Saturday, December 27, 2008

Learn From Women's Responses to Asking for Physical Intimacy in Relationships and Marriage

Some female readers respond to yesterday’s lesson on not asking for sex. Pay attention, Gentlemen, because this is the real deal, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak…

I love the women who subscribe to this newsletter. They’re smart, funny, and I can always count on them to keep me on track and help set the things I teach in stone by demonstrating to you gentlemen that I’m giving you the facts, not just some hyped-up theory or opinion. I received a bunch of letters from the women on yesterday’s “Don’t Ask for Nookie” lesson, all of which contained a resounding “Amen!” in one form or another, and I’m going to share a few of them with you right now.

First, meet Teresa:

Hi David,

All I can say about being asked for sex is “EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” It creeps me out.

Teresa


For those who don’t speak girly-ese, raise “yuck!” “sick!” or “gross!” to about the 23rd power, and you’ll be getting close.

Now meet Rhonda,

Hi David,

Men just don’t understand how repulsive it is to be asked for permission to do something that they should be doing. If you want to kiss a woman, you should already know whether you can by whether she lets you get close enough to kiss her. And for God’s sake, don’t make an announcement like, “I’m going to kiss you now,” because that comes across as asking. For me, I like the way Will Smith said to do it in that movie Hitch. Come 90% of the way and make me come the other 10% to kiss you. If I don’t come the other 10%, either I’m not interested or you’re going too fast.

Love your stuff. Get these guys into shape for me, will ya? I want a real guy so bad I could just die, and there’s none to be found around here, so hurry!

Rhonda


Hitch was a pretty good movie if you ignore the part where Will Smith wussed out at the end. Rhonda has a great point: if you’re moving into a woman’s space bubble too quickly she’ll back off immediately, and if you’re being so aggressive as to creep her out she’ll break off contact, so talking about kissing or sex or anything else is pretty silly. And besides, if you are generating attraction as you should be, she’s often going to be the one invading YOUR space bubble to get a kiss. Just ask Barb, who includes a LOT of great detail:

David,

I completely agree with your response to "asking" for sex. I can't think of a bigger turn-off than a man asking me if he can hold my hand or kiss me or asking me if we can have sex now. It's like a child asking permission to do something. It's a sign of weakness and insecurity to have to beg for sex.

It's a lose/lose situation. If she says yes, she's doing you some huge favor/chore. If she says no, you're going to feel rejected. Either way, you're setting yourself up for disaster because you're handing her your power on a silver plate.

My suggestion to Marcus is that he needs to do some serious inner work on his attitude and beliefs. Then at some point, take a leap of faith, believe in yourself and your power and trust that this stuff really works. Real men don't have to "ask", they just "do it". I think you'll be shocked and very pleasantly surprised to find that a woman just can't stop herself from responding positively to strength, leadership and personal authority in a man. I am a strong woman, but I want a man who is stronger than I am. I want to be able to surrender to his will. That's what gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes me weak in the knees.

A man may be aroused instantly, but that doesn't mean a woman is. We take longer since we don't have an on/off switch. For us, sex starts in the head, when
we begin thinking about the feelings. The anticipation. The suspense. The stimulation of not just my body, but ALSO my mind.

David's book has an entire section called "Great in Bed" to help build confidence in your lovemaking skills. And it is a skill we have to learn since we're not born knowing how.

I wish I'd had this book when I was still in my 25 year marriage, we could have either salvaged our marriage or I'd have known to move on much sooner.

Barb


I couldn’t have said it better myself! And note that Barb confirms that achieving attraction and arousal is not a near-instantaneous thing like it often is for men. We are largely visually stimulated, where a woman’s mind must be engaged to some degree with mystery, fun, etc. The alpha male attitude gets you noticed and ultimately cranks up the heat, but that “fun” element common to all men with self-confidence has to bridge the gap to get you there.


Notice that Barb says that she “wants to be able to surrender to his will. That takes trust, and if you don’t trust yourself enough to be confident, how the hell is she supposed to trust you at all??? I keep telling you gentlemen this isn’t rocket science…and there’s a pretty obvious reason for that…

Also note that she points out that “making whoopee” (the things I have to do to hide from the spam filters! LOL!) is a skill that we are not born with. We are born with an instinctive capacity for the raw act of procreation, but not for the pleasure that surrounds it if it’s done right. That requires knowing one of those things that Sigmund Freud was talking about when he said he didn’t know what women want. (And yes, I DO, because women tell me these things!)

So that’s it, the women have spoken, and have confirmed for you that I gave you the facts. And I have a lot more of them for you too, including the whole scoop on what women want, so if you want to get your marriage and relationship back in gear and get one up on Sigmund Freud in the process, come see me at
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham

Friday, December 26, 2008

Asking for Physical Intimacy in Relationships and Marriage

A reader asks about the proper way to ask for physical intimacy. The short answer is, you don’t!

I hope this day is going as well for you as it is for me. The air is thick with the smell of testosterone as project after project, the kind that require a quick mind, strong back, and power tools, has been completed and celebrated with a satisfied grunt and a wipe of the brow before changing tools to start the next project.

Being a guy is easy for me, because I’ve learned that it’s something to aspire to, not something to apologize for, just like being human. There is very little that annoys me any more than to hear someone try to cover a mistake by saying, “But I’m ONLY human.” We are the most highly-evolved species on the planet, the only one capable of sophisticated engineering, fabrication, and decision-making, not to mention art, cooking, music and dance, etc. We have the power of volitional choice, and hence can develop and raise our standard of living well beyond what is required for mere survival, unlike any other species on Earth.

In spite of this status, some of us just don’t get it. We shy away from doing what comes natural, as if there’s something wrong with being human, or with being a man or a woman. Meet Marcus:

Hi David,

I’ve been following your newsletters for several months now, and haven’t yet seen you speak of the proper way to ask a woman for intimacy (sex). Is this something that you cover in your book and just don’t want to discuss in your newsletter or what?

Regards,
Marcus


Marcus, Buddy, if the truth were a snake it would have bitten you. You’ve not seen me speak of it because YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO IT! If you were to ask any woman – WOMAN, mind you, not some high school girl who still has a head full of poetic mush from reading too many fairy tales – how she liked to be asked for sex, she’d most likely laugh at you and walk off without an answer. The question is truly that pathetic to women, as it marks you as an “un-man,” a loser.

You should have noticed that what I DO talk about, frequently, is how to flip a woman’s attraction switches on by acting like a man, the alpha male who, instead of being wussy and boring and hiding from the world in his easy chair channel surfing with a beer all evening and then asking for sex at bed time, projects an image of confidence because he’s good at the things he does and enjoys being a man leading an active life, who has a fun, playful, flirtatious sense of humor, and can put a smile on a woman’s face by jumping in and out of “leadership” mode to crack a naughty grin and playfully tease and create enjoyable sexual tension for her.

This is what women want (Pay attention here, Sigmund Freud -- he's famous for saying, "The great question, which I have not answered, is ‘What does a woman want?'"): They want to be excited. They want to be surprised from time to time. They want to have fun. They want to dance that “two steps forward, one step back” dance with you as the naughty fun and flirting ramps up tension, eases a bit momentarily, and then shoots to new highs, until such a high is reached that they pounce on you, wanting to be “taken.” THAT’S why you’ve never heard me describing the proper way to ASK for sex. It doesn’t exist.

And before somebody jumps to a really stupid conclusion and sends me a nasty-gram saying I’m promoting rape, no, I absolutely am not. “No” means “no.” What I’m telling you is that if you do what you should do in flipping the biological switches to create attraction and excitement, you’ll never hear “no” because she will be coming after you, or waiting with bated breath and quickened pulse to be taken by you and making it plain that she wants you. “No” is only an issue when you’re either not creating attraction for her or being insensitive and pushing her for sex when she has other problems.

Whether or not she wants to have sex with you is her right to choose, but if you do what you should be doing as a man, which is creating attraction for her and knowing how to communicate with her, she will be consistently choosing to unless she’s in pretty bad shape, because she’ll be biologically driven to it and you will in fact be holding her off a bit to heighten the tension and excitement!

Attraction is biological, not logical, and there is no request or argument that you can make that will excite her enough to do anything more than tolerate you. Flip those switches off, and you will hear “No” every time. Flip them on, and you’ll not hear “yes;” you’ll see it, as she pounces on you.

And how do you go about learning and evolving into a man who does this naturally, without the stress of trying to “fake it until you make it?” Come to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and find out, like many before you have!

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Avoiding Holiday Violence in Relationships and Marriage

Police say that this time of year is when they get the most domestic violence calls. It doesn’t have to be that way…

I hope everyone who celebrated Christmas had a great one. According to the following letter from a reader and friend, it appears that some certainly didn’t. Meet Dave:

Merry Christmas David!

I was talking with one of the Sheriff's who come in on a regular basis and he was telling me they have the highest rates of domestic violence this time of year. Sure, they have the usual party animals and drunks, but by far their top call and worst ones are the domestic violence ones.

It's so sad when you think how close they can be to getting the right info and changing things around like a couple of recent testimonials you’ve recently shared have said. It just makes you want to shake them silly and get them to wake up. You can lead a horse to water...

Have yourself a GREAT Christmas!
Dave


Testimonials? Those I have, in abundance. I just received this one today, from another reader. Meet Jackie:

Hi David!

Merry Christmas!

We're in full-on Christmas swing here, but I wanted to take a moment and send loads and gobs of gratitude your way for your role in what has been a stellar Christmas for Stephen and me this year. We are all about the lovey-dovey stuff today, and I also wanted to tell you that Stephen was shining star in the gift-giving department for me. A+ across the board. :-D I told him I was going to send you a good report about that, and he grinned and said, "You'd better."

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas. The barbecue sounds wonderful. I can smell it from here...LOL!

Jackie


These two were at each other’s throats in near-constant frustration, not to mention celibacy, just a couple of months ago, and they’d spent years looking for help, with only very limited success. It wasn’t until they learned a few basic things about communication, attraction, and each other that it was possible for them to improve, but when they did learn, well, I’ll just say that this is one of the more “tame” letters I’ve received from this couple recently.

Holidays can be a terrible source of pressure and resentment, or they can be a wonderful time of celebration, love, and intimacy. Which one they turn out to be for you is entirely your choice, too.

New Year’s is a week away; what’s it going to bring you? Are you going to get drunk to try to forget about your life and your wife, and end up in a fight or in jail? Or are you going to celebrate having completed a good year and having another one ahead of you?

Or maybe just celebrate having stopped a divorce that was trying its best to happen before the end of the year? I’ve had several readers turn things around that quickly, and if you’re in such a predicament, I strongly recommend you join them! Come see me at
http://www.makingherhappy.com and let’s see what I can do for you…

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Creating Attraction in Relationships and Marriage: Not an Act, but an Attitude!

What works? And why do men, when they know what they are doing isn’t working, continue to do the wrong thing? What’s the right thing to do? Big hint: being attractive isn’t about an act, or a series of acts; it’s about attitude!

Let’s talk about why we do things, both right and wrong, when it comes to our interactions with other people, especially those of the opposite sex. It is said that there are only two reasons people don’t perform, ignorance (not knowing how) and apathy (not caring). Ignorance is treatable, simply by teaching, but apathy is much more difficult to treat, because it involves changing someone’s value system, which in turn is defined by their guiding philosophy. For most people, this is a place where fools rush in and angels fear to tread. Why?

It’s not very difficult to change someone’s perception of value of a particular thing if it already meets the requirements of their value system, because all you have to do is show them how it meets their needs. But when their value system says something is unimportant, you’re literally dealing with what makes them tick, their guiding philosophy even, the mechanism behind every decision that they make in their life. People resist changing their value system because if they do, then there’s going to be a whole lot of bad decisions in their past that they now have to acknowledge, and possibly feel guilty or atone for.

Not a pretty thought is it? And the older we get, the more choices we’ve made, and the more we might have to admit to as a mistake. (Objectivists are the only people I know who seem to be immune to this en masse, but that is because we treat mistakes as a resource for learning – an value the rest of the world could benefit from indeed.)

What about when a value system contradicts reality? That’s a pretty disturbing question, isn’t it? Reality always prevails, and people make bad decisions, and then try to blame them on something or someone else – “You just don’t understand,” “It’s the system,” “You just don’t care enough to see it my way,” etc. Spare me.

When I hear, “But you just don’t understand,” after giving someone a dose of reality, I know that whatever follows will be a direct contradiction with reality, and any further conversation with this person is a waste of my time and energy, because their purpose is now to drag me into their fantasy for validation. The same goes for when they keep asking the same question over and over, because they aren’t hearing what they want to hear, as if the answer would change to suit them if they ask it enough times. They’re seeking validation of the past, not improvement for the future.

What does this have to do with attraction and dealing with the opposite sex?

For how many years, decades, even centuries, have we been saying ridiculous things like, “I want to be liked for who I am,” when “who I am” is pretty disgusting? (I’ll address approval-seeking behavior in several other newsletters.) Guys, we’re visually stimulated more than anything when it comes to attraction. Like it or not, that’s just the way it is. Sorry Ladies, we may eventually evolve out of it, but for the time being our first impressions of attraction come from visual stimuli. Yours do too, but to a lesser degree.

Men are biologically wired to be excited about seeing a woman who looks healthy and able to bear healthy children, hence the triggers of ample breasts, wider, rounder hips, which are necessary for birthing and feeding, and good skin, hair, and teeth, which speak to one’s health and ability to nurture and raise children. Again, it’s not logical, it’s biological, primal – INSTINCT! Once that initial attraction is there, it is enhanced or diminished by personality factors, and ultimately can be replaced entirely by personality factors, but that first impression is often physical, and if not made by curves, is made by pretty eyes or a striking smile.

Women are wired to appreciate the alpha male, the guy who can take a club and bring down a buffalo or lead other men to do it for him or with him, but for most women, that is only the beginning of attraction, more on a level of curiosity or intrigue than attraction. It makes a man a candidate, not a target. A woman sees an obvious alpha male and wants to know more, where a man sees a sexy woman and subconsciously wants to mate, now, because curves equate to sex, which in turn equates to procreation – our biological purpose. To seal the deal with the man as far as attraction goes, especially in the early stages of a relationship, you don’t have to do much more than walk up to him, or smile when he walks up to you. Pretty boring, huh Ladies?

Ask them, Guys. Most of them are sick of men being such easy prey. Women like a good challenge as much as we do, especially in terms of building self-esteem. A man who is not a challenge is boring, and often perceived as desperate and weak. Remember that…

Once you have aroused the woman’s curiosity by exhibiting alpha male behavior, you still have a way to go. She’s already made up her mind whether you are a candidate for attraction, and at this point is testing to see if you blow it. You’ve still got to show that you have enough guts to approach her, which is intriguing, and then seal the deal by showing you can entertain her with a good sense of humor, at a bare minimum; charm, polish, savoir faire, etc., don’t even come into the picture until at least these three criteria are met. No if’s, and’s, or but’s, this is it, stark reality, no arguing about it.

And again (yes, I’m preaching, because this is that important!), this is BIOLOGICAL, not logical – primal and instinctive, and contrary to some really ridiculous crap that some of you readers have recently shown me in some other newsletters, not the result of “social conditioning.” Women don’t “lubricate” or men become erect at the sight of their attraction triggers because of “social conditioning;” biological responses come from biological causes. (Damn! There’s that pesky law of cause and effect again!)

So what do you do to make yourself attractive to this woman you love?

Exactly what I just described! Show her that adventurous, heroic, fun-loving guy she was first attracted to when you met, or even better that REALLY adventurous, heroic, totally independent fun-loving guy that you were born to be, before you were poisoned with all of the wussy programming you’ve been exposed to over the last forty years or more, by everyone from your mother to the media. If she has ever been attracted to you to any degree, it has been to the degree that you did what I was just describing. If you don’t think so, ask her. If you ask, be prepared for the truth, and accept it; it doesn’t do any good for her to try to soften the truth or for you to try to ignore it. Here’s where the problem starts.

Many men, including at least some of you, are at this point saying, “I don’t want to have to act differently just to make my partner interested in me again! She should like me and respect me enough for who I am to be attracted to me. Why else would she still be with me?” Good grief! I’m about to barf after typing that load of crap. LOL! Let me help you with that.

Imagine the most grotesque woman you can imagine. Seriously. Somebody you wouldn’t have sexual relations with using even an enemy’s genitalia. Let’s say about 500 pounds, dirty, stringy hair, rotten teeth and breath, warts all over her, a nice thick beard growing, and to top it all off, she has an affinity for cheap cigars and Polish Kielbasa and suffers from chronic flatulence, the kind that peels paint, in the house next door. Doesn’t bathe or brush her teeth, or shave anything and has more body hair and nose hair than you. Gross enough to guarantee that there’s no way you’d ever sleep with her? Good. Now imagine her saying, “I don’t want to change my looks and hygiene habits. I think men should get hot for me just the way I am.” Whaddaya think? Up for some of that? No? Hell no? I didn’t think so. Why not?

Because she didn’t trip your attraction triggers. Indeed, she negatively impacted most if not all of them. Now imagine that she was a hottie when you married her and this is what you have 20 years later. Any questions? So if you don’t want to straighten up and act a bit different to be attractive to the woman you love, why in the world should she be expected to respond positively to you when you’ve become lazy, or a wimpy girly man who bores her to tears, smothers her, seeks her approval at every turn, can’t make a decision about anything and defers them all to her, shaves his body but not his face (just like she does), and either uses more hair and facial products than she does and out-dresses her or doesn’t bathe and groom regularly and dresses like a homeless guy or “gangsta”?

In a nutshell, just like the 500-pound woman, the guy I’m describing demonstrates a total lack of self-respect and self-love, and that’s poison to a woman’s sense of attraction, turning every switch off and sending her running. You can’t expect her to go against her natural programming or wiring any more than you could be expected to do the same thing. If you want her to respond differently, you have to behave differently. End of story. Here’s a cool little rhyme to keep the idea fresh in your mind at all times:

If you always do
What you’ve always done
You’ll always get
What you’ve always got.


No, it’s not today’s latest rap, but it gets the point across. Dare to be different. Now, you can go about this one of two ways, one of which will fail miserably, while the other succeeds every time. You can fail by trying to put on a cool act for her. An act might get you a date, and might even get you in the sack once or twice in a dating situation, but with a woman you’ve lived with for awhile and who knows you? Guess again. Ain’t happening. You’re going to get caught being a wuss and the attraction is going to die right then and there, and in the meantime, you’re going to live in fear of being discovered. Now, what if I told you that the way to succeed was far easier than the act that would surely fail? Want to give it a try?

The thing you can do is to simply BE a better man! Learn what it is to be an alpha male. Recognize that this is really who you were born to be and get the alpha male attitude. Be SOMEBODY! Be a leader when you are qualified to do so, even if it’s just in a conversation about something you like. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to be seen having fun. Tell anybody who would interfere with you truly enjoying your status as a man, your job and your ability to be competent, or try to diminish your self-image by telling you that it’s not politically correct to enjoy being a guy to take a bloody hike! Any wussy behavior will fall away and be replaced by the confidence in knowing that as an alpha male, people will seek your company and your counsel, especially the woman you love and live with, because you are what she wants! You don’t have to put up an act. All you have to do is be a guy.

Then, you can take a look at yourself and engage in a little self-improvement exercise by taking a look at the things women respond to, like charm, charisma, leadership, public speaking ability and comfort in a crowd, sense of humor, etc., and if any of these things aren’t a natural part of you and you like the idea of having them be part of you, you can develop them in yourself, and enjoy doing so. You study for other things you enjoy, don’t you? Athletic statistics, woodworking methods, fishing, camping, starting a fire in a charcoal grill, are all things you pick up to enjoy other parts of your life, so why not learn a few things about women so you can enjoy them more???

Public speaking is a biggie when it comes to tickling a woman’s fancy, and one of the most fun experiences in my life was joining the Toastmasters’ Club. There were a lot of wonderfully interesting people there who told funny stories and jokes, taught tips and skills, and even recited some pretty decent poetry, all just to get used to being and speaking in front of a group of people, and since everyone was there for the same purpose, the entire group was very supportive, and I made friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I could have cared less if I ever made a public speech; I just wanted to be able to confidently and calmly address a group, like telling a good story at a party or explaining to a group of peers something I’d learned, and it was great to finally be able to do that. The point?

Self-improvement should always be enjoyable; both achieving it and having it should be a true pleasure. And, once you have achieved it, it’s there, naturally, not just some act to be seen through, but genuine and enjoyable for those around you as well. Hence, if you target self-improvement efforts at things you enjoy and your partner finds attractive, improving your relationship, and consequently, your sex life, while a most serious pursuit, can be as enjoyable as any hobby, and the effects are forever useful, unlike a lot of self-improvement fads that change with the seasons (anybody remember “Total Quality Management” from the 1980’s, followed by “Continuous Quality Management,” and then “Continuous Quality Improvement,” all of which were replacements for the “Zero-Defect Standard” preached through the 1970s?)

The behavior women are attracted to might spawn different deeds as trends come and go, rather like raising a car door in the future (gull-wing doors) instead of swinging them outward as we do today, but the attractive attitude that determines the behavior hasn’t changed in centuries, and due to the extremely slow pace at which we biologically evolve and given that attraction is based on biological responses, you can be sure that it won’t be changing in your lifetime, either. So invest a little time and effort in your future…

I’ve given you the general lay of the land, but for the detailed map, how to travel it (including creating anticipation), and how to talk and listen along the way, go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now, and download your copy of my book “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage”. It’s so named not because it sounded cool or catchy, but because IT WORKS. Period. Get your copy today and get back to being that real man you were born to be because life is too short to spend it acting like a wuss, not to mention being treated like one, which among other things, means being mostly celibate, frustrated, and lonely – not a good way to spend the holidays!

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Does Your Wife See YOU? How Image Affects Relationships and Marriage

When we do the things women love to see us do, even if by accident, they notice, and it’s exciting for them. How is your wife or girlfriend looking at you? If it’s not like this, you CAN fix it…

I’m going to keep it short for the next couple of days, because I know many of you will be as busy as I am with family and friends as we get into the thick of the holidays. First, a quick note from one of you concerning a handy short-cut or the “artistically challenged in creating a great greeting card for a woman. Here’s Ed:

Wow!

Just got back from 2 long rows of cards at Hallmark! Have been fighting the card problem for a long time. (21 years) I can’t stand those long mushy, rosy, booklet, see through sheets... you get the idea. I look at those and go, “Yuck!!!!”

What I have done is get a card that is blank inside and write my own fun thing that only her and I would get. Or a humor card that is funny and then write my own ending. Reminding her of some fun event we did together with very few words (hint). When my wife laughs and looks at me and says, “Thanks, that’s funny!” and gives me a kiss, I know I did good.

And you are so right about mushy card...”That’s sweet” and the $5.00 card is then tossed aside. Good stuff. I enjoy your letters.

Thanks – Ed

There you go! Just further proof that it is that personal touch that shows that you thought about her and did something that she specifically would appreciate is the key to success in anything you give a woman. The more you can do, the better, but if you’re art skills are undeveloped, a few well-chosen words can certainly get the job done.

Here’s another great letter we can get through quickly, because she says it all:

I love getting mail from the wives and girlfriends of men who have read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage!” You can hear the excitement when they write, without ever hearing their voice. Meet Lisa:

Dear David,

I just could not wait to get home this afternoon and tell you what I caught myself doing this afternoon while having lunch with just about the most perfect male on this planet! By the way, this is the same wussy guy I wrote to you about on Labor Day weekend [David’s note: this is the first weekend in September for those not familiar with United States holidays] earlier this year, my husband of nine years!

Anyway, I had invited him, this newly reborn man of my dreams, out for lunch today so we could spend a little time with him outside of the bedroom (you know what I mean). While we were sitting at the table he decided to get up and get something else to eat [David’s note: apparently at one of the many buffet-style restaurants here in the U.S.]. As I watched him walk across the room it hit me like a bag of rocks just how hot and excited he made me just by walking across a room.

All I could think about at that time was I wanted him and I did not care if it was under the table or in the car in the parking lot. Could I be anymore hot for this man? I think not! If I was he would never make it out of the house with his pants on!

So pass this along to your readers. A woman really does want a real man and if you are a real man then every woman will want you for her very own.

Lisa


Congratulations and thank you for writing, Lisa! It’s letters like this that tell me that the months of endless interviews and discussions to put that book together was worth every painstaking minute we all spent, and I really appreciate it when readers take a few minutes to let me know that it’s working for them or to ask questions or offer suggestions for future books.

Gentlemen (and Ladies too!), there’s nothing I can add to Lisa’s testimonial. When you stop just talking the talk and start walking the walk, women come alive around you. Genuinely attractive alpha males are a rarity in the world right now, and have been for many years, but we’re making a comeback, and you have two choices. You can either become one of us or lose your partner to one of us when she gets bored and frustrated and one of us catches her eye. When I or any man like me walks into a room, we own it, and the women in the room notice and gravitate towards us even when they don’t want to, especially our wives and girlfriends, because they are proud to be with us.

Be one of us! Truth be told, there’s no greater gift you could give yourself or your wife! Go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and get your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and get ready to blow your partner’s ever-loving mind, because if you learn and follow what’s outlined inside, you will be even more exciting than you’ve ever been, even if you’ve been together 20 years and she’s been bored stiff for the last 19 of them. Some of my readers have been in the middle of divorce proceedings when they got their copy, and stopped their divorces cold in less than a week. You can do it too, if you get started right now.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham

Monday, December 22, 2008

Choosing the Perfect Greeting Card for Any Woman: Surviving the Holidays in Your Relationship or Marriage

We’ve talked about choosing the perfect gift for any occasion, and a reader notes that finding a great card to go with a gift or express a holiday wish is difficult to impossible. But! You still have options that will surprise and delight her!

We’re in the middle of a bunch of religious and cultural holidays right now, and greeting cards are making life rough on the postman and his shoes, as well as a lot of people who are trying to find something that really expresses what they are feeling. Selections are really pretty crappy, and one could wear out a good pair of shoes just trying to find something that comes close. “Lorne” does an excellent job of summing it up:

David,

I have to share with you an observation I made today. I'm sure many of your readers have noticed this as well. The selection Christmas cards we men have to give our wives' is horrible. I was at the local Walgreen’s [a drugstore chain in the U.S.] today to pick up a card for my wife and another from the boys for her, and honestly I couldn't much tell the difference whose was whose.

The “'From Husband” cards all portray us as either bumbling idiots who are just lucky to have a woman in our lives, or needy men willing to do anything just as long as we can spend time with our wife. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my wife and believe that she is a great person, but the message these cards sends out is "Thanks for putting up with me, I really don't deserve you." How can that be attractive to a woman? For one thing, if I knew I was that big of a goof, I should be shot for not doing something about it.

To me the message shouldn't at all be about me, but more about her. Something as simple as “I love you and am looking forward to a great holiday season with you and our family” seems to me much better than anything I found at the store. I've always had a hard time selecting Christmas cards that I felt had conveyed the right message, but now that I am really in tune with your writings, I finally understand why. Maybe I should start an online website for smartass Christmas cards, at least that way we'd have some options.

Anyway, thanks for all your work, I really look forward to reading your newsletter everyday.

Happy Holidays,
Lorne

Lorne’s experience is identical to my own, and I’ve received numerous complaints from others. I don’t know what’s going on in the creative department at Hallmark, American Greetings, and other greeting card companies, but the evidence could easily make the case that the greeting card business is all about getting women to say, “Oh, how sweet,” as if “sweet” is a term that any man would ever want used to describe him if he knew what it meant.

Wussitude alert: According to female readers and support staff, “Sweet” means “Nice, mushy, child-like, weak and wussy.” It has nothing to do with “considerate” in the female dictionary. Think “Fredo” from the movie “The Godfather.” Michael Corleone’s sister Connie refers to him as “sweet” as she pleads with Michael to not cut him off from the family business because he’s too big a wuss to survive on his own.

So we’re clear that you don’t want to do anything that earns the title of “sweet,” right? Good. Now that we’re all clear on that, Lorne says something that has a blinding flash of inspiration for those who have the sight to see it. He says, “Maybe I should start an online web site for smartass Christmas cards…”

You don’t have to start your own web site, but get this: any woman worth having would be far more pleased with even a poorly made self-made card that was your best effort than with anything that you can buy off the shelf, no matter how extravagant, as long as it looks like some time and effort went into it.

What???

Yep. Sure ‘nuff. Now pull your jaw back up to where you’re mouth will close and I’ll tell you why.

How many thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or possibly even millions of each card do you think a greeting card company prints? And in how many languages? Do you really think you’re going to make a woman feel “special” by giving her something that a great many women all over the world have?

Now add in the “lame verse” factor that Lorne mentions. So the upside is that she notices you remembered the occasion, the downside is that you handled the occasion by buying her something that lots of other women have and gets you the title of “sweet” instead of “my MAN!” That’s the bad news…

Now for the good news! The women I surveyed said they’d rather have a sticky-note that said something sincere and a bit romantic than an expensive card that said little or nothing and was mass-produced, because it would make them feel special and have a piece of their man in it for them to hold onto when they felt bad. And it was a free-form answer box, not a multiple choice that limited their selections. In other words, these are their words, not mine.

Such notes go into a woman’s “treasure box,” that secret stash of mementos that she drags out when she feels bad, especially when she’s missing you or she’s locked herself into a room after the two of you have been fighting. Pay attention here guys! The stuff that goes into her treasure box (which might actually be a shoe box, a drawer, a book with stuff pressed between the pages, one of the felt bags off of a bag of Crown Royal (Canadian whiskey) – literally anything that can be used to store and hide small, special things) is what she uses to bring herself closer to you, and you would be wise to make sure that she gets several things over the course of the year that would be a candidate to go in there.

(And you’d already know that if you’d read "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage"!)

Now, for even better news. Anything is fair game. You can use greeting card software to create and print something as long as whatever is written inside is genuine, and preferably hand-written. About any kind of paper or card stock is acceptable, as long as it’s not had fish wrapped in it or soaked in some kind of oil. One of the best-received cards I ever created was made with crayons and brown butcher paper cut from a paper grocery sack.

The recipient was a 42-year old woman whose car was worth more than my house at the time, owned and ran three companies, and was as tough as nails. Like all women, she was simply so accustomed to receiving generic, mass-produced gifts and cards that she was overwhelmed by somebody taking the time to make something especially for her.

Now for a word of absolutely golden advice: if you’re not particularly creative and uncomfortable even starting such a project, enlist some help from somebody who is. DO NOT, under any circumstances, enlist the help of one of your wife’s friends, or even from any woman who knows your wife (or girlfriend, of course). This sounds counter-intuitive, but there’s a good reason for it.

The short version is that women are highly competitive, and even someone who is supposed to be your wife’s best friend might be jealous and competitive enough to sabotage your effort to “one-up” your wife or create some drama if she’s feeling bored. If you think not, just ask a few female friends.
Or better yet, just realize that this is one of the ways in which men and women differ. For us, the title of “best friend” goes to the person we feel closest to and feel most protective of, a combination brother, buddy, comrade-in-arms, and even soul-mate to a degree. For women in general, their best friend is whomever they spend the most time with and share the most information with, regardless of depth; it’s based on quantity of social interaction, not quality of emotional bonding.

(There are exceptions to this, and studies show a correlation between brain structure, testosterone levels and aberrant behavior, as in nearly any case where a woman displays more masculine behavioral tendencies – higher than average testosterone levels in women will change behavior long before obvious physical symptoms, like heavy facial hair or a masculine swagger, can be seen.)

Like the best gift for a woman, the best card is one that shows thoughtfulness and personal involvement, a gift of self, not the most brightly colored or catchiest sounding mass-produced thing on the shelf. Like a hand-picked bunch of wildflowers or a live plant you have grown yourself, a hand-made card shows that you cared enough to give your time to her instead of just blowing her off with money. And there’s a word for that: ROMANCE. And it works for all seasons, and all occasions. Except when the woman is a parasite or predator, that is.

So there you have it. If you want more, come see me at
http://www.makingherhappy.com. For now, I’ll simply wish you “Happy Holidays!”

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why Is Breaking Up So Hard? Surviving the End of Relationships and Marriage

We’ve talked about stopping a break-up in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, but what about those times when a break-up really is the best thing for both parties? Specifically, why is it so damned hard? Would you believe it doesn’t have to be?

This is one of those newsletters that had to be written; one that a fool would hope that none of you would ever need, but which reality says nearly all of you will find useful, either in surviving your present or some part of your future, or in understanding something very painful in your past, the difficulty of breaking up, even when it’s the best thing for both parties and everybody, including the two parties in the relationship, know that it’s best.

Some people get into relationships that are based on things like faith and hope instead of reality. Others based them on need, attraction, or simple lust instead of love. These couples ultimately find themselves painfully mismatched and moving apart is the only solution to the problem they have caused themselves. You can’t put a mongoose and a snake in the same place and expect them to just bend to meet each others’ needs and get along, nor can you expect incompatible men and women. Compatibility doesn’t come from the choices you make, but from the values and tastes that cause you to make the choices you make. Those things just don’t change that much over the course of an entire lifetime, and they certainly don’t change because somebody else wants or needs for them to.

I’m not like most of today’s “relationship guru’s.” I won’t tell you that all relationships can or should be salvaged, and have no respect for those who would. That’s why you’ll find the list of other relationship gurus I do respect and endorse very short. I maintain a list of those who have been recommended to me by my readers in this newsletter and in the margin on my blog, and those are the only others offering advice on the emotions and issues of relationships that I would have any of you read, because they do embrace this self-evident truth instead of trying to convince you to buy what they are selling to have you save that which should not be and ultimately cannot be saved. (That’s a very short list of resources taken from a very large pool of authors. Sad, isn’t it? And by the way, feel free to help me add to it by letting me know if you have had a positive result with any product.)

I’ve been working closely with one of your fellow readers, one whom at this point is facing the possibility that the break-up his wife initiated may indeed be the best thing that could happen to him because they are so grossly mismatched and she’s carrying a ton of baggage that she may well choose to hang onto, in spite of the fact that right now she’s facing the greatest opportunity of her life to drop all that baggage and make some incredible improvements in her life.

I’ll spare you the intimate details of their problems, but the bottom line is that he’s on solid ground, logically, morally, ethically, and every other way I’ve been able to observe, while she is hyper-creative and rejects reality with impunity, morally ambiguous, and is thirty-nine years old going on about seven.

He’s highly analytical and disciplined, knows what’s before him and how to react to virtually any word or action from her now (he read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and is a very quick study, and we’ve been talking a lot as well), and yet, there are times when he still has a hard time accepting what he knows to be reality, that in all likelihood, they never should have come together and he made a bad choice, because his wife appears incapable of growing up and becoming responsible enough to rejoin him as his wife, or indeed as anything more than a chronic, irresponsible and dangerous dependent.

He asked me why it was that he was having a hard time accepting and emotionally committing to that which he knew to be irrefutable reality, and why people generally found breaking up so hard even when it was painfully obvious that it was the only option that could allow either of them to ever be happy.

I answered, "We all make bad choices, and being human, we tend to try to make the best of them and pick up a lot of good memories along the way that end up confounding us when we finally are faced with the reality that our bad choice is working against us."

It struck a chord in both of us. I did not, until the very instant that I wrote that to him, understand why I had had trouble with break-ups in the past, and those who know me closely would describe me to you as the most ruthlessly logical person they have ever met. I never stopped to ask myself while I was going through it why it was so hard. I was too busy asking myself another ridiculous question: “Why does this have to happen?” when I already knew the answer.

His reply to that pearl was as profound as the pearl itself:

“That needs to go in the evaluation section of your book - over and over! The main struggle in deciding whether it [salvaging his relationship] is a go or no-go is in sifting through all the wonderful memories to decide if they were ‘real’ or not...”

That’s the real rub, isn’t it? Were all those “good times” born of real love, friendship, respect, and loyalty worth celebrating? Or were they just born of two people trying to make the best of a bad situation they had created and didn’t want to face? Or was it something somewhere in the middle? Trying to resolve those questions, and cope with the reality the resolution presents, is what makes breaking up so hard when every available fact tells you both that there is no other alternative.

So in the event that you have to go through this torture, what do you do?

Look at the whole relationship and weigh the good and the bad. Identify what can and cannot be repaired, and how important those things are to you. In the end, if the relationship can’t be fixed, get out, but do it like a civilized adult, with dignity, and leave the other partner room to do the same. Indeed, LEAD HER to do the same. And if a friendship can be maintained, by all means do so; you may not have enough compatibility to live together happily, but you may still have common interests that you can enjoy together. Think about that...

Not being able to live together happily is by no means an indication that you can’t have an enjoyable conversation or dinner from time to time, help each other with a project or hobby on occasion, or do any of the other things that friends do. It takes a lot more to live together than it does to visit, as the focus of a visit is much more narrowly defined and creates boundaries that protect you from the things that caused trouble while you were married – if you pay attention to them, that is.

Don’t ever let things fall into the context or perspective of who is or isn’t good enough for the other. It has nothing to do with that. People are who and what they are, and have spent a lifetime becoming so. Thinking that you can or should be “good enough” to induce someone else to change for your sake that which they would not change for their own sake is foolish, arrogant to the point of being narcissistic, and just plain childish!

(Pay attention, Ladies, in case you’re thinking that you’re going to rebuild your man as you want him. If you do manage to accomplish it, you won’t respect him precisely because you were able to change him. A man who can’t stand up TO you can’t stand up FOR you, right? The attitude that "he should love me enough to change for me," has broken more women's hearts than men ever could.)

Admit that there have been problems, and that those problems have been caused by the two of you having too many fundamental differences to be compatible. You gave it a good shot, you had some fun and good times, made some money and accumulated a few things, and have a few fond memories, but the stress of walking on eggshells trying to keep from tripping over your differences is killing you both.

You’re good people, just not good for each other, and if you are the type who needs to or enjoys being married, you need to get out and find someone whom you are good for and who is good for you, compatible with you, and whom you can enjoy living with as your natural self. Work together to divide the rewards of your combined efforts fairly and help each other get a fresh start by introducing each other to friends that are more like them. You may not be worth a plug nickel as husband and wife but may be great assets to each other in starting over. (This is all assuming that your problems are differences in your values, preferences, priorities, etc., and not that one of you is an abuser of some sort.)

There is no point in your life where being able to evaluate a relationship will not serve you well. You need to know yourself as well as your needs and desires, and you need to be with someone who can naturally fulfill those needs and desires while being fulfilled by you. That in turn requires that you know other peoples’ needs and desires with regard to you, does it not? You don’t want to enter a relationship in which you have no chance of fulfilling the other’s needs and desires, do you?

That means knowing before you get into a relationship what the relationship should look like if it’s good. It means knowing after you get into a relationship if it is going to work based on how well you meet each others’ needs and desires. It means being able to communicate factually and honestly to express those needs and desires to each other, as well as how well those needs and desires are being met.

Contrary to how it often appears, relationships and marriages very seldom fail after ten or twenty years or more. What really happens is that they fail at their inception due to bad choices and that failure isn’t conceded until years later, when every option has been exhausted and both partners have become miserable spending so much time and effort trying and failing. If you have a good foundation for a relationship, it’s not hard to tell; there’s little if anything fundamental and significant that you’d want to change about your partner, such as their values, political leanings, etc. You can talk and get along, and have probably just become a bit bored because attraction is waning. That’s fixable.

But…

If you’re in one of those relationships where the only place you get along is in the bedroom, and you find yourself fighting to have an excuse to make up because that’s the only part of your relationship that IS working, you have a serious problem, and believe it or not, there are people with whom you can get along both in and out of the bedroom.

And since so many of you have asked, yes, it is still a good idea to learn about attraction and try to create it for your partner even if you are breaking up. Being attractive is about being a leader, being smart, being fair, handling tough situations and being able to keep your sense of humor about you. Stirring up a little attraction in your partner as you are splitting up will help ease the transition for her and you both, because it tends to keep tempers at bay. It will help her to feel that you are being strong and supportive during this crisis, and make her feel good that you are making the effort to help her hold herself together emotionally while you go through the process together. Nothing bad can come of that for either of you, and may indeed help you to part friends instead of killing each other in a war that never had to be fought.

There you have it, the dark side of relationships and marriage. It is my sincere desire that you never have to go through a break-up, and that if worse comes to worst and you do have to go through one, that you can get through it with your dignity (and assets) intact and help each other to move on to a better life with someone better matched to yourselves by understanding what it is that you’re fighting: the basic human tendency to try to make the best of even the worst situation, not each other.

No matter where you are in your relationship, from looking for one to having been in one for 40 years or longer, there’s help waiting for you in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and it’s just a few mouse clicks away at
http://www.makingherhappy.com. Go check it out, and get the straight story while you can; there are very few of us around who can and will give it to you, and your life is too short to fail to have and use it.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham