Updated: Mar 8, 2019
There are two relationship behaviors of modern women that utterly devastate me: manipulating our way through relationships and being excessively flexible. Both are rooted in insecurity. (Yeah, I came into that intro with guns blazing huh)
Manipulation and extreme passivity are used when we aren’t confident in our ability to obtain and expect what we need and want in a relationship through communication or by simply knowing that we deserve it. Women have the power to strongly and positively influence, direct, and guide our relationships without the use of manipulation and feeling like we have to compromise and settle all of the time. These are 4 womanly strengths that commonly go unrecognized and unused in our relationships.
We are Boundary Setters
Women hold the privilege being able to solidify the boundaries in our relationships- we determine what will and will not be allowed. The man may submit a proposal, but we are the ones with the red pen that goes behind him and makes the necessary revisions. This is a major strength that a lot of women don’t realize they have or even put to use.
This works best for both you and your man if this is done at the very beginning of the relationship. A lot of men hold the logic “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” so if you allow something and then later decide that it doesn’t work for you, be prepared to experience some push back.
It’s like Kristen and Jeremy’s relationship in the movie “Think Like a Man.” She allowed him to treat her like one of his frat boy buddies for their entire relationship. So when she wanted to talk about his goals and ambitions, redecorate their comic book- styled home, and make the next move towards marriage, he didn’t take her seriously as a woman or a future wife until she “required him to.”
If you are deep into a relationship already, don’t worry! It’s never too late honey! But the sooner the better. It is completely possible to renegotiate the terms and boundaries of a relationship after it has already begun, just as long as you are open to the things he may want to change as well and you are fully aware that this could potentially cause the relationship to end if you and your significant other cannot arrive at a compromise. I would only do this if my relationship was at a crossroads or if the matter at hand concerned one of my non-negotiable deal breakers, like whether or not to have children for example.
Be open, not desperate.
When God created Eve, notice that she was created whole, void of nothing. It was Adam who was missing a rib! God didn’t set Eve out on a mission to find Adam, Adam found her. Our purpose as women is to receive and multiply, so why are so many women hunting and gathering when it comes to relationships?
There’s nothing more exhausting or unattractive than scouring the earth for “Mr. Right” or having to convince a man that he wants to be with you. Stand on the strength that you are complete whether you are in a relationship or not. Focus on being your amazing self and living a full and fun life, and when the right man gets a glimpse of you doing your thing, he’ll be chasing you down like a runaway freight train: unstoppable!
Men can sense when a woman feels like they need a relationship, and unless they are looking to take advantage of you through that, they are usually completely turned off by it. Men don’t want to feel like you need them to be happy with yourself and your life. That’s the kind of pressure that makes them get cold feet at the altar, wondering if they can live with being responsible for your happiness until death do you part. (Whoa, that made my head spin a little)
To the other extreme, some women are so afraid of getting their hopes up on a love that may “never come” that they begin to live, move, and behave in a way that sends the message to potential suitors that they have closed up shop. This causes your thoughts and fears to become a self-fulfilling prophecy: the love never shows up. Or it may show up and just think that no one is home.
The neck that turns the head
Have you ever heard the expression, “A man may be the head, but the woman is the neck that turns the head”?? Now a lot of women use this as an excuse to manipulate her man in order to get what she wants, which is completely possible because, let’s be honest, we just got it like that. BUT this interpretation is not only unfair to the men that we love so dearly, it’s also ineffective because it tarnishes trust and respect, threatening the relationship as a whole. A better interpretation of this saying is that we as women are able to provide wise counsel to the men we are in relationships with.
Proverbs 31:26 (NLT) says, When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
Women possess a powerful type of wisdom that is not typically characteristic of men: intuition. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that compares to a woman’s intuition!!
Has your boyfriend or husband ever come to you with an idea or a decision that he was about to make, and for some reason you just knew it was a bad idea? During these times, we are able to offer alternative courses of action that feel better in our “gut,” or Spirit.
Typically, men have a tendency to get an idea in their minds and run with it full speed ahead. But women are able to dissect a decision from all aspects: compare the pros and cons of each possible decision, anticipate the potential outcomes, and determine which decision would cost less (in time, money, and effort) but provide the biggest return. THIS is why we are assumed to have a hard time making decisions when really we are weighing all of the options. This special type of wisdom that we are able to provide should be used with kindness and respect. Do not under any circumstances:
Make your man feel inferior just because you were able to pick up on things that we was not.
Hope that his decision blows up in his face if he chooses not to listen to you.
Use these moments to go on a power trip. You guys are a team!
Go behind his back to foil a decision that you think may turn out badly without discussing it with him first. Again… you guys are a team!
Show your strength through your wisdom in a way that will make your man trust your input and advice and be eager to discuss all decision-making matters with you.
Providing a relationship- friendly “environment”
I believe this one has the potential to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, lying and infidelity in relationships. Women have a way of nurturing others through the environments that we create. There were pah-lenty of times when I went over my boyfriend’s house just to hang out and by the time I left, the whole place looked different from me cleaning, rearranging, and adding “homey” touches here and there.
Well similarly, woman provide these invisible “environments” in relationships that lets a man know what he can feel comfortable doing or saying with and around us. We have to be very careful that our environment does not make them feel disrespected or like they can’t be vulnerable and honest with us by the things we say, how we say them, and how we response to them.
Believe it or not, there are some women who make telling a lie easier than the truth, who condemn a man for having weak moments and experiencing emotions, and who use threats and aggression to accomplish their relationship goals. I may or may not have been this girl before…Don’t be that girl… *hangs head*
Sometimes we get so focused on being the perfect wife or girlfriend and making sure that our man lives up to his full potential that we forget to simply be his friend; a friend that he can trust with his secrets and not have to worry about being treated differently or looked down on because of it. When a man is able to experience this environment with his woman, it causes a powerful bond that makes him, not just commit to a relationship with you, but want to “do life” with you, and wonder how he ever lived without you.
The line between being manipulative and fair/ passive and effective/ desperate and open is not thin, ladies. These are big, bold, thick lines! Rest and operate in your womanly strengths to have a positive, significant influence on your relationships. Use them!! It is completely possible to have the relationship you deserve without plotting, scheming, or settling. Your man and your relationship with him will thank you for it!
What are your thoughts ladies??