Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Turn Your Frog into a Prince; in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images, Our Writer Says Women Should Avoid Trying Too Hard to Mould Their Men

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Turn Your Frog into a Prince; in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images, Our Writer Says Women Should Avoid Trying Too Hard to Mould Their Men

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Saatchi the naked eye

THERE is little that is more off-putting to a man than feeling attached to a woman and suddenly realising that he is a "project" that she is going to fix. Critiquing his clothes sense, correcting his table manners, wanting to improve his appearance and grooming -- it routinely comes across as nit-picking about his imperfections. Even if men accept that women tend to be caretakers by nature, heavy doses of unrequested improvements and helpful hints are usually unwelcome, and often seen as insulting and emasculating -- he is apparently just not good enough.

Men want to be seen, listened to and appreciated for who they are. Regular complaints about "his flaws" are as unwelcome to him as they would be if they were directed at you, and particularly so if voiced in the company of family and friends.

In fact, a lack of appreciation is often one of the major causes of resentment in relationships. If you fail to acknowledge each other's attributes, instead quibbling about relatively unimportant matters, it ends up costing you both the pleasures of a congenial atmosphere. And ultimately the partnership withers.

Also commonplace between couples is the habit of keeping your negative concerns pent-up, hoping your partner will figure out what is wrong, based on your expression and mood. The silent treatment, as a way of attempting to manipulate attention, gradually erodes the other party's will to sort out whatever is troubling you, simply avoiding a direct confrontation.

Men may not always be emotionally open and forthcoming but being passive-aggressive towards them seldom works. It truly is better to tell a man the problem, and see if he can agree with your views without falling into a sulk. Of course he may just get irritated if it is yet another of his failings you are trying to correct. …

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