“My Relationship Sucks!” (How to Improve Your Relationship) “My Relationship Sucks!” Men, she’s not “okay.” It’s not “fine.” You should definitely worry about it, and if you’ve ever caught yourself saying, “My relationship sucks!” you need to take notice now before it’s too late. Many men don’t know how to understand women, but, in reality understanding women might not be necessary to for knowing how to improve your relationship. For this goal, communication is more important. We’ve never been required to take a class on how women operate, and we often struggle to understand how they communicate. Miscommunication leads to not meeting the needs of your partner, which can mean the end of your relationship. The following 5 tips may not bring you any closer to understanding women, but they can help you avoid miscommunication, reduce conflict, and improve your relationships. How to Improve Your Relationship Tip #1: Listen Rather Than Solve When women approach you with a problem, spend time listening to the intricacies of the issue. Listen first, solve later. Men have a tendency to dominate and to assume authority in a problem solving process. We want to solve a problem as efficiently as possible. Women are just as good at solving problems as men, but they often approach it differently. Women’s goals often focus on exploring and deepening the personal relationship while they work on the problem. Women view problems as a symbol of the relationship. To be more successful in your relationship, focus on taking the time to show you care about the issue and less time on trying to find a solution. How to Improve Your Relationship Tip #2: Decide Instead of Trying to Please Starting now make decisions. Modern day masculinity has somehow developed the idea that men cannot inconvenience women. Thus, some men find it difficult to make decisions in a relationship without the woman’s approval. It starts as neither person wanting to inconvenience the other but eventually turns into argument. If she really doesn’t like it, she’ll tell you. Ultimately, your decision doesn’t matter. She really just wants to spend time with you. How to Improve Your Relationship Tip #3: Comfort Instead of Continuing a Fight The relationship between you and your partner is more important than any problem. Men instinctively leave or fight back (fight or flight) when faced with aggression or frustration. Women are wired to respond and view any problem as a window into the relationship. Problems are a social issue. The actual problem comes second to the health of the relationship. Comfort, assurance, and listening display that the relationship is healthy and will stay intact throughout the conflict. How to Improve Your Relationship Tip #4: Focus on Her Pleasure Instead of Finishing First Your woman’s sexual pleasure must be your priority and responsibility. Studies indicate that it takes men and women roughly the same amount of time to reach orgasm during masturbation (2-3 minutes for men, and a little less than 4 minutes for women). A larger difference is seen in the time it takes men and women to reach orgasm during foreplay and vaginal intercourse. On average, women take 10-20 minutes to reach orgasm, while men average 2-3 minutes after beginning intercourse. Other than improving your stamina, the best thing a man can do to make up for the time difference is to focus more on foreplay. Pleasing her in this one area will positively affect all the others. How to Improve Your Relationship Tip #5: Define the Relationship Instead of Letting Her Imagine It Be honest to avoid conflict. Either way your relationship is going to be defined. If you don’t define the relationship, she will. Eventually, mis-defined relationships clash and one of you is going to feel hurt and possibly disrespected. It is easier to define a relationship in the beginning and update it as the relationship progresses than to deal with the eventual fall-out from an undefined relationship. Women and men communicate differently. In order to avoid miscommunication, one needs to understand the differences. It may be hard to go against your initial instincts, but the previous 5 tips will help you communicate, reduce conflict and improve your relationships. Read More on the ManTalks Blog: You Don’t Deserve Better, You Deserve to be Better— By Benjamin Ritter What to do When She Doesn’t Want Sex Anymore — By Giordana Toccaceli Male Attractiveness: The Female Perspective — By Jade Teta The Real Reason Men “Can’t Handle” Powerful Women — By Kathryn Hogan Or, Take Our Nice Guy Syndrome Self-Assessment Quiz Now ___________ Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, is an interpersonal, dating, and relationship consultant, author of The Essentials, co-host of the Suave Lover podcast, curator of the Interfaith Relationships workshop and the Values Systems workshop, freelance expert, writer, and healthcare executive. He has years of direct client, personal, and social experiences towards improving and solving internal development, dating, and relationship situations. For more information visit his website.