How can I determine whether my new man might be open to Taken In Hand?

How can I determine whether my new man might be open to Taken In Hand?

Ask him.

Or tell him that in a relationship, you need the man to wear the trousers, and see how he reacts. Or find a light, non-interrogatory way to ask him whether in a relationship he would find it (a) preferable to be in charge, or (b) a burden. On no account quiz him, interview him, or make him feel tested. That will be particularly off-putting to a man who prefers to be in charge.

Instead, pay attention to everything he says and does and raise the idea or some part of the idea whenever it is natural to do so. For example, if he takes charge in some way, whether of you or in a situation, express your appreciation and show very clearly that you love what he said or did. If he seems not to understand why, explain that he took charge, and that that feels very manly to you, and that you find that exciting. If appropriate in the particular situation, tell him you admire him or his ability to take charge.

However you raise the idea, do be aware that just as women have been conditioned to pretend that they want an equal relationship, so men have been conditioned to pretend that they would never want to be in charge. Expect a negative reaction when you first mention it. But as time goes on, watch what he does, not just what he says. Once he realises that you are serious, he may well begin to engage with the idea and like it. Do give him time to process the idea.

Does your new man generally seem manly to you? Is he a man's man? Does he enjoy fixing things? Does he enjoy manly pursuits? Does he pursue you, or does he expect you to do the pursuing? Does he initiate, or is he more comfortable when you initiate? If he is not well-off, does he prefer to plan free or cheap dates rather than allowing you to pay?

Receive graciously. Whenever he makes and chivalrous gesture, or does anything for you, or seems protective of you, or bossy with you, smile warmly and thank him very much. Let him see your eyes shining with appreciation and feel your gratitude.

If he keeps asking you what you want to do instead of making a plan himself, and that is making you feel like the man in the relationship, ask him very gently and kindly and above all respectfully whether he would consider planning your dates rather than asking you. Then, when he takes you to a sports event or a horror film or something else that you hate, instead of sulking and complaining, find a way to enjoy it, and thank him very much for having invited you. If nothing else, enjoy focusing all your attention on your man and enjoying his own enthusiasm for whatever it is.

Never ever say anything negative or ungracious about any date planned by him. Always find something wonderful about it to thank him for. Play the Pollyanna Glad game. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. So if you hate horror films and he takes you to one, spend the whole film wrapped in his big strong manly arms and be glad of the opportunity to be in his arms.

If you hate sports, be glad of the opportunity to try something new. Be glad of the opportunity to do lots of people-watching. Be glad of the opportunity to learn something new (such as the rules of the game) from your man. Be glad your man is proud of you and wants to take you with him to events he enjoys. Smile and be open to the possibility that you might actually enjoy the event after all.

If you see a woman speaking disrespectfully to her husband, tell your man that you consider that appalling, and let him know that you think men should be treated with respect.

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