Single Black Mail: How Do I Motivate My Man?

Don't end up at this point because you ain't talk it out.

The Question:

I have a question that I would like for you to address in your blog: What motivates a single black male in a relationship to continue to “do the work” besides sex and nagging? lol. Here are the basics of my situation: I am young, single in a 1-year relationship with a wonderful man.  I have met his mother and we are going to meet my parents this summer (he plans to ask my father for my hand in marriage).  He is kind and thoughtful and does many things to make my life easier and of course I reciprocate.

Lets call these things love offerings (LO).  For the sake of argument, let’s say I have not decreased my amount of LO (actually I have increased them b/c I believe in allowing a man to do the initial chasing), but he a las has gotten…well…not quite neglectful but certainly negligent.  I know, I know tis the way of relationships right? To be perfectly fair, these LO are all things that I performed with varying degrees of success before my relationship and I am currently capable (and willing!) to perform them now.  But what exactly would be the point of accepting a relationship without reciprocity? To wit, without nagging him….or going on a sex strike….what are some wise ways to motivate this fella?

The Response

One year in you say? It sounds like you 2 have just left the Peachy Phase and the real work is underway. The bit about y’all going to visit your parents and him asking your Pops for your hand in marriage after a year concerns me, but you didn’t ask about that so I’ll leave it alone. Actually, no I won’t. It sounds like you 2 haven’t worked your way through the first real issue in the relationship. This situation, regardless of how subtle it may be, could be symptomatic of a bigger issue that needs to be resolved before you commit to marrying this man. So basically, don’t jump the gun on jumping the broom. Now let me answer what you actually asked.

First things first, you 2 need to have a serious conversation. The only thing you can really motivate a man to do is have sex (or cheat which is still having sex). And the only reason that works is because it’s a temporary and time-limited (Unless he’s Zeus or Mandingo God) solution/incident. This doesn’t guarantee a sustainable and likable result away from the sheets, couch, floor, washing machine, or wherever else y’all get coital. So if you really want to see him do what he did when he was courting and in the peachy zone, you need to understand the reasons that he’s become negligent. You also need to figure out if you’ve really been doing all that you can to push the relationship forward or if you’ve been sitting back and waiting for him to take action. If you wait, it will fail. Based on the fact you sent this email, I don’t think you wanna fail.

Let me tell you a quick story…

I once dated this chick and we used to do everything for each other upfront. It was loovvvveee, and we couldn’t get enough of it. We were just like vampires and bloodsuckas. Once the real relationship started, we only took action when the other took action. There was never really an open conversation about why we were acting the way we were acting until it was too late. The relationship became a revolving door of resentment and expectations not met. You don’t want resentment and expectations not met. You want a nice house, a white picket fence, healthy babies, and the opportunity to shop for the growing children at Whole Foods. I’m shopping for myself at a bodega with low quality steaks and produce in Harlem. You don’t want that. Learn from my mistakes.

So as you noticed, I didn’t list any things that you could do to motivate him to take action. There’s no point in trying to do that when you don’t know what the root of the issue is. Your best bet is to talk to your man rather than try to manipulate him into action via your own. Once you do that, I think you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for. And if not, you can email us again and I’ll take another crack at this based on updated information.

What does the SBM fam think about this? Is there a way to motivate a man to do the things he used to do but won’t do anymore?

Single Black Male with Some Shitty Produce,

P.S. I’m scheduled to be on The Michael Baisden Show this Thursday to discuss monogamy in relationships. Stay tuned for more details.

 

From Our Partners

  • http://www.twitter.com/drrdb TWIsM

    BAM! You hit it on the head. Stop trying to manipulate someone into doing something when you haven't made it clear what it is you want. Relationships are full of expectations from both parties, but if you've never put what you want out there, you can't really be disappointed when you don't get it.

    Why is it that 6-year-olds understand this concept better than adults? i.e. If I don't tell Santa what I want, I probably ain't gon' get it.

    • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

      You hit the hammer right on the head TWIsM. I was coming to write the exact same thing.

      The first thing these two need to do is sit down and talk about the current state of the relationship. For all she knows, homie might not even know anything is wrong- especially since he's about to go ask for her hand in marriage and it doesn't seem like she's put it out there.

  • rnic

    I'd have to disagree with the comment above. If there were things that he was doing in the honeymoon phase of the relationship, and it was clear to him that she liked those things (as it sounds like it was), then the real question is: why did he stop doing those things? It doesn't sound like its a matter of her not being clear about what she wants from him that she isn't getting, it sounds like he knows what she wants,because he USED to do it, but now he doesn't. I could see if she wanted things from him that he wasn't previously doing, then the fault may be hers for not being clear. But in this case, it sounds like he's the one who's not being clear….and I'd say she needs to and address why.

    • http://www.twitter.com/drrdb TWIsM

      rnic

      I can understand that view, but I think the problem is relative. Is it truly that he's not giving as much as he was initially, or is it since she's admittedly giving more than she was, his actions seem to have decreased? Granted, it's probably a bit of both, but regardless, if she hasn't communicated anything, it's a moot point.

    • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

      hmmm, thats a good point. But at the same time, maybe dude is just not "romantic". Everyone (well almost everyone) indulges in the lovey-dovey stuff during the courtship/honeymoon phase because…well, thats just what you do. But when the rose-tinted shades come off, so do all the extra pleasantries unless you make it absolutely clear that thats what you expect out of your partner. Im not sayin it cool, cuz God knows i love to be wined and dined and etc, but it is what it is. Closed mouths don't get fed. She's not gonna get the motivation she wants if she's not willing to put the cards on the table.

      • http://www.twitter.com/drrdb TWIsM

        Exactly! And why is it easier to go straight to nagging instead of actually talking about it first? Is this #ChickLogic? I truly am curious about this.

        • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

          well if nothing else, nagging is so much easier than sitting down and talking it out lol. You don't have to worry about the being tactful you don't gotta put on the filter, you don't have to organize your thoughts…its just an easy way of puttin the info out there alongside the frustration.

          I also think that some women think harder about things than men so when we see you slacking (to use this story as a reference point) it doesn't immediately (if ever) cross our mind that maybe you didn't notice it and that u weren't being "unmotivated" on purpose. Also, we have a tendency to let things simmer inside for awhile and then coming bubbling to the surface. Add to that how infuriating it is to be trying to tell someone something thats bothering you and they just ice-skate around your point. So put the three together: anger over a period of time + thinking you're being a d**k on purpose + not having our p.o.v. understood = nagging instead of cool calm and collected conversation.

          Of course this is all just conjecture on my part :)

        • http://www.twitter.com/drrdb TWIsM

          I guess it's an Emotion vs. Logic Conversation. I would tell her to look at it from his point of view. He's already said he intends on marrying her. Maybe he's "slacking" 'cause he's saving up for her ring.

          If he keeps shelling out for the "little things" she's might end up with a "little ring".

          #justsayin

      • NaijaSweetz

        <blockquote cite="comment-312554">

        Lady Ngo:
        well if nothing else, nagging is so much easier than sitting down and talking it out lol. You don’t have to worry about the being tactful you don’t gotta put on the filter, you don’t have to organize your thoughts…its just an easy way of puttin the info out there alongside the frustration.

        It may be easier to do, but it will ultimately end with two frustrated parties instead of one. Why would one not want to organize their thoughts? It's the most efficient precursor to effective communication, while the other option is more often than not..well, not. What starts out as a well-meaning conversation could easily turn into a headache-inducing ramble. You'd (not you, speaking in general) want him to put work into doing certain things, but it's too hard to take the time aside to present your argument well? I'll have to #nosign that sentiment, Bob.

  • NaijaSweetz

    Sound advice. She also needs to first outline the ways in which he has become negligent and plan her discussion rather than approaching him on some vague tip. I've spoken with a lot of women, my mother included, who have come to the conclusion that a lot of guys really don't realize when they're starting to slip up. The onus is on the other party to call the partner out on it and discuss the whys and hell naws. This, of course, works both ways. You want to address it as soon as it starts to resemble an issue, before it's well on its way to Resentment St & Frustration Ave. Sometimes, the initial conversation will produce short-lived results, but it should always be your first course of action.

  • Nedu

    Yes, honest conversation between the parties with the issues presented clearly, is the fastest way to resolve it or give you a clear answer on the status of your relationship….. & sex strike and manipulation only leads to resentment and eventually CHEATING….

  • KAPSpecial

    First, Slim stop hating on folks getting engaged after a year of dating. As a general matter that is not a red flag.

    Since dude seems to be committed to the relationship I think the main motivator for him to step his game up is if he believes that in not doing so he will lose you. With that said I wish we had examples of said negligence, because you might just be tripping. People get comfortable overtime a relationship and the him today is probably the "real" him.

    • goons

      First, Slim stop hating on folks getting engaged after a year of dating. As a general matter that is not a red flag.

      =============================

      Yes Slim, please can you explain this point further?

      • Kema

        Wondering the same thing… I believe a year is plenty of time to know if you want to marry someone or not.

    • BP

      <blockquote cite="comment-312550">

      KAPSpecial: With that said I wish we had examples of said negligence, because you might just be tripping. People get comfortable overtime a relationship and the him today is probably the “real” him.

      THIS!

      I love when you comment KAP because you are usually spot on and make me see things in a different light (even when you are disagreeing with me). I think the real "him" maybe surfacing and if that is the case she needs to reaccess if "this" man is something she can deal with for the rest of her life BEFORE this summer when he is going to meet the parents.No Fockers

      You know the 20/80 rule is legit…I won't start a diatribe of why I think marriages are failing these days but I will say I believe it is due to issues of unfullfilled expectations. Your

      mate changes over the years and then BAM you aren't happy anymore so what is the solution…..divorce? That is why I believe premartial counseling (even for those that are not religous) is very helpful because the individuals invovled can voice their desires and expectations for marriage.

      Damn, sorry Kap I didn't mean to take over your comment! *Goes back to writing paper*

    • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slimuel L. Jackson

      I'm not hating. Why is it that if someone disagrees or has contrary thoughts that it has to be hate?

      It's just my opinion that more times than not, you don't really get to know a person until after a year has passed. There are a lot of questions I wanted to ask her to get clarity, but wanted to go with the question as is in the interest of responding to this in a timely fashion.

      The divorce rates are what they are for a reason. And I think we can all agree that communication plays a role in the downfall of many a relationship or marriage. I don't think people need to have things perfect before making that move, but if he's already getting a bit lazy and she's considering withholding the poon….

      Just seems like it would be beneficial to take some more time.

      • QueenT

        I side-eyed that, too….they have only known each other a year…that's NO time at all, in my opinion, to be considering marriage…and I know people do it..and it's been done…but, like you said, the divorce rate is what it is for a reason…..I definitely think they need to take more time before considering marriage as well……

        • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slimuel L. Jackson

          In agreement. You would actually know better than me.

      • KAPSpecial

        Alright poor word choice in using "hate." I just think it's reasonable for a couple to get engaged after a year of dating. I don't think doing so increases the divorce rate. I think folks not being prepared for marriage, too much focus on the event of having a wedding, the lack of committment to stay married for better or worse, etc. increases the divorce rate. And folks who have been together a long time can still have these symptons. However, the divorces that I've witnessed have expanded the gamit of courtship lengths.

        I think it depends on the individuals who make up the couple. Now in the situation we're mulling over today it may not be appropriate since she is throwing up penalty flags.

      • goons

        lol slim, we all respect your difference in opinion…The word hate is …………………..

        My question is,

        How do you explain those people who date for 10 years, get married for 2yrs and then divorce? or those who date for 6 months and stay married? BTW, there could be more variations……

        My things is, there is no time frame you can put to really knowing someone…people grow and change with time..who I was five years ago is not the same person I am today..I think couples that stay together are those that are willing to grow together, communicate effectively while growing and put in the work to stay together regardless of the time…I do however agree with rest of your feedback…

        • Larry

          With all due respect, I think Slim is more or less eluding to probability of success relative to length of time a couple gets to know one another before getting married. Sure you'll have people dating for 10 years get married and then promptly divorce and sure you'll have people date 6 months and be together forever. But as far as probability, it would seem more likely, logically speaking, that those couples who are together longer will have a greater chance of their marriage lasting longer. This isn't the case in every situation, obviously, but a practical benchmark to use when gauging readiness level to the long-term committment.

          If you have 2 sets of couples ( and you know neither from anything) and one couple has been together 3 months and the other 3 years and I asked you to predict which couple's marriage would last the longest if you had to pick just one, the majority of the folks would bet on 3 years. I think that's the basis of what Mr. Jackson is getting at.

        • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slimuel L. Jackson

          Sorry I been out the mix all day. Really busy day at work and I had some stuff to prepare for.

          Larry is right in terms of my mode of thought. I was friends with a chick for 4 years, dated her, and it still failed. We found out things over the course of the relationship that we wouldn't have known without dating for some time. Had we moved in together, got married, etc. then figured it out, it'd have been a serious problem. I just don't think it's the best idea to get married before you even know how to address conflict and have figured each other out enough to not have to consider a sex strike.lol. Hope this makes sense. Appreciate the questions.

    • DeKeLa

      I agree with Slim, After only a year from courting to proposal? That's not a long time at all, and I wonder how much of that time have they actually spent around each other? He wants to ask her father's permission for marriage, yet never her been around her parent's before?

      It took me longer than a year to fully open up to my previous gf, and in the 6 years we were together I felt I really knew her after the 3rd year.

      I guess different stroke for different folks, but I would be uneasy proposing marriage in a year's time.

      • NaijaSweetz

        Depending on Geographical circumstances, it's not as rare an occurrence as you would think. Oh, and my father proposed to my mother on the 7th day of their acquaintance. We were talking about it again just yesterday, and while I'm always adamant that I personally need at least one year, it's worked out just fine for them. I do know that they're the exception and not the rule, however.

        I believe that a one year relationship + one year engagement is sufficient. Of course, it's on a case-by-case basis, but a lot of people end up in 4+ years relationships, and break things off because of things that they could have probably worked through if there was a greater level of investment involved. Nothing is guaranteed either way; the main thing is to ensure that both parties are on the same page, aware of the work involved, and harbour the same goals.

        • DeKeLa

          on the 7th day? Big shout outs to your parents!

        • NaijaSweetz

          lol, word. I dunno how they did it. Truth be told, they've found out things about each other that may have made them reconsider if things hadn't happened the way they did, but because they made that commitment, they stuck it out and are currently laughing it up in the next room.

  • KAPSpecial

    (I hit send accidentally). Lastly, you need to communicate what's bothering you and while I agree that you should be prepared with examples don't be too aggressive. He probably doesn't know you're feeling the way you are since you've never communicated it before. Good luck!

  • QueenT

    I just wish she had been more clear in this letter…It's not specific. However, if she wants to motivate him…she should do what I do…drop hints, I don't have to go into a full on conversation…I will just say something like " I realy love flowers"….or"remember the time you did such and such, I really loved that"……and usually that will put the thought in his head withouth a nagging tone..or a full on conversation about it…….

    What will motivate a man is his love for you and his desire to see you happy…so, if this Man loves her he will step up…so, she should just drop a few hints….and she should definitely continue to do whatever she is doing on her end….a s*x strike never works…it just exacerbates the situation…and nagging is annoying…She should just bring it up in a brief conversation one day when they are having a really good moment…..and just kinda slide it in there without sounding like it's an attack…I am sure if he loves her like I think he does….he will make some changes.

    • http://thebookofjackson.blogspot.com Dr. J

      Queen,

      I would only advise that sometimes the email is edited and information is redacted. We get extremely personal mail, many times the sender doesn't want all of their business published. I admit that may hinder your ability to diagnose the situation, but just an FYI.

      • Adonis

        Understood, & Respect…

        Cause for me, to give out sound advice… I like to be able to hear voices, read body language, etc…

        Personal info is sometimes critical info…

    • Hugh Jazz

      Sound advice from a vet. To the writer of the letter: listen to the Queen.

    • cynicaloptimist81

      Great advice!

      This should be step 1. If this doesn't work, then step 2 should be a pleasant sit down talk over a nice dinner. If that doesn't fix things, you may need to consider if a relationship with him is what you really want.

      You shouldn't have to fuss & cuss to be happy…y'all ain't married yet. The exit sign is always lit at this stage, lol…

  • Mix

    Wow this situation bring back memories, how do you motivate a man? give him a challenge or if he's already done that, give him motivation to keep doin what he's doin. Speaking from experience, you are goin to have droughts and trust me this man probably feels the same way she does. One of the mistakes men make early in relationships is goin over the top,because once a woman get used to it, she expects you to keep that up….forever

    • http://Twitter.com/InAnimateAlpha Animate

      I agree on that last point. Men do go over the top and you know why? Youre some strange reason women (not all) dont appreciate the regular stuff.

      • QueenT

        No, they don't…Men stopped going over the top ten years ago…..shoot, they don't even call anymore, they shoot you a text msg…and forget about setting up a really nice date…..pulling out all the stops? Now, they just say meet me at the spot….and they call that a date. I am not saying all men are doing this…but, there is a laziness that is taking place in the courting ritual…and even afterwards.

        • GirlSixx is ChloeRay

          <blockquote cite="comment-312579">

          QueenT: No, they don’t…Men stopped going over the top ten years ago…..shoot, they don’t even call anymore, they shoot you a text msg…and forget about setting up a really nice date…..pulling out all the stops? Now, they just say meet me at the spot….and they call that a date. I am not saying all men are doing this…but, there is a laziness that is taking place in the courting ritual…and even afterwards.

          *Highfive*

        • Natasha

          lol at "met them at the spot." I've had plenty of those. And a couple of "you gon pick me up?" 0_o

      • Jemsstar

        OMG THIS!!!!

        It's so true nowadays. Please believe that there is a new kind of dude out there, and it's not a good thing!

    • Mix

      That is true, sometimes my money might be tight or whatever I might make picnic lunch or something and show some effort and she like I wanted to go to such and such

      • Jemsstar

        @Mix

        If most dudes did that it would be great, I don't personally know of one chick that wouldn't appreciate that, but that's not what's happening.

  • TellyLongLegs

    <blockquote cite="comment-312554">

    Lady Ngo

    well if nothing else, nagging is so much easier than sitting down and talking it out lol. You don’t have to worry about the being tactful you don’t gotta put on the filter, you don’t have to organize your thoughts…its just an easy way of puttin the info out there alongside the frustration.

    I also think that some women think harder about things than men so when we see you slacking (to use this story as a reference point) it doesn’t immediately (if ever) cross our mind that maybe you didn’t notice it and that u weren’t being “unmotivated” on purpose. Also, we have a tendency to let things simmer inside for awhile and then coming bubbling to the surface. Add to that how infuriating it is to be trying to tell someone something thats bothering you and they just ice-skate around your point. So put the three together: anger over a period of time + thinking you’re being a d**k on purpose + not having our p.o.v. understood = nagging instead of cool calm and collected conversation.

    Of course this is all just conjecture on my part  

    You are so right. 

  • ALWAYS L84AD8

    this is my second time posting, so for what it's worth…here goes.

    he probably feels that since he has you and since he is going to ask your father for your hand in marriage, he's done. mission accomplished. he's gotten comfortable in the relationship. and since you've increased your "love offerings" whatever that means (can someone give specifics), maybe you should fall back on that, and maybe he'll take notice.

    sometimes, you can talk to a man all day long and he'll only hear certain things. but if you SHOW him, you'll probably get a different response.

    now as far as withholding sex, that is mistake number one in any relationship, in my opinion. i guess that is another topic lololol

    work it out now before you tie the knot. marriage is easy to get into, hard to get out of.

    • GirlSixx is ChloeRay

      "work it out now before you tie the knot. marriage is easy to get into, hard to get out of."

      Hallelujah!!!!!

      *Throws$3intheOfferingPlate*

  • http://www.twitter.com/mikasthoughts Mika

    lol @ sex strike…already? not good at all.

    Slim you are hilarious but you gave great advice…a conversation must be had before she can start thinking about how to motivate him and by the way, I feel like if a man must be motivated to show some "LO" then something is seriously wrong.

  • PrettyPisces

    you have to straight up talk to him about it…he probably got comfortable and doesn't realize it's an issue. A closed mouth won't get fed

    • http://www.twitter.com/mikasthoughts Mika

      So true! Most of the time men don't even realize that there is a problem in the relationship…and they won't know unless we say something.

    • http://www.WisdomIsMisery.com WisdomIsMisery

      <blockquote cite="comment-312572">

      PrettyPisces: you have to straight up talk to him about it…he probably got comfortable and doesn’t realize it’s an issue. A closed mouth won’t get fed

      <blockquote cite="comment-312573">

      Mika: So true! Most of the time men don’t even realize that there is a problem in the relationship…and they won’t know unless we say something.

      Ummm yeah, I was going to comment but instead I'll just co-sign these two comments.

      Also, if the author of this post is lurking she may want to comment with some specific examples. Otherwise, everyone here is left to guess. Up to her though. Regardless, as many have said, I think a sit down conversation is the best bet.

      And dont withhold s*x….ever.

  • GirlSixx is ChloeRay

    She should have given examples of how he's falling off in his realationship duties because grant it we all know that afterwhile of being together you get comfortable with one another — so basically the pixie dust has started to settle so maybe she is seeing the real him (whoever that may be) and she just don't know how to cope, but at least he wants to put a ring on it.

    I would definitely bring it up in conversation to see where his head is at, because if this is in fact HIM showing up now and not his REPRESENTATIVE anymore and she isn't feeling it, then she may want to hold off on marriage or at least do a longgggg engagement until they hash things out.

    I really wish she could've given some examples.

    Congratulations Slim on your upcoming guest appearance on the Michael Baisden show. #SALUTE!!!

    • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slimuel L. Jackson

      Appreciate the congrats!

  • InsomniaPoet

    maybe this is why I am single – but my first thought was keep it moving girl! if you are only a year in and you are already unhappy why the heck would you think about getting married?? I think nagging, or holding out on the goodies, is a bad idea. Cut your losses and move on before you waste another year of your life. Just my thoughts….

    • jdot

      word. That's a RED FLAG to me. A year in and she's debating how to motivate him, contemplating sex strikes… maybe it's not a move on. A conversation between the two of them is very important. Then, it's wait-and-see.

  • ses

    had to come out of lurk mode

    Nagging is easier than putting your thoughts together? Not to be harsh but if you can’t take time to filter and get your own thoughts together do NOT get in a relationship. You will fail.

    Insomnia–Is she going to run EVERY time things go wrong in a relationship?

    As far as dropping hints—how does THAT work? Why can’t you just say “I feel appreciated and loved when you buy me flowers” Saying I like flowers is NOT asking for flowers. What about flowers do you like? Receiving them? Watching them grow? WHAT? Adult speak people—COMMUNICATION. Let’s leave all the childs play behind us and use adult vocabulary. Its like telling your mate “I don’t want you going out wit the boys/girls every single weekend” when what you really want is “we should spend at leat one weekend together each month”

    And uhmm..don’t use words like negligent etc when talking to that man..state EXACTLY what you feel. Are you upset? Infuriated? Say that..—“I am sad that you don’t buy me flowers anymore because receiving flowers from you makes me happy” These are YOUR feelings, take responsibility for them and distinguish what is going on i.e not receiving flowers (observation) etc from what YOU perceive is going on “being neglected”(opinions).

    Bottomline.. people need some serious (nonviolent) communication skills. You can’t blame anyone else for your unhappy relationship if you do not know how to ask for what you want..and leave the bs games of strikes and nagging behind.

    • DeKeLa

      A woman after my own heart… This comment brought a smile to my face…

      "Bottomline.. people need some serious (nonviolent) communication skills. You can’t blame anyone else for your unhappy relationship if you do not know how to ask for what you want..and leave the bs games of strikes and nagging behind."

      Just pure (old) Gold.. please stay a while and make yourself comfortable.

    • Kema

      "You can’t blame anyone else for your unhappy relationship if you do not know how to ask for what you want"

      close mouth dont get fed… lol!

    • http://stillnatural.wordpress.com N.I.A.naturally

      co-sign all of this…

      Folks have to learn how to say what they mean, mean what they say, then act accordingly.

  • http://Twitter.com/InAnimateAlpha Animate

    Sound advice but presentation is key. Men tend to get defensive if you hit them with the "you dont do this anymore" spill. Try a "I loved when we did this" approach. Make the focus on the relationship and not where he may be lacking.

  • Hugh Jazz

    Sound advice Slim.

    As mentioned by other commenters, it's hard to tell who's tripping here because we don't know what he's slacking on. When you meet someone, people often put their best foot forward, and overstep. If he used to call and now he's only texting, he's slacking. If you used to go to five-star restaurants every week, but now you're spending more time at home with a pizza and a movie, he's probably slacking.

    Married people don't live day-to-day life as if they just started dating, in regards to going out all the time. Many people go all-out to impress when they first start dating, but it is unrealistic to keep up with a lot of that stuff when things are serious. Things change as the relationship progresses. Just as you wouldn't invite him into your home immediately, but will after getting comfortable with each other, some of the over-the-top outings in the nascent stages of dating doesn't happen as often as you get more serious. He should keep up with little notions like buying flowers, but you'll likely not be going to Six Flags and Ruth Chris every week later on.

    And to restate the obvious, $ex strikes don't work. You may not be having $ex, but more than likely, he will. Just not with you.

    • DeKeLa

      "And to restate the obvious, $ex strikes don’t work. You may not be having $ex, but more than likely, he will. Just not with you."

      Seriously.. To all the women readers out there, Have you heard of a $ex strike to EVER work?

      • jdot

        No. I mean really, who believes that?

  • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

    Slim, I agree with you that she needs to talk to him. But I'll add to that : be obvious.

    I can't emphasize this enough. Be as obvious as you can. Even if you think you're being super clear – you probably aren't. I can't tell you how many times I've had a convo with a female friend where she says something along the lines of "oh i wish my boo would be more romantic/considerate/sweet/" and it always boils down to the same response: "well…have you told him?" and its always "basically", "i've been dropping hints" and all I can say is, THAT'S NOT TELLING HIM! Being passive-aggressive until he figures it out is not going to solve the problem. How is he supposed to know what's wrong and how to fix it unless you tell him?

    And I don't buy the whole, "well if I tell him I want him to buy me flowers every week he's not doing it because he wants to any more." If he's spending money on you he's doing it because he wants to. If he listens to what you want from him and responds appropriately, it's because he cares for you. And if he's not, well then….you have your answer, I guess.

    You can't seriously consider a lifelong commitment with someone that you are unable to tell things-unless you're really into resenting your partner.

    • AB

      Uhh, yea!

      If more people took the time to get clear about their own needs and then were brave enough to express those needs to their partner, the world and marriages would be happier. IMO.

      • Nicatictic

        This right here my friend. It's just this simple. Two basic things are necessary: clarity and bravery. And sorry to say those two things don't come easy to a lot of us.

  • Teflon Temptress

    Yeah I don't know what a "love offering" is. I thought that was the extra offering you gave the visiting pastor.

    It sounds like they're settling into whatever the routine is going to be. The "new car" smell doesn't last forever. Men don't really express themselves the way we do. Their idea of romance is changing the oil on your car and getting the brakes checked, not flowers and candy. They love being able to comfortably sit around and do nothing. Farting freely. So are you upset because he's getting too comfy? I just don't know what the problem is at this point, it's too vague.

    But if you want to motivate him, give him some mind-blowing chex. More specifically, give him the dome of his young life. When he's laying there with a glazed look in his eye gently rub his head and say you miss it when y'all used to ____. We need to keep doing that. Keep it up and he'll get hard everytime he passes a flower shop.

    • cynicaloptimist81

      <blockquote cite="comment-312597">

      Teflon Temptress: When he’s laying there with a glazed look in his eye gently rub his head and say you miss it when y’all used to ____. We need to keep doing that. Keep it up and he’ll get hard everytime he passes a flower shop.

      No lie, I was gonna say something similar…but less raw though, lol. The BEST time to make a point to a man is when he's in tune to you and vulnerable. Also, if he knows the action will bring guaranteed results (refer to that vivid example above), you'll get what you desire.

      Shoot, forget the deep stuff. If I simply want my bf to buy a shirt, I pick it up and say, "Man, if I ever saw you in THIS…oh my, oh my!"…makin eyes, lickin my chops, all of it, lol. His response? "How much is it and do they have it in my size", lol. #POW

      • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slimuel L. Jackson

        The vulnerability is a good point. I've lost arguments via nuttage.lol

    • QueenT

      Teflon, girl, lol…..I thought about stating the obvious with the s*x…but, I thought that was already a given! But, as usual you come with the 3 pointer…and slam dunk the point right in the net!

  • http://icandy21.blogspot.com iCandy

    wow…GREAT answer. I don't think anything else needs to be said.

  • http://codecipher.blogspot.com MeteorMan

    Good, advice Slim. I have a different prospective.

    I don't want to marginalize the lady's concern and a full analysis requires a looking at both ends but I think she's panicking. Look, homie is considering marrying her and she's tripping over a change in patterns and frequency of LO. An apparent decrease in LO may or may not be a symptom of someone loosing motivation to make a relationship work. It is true however that a man should make the effort (in some way she recognizes) to demonstrate his feelings and to make her feel special/loved/etc. Though why does a "decrease" in LO say a guy is unmotivated? Her proposed idea of negligence assumes there's an ignored need. Just saying… If a lady texted me everyday at 12:02pm 'I love you,' if she stopped doing that would it be fair to assumes she loves me any less? (yeah, if I became dependent on those demonstrations of LO.) I think her focus is on the frequency of LO rather than the condition of the relationship itself (marriage is a serious consideration). She's using the basis of a normal occurrence in a long-term relationship as a diagnosis that he's not motivated. When adjusting within a relationship NOTHING will stay the same throughout (not even feelings, they evolve). Like Slim said, you're past the "peachy" stage, but I think that both the quantity and quality of LO (the actions) fluctuates throughout any long-term relationship. The LO should happen organically. Meaning that it'll fluctuate and happen without prompting (though its ok to prompt).

    About that talk… You DO NOT want to nag anyone/withhold sex strictly b/c you think they're doing less LO. However, it's ok to voice your expectations. The thing is, in terms of something like this I'm sure she wants it to be organic and for him to want to do that. She should give him the heads up, but she shouldn't trip about a simple change in patterns. He could be stressed and focused on asking your father about marrying you i.e. the REALITY of it. Yeah… that'll do it…

    All say it again… Homie is seriously thinking about marrying you. And guess what… It's almost time to meet your parents/summer time. So… Homie has a LOT on his mind. Not the fairy tale part, the reality part… On top of that, fluctuations of LO are NORMAL. People have moods, issues, sometimes forgetful, etc… Not to excuse him not making his lady feel special, but she's putting something under a microscope that isn't a depiction of anything negative. Especially given the light that he'll be meeting your parents+asking for your father's approval + the reality of marriage + everyday life + any other random issue humans have. And she's panicking about frequency of LO. Yep… Yeah… That WOULD come off as nagging. As a guy, seriously considering marriage is stressful, not all rainbows and unicorns the way women seem to approach it. He may be stressed and withholding sex would do what…

    All that to say (to her): Are you aware of his emotional/mental condition? Pay attention.

  • Sade

    Communication, communication communication!!! I can't stress this enough. We don't know all he details, but I do know that regardless of whether this is all in her head or he really has stopped doing certain things, the answer is to let him know how she's feeling. That way, she will either discover that she's being overly sensitive or he will realize that his behavior towards her has changed. Either way, they both win. As far as them getting married, the only thing I have to say is that people need to realize that we all change. We can't be the same way we were 5 months/15 years ago. If you can't accept that and change the way you interact with each other, things aren't going to work.

  • Jemsstar

    <blockquote cite="comment-312564">

    QueenT: I just wish she had been more clear in this letter…It’s not specific. However, if she wants to motivate him…she should do what I do…drop hints, I don’t have to go into a full on conversation…I will just say something like ” I realy love flowers”….or”remember the time you did such and such, I really loved that”……and usually that will put the thought in his head withouth a nagging tone..or a full on conversation about it…….What will motivate a man is his love for you and his desire to see you happy…so, if this Man loves her he will step up…so, she should just drop a few hints….and she should definitely continue to do whatever she is doing on her end….a s*x strike never works…it just exacerbates the situation…and nagging is annoying…She should just bring it up in a brief conversation one day when they are having a really good moment…..and just kinda slide it in there without sounding like it’s an attack…I am sure if he loves her like I think he does….he will make some changes.

    I wish this was true for the men, but I don't know one man that understands hints, LOL! It's funny because you have to be strategic in how you have a conversation with your SO, you can't hint, if you talk about it too many times your nagging, you can't start the conversation with "We need to talk"… No wonder so many of us are single, we don't even know how to communicate anymore.

    • QueenT

      My hints work well….and if they don't, I go ahead and say what the problem is…..I just thought, perhaps, she should start with the subtle hint…and then, of course, if that is not achieving the result you she wants then go ahead with the full on conversation…….obviously, communication is going to be the key in all of this……

  • cynicaloptimist81

    Slim gave GREAT advice.

    I think clear hints (sounds crazy…I know) are a great starting point. The issue with hints is that they are hit and miss. Sometimes people get them, sometimes they don't. The key is to recognize right away when they don't get it and then, have a clear, direct, light conversation where you ask a lot of questions to see where the persons head is on the matter. Don't make accusations. I prefer to approach matters in this order because, sometimes, the talk gets tough. Sometimes, the person catches feelings about even being questioned. So, if you can possibly avoid a light conversation erupting into a full blown spat, why not try?

    Again, great advice and great comments today. :-)

    And step 3 is quit while you're ahead, lol. He's not your husband. Chalk that year of work up and keep it moving. Don't try to force the relationship to be something that it isn't…