One of my good friends in the "dating tips for guys" field called me the other day, and in our conversation he asked me what I thought men and women's worst fears were in dating. This had me thinking, and I decided that I should put together a list of them.
At first I thought it would be just one list of 5 fears, but then I realized that men and women both have very different experiences of dating, and our fears are different.
Here is my list of the 5 biggest fears for Men and Women in dating:
MEN'S BIGGEST FEARS DATING
1. He will be rejected by her - possibly by missing one of her "rules" of the game
2. He will lose his freedom in his search for connection
3. He will be seen as incompetent or a "failure" (i.e., not a success)
4. He will not satisfy her sexually
5. He won't know how to handle or manage her emotions
WOMEN'S BIGGEST FEARS DATING
1. She won't be physically/sexually attractive to him
2. She won't be able to create an emotional connection
3. She will not be able to get him to commit to her
4. She will scare him off when she shows her "real" self - (If she becomes needy/clingy/emotional) - i.e., she will lose the emotional connection she creates (him pulling away or becoming distant)
5. He will abandon her (materially and emotionally) for another woman
The more I thought about these fears, the more they made sense. Like it or not, we each have different needs within the context of a relationship, and men will always differ in this regard.
We can continue to wish that we could change this, but the reality is that we can't, so the most effective thing to do is to learn how to manage and overcome these differences instead of fighting them. If there's any bit of dating advice that I can put out there for men, it's that accepting these natural fears is the essential first step.
Unfortunately, we're all guilty of spending more time wanting the opposite sex to just "be" more like us rather than learning new skills to breach the divide. i.e., laziness.
Men's fears relate mostly to their own ego, competence, and independence. He fears he will be inadequate and trapped.
Women's fears relate to their feminine identity, need for connection, and emotional needs. She fears she will be unattractive and alone.
Now what we come back to seems to be the age-old cliche of appeasing a man's ego and overcoming his inability to commit, and on the other side assuaging a woman's emotional nature and making her feel connected and loved. BUT if we look deeper, there's more to be learned, and it's not so much about THEM as it is about US.
Yeah, that means both of us - men and women!
In the process of reacting to an outside stimulus, we have something unique to us. Most often we simply let our emotions go on autopilot and we knee-jerk our response to a situation. Instead we have something that is distinctive to humans. It's called the "Pause." It's the space between stimulus and response that we have ultimate control over.
But we so rarely do.
And I call the process of controlling this moment your Pause Conditioning.
Pause conditioning is simply this: When you encounter a situation that demands some kind of a response (and not all of them do, by the way), then you have a chance to start recognizing these decision moments and controlling them.
- When a woman asks you if you're a player, do you get defensive and abruptly change gears, or do you just keep on being your usual witty and charming self?
- When a guy looks a woman over, is it because he's being a "dog," or can she look past the behavior and see he's appreciating her visually and expressing his attraction?
- When a woman doesn't turn to face you right away, do you interpret this as rejection, or just her need to feel more attraction before she'll let down her guard?
- When a man orders a woman a drink, does she accept because it seems polite, or does she ask him to wait and talk for a few minutes first so that she doesn't feel obligated?
These are situations we all have to handle at some point or another, and the secret to managing the differences between men and women lies in our ability to stop ourselves from acting out of HABIT and take control of the present moment.
When you're able to stop the DVD of life's movie and pause before you respond, you'll find that your rational mind CAN help you overcome your defenses and fears.
If you run into these situations where you start reacting to another person instead of feeling compassion and curiosity for what they are feeling, maybe you can start to condition a little pause in so that you don't react out of ignorance. And you'll find that you learn to appreciate her experience more - and not have to be a "nice guy" to understand her situation.
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And, on the next page, I want to explain one of the most painful experiences a guy can go through when approaching women - and how it can be completely avoided...
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This article has been reproduced with the permission of ©Carlos Xuma®.