For guys, here’s what replaces the Instruction Manual you wish existed

This is as simple as I can possibly make it. There is no Instruction Manual. You know this. There is no capital-A Answer to the question, What do women want. All there is is you, the woman in front of you right now, and connection. That’s everything you need and more. Everything you’ve ever learned about “how to relate with women,” and everything you ever will learn, is destined to fail. The skills that replace that are:

  • Attention
  • Intuition
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-esteem
  • And the ability to stay connected in the face of intense emotion.

Attention — who she is is more important than who you think she should be, or who you project her to be. You actually have to observe and discover who she is. Plan to spend the rest of your life doing this.

Intuition — you have a steady stream of accurate information about what’s going on and what to do, that you have been strongly conditioned to ignore. The part of your brain that’s looking for formulas, patterns of behavior, etc. has to stop for long enough to hear it and act on it in real time.

Self-awareness — your self-image is that you’re rational, and think and act clearly and logically, and she’s emotional and irrational. The truth is that you are acting from emotions just as much and in denial about it. Be open to the possibility that she’s sensing and reacting to emotions you’re not fully conscious of yourself.

Self-esteem — how you feel about yourself may be the single biggest factor in how she feels about you. If some part of you relies on how she feels about you to determine how you feel about yourself, that is doomed to fail. Find your inherent self-worth somewhere else than the relationship first and foremost. (Here’s more on that.)

Staying connected in the face of intense emotion — literally the reason we are drawn into relationship is to feel; to experience something we can’t experience alone, no matter how rich and amazing the rest of our life is. Your wish that the relationship be less feeling-oriented is misguided. The moment you succeed at that is the beginning of the end of passion in the relationship. What you really want is for both of you to be skillfully adept at passionate emotions, not to get rid of them. Believe me you don’t want to be tepid about each other.

This isn’t an instant fix. (Obviously.) This is an outline of the path to becoming a man who can have a great relationship.

P.S. Everything above is applicable to women as well.

© 2017 by Ken Blackman. All rights reserved.