3 Relationship Mistakes That Royally Suck

Here are three gnarly relationship mistakes that I was involved with earlier this week. These sucked. In fact, they were so bad that Megan and I are now in this weird detente state where we’re not talking to each other and neither one wants to make a move to re-start communication. Relationships are a pain in the ass. Avoid these mistakes like the plague.

Don’t forget Valentine’s Day, and If You Do, Fake It

Megan did some sneaky stuff on Monday, trapping me into admitting that I had forgotten about Valentine’s Day.

Guys: Do you actually care about Valentine’s Day? Seriously? From my perspective, it’s a major pain in the ass and a potential minefield with ZERO upside. And let’s not forget about the cost associated with making the occasion “extra special,” which could easily peg you for hundreds of dollars. Come on, let’s come up with a better holiday. This one sucks.

Girls: Do you actually do any work for V-Day besides getting lavished with dinners, gifts, and vacations? Seriously?

Here’s how it went down:

Megan: “Hey, what are your plans for this weekend?”
Lance: “I think I’m pretty much open. Practice on Saturday morning. Practice on Sunday morning. The roomies and I were thinking about throwing a party on Saturday night. How about you?” (Note, we ARE throwing a party.)
Megan: “Um, didn’t you forget about something?”
Lance: “Um, not sure. What?”
Megan: “You forgot about Valentine’s Day.”

Disappointment and hurt feelings ensue. This happened on Monday, five days prior to V-Day. I did have plans to take us to dinner, get a cool gift, and have us do the party after dinner, but I hadn’t made the arrangements yet. Anyway, she got really upset by the fact that I didn’t have this dialed in. We had a big fight on the phone. I should have faked my way out of the mess, but I was so tired of the gamesmanship that I lost my cool and dismissed her.

Don’t Make Your Man Feel Inadequate

Ladies, the absolute trump card relationship-killing tactic is to make your man feel inadequate. Just don’t do it. Avoid terms and phrases like “disappointment” and “not enough” and “I wish you were this and that.” I don’t even want to get into why this sucks so bad, but suffice it to say that going there will kill all attraction and generate a tremendous amount of animosity and resentment from most guys. This is the type of feeling that gets boyfriends referring to their girlfriends as “major bitches” to their drinking buddies.

If you’re a chick, this is how you want to engage your BF: Support, encouragement, have him solve problems and complete tasks. Humor him when he forgets stuff because he’s a guy.

Equally egregious and also to be avoided…

Comparing Your Man To Another Women’s Boyfriend

Megan proceeded to compare me to her friend’s boyfriend who HAD made “extra special” arrangements for V-Day, like a beach trip and flowers etc etc. The minute she dropped this bomb, I scolded her for the insult and then hung up. We haven’t spoken on the phone since. I’ve been seriously thinking about dumping her since the incident.

This is the coup de grace tactic for blowing your BF out of the water. Guaranteed, he will dump, cheat, and mistreat you after this occurs.

My Perspective on How To Handle This

This was a good old fashioned shit test, which I failed miserably. My opinion is that shit tests are immature and unnecessary six months into a relationship. I think shit tests play a role, but they should be reserved for the initial attraction process. Once you’re deep into a relationship, you have to shed this tactic and instead work through relationships constructively, critically, and rationally. Further, you should see your partner as a resource and a partner and not as an object that needs to be constantly tested.

What Megan should have done was bust my balls in good humor about forgetting and then worked with me to make plans that we both could get excited about. Her deal is that she didn’t feel “special enough” because I hadn’t been working hard enough to make the Valentine’s Day a big deal. I think her path was the selfish one. Agree or disagree? Or am I just a big douche?

Anyway, those are three biggies to avoid.

If you’ve douched up your relationship lately, you might also enjoy these fine posts:


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  • http://hammer86blog.com Hammer

    Man that sucks, bro, sorry to hear it. I’m totally with you on the whole valentines day thing. I haven’t had to deal with valentines day in a long time, and won’t have to deal with it this year, but I don’t know what I’ll do. Part of me wants to just use not doing anything for valentines day as my own little shit test, the other part of me wants to be that guy who her girlfriends are super jealous of.

    I’m thinking that maybe doing nothing for the first valentine’s day is a good call, then if you make it to a second, do something for that one without letting her know that you’re going to. But I think part of that strategy involves making sure that you are the guy who treats her right all the time, not just valentine’s day. If I randomly send her flowers on a Tuesday in the middle of November, maybe missing V-Day won’t be such a big deal.

    I do want to make a comment about your last section though. If you believe community dogma, then you believe that shit tests are partially evolutionary and partially social conditioning, but all sub-conscious. While you mention that you sort of like them sometimes, you admit that they get annoying to you 6 months into a relationship, implying that you haven’t internalized this belief. Entropy has a great blog post about the shit tests he still gets from his girlfriend and fuck buddies. If you believe that they’re sub-conscious, then you just accept that they can’t be helped and don’t get too worked up by them.

    Hammer´s last blog post…TSB AFF Challenge

  • http://www.worklovelife.com Holly Hoffman

    I agree with you on this one, Lance. I actually had a BF last year for valentine’s and we kept it casual since we’d only been dating for 3 months. I made dinner at my place, he bought me a rose and a dumbbell (which I thought was cool since he knew I was just getting into upper body workouts), and I got him a financial calculator (since he was getting into investing). My disappointment? No all-night sexathon, which I think is the only reason to celebrate such holidays.

    Megan sounds like a typical chick to me. Birthday, anniversaries, blah blah – we *all* forget them at one point or another. If you had intentionally left her out on the holiday, that’s one thing. (A la Date #4 allowing his mother to make plans for Illegitimate Child #2 & Baby Mama to come into town to celebrate his birthday… that’s effed up, IMO.) But you didn’t. You’re a dude; you forgot.

    I guess you just have to decide if you’re willing to put up with typical.

    Holly Hoffman´s last blog post…Living Like Your Life Depends On It

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Hm. I have never been in a relationship where the guy surprised me with something amazing on Valentine’s Day. Isn’t dating supposed to be about finding the right PARTNER for you? Especially if you’re six months in, shouldn’t you be planning things TOGETHER?

    About three weeks ago, the BF and I decided where we would eat dinner on Valentine’s Day – a fancy restaurant that I’d had a drink at with some of my sorority alums that had a great menu but I didn’t get a chance to eat anything. I can’t remember who initiated the conversation about deciding what to do, but I know I made the reservations. We also established a price limit on gifts that we would EACH buy for each other (a modest $30).

    The first year we were dating we ate in from PF Chang’s. Last year we had sushi because that’s what he wanted to do. We have always each bought each other gifts and each had an equal say in the cost of those gifts and on the activities of the evening. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just don’t get the “sweep me off my feet” approach to relationships – there’s no way that’s a sustainable approach to life.

    Honey´s last blog post…Our Financial Philosophy: Or, Grocery Store, Part Deux

  • Chris

    The “her boyfriend did x,y,z” qualifies as “Oh my God, the world outside of me doesn’t exist” selfish. Ask her, yeah, but does she do what he wants – dirty porn sex/leave him alone to watch The Detonators/ football Sundays etc. Because he’s not doing it because he enjoys being bitched at and belittled…

    A female friend of mine pointed out to me that VDay sucks because it puts so much strain on a relationship. She tells her female friends to remember that VDay, like the relationship, is a 2-DVD box set. One is “hers” – flowers, kittens, thoughtful boyfriend/hubby, who remembers the special days. The other is “his” which she claims thinks contains a cross NFL highlights and a 24/7 bachelor party – sports, beer, and boobies. Which is why her and her fiance always throw an open party for VDay. No dates allowed unless you are “together”, none of this bring a date shit for them!

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    Hammer, great comment, and thanks for checking in.

    There’s a lot of community dogma I don’t buy, but there are plenty of principles about attraction and relationships that I do believe in. Deida writes about how it’s natural for women to be “storms” and to test their men. That’s fine and all, but there’s no question verbally trapping a SO and then insulting him is immature. I see it the same as neediness in men. Immature chicks have a need to feel special, like they’re princesses, and that needs to change, because it isn’t sustainable in a healthy LTR.

    If that immature girl is my GF, then I’m going to try to condition her to NOT do those negative behaviors. Ignoring it or accepting it is the wrong response.

    Can you send me the link to the Entropy post? I’d be interested in checking that out.

  • Me Thinks

    I sort of hate Valentine’s Day and I have always preferred it low key myself. I’m not one for being “lavished with gifts” but I know a lot of chicks are, its like an obligation. I think it’s hell on new relationships, too much pressure and Honey is right, its probably best if you choose something together.

    But it is nice to do a little something if you are in a serious relationship. I got my bf a book on math theories (he’s geeked for math), a hot schoolgirl outfit for me and a sex position book, he’s going to flip for that shit. But I do stuff like that all the time for him. I told I got him a little something so he wouldn’t be caught off guard but honestly I wouldn’t care if he didn’t get me anything and we just fucked like rabbits and then went out for a few drinks. Its just not important.

    What matters is the stuff you do consistently and not the special occasion crap.

    But, I gotta say it. This girl you are with sounds really immature. Its one thing if she’s a little bummed you aren’t Mr. Cliche Romance but another to take it to this level. More importantly, I think its mutual. The “I wish you were this and that” discussion on her part and your trying to “condition her” to behave differently is no different. When a relationship works, is healthy and mutually gratifying, you don’t think about how you wish your partner were different.

    Of course if you go all out with your girl, you could always work it for some payback on Steak & BJ Day March 14th…

  • http://www.vcarded.com The Virgin

    I don’t blame you for overlooking V-Day, it did seem to sneak up. I wouldn’t have done anything different, and you’re right, few guys give a damn about V-Day unless they’re in the fourth grade and want a valentine from little Suzy Carter.

    V-Day is etched in people’s heads like Christmas, you “have” to buy a nice gift. Interesting thing is…at Christmas you equally see marketing and commercials targeted at both sexes, but at V-Day, it’s always the guys being targeted to buy the girl something really nice.

    The Virgin´s last blog post…The heat is on

  • http://hammer86blog.com Hammer

    Yea man I’m not saying you responded wrong to it, I just think that you’re letting it effect your emotions more than you should. Conditioning it out of her is a good move, but getting upset about it causes you unnecessary pain.

    http://entropy4.blogspot.com/2008/12/dealing-with-shit-tests-and-insults.html

    Hammer´s last blog post…TSB AFF Challenge

  • http://20-forty.com/ lisaq

    Valentine’s Day sucks. Period. It’s a lose-lose holiday. It takes way too much finesse to navigate because, for some damn reason, this one day causes people to freak out over stupid shit. It’s one day and, yes, it happens to be a Saturday this year. Big deal. It’s about what happens every other day of the year in your relationship not one silly retail holiday.

    lisaq´s last blog post…25 Random Things About Me-The Dating/Relationship Version

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    I’m with you, Me Thinks – I haven’t heard Lance say much positive about her (on or off the blog) since they first started dating. Six months is approaching “shit or get off the pot” territory and it sounds like there are major issues still surfacing.

    I am of the opinion that there are plenty of people who get a certain type of satisfaction out of being disappointed by others. While that kind of character flaw can be mistaken for a “shit test” early in a relationship, if it’s still going on six months later, that’s how she is. I don’t think Lance is that way, though, so I think this relationship will ultimately end – it’s just a question of when he starts to not get as much value out as he’s putting in.

    Honey´s last blog post…Home Ownership is for Suckers

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    The Virgin, it’s not all guys who hate V-Day. The BF *loves* to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s day and would never forget any of them (they’re on his online calendar and Blackberry and he gets e-mail reminders, but I think he’d remember no matter what).

    He’s way more into that stuff than I am, in fact, and said just yesterday that once his debt is paid off he looks forward to being able to buy me expensive things “just because” or to pay for trips for us.

    It’s a personal thing, not a girl/guy thing.

    Honey´s last blog post…Home Ownership is for Suckers

  • http://www.thedateabledork.com The Dateable Dork

    Lance, I am totally with you re: “don’t forget Valentine’s Day.” Listen, I’m a girl, and I want *something* on V-Day. I don’t care what it is, how much (or how little) it cost, or how much thought/effort/time he put into it. It doesn’t matter. I just want *some* little acknowledgement that he didn’t forget and still thinks I’m the shit. Know what I mean? Same with my birthday – no big present necessary, just don’t forget!

    Oh, and I agree with Holly – the all-night sexathon is totally the best part!

    The Dateable Dork´s last blog post…Waaaa… I miss my fuck-buddies

  • http://www.luvem-leavem.blogspot.com Tina T

    As a woman, I think that Valentine’s Day is overrated. It’s much more important to be treated well all the time than to spend money on gifts or dinner that will cost half as much on Feb 15. The gratitude that I get from my husband for not requiring him to remember Valentine’s Day outweighs any gift he could get me anyway.

    Tina T´s last blog post…Valentine’s Day – Scam or Something to Celebrate

  • http://www.projectinfinity.me/dating Infinity

    I agree here, Lance. I think it’s important to acknowledge V-Day and let her know how you feel and what you would like to do. Share in the plan making. That’s pretty much all there is too it.

    As for the other two, they are two things that aren’t tolerable for me. Period.

    It all comes down to respect. Give it. Get it. Good.

    Everyone have a good V-Day!

    Infinity´s last blog post…Stop Making Excuses [Video]

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    I’m all for constructively working though problems, but there are some major red flags here that you’ve already identified. She expects too much from V-day. And she should NEVER compare you to her friend’s boyfriend. That’s one that will never change. Run from her like the plague.

    I did a white tantra group seminar on V-day, and it rocked. I’ll blog a recap tomorrow.

    dadshouse´s last blog post…Dream Woman Nightmare

  • http://blogs.marinij.com/katwilder Kat Wilder

    So, Lance, did you express those feelings to Megan in a loving, humorous way?

    Six months into a relationship is still a new relationship, in which both of you need to be paying attention to how the other acts and responds and makes us feel when we’re with them.

    Megan sounds like she needs to get a little more grounded and mature, and both of you need to work on communication.

    But no one should ever compare his/her lover with someone else’s. Really bad mojo …

    Kat Wilder´s last blog post…Why beauty should always pick the beast

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