He’s a sweet guy. He always asks you about your day. When you needed a ride to the airport he didn’t hesitate to volunteer, and when you go out to eat he always let’s you pick the appetizer. It’s only been a few months, but everything is going so well, and that, in itself, may be your biggest reservation. When life is on cruise control and there aren’t many complications, how can you see what a man is really made of? It’s so easy to be agreeable and easy going when you aren’t in the midst of stress or disappointment, but that’s when you usually see someone’s true character.
I’ve got a theory, and although it’s not been scientifically tested, I think it’s pretty accurate most of the time. If you want to know who a guy is, and what he’s like in a relationship (especially in times of stress or disagreement), all you need to do is check out the way he drives.
The road is the only place where we all have to coexist with each other in completely neutral territory. How a guy treats his fellow drivers tells you a lot about how he views himself, other people, and life in general. For example, does he put the pedal to the metal, speeding down streets, cutting people off in attempt to get where he’s going fast? If that’s his typical behind-the-wheel behavior then you are dealing with someone who thinks he owns the road. How does that translate in a relationship? Typically, this kind of guy always thinks he’s in the right, and has little regard for other people’s feelings. You’ll find out quickly that when it comes to you, his motto is, “My way or the highway.”
Or maybe he’s not the kind of guy to disobey traffic laws, and he’s generally a pretty safe driver, but heaven forbid if someone else doesn’t use their turn signal! Or worse, they change lanes unexpectedly and cut him off. If you are in a relationship with someone that explodes into road rage when other people don’t drive to his liking you are dealing with a perfectionist. This is the kind of guy that is happy when things are going his way, but when he has to deal with opposition or imperfection, his mood sinks. This can be hard in a relationship because life isn’t perfect and you can’t control everything, so having a partner who is easily aggravated by that fact can be a big source of stress. Perfectionists have big mood swings both on and off the road.
Then there is the overly cautious driver. The one who won’t pull out into traffic if he sees a car coming two miles away. He’s likely to coast under the speed limit, and never passes on an opportunity to wave another driver ahead of him. He’s not the most confident guy, and most definitely a people-pleaser, but there is nothing wrong with that. You just have to accept that you are coupling up with a man who takes his time, and for some women, that can be frustrating. He’s likely to put your feelings first in your relationship, which is good, but he can also put other people (your friends, your neighbor, your neighbor’s dog) before your relationship, as well.
These are just a few of the road habits that can give you insight about a guy. It’s a secret strategy that has served me (and my clients) well when assessing the opposite sex. It’s better than fishing for information through friends or family because they will always be somewhat biased. That’s the great thing about the road. Everyone uses it, so everyone has a relationship with it, but the road itself is never partial. It’s a mirror, bringing out the true colors in anyone who’s on it. That’s why if you want to know who someone is, just ask the road. It never lies.
If you are having trouble assessing someone you are dating, or if you are in a relationship or marriage with someone you don’t know how to deal with, please contact me about coaching at www.jessmccann.com/contact
“We just can’t seem to stop fighting,” he told me. “And when we do stop, and try to figure out how not to fight again, we get into another fight!”
I was sitting across from a newly married couple, attempting to save their marriage. The last year had been extremely volatile and they were both at their wits end. They didn’t know how to reach each other, make the other understand their side, and move on from whatever problem they were having. It’s not that they fought about everything, in fact, they had only had three fights over the last year. The problem was that they fought numerous times about those three things. I had talked to them each separately, and now we were all together trying to work through their issues and get to a final resolution.
Finally, we made some headway and the husband and wife came to terms with how to handle their communication going forward. But just as we were about to part ways, the husband brought up something the wife had said in one of their fights; something she had insisted she didn’t say.
“Absolutely you said that!” He insisted quite loudly.
“That isn’t what I said at all,” she shouted back, and then recounted her side of the story for the third time that day.
As I listened to them go back and forth, and watched both tempers rise again, it became pretty clear why they kept repeating the same arguments.
I asked the husband why he brought up what his wife had said when we had already discussed a plan to move forward from this particular argument. He stated that they needed to get the facts straights. It drove him crazy that she said certain things and then just forgot or denied that she said them. After all, what she said started the fight to begin with, in his opinion. The wife just sat there, shaking her head while he told me this.
“Why is it so important to you that she admit what she said?” I asked. “Since you have already resolved the argument and decided on how to move forward, what point is there in bringing up something she said during your fight? Are you looking for her to admit she made a mistake? Do you want an apology from her? What is your goal here?” I asked him.
He looked stunned for a second and drew a blank. He wasn’t sure. Why was he going over things she said when we had all come to a resolution on the problem. Like most couples, and the husband in particular in this case, they both had trouble letting go of things. This time, something the wife had either said, implied, or something the husband had inferred had hurt his feelings and angered him, and now he wanted her to admit her wrongdoing.
The Future Is More Important Than The Past
The problem with most feuds is that in the heat of an argument most people don’t say, or remember things that were said, accurately. Most of the time, their words are motivated by raw emotion and because of that we may not speak as clearly as we think we do and we certainly don’t hear as unbiasedly as we could. So, while it might make sense to go over exactly how a fight went down in order to figure out how to avoid it in the future, rarely do both sides remember an argument exactly the same way. That’s why rehashing your version and badgering the other person to concede, is pointless. What makes the most sense, and gets the fastest resolution is stating how you interpreted what they said and how they made you feel. And on the flip side, apologizing quickly for how your words came across.
Communication isn’t as easy as just saying whatever is on your mind, unfortunately. With a relationship, it’s mostly about learning how the other person interprets messages. Some people you can be quite blunt with, and with others you have to be more tactful. Certain people take offense easily, and others have a thicker skin. Learning each others “hot button words” and avoiding them is particularly helpful when having a disagreement. As is trying to remain objective and unemotional, even though the fight likely began because someone’s feelings were hurt. It’s not easy to do, but if you can try to remember you are both on the same team and work with, instead of against each other to find a solution, you’ll find you yourselves making amends much quicker.
The last thing I told this couple was for each of them to be mindful of the words they used to express their emotions. There would be a lot less to work through and forgive if they simply fought “above the belt” in the first place. That way, the past wouldn’t stick to them as easily, and their emotional wounds wouldn’t take so long to heal either. It’s human nature to meet anger with anger and lash out at someone when they are lashing out at you, but staying rooted in love even when you’re upset can make a world of difference in how your altercations play out. So, if your partner starts yelling and making verbal blows, don’t rise to meet him. Instead, bring him back to your level by remaining clam, grounded, and thoughtful about your ultimate goal… which shouldn’t be to unload frustration, but to get both of you to a better place of understanding going forward.
It’s baffled women across the globe. We have racked our brains, asked our friends, and even consulted a professional. But no matter what we do, it seems we will never truly know why that cute single guy we met last week, who asked for our number, and seemed so interested, never called.
Yes, I have the answer. I’m not kidding. I actually feel a little silly that it took this long to figure it out. Especially being that the it’s something that I’ve always known but never made the connection. So without further adieu, here it is. The reason behind the “Can I get your number and never call you.”
To understand this phenomenon, I want you to imagine you are Christmas shopping for a nice little gift for yourself. Yes, you have been good this year and you are allowing yourself one present. So you go to Nordstrom and you see these cute shoes that will go perfectly with your New Years Eve dress. You try them on and they look even better on your feet! You walk around testing them out. You love them. You are happy you have finally found your Christmas present. You look over at the line and see that it is out of control. Ugh. The holiday season. You ask the saleswoman to hold on to the shoes so you can shop around a bit more and wait for the line to die down.
You leave the store and head straight to Starbucks to grab a drink. You head into a few other stores. Nothing too exciting. You keep going. Finally an hour passes and you find yourself at the opposite end of the mall. Your feet hurt from all the walking. Your caffeine has worn off and you sit down on one of the couches outside Urban Outfitters. The mall is going to close in thirty minutes. Should you walk all the way back to Nordstrom to get your shoes? It seems miles away now. Your car is right outside the door. You don’t want to walk all the way back to Nordstorm and then all the back to your car here. You could drive back to Nordstorm, but then you’d have to find parking all over again and it was such a pain in the ass this afternoon. Suddenly your phone rings and it’s your BFF. You tell her your shoe dilemma. She says, “Why don’t you just borrow my Manolo’s for New Years?” You think about it. Not a bad idea. You’d save money, not have to walk or drive back to Nordstrom, and you’d be wearing shoes that are new to you. “Okay,” you tell her. And with that, you’ve abandoned the shoes you promised to buy.
Just as you talked yourself out of buying those shoes, time and time again, men talk themselves out of calling women. They have the same dialogue going on in their heads — I could call her, but it is so much easier not to. If I call her, what would I say? What if she doesn’t call me back? Was she really that interested anyway? Plus my ex girlfriend called me last night and I could just call her instead. That would be easier. What seems like such a good idea at the time, often becomes less of a good idea the more you think about it.
You cannot and should not take it personally when a guy you just met doesn’t call or text you. Who knows what the reason is, but if you just recently met him, there is no possible way the reason is you. He doesn’t know you so how can he reject you? What tends to happen is just what I stated above. When a man is in the moment, and you are right in front of him, he is on a high. Adrenaline is pulsing through his veins and emotion is overriding all other factors. However, once the high dies down and he is away from the situation, logic sets in. He may start to second guess himself. He may start to talk himself out of things. He can get distracted with other priorities, and then what he had planned and promised to do gets pushed to the bottom of the list.
So don’t despair that the guy you met last night didn’t follow up on that phone call he promised. It has nothing to do with you this time around. Go buy yourself some shoes and you will soon feel better
Continue to my Advice Blogs here, or choose from some popular posts:
To learn the techniques to find a guy, get him interested, and keep him that way, check out this book. You will learn the techniques Jess used to find and keep her husband, as well as what she teaches her clients! For more info on Jess and her coaching, check out www.jessmccann.com and follow her on Twitter @iamjessmccann to ask a question about your relationship!
If you have a dating dilemma that you don’t know how to handle, this is the book for you. How do you turn a friend into something more? What do you do when you run into your ex? Can you get him to stop texting and ask you out on a date? All these questions and more are answered in this Q&A dating scenario book! Continue reading
If you go on every date, and enter every relationship expecting it to result in marriage, you are going to suffer heartache your whole life. While the purpose of dating is to find the right person and eventually settle down, the function of dating is to simply get to know the other person so you may determine if they are right for you. I may sound like a pessimist right now, but in truth you will only marry ONE person. So the other 20 you had to date to find him are not going to work out. If you start to accept this fact, instead of fight it, you will find yourself hating dating much less. You won’t be so disappointed when you learn that the guy you’ve been seeing for four weeks is not right for you. You will think, “Oh well. He’s just not right for me. Guess I have to try again,” instead of lying in bed for days wondering what you did or said that chased him away.
There is a second problem with expecting a relationship to work out from the get-go. If you have already decided that this is it, and he’s most likely the one, you are more apt to over look red flags. You are more likely to accept his bad temper or severe mood swings because in your mind you’ve already committed to the idea of you two together. I have a friend who is very unhappily married to a man she is constantly fighting with and crying over. Their courtship was extremely rocky and there were numerous times that she contemplated getting out. However, even though she often felt compelled to walk away, she didn’t because as she says, “when I met him, something told me he was the one.” The expectation of the relationship working out kept her from breaking free. Because she convinced herself he was her future husband, nothing (not even him stealing money from her) was going to change her mind. Now she’s married and just as miserable. Continue reading
My friend Lucy remembers very vividly the day her boyfriend became unattractive. He didn’t gain weight, grow a beard or stop showering. No, nothing like that. In fact, he was only getting in better shape lately, hitting the gym six days a week now instead of three. But as he was finishing his shower and beginning to meticulously messy his hair one morning, an overwhelmingly nauseating feeling struck her deep in her gut.
I hate this man, she thought. Continue reading