Relationships and How They Work


Equal Investment

This is about a concept I first heard from a psychiatrist in college. I was dating this girl. I was much more into her than she was into me and it finally bothered me enough to go see one of the health center shrinks. I have always remembered what he told lo’ those many years ago because it was so profound and so useful in assessing and troubleshooting relationships.

After hearing my story he said something like, “Listen very carefully to what I’m about to tell you:

Your commitment to a relationship is proportional to your emotional investment in it and not your profit from it.”

I sat there for several seconds absorbing that and what it meant for me in that situation. He then went on to say something like,

“Healthy, successful and lasting relationships come when the partners’ emotional investments are roughly equal over time.”

I see questions on Girls Ask Guys (GAG) all the time where people (mostly women it seems) are asking why he isn’t calling me, etc. Almost invariably it’s because they are over invested emotionally. The cure for that is one of two things: terminate the relationship or get him to invest so as to equalize the investments.

Men and women invest differently. Men invest most by doing: be it pursuing the target of their “romantic” interest, giving a girl a jump to start her car, helping her troubleshoot her computer, or whatever. Women tend to invest, to the degree which a man can understand this, by being affectionate and participating sexually. They also invest through care giving which is why they so often find themselves taken for granted. I’m not saying that women should be caregivers. It’s sort of the way most women are raised. They just need to make sure that he invests in return so that the relationship remains balanced in terms of emotional investment.

Bottom line: Ladies, get him to do for you and then appreciate the hell out of it (see below). Men, listen to her without trying to help in any way unless she explicitly asks for it.

I hope you find this useful.

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

All this is well and good but it begs the question: how do I get my partner to invest? As it turns out, our good friend, John Gray, comes to help us out. John Gray wrote Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus several years ago. In that book he made a number of keen observations. He’s also misogynistic in the book but we’ll discuss that another time.

One observation he made was that women process trauma iteratively, i.e. over and over. That’s why the same gaff we men commit comes up over and over. Each time she processes it, it becomes less traumatic until it disappears into the background noise of the mind. What that means for us men is that she isn’t expecting an apology over and over if that was what we perceived to be the resolution. We just need to let her vent.

Women process by talking. That’s in part why women have a covey of friends where they discuss all manner of things men generally never talk about, from shared child care to the length of our members and our skill (or more likely our lack thereof) with using them. Each time they talk about it, it’s less distressing and traumatic until it just disappears off the list of grievances.

Therein lies on of the major findings Gray makes in his book:

The most important thing in the world to a woman is to be heard.

That’s not as simple or intuitive as it sounds. There are many booby traps built into the relationships of men and women. One of them is here. When he says listen, he mean listen without offering help, solutions, or suggestions!! Just listen. Let them know you’re listening with the occasional question or comment but not with a solution to their problem. Women are really smart and ultimately competent to solve their own problems. They see it as respectful when we get out of their way and leave the problem to them to own and solve. If they want our help they’ll ask. Then, and only then, are we permitted to offer what we see as helpful input. Otherwise, put a cork in it, gentlemen!

Now for the ladies about their men: we men love to solve problems, especially for our women. The smart men solve problems in our purview: home repair, lawn mowing, half the housekeeping, and bringing home the paycheck. When we have a problem, we do the opposite of women, even though it’s often not all that effective and is sometimes counterproductive: we retreat into our caves. Every man has his cave and that’s where we go when we have a problem or are hurt emotionally. The smart woman, even though she may know the answer or want to apologize, stays out of our cave unless invited in. She waits patiently for us to come out.

There’s a little known secret about men. Those women who learn or discover it early benefit greatly. Remember those girls in high school and college that weren’t the prettiest, easiest, or smartest but they had men around them constantly, eager to be helpful? They knew this secret:

The most important thing in the world to a man is to be appreciated.

Ladies, we cannot get enough of it. We crave it and bask in it and just eat it up. So the secret to getting your man to invest in a relationship comes in two parts: 1) get him to do something, even something very small, and 2) and this is the really key piece that makes it work, appreciate the hell out of it! You literally almost cannot go overboard with this. For those of you old enough (and for those who aren’t, look it up), we’re like that cartoon dog, Snuffles The Hound Dog, from TV Acres. He would do a good deed and would receive a medal at which time he would float off the ground and sigh blissfully. That’s just a metaphor for men. Appreciate us and we float blissfully.

Bottom line: Get a man to invest in the relationship by doing something, even something small, and then sincerely and profusely appreciate it.

In summary, equalize emotional investment and find happiness.

Relationships and How They Work
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6Girl Opinion
1Guy Opinion

Most Helpful Girl

  • HookingSwan

    One of the most straightforward no non sense takes I have heard on relationships between men nd women.

    Yeah women should really appreciate when men do something out of their way for them. Who doesn't like to b appreciated? Its common sense.

    Like 3 People
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Most Helpful Guy

  • Levi9incher

    Garbage, and just standard shit you always hear. the idea if a woman"participates sexually" i am meant to be sooooo grateful. or i will do anything for woman in return for appreciation as if i am a worthless piece of shit.

    Disagree 8 People
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Masamii

    This is so accurate to me I just can't even say lol.

    Very thoughtful and very well put!

    LikeDisagree 2 People
    • AustinMan

      Thanks for your kind words. I'm open to chatting on message so don't hesitate to message me or post a question.

  • foriWish

    This is beautiful. Made me cry a little because I see exactly where I went wrong with the guy I recently lost

    Thank you for sharing!

  • smg99

    This is spectacular you are really hitting it to the core:)

    • AustinMan

      Thank you. When that psychologist in college made that statement about profit, investment and equality of investment, it was a major revelation.

    • smg99

      I completely relate. I have a similar self posed question. Should I invest with no principal ROI?

      If I see the credits and devm

    • smg99

      And debits of the relationship ledger I decide mentally. It’s hard but my crush showed me appalling disrespect. I was completely annoyed that my dish after 4 months was kept dirty with poor attempts to get it clean.
      Handed back home to me with sorry and a shrug of shoulders. Smug arrogant shit I thought.

      Wait till I don’t give you back timely as it is needed.
      This is not one but a few smug things he’s done. I got carried away by the eye contact and lingering over my body which I enjoyed yes.
      I turned my back on him not that he attempted to talk but kept looking. He wants me to fall for him to drop me again.
      I have been very giving I got Bull shit in return.
      Well karma does my bidding for me. I’ve been lucky this way. I feel that special bond with god if I cried in front out of pain.
      He is demoted in work , is going to be traveling far to his new work place in public transport and will not have even the likes of my lifestyle.
      I love god Thankyou. I cursed n it came true.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like I'm on the right tract :)

    I already read parts of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus book but this actually summarises it👍👍

    I'm waiting outside his cave right now.

    I almost forgot these excellent tips
    Thanks for the reminder 😊🌸

    • AustinMan

      It's my pleasure. I hope they bring you success.

    • Anonymous

      I hope so too. Thanks :)

    • Anonymous

      ***I recommend everyone to read it***

  • Anonymous

    That's a great read. thanx!!

    Disagree 1 Person
    • AustinMan

      So glad it helped. It sure did help me the first time I heard it.