Last month I embarked on the Relationship section of my book. I thought it would be the hardest section to write, and I was right.

As it turns out, I’m pretty good at relationships: knowing what to do with my girlfriend, when, and how, comes naturally to me.

Unfortunately, this was a huge pain in the ass when it came to writing my book chapter. I mean, think about it: how easy is it to write about something you do intuitively? Sitting at my laptop and trying to write about relationships was like trying to grab an oily watermelon with chopsticks.

Note: if you’re a chopsticks master that can accomplish this feat, FUCK YOU, because writing this section was damn hard.

It’s like teaching someone to breathe: you have to figure out how you do it for yourself first, and then explain it.

Ironically, although pickup is super difficult, writing about pickup is easy. As a skill that I was shit at, I had to learn it from A to Z, meaning it was child’s play to break down the steps I learned and developed, and give them to you guys.

So, to get started with writing abou relationships, I interviewed the people around me about their relationships. Friends (male and female), lovers, former girlfriends, I talked to them all (and I’m still talking to some).

I discovered something that most men do really badly in relationships, myself included. Prepare yourselves geeks, this one’s gonna hurt.

Being a man means I’m going to solve everything

A large part of being a geek and a man is to come up with solutions for all of life’s problems.

I’m losing a lot at Tekken? Figure out my opponent’s strategy and either copy it or counter it.

Don’t know how to tie a tie? Look it up on Youtube, and practice.

Drop an olive pit in my sink’s food disposal? Dip a long fork in thick honey, put it in til it touches the pit, and get both of those suckers and all of your fingers out.

You get the idea.

I don’t like it when things are unresolved, and I always look for a solution. Maybe it’s part of my personality, but I try to solve other people’s problems as well. Having undergone therapy when I was younger, I’m pretty intuitive at solving my own emotional problems, and often help my friends feel better about theirs.

This is not a bad thing most of the time, except for one particular situation: sometimes, the person you’re dating doesn’t want to be fixed.

At some point in every relationship, your girlfriend, wife, or female partner of some kind is going to be sad. She may be depressed, or upset, or down on herself for no particular reason: it happens.

When it does, my geek/man/Rami response kicks in, and I try to fix it. I try to cheer her up, or tackle whatever problem she’s facing. I’ll share stories that are similar, and tell funny jokes, and in general do whatever I can to get her to smile and be ok.

Because I’m human, and I care, and I can’t stand suffering.

Well, turns out that’s my biggest flaw. When I interviewed ex-girlfriends about this, I discovered that they all agreed on one thing: I was a great boyfriend in nearly all aspects, except this one. The relationship problem that all guys have, myself included, is that we always try to fix things, even when they don’t need fixing.

Sad dog

Sometimes people don’t need saving

As an optimistic and idealistic person, I’m a happy camper 95% of the time. This doesn’t necessarily give me much time to be upset or mad, and it leaks into my relationships. I don’t often let my partners be upset or mad, because it makes me uncomfortable.

In my relationships, I couldn’t let my girlfriend be in a bad mood, and would try to make things happy.

What I should have done was to let things be, at least for a while.

It’s ok to have little arguments, it’s healthy to argue and get some bad mood going. Sometimes, rather than try to find a solution, I needed to allow things to be shitty, and let them run their course, whether it was a relationship issue, or a girlfriend issue, or something that she was dealing with outside of our relationship.

But I never did. I would tackle the problem head on.

And in doing so, I didn’t give my girlfriend the chance to express herself properly. She didn’t have time to feel sad, and let things out. She didn’t have time to figure out what was going on in her head and her heart, and then come to a solution all by herself.

She didn’t have time, because I didn’t give it to her.

The Solution

Pon and Zi hug

Luckily, thanks to the talk I had with my ex-girlfriends, I learned about this fact. Hopefully, I’ll be mature enough to recognize when I do this in my next relationship, and smart enough to do the appropriate thing.

Which, by the way, is the following:

If the woman you love is crying or is in any way sad and upset, the best thing to do is to hold her quietly.

Being able to sit with your girlfriend’s feelings, be present and offer quiet support, is incredibly powerful.

As my good (female) friend puts it, “figure out what makes her feel better, do it like a butler. Don’t make it about you, make the space good for her, it’ll be amazing.”

Then, once things have calmed down, and she’s feeling better, see if she opens up about what’s wrong. If not, address the problem eventually, but do it gently. There’s no need to push or rush, you guys are dating and in it for the long haul: you’ll figure it out.

Space Invaders

If there’s one thing you remember about today’s post, it should be this.

Sometimes your girlfriend doesn’t need you to solve her problems: she might just need a hug.

If you’re curious about my book, sign up for my mailing list using the sidebar on the right. I’ll send you cool emails, book chapters, and you’ll be the first to know when it’s published.

5 comments add your comment

  1. Great post, Rami. I wish more people understood this, not just guys. 🙂

    • It’s so true. I used to try to solve all of my friend’s problems as well. Recently I started backing off and letting people solve their own shit. I happily discovered that when you let them, they do 😀

  2. Great post. my lady is the kind of person that doesn’t like to be immediately comforted during sad times and early on in the relationship it was hard to not take that personally. when I realized that I needed to be like a butler as you said above it made going through rough times easier and now she’s actually way more apt to seekout comfort from me.

    • It’s hard, right? Watching her sad and not trying to fix it? I find it really hard.

      If you were to think of it in animal terms, you’re a dog and she’s a cat. When she’s sad, you can come up and cuddle with her, then wander off and do your thing. Like a cat, she’ll come to find you when she’s ready.

  3. Okay, there is a girl that love and she says she loves me too, we hang out during lunch breaks, share food that we have. I noticed that she mentions her bf while eating. Her and boy friend are dating for the 6th month. She told me that she had crush on my in the 8th grade, now we are in the 10th grade. We both admitted that we love each other…… So we started dating but privately and she told me that she doesn’t want her bf to find out about me and her, we only baby-kissed and hugged.. She says she hates hugging me in public because people are watching but i believe its more than that…… So Valentine Day its nearby and I have already bought her present but she doesn’t know. Should I give her the present or not,???
    Should I continue dating her privately??

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