There is absolutely no way to make a man commit to a relationship to you, at least not any relationship that you actually want and in which you will be happy. The best part of being in a relationship is knowing that you're connected to someone who chose to be with you, of his/her own free will and with no reluctant sense of obligation. Who wants to be with someone who needs to be coerced or dragged along unwillingly?
I recently came across an article called “How To Make A Guy Who “Doesn’t Do Relationships” Commit To You In 12 Simple Steps”. You can’t possibly imagine the intensity of the cringe that took over me. What? My first question: Why would you want to make someone commit to you? My next question: Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who “doesn’t do relationships”? I found the title problematic, but I know that they can be misleading so I read further. It had a few hits, but way more misses.
Image; nolas.agent via Flickr
When You Play Games, You Just Might Lose
“When he texts you, don’t text him back right away even though I know you are checking your phone every 30 seconds to see if he called or texted”
Texting has become the easiest form of communication for many of us with compatible phones and unlimited data/texting plans. We can shoot a few texts and have conversations while we may be busy doing other things; some text convos last all day long. Texting gives us time to think about what we want to say and articulate it in ways that best convey our feelings and points of view. This can be quite useful for avoiding arguments and preserving personal integrity, but it can also be manipulative and inauthentic.
Part of what makes face-to-face conversations so important is that we can read body language, sense tone, and be privy to immediate, instinctual responses. You don’t have the safety of a delay—you have to be you in the moment and that realness is what draws us to each other and connects us. Playing games with returning texts or phone calls sets up a boundary that hurts the relationship down the line. If you want to respond immediately to a text, do it! If a guy thinks you’re too eager or desperate because you responded immediately to his text, are you sure you want to be with him? Seems like a rather pointless judgment of your character.
Relationships Begin with Balance
"Waiting for the guy to make the first move is overrated, men like it when you make the first move because most of them don’t have the balls to do it anyway."
I agree that more women should initiate communication with men and feel no shame in pursuing men they’re interested in. Despite the “I-can’t-believe-people-still-think-this-way” idea that women who initiate romantic interactions with men are “desperate”, the tide is changing and more guys are opening up about wanting women to approach them. It can be intimidating for men, especially for those who have dealt with rejection from several women in the past. Since guys are pressured to keep trying to get women’s attention, the numbers game of attempts – rejections + successes = “I’m fed up with this shit!”, and I can’t blame the fellas.
"Furthermore, the current man of my dreams told me that he makes the girls come to him, thus, if I didn’t make the move- I would not be as happy as I am now."
Now wait… He makes girls come to him? That is just as bad, if you ask me. Relationships are about give-and-take, and that approach begins early on. Neither person can be all-or-nothing, so why accept it when a guy makes it clear that you need to do all of the work to get him? Weird.
It's Your Future, So Prepare For It
"I repeat DO NOT talk about the future unless he asks, males get freaked out by thinking that you might be the one vagina their penis will ever encounter, for the rest of their lives. If he asks about future plans, he likes you and you have succeeded."
The first date is no time to talk about when you plan to get married or how many children you plan to have and by what age, I agree. You should get to know a person before you begin discussing these types of plans, and you have to remain open to the idea that plans can and do often change. Your "Dream Wedding" Pinterest board, made before meeting Mr. Right, may change drastically because Mr. Right changes your entire world view through the love he has shown you.
However, discussing future plans is something you should definitely initiate when you feel comfortable doing so. This idea that waiting for a guy to take the lead on important conversations is harmful to women; it establishes an uneven relationship dynamic in which you are waiting for him to make all of the important decisions about your future. That isn’t healthy and it makes little sense. Further, reducing yourself to being just another vagina a man encounters is just silly. You’re more than your vagina (and it’s worth noting that having a vagina alone doesn’t make you a woman).
Sexual Manipulation is Never, Ever a Good Idea
"Make him wait…Let me tell you something about males, they LOVE to have sex and will try to have sex with you but in their brain they are saying, “Don’t do it, you’re going to ruin it!” […] Your best bet is to only do it when you feel like there is an emotional connection or make a SMALL list of stipulations."
There is a huge difference between waiting to have sex until you’re ready to handle all that comes with having sex (physically, mentally, emotionally) and making a guy wait to have sex with you as some sort of training mechanism. Sometimes, you want to have sex with a guy before you feel any real emotional connection. Sometimes, you want to wait until after you’re in love and married. Whatever reasons you have for waiting, hold onto them and make sure they don’t include “manipulate-and-control-him-by-withholding-sex-from-him-even-though-I-really-want-to-have-sex” reasons. This way of thinking makes men out to be uncontrollable sexual beasts who need women to temper their sexual activity and that is NOT our responsibility.
"I’m one of the classiest girls that you’d ever meet, but in the bedroom, no class is necessary. I’m a strong believer in porn, it will teach you a thing or two and help you to come out of your shell. Why does this matter to make them commit you ask? Men are disgusting creatures, sex is EXTREMELY important to them."
The more I read, the more I realized the writer doesn’t really like men, and certainly doesn’t respect them as being individuals who can think and act for themselves. To call men “disgusting” because sex is important to them reeks of long-standing issues with men and sex. Sex is not inherently disgusting, and that way of thinking keeps women repressed in their sexual expressions. Also, this idea of “class” as it relates to sex? Hate it. I hate the idea of calling things “Classy” anyway, but that’s another story. Who you are outside of the bedroom (or kitchen, patio, movie theatre, etc.) is who you are inside of it, and there isn’t some downgrade of behaviors because you enjoy exploring various depths of sexual pleasure.
Telling women to watch porn so they can perform better in bed to make a man commit? We don’t need to go into how using sex to manipulate men into commitment is a bad idea, right? Practicing your technique, improving your skill set, learning and exploring new kinks and fetishes are all great ideas for those interested—you should do these things to keep your own game at A+ levels. For you, not to trap a man into commitment.
"Every guy likes his girl to be able to run the beer pong table and rub it into his friend… be that girl."
Ummm. Ok. Missed that memo.
I’m growing increasingly annoyed with these articles and memes that coach women into being manipulative manhunters who trick men into being with them. That’s already a nastily pervasive stereotype about women that deters some men from trusting women’s capacity for honesty and integrity. You don’t have to think like a man, for example, to get a man to be with you. You know what I’ve found works best? Being your own wonderful, amazing self. Simple, isn’t it?
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