Category Archives: 3-Heroes in Love


Heroes in Love – Hero vs. Alpha and Omega

Hero vs. Alpha and Omega

Women tend to think men rejoice at the knowledge that he is the great love of her life and that she would sacrifice anything for him. Tell him too soon, and he runs for his life. Too much responsibility, too many expectations. When dating, a man does not want to be the Alpha and Omega of a woman’s life. He does want to be the Hero. She will die for the Alpha and Omega, she will make sacrifices for him, she will climb mountains, swim seas and give up her home, change her job and her own plans for him. (Notice, she is doing all the work for him.) Alternatively, when he is her Hero, she gracefully allows him to do stuff for her and to impress her. (Notice he is now the one taking action.) Because he is the man, he needs to conquer her heart, not the other way around. He wants her to be worthy of his effort, and she should be appreciative.

He wants to kill the bull for her. When she is killing the bull, she is not very attractive. He will kill the bull for the woman he really loves, but not for every woman. It’s tiring. “For you I kill the bull, for your sister, I kill you,” said one famous man.

I am not telling women to play hard to get, I am only stating that men tell me they are hunters. They want to feel the prize was worth the hunt. However, men don’t like to explore a forest set with traps. A woman set upon “being in a relationship” with no other interest in her life, is trapping a man. Real life is not a Jane Austen novel – not in men’s books.

Men are wired to hunt

When a man encounters something new, he is curious. His senses alert him. He sees her, he smells her, he hears her and he wants to touch her. Now several processes are set in motion. His brain experiences a dopamine secretion. Dopamine is called the pleasure hormone – I dub her Aphrodite. Aphrodite promises pleasure – her allure lies in the anticipation of pleasure and in the addiction to the promise. Anticipation is extended when the hunt is prolonged by unexpected twists and turns, when he cannot always control the events, when he has to think on his feet and exert his skills to capture her. His testes release testosterone – which I dub Achilles – and it primes him for the hunt. It affects his risk taking abilities, his mood, his lean-muscle mass, it makes him walk taller, talk deeper, his muscles gleam and it makes his coat shine. He becomes a man with a purpose. Testosterone also spikes his sexual fantasies and he has a target in focus. Aphrodite and Achilles work in unison when the hunt is on. The third character to enter the stage is the hormone adrenalin – the cheetahs. When hunting, he will have to move swiftly. He needs oxygen in his blood. Adrenalin works fast to provide the fuel needed for the hunt, but just as a cheetah can only run full speed for 20 seconds, adrenalin is a short-term solution for providing fuel, it only lasts a few minutes in the blood stream. The adrenal glands which secrete the adrenalin, then release the wild dogs, called cortisol. Cortisol also stimulates dopamine and binds with the endorphins – the feel good hormones, or dolphins – which dull all sense of pain. The hunt seems glorious to the primed hunter.

Alluring Aphrodite promising pleasure; virile warrior Achilles flexing his muscles and swinging his sword; lean, mean cheetah bristling with excitement to chase; a pack of wild dogs baying and yanking at the chains to be let loose in their fury; and playful happy dolphins frolicking in the waves. Imagine this wonderful fountain of thrilling hormones flooding his body, readying him for action, like a naked Greek athlete crouching in the starting blocks at Olympia. He anticipates the hunt and the more interesting the hunt, the more he appreciates the reward. He has to feel he has earned it. How disappointed he must feel and what a let-down, when all this energy and anticipation is wasted when he runs a league or two and is then already presented with the winning laurels! It’s just too easy.

This is exactly what happens when a woman succumbs to a man too soon. She robs him of the hunt. He might linger a little for the sexual pleasure, but soon enough a new challenge will lure him away. Or he may linger much longer, purely for the sexual pleasure and because he is too comfortable or too lazy to hunt, but his heart is not in it.

Do not underestimate the interactive neurotransmitters in men, for it motivates them into action. They are wired and pre-programmed to hunt and they want the reward to be worth the effort. The more unexpected and unpredictable the rewards, the more dopamine is released, the more he becomes addicted to the chase.

This chase can exist even when couples have been married for 40 years. A woman who understands this hunting instinct, will never bore her man. Once they become firm life partners, she can inspire him and accompany him on other hunts. I know a famous geologist, who travels the world, searching for the most interesting phenomena, with his wife at his side, supporting his quest. He actually solved the riddle of the Sphinx, proving it was much older than originally estimated, by analysing the water erosion marks on its backside. This dates the origin of the Sphinx to about 7000 – 5000BC and not during Khafre’s reign circa 2500BC. This geologist dedicates his life’s work to his wife. What a beautiful real life example of how inspiration can work when the Hero finds his Muse.


Heroes in Love – Insecurities


insecuritiesMen often say they adore a woman with self confidence. If she acts confidently, he knows he will be privileged to have her as his girlfriend. She will be a great girlfriend to have. Believe this. Hesitate in any sense, and he smells the fear and runs. Some men say as soon as a woman feels insecure about the relationship or gets needy, she smells differently. Men instinctively withdraw when her smell changes. They can smell the fear. One of the biggest mistakes a woman can make is to be scared to lose a man. Once she inhibits her behaviour, or her standards, because she is scared she may lose him, she has lost it. The same apply to men, who are scared to lose the woman. I’m not talking about improving bad habits, I am referring to pretending to be the perfect partner and sacrificing one’s own preferences.

It works both ways though. When a man is insecure and is jealous and overly possessive, he is subconsciously signalling that he does not believe in his own capacity to keep her interest. He projects himself as a weakling and perceives other men as threats and he is not capable of protecting her. If a man feels insecure in the company of other men it makes the woman feel unsafe. Also if his aggression elicits a counter attack from other men, she feels even more vulnerable and unprotected. If he is beaten, she becomes prey. Aggressive men are not attractive.

Self-confident strong men are. It’s fine for a man to know he wants a woman and to show it – it is a sign of confidence. A little possessiveness is fine, a woman prefers others to know they are a couple. Jealous, acting-out behaviour and false accusations are not attractive. Neither are actions such as checking cell phones, opening someone else’s mail, usurping emails, cracking passwords, tracking cars and other stalking behaviour. One woman thought it was acceptable to delete all the women on his Facebook friends list. The world population is roughly divided 50-50 between men and women. So take it for granted that your partner is going to cross paths with a member of the opposite sex somewhere, some time, somehow… Not every encounter between a man and a woman is a sexual encounter or a threat to the relationship. Deal with it.

Insecurities are like shadows on the wall. When we were small we created shapes with our hands in the candlelight, casting huge monster shadows on the wall. These are metaphors for INSECURITIES. When we trace the origin of the insecurity back to the scared little girl or boy in the corner, we need to take that child on to our lap and tell them what a success we have made of their lives so far.

Then the insecurities dissipate. Don’t be scared of the shadows on the wall. It’s like Don Quixote fighting windmills. Men like women with confidence and vice versa. Women like it when men do things for them, but they don’t like men who are too subservient. Too many women are bossy, but deep down they don’t like it. I strongly disagree that men should dominate and humiliate women, but women also do not have respect for the men they can boss around. It does not make them feel safe. Neither do the men who bully the women. We will discuss this topic later in more detail.

There is a difference between insecurities and vulnerabilities. We all have vulnerabilities, even men. If a woman has vulnerabilities, it does not necessarily mean she is needy. Insecurity equates to neediness. Vulnerable means she needs a Hero. There is a difference. A man will not expose his vulnerabilities to a woman he distrusts. Men are adamant: If he entrusted the woman with his feelings and secrets, she should not use it against him.

Mens’ greatest fear is of being a disappointment. When he disappoints a woman, he is guilt ridden. It originates from the little boy not wanting to disappoint his mother. A woman’s greatest fear is abandonment. It generates needy behaviour. If her father abandons her, the wolves can devour her. So to men it is often fear of disappointment and the terrible guilt feelings that motivate them to certain inexplicable behaviours and to women it is often the fear of abandonment that drives them to become needy and clingy and manipulative.

The difference between “No” and rejection, is one’s personal level of emotional maturity or emotional insecurity. An emotionally mature person can accept when another person is not attracted to them. It’s simply a matter of taste. An emotionally insecure person will interpret the “No thank you” as a rejection. If you are rejection sensitive, get help. Insecure needy women attract Rescuers.

The problem is he will never be able to cure her insecurities. He will always try harder to placate her and never succeed, which feeds his fear of disappointment. Eventually they end up as two bitterly unhappy people, who resent and detest each other. Therapy can address insecurities and guide the person to resolve them. No one else can conquer insecurities but you.

Remote control behaviour

Trying to control another person is comparable to holding the television remote in your hand. You can fast forward, rewind, mute and freeze a television screen shot. You cannot remote control another human being. They are humans, not robots. If their feelings are hurt, you cannot fast forward them to “just get over it.” Nor can you fast forward them to feel more than they are currently feeling.

You can’t rewind and take back the hurtful things you said or did. You can’t mute them by not truly listening or negating their point of view and you cannot mute yourself because you are scared of losing them or alienating them. Perhaps you can adjust your own volume and tone of voice to soften the blow and be considerate.

You can’t freeze a relationship to status quo forever. It either has to develop or dissolve. One adult cannot tell or order another adult about what to do. Being together is a voluntary attachment, not an obligation which excludes free will. You can change your own channel, if you wish. Too many people imagine themselves as puppet-masters and are totally amazed when their partners finally revolt.

A last word on dating: When a man truly wants to be with a woman, he will make a plan, even move mountains, to be with her. If he is not with her, then there is a reason for it. A man is quite capable of loving a woman, but not wanting to be with her. This does not make sense to a woman. It can make sense to a man. I did not say it is fair.



Heroes in Love – Best female friends

Best female friends

A man cannot easily discuss his latest romantic interest with his best male friend. He discusses her with his best female friend. Only his best female friend – his female buddy – can interpret and analyse the new girl’s behaviours and advise him on what to do next. Only a female friend can alert him to typical female games, manipulations, flirting techniques and pathological behaviour.

Who is this female confidante who shares his inner secrets? Perhaps she is an ex-lover or perhaps she has always remained a platonic friend. Whatever the case, she now holds a key position in his life. Men value loyalty. When they put their lives on the line on the battlefields, they need to know that they can trust their friends – their comrades and allies – therefore they really put a high premium on loyalty. They are as loyal to their female friends. Woe to the new girlfriend who criticises the female buddy, or who experiences and treats her as a romantic threat. Remember, the female friend is in his tribe, and he will protect her. They are “Brothers in Arms”, not “Lovers in Arms”.

Most new girlfriends do not understand that they probably need the female friend’s stamp of approval, before he makes a serious commitment to the girlfriend. Men have wisened up to the fact that friendships endure much longer than romances. Therefore they treasure their female buddies. Usually a man has one serious female confidante and then a few female buddies.

When women fall in love, they tend to neglect their friends and spend most of their time with the new boyfriend. Men do this to a lesser degree. He may not be able to stay away from the new romantic interest at first, but sooner or later, he needs his girl buddy to touch base, catch up and compare notes. Men do not reveal everything to their romantic interests, but they do share almost everything with the girl buddy.

Understandably women may find this girl buddy a threat. I ask these women: “Do you not have a male buddy whom you discuss your boyfriend with?” Of course they do. And their boyfriends may not like this, at all, but we all have to cope and live with it.

The best buddy is the one who visits you in hospital, who helps you move, accompanies you to the vet when you have to put down a beloved pet, drives you home when you had too much to drink, gives you advice on the car or cell phone you should buy, or which flowers suit which occasion, and tells you when you are getting fat. Sometimes they gym together and go for a beer.

There are rules though. It’s not fair for buddies to refer too much to “the good ole times” and thereby exclude the newcomer, especially not if the buddies happened to be lovers before. The role of the female buddy is to make the male look good in the eyes of his new girlfriend. A true girl buddy will give the new girlfriend a chance, if she thinks the girlfriend stands a chance of making her male friend happy. If she suspects the new girlfriend is going to harm her male friend – no chance – the claws come out.

Just as men will sincerely protect their female friends and warn her against dating an ass, so they should value the advice of their female buddy re their new girlfriend, who may be a feisty vixen or a “broken-wing” in disguise.

It does happen sometimes, that both genders realise that the best buddy is actually the person they have been in love with all along. Friends for life can become partners for life too.


Best buddies aside, there is still the matter of territory. It’s acceptable for best buddies to hug when they greet each other, but it’s not acceptable to hold on to each other. The new romantic interest has a place reserved right next to the man, but she need not cling to him to claim him. Men do not like other men to trespass on their territory either.

One woman recalled sharing an apartment with her boyfriend’s sister when they were students. The boyfriend had a key to the abode. One evening she was sitting on the couch in the living room next to the deacon, who had the Bible open on his lap. Her boyfriend came in through the front door. He walked straight up to the deacon, lifted him by his tie and said: “And who the f*** are you.” “I am the deacon,” said the petrified man. “Oh,” replied her boyfriend, replacing the man on the couch and then retreated into her room.

The deacon picked up the Bible and fled out the door. “What were you thinking!” she confronted her red-faced boyfriend. “It has to do with territory,” he explained. “I don’t like any man coming near you, not even a male relative of yours.” The friendship with his sister has lasted a lifetime, the relationship with him did not. Years later, she became good friends with his wife though. Women are not lamp posts to be marked with urine as territory. (Some women do the same to men!)

Men do have this sense of territory. Many men who break up with a woman and who clearly no longer want her, still resent a new man on the premises. “Metaphorically speaking, I used to park in the driveway, now I have to park on the pavement, and there is another car in the driveway. I don’t like it,” said one man. Some men reserve the parking, by just giving her enough attention to keep her feelings going, but they never park the car. They might want to get back to her one day, but now is not the right time; or they think they may still find someone better, but they don’t actually want her to move on and they know they can’t expect her to wait. So they just reserve the parking. Ha!

One young man also proposed to his girlfriend. His plan was that he would marry her but she had to stay on in her brother’s home, while he went off to live and work in another town, until he could afford for her to move in with him. “No-go,” said the Big Brother, in the man-to-man talk. “You can’t reserve my sister like a table in a restaurant and only turn up over weekends and I must fit the bill. If you can’t afford her, then you can’t marry her.” The young man was being dishonourable. He could not claim territory and then ride off into the sunset. Leaving his brother-in-law to pay for the upkeep, would not provide an incentive for him (or her) to really work hard to afford marriage.


Heroes in Love – Habitats and watering holes

Habitats and watering holes

Single men and women often ask me where can they meet the opposite sex. Besides the obvious social media sites, which are quite acceptable these days, people still meet other people through friends. Many start cycling or join gyms, but no one is at their most attractive with sweaty helmet hair or smelling like Hercules after he had slain the lion. Anyway it takes a long, long time before people in the gym actually talk to each other.

Many singles state they do not want to hang around in pubs and clubs to meet people, especially the older generation. I have noticed that men and women differ in their habitats, like animals. Men are nocturnal and hunt at night. Women forage during the day. Many single women seldom venture out alone at night, because it is dangerous. They may go to the movies or dinner at a restaurant in a mall accompanied by other women, but generally they don’t like travelling alone in their cars after dark. They go to the malls and flea markets and food markets over the weekend, during daylight hours. When the sun sets and they have no date, they get DVDs and take-aways.

Guys sleep late on Saturday mornings and then lie on the couch watching sport during the remaining daylight hours. (Those hours when the girls are out there in the malls, in their pretty flouncing dresses). Or the guys visit Outdoor Expos, while the girls go to the Hobby or Design Expos. When the sun sets, the guys shower and get dressed to go out to hunt. (When all the girls are inside watching DVDs) When the hunt was unsuccessful, the guys go home and have a barbeque with their mates and get drunk and sleep late on Sunday morning, when the girls are hanging out at the flea markets and the nurseries and the outdoors coffee shops. Get it?

Sometimes they all do go out to music shows or shows or they listen to bands, or they do go to pubs just to socialise a bit. And then they are too shy or too drunk to talk to one another during interval. Get it?

Just a tip to the guys. Pick-up lines are corny. Don’t think yours is particularly original. It’s still a pick-up line. What would be refreshingly original to most girls is if you just say Hi, tell her you would like to get to know her and invite her for coffee. One man asked me why girls always cover their wickets. I answered if men would stop bowling at the wickets, the girls would stop covering them.

Match making

Women will easily introduce their male friends to female friends hoping to match make. Men will not. They are very reluctant to introduce their female friends to their male friends or acquiantances. There are two reasons. Firstly, men believe they do not need help to find a girlfriend. Secretly, they know they do, but they will never admit it. It’s an ego thing. So if they introduce a girl to a guy, they are signalling that he can’t find his own woman.

Men don’t object too much if their girlfriends or wives set up dates for communal friends, as long as they are not involved in the process and it does not backfire on them. Sometimes they object, but the wife or girlfriend persists. (One of those examples where she is not listening to him.) He probably knows some secret about the male, which he would not want to divulge because he is loyal to his friend. So if he does not think his mate would make a good match for her new best friend, drop the issue and don’t ask questions.

The second reason why men don’t introduce their female friends to their male friends is a tribal matter – it is primal. A man regards his female friends as members of his tribe. He is responsible for her and protects her. He resents another male moving in on the women in his tribe. Men agree with this. They usually protest that the other male is not in her league.

It’s not fair to the girl, who can make up her own mind, but it is the way it is. If a girl’s male friends tell her that her new boyfriend is an ass, she had better believe them. Due to their hero sense of protection, they usually only have her best interests at heart. She is in the tribe. Men also regard match making as a lose-lose situation. Ultimately they are going to lose the male or the female friend or both, whether the couple break up or get hitched. Men hate losing anything. They are quite open to their girl buddies introducing them to their female friends, though. They sort of expect it.

Sometimes a man may actually agree to introduce a female friend to a male friend. Then that male usually carries his stamp of approval. They usually refer to such a man as a “smart guy.” He won’t mind her dating his pal, because he honestly believes the other man will look after her, but woe to the man who messes with his friends.

Men have a code that they are not supposed to date a friend’s ex-girlfriend or lover. Girls have such a code too, but girls are less inclined to stick to it. The reason is that it is a status symbol, especially to younger girls, to have boyfriends. They may cheat, steal and borrow to get one.

Young men are more comfortable with being single than young women. Mature older people may have a different opinion. Once they get over the initial hurt of the break-up, they would want exes to find happiness. Older people know love and happiness do not come around that easily or that often any more and one should pursue it, when the real thing presents itself. Therefore they sincerely wish their friends or exes to be happy – I did say MATURE people.


Heroes in Love – Be adorable

Be adorable

How can a woman expect a man to adore her, if she is not adorable? The psychologist Carl Jung formulated the concept of archetypes. In any culture or country if we speak about the queen, witch, prince, magician, shape-shifter, king, protector, saboteur, etc, everybody will understand the characteristics we are describing. This is the archetype – an original or prototype. Let us compare the archetypes of a warrior queen, Joan of Arc or Boadicea for instance. A warrior queen out there on the battlefield with a bloodied sword in her hand is powerful, but she is not very pretty. She commands downwards. The knights rally around her, they are inspired by her to fight and they may die for the common cause. The warrior queen is someone to be respected, but not really someone to adore. The goddess on the other hand is also a powerful and wise woman, but she does not fight. She is feminine, she does not command, but the men willingly adore her and lay the flowers at her feet. She is someone they want to live for. Cinderella is neither admired nor adored. She was not even noticed, until she got all dollied up. A woman who yells like a banshee, who attacks and violently destroys property, who threatens to hurt herself, who battles and moans, sulks and nags, is not very adorable. Neither is one who slumps around in her track suit pants and Crocs all day, or one who allows herself to be a doormat. I ask again, how can a woman expect a man to adore her if she is not being adorable?

The same applies to men. How can she admire him for being the hero if he does not man-up to it? Beer-guzzling, couch-potatoes dressed in faded gym shorts and dirty vests, who never fulfil their promises, are not very heroic either. Neither are grumpy jerks.

Just a hint to the girls. Most men tell me they adore women in dresses. Soft floral print dresses. The actor said he loves it when a dress flounces. And they love sandals with heels. Not necessarily stilettos. Many men are a bit self-conscious when they have to accompany a woman who does a tricky balancing act on extra high heels. She is so focused on not falling flat on her face, she forgets to focus on him and just having a good time. Men like women who look good in their clothes, as long as they are comfortable in those clothes. And they don’t like women to wear underwear or pyjamas with cutesy teddy bears or little hearts printed on them. They are men, not paedophiles. Corporate suits are fine for the office and ultra-low cleavages at the office are inappropriate – it distracts them from their work, and the work is the quest, remember. Corporate suits can be worn with soft blouses and perfume. Stockings are fine for work, but fishnet stockings should only be worn to a fancy dress party or in the bedroom, not to work unless you mean “business” with the boss. Bush wear is preferred to dresses when out hiking or camping, and again perfume is always intoxicating, as long as she does not drown in it. Capri pants halving your calves, are out!

It’s very easy to spot couples on their first Internet dates – the women are all over-dressed!

Sensual is more sexy

A man’s sexual sense is sight. What they see usually arouses them. That is why pornography mainly caters for men. A woman’s sexual sense is touch. I often advise men, please do not touch what you are looking at (ie the cleavage or butt!) Stroke her neck, hold her hand, give her a hug, play with her hair and if you really want to spoil her, give her a massage.

Women will seduce men more easily if they focus on a man’s senses, rather than talking too much. What he sees, smells, tastes and if she touches him, is much much more intoxicating, than the words she speaks. Men’s senses are very deprived in their stuffy air conditioned offices. Women know the secrets of a massage, hot bubble bath, candle light, velvet chocolate, silk on the skin, back scratch…

I often advise men to take note of the brand of a woman’s perfume. Women do not only buy perfume because they like the scent. They also identify with the image of the girl or woman advertising it and the phrases describing it. This should give him an indication of the secret archetype he is dealing with. There is a great difference between women who think of themselves as mysterious and spicy and those who think of themselves as floral and fresh. If men can read the ad of her perfume and use those words in his compliments, she will be amazed at his insight.


Heroes in Love – Do your own thing. Don’t wait

Do your own thing. Don’t wait

Let us draw an analogy between “doing your own thing” and a woman on a chariot. When she meets the man, she can rein those horses in for a short while. It’s fine if the horses prance on the spot, it may even be sexy, but if she halts them altogether and she dismounts and the horses start grazing and grow fat and lazy… where is the attraction in that? Letting them prance for a moment or two and then setting off again, keeps it interesting. He can race to catch up, he may grab the reins and change their direction to follow his, or meet up again later, but waiting for a man is to allow the horses to grow fat and lazy. Men find it boring and predictable and they grow complacent. The moment she is no longer there, he may begin looking for her again. Or he may not.

As men can grow bored when womens’ horses grow fat and lazy, so women can also grow tired or even bored if men prolong the hunt or she may just meet another more interesting hunter along the way. Perhaps women should actually stop waiting for men to catch them and rather focus on all the interesting topics, events and issues in their own lives. One of South Africa’s famous actors once told me: “I wish I could just meet an interesting woman, who has a passion for something. There are many very beautiful women in the world, there are very few interesting women.” He did meet an interesting woman shortly after, and she happened to be beautiful too.

Do your own thing. Be independent, it’s attractive

Men prefer it when a woman does her own thing because it means she does not expect him to entertain her and give up the things he likes doing. Or he does not have to feel guilty about doing his thing. He likes her and he wants to spend time with her but he also wants to keep doing his thing. It’s fortunate if they have shared interests, such as cycling together, but it is not a prerequisite. As long as she has her own thing, whatever it is. So basically, men like an independent bunny? Yes. I told you it’s not fair.

Does this doing her own thing mean that when he asks her for a date, she should cancel other plans to accommodate him? No. If he promised a buddy he would come round Saturday evening and she wants him to take her to the movies, he will still go to the buddy, because he made those plans first. He values loyalty. He values her being loyal to her friends too but only if they invited her out before he did. He does not expect her to cancel gym to be with him, because he won’t. Not because he does not like her, he does like her. He just can’t allow her to rule or control his life. He will decide when he sees her, even if it is every day, if she is not busy doing her thing. Men don’t mind if a woman tells him he can’t see her on a particular day because she has plans, but then she should suggest an alternative date when she is not busy. Else he may interpret a non-committal answer such as: “We can make it some other day…” as a rejection.

Does this situation change when they are committed? I ask the men: If she is reading a book and she is on the last page and he comes in from the garden and calls her to come and see the bird cage he had built for her, does he expect her to put the book down and follow him? “Of course,” they answer. Should she? Of course. And when she asks him to do something for her, what is his first answer? “Must I do it now?” I did not say it is fair. Just smile.

Don’t ask a man when is a convenient time for him to do something. It is never convenient. Just ask: “Would you make a plan please. It would make me very happy.” And smile. He will make a plan. Remember the urgent-rule.

The dating game

Let me describe a woman’s approach to a date: So he asks her out for a date next Saturday evening. The weekend before the date, she embarks on a shopping expedition. She plans to wear her jeans, but she needs a new blouse. So she cruises one of the major shopping centres searching for the perfect blouse. She finds it, but now she needs shoes in a matching colour. She takes another half a day to look for shoes. She finds a pair, but she is not sure if she likes them. At home she hangs the blouse on the closet door so she can see it every night. She works extra hard at Pilates class that week to drop a kilo. Somewhere during the week she finds time during a lunch hour to return to the shopping centre to get that pair of shoes. They are sold out. She rushes off during the next two days’ lunch hours to other shopping centres to find that pair of shoes. She does. She also buys new perfume and lipstick. She remembers to book an appointment at the beauty parlour. She sends a whats-app photo of the blouse to her friend. Friday night she watches DVD’s, but she skips the pizza because she does not want to pick up that kilo. On Saturday morning she gets up at 8 am. She goes to the beauty parlour for a bikini, lip, chin and eyebrow wax, because you never know. While she is there, she gets her nails done because they happen to have the perfect colour to match the lipstick. She gets home at 1pm. She eats something light because she is nervous. Her friend comes over and brings her the perfect set of earrings to match the blouse. They research the guy on Facebook, reread all his whats-app text messages and analyse every word. By 4pm she draws a bath and fills it with aromatic bubbles. She shaves her legs. She washes her hair and conditions it and then she soaks in the bath with a green mask on her face, for 10 minutes. Her friend is happily chatting away. She applies body lotion, talcum powder and deodorant. Her friend blow-dries her hair straight. They also try out the new hair straightener. And they paint her toe nails. She irons the jeans and blouse. Her friend does her make-up. She doesn’t like it and they rinse it off and start all over again. By 6pm she gets dressed. Her pantyhose rip. Her friend dashes off to the shops to buy a new pair. No-one will notice if she wears torn pantyhose under the jeans, but one never knows … We all know what happened to Bridget Jones. She charges her cell phone, checks her handbag for tissues, deodorant, perfume, hair brush, ID, cash and her new lipstick. Her friend kisses her cheek and wishes her good luck. It’s 7 pm. She is dressed, slips on the new shoes, and sprays her new perfume … He arrives 10 minutes late, but he has brought her a bunch of flowers.

The man’s approach to the date: He asks her for the date next Saturday. He works during the week. Saturday morning he sleeps late because he had a boys’ night out the previous night. He gets up and grabs a coffee. He visits his mate. They work on the bike. They lie on the couch and watch a rerun of the rugby match. They pop a few beers. By 6pm he goes home catches a quick shower, uses the deodorant, combs his hair. He drives to her place, stops at the ATM at the petrol station to draw money. He decides to buy a lotto ticket because he feels lucky. He also buys mints because he forgot to brush his teeth. He spots the condoms, but buys a bunch of chrysanthemums instead. That’s why he is 10 minutes late. “You look pretty” he says, “and you smell nice.” She smiles and puts the flowers in a vase.

One of my male friends described his apprehension regarding Valentine’s Day. “Many men dread this day,” he says. “You make a date with a girl, but she has expectations. She expects you to book some fancy exotic restaurant, or to come up with some original idea like a picnic on Table Mountain or something and you live in another province. Then you have to buy the flowers – not from the convenient store, I know, but flowers are 10 times more expensive on Valentine’s Day, and so are the chocolates. And then you remember she is on a diet, so where do you book a restaurant that serves diet food and you skip the chocolates. So do you replace the chocolates with a teddy bear? That may be corny. Then you have to find a card. It is rather embarrassing to a man’s ego to stand in front of the greeting cards stand and select the perfect Valentine’s card. Usually we just pick the first one we see. Or we send an e-card. Then on the 14th you have to send her a message early in the morning before she sends you one. Then it’s the date and you have to dress up and if you happen to work late or get caught in a traffic jam, she does not open the door. It is very stressful to date a girl on Valentine’s Day, so many expectations. So most of us just avoid it,” he sighs. I answer: “Have you ever considered that the girl sometimes just expects you to turn up with a daisy in your hand and take her to a romantic movie? It is spending time with you that is important to her, not the trimmings. If the girl is more interested in the trimmings, you are dating the wrong girl.”

When a woman meets a new man, she daydreams about the first date; what she is going to wear, what she is going to say and how he is going to respond; where they would be going, how he is going to take her hand for the first time… and the daydream ends when he embraces her and kisses her. When a man meets a woman his fantasy begins with the kiss and rapidly progresses from there to getting her naked in bed.


Heroes in Love – Different definitions of relationships

Different definitions of relationships

A one-night-stand is not a relationship, so I am not discussing it here.

Do all men want sex? Yes. Do all men want just sex or sex all the time? No. Is his first attraction to a woman physical? Usually yes. However, a sexual interest does not guarantee an emotional interest. Sometimes a man’s sexual interest can last three months, but his feelings are lagging behind. Initially when men date women they do not have long term plans. He dates her because he would like to sleep with her and perhaps get to know her better. He likes being in her company and it makes him feel good. He does not even know if she will graduate to become the girlfriend, never mind ever becoming the wife. He just likes being with her, now. She smells nice and she smiles. The complication is that many women only date potential husbands. They don’t waste time with guys who don’t make the grade. Men can have a good time with women who don’t make the grade and they have a completely different tick list when it comes to choosing a wife or a life partner. Sex might attract a man, but it does not necessarily keep him. One man said: “It is easy to get a girl in your bed, it is more difficult to kick her out of your bed.” Men usually regard this as a “friends with benefits” arrangement. Very few women can handle “no strings attached” relations.

Although he may not be ready for marriage, he may still be looking for a relationship, for the present, or he is just looking for a good time. Remember the right girl at the right time and at the right place in a man’s life, principle.


Case Example

A 28 year old man told me: “I have been seeing this girl for some time now.” “What does that mean? Define seeing her?” I asked. “I spend time with her, we hang out, we go places,” he said. “ Do you see her every weekend?” “Yes,” he agreed. “Do you see someone else as well?” I asked. “No I don’t, just her.” “Oh. Are you sleeping with her?” I enquired. “Yes, “ he smiled. “How long have you been seeing her?” I asked. “A couple of months,” he answered. “In her mind then, the two of you are in a relationship.” “Nope,” he shook his head, “I am just seeing her.” I can see all the men turning their hands up and asking “What?” And all the women rolling their eyes and shaking their heads


To a woman spending time together exclusively and sleeping together equates a relationship. It is not a marriage proposal, but it is a relationship. To a man, it is not. It is only a relationship when he asks her to be his girlfriend and she says yes.

I remind many women that a man is not entitled to boyfriend privileges if he has not formally asked her to be his girlfriend. Men are inclined to take advantage of this situation where she assumes a one-on-one relationship and keeps herself unavailable to others, and he still hunts in many forests.

A relationship implies expectations

I asked the men what the difference is between expectations and a challenge. Expectations means he has to work much harder to please her and he has to give up doing things he likes doing and he loses the things that currently make him happy, without gaining anything. Expectations are detrimental to his current status quo. A challenge implies there is an anticipation of a reward. Winning her over is going to enrich his life, or make his life easier. Expectations also activate his current insecurities. If he thinks he would not be able to live up to what she expects from him, he will avoid her. He would rather stay away than disappoint her. Even if that is disappointing to her. If he can’t see her disappointment then it will eventually go away – remember the Tupperware-syndrome!

Too serious, too soon

Because men are not in touch with their feelings and they are still just seeing her, they get a big fright when she labels it a relationship or expresses her feelings, especially when she uses the “love” word. By three months of exclusively seeing each other, spending time together and sleeping with each other, she feels she can tell him she loves him. He is hardly getting to know her. When a woman jumps the gun and tells a man she loves him first, she is forcing him to face his feelings (to pop open those Tupperware containers), and he often runs, because it is too soon, or she is depriving him of the opportunity to make the big “love” declaration and she is spoiling his big surprise and the chance of making her happy and being the Hero.

One man said: “The moment she says that she loves me, it’s not fun anymore, it becomes work.” “Once it is called a relationship, you have to attend family functions with her.” “Why does a woman have to be “in” something? Why can’t she just be “with” someone? Let it be,” said another.


Heroes in Love

Heroes in Love

People in love are playful, like puppies, and a puppy is the cutest thing. Most women adore the smell of a puppy’s breath. If only someone could produce cologne smelling like puppy breath, women would follow men everywhere. Puppies grow into loyal dogs and our best friends. They play with us and protect us.

However, a puppy will wee on your carpet, it will dig out the plants in your garden and if you leave the gate open long enough, it will run after the bitch down the road. We decide that despite this we still want the puppy. Relationships are similar. There are certain characteristics about men that make them men and it may not be fair and women can’t change it. And vice versa. For instance: Men don’t do emotions. Women do emotions. If men don’t like women’s emotions, then men should date other men.

Ever heard of the expression: people fall in love, because there is chemistry between them? Not to spoil the fun, but there are specific parts of our brains at play when we fall in love. When we notice an attractive person for the first time, the left pre-frontal cortex alerts us to pay attention to this person and we experience positive thoughts about him or her. The right pre-frontal cortex – responsible for negative thoughts – is temporarily disabled. We see through rose tinted glasses and love is initially blind. Our brains signals the release of dopamine – the Aphrodite of neurotransmitters and the anticipation of pleasure – to flood the nucleus accumbens – the pleasure centre of our brains. The hippocampus – responsible for memory – records the positive memory of this experience and will recall it when we meet that person again. Add some testosterone, oxytocin and adrenalin to the dopamine and we have a potent love potion. It’s all brain chemistry.


One man said as soon as women get emotional, he leaves. No wonder he is still single at the age of 56. His interest in women is mainly sexual. Independent, adult, mature, single women do not take him seriously. If he can’t man-up to emotions, he may not be able to man-up in bed.

The majority of men are not in touch with their emotions. Ask a woman to list synonyms for the word “angry” and to arrange them in order of intensity: peeved, annoyed, slightly irritated, indignant, affronted, upset, angry, seething, furious, rage, murderous Medusa. Ask a man to do the same thing. He struggles. He is not language orientated and he is not in touch with his emotions. He can’t name them and often he cannot distinguish between them. Men have three basic emotions. He is happy – which means he is content – it is not champagne cork popping stuff, he is just happy, or he is sad or angry. Often men cannot discern between angry and sad. It is only when a major event really rocks their world that they experience or express intense emotions. Like their favourite sports team winning an international game. That causes elation. A woman they love breaks their trust – they are heartbroken. Someone hurts their children – they are murderous. One man said: “We are not bulletproof, but cowboys don’t cry.”

Besides the fact that men do not understand their own emotions, they also do not understand a woman’s emotions. They tend to react to a situation entirely from their own male perspective and they really find it very difficult to understand it from a woman’s point of view, because they are wired differently. Remember, men have cognitive empathy rather than emotional empathy.


Case Example

A divorced single mother struggled financially to raise her daughter. Eventually by the time the daughter was 16 years old, the woman had managed to buy a run-down little apartment. She was very proud of her achievement. She had known many hardships, but eventually she succeeded in buying her own place, albeit dilapidated. Her current boyfriend offered to replace her kitchen cupboards. She refused. She explained she experienced his offer as undermining her independence. Kitchen cupboards were too expensive, she could not afford to pay him back and she felt she exploited him if she accepted. The more he insisted, the more aggravated she became that he had no respect for her independence or that he had no inkling of what she endured to achieve it. She accused him of trying to fix her life.


I told her the following story: A mammoth had killed the male hunter. Due to these circumstances, the woman was forced to learn to hunt for herself or perish. She struggled and made many mistakes. Initially she was not strong enough to pull the bowstring, the arrows fell short, the deer ran away. Many a night she was cold and hungry and frustrated and she cried to the full moon and raised her fist, but she persevered. Gradually she improved and she became adept as a huntress. One day she killed a bison. She danced for joy. She skinned and gutted the animal, preserved the meat in the snow, scraped the skin clean and erected a tent.

That night she built a fire and ate her fried meat. She looked at the full moon: “I am a huntress,” she shouted, “I did this! I killed the bison and made the fire and I erected my own tent!” She was so proud of herself, she danced a victory dance around her fire. The goddess Artemis was proud of her too. The next day a male hunter came sauntering by. “What’s this?” he asked her. “I hunted a bison,” she said proudly. He squinted his eyes. “So what,” he answered, “what’s the big deal? We all hunt.” “I erected my own tent, look,” she said and waved her hand at her little tent. He walked over to the tent and pulled it apart. “That’s no way to erect a tent, it will blow over in the first wind.” He took the bison skin, picked up her bow and arrows, slung it over his shoulder and said: “Come with me, I will hunt for you. Come live in my tent. It’s warm and solid.”

The hunter had no sense or understanding of the woman’s pride at her accomplishment, because from a man’s perspective, hunting is natural. It made practical sense for him to have her move into his tent. Men can’t feel the same way women feel about situations, because THEY ARE MEN. The boyfriend had no issue with her independence, he just wanted to spoil his woman and be her hero. She understood. A week later the kitchen cupboards were fitted.

Women can often fluctuate between their emotions, without even being classified as bi-polar or having mood swings. Women know what they feel and when they feel it. (Women don’t always know why they feel it.) Men don’t always know what they feel. It is not that men do not experience feelings, they do. They are just not that tuned into them. They don’t know what to do with them and when men can’t figure something out, they ignore it. They hope it goes away. Men have this amazing ability, which I call the Tupperware-syndrome, where they enclose inexplicable emotions in a Tupperware container and place it in the back of the fridge and then they forget all about it. We all know when that lid pops open due to the poisonous gasses that have accumulated in the meantime.

Sometimes they are in love, but it does not fit in with their plans and then they hope it goes away. The sad thing is, if they ignore it long enough, it does goes away or it turns sour.

One man described being in love as being “catnipped”. Anyone who has witnessed a cat under the influence of catnip will understand. “We can’t think in her company, never mind think straight. Our brains don’t work. We say silly things, we trip over our feet, and we even giggle. Often we just stay away from her, hoping it just goes away,” he said. “Don’t worry,” I answered, “most women feel the same, but they will never want to stay away from the man.”