by: Dr. Felicia Clarke
You got a new hairstyle, bought a new dress, and spent all day at the salon. He barely even noticed. He used to be captivated, now he doesn’t look at you. Is it your weight or age? Would Botox, breast enhancement, or a chin lift get him to notice? Well, he might notice when the bill comes, but new looks are not what captivates a man after you have been in a committed relationship for a long time.
While you do not want to ignore physical attraction, resources would be better spent on a vulnerability makeover than on plastic surgery. Women are taught to get a man’s attention by being sexy. This is the lowest form of attraction and feels empty when you don’t have more than that in a long-term relationship. Sexual attraction gets you sex. But, you want his full attention. Renewed sexual energy may get you attention for a brief moment during the night, but you want it outside of bed, right? Changing the energy you give off works better than changing your looks. The dance between warmth and mystery captivates him more than beauty compliance.
Warmth is friendly and open while mysteriousness is slightly aloof and assertive. Both must exude confidence and receptivity without approval-seeking behavior (even if approval is what you need.) A beauty makeover can help create the desired effect, but it is not required. A man has to feel that there is something different about you in order to be captivated, not just see something different. As you move between warmth and mystery, be vulnerable (yikes). Tell him what you need and why and it must be something that he can do right then. Let him know how he will benefit from providing you with the attention you need. Do not demand this kind of attention when you know he is busy, preoccupied or tired. More importantly, be sure the type of attention you are asking for is something simple, comprehensible and actionable that he can do – not a nag.
Nagging is a non-action oriented coded request or pop quiz like this:
You don’t look at me anymore.
You didn’t notice my hair or my new dress.
When is my birthday?
What color are my eyes?
Can you see that nagging has not stated what you need, why the need is important, or what gets fulfilled inside of you when you get attention? Do you see how the above nag implied that he should keep track of everything in your wardrobe so he knows when you got a new dress – something he will fail at doing?
If you want attention on your birthday, remind him in advance and make some suggestions in lieu of the birthday pop quiz. Below, nags above are reframed into a comprehensible and vulnerable actionable request for attention. "
When I tell you that I spent the day at the salon I need you to look at me and compliment me(your need that he can understand and fulfill). When you compliment me, it makes me giddy inside and I remember why I fell in love with you (3 payoffs – he is winning at making you happy, strengthening the relationship, and he knows that you still find him desirable.) When you don’t say anything, I feel hurt and unhappy. I worry whether or not our relationship is ok (your vulnerability lets him know why you need him to compliment you and also how to avoid relationship stress.)”
Can you see how the reframed statement does not demand, criticize, or set him up to fail? It is still his choice to give you the attention you need or not. But, since you set him up to win, he will likely choose to give you the attention you need over and over again. Men gladly follow winning strategies. Nagging is a losing strategy. Nagging leads to hostile communication or failure where nobody wins. Nagging is low confidence with a bad energy that he can avoid by not looking at you. However, he will look at confidence and respond to vulnerability.
Dr. Felicia Clark, specializes in the math and science of happiness. She also helps women get beyond body shame and be confident in the body they have. She hosts teleseminars and workshops to help couples have healthy relationships, singles choose a compatible mate, and to teach women why body acceptance matters to everyone’s happiness. Look for her upcoming book: “Body Shame BS” which reveals how body dislike and detachment among women destroys relationships and society. Join her mailing list at www.ebooklifecoach.com.