December 10- Do men search for control in a relationship?

Dear December,

I feel kind of puzzled after a discussion with a friend on relationships. She is older than me, and was insisting that in her experience, if a woman wants to be in a relationship she has to step back and give a man the first place in everything.

According to my friend, who is Spanish, men, at least in France need to feel superior to women. Women have to show them admiration, and show them they are the boss.

Ok, I have seen that happening at the professional environment, with older men, for example the wannabe boss. Especially those in a position of power who are not really confident on themselves and try to feel good by degrading their hierarchical “inferiors”. But not everyone is like that.

In relationships?

What if we do something that we consider worthwhile? Do we need to play it down so that our partner doesn’t feel threatened?

I don’t like this account, but in reality I don’t know if there is truth in it or not.

Let’s say that I don’t have enough experience in a long-term happy relationship.

Is it idealistic to believe that people can feel good together without having to prove that someone is the boss?

In this sense, dating a guy would be possible only if you have a “traditional” role where you don’t have any form of career. Be less than him in anything important… Hide your talents..

This has to do with comparison and not with opening our hearts. Is it how it works?

Why do we have to compete?

And then I got another advice from another friend, a man this time who told me on the contary to take initiatives in case I like someone. Invite him out for a drink for example. Normally he should be flattered. And then if he says nothing, at least I will be clear on that.

I also have a German friend, a man, who also advised me to be directive and not loose time. If someone doesn’t want to go out with me, it is because he is not interested in women πŸ™‚

I feel inclined to believe him πŸ˜‰ But should I?

man woman love.the relationships between men and women - stock vector

8 thoughts on “December 10- Do men search for control in a relationship?

  1. Well, I think we all need to take Psych 101. The fact of the matter is people tend to behave according to their culture, in a matriarchal society this is definitely not the case. And conforming to a cultural norm does not mean that men feel that way inside, but rather they are trying to act “normal” according to their culture.
    I many cultures men live at home under the thumb of their parents and frequently the woman actually controls the home front while in public the man plays tuff. lol lol Relationships are a psychological minefield and both genders are laying out the mines….lol Reality behind closed doors cannot be stereotyped they are far too emotionally driven. Nice post though.

  2. I tried this. My ex insisted that he be superior in our relationship. I gave in and tried to make him feel that way. Finally, years later, when he really was superior in pretty much every tangible way (I by then had no independent income, no car, no family nearby), he started beating me up. It was never enough, until I was subhuman in his mind and then all boundaries and rights became a moot point. Was it about his culture, his personality? Does it matter? So no. Don’t give up control to anyone, ever. If they want an unequal relationship they can get a fish. Shake those guys off like dirt.

  3. i know NOTHING about Psych! my thoughts are… and they are MY thoughts only…. πŸ™‚ but you should be YOU and if anyone wants you to be different… they should go and find someone that fulfills that needs… you dont have to change who you are for anyone, you will loose your uniqueness, your essence your soul. Love yourself and your soul mate will happen!

  4. Never give up control. A relationship is an exchange of give and take from both parties. You are an equal member of that pair. If you give up control it becomes a dictatorship where, as threekidsandi pointed out, you run the risk of being treated as subhuman.
    Having said that, I may just be speaking from a perspective I learned in my cultural background that encouraged equality in relationships?
    Great article πŸ™‚

  5. Physical abuse is a whole different topic. Although that too is often culturally driven it is beyond…far beyond… letting someone take the lead in a relationship. In my lifetime I have dated and had long term (6Mo or more) with several types of men.. while being with a man who needs to be first in everything all the time is unacceptable to me… being with a clingy subserviant man is also very uncomfortable. Finding someone who matches you in intellect, interests, life goals, and personality, and with whom you have physical chemistry is extremely difficult. Stereotyping all men is counterproductive. If a woman is not good at money management and her partner is great in that area is it wise for her to continue handling her money? Likewise if the situation is reversed should he let his partner handle the money? Giving up control is not black and white… there is a huge gray area that has to be delt with on a case by case basis.

  6. Well, whatever other people tell you, in the end it is what you want that makes you find the perfect fit. After all I read from you I don’t think you identify in a role where you are walking one meter behind your spouse. There is no law of how a woman or man has to behave. Every couple makes ist own rules. It only depends on how you are and what you want. Be who you want to be and you find your perfect fit.

  7. While I’m far from being any relationship expert, one teaching in my circle is that what men need in a relationship is respect, and what women need is love. While men need to feel loved, and women need to feel respected, the premise is that our male/female programming interprets different type of interaction as love. A woman does not have to be subservient to a man. Respect can be as simple as saying “hello” when you walk through the door, or asking him for his opinion (not permission)–especially for major decisions. I had men in my life teach me the language of respect, and it has nothing to do with dominance.

  8. ‘control’ is a natural reaction from fear. People will try to control and ‘limit’ another person if they feel threatened or insignificant.
    From my experience, if I seek to pull the best out of someone and encourage them on their strengths and successes, then they are no longer threatened by me and my success/strength.
    However, I am not going to waste my time with a man who is too insecure to allow me to be myself. I know plenty of men who are secure enough in themselves to be with a successful and powerful woman. But when it is a case of dominance, or becomes a power struggle between two people, then there is a lot of insecurity and fear going on in the relationship- which is not healthy.

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