esteem. But he didn't stop there. He gives me verbal reassurances constantly, and tells me he loves me many times a day. I never get tired of hearing it, and I never will.

5) Be Honest
If you tell the truth about even the worst things, your partner will learn to trust you. Ken's almost compulsive honesty has brought some painful things to the surface, but I've learned that if he says something, he means it. Of course he knows how to be tactful. It's just that he can't hide anything important from me for long. This makes me feel very comfortable in that I know exactly where I stand with him.

6) Share Responsibility
In a relationship both people need to be responsible for 50%. Do a little more than your half if you want your partner to really feel loved. Take responsibility for your share of the housework, the finances, the conflicts, and the arrangements for quality time together. Meet each other in the middle, or resentments build up over time.

7) Turn Towards
When all else fails and you're going through hard times together, turn towards each other for support, instead of away from each other. If you end up fighting, don't lose sight of your faith that you'll get through it and find agreement. Don't lose sight of your love for each other. Don't make your partner wrong 100% of the time, nor should you accept all the blame. It takes two to tango. In the middle of a fight, be the one who stops, takes a deep breath, and says "I love you." Don't sulk. Reach out to the other person and offer a hand to hold. (If you're still feeling miffed you can take comfort in the fact that this lets you claim a gold star for being the somewhat more mature one. But keep that to yourself. Don't rub it in your partner's face. You can tell a friend later if you want.)

See, it's pretty simple. Just seven points to keep in mind. (Though much easier said than done.)


Anonymous said...

Sounds like good advice to me. I'll have to try those things. Thanks for the tips.

Anonymous said...

Now what will poor WIGSF complain about? He's got the formula!

Sparkling Red said...

Unsigned: Let me know how it goes.

darcknyt: I'm guessing he's going to accuse me of being preachy and oversimplifying, and he'll be absolutely right. :-) But sometimes life calls for a little self-righteous advice-giving, y'know?

San said...

Great tips. I am partial in particular to numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

yeah... yeah... be sure to listen... yada, yada, yada... what next? When's the advice about gettin the wimen folk nekid?

wigsf said...

I'm not going to call you preachy. I'm going to call you a liar!

1) Approachable... I used to be approachable. You know who approached me? Nobody.

2) Why? So I can be stuck in the friendzone while a woman complains to me about how much her boyfriend treats her like garbage and all the while, she keeps going back to him again and again and again. NEVER AGAIN!

3) Listening is the result of being in the friendzone.

4) Tried that. Always falls on deaf ears. It doesn't matter what I say. Women don't listen.

5) Of course I'm honest. I'm the only honest person left. I speak the truth. Where does that get me? Alone on Saturday night while women are out with men who lie to them. Women don't want truth. They can't handle it.

6) I take responsibility for everything I've done. But I'm no doormat. Women make mistakes too. When are they going to fess up for messing me up!

7) I've been there for the hard stuff. The women have turned tail and run. They always do. I offer support and they turn their back on me.

Jenski said...

Ah, you need to share Ken around. Smart man.

I think this applies to both sides (as I guess you pointed out with the whole 50% thing). :-) The only thing I would add is to remember to tell your friends the good things, not just about you being right or not just the venting you may need to do at some point. I made that mistake with a former relationship, not sharing with my friends, and they didn't think as well of my boyfriend at the time as they should have.

Kate said...

And you're going to give the ladies tips when?

Karen said...

I agree 100% about the "be a friend" thing. I always say that I don't want share my life or my bed with someone who isn't my friend. Seems clear to me.

Also, I have to add be interested in her and be interesting on your own. Pay attention to her and listen AND have your own opinions (But don't jam them down her throat of course).

Good list!!

Sparkling Red said...

San: Thanks! :-)

Ron: I'm going to leave that topic alone on the basis of avoiding overshare. However, Ken claims that there are certain movies that if you watch them with a woman she'll always want a little somethin' after. The one he cites as an example is "The Princess Bride". I dunno - it doesn't do that for me. But maybe it worked in the late 1980's with the girls at his high school.

WIGSF: Honestly I didn't believe that you would find anything I wrote to be useful. It's what works/worked on me, but I think it's fair to say that I'm not an average woman. In fact, women who conform more to stereotype confuse me as much as they confuse most men. So I guess the only real solution would be if I could clone myself and send one of me to all the nice, underappreciated guys. Because honestly I think most women are missing a gold mine of love out there, just waiting to be discovered. I find overly cocky, conventionally "hot" guys to be repulsive, whereas I hear that's what most women want.

Jenski: That's true - it's very possible for women to complain more vocally about their guys than praising them. Complaints are more interesting, and make for a bonding experience. But there's danger in complaining too much.

Kate: I could ask for Ken to write a guest post. Or I could do my best to predict what he might say:
-Have a positive attitude
-Keep yourself well-groomed
-Provide your man with regular sexual favours
That about sums up the basic 3 points, I think.
Any guys out there are welcome to comment on this list.

Karen: I agree that it's good for each person in a relationship to have their own opinions. It's a real challenge to agree to disagree sometimes, but better than being with someone who just says "Yes dear" all the time.

rachel said...

I agree with all of your tips.

In fact I also don't find the "overly cocky conventionally 'hot' guy" all attractive either. They are repulsive.

And I never have asked any man I was involved with the "does this make me look fat" trap, as I KNOW it feels like a trap to men. I'd rather get an honest perspective, and I'll ask a girl friend before I ask a guy.

I just don't understand women of the type wigsf has been burned by.

And it sucks they exist.

San said...

I'm back to say that I think the fact you met in a climbing gym is in itself significant. You were there to climb, not to meet someone. Doesn't it always happen that you meet someone special when you're involved in life, and therefore less in need of someone?

Aurora said...

I think the 'be a friend' is great advice. There are a lot of similarities between a good friendship and a good relationship--reliability and trust are key and you can see pretty quickly whether you can trust them.

WIGSF: I know that lots of women and men string along partners when they're just 'not sure' about them. That's horrible. But it's also up to an individual to be honest with him or herself; if it feels like you're getting strung along then you probably are. You can sometimes tell that about someone almost instantaneously, ie, by how fast they return your calls.