Article updated 2018

One too many a woman has protested my advice in anger, stating that we shouldn’t have to understand men, because what are men doing for US? Why can’t men understand US first?

But Renee, what about the fact that not all men are the same?

And what about the fact that understanding men is being a man pleaser?

I’m going to answer these valid questions, because I understand the hesitation to ‘go first’ and understand them, when your world seems to be full of men who aren’t good enough to be in a relationship with.

(Click here to take the quiz “Am I Dating a Commitment Friendly Man?”)

Women need to be protected from potentially being taken advantage of by men, right?

Actually, understanding can accomplish that.

I don’t like to think of things in terms of self-protection only, because I believe in true vulnerability in relationships, but if we are here trying to protect ourselves from men in our relationships, and that’s WHY we get so angry stating that MEN should understand women first…then ok…let’s talk in terms of self protection.

And that brings me to my first thought:

Quite frankly, ignorance is not self protection.

Demanding that others understand us first, is not self protection. It doesn’t GET anyone else to do anything for us out of love, it only gets other to do things for us out of guilt – which ends up backfiring on us a lot because trying to guilt trip a person or demanding things from them is actively being insensitive to them and even trying to cause them pain and suffering.

And people can’t love us; let alone like us or commit to us if we try to make them suffer.

And ignorance of men is simply a casual walk to death in our relationships.

In my books, not seeking to go through the pain of understanding is a recipe for death in a relationship.

It’s just so easy to say ‘men should understand us’. I know we wish we felt safer to go first and understand them.

But if we are smart, which I know we are, then we KNOW that self protection in the highest quality form happens when we actively, genuinely, see the world from the other person’s point of view.

Why?

Well, because then we can anticipate & predict their actions, know their motivations, be familiar with their worldview, and respect their needs rather than fearing their actions, fearing their motivations, and fearing their needs.

Understanding men helps us be confident with men, to sit back and not have the same anxieties that other women do, and to stop acting possessive and needy – which really makes us feel depleted inside.

When we make decisions from fear like this and choose to expect understanding, which nobody really owes to us, they’re always the wrong decisions. Because we don’t live in a world that warrants a fight or flight response like this 24/7. Unless we are in a highly abusive relationship  – even then, reacting in fear often fuels the abuse anyway.

(What Is The One Specific Emotional Trigger Within Every Single Man in this World That Inspires Him to WANT to Commit to One Woman, Want to Take Care of Her, Worship Her and Only Her? Click here to find out right now…)

Avoiding vulnerability is avoiding relationships with men altogether

You know what? I believe that avoiding understanding of others is an active way of avoiding vulnerability; and that doesn’t work in relationships. STRONG relationships are built when at least one of the people involved are willing to be totally vulnerable to the other.

After all, it’s easy not to trust totally invulnerable people; or people who are constantly trying to cover up their vulnerabilities; there’s a word for people like us in that state; and that word is ‘fake’.

Fake is ok sometimes. It’s just disastrous to make it a habit with everyone in our lives.

So, seeking understanding is genuine vulnerability. A lot of people ask me; what is vulnerability? Well, this is one way of being vulnerable. To seek understanding.

I assure you that you will be ok if you choose to understand

And I just wanted to say; everything will be ok if you choose to understand a man first. As hard as it is to try to understand another person’s world, you are not silly enough to get taken advantage of just because you sought understanding.

You are not that weak. Let other people believe that; your life is too precious for that garbage.

But what about if we don’t talk in terms of understanding men for self protection?

I remember once, I had a conversation with my husband and I asked him; ‘what is the one skill you would want our son to have at the age of 16-18?’

He thought about it and said:

‘The ability to see the world from other people’s point of view.”

Then he asked me ‘What about you?”

I smiled, and said; “I was going to say the same thing.”

As parents, we want our child to have the greatest quality of life possible, and of course, we want him to be as safe as possible.

And we know that, for example, when it comes to dating women, the worst thing he could have is no understanding of how women work.

And it’s not just a matter of; “oh man, he NEEDS to know how women work so he doesn’t get HURT “- it’s a matter of him being a strong person because he went FIRST, and because he can have better interactions and better quality relationships (the thing that really matters in life) because he has been present and attuned with women; attuned to their feedback and to their internal motivations – ie; what women are getting from acting a certain way and what women are getting from interacting with him.

This helps him towards a quality of life that is infinite – because, he gave himself the resources to go first, and giving ourselves resources and understanding means we are not at the mercy of our own stories in our head about how the relationship should be, versus how it REALLY is.

If I do my job as a mother well, then hopefully, he values going first, and when he’s present and attuned to a woman’s needs, he will be more aware when a woman is bullshitting him, he will understand the real reasons behind her actions despite the verbal “reasons” she gives for them. At least some of the time. I am aware that he has many years ahead of learning and he hasn’t even begun yet.

The opposite of seeking understanding?

The opposite of seeking would be to shut off, go numb or just be angry, or even just be apathetic and not care. And regardless of if my son’s physical body is alive or not, apathy is active death. I don’t want my son to die.

But not every man is the same!

Correct. That’s even more reason why we must seek to understand.

There are basic and different filters through which to seek to understand men. One of these filters is in relationships is the masculine/feminine filter. 80% of men are more masculine at their core, and when a man and woman meet and are attracted to each other, this core comes out just naturally.

If we want attraction to continue, it’s an important filter through which to see things.

But there are also many other filters through which to seek to understand a man’s behaviour and to see why he is the way he is and what he might need in a relationship with you. Including the inner child filter, the parenting filter (how his parents’ treatment of him shaped his personality), the filter of the three human brains (lizard brain, mammalian brain, and human brain), and many other filters.

I use some of these filters in my member’s programs, and our members find them helpful in their relationships with men.

(Click here to take the quiz “How Feminine Am I Actually?”)

Is seeking understanding of men going to mean changing myself and becoming a pleaser?

Absolutely not to the question of becoming a pleaser.

Absolutely, yes! To the question of changing thyself.

Of course it will change you. It changes us all. It’s a whole new world to delve in to. A fascinating world, and world of frustration and surprise and ‘ah hah’ moments.

Most of all, it’s a world of confidence and relief. Relief that our past patterns of anxieties related to men are not relevant anymore.

Relief that women have just as many mating and mate selection habits that cause men pain and hurt – ie: women aren’t the victims here; as is so popularly thought among modern women.

Does choosing to understand men first make you a doormat or pleaser?

Only if you aren’t attuned to him. I mean attuned, not ear-tuned, hearing what he says, which will only confirm a false ‘story’ about him in our heads.

Attunement to a man is the answer to the dilemma of pleasers. Attunement is being responsive in your interactions with him.

It means he says; ‘you look so beautiful baby, oh my god, there is no other woman like you, you are so sexy!’ and you are so attuned to him that you see that his words are speaking beautiful music to your ears, but that your gut feels his body language which is just sending you warning signals of; ‘sleazeball! Sleazeball!’

(By the way, I’ve just published my brand new DVD titled “Becoming His One & Only!”… and right now it’s FREE for you to get a copy. Click HERE to find out more details and how you can get your man to fall deeper in love with you and beg you to be his one and only)

We are pleasers because we are numb

Pleasers, including myself in the past, have become numb and confused. This numbness is not particularly safe; though it feels safe; and it IS safe at times.

When it becomes a habit though, it is a recipe for getting walked over; as with numbness, we are never in tune with how the other person is really feeling.

All we hear is their words.

Remember the quote: ‘‘a man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears” by Woodrow W?

Yeah. It happens when we don’t want to understand men (also when we are feeling desperate for love), and all we have to judge their intentions is what they say, and our lazy stories in our heads about being loved.

It’s ok, every woman has been there. You aren’t the exception, and it is so ok if you are there right now. If you are, it’s just permission to enter in to the new phase of your relationships.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

We’ll take it one step further… Patterns speak louder than actions. So look for the patterns in his relationships and behaviour and you will see clearly. I know you will.

Would you love to know the answers to your questions about men? Click here to read more about our program Understanding Men program…

What is something you’ve learned about men, or about yourself, that has helped ease your worries? What are your honest views about understanding men first?

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P.S. Connect with me on social media.

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Anna SbabyangeloutrightfieldJessica Wmike Recent comment authors
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Anna S
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Anna S

Hi Rene! I feel privileged to have found your blog – I find answers here that I haven’t been able to find elswhere, even from other relationship experts. I love how fearlessly you write about the differences between men and women. I have been despairing over the fallout of feminism…especially over the fact that the prevalent attitude among western women today is the sex differences don’t matter any more and men “should” be this or that just because feminists want them to. I agree that in relationships, the 1st filter should be the gender. On a side note I find… Read more »

outrightfield
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outrightfield

Relationships are built on mutual understanding of each other.

babyangel
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babyangel

you havenet wrote to me in awhile i hope you’ve been ok

outrightfield
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outrightfield

Hello. How are you? I have not heard from you either. I am fine, thank you for asking. I have missed chatting with you.

babyangel
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babyangel

i’ve been ok i’ve been talking mostly about health on here reaching out to other folks who i gave health advice to

outrightfield
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outrightfield

I have missed you so much I wish to give you a hug. We should talk more often.

Jessica W
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Jessica W

I don’t see anything wrong with learning how to understand men. This is a must if you want happy and healthy relationship with a man. I learned this in my journey. I also had to change within myself. Now, I’m married to a wonderful man whom I’m willing to be there for through the good, the bad, and the ugly, sickness and health, rich or poor. A person who is not willing to take the time to understand a man/woman is going to have problems when it comes to relationships and marriages.

mike
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mike

You are very smart girl about men to be so young.iam sure your husband loves you very much.it seems you know the secret to a mans heart.a man would slay a dragon for a women who understands him,accepts him and stands with him no matter what he has to deal with.its like traditional vows say,in good times,bad times,sickness,heath richer or poorer.i also believe its the same for men.

Abbey
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Abbey

Renee, you are truly heaven sent! I have always tended to trust my gut instincts when it came to my feminine desires. I have always been very “stubborn,” but I prefer “defiantly feminine.” I don’t know why, but I just trusted my instincts when it came to life and love. I grew up with four sisters and we are all so feminine that each one of us is always the femme fetal of school or work or wherever we are. The problem is that this world and my mother are constantly shaming and trying to control the feminine energy in… Read more »

'Devil-Eyes'
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'Devil-Eyes'

Hey, hey, hey Renee 🙂 I’m so glad to read this article, it’s just what I needed to read at the moment. I met one of my neighbors just over 3 months ago. I poorly with tonsilitis on the day and he apprached me with sexual comments. I didn’t think to much of it at the time but it wasn’t long before I started letting him in my home and getting a little close to him. Well I had a’lot of ups and downs with the man I’m talking about in such a short space of time. Everything seemed to… Read more »

Lisa Su
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Lisa Su

HI Renee,

I love your articles and blog and I read each and every single one of them. Actually I am in a very difficult and complicated long distance relationship for over 2 years. I actually need some professional advice and I would like to know how I can get in contact with you for some counseling and to explain my story a bit better.
thank you

Anna C
Guest
Anna C

Hi Renee, Another great article. I believe you always have to give first, go first. When it comes to companies, even, the secret to it being a great job and career for you is to give your loyalty first, instead of asking what the company can do for you. That is a secret I’ve discovered. When you do what is best for the company, and be loyal and trustworthy, understand the company’s needs and make them your own, and be aligned with the company’s vision, you will be rewarded. The same goes for men (we are really talking about men… Read more »

B
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B

Hi Renee, I just wanted to chime in and say that taking the time to understand men is absolutely worth the effort and yields awesome results! I discovered your website after I met the most awesome man, and one day it hit me like a truck that I could NOT afford to screw things up because his heart is made of gold (and I’ve screwed up some things in my past before)… so I went on a quest to learn everything I can about how to become a better person and found your totally inspirational words. 🙂 (I also took… Read more »

B
Guest
B

(*I should also note I’ve never actually punched anyone in the face, I just wanted to make the point that investigating one’s own stream of consciousness can be incredibly visceral!)

Ava
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Ava

Hi Renee, I am loving the timing of email notifications lately. ;P They seem so well timed with my small, personal victories Last night I had to take a few deep breaths and make the effort to understand a young man I am starting to date. He made a “confession” to me about why he could not call me the other other night (of all the times he calls and I don’t feel like answering, I was insistent about that particular evening). Initially I saw this confession of “guilt” as self-indulgent, overly dramatic, contradictory and a “red flag” (Ooh but… Read more »

fara
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fara

Hi Renee,

I have been reading your blog and emails for a long while now. I want to share with you what a privilige and honour it is to read your writing.
You are such a sweetheart. You have such a wise and beautifull perspective on relationships and on life.
You taught me so much not only about men but about my self. Thank you for being such a precious women.

I can’t wait for your book!

I am so happy for your success and your gorgeous family.

Lots of love

Angela
Guest
Angela

Hi Renee I have followed your website for 4 yrs the whole length if the relationship I’m still in. You see before this relationship I was 6 yrs free of any and all relations with men. I prayed and trusted God would bring the right man at the right time. And He did. Although I thought I was ready I come to realize I’ve have a lot of these attitudes beliefs that “I don’t need a man-I’m independent and why should I have to please or understand him- should be the other way around” well through reading your post and… Read more »

Joan
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Joan

Ok I know it works now. Well anyway, I’ve been looking back on my relationship with my ex. Right from the get go he was looking for pity. But this turned out to be a predator. You see, pity is a gift that we give freely, never demanded from us. Pity requires us to let our guards down, which I did, and this ended in some serious abuse. My new man, well he requires a lot from me. I’m always having to sharpen my skills that I learn here on the site. And he never wants pity. It’ll drive him… Read more »

Mona
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Mona

Understanding and compassion are very different from pity i.m.o.

Joan
Guest
Joan

Oh my yes Mona. And I had to understand the difference. My new man came from what I believe a crazy woman before, and he constantly looks for blame. It is getting better, because last time he stopped in mid sentence and didn’t say another word.

I didn’t get angry at him, when he was blaming me for things, I knew where it was coming from I would just tell him its alright, whatever was wrong will be alright. He would vent then it would be over. That is compassion and understanding I think.

Joan
Guest
Joan

I seem to be having trouble posting.

Joan
Guest
Joan

If he has enough troubles (is pitiful) then I have to give him the constant benefit of the doubt. I won’t be able to filter out his nonsense. This is not logical, its what happens though.

Katelyn
Guest

Hi Renee, What I have found through both my personal experience and through talking to some of my girlfriends, the overall attitude towards men and relationships, especially if he is being honest with us and it’s something that we have attached a negative or difficult emotional meaning to, is “Well fuck him!” In my books, many women, myself included, have told ourselves that saying over and over so many times, that we simply don’t want to understand men because it’s easier not to understand men. I remember talking to a girlfriend once and I was telling her, “You know, I… Read more »

Ann
Guest
Ann

I’m dating someone for the first time since discovering your website. It’s been five years since I’ve been in a relationship and I’m 46. I’m dating a very mature 32 year old. He seems to be the most emotionally healthy man I’ve ever dated and says I treat him like a king, which I do because he treats me like a queen. In the past I have always worked from a point of “what’s he doing for me”, and now I’m just really trying to understand him. The chemistry is there, the intellectual connection, and values. Now I’m seeing if… Read more »

Melissa Ginette
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Melissa Ginette

Thank you, Renee.

Kathrine
Guest
Kathrine

Hi Renée Thanks for yet another great article! I believe you are completely right! For me personally, almost all my problems with men have disappeared after I’ve started reading you blog and following your program “Attraction control” and gotten better at understanding men. Off course I’m not quite there yet (it’s a lifetime study), but I feel it gets easier and easier. I think one of the most important things is to learn to distinguish your gut feeling from your fears. This is really difficult, and I sometimes mix the two up still. I also believe, that understanding feelings and… Read more »

lisa
Guest
lisa

Thank you so much Renee, for this beautiful article. I have been dating somebody for a few months now and I love him. He cancels quite a lot of our dates though, and I get upset, but still go out with him when he wants to see me and it makes me feel like I’m being too easy, but I want to open myself to him and now ‘punish’ him. Also we haven’t slept with each other, he said he needs to feel in love with me first, so last time I saw him i said i would love to… Read more »

A
Guest
A

Hi Lisa, I’d personally say give it more time, and remember that he’s not the only guy around, and let him be, don’t try to control him, nor impose your wishes/wants/views like you’re the only one who’s in it (I am sure you don’t but just saying), and see how things evolve. Remain honest with him as well, but don’t be a dramaqueen, just remember it’s cool to tell him about how you feel “the Renee way” :p Remember, if you try to have him do something or listen to you out of frustration he won’t hear you, and will… Read more »

Rina kult
Guest

I agree with you totally! When I tell my friends that they should show their vulnerability like you have said,they laugh,they think I am being silly!I think women think men should treat them with flowers,chocolates and surprise trips,silly notion but they really believe it. Somehow they expect to understand them without them trying doing anything! Yes my girlfriends are in their thirties and they behave like children but I have asked them to read Renee wade,keeping my fingers crossed they see the light!! Thank you I love reading your anecdotes and look forward to it at all times! Keep it… Read more »

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