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Jack and Toshie Ito

Books and Help from Coach Jack Ito PhD

Dr. Jack Ito's Book

What to Do When He Won't Change

connecting through yes book

Connecting Through “Yes!”


build love with communication

Building Love through Better Communication: 5 Free Lessons for Women


communication e-book

Back in the Picture: The Man's Guide to Better Communication in Marriage and Committed Relationships

Advice and Answers for Single Women Who Want to Have Better Relationships

Your knowledge about these questions will make the difference between short term relationships and a loving, committed one.

Are all men really the same?
You have probably heard that all men are the same. The fact is that all men are the same in one very important way--they all have the same needs. But, so do women for that matter. For example, we all need food, water, shelter, an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, etc. We also have the same emotional needs. We need to feel important, to feel secure, to give love, and to be loved. There is an important difference that men have and you need to watch for it. Men differ very much in how they go about getting their needs met. Some will give a lot to get a little. Some will give little and expect a lot. Some will expect you to fill their every need (at first gratifying, later suffocating), while others have healthy ways for meeting their needs (friends, career, activities, etc.). Beware of a man who needs you too much. You are likely to end up being his mom.
If men really are different, then why do I keep having the same experiences with them?
People get into the same kind of relationships repeatedly because: 1. People do what they know how to do (i.e.. meet and date this kind of man). 2. They have certain emotional needs and expectations that "filter out" different men. 3. They are attracted to men who have the positive qualities of previous relationships (regardless of what went wrong in the relationship).
How can I get out of this cycle of repeating relationship failures?
To have a different kind of relationship (a better one), people must: 1. Have a clear vision of what kind of life you want to create for yourself. 2. Have a balanced life where most of your needs are already met (neediness attracts the wrong men). 3. Determine the kind of man that will match your dream goals. 4. Be the kind of person such a man would be attracted to. 5. Take a step by step approach to create a great life and great relationship.
The approach you talk about sounds very calculated.
You can romantically wait for the perfect man to sweep you off your feet, or you can have a systematic plan for meeting and dating such a man. Which way do you think will work better? Life is not Hollywood fiction, no matter how much we want it to be. We can either work on getting what we want or we can settle for what we get. When you use skills that work, you feel in control of your life and you look forward to your day. Calculated equals excitement. Waiting and wishing equals disappointment.
What should I look for in a man?
The man who you will find to be a good long term partner is the man who: 1) enjoys having his needs satisfied in the way that you enjoy meeting them; 2) enjoys meeting your needs in the ways that you enjoy having them met; 3) has a compatible vision for the future. There are any number of things that can disqualify a potential partner, but these three are essential even if everything else seems to be right.
Can't my partner and I decide on our dreams for the future together?
Whatever you and your partner decide on will be a compromise of your individual dreams. The more different your partner's ambitions from yours, the more you will have to compromise. Determine what you want from life first. Then find a partner who fits that. You will then have someone who wants to work on the same things you do and have the same kind of relationship you do. Compromise will be minimal. True partnership and teamwork will be maximized.
The men I choose seem to be wonderful, at first. Then, they change.

When they are dating, men seek to give women what they want in the way that they want it. It is much like using the appropriate kind of fly for fly fishing. Men are natural born hunters and enjoy the craft and pursuit of a woman. Some men are naturally better at than others. The men who are really good at it seem at first to be wonderful partners while those who are bad at it may seem like duds.

Unfortunately, when you get into a long term relationship with these seemingly wonderful partners, you will often find that they no longer have much interest in fishing for you. Often women don't find this out until they are married as that is the point at which many men consider themselves to have reached their goal or caught their fish. The woman then finds out she has an entirely different man on her hands than the one she started with. After women see this pattern a few times, they often despair of finding someone they can enjoy being with past the initial dating.

Don't women also set themselves up for failure?
Out of a desire for love, attention, and a need to feel important, women also tend to give more when they are dating than when they are in a long term relationship. They also have a tendency to focus on one or two wonderful features of a man while disregarding any negative characteristics. Once the relationship changes to long term, however, it is the negative characteristics which get the most attention. What was a cute behavior when dating becomes an annoying quirk when married.
I'm already in a relationship.
You have a wonderful opportunity to make your current relationship even better. The fact that you are still together shows that you are in some ways meeting each other's needs. Regardless of their initial commitment most people will break up if there needs go unsatisfied for a long enough period of time. Every healthy relationship has room for both people to grow. We can only grow when we take steps in a direction which leads toward success. The bad thing about this is that we cannot honestly blame anyone else for our lack of success. The good news is that we don't need to wait for our partner to make changes in order for us to work on having a better relationship and life.
How can I have a better relationship if my partner doesn't want one?
There is only one way for you not to have a better relationship--keep on doing the same things that you are doing now. As soon as you take one single step to improve your relationship or your life, it is no longer the same. When we work on having a more balanced life and on personal growth, we actually become a much more valuable person for our partner.
Whenever I try to improve our relationship, my boyfriend gets upset.
Whenever you make changes, it will increase other people's feeling of insecurity--even when you change for the better. They know how you are now and what to expect. Until they learn that the new you is a better one, their fear will tend to make them resist your efforts to change. When you accept this as natural, and healthy, you can free yourself from their resistance. If your relationship is basically healthy, your partner will tolerate the change and your relationship will improve.
What are some examples of things people work on to have a great relationship?
Creating a positive cash flow, having a meaningful job, communicating at a deep level, increasing romance, having more fun, having more friends, etc. The key is to balance your life while increasing fun, romance, and intimacy in your relationship.
Some of these things don't seem to directly relate to my relationship.
When you look at why relationships fail (for example, the number one issue in breakups is money), you get an idea of how important these things actually are to a relationship. The fact is that when our life is out of balance (poverty, lack of friends, meaningless job, etc.), it detracts from our relationships. When these things are great, our relationships are also better. We can't really get to "great" in our relationships if we are hurting in another part of our life.
This sounds good, but I don't know how to do these things.
There are two main reasons that people don't have success. Either they don't know what to do or they don't do the things they need to do in order to have success. Coaching is designed to help people to combine learning with action to create success. Unless you learn from others who are successful, you are not likely to stumble upon it. And unless you are willing to risk what you have in order to get what you don't have, you are also not going to be successful. It is impossible for all things to remain the same while we also are changing. To have a better relationship, we must risk the relationship that we already have. If we don't have a relationship yet, then we must risk failing at the one that we create. If you are not willing to take such a risk, then you will not be able to have a great relationship. Small steps are the key to keeping your risks minimal. Coaches help people to take small steps in the right direction.
I understand it's important to get my life together before looking for a partner, but won't that take a long time?
Absolutely, and the fact is that no matter how long you work at it, your life will never be perfectly in balance. Life is more like a river than a stone and so it is constantly moving and changing. Never the less, there is a right time and a wrong time to get involved with someone. If you get involved before you have some kind of balance in your life, then you will become too dependent on that person to meet the majority of your needs. At first, this is exciting, but over time it becomes debilitating. So you are left with two choices--get your life together first or else go from relationship to relationship much like a surfer looks for one good wave after another. Surfing is fun, but who wants to do that all of their life? Aren't there other things you want to accomplish too?
How do I know when it's the right time to look for a long term partner?
The very best time to look for a partner is when you don't need one. This is just like the best time to look for a job is when you don't need one. The reason for this is that our needs make us more desperate and it is easy to too easily decide on the wrong person. Also, when we are needy, we are less likely to be concerned with how someone fits into our long term plans. We become overly concerned about feeling good now. There is nothing wrong with feeling good, but when it sets you up for failure or less than you could have, you end up cheating yourself just for a good time.
How can I get past other people's expectations of me?
We all have a set of expectations for ourselves as well as for others in our life. It is natural that other people also have expectations for us. The first step in dealing with other people's expectations is to realize that it is ok for them to have there expectations. Trying to change them would be like trying to paint a painting while blindfolded. We might get something done, but the result wouldn't be very pretty. The second step to dealing with other's expectations is not to. Continue to work on your own life and as you become more successful, people's expectations of you will improve. In the meantime, don't fight other's expectations. You are still the one in charge of your life. Be careful not to let other people's expectations of you be an excuse not to work on personal growth.
I think something is seriously wrong with me. I can't stop ....
If you think something may be seriously wrong with you or several other people are telling you that something is wrong with you, then you may need professional help. Recognizing that there is something wrong is a good thing. It is the first step to recovering from whatever your problem is. People who have something wrong with them and don't realize it are in a much worse situation. A psychologist or licensed clinical social worker is usually a good choice of who to see when you suspect something is wrong with you. They are trained to conduct a thorough evaluation and to refer you to the appropriate kind of help. There are also many hotline numbers that you can call if you need to talk to someone right away such as 1-800-273-TALK. Here is a web site with a good listing of national hotline numbers. Coaching is best used for creating success rather than fixing problems. Fixing of serious problems should come first.
Why do I need coaching? Can't I just learn and do these things on my own?
If you wanted to learn any skill, whether it is riding a bike, learning a foreign language, dancing, and so on, could you learn it on your own? Maybe. But it would take a lot more time and effort and you are more likely to give up before becoming proficient. The one thing that is true about relationships is that you will not become better at it through trial and error. Our relationship errors show us what to avoid, but don't help us to acquire any new skills. So, we end up repeating the same old errors in new relationships. The special advantage of coaching over other types of help (counselors, books, internet, friends, etc.) is that the coach helps you to figure out exactly what would be best for you, supports you in your dream, and helps you to take a step by step approach to achieve your dream. Others often mean well and give some good advice, but are unable to help us in this way.
I know what I don't want, but how can I figure out what I really do want?
Most people figure out what they want by seeing something and then deciding it is good. Unfortunately, this approach will not work for achieving success. Even when we do get the thing that we liked, it still leaves us feeling unfulfilled. In order to achieve success, we must first look within ourselves. It sounds mystical just because you are not used to doing it. This society has discouraged us from looking within for answers and instead seeks to give us answers. The truth is that the answer to what you want is within you. You must learn to shut out the noise and expectations from others long enough to listen to the part of you that knows. Coaches know that although you need to acquire some skills, the answers to what you want and need are mainly to be found inside you. Your coach will help you to draw them out. They will be very satisfying because they come from you. Your coach is not your teacher and not your mom. This is your journey and your coach will just be a helpful and knowledgeable companion in your journey.

Questions from single men>>>>

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