The Key To Happiness? Lower Your Expectations

I work with a lot of women and I’ve spent a lot of time touring the blogiverse over the past year. The impression I get is that almost all women are chronically unhappy with men in general. Women seem to blame men for their unhappiness. There is always something wrong with men isn’t there? “Men don’t tell you their feelings enough.” “There are no good men out there.” “All men whine too much when they’re sick.” “He forgot my birthday.” “Why doesn’t he call the day after a date/sexual encounter?”

I’m wondering, has it ever occurred to woman-kind that perhaps the problem is not with men, but with your expectations of us? I don’t curse my dog because she never changes the oil in my car. She can’t. She doesn’t have the physical or mental capability for the job. If you’re unhappy with men, maybe you need to examine whether or not your expectations are realistic. Men treat women very fairly in this regard. Have you ever once heard a man complain because a woman couldn’t open a jar of pickles? You’ll find that if you lower your expectations you’ll be happier more often and pleasantly surprised when we exceed your standards. Schools grade everyone on a bell curve, why can’t women?

40 responses to “The Key To Happiness? Lower Your Expectations

  1. Dear Everyone,I apologize for this post. It was completely half-assed and thrown together in a minute because I lost the post I had prepared. That being said, I still can’t wait to see the reactions from the women who read this.

  2. 1. You PREPARE your posts?2. I have a trick for opening pickle jars.3. My dog changes the oil in my car.4. One day I will find a man who will not only meet, but exceed my expectations. And when that day comes, I will lock him in my basement so he can’t escape.5. Seriously. Once I tied a boy to a stop sign with his own coat to try and get him to tell me who he liked.

  3. Half-assed??More like back-asswards!!!I am not unhappy with all men in general…just MY husband. He complains more than any woman I have ever known, and he is the one with unrealistic expectations.He doesn’t need to share his feelings…just his paycheck…LOL!I can open my own pickle jars.I can even change my own oil.BTW, you should know that it is NEVER appropriate to compare any woman to a dog.

  4. My dog doesn’t change the oil in my car, but he does take out the garbage. 🙂

  5. I’m with Kim… then again, maybe expecting a man not to compare women to dogs is just another one of my completely unreasonable expectations!

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  8. I adore my man. He is strong (for opening pickle jars),dependable, always changes the oil (even though I can too), closeminded and stubborn (subtle but real differences), and I love him for all the ways he is DIFFERENT from women. When he makes up his mind, it stays that way, he works so I can be home with the kids… our roles are traditional and less confusing than the modern expectations. Not perfect, but a tried-and-true recipe. Yes I still whine — I’m a WOMAN! LOL.

  9. half-assed uuummmm….I’ll let you slide this your post or your wifes??? any ways I don’t think that we ask for alot…just to hear three little words now and then could maybe be the trick of a womans security with her man…thats all, you know it wouldn’t kill yah’s to just say “I LOVE YOU”, might be alot less divorces….

  10. AMEN my brother! If this was half-assed, keep ’em coming! Speaking as a single 35 year old, I’ve always seen these expectations kind of second-hand. For some reason, I always become the “best friend” who they think of more like “a brother” and then I hear all the crap that’s wrong with the guys they date. First of all, ladies, don’t tell your male friend’s that they’re too nice. We don’t want to hear that. Especially since after get done hearing about how nice we are which is why we can’t date you, theh you continue to tell us about the schleps you are dating who are treating you so badly! Yikes. If Ihad a nickel for every time a woman complained to me about expectations of a dude they were dating that they didn’t live up to, I’d have a lot of nickels. And my point is this, and I do have one: There are a lot of nice guys out there, but they don’t want that either…You can’t have the best of both worlds ladies…And if you do, just remember to place those expectations REALISTICALLY on the guy. It blows my mind when a woman complains that her husband forgets her birthday or something…I’m sure he was exactly that when they were dating.Anyway..Good post, I apologize for my tangent!

  11. Oh Phil. You REALLY do not want me to comment on this post. I’m already glaring at your tiny picture as I’m typing. First of all…no we do not need to lower our expectations. Men need to get off their asses and be a little more pro-active. Is remembering your girlfriend/wife’s b-day asking too much? NO. Is calling the day after sex too much? HELL NO. If men these types of men would give a little instead of taking, taking, taking…then we wouldn’t be so fussy. There. I won’t say anymore..I’m late for dinner.

  12. **smh….sad sigh**** no comment

  13. hmm. interesting. after dumping probably one of the world’s greatest men, i dated one of the world’s worst. those experiences made me realize what is and <>isn’t<> important.i don’t think it’s so much about lowering our expectations, but understanding what really matters and letting go of the things that don’ either i’m all enlightened or i’m just unnaturally optimistic because you-know-who hasn’t failed any major tests yet.

  14. I don’t sterotype men, like women, men come in all shapes and sizes, and all different levels of mental capacity. It just takes time to find the right one!

  15. Furthermore, when you get to Texas, please remind me to kick your ass. 😉 thank you and goodnight

  16. I’m with Michelle. I don’t stereotype men. At least I don’t think I do. I enjoy the company of the men in my life and I like to meet new ones.I will, however, disagree with you, Phil. I don’t think that women have unrealistic expectations of men. In fact, I think that over time, women’s expectations of men in general have sunk to an all time low. I blogged about it earlier: for the visit the other day!

  17. Well, I would LIKE to think that a dog not having the ability to change oil has no relation what’s so ever to a man being unable to recall his girl friends birthday.Are you suggesting that men have very few braincells and can barely function in the real world in and around the female of the species?These SAME men who can build gigantic, multi-billion dollar companies shouldn’t have to call a woman after they’ve had sex with her because WHY? Because that’s too high of an expectation??Uh…if you say so Phil…if you say so.

  18. I agree with Say Rah. What may be a horrible trait in one fellow could just possibly be an adorable trait in another fellow. Two different men, same trait. Who can figure it out? You have to understand what really matters and let go of what doesn’t.If a man can make me laugh, all the rest is gravy.

  19. I’m with Josie. 🙂

  20. I”m still looking for Mr Right..Is there such a thing?

  21. hmmmm…expectations?…everyone is different….there are some things about males and females that yes seem to be a “man thing” or a “woman thing”, but there are also many exceptions to that….I am with josie in that if he can make me laugh, and he gives me tingles ;)…then who cares… we are all so varied in what we want, expect, and give….when you get right down to it…a couple works when they ‘accept’ each other for who they are, little quirks and all….

  22. …i dont have any expectations, and that really freaks some guys out. I wont ask who you were out with the night before, I wont grill you about unknown phone numbers, I dont care if you have friends who are girls….and a lot of guys dont know how to handle this. I have a healthy confidence level….but it freaks them out.With that being said…Why dont you ever comment back to me??? Whats going on with that? Am I not good enough to get some feedback? 😛

  23. My dog could change the oil, but of couse he was a border collie, and I think that speaks for itself. As for women and their expectations. Hell, I’ve been married three times. Some days I think I understand them better, and then get hit with something outside my known universe and end up befuddled by my wrongdoing yet again.

  24. I’m with Carly-Ann. I never thought that I’d lower my standards, but I have.

  25. I wouldn’t say its so much blaming a man for my unhappiness, but more like they tend to be the sole contribution to my happiness.

  26. That’s a great statement, crazybeautiful.

  27. Phil,I usually prepare my comments before I post them ( LMAO) but I am throwing this one together half-assed so you will know I read yours.hahaha have a good day.

  28. I’m disappointed that you posted and then apologized. A little too PC for me. I don’t stereotype men at all and have no problem with most of them. I find the majority are perfectly trainable. I think women are more typical in their “quirks” and that’s why I prefer the company of men.

  29. I loved this post. But of course doesn’t this mean we will start blaming men for forcing us to lower our standards? 😉

  30. having been burned twice, i’ve stepped out of the ring, and my feelings are now that of, “i’m not interested in playing that game.” well…. unless the ultimate sparring partner shows up; one whom i just can’t refuse. if that happens, then i think the stage should be set to have realistic expectations being met for both.nice fantasy for a moment there.

  31. I don’t know any men that don’t complain about women… So maybe the key to happiness is to stop stereotyping, start accepting each other, keep expectations realistic (which isn’t necessarily lowering them), and maybe train our dogs better. 🙂

  32. blueviolet–very well said

  33. Oh boy Phil you know how to pick a fight! It’s very easy to trivialise being single. Have you ever thought that perhaps we don’t want to settle, we’re just as happy single and I think you’ll find that most issues are beyond “he doesn’t make me feel special” (though that’s a doozie for us all.🙂 said with all due love and warmth, but Phil, maybe we dont’ want to, and don’t HAVE to settle! 😉Me? I’d be happy if I could meet someone who doesn’t turn out to be a complete swine. Doesn’t matter if I have a heap of attention, if it’s only from the screwballs who want to get a leg over and then get all commitment phobic. I’ll stick to singledom and avoid the broken heart. So – you single Phil? how come? too picky? 😉 *teasing*Talk about picking up a stereotyped phrase that single women and men with self respect loathe to try to stir up a bit of debate – stirrer! 😛

  34. btw, I think a lot of men too have high expectations, but rather than emotional, they’re visual or status related. A lot of them expect a little miss size 6 bikini model who can cook like a fiend, earn 6 figures without being busy all the time, who won’t kick up a stink of her man prefers the company his mates, to her all the time like she doesn’t matter, then expects to come home without spending any time with her and expects to get a leg over. We all have our unicorns. 😛One of my best friends (sorry ladies please don’t be offended I was annoyed at him enough for this but ah well at least he’s open about it) .. is chasing a woman who a) doesn’t have tattoos b) no children, c) no more than a size 12-14, d) doesn’t smoke e) no drugs and f) preferably doesn’t drink. He has a thing for models too.

  35. Princess- This is for you. I was gone all weekend! Cut me some slack on responding to comments! Sheesh!Clueless- Wow! i don’t know how to respond to everything you said except to say that of course you’re right about everything.

  36. yes, but you didn’t tell Clueless you were married….lol.You holding out?

  37. Sorry to rabit-on Phil 🙂

  38. *sigh* to clueless….I must be doing something way wrong. I’m a miss size 2/4 non-model who cooks like a fiend, earns just about 6 figures, am told I’m not horrific to look at, would far prefer my man hang out with his buddies from time to time (instead of in front of the xbox or monitor 18 hours a day) and then come home and ravage me 4 times a week on a slow week. And I can’t get a date for my own birthday 🙂 I’d tell you to tell your friend to give me a call but alas, I’m no model, enjoy a cosmo & a smoke, and am considering a tattoo. You’re right, we all have our unicorns. But hey, sometimes those horns can be sexy too…

  39. Hmmmm, not even going to comment on this one !!!Other than to say … Hi Phil, hope you are well, sorry I haven’t been by lately.Take care, Meow

  40. “chasing a woman who a) doesn’t have tattoos b) no children, c) no more than a size 12-14, d) doesn’t smoke e) no drugs and f) preferably doesn’t drink.”K, I’m missing something, because that seems like an entirely reasonable list to me. I thought you meant he had no standards

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