It was Friday afternoon, and I had gotten my unemployment, so I decided to get a small pizza from Lou Malnati’s; a deep deep dish with black olives and spinach. That will last me a couple of days. Muy mucho calories and cholesterol.
I get home to my apartment and clicked on the TV. Dr. Phil was on CBS. My first instinct was to change the channel but instead I clicked the channel guide and listened to Dr. Phil for a moment. The subject of the day was men and relationships.
Comedian Steve Harvey was Dr. Phil’s semi-co-host. He had written a book called “How to Get a Man to Commit.” Steve was telling Dr. Phil how he had given his ex-wife three houses in his divorce and was saying it was a good thing.
I was about to turn the TV off when they talked about the first guest, actress and model Angeliese, 28. She was a hottie! I won’t lie. She wanted help figuring out why she couldn’t meet or find a good man.
My first thought was, “well, you’re first problem is your hot!” Men’s brains have a tendency to short circuit around beautiful women, especially 9’s and 10’s. The base rat-brain clicks on and the higher functions shut off. This is not the case with when men see all women, just some. (In technical terms, I think its called an amygdala hijack.)
It can take a few hours for a man to get his wits about him when speaking with or to a physical 9/10. (Sorry ladies) It takes training to overcome the initial hijacking. I’ve trained myself in this, I get hijacked for up to five minutes and then the higher brain clicks on. I ask myself, “who is that woman behind that beautiful face.” That sobers me up.
I start to listen to Angeliese and I’m in “coach mode*” listening to her. She met guys who lied about being married, lied about other things, and none of them were able to commit or were serious about it.
My first question to her would have been, “are you attracted to a certain kind of guy? What are you attracted to?” I would have looked for a common pattern. I’d see what was going on with her before getting into the weird guys she was attracting.
Dr. Phil and Steve on the other hand gave her some kind of advice that was crappy and along the lines of “how to train your man” and wait 90 days before becoming intimate with a man. Steve Harvey then said something like, “if a guy can’t wait 90 days before getting physical, he’s not worth your time.” The women in the audience approved. The poll showed 86% of women agreed.
Here’s the flaw. – They didn’t poll men, and they were totally pandering to a female opinion. This isn’t bad, but if you want women to learn about men you might want to clue women in to how guys think. The advice of waiting 90 days will greatly reduce a womans’ chance of meeting a good guy. Men are not bad for wanting sex. They just want sex. A good man has self control and patience. However, he shouldn’t have to join a monastery to win a woman’s heart.
Also, it totally ignores the fact that a woman needs to “get her groove on.” Women have needs too. There’s also a problem for guys called, “the friendship zone.” If a guy waits 90 days to make a move, he’ll be a womans’ friend. Making a move would violate that friendship.
Dating relationships start with a spark. Otherwise, they’re just friendships. Warm and fuzzy, like oatmeal. Dating on the other hand starts spicy and needs chemistry. No chemistry and no dating relationship.
Back to Angeliese,… she didn’t really get anything that would benefit her except to tell potential suitors to take a cold shoulder for 90 days. What happens if guys wait those 90 days and are still not what she’s looking for. She and the guy are out 3 months of time.
Sex wasn’t the problem for her. She wanted a committed relationship with a man. Relationships are not one way streets. Dr. Phil and Oprah both push this, “men must be subservient to women” kind of mindset. When Dr. Phil said, “how to train your man,” that was my clue. Men are like dogs. Feed ’em scraps and you’ll have ’em begging.
BLEH!!!! – Pure bolognium!!!**
There’s a list of questions I would have for Angeliese:
– What does she want in a relationship?
– What kind of man is she attracted to?
– Does she attract the same kind of guy?
– Are there men in her life she would be a good fit for, but they’re not “bad boy” enough?
– Is she too picky or very selective? (She’s hot, so she can afford to be picky. That can work against her finding a good man.)
– Is she attracting the wrong guys because she really doesn’t want to get into a relationship? Does she enjoy playing games with men? (That’s possible. She might fear being intimate or close. Maybe there’s a bad relationship in her past. )
Once I got some answers, I could start finding our her recurring patterns and then coach her to better dating and finding a fulfilling relationship.
It’s too easy and lazy to simply rely on the “all men are stupid and they can be trained like slobbering dogs” school of thought. There are fundamental differences between men and women that are biological and all the social engineering in the world won’t change that. Sure we want men who are a certain way, and women who are a certain way.
Look at the basic patterns of behavior and you’ll see why men and women bash heads over relationships. Men fall in love quick and fall out quick. Women fall in love slow and fall out slow. We’re not built to have the fairy tale story book romances we see on TV or watch in movies. They’re fantasies and we love them. That’s why movies and books sell millions.
Despite our differences, we’re not incompatible. At the core, men and women do want the same thing, they just have different ideas of how relationships should be.
Relationships need a foundation. That foundation is an agreement. All kinds of relationships are based on agreements. For example, Americans have an agreement called The Constitution. We agree to abide by a certain set of rules and cry foul when someone breaks them. When you work for an employer, you have an agreement of what time to show up, what kind of work you’ll do, and how much you’ll be paid and compensated.
Dating relationships are no different. Marriages are no different. Parenting is no different. Rules in relationships are based on agreements. If there are no agreements, fights break out.
Problems arise when there is no flexibility on an agreement or a difference of interpretation of an agreement. Usually, arguments and fights pop up when an agreement has been broken or violated.
A serious violation of an agreement can mean the end of a relationship. Such violations are pretty emotionally painful and will cause changes in personality and outlook from the person who was in a relationship where an agreement was shattered.
So, Dr. Phil could have had Angeliese as a guest, coached her a bit, and in turn the women in the audience would have learned things about men, about themselves, and relationships. I suspect Dr. Phil’s goal is to entertain not to inform or educate. I do think he cares, but the format of television works against his compassion.
In Angeliese’s case, her advantage of being beautiful was also a handicap. Men would have a hard time getting to know her because of her beauty. (Some women might say, “tough toenails!” about that.) She’s a model and actress. Great for her professionally, but personally men only see her as a toy. We live in a culture that glorifies physical beauty at the expense of a cultivated self. (I wonder how she acts on dates?)
My initial gut feeling is that she probably has a few diamonds in the rough within her social orbit. If she slowed down and got to know a few of the shy guys around her, she’d find a man who’d take the time to get to know her and learn about her hopes, dreams, and perspective of the world.
I find the subject of human relationships fascinating and I suspect there’s a book in me about them somewhere.
(The show aired Friday, 2/25/11)
*I’ll use the term “coach mode” when I’m listening for what a person is communicating, what they want, and how I can be of service delivering on that. Also, I want to leave the speaker empowered, free to express him/herself, and to be focused on solutions.
**bolognium: like bologna meets plutonium. It’s radioactive garbage. It’s a replacement term for bullsh*t.