Women Love a Challenge Too

For as long as I can remember I’ve heard the phrase “men love a challenge.” There is this notion that men enjoy the chase when it comes to love. They don’t want a woman or a relationship to come easy. They want something they can work towards. “Oh she isn’t feeling me now? Just wait, I’ll change her mind.” Now while this may not be true for every man, it is consistent with what I have seen over the years in my own dating experiences. What we don’t talk about a lot though is how women like a challenge too. Sometimes it is the same challenge as men in that we are trying to get someone to like us. The other challenge some women like to take on though is riskier than just trying to get someone’s attention. Some women like to take on the challenge of trying to get a man to change. Whether it is for the betterment of a relationship or for him to even be willing to settle down in a one, some women love the challenge of trying to change a man.

How many times have you met the handsome guy that seems to be a lot of what you are looking for? Everything seems good until he hits you with the bombshell that he isn’t looking for anything serious. Instead of being honest and saying that you are indeed looking for something serious, you start the plot in your mind to conquer his heart. You get excited because you think all you have to do is show him how great of a woman you are and that will make him want to settle down. You totally negate all the other women who had the same thought with him, as well as all the other men you weren’t able to change. No you believe that this time you can change him, hence, the challenge begins.

That may not be your scenario but like it or not, any variation of it tends to lead to similar results. I’m not saying no man will ever be willing to change his mind, but remember he has to be willing. Then it doesn’t help when you have that man who swears that the woman in his life “changed him.” Well let me explain what he really meant. “She helped motivate me to change myself.” No person can change another human being. There are people we can encounter who give us the push we need to make changes within ourselves. Unfortunately, some women like to take these unlawfully applied words and use them as ammunition to try to “change” a man in their life. I believe that many times some women like to believe they have the power to do this. They want to be the one who can make him a “better man.” This makes sense because who doesn’t want to believe they have super powers; because that is what you will need in order to be able to change someone.

Here me clearly, do not bank on the thought of you motivating a man to change either. This is just as bad as thinking you changed him. At the end of the day, if you are not satisfied with who he is, you are wasting your time and his. If you do not agree with what he wants out of a relationship you need to be honest with yourself about whether you can emotionally handle that. If the only way a relationship can work is if he changes, then you are putting yourself in a risky place to never get the relationship healthy. I’m not talking about you want him to make more money or he thinks two years of dating before getting engaged is good and you think one is better, type of changes. I’m talking he never wants to get married but you do, type of changes. The he thinks being monogamous is unrealistic and unnatural so he never plans on doing so, type of changes. Those are things that can have you putting in years of your life only to never see it manifest into anything.

 “If the only way a relationship can work is if he changes, then you are putting yourself in a risky place to never get the relationship healthy.”

I’ll admit this was me some years ago. I was good for saying “I bet I can get him to change.” It was a hunt I was determined to pursue. There is one particular guy who the whole basis of our situationship I like to call it, was me trying to change him. I heard of how he dogged out females and that he wasn’t the type to settle down or fall in love. “That’s because he hasn’t met me,” I cockily uttered as if I had the cosmic ability to do so. Well after one unnecessarily tortuous emotional rollercoaster later, I accomplished one thing, his love. And yet, he was still the same. I did get him to commit, just not to me. I watched as he got girlfriend after girlfriend looking foolish because I prepped him for them. I set myself up because I was arrogant and naïve enough to believe that I had the ability to change a grown man. What I failed to realize is that I got so caught up in him being a challenge, that I no longer was one. I no longer gave him something to chase because I was chasing after him. All I did was get him to a place where he was ready to change for the next chick who challenged him.

“What I failed to realize is that I got so caught up in him being a challenge, that I no longer was one.”

Let me say this though, men who really like someone and want to pursue them is going to be willing to compromise some things. There is a difference though between him comprising to be able to make you happy and him changing. Let me explain. If a man knows that going with you to see the newest chick flick will make you happy, then so be it, he’ll go with a smile just to make you do the same. This is healthy; this can be expected. That doesn’t mean he will begin to love them and be looking out for the newest chick flicks with heavy anticipation. Is it possible for a man to realize after watching so many chick flicks with you that he actually likes them? Yes it is. This should not though be the expectation. Expect him to compromise for you, not change.

Ladies all I ask is that we check our urge for the challenge. Don’t set yourself up to be potentially hurt because you thought you had the power to change a human being. Yes every man has things that a woman can come in his life and motivate him to do better, but he has to want to do better. The beauty of it is that there are men out there who are willing to change and are doing so. You just have to be honest with what you desire and stay true to that. Just keep in mind, if you are the challenge, you are less likely to be distracted by one.

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The List… Does is Matter?

I remember the first time I heard of this so called “list.” The list that most people have either wrote or thought about writing. The list that comprises everything you could possibly think of that makes the perfect mate we know does not exist. When I first heard of this list I thought, well maybe this is a good idea. I believe in writing the vision and making it plain so sure, why not? At one point I was convinced that the reason I had yet to be blessed with the man God had for me was because I had not made my requests known through this almighty list. So finally, I did it. I wrote the extensive list that spanned over three pages, front and back. It had everything from being good in bed, (don’t judge me…you might want to pray the same prayer) to being smart with finances. I had physical, mental and emotional features on this list. I even found myself coming up with new things and adding them to the list at later times. I wrote this list almost three years ago. I barely remember what was on it. I do remember basing a lot of how I measured whether a guy was worth my time was through this list.

“At one point I was convinced that the reason I had yet to be blessed with the man God had for me was because I had not made my requests known through this almighty list.”

Fast forward to the present. I am now on the dating scene and getting to know people. In getting to know one guy in particular I found myself getting excited. Is this the one? He was everything on my list. He even had some preferences that were not necessities but would be nice if a guy had them. So we continued to get to know each other. Then the unthinkable happens….I start to question if I like him. Now at this point I’m slapping myself as if to put the sense back into me that I obviously lost. I was thinking to myself, “there is no way you can NOT like this man.”  I mean he was everything I thought I wanted. Or was he? Playing around with this question had me over thinking everything. I thought maybe I was just afraid to have found such a great guy and I was running from the situation. Maybe I was just turning into the person who didn’t know what to do when she got what she asked for. But the problem still remained, I wasn’t sure if I liked him. Eventually the debate within me came to a screeching halt when I came to the sad realization that I indeed had no desire to be with him. Even after accepting this I still wondered, “but what about the list?” This is when I finally had the revelation, maybe the list doesn’t mean as much as I thought it did.

For so many years I had this list as if it were some criteria that a man had to meet in order for us to be together. As if this list was the portal to my happiness in a relationship. And here it is I met a man who actually had the things on the list but I’m not interested? What went wrong here?

First off, I didn’t listen to myself. For as long as I can remember I have stated that a good man does not mean he is the right man. Let me explain… I look at dating as the interviewing process to filling a permanent position. Many people will apply, a lot of them even having the qualifications. Only one person though can fill the position. It takes more than what is on a piece of paper to determine whether or not someone qualifies. This is what I was doing though. I was letting a list, a piece of paper, dictate what was right for me. Now don’t get me wrong, don’t think you are getting a job without sending in your resume’. It’s the same thing with the list. A list is a good thing to go by but should not be what the decision is contingent upon. What the list cannot give you is chemistry. This is the vibe and interaction between two people. The funny part is that this may even be something on your list. There is a reason why coming in for interviews is important in the hiring process. I don’t know too many people who received jobs SOLELY off their resume’. Is it possible? Yes. Is it the best way to make the decision? No. Chemistry is important because it gives you a chance to compare the person to the paper. You get to see how you feel about the actual person and not the characteristics that make them up. Chemistry will have you adding things and catch this, even taking things off of the list. Again, let me explain…. Sometimes people get hired for jobs for which they did not necessarily qualify. Why? Because in the interview process, that person left such an impression that the employer was willing to take the risk. Sometimes you may have a chemistry so strong with someone that maybe you are not so bothered by the fact they have a child, was once divorced or can’t cook. Sometimes it makes you realize that some things are not as big of a deal as they once seemed. It also shows that things can work out even if the qualifications don’t always measure up. Remember, just because they have the qualifications doesn’t mean they can handle the job. On the contrary, just because they don’t have the qualifications, doesn’t mean they won’t be amazing in the position.

“I look at dating as the interviewing process to filling a permanent position. Many people will apply, a lot of them even having the qualifications. Only one person though can fill the position.”

Now let me make this very clear, the list is good to have. I think it is healthy for an individual to have somewhat of a handle on what it is they are looking for and want. It is not a good thing when the list becomes a box that a potential mate has to squeeze into. I strongly believe that everyone should have those things they know must be a characteristic in a mate they want. If you enter into a relationship with no standards whatsoever, you put yourself in a position to potentially deal with things that make you unhappy or have you second guessing a lot of what you do. I cannot stress this enough though, do not marry this list. Let the list simply guide you into the relationship that your heart has always desired. Let’s be honest here, no one ever thinks of every possible thing that they could either want or not want in a mate. Sometimes it takes dating and getting to know people to even see some things to put on the list. So how can you measure someone to something you don’t even know exists? My advice to you, do not let this list rule your heart. The interaction between you and that person counts more than the list. The qualifications from the list catches your attention, it is the person though that keeps you.