Tag Archives: inner game

Controlling Boyfriends (part 3): What can I do to change?

So what if you are that guy who notices he is the control freak and its ruining his relationship? What can you start doing now to change? Are you ready for some hard work? Are you ready to rewrite the way you think?

I can imagine that most guys don’t want to be controlling. I never did and I’d try to rationalize any way that I could. However, by stepping back and away from the situation I could look and see what my actions really were. So step back. Maybe take some time off. Try to see from the girl’s perspective for a while? Ask yourself “am I trying to ensure that a certain outcome occurs. Do I believe that I won’t be happy unless that outcome occurs? Am I actually less happy by working so hard to control the outcome than I would be if I just let things happen?”

This blog talks a lot about getting what you want. You want the hot guy? Be the hot girl? You want an amazing well rounded wife? Be an amazing well rounded guy, with a sense of direction to boot.  You like your freedom and ability to make your own decisions? Allow your significant other that same freedom and don’t spend your hours imagining infidelity and how she might break your trust.


Allow your girl (as if you have a choice) to hang out in settings that include other guys who could and might hit on her. Don’t question what happened. Don’t make yourself present. If you are present (a social gathering you are both attending where she is not necessarily evidently yours) allow her time and space that could invite other men to approach her.

Encourage her to enjoy and participate in activities that you both can’t do together. Maybe you have to work that night. Maybe you plan something with some other people. It’s important to have a life outside of each other. I’ve never been married but I think I can safely say this is important even in marriage. Certainly in dating.

Enjoy with amusement other guys flirting with her even in your presence. Ah this is a hard one. But who is she going home with. Honestly. If your girl is out with you and leaves you to go home with another guy you probably didn’t lose much bro.

Consciously ask more questions and give fewer answers. We love to solve problems (both men and women alike). We want to have a solution for our significant other’s tears and tirades. However, sometimes just asking questions and trying to understand is just what they need: not some well thought solution to a problem.

Try to go an entire week without once telling your girl what to do. Normally you should be assertive and make decisions. But if you struggle with being controlling you may be going to the opposite extreme, making all the decisions without her in mind.

Learn to put yourself in situations where you are out of control. Do this with all areas of life. If you can learn to master the art of controlling yourself when your circumstances are out of your control, you will go a long way in the dating game.

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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in James


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False Value: How we play games to increase our value and make it look like we have something we don’t

Value. This is what all of us are ultimately trying to add to our lives through relationships of one sort or another. Admit it, even if you are the innocent girl waiting for God to write your fairy tale love story, ultimately you want this love story because it will make you feel happy and secure and loved. You want to add real value to your life. Similarly for the most pragmatic, logical guy looking for the perfectly compatible mate: what you really want is someone who has enough value to you to add value to your life.

So what about when we meet someone we deem as more valuable than are? What if we really want this person? How can we offer them something of value when they seem totally content with what they have?

Girls what about that hot guy you just met that you’ve been hanging out with that seems to have it all. He is popular, he’s funny, and you love spending time with him. And yet there just really doesn’t seem to be anything you can offer him that he doesn’t have to make him want you.

Or guys, what about that girl that is independent and driven. She doesn’t need a man to feel secure. She has a plan and isn’t just waiting around for you to sweep her off her feet. This makes her all the more attractive to you. And yet. What do you have to offer her that she doesn’t already have? What would make her want you in her life?

And this is where we begin to play the game of creating false value.

One way a lot of girls do this is with sex. While I do not have as much experience in the secular world, it would seem that post college sex games are less common: people finally realize that sex is mutually beneficial and stop using it as a tool. But as the economist Steven Levitt once said: guys have always wanted more sex than there are women willing to give it to them for free. So many woman will capitalize on this alluring the guy through sexual attraction and then constantly teasing him either by occasionally giving in or by promising sex once a certain level of commitment has been reached.

I might receive a lot of flak for saying this and am willing to admit I am wrong, but it seems that a large percentage of Christian marriages happen because of this subtle understanding that the guy doesn’t get sex unless he marries the girl. While I would argue there are good psychological and moral reasons to wait for marriage, withholding sex as a tool to make yourself appear more valuable and to get what you want in other areas of a relationship is counter productive.

A second way of creating false value is to make the other person think they are missing something. You create discontentment in their hearts and cause them to think that they cannot live without something they previously were not even aware of. This can often manifest itself as false dependence. A perfectly happy content girl becomes dependent on a guy because he created a false dependency. She may have been fine driving four hours home to visit her family until he traveled with her and suddenly she couldn’t make the trip without his charming company. I call this false dependence because she wasn’t looking for a need to be met; he created a need by offering her something than causing her to imagine it being taken away.

This is fundamentally what marketing is. Making you miss something you didn’t have before by offering it to you and then taking it away. Being aware of the way these feelings are created can help protect you from falling from someone that you wouldn’t otherwise want.

A third way that we play games to create value is by creating false scarcity and demand. Everyone knows that person who always waits a few hours to respond to a text or phone call just to make it seem like they are busier. Many people don’t even think about this but do it out of procrastination. Others however, use this as a mind game. Guys will often disappear for a few days after a romantic night. Girls might say they are busy then be sure that they are seen with other guys in public.

This is basic economics. Because we as humans naturally want what we can’t have, high demand and/or low supply are two things that attract people. If a girl believes a guy to be “out of her league” she might try to appear as if lots of other guys want her so he will wonder what the big deal is. Alternatively, she can make herself seem quite busy every time he wants to see her thus giving the allusion of being scarce.

Most of these games are played sub-consciously. And I’m not necessarily saying they are good or bad. However two words of caution: if you are the one playing the game remember that other may realize what you are doing and your value could diminish greatly in their eyes. If you are the one being played learn to recognize the person’s true value and not be fooled by games. Playing the game is part of how dating works, but some people take it too far by creating false expectations of who they really are without adding any REAL value to your life at all.


Posted by on December 31, 2011 in James


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Why are all of my friends getting married and I’m not?

Ring by spring! MRS. Degree. Finding Mr. Right. These are all the subject of many conversations in Christian circles. Marriage is a good thing. Designed by God for our enjoyment and a real reflection of His beauty. Christians also preach abstinence before marriage, simultaneously sweetening the concept. Children are often of higher values. Many Christian girls are even brought up with the notion that they are incomplete until they are connected with the man of their dreams.

So if marriage is so highly sought after and so wonderful, why are all my friends getting their rings and I’m still unhappily waiting?

To start let me ask you a simple question: what are you doing right now to become the best possible girlfriend and wife you can be?

Are you enjoying your favorite TV shows? Working so you can have extra money to spend on cute outfits? Gossiping with your girlfriends and talking about who’s hot and who’s not? Involved in fun activities to fill every moment of your day? Regretting what you don’t have rather than rejoicing in what you do have?

I wouldn’t condemn any of these things (except maybe gossip) but let’s change the perspective. Which would you want the man you eventually marry to spend his college and early adulthood days doing:

  1. Playing video games eventually mastering World of War Craft. Drinking beers with his buddies. Flirting with other hot girls he knows he’ll never date just for fun. Watching football.


  1. Reading books on how to be a better man. Learning to understand women by interacting with ones similar to one he might marry. Cultivating healthy lifestyle habits. Pursuing a career that could support a family.

My guess is that most of you would pick number two. So putting the ball back in your court: what are you doing to make yourself that charming, appealing, helpful, hardworking, respectable woman that a guy might want? Are you pining away with jealousy every time another one of your friends says “yes!” or are you praising God that you have that much more time to become an even more irresistible woman?

Think about how much you prepared for college. It all started when your parents taught you the basics of life like not touching hot stoves and doing your laundry. You learned to read. Math. Social interaction. Writing. Driving. Interpersonal skills. For the first 18 years of your life you were being prepared to leave the home and go to college in the “real” world. Wouldn’t it seem right to put that much effort into something that should last a lifetime?

Once you’ve started down the right track of preparing for marriage you can start the often painful step of realizing why perhaps you aren’t getting snatched up. Perhaps you have a tendency to nag? Any guy who understands women and can emotionally connect with them can spot a nagging type woman often on the first date. If he is secure and willing to wait for the right girl, he will turn this one down without thinking.

Or maybe you are given to a negative attitude. You may be a beautiful girl with the most perfect smile and gorgeous curves. You may be more intelligent than the guy’s law school buddies. But if he senses a negative approach toward life he may look down the years of the future and realize a lifetime of negativity is not worth your company.

Here’s another thing to consider which may make some quite angry but I have to bring it up because rightly or wrongly it’s so important in today’s world: do you take care of yourself physically? Do you dress attractively? Do you eat right? Do you work out regularly? No guy in his right mind is looking for a Victoria Secret model. In fact, many guys prefer much more curvy women. But few guys want someone who is unhealthy or seriously overweight.

I saw an episode of “Lie to Me” where the lie detectors determine that a woman was motivated to pursue a guy because of his money. She loved him from her heart but had initially gone for him because he was wealthy. But before allowing him to ditch her in anger, the team of psychologists aptly pointed out “didn’t you desire her for her beauty?” He truly loved her, but that initial attraction was sparked by her outward beauty.

So before you judge a guy for initially being attracted primarily by your looks think to yourself: what was the reason I was initially attracted?

One final thought. Perhaps the reason your friends are getting married is because they are trying but not appearing to try. What do I mean?

To get a guy you need to go where they are. Meet them. Spend time with them. Become what the guy of your dreams would dream about. But when you meet him you can’t appear desperate. You have to be relaxed and happy with or without him. Be your best, but do so even when he’s not around so you don’t act differently in front of him.


Posted by on December 14, 2011 in James


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How to get Mr. Right

In brief:

Define Mr. Right. Write it down. Don’t be afraid to have exact things you want in a guy. In fact, review your list at least once a week and add to it or change it as you grow. This will keep you from falling for Mr. Good when you could have Mr. Great. After all being good at something is often the greatest thing keeping us from being great. And if you don’t know what you want, please don’t start a serious marriage kind of relationship till you find out. Just date around. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you are honest.

Stop trying to get him. Counterintuitive? I’m sure you’ve heard a story of the girl who is so thankful she didn’t stop trying to find the right guy because eventually she got him. But here’s the point I’m making. If you are so worried about meeting the right guy and getting your life fulfilled by him, you will emanate insecurity, neediness, and lack personal growth. Instead focus on being the woman you want to be. Don’t be so worried about finding the right guy. He will naturally be attracted to you if you are working to become attractive. Not just for him but for yourself. The more satisfied you are with yourself and happy you are without a man, the more likely you are to simply attract the right man without even trying.

Go where Mr. Right type guys go. Now remember you not trying to get Mr. Right. You’re just trying to shine in those areas where he is apt to be. You’re not going to hang out with guys who like to video game if you want a lawyer for a husband. You’re not going to go to bars if you want a pastor. Pretty straight forward. Go where the fish are for the best fishing. But don’t look for a tuna in a gold fish bowl.

On a side note (combining the first few points) cultivate characteristics that will attract the type of guy you want to marry. If I want an independent career woman, than learning to be a good house wife is probably not going to attract me. And if that is what you really want (to be a house wife) you might should re-think your definition of Mr. Right.

Cultivate genuine interest. Here’s where it gets tricky. Being too interested appears needy and being too coy makes it look like you are just playing games. These types of situations inspired the name of this blog; after all dating is a sort of game. Ultimately you want to be genuinely interested. Guard how much of your being you let show at first but if you are merely interested because of sexual appeal, desire for a relationship, or status, you will soon find that the rest of what really makes up this guy will annoy you.

Demonstrate value. This is an indispensable point for both men and women. Once again, be higher value don’t just demonstrate it. How do you do this? If you like the worship leader type guys show that you know a thing or two about worship leading, if you enjoy athletes pay attention to the intricacies of their game and show that you actually know what you are talking about. But don’t just show interest in their interests. You need to have your own. And you need other interests besides this guy. In other words stay busy. Have a life. And slowly integrate him into it. If you really have become the amazing woman he would love to have, shouldn’t you be worth a little work for him to get? Don’t say yes every time he asks to hang out. Don’t be anxiously waiting by the phone for him to call. Get a life!

Be the best friend but beware of the friend zone. Relationships are leaning more and more toward companionship. People want romance but they also realize that real life is more about companionship than white horses and princes. I think this is harder for Christian girls because marriage is so hyped up in our subculture (partly because of the emphasis on waiting for sex, which is good). So become the guy’s best friend but keep away from that fine line of become just a sister. You need to keep flirting and avoid buddy activities like hanging out in the basement with seven of his guy friends and talking about sports. A word of caution though, don’t take this too far, some guys want their girl to be comfortable with the boys and love having her along during guy time.

Be Mrs. Right. Think about all the amazing things you want your guy to be. And think about what an attractive, hardworking, romantic, understanding, loving, Godly guy he is. Don’t you think such a man deserves a similar woman? Work out. Eat right. Work hard at your job or college degree. Be fun and romantic. Read books on being a better wife/girlfriend. Learn how to respect and love a guy. Read what Jesus says about loving one another. Start this now. It’s harder when you’re already in the relationship.

Play for the long run. Once you think you have met the guy of your dreams and are headed toward a relationship, you must be on your guard for letting down your game. Certainly we all want to be love and accepted for who we are. And a guy should feel that way. But if you put on your best for him the first few months and then slowly slack off, he might leave you on the twelfth month saddened that you didn’t turn out to be the girl he thought you were. Always be your best self. Don’t put on a show. Be. This goes for your whole life.

If you have any questions please email me I’m not an expert but I think I know from experience a few things that work and a few that don’t. Let’s talk!


Posted by on November 29, 2011 in James


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How to NOT get screwed

Would you say that as a woman on of your biggest fears is being rejected once you’ve put your heart into a relationship? What about as a guy, would it be fair to say the reason you don’t talk to a girl is because you are afraid of being turned down?

These seem on the surface to be legitimate fears. We’ve created rational in our mind for why they make sense. If I get turned down by Becky than her friends will hear about it and I will be humiliated. If Anthony rejects me, then I’ll be humiliated and hurt and I don’t know if I want to go through that again. If Marisa doesn’t go out with me I think my confidence will plummet even further.

Remember what I told you in rule one? About expectations? Part of never getting screwed has a lot more to do with your mindset than with your actual circumstances. Remember how we established early on that innate happiness was the key to the entire world of dating. If not you will constantly come across as desperate and unfulfilled, you will be so wrapped up in outcomes that you will not be able to enjoy the moment, and you will never really be satisfied in life.

So practically how does this work? How do you keep yourself from rejection?

First change your mindset. Tell yourself that rejection and failure do not exist. The only possible response that you can get is feedback on how you did well or could improve. This is the number one key. To illustrate let me tell you a story.

Not too long ago I approached a group of four girls. They were young, quite attractive, and didn’t seem to need a guy to entertain themselves. This self-created joy was appealing and drew me into their conversation. I made a few small talk remarks and then began teasing them on whatever I could find to make fun of. It turned out they went to a school nearby which had a reputation for being lesbian friendly. This brought up some interesting and comical banter which also allowed me to realize two things, they were straight and they were single. All was good so far. However, when I tried to continue the conversation at a future date by getting a number they laughed. One girl in particular said that I was trying too hard and pointed out one of my jokes that she felt was desperate sounding.

Now I had established beforehand in my mind that I was just going to have fun. I wasn’t there to pick up a girl or get a date. I was simply going to enjoy laughing and conversing with four people I’d never met before. Without this mindset I likely would have felt the sting of rejection. I might have felt like I failed. I might have lost my confidence that evening and stopped talking to women. Instead I had a great time. Got a good laugh out of the story. And learned a valuable lesson. Some of my jokes just aren’t funny.  And I’m totally ok with that.

We’ll talk about the other ways you can protect yourself from being screwed in the future. But for the next few days I want you to practice changing your mindset. Whenever something doesn’t go the way you might have wanted it to go review the circumstances in your mind. Look for feedback in the interaction. Look at it as a challenge. Failing is fun not painful.

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Posted by on November 19, 2011 in James


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In your weakness be made strong.

Remember what I talked about naturals? How they just seem to have it all together naturally and that it doesn’t take any effort? I laugh sometimes when I hear guys say things like “Oh that’s just not me. I’m not that good with women. I could never get [insert beautiful, blonde, smart, intimidating girl here] to go out with me. I’m not [insert self-defeating label here] enough for her.”

It makes me laugh not because I want to make fun of these guys but because it’s so opposite of what is true. And by saying those things their creating a self-perpetuating, self-defeating habit.

Remember this statement: Your shortcomings and weaknesses are completely dependent on the power that you give them.

This is a basic self-help principle. The effects of the seemingly negative aspects of our personality are totally up to us. Suppose you are somewhat nerdy guy. You like writing blogs (i.e. myself), talking about philosophy, and reading books. You never really got into sports and probably couldn’t tell the difference between a rifle and a shotgun. You don’t really like to party and if you do socialize its normally one on one over coffee and some deep debate.

I have a challenge for you. Find out what you love. What motivates you and excites you. Become an expert at it. Love it. Be excited about it. Make it interesting because, well it is interesting to you! That’s the key, own what you love.Your first thought might be, “either I can be myself and stay single or maybe get a desperate ring-by-spring girl if I’m lucky, or I can forsake who I am and totally be someone different; but there is no way this is going to work.”

Now rather than going out and trying to impress a girl by asking her out to dinner at Olive Garden or taking her to a movie try this: Invite her into your world. The world you love. Where you are most comfortable and most yourself. Be as confident in demonstrating the value of your world to her as you would to another one of your nerdy friends.

Think about it. When someone is enthusiastic and knowledgeable and charismatic about something, even if it’s something you normally don’t care about, the spirit rubs off and you feel good. You know why I think most guys hate shopping with girls? Because girls don’t do it because they are experts at what they are doing and enthusiastic about their finds. Most girls shop because society says to fit in you have to look a certain way and dress a certain way. And so sometimes it almost feels like your freedom is taken away from you trying to please society. Am I right ladies or totally missing the point?

I’ve had the fun experience of shopping with a girl who simply owned shopping. She knew what went with what and where to get the best deals and unique fashions. And I had a great time doing something I NEVER do on my own.

So let’s take Paul’s Biblical principle and apply it to our relationships. Find your supposed weaknesses and make them your best attributes. This might mean dropping a few things (i.e. video games, I mean come on guys). But it might simply mean just being confident in what you already love, and taking that girl into an entirely new and exciting world where you are the master.

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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in James


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Rule 1a: Separate yourself from the outcome

Rule 1a: Separate yourself from the outcome

One thing that I have found in my experience is that when you elevate the outcome that you are hoping to get onto a pedestal, you subconsciously inhibit yourself from reaching that outcome. In other words, when you get so focused on the result that you forget about enjoying the journey, you often loose site of the aspects of the journey that make the result possible.

Solution? Separate yourself from the outcome. Don’t let the outcome fill your mind or your thoughts. When you talk to a girl she doesn’t want you thinking “how can I convince her to go on a date with me” or even worse “how can I make her my girlfriend or wife”. She wants to be enjoyed for who she is as a person in the moment. And most likely she can intuitively tell when you have ulterior motives.

Don’t get me wrong, many girls love being pursued. But being pursued doesn’t always (or actually as you’ll learn later, hardly ever) involve logical persuasion that you and she should be together.

That persuasion needs to come seamlessly through the connection you create by enjoying the moment and appreciating her for who she is now not what you can make her be in the future.

In the secular world you often see this idea applied with sex. If you want to have sex you need to stop trying (outwardly) to have sex. The phrase is quite over used “the hungry dog doesn’t get fed” but it is true. When a girl senses you care more about the outcome of your conversation than the conversation itself she is immediately turned off.

I’ve noticed a lot of “nice Christian guys” who, in their attempt to be good pure men who don’t just care about sex, loose the psychological reasoning behind those statements. They think that by openly pursing all the time and being that nice attentive guy the girl will inevitable see that logically they are the best choice because they are the nicest.

Not true. Girls don’t like jerks. That’s a myth (for the most part, you’ll see how it seems true in later posts). But when you approach an attractive woman often her first thought is “what do you want from me” or perhaps “not another one”. She’s used to guys who are only thinking about making her their wife (in Christian circles) or sleeping with her (in secular circles and sadly most Christian ones too).

If you can demonstrate that you really are interested in just enjoying her for the moment and not being dependent on some preconceived outcome, you actually have a better chance at something more.


Posted by on November 8, 2011 in James


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