When Michael Lockwood was a single divorced dad, he’d often write down dating advice that he planned to give to his daughters when they grew up. Years later, he’s turned those thoughts and advice into a book “Women Have All the Power, Too Bad They Don’t Know It.” It’s a wake-up call to women who make mistakes in the dating game. Here’s an excerpt.  

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Just Because it Glitters Doesn’t Mean It’s Gold

Don’t be impressed by the unimpressive. Too many women sell themselves short by settling for a man with an attractive exterior. A man who is overly concerned with himself and his material things has no room to value you. This is a dynamic that has always baffled me. Just because a man is good-looking, wears a shiny new suit, sports some Now and Later gators, drives a shiny new car, and profiles a new Rolex on his wrist does not mean he is a good man. As a matter of fact, that’s usually the joker who can’t rub two nickels together. What’s wrong with the guy in jeans and a T-shirt, driving a Camry, checking his Timex to see exactly when his check is going to hit the bank? You’re tripping over dollars to get to pennies. Never allow yourself to be impressed by a man’s depreciating assets (cars, clothes, expensive rental apartment). That’s just a reflection of his debt. If you’re going to be impressed with material things, at least be smart enough to start with his net worth.

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Watch out for men who spend money frivolously. I had a woman tell me how flattered she was when her boyfriend booked her a posh hotel room, filled it from corner to corner with freshly cut roses, and had an expensive dress lying across the bed just as a surprise to show her how much he cared about her. Granted, I’d have to give the brother an “A” for style and originality, but when I said to her, “Wow, he must be paid!” she said, with a glowing smile, “No, not at all. He’s living with his mother right now, but he just really likes me.” All I could think was, ‘This fool must have fallen and bumped her head. I understand it may have been a flattering gesture, but don’t reward a man with attention and praise for foolishness.’ Now, if he has no problem affording lavish gifts, that’s another story. But if the brother is broke, you have to question his motivations (and his sanity). He must use whatever tactics are at his disposal to get the go-ahead for intimacy from a woman. Applaud your man when he exercises good judgment. Don’t reward foolishness. This brings me to my next point: red flags.

Don’t ignore the red flags. Some women are notorious for turning a blind eye to the warning signs, even if they’re staring them right in the face. Instead of those flags just sitting there while you ignore them, let me wave a few of them for you.

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1. If your man is living in his mother’s house for more than a couple of months — I give a small grace period — RED FLAG.

2. If he drives an expensive car, but rents an apartment — RED FLAG.

3. If he overaccessorizes — RED FLAG.

4. If your man wears more than one ring per hand, more than one bracelet per wrist, and more than one necklace per neck — RED FLAG.

5. If he is always the one who’s overdressed for the occasion — RED FLAG.

6. If your man is constantly spending money on you without regard to price (i.e., clothes, trips, jewelry) and he can’t afford it — RED FLAG.

7. If your man constantly asks to “hold” some money or expect you to pay while on dates — RED FLAG.

8. If he approaches you with a flattering, yet rehearsed line — RED FLAG.

9. If he says he has a job but can’t articulate exactly what it is he does for a living— RED FLAG.

10. If he talks about himself more than he inquires about you — RED FLAG.

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The Thrill of the Hunt

Relationships will always frustrate you until you understand this very important concept: Men need to be challenged. Men are aggressive by nature, and once we devour our prey, we’re off on the next hunt. This means that once a man feels he has you effectively under control, he will move on to the next prey that presents a greater challenge. As a rule, you should be elusive enough to keep the hunter hunting and accessible enough for him not to quit.

That means for you should to continue to live your life. Don’t drop everything to be at his beck and call. Continue to spend time with friends and family. Demonstrate that you have a fulfilling life. Men look forward to sharing the excitement of your world, but that’s impossible if you’ve made the man you’re dating your world.

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Society basically dictates that a woman should have a man on her arm. This additional pressure has changed some rules of the game. Once a woman passes the age of thirty or so, she is expected to be married and have a couple of crumb snatchers. What society thinks of you can best be revealed by the dumb questions people ask.

I’ve heard people say things like, “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you married yet? What are you waiting for? You’re so pretty. Why can’t you find a husband?” I cringe every time I hear those types of questions. Don’t let this pressure lead you to become the type of prey that lies at the hunter’s feet. Better alone than poorly accompanied.

Do you remember me talking about how men had to court women in order to gain their good graces? Well, it’s tough for men to do the courting if women are pursuing them with pit-bull tenacity. I know the word court is very old-fashioned and not necessarily hip, but it’s what you should require before you give him your seal of approval. A woman’s aggression works against a man’s basic blueprint. Again, men are aggressive by nature, with animal-like instincts — they are hunters. What’s a hunter to do when his prey basically walks up and lies down at his feet?

It’s the same thing that happens in the wild. Let’s say we take a lion out of his natural habitat and every day we bring his food to him. Now, years later, we put him back in the wild. Check out what happens: He can no longer hunt. He has become lazy and apathetic, and patiently dies because he is no longer accustomed to hunting for his own food. The same is true for men. They are so accustomed to women chasing them that they have become lazy and unwilling to hunt. Now, who created this monster? Women. And it’s going to take women to fix it. Ladies, always maintain your dignity. A man will never respect you when he senses you’ll stop at nothing to gain his heart.

I would love to leave that point right there, but I know I’ve got to go a little deeper. Never make life-changing decisions in order to be with a man you’re not married to. By that I mean don’t move to another city, change jobs, or change universities. Keep him hunting. I can’t begin to tell you how many women have done this and come up empty-handed. This type of aggression rarely, if ever, wins a man’s heart. “Just keep on living,” as my mother used to say. If he is serious about you, he will do what it takes. He should start by putting a ring on your finger.

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As a hunter hunts, he is very observant of everything around him. Therefore, it’s great to show your man you have a variety of skills, but don’t overdo it. Show him you can cook and clean and you can be the breadwinner if need be and that you can meet his needs both in the home and out. Just don’t do it to the point that he comes to expect it. What you’re ultimately trying to accomplish is to show him that you’re a very enterprising woman, which reveals to him that you’re more of a benefit to his life than a liability. You want him to crave those qualities you possess by not receiving them all of the time. Let him know, for instance, that you’ll only cook every day for your husband. Show him you’re willing to stand by his side — to a point.

When he feels completely comfortable and content, you’ve lost him. You must keep some of the cookies in the jar. You want him to see the benefits of marrying you rather than keeping you merely as a girlfriend. These are the things that keep a hunter hunting. He can think you’re the finest thing walking the earth, but if you become the aggressor, taking his rightful place, he will divert his attention elsewhere. A hunter will hunt a prey who hides, one who runs, even one who bites, but hunters never hunt something that’s hunting them back.

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