Talking points: boundaries, independence, relationships, nice guys

Yeah, it’s a somewhat controversial title. It’s also a challenge. Many, many men bend over backwards to prevent a partner from ever feeling disappointed, and when they inevitably do feel disappointed (because that’s life sometimes), they spiral. Listen in.

(01:15) – Intro and why I’m talking about this
(03:05) – Caveats
(04:42) – Why this is important
(07:09) – I’m not saying don’t have wiggle room!


Get used to your woman’s disappointment. Get used to a woman’s disappointment. Being disappointed in you. Being disappointed in your behavior. Being disappointed in you forgetting to do something. Getting disappointed in you saying no. I said this in a session with a couple that I’m working with the other day. I said, “Can you take on the challenge?” I said this to the man, “Can you take on the challenge of getting used to her being disappointed in you?”

Because the reality is that there are so many men, and this is a lot of nice guy stuff, right? There are so many men in relationships who are trying to avoid their woman’s disappointment. So they don’t say no to watching this, TV show that they’re not interested in: Love Island or The Bachelorette or whatever it is that she’s trying to get you to watch. They don’t say no to going out to the dinner with the girlfriends; or to the event that they have no interest in. They don’t say no and set a boundary to the things that they know are going to build resentment within them. And any time that they get something wrong or their partner’s upset, it’s like, “Oh, I didn’t want to go to this restaurant,” Or you booked a date, and I’m like, “I’m not really interested in that.”

Anytime that she becomes disappointed, there are men who start to just get so worked up. And I was one of these guys, right? So if you’re tuning into this and you’re like, “Man, I feel like he’s just calling me out.” No, I was one of these guys. I was one of these guys who anytime the women that I would date would get disappointed, it would screw me all up because, in some ways, part of being the nice guy is buying into this story that you have to get it right with women all the time and that’s just garbage.

Now, is wanting your partner to be happy a bad thing? No. Is wanting the woman that you’re with to be happy and to feel taken care of and to feel provided for and protected a bad thing. No, absolutely not. Taking responsibility for her sense of well-being and needing her to feel okay all the time is the opposite of what the majority of women are looking for from men.

The majority of women want to know that they can feel not okay, that they can be upset, that they can be disappointed with you, that they can feel frustrated with you and bring that grievance to you and know that you’re not going to spiral, know that you’re not going to spiral out of control, and shut down, and close off, or become reactive or become defensive and try and put it back on them. They want to know that they can have a complaint and oftentimes behind that complaint – “oh, you didn’t book the right place for dinner. You forgot to, whatever, yada, yada, yada, bring home the almond milk from Whole Foods.” Those complaints oftentimes hold an emotional need behind them. There’s an emotional connection that is trying to be made there.

Now, I’m not saying that you should put up with complaints and criticisms all day, every day, right? This has to be within reason. I’m not advocating for you to become an emotional pin cushion or punching bag for the women that you’re with. That’s not it at all. I am simply saying that a lot of men lack the internal tolerance, lack any kind of tolerance with a woman’s disappointment.

And here’s the kicker. Why is this important? It’s very simple.

Because women want to know that they can be disappointed in you and that you will be okay. That they can ask for something unreasonable and that you will say no and that they might be disappointed. And that you will be okay, that you’ll still hold your ground, right? They’ll ask you to watch The Bachelorette, they’ll ask you to go do something that you’re just not going to do, or to go out to an event that she knows that you just have zero interest in and do not want to do whatsoever.

They want to know that you will hold firm on your values, on your virtues, on your morals, on what is important to you, on your principles, even if she’s disappointed.

Because here’s the thing: if you don’t, and when you don’t, and if you do that for long enough, what it teaches that woman is that she has total control in the relationship. She has the power. Absolutely. In the relationship, she begins to know I can tell you what to do and when to do it and you will; and for the majority of women, that is not what they want in a relationship.

They want a man who has a sense of strength, a man who has a sense of values, of virtue, of integrity, of morals, and who will set those morals and values and virtues up in such a way where he sticks to them, he lives them, he embodies them, even if it causes her frustration, even if it causes her to be disappointed sometimes. And the cherry on top of all of that is that when she brings her disappointment to you and you say: “yeah, I get it. No worries. I still love you. Yeah. All good. Thanks for telling me. Like you’re frustrated that I don’t want to watch The Bachelorette. No worries. I’m still not going to watch it, but it’s okay that you’re disappointed. It’s okay that you’re disappointed.”

This is incredibly attractive to a woman because what it signals Is that you have your own identity, you have your own values, you have your own morals, you have your own ethics, you have your own boundaries, and you can assert them. You can assert them, you can hold them, even if, and because the ultimate test is you set a boundary, she becomes disappointed, she gets upset.

Now, I’m not saying that we don’t have any wiggle room sometimes, I’m not saying that there’s no compromise in these things, that we need to be hyper rigid, I’m not saying that. What I’m really talking about is for the men who lack tolerance to their partners, to the women that they date and are married with, to their woman’s disappointment.

So practice this. Practice saying no and being okay with her being disappointed. practice when she asks you to do something that she knows you don’t want to do, and you’re not interested in, setting a boundary and saying, “it’s okay that you’re disappointed. That’s all right. I get it. I still love you. Me saying no doesn’t mean I don’t love you.” Practice when you screw up, because this is the big one for a lot of guys. This was the big one for me. I needed to be perfect in the relationship for a long time. Practice when you screw up causing her to be upset, causing her to be disappointed. And she starts to bring that disappointment to you to say, “yeah, I screwed up. I forgot that. And it’s okay that you’re upset. I get it. I understand.”

So if you can start to build a tolerance and you can start to build a calmness and a presence with your woman, when she’s disappointed, the relationship will dramatically change because she will feel safer. She will feel like she can trust you more. You will feel like you can trust you more. You will feel like you can lead yourself more. And what will start to happen is that your sense of value and worth and being okay in the relationship will uncouple from the need to have her feel okay and great all the damn. Time that you need to be perfect and doing it right all the time. So get used to her disappointment, get used to her being disappointed.

And again, this isn’t advocating, just one last time for you intentionally disappointing her all the time, for her living in a state of disappointment. That is not the aim, obviously, but I just want to make that clear.

And let me know what your thoughts are until next week, this is Connor Beaton signing off.

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