How To Become Suddenly Significant
You know the cliche. Men don’t like commitment.
Chances are, you’ve dated a guy who seemed to fit this cliche. You’ve probably asked yourself why this happens. And you’ve probably wondered if it’s even possible to get a man to want commitment as much as you do.
Today, I’m going to show you how to reverse a man’s resistance to commitment. And I’m going to show you how to do it by triggering a basic male instinct he simply can’t ignore.
There are specific reasons men avoid commitment. Discover what they are, and you gain the power to transform the way he sees you in his life.
Before we dive into that though, I want to talk a bit about other articles you may have read on this topic.
You’ve probably seen headlines like, “The Real Reason He Won’t Commit” or “Six Signs He’ll Never Commit.” These types of articles are everywhere. And they tend to say things like, “he’s not ready to settle down,” “he wants to play the field,” and “he’s just not that into you.”
Now there are definitely “players” out there. Men who just want someone they can hook up with. Someone who won’t get in the way of their desire to live free and do whatever they want.
I can’t help you with those men.
If a guy flat out tells you he just wants to see you casually. Or you know he’s seeing other women and has no desire to stop. Well, you’re probably better off investing your relationship energy elese where.
The things I’m going to teach you are designed to attract a particular type of man. The kind of man who is destined to make you happy.
Let me illustrate with an example.
The Guy Who Kept Pulling Away
There’s a couple I know who used to have a problem. We’ll call them Jack and Jill.
Jack and Jill had been seeing each other for a while. Whenever they were together, you could tell they were really into each other.
There was the typical passion that comes with the honeymoon stage of any relationship. But there was also a specific type of sweetness.
They cared about each other. They were invested in each other. There was real love there. But whenever Jill tried to take things to the “next level,” Jack pulled away.
He didn’t do this in an obvious, straightforward way. There was no conversation where he told her that he wasn’t ready. Or that he wanted to keep his options open.
Instead, he’d smile and nod when she brought it up, then change the subject at the first opportunity. Or he’d suddenly become less available to hang out for a few days. Or weeks.
If Jill ever pushed him on the topic, he said of course he wanted more. But his actions pointed in the opposite direction.
Jill didn’t know what to do.
“Is he lying to me?” she asked. “Is he just stringing me along?”
I didn’t think so, so I asked her to tell me more about Jack. I knew he was in his late-20s. And that he was just finishing up his residency at a hospital. A nice guy. Funny. Smart. Rolled his eyes at Grey’s Anatomy, but liked Scrubs. A walking Star Trek encyclopedia.
But I needed more insight about Jack.
Jill told me he was grounded. Someone who plans and budgets. A good enough listener to remember her love of an obscure comedian and get them tickets when he was in town. And he was working hard on his first draft of a sci-fi novel.
“No,” I told her. “I don’t think he’s just stringing you along.” “Then what is it?” she asked.
“I think he’s a Prince,” I said. He hasn’t built his kingdom yet. She was just as confused as you probably are.
Jack’s seeming inability to commit had to do with the inherent need all men have to be a hero. Allow me to explain.
What the Hero Instinct Has to Do with “Not Being Ready” for a Relationship
You may have heard about the Hero Instinct before. Just in case though, here’s a quick explanation.
This instinct is a drive every man has. It comes from our distant past. It is rooted in a man’s DNA.
We can’t control it. Most men are barely even aware of it. Not on a conscious level, at least. The Hero Instinct is what drove early men to test themselves against wild animals three times
their size. And ten times as strong.
It has driven men to war. To scientific discovery. To publish books of poetry. To climb mountains.
It’s an innate desire to accomplish things.
But it’s not just about accomplishing things. There’s a reason men are driven by the hero instinct:
It makes us feel alive.
For men, this type of achievement brings catharsis. Fulfillment. Meaning. It allows us to define ourselves. To feel pride. To feel worthy.
And it’s not just accomplishing the goal that matters either.
Having a heroic “mission” causes men to feel needed. To feel irreplaceable. Like they’re the only man for the job.
Perhaps you’re starting to see how this might relate to getting a man to commit. But don’t worry if it’s still a little fuzzy. I’m going to lay it out clearly.
Here’s what you need to know about the Hero Instinct in regards to a man “not being ready” to commit.
For a man to be able to commit, he needs to be able to open up and connect. This is not easy for most of us. We’re just not wired to be emotionally accessible in that way.
Unless we feel like we are engaging in a heroic act.
Something about pursuing a “heroic” goal cuts through our emotional walls. We lower them to accomplish the mission.
Which makes us vulnerable.
And that makes it the perfect way to connect with a man. To hook a man. Engage a man in acts of heroism, and he’ll feel drawn to you. Invested in you. For an act to be “heroic” to a man, it must involve one of three things:
1. Achieving something
2. Protecting someone
3. Earning someone’s respect
If a man can do two or more of these things at the same time, all the better.
But it’s not just individual acts of “heroism” that motivate men. Every man also has a sort of “heroic journey” that he goes on.
This journey has three distinct stages: Knight, Prince, and King. When I called Jack a “Prince”, I was telling Jill that he was in this stage of his heroic journey.
Men in the Prince stage of their heroic journey have a strong desire to accomplish things. Usually things related to work.
In Jack’s case, he wasn’t just finishing up his residency to become a doctor. He was trying to define his place in society by achieving something.
These things matter in relation to his desire to commit. Because men tend to feel like they have to achieve something before they’re “worthy” of settling down. They have to complete their mission, achieve something of significance, earn a reputation, or build a legacy.
When Jack pulled away from Jill’s attempts to get closer, this was likely the reason. He wanted to be able to say, “I’m the guy who did X. That’s why I’m worthy of Jill’s love. And that’s why I can now settle down and relax into a relationship.”
To be clear, this is not a conscious desire. If asked, Jack would probably have no idea about this motivation.
The closest he might come is a sort of guilty admission that he doesn’t feel like he has really accomplished anything yet. Or that he’s afraid he won’t be able to meet Jill’s expectations.
So that’s the first way the Hero Instinct can impact commitment. The feeling men have that certain things must be accomplished before they’re “ready.”
Not being “ready” also has a secondary meaning though. At its heart, the Hero Instinct is about winning.
You’ve probably noticed that most guys care a lot more about “winning” than most women do. Men avoid things they can’t win at.
When we take steps to achieve our “heroic” goals, those are little “wins” along the way. Tiny accomplishments that provide us with a rush of pleasure and excitement. These experiments make us feel alive.
Imagine a video game where a hero must defeat the big bad guy to save the day. Video games like this are the ultimate manifestation of the heroic journey.
There’s always a big, ultimate goal at the very end. Beat the bad guy. Save the world. Rescue the princess.
But there are also always smaller achievements along the way. Things like getting through a difficult level. Beating a bad guy of lesser importance. Gaining some kind of power-up.
These little checkpoints of achievement are not there just to keep the story interesting. Heck, lots of early games barely had a story.
Here’s why they’re really there: to keep us playing.
The game designers created rewards to keep people playing. Accomplishing one of these minor achievements provides that rush of pleasure and excitement.
Men desperately crave the rush of achievement. The experience of winning.
But there’s a flipside to this desire. If a man does not see a way to “win” at something, he will do whatever he can to avoid it.
This applies to relationships, too.
If he’s not at a place in his life where he feels like a “winner,” he will also likely feel that he’s “not ready.”
What You Can Do to Combat “Not Ready” Syndrome
Here’s the thing. If women waited for men to fully satisfy their Heroic Instinct, no one would ever find true love or get married. No one would settle down.
Or at the very least, they wouldn’t do so until middle age. Because that’s when most men reach the third and final stage of the Heroic Journey, the King stage.
“Kings” reevaluate what really matters in life and tend to care a lot more about finding someone to share the bounty of their success with. In the king phase of life, a man wants to share his experience and resources with others. He wants to be appreciated for what he has to offer.
Typically, men in the king phase of life feel ready to settle into a relationship. Obviously, though, there are plenty of people who find each other and settle into a life together much earlier than this.
I’m going to show you how you can be one of those people.
You will do it by making yourself a part of his heroic journey. Not just a part – the most fun, most exciting part!
Here’s how: you teach him that he can win at your relationship.
By that, I do not mean that you should bow down to his every whim. I do not mean that you should defer to him in disagreements.
A successful, happy, long-lasting relationship is a relationship of equals.
In fact, if you do a good job of helping him “win,” he’ll actually be working harder to meet your needs. And he’ll be doing it gladly.
That’s because “winning” in a relationship means something closer to the video game analogy I made earlier.
What you need to do is fairly straightforward. But not necessarily easy.
1. Create opportunities for him to meet your needs and make you happy.
2. When he meets these needs, show him appreciation for what he’s done.
At the core, all you’re really doing is giving him positive reinforcement when he acts in a way that makes you happy.
Just like a video game, you’re providing small achievements along that way. And you’re giving him that rush of pleasure and excitement when he succeeds.
You’re using simple behavioral conditioning. But it’s not quite so simple.
He has to feel appreciation for “winning” at the types of things that matter to him.
You can’t, for example, shower him with appreciation for letting you vent about your day and expect to give him that special “winning” feeling. Because men just aren’t wired to understand the value of that.
Women tend to experience gratification and validation from a direct emotional connection like this. Men – not so much.
It doesn’t give us the same kind of “charge.”
And that’s the reason why so many men struggle with just listening to someone talk about their problems as an end rather than a means to an end.
Let me show you what I mean with a quick example:
REBECCA: You are not going to believe what Sara just said to me. ART: What?
REBECCA: That I was never going to get ahead with my “attitude”! ART: Sara said that?
REBECCA: She sure did.
Here’s the reaction that Rebecca wants: ART: What a jerk!
REBECCA: I know, right?
ART: Where does she get off saying something like that to you? REBECCA: I’ve got half a mind to tell her to go shove it.
ART: You’re not going to get ahead? She’s been in the same assistant position for 15 years! REBECCA: Exactly!
ART: The nerve of some people.
Because all Rebecca really wants is a sounding board. Someone to share her frustrations with so she can blow off steam.
Unfortunately, this is closer to what Art would probably say in reality:
REBECCA: You are not going to believe what Sara just said to me. ART: Why? What did she say?
REBECCA: That I was never going to get ahead with my “attitude”! ART: Sara said that?
REBECCA: She sure did. ART: That’s not okay. REBECCA: Obviously.
ART: You should go to HR and complain. REBECCA: Huh?
ART: She can’t talk to you that way. HR will set her straight. REBECCA: I don’t care about setting her straight.
ART: Well, you should, or she’ll just keep doing it. REBECCA: Why are we talking about this?
ART: You brought it up.
REBECCA: To vent. I didn’t ask for advice! ART: Geez, sorry.
When presented with a problem, men tend to push toward concrete solutions. Guys don’t see the “point” of simply listening, so we turn it into a problem-solving exercise.
Most women have been involved in some version of this frustrating scenario with a guy at some point or another. It’s annoying. It’s hurtful. It makes you feel alone, like he doesn’t get you.
But he doesn’t mean it that way. It’s his way of trying to “win” at your problem. We can’t help ourselves.
When we’re in a relationship with someone, it’s often worse. Because we care more deeply. So we want to feel useful. We want to prove our worth.
Here’s the thing: you want to give your guy the feeling that he’s “winning” in his relationship with you. Because when he feels like he’s winning, he’ll be invested. He’ll be happier. He’ll want to make you happier.
He may even be willing to learn how to just listen to you vent.
But you’re not there yet. To get there, you need to help him feel like he’s winning.
That means getting him to help you with the types of things that feel significant to a man. The types of things he understands intuitively.
In other words, problems that are physical. Problems that have concrete solutions. Problems that he can help you solve with his manliness.
These problems don’t have to be difficult or complex. He just has to believe he’s helping you when he solves them.
Some examples of problems he can solve to let him “win” at the relationship include:
1. Opening a jar
2. Giving you a lift to the airport
3. Checking for a slow leak in your tire.
4. Killing a spider under your desk.
5. Offering an opinion on some topic where he has expertise. As you can see, these are fairly simple. Even cliche.
Will he notice this? Will he care? No. That doesn’t matter in the slightest.
The only prerequisite is that a problem needs to be solvable in a concrete way.
What matters a whole lot more is how you respond. Namely, when he succeeds at helping you, it is vital that you show him how much you appreciate it.
Because your appreciation is his reward. It’s what makes him get that “winning” feeling from helping you.
When he feels that way, it’s like he has a purpose. He experiences fulfillment in the relationship.
This, as you might imagine, is a very good thing.
Let’s look at a couple of examples of this – good and bad.
Erica is calling Damian.
DAMIAN: Hey, what’s up? ERICA: Slight problem for tonight. DAMIAN: Oh, no. What?
ERICA: I meant to get tickets before leaving work, but I forgot. And by the time I get home, they’re bound to be sold out.
At this point, the conversation can go one of three ways.
BAD VERSION 1
ERICA: I meant to get tickets before leaving work, but I forgot. And by the time I get home, they’re bound to be sold out. All because of my stupid boss! I was about to do it, but she tossed a last-minute assignment at me at the end of the day, and I got distracted. She’s been doing that more and more lately. It’s really frustrating.
DAMIAN: That sucks. But I’m actually home, so I could get on my computer and solve our little problem right now.
ERICA: What are you talking about? DAMIAN: Um, the tickets?
ERICA: Are you even listening to me, I’m talking about the way boss has been treating me.
Hopefully, it’s obvious why this one is bad.
Erica’s not really calling about the tickets at all. She’s just using it as an excuse to get emotional support so she can survive the day at work. All she really wants is for Damian to make her feel supported and loved.
She’s making two mistakes here.
First, as I said above, this is not something that will make Damian feel like he’s “winning” at the relationship. So if that’s even part of her intent, she’s failing.
Second, she brought up the tickets. That’s the “real” problem to Damian. But she only brought them up as a way to talk about her boss drama.
Damian is not just distracted by those tickets. He’s focused on them. Why? Because that is a problem he can solve. It’s a way he can win.
She may not see it. But he is drawn toward the solvable part of the problem the same way a moth is drawn to an open flame.
Not Great VERSION
ERICA: I meant to get tickets before leaving work, but I forgot. And by the time I get home, they’re bound to be sold out. It’s so annoying. I can’t believe I screwed up our plans.
DAMIAN: Well, you know, it doesn’t have to be screwed up. ERICA: What do you mean?
DAMIAN: I have a computer right in front of me. I can get tickets now. ERICA: Oh my gosh, could you? That would be amazing.
DAMIAN: Yeah, don’t worry about it. It’s really no problem.
Initially, this doesn’t seem bad at all. There’s a concrete problem that she mentions. He solves it. She shows appreciation.
But she didn’t use the full potential of this opportunity to trigger his hero instinct. Because she never asked for his help.
That matters. Asking is part of what tells him that she values him. Moreover, that she believes he can solve the problem.
He basically has to wave his arms and say, “Hey, I’m right here! Pick me!” Here’s what she could have done to trigger his hero instinct more powerfully:
ERICA: I meant to get tickets before leaving work, but I forgot. And by the time I get home, they’re bound to be sold out. I was feeling down about it, but then I realized you might be able to rescue me. I really need your help. Could you get them?
DAMIAN: Opening the website right now. ERICA: I knew I picked you for a reason. DAMIAN: And… purchased.
ERICA: You are amazing. Thank you!
In short, the right way to help your guy “win” at the relationship is to:
Present a problem with a concrete solution.
Ask him to help with that problem. Show appreciation for his help.
Then repeat, repeat, repeat. That’s the formula.
Of course, that’s just one real-world example of the kind of problem you want to ask your guy to solve. There are countless variations.
In His Secret Obsession, my friend James Bauer covers more of these ideas and examples. And I take you on a journey into the male, so you can see how he experiences relationships.
I think you’ll be surprised by just how many opportunities there are to trigger a man’s hero instinct.
But the example above should be a good starting point.
When he learns that he can “win” at the relationship, it alleviates the feeling that he is “not ready” to invest more deeply.
Because remember what was holding him back? He wanted to achieve something. To get a feeling that he has proven himself as a man.
He thought those achievements had to come from outside the relationship. But you’re showing him that is simply not true.
He can achieve in the relationship. And this causes him to like how he feels when he’s around you.
Don’t Just Help Him Win – Turn Your Relationship into a Heroic Journey
Helping him “win” at your relationship is a great start.
The positive feedback he receives will keep him hooked. It will keep him coming back for more.
But the relationship will likely still feel separate from his “real” purpose. From the goals he feels he needs to achieve. From his Heroic Journey.
That is, unless you turn the relationship into the most significant adventure of his life. This is one of the first steps in becoming His Secret Obsession.
Remember, at the heart of every Heroic Journey is a goal. To achieve something. To protect someone. To earn someone’s respect.
Men can’t help but be motivated by these things. They get hooked. They want something to work toward. A goal they can strive to achieve.
Typically, this results in a “grass is always greener” outlook. What they don’t have is far more exciting than what they do have.
To put it bluntly, it’s a big reason why men stray.
But you can channel this desire for something more. You can channel it back into your relationship. And it’s not that difficult.
Consider what a “grass is always greener” outlook is about at its core. Desire. Hopes. Dreams.
If he doesn’t have something to hope and dream about in his life with you, he will find it elsewhere. And then he will embark on a “journey” to achieve those hopes and dreams.
A journey that might involve you being left behind.
Unless you channel those desires. Unless you make your future together the “greener grass” he can seek.
Here’s how: deliberately hope and dream together.
You do this by regularly setting goals you want to meet as a couple.
Said in such a dry, straightforward way, that probably sounds really boring. But trust me it won’t be.
Allow me to elaborate.
In his heart of hearts, there are many things your man cares deeply about. I’m talking about very strong desires. Desires he doesn’t share many people. He may not even consciously understand some of his own deep desires.
But pursuing these things can make him feel truly alive. Happy. Accomplished. Heroic. The specifics are different for every man.
Your guy might feel a deep need for his own space away from it all. A house in the country where he has total control over his domain. Where neighbors are a mile away.
Or he could hunger for freedom from responsibility and the time to do what he wants. Maybe he wants to go places. See new things. Explore. Experience the world.
Whatever really matters to him, it’s your job to discover it. And there are methods to do just that.
James explores these methods in His Secret Obsession, a relationship course my friend and relationship coach, James Bauer, created to help women. Because you can’t really tie your relationship to his journey until you uncover the things he cares about most.
They are your window into his world. Into what makes him tick. Into what motivates him at the center of his being.
For today, though, we’re going to jump past that. We’re going to assume that you know at least one desire that energizes him.
Here’s how you pair that knowledge with goal-setting to really win his heart. Let’s say he wants something relatively simple: more time to do what he wants.
In that case, sit down and talk about specific things both of you can do to help him achieve this goal.
First, list all the time-consuming tasks each of you do. Cleaning the house or apartment. Mowing the lawn. Driving to work. Filing taxes.
Brainstorm ways to trade money for time. Could you pay someone to take a few time-sucking tasks off your plates?
Determine whether it’s worth it. Take it seriously. Calculate how much time each task takes. And how much someone would charge.
Time is one of the few things you can’t get more of in life. Finding ways to free up more of your time can create an amazing feeling of happiness. Especially if it’s one of his deepest desires.
You may notice that I suggested listing all the tasks each of you do. Here’s why.
I want you to free up time on both of your schedules. Not because you expect him to spend all his newfound free time on you. And not because you’re going to try to talk him into it either.
But because if you’re free, too, he can spend more time with you. And if you’re doing a good job helping him get that winning-at-life feeling, he won’t need convincing to do so. He’ll want more time around you.
It’s also important to try to look at this in a big picture way.
So far, the things I’ve written about are represent small steps toward a long term goal. Incremental progress is important. But there’s something else to consider.
Having a big, ultimate goal at the end of the rainbow is very important. It bonds you together in a special way. Because it links your future with his.
For the couple that wants more time, this ultimate goal might be a goal-date when you’ll plan to take off an entire year to sail the Caribbean together.
Or it might be the point in time when you have reduced debt enough to pay off a shared residence and take semi-retirement early.
The point is that you want to actively engage him in discussion of his dreams and desires. And then treat those goals as if they are a perfectly natural part of your shared relationship. Because making each other happy should be a big part of what you do for someone you love.
By doing all of this, you are turning your relationship (and therefore yourself!) into the most significant part of his Heroic Journey.
You’re showing him that he can go on a Heroic Journey with you. That you want to be his partner. That being with you will actually help him to become the hero he secretly wants to be.
And you can bet he’ll be “ready” for that!
In fact, he won’t just be ready… he’ll be fascinated. He won’t be able to get enough of the rush you provide him.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more ways you can tap into his Heroic Instinct. There is so much more you can do to become his secret obsession.
Interested in learning more? Then please check out the relationship guide, His Secret Obsession. It’s a guide to the journey you’re on with your man. And I’d love to share with you.