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Advice 911: My Partner Is A Wimp

Advice 911: My Partner Is A Wimp

I have a really good boyfriend but he lacks masculinity and that turns me off so much about him. He just isn’t assertive. I could walk all over him. It is as if I am the man in the relationship when it comes to putting my foot down, making important decisions, and getting things done. We have been in public and guys will try to literally pull me away from him to get my number and he wouldn’t do anything! Can you give me some serious insight into how to make this work?

Dear Ms. Cavewoman,

I understand your desire to have a man that will “be a man”. You are not alone in your belief that the man should take care of things like fixing things around the house as well as be assertive in showing that he loves you and should protect you from these other men that find you desirable. Since we moved from the cave to the suburb, the traditional role of the man has been given a bit of a remix. We are no longer required to kill our food so that we can eat, and the man isn’t allowed to beat his woman for burning the chicken. 

Since the invention of the Playstation, men require less and less of a woman, and they have been neglecting the basic “man duties” in order to finish their game of Madden. As a woman, it is a blessing and a curse. The de-masculization of our culture has allowed you to seek work instead of being tied up with an apron and childcare duties but it has also created the sub-species of man called metrosexual and another variety called the good for nothing. A man back in the cave days might not have stuck around after sex with you to help raise the children or fix the air conditioner.

Your boyfriend has trust in your judgment and behaviors, and he hopes that you are strong enough in love and respect the relationship you have built together. By not confronting a man that is pulling you away to get your phone number he may be preventing a physical confrontation, or he may be testing you to see how you behave. The worst thing you can do is tell him to “man up” or that he is not a man, and you desire someone with more butch assertiveness.

When you do that, he will more than likely shut down and not respond in the way you want. What you need to do is watch him and praise his macho behavior when he has one. By giving him reinforcement of an action you desire you are letting him know you appreciate that and he will do more things that get a good response from you. Be patient with the man as he transitions from dud to stud.

It seems bad now, but look on the bright side; he isn’t beating you or forcing you to have sex with him.  He isn’t fighting people out of his insecurity in your relationship. There isn’t a lot of room in the relationship pants, so encourage him to put them on slowly. With the both of you sharing a leg, hope that they don’t split down the middle. Best of luck, remember that you matter most!

Dr. Ethan Gregory

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

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Bucket Lists Keep Couples Together

Bucket Lists Keep Couples Together

 

A couple that creates common goals is also making an emotional investment in their future together. Having joint goals builds a team mentality that can help smooth over the minor conflicts that occur over time. Like any shard vision or goal for the future, it does not have much meaning unless there is progress towards the goal.

When life gets in the way too often, that bucket list can eventually become a list of disappointments and unmet expectations weighing on the relationship. A couple should set a schedule for their excursions and bucket list items, so they remain a priority. That will keep the couple looking forward to something, and allow them to refocus attention to strengthening their bond. The partner that supports the goals of their loved one will reap benefits of sharing in the joy of their partner’s accomplishments, and might also gain some appreciation for why a bucket list item is important.

The more variety that goes into the bucket, the better. Different bucket list items will bring variety to the couple’s future, and can create some meaningful communication when the list is planned. Of course, if we are in the early stages of a relationship and trying this activity, things like kids, marriage, and relocations might need to be addressed before the couple commits to one another long term. 

When creating a joint bucket list, it may make sense to create some categories. Are there things that can be accomplished locally or over a weekend? Those can be done as drops in the bucket list. Seeing the world wonders might take several years and multiple trips, and that can go as an annual goal to accomplish. There is nothing saying that there can’t be relationship goals or family goals in the bucket as well. A couple should try to make their bucket list something to enjoy and work on consistently. There could even be penalties for missing a bucket list goal deadline. Maybe some extra savings or chore task can be included as a penalty. The only bad bucket list is one that stays full.     

Dr. Ethan Gregory

Written for The Chicago Tribune

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

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Dr. G Featured in Divine Caroline Article on Soulmates

Dr. G Featured in Divine Caroline Article on Soulmates

10 Signs You've Found Your Soulmate

The concept of soulmates has been around for more than 2,500 years. While the idea may be statistically unlikely, it's definitely appealing. Learn why 10 real women believe without a doubt that they've found their one and only. Written by Jasmine Gordon

Click the link to read my segment at the Divine Caroline website. Below is my short submission for the article. 

I believe that we have found our most compatible mates when we are comfortable farting around one another. When we can share the parts of our minds and bodies that we usually hide from others without fear of rejection or recourse, we have found a soul mate. Unconditional acceptance and encouragement between partners is another trademark sign that you have found the one. 

Dr. Ethan Gregory

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

 

How Can I Keep Up With a Kinky Partner?

How Can I Keep Up With a Kinky Partner?

 The reader 911 of the week:

The new girl I am dating is a lot of fun. We get along well, and she is very sexual. She sends me naughty text messages during the day, and she has all sorts of kinky ideas. I thought I was open to that kind of thing, but I am a bit worried that I am too boring for her, or that she is really some kind of crazy sex freak that is going to give me a disease. What can I do to keep up, and how do I bring up the STD thing?

Dear Mr. Careful What You Wish For,

Back in my day I always felt a sense of enjoyment when I found a girl comfortable enough to explore with me sexually. There are few things more fun then learning about another person while enjoying sensuous pleasures at the same time. The kind of sex that keeps you up all night and sends you off to work the next day not concerned about the lack of sleep…that’s the good stuff. Now that I am just a tad bit removed from the debauchery days of my life, I have a slightly different perspective on those lovely partners. Let me preface this advice by saying it takes two to tango, so you are also a dirty boy fornicator.

 

The first thing you need to do is find out if this girl’s crotch or throat is on fire before you put your man clit anywhere near them without some kind of shield. It may be too late if you have already been testing the waters, but before you dive in head first you need to ask her some questions, and give some answers of your own. It doesn’t matter how many partners you or she has had, it just matters if you are both safe.

 

Stereotype alert: Girls count partners differently anyway. A girl could sleep with the basketball team, but only count the guy that goes to the NBA. Ask her if she has a condom before the next time you guys know you are going to have sex. If not, you can ask her how she feels about contraceptives and birth control. You guys can go the store and pick out her favorite condom. No one likes condoms but most people like condoms more than babies or genital warts, so keep that in mind.

I like to throw out the question, “have you ever been tested before” because that usually flows into when and what were the results. If you have not been tested in the last six months go do it! A clean report card is a great aphrodisiac. You can even have a date to get tested, and use the excuse that you like her and want to make sure you are both safe because you haven’t been tested in a while. That will help you feel safer being with a wonderful freak, but now you need to arm yourself with tools and techniques to keep up with the girl.

Any bookstore (maybe not Christian bookstores) will have an aisle dedicated to sexuality and self help stuff. Venture down there and pick up a few books with titles like 100 ways to do it and be the biggest freak you can. That will give you a starting point to build on. Let her be the freak, you do the details on the dates, and you will make quite a dynamic duo. For the love of God wrap it up with this one and enjoy yourself! Instead of worrying about where she has been and applying some judgment to her, be appreciative of her selflessness and open mind. Learn from this sexy sage. Best of luck, remember that you matter most!

Dr. Ethan Gregory 

http://www.drethangregory.com

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

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Tips to show Authentic Appreciation For Your Partner

Tips to show Authentic Appreciation For Your Partner

As a relationship and dating expert I have advised men and women to recognize the difference between romance, validation, and appreciation. The items you can buy to show love might seem romantic to some, but the stereotype of a valentine’s day might be too surface level to a woman looking for signs a man appreciates her being part of his life.

 

As a psychologist I come from a behavioral background. I see actions speaking much louder than words. A woman wants to feel loved consistently, and to be shown that they are a priority to their partners. Roses smell nice, but they don’t cover up for being a stinky partner most of the time. If a partner feels that they have the resources to give gifts to show thoughtfulness, they might also be using money to substitute for being more connected to their partner.

 

A partner that understands the type of ways their woman wants to be appreciated will never go wrong. Taking the time to communicate daily, share compliments, and to maintain intimacy within a relationship will keep the union stronger than a box of chocolates can accomplish. When I am in a relationship or advising others, I recommend using purchases sparingly to show love, because it sets a bad precedent. Taking care of the details regularly is one key to my approach to life, the Ethan Gregory Approach.

 

A partner must use familiarity with their partner to extract what her needs are, then meet them as often as possible. The details are where a partner earns their respect. Appreciating the uniqueness of our partners makes women feel that they are the only one getting that kind of treatment, and only intimacy and “real” quality time can create that bond. Random gifts to show appreciation are wonderful, but just as gentle reminders, not as substitute for the hard work of maintaining a great relationship.

 

In my opinion, a partner shows love through being present emotionally, through actions that anticipate needs, and allowing their woman to shine by supporting her however she needs. Not all partners are practiced at the art of appreciation. A woman must use that psychology of rewarding the good behaviors, and creating a consequence for the ones we want to eliminate.

 

Open communication early on about what makes her feel appreciated will go a long way in helping a partner do better. If we do not state our needs, we cannot expect our partners to change. Setting rules for gifting might help create a level playing field and eliminate grand gestures.

 

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This article was for Women’s Health

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Partner Letting Themselves go, What Can I Do?

Partner Letting Themselves go, What Can I Do?

The reader 911 of the week:

I have never really been the person who judges a person by their looks, but my girlfriend has put on at least 20-30 pounds since we started dating and it bothers me. And it bothers her too in the sense that she always complains about it, but never does anything about it. I'm trying to be the good boyfriend and tell her she's beautiful and sexy and I mean it, but I'm just so tired of hearing her complain about it. She has a membership to a gym, and I tell her that she can do something about it but then she just gets mad at me and apologizes for being fat and ugly. Any suggestions?  

Dear Biggest Loser,

Your question brings up a touchy subject. When we join relationships I believe that there are certain expectations that guide our decision. We fell in lust with a person and how they look, then fell in love with them as a person beyond their skin. Issues tend to arise as one or both of the partners in the relationship begin to change physically from the way they were in the beginning. Relationships have ended when one person loses a dramatic amount of weight. Insecurities arise in the partner witnessing the transformation and if the relationship has issues to begin with it can spell the end of a union.

The same can be said for a gain in weight by one of the partners. If you are truly being supportive of your lover, letting her know that you are there for her and not her appearance then you are doing all you can do. Your girlfriend feels like shit about herself and that may be the reason for the weight gain or it may be a symptom of the weight gain. You have a right to let her know that you can see how the weight gain affects her, and you want the best for your girl. You can suggest that the both of you work out, but you can’t force her to get off her ass if she doesn’t want to. You can tell her that it hurts your feelings when she complains and plays victim about her situation when she doesn’t do anything about it, since you love her and wish nothing but the best for her.

Let her know that you are willing to support her in any way she wants, but that you are not willing to be her personal trainer. Mixing those roles can build up a secret animosity that you don’t want. She can complain all day, but let her know that you shouldn’t have to hear it. Start going on more active dates and taking walks instead of sitting around together watching television. Do all you can do, but nothing more. She has some things to work on that were probably there before you, and you want to make sure that you don’t add to that list. Best of luck, remember that you matter most!

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How to Boost Your Libido Today

How to Boost Your Libido Today

I wrote this piece for Brides.com asking for top tips on how new brides and married women can boost their libidos. Again, my words didn't make the cut. So you tell me, who wrote it better? 

Restarting the fires for a couple seems like a daunting task, especially when the coals have been out for some time. New brides should be filled with the positive energy and adrenaline of the new chapter in their lives, but I can see how modern marriages are often the continuation of a long relationship and engagement before the wedding day, and things can settle back to normal pretty quickly after the honeymoon.

Helen Fisher, in her TED talk about love and the brain relayed a story about a build up of adrenaline causing the brain to start thinking romantic feelings for someone. (Check out the talk if you have not seen it). Anything that builds some fear and gets the heart rate going increases testosterone, which helps with arousal in both women and men. A date where the couple exercises together or a scary movie night should get the blood flowing.

One trick that couples therapists use to help couples that have been having problems related to intimacy is to tell them that they should not be having sex for a certain amount of time. This creates a feeling of naughtiness and taboo, and the couples usually end up breaking the rule, building back some intimacy, and feeling more connected. The key to any sustained relationship is communication.

If sexual needs are falling behind mundane tasks, the couple needs to reconnect. A scheduled date night without the kids would help. Even one night set in stone for the couple to take turns creating an evening where the spouse is unaware of what will happen can show creativity, build suspense, and can show love.

If a couple can accommodate consistent moments where they can surprise one another, that should help spark those flames for years to come. A great example of this is the Valentines Day ritual that Claire and Phil from Modern Family have where they assume identities and leave the house to play out a fantasy. Stepping out of the comfort zone is crucial to keeping passion in a long relationship. 

 

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Older women, younger men

Older women, younger men

Here is a post I made for Wingman Magazine, about older women dating younger men. It didn't make the article. You can read the full article here.

Women past their 30th birthday are likely to have been married at least once. They are not new to relationships and they are more comfortable with their own bodies than at any other time in their life. They may have been working and they can support themselves and even a child they may already have. They do not need a man to provide for them, and as such, they are able to see men as objects for fun and companionship.

Established women with high self-esteem can enjoy the company of a younger man, receiving the ego boost of attracting younger men while also engaging in some provider behaviors if they choose. A Cougar can appreciate the power difference they may not feel in a relationship with their same age peers. The Cougar is able to establish their needs in the relationship with less compromise. Enjoying sex and having a strong-bodied partner to explore is part of why Cougars choose younger men, but the lack of emotional connection is refreshing to a woman that may desire to live selfishly after sacrificing earlier in her life.

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Her fiance isn't ready, do I tell her?

Her fiance isn't ready, do I tell her?

The 911 of the week:

I see some definite signs that my best friend's fiancé isn't ready for the next step. Should I say something? I think we could have a heart-to-heart conversation about it except that recently I've been getting a strange feeling that she's worried about me being a lonely single. I don't want to her to think I'm suggesting a wedding postponement out of envy. Any suggestions? 

Dear Ms. Best Friend’s Wedding,

I see that you are in a tight spot if you say something to your friend, as she might be one of those "married is the only way to be" after a certain age, and she might not be so receptive to that heart to heart. You can bring it up as a question, "how does he show he's ready, what are some of the changes you see from when you first met....that type of girl talk. Beyond that it will seem that you are pushing for her to think about things.

She may already see the same things you do, but if she is willing to go through with things, you have to be as well. As long as he isn't beating her, doing drugs, or sleeping with other people, you are going to have to be there to support her through the good times and bad, sickness and health, till they get divorced or you stop caring. As the best friend, we are there to support the good decisions and lessen the fallout from the bad ones. When it comes to this one, let her find out the hard way, just don't tell her "I told you so" if it doesn't happen. 

You are a good friend for wanting to open her eyes, but sometimes we don't listen to those that are too close to us, because we don't want to hear what they are saying, and how it might be right. It will be better for both of you if she loses a husband then if you lose a friend. Best of luck, remember you matter most!

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Spot an Online Liar

Spot an Online Liar

Online dating allows for making white lies or omitting things that might become obvious after a few first dates. We usually hold off on sharing the negatives we bring into a relationship because we want to give ourselves time to build intimacy and hope that the person will accommodate us once they know us better. Online dating offers an abundance of choice and we tend to screen people out sooner than later before we even meet them in person. A man might decide to lie about being married before (or currently) if they are looking for a more short-term relationship. Married or not, it makes marketing sense to advertise that you are looking for a long-term partner even if you are not. Men might also fudge a salary or education level to attract a partner, hoping that they will not be called out on it. Evolutionary Psychology (my specific brand) says that status and the appearance of wealth are highly desired traits for men; so a little bump in salary that will most likely go unchecked makes dating sense to those guys that might need the boost. Those abs in the photos might be photoshopped or from the one time in the mans life he worked out consistently, so a person looking on the profile should be expecting to be in the ballpark for looks in the photos, not spot on accuracy. Red flags would be a guy that has information on his profile that he never brings up in chats leading to the date. A profile is marketing what is important to us, so if he never mentions his desire to settle down in the immediate future and his profile states he is looking for a serious relationship, he might be misleading someone.

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