How to Lose a Woman

By Raymond Bechard

Excerpted with permission from “How to Lose a Woman Forever” on The Good Men Project

Raymond Bechard summarizes Travis McGee’s views on women into 22 rules to losing the love of your life forever.

Only a woman of pride, complexity and emotional tension is genuinely worth the act of love, and there are only two ways to get yourself one of them. Either you lie, and stain the relationship with your own sense of guile, or you accept the involvement, the emotional responsibility, the permanence she must by nature crave. I love you can be said only two ways.

Travis McGee, The Deep Blue Good-By, 1964

1. Don’t protect her.

She’s a big girl. There’s no reason to help her feel safe in the way she needs to feel safe. There are no guarantees in life so it’s not rational to expect security in relationships. (And nothing is more rational than love.) Her emotional security is paramount to her. This means she wants to rely on you to always be there for her and count on you to be her best friend. Allow her to feel alone and abandoned, and you will experience both.

2. Don’t respect her.

Simple. Treat her like crap. If she doesn’t take it, she’ll leave and you’ll be miserable. If she does, she’ll stay and you’ll both be miserable. Treating her like the extraordinary woman she is will only increase her expectations, attitude, and hope, and courage, and affection, and love …

3. Don’t listen to her.

Every time she talks either tune her out or try to solve her problems. Do not, under any circumstances come to the realization that her feel­ings are the prob­lem she needs to com­mu­ni­cate to you. She doesn’t want you to DO anything. (After all, if she wanted your help she would ask for it. Seriously, she will.) And if you wanted her to feel closer to you than anyone else in the world you would not lis­ten to her prob­lems, but to her feel­ings. That takes paying sharp attention to her and learning how to really listen beyond her words. You would have to look at her as a person of near limitless emotional capacity. And all of that would only show her how much you truly value her. Who has that kind of time?

4. Look at her like an object.

All your life you’ve been sizing women up, judging them, taking in their physical being the same way you do with cars, boats or maybe fishing gear. Women are their words, their silence, their movement, the expressions, their work, their art, their friends, their children, their emotions, their thoughts, their hearts and their minds. They are more complex than anything else in the world. If you’re lucky, you might be smart enough to take on the challenge of understanding one someday.

5. Take her for granted.

Let her know she’s nothing special. Devalue everything she does, especially the things she does for you. If you want to make her miserable, sad, hopeless, or just lose her self-esteem make sure she knows she really doesn’t mean that much to you. You can’t be bothered with the fact that she’ll be looking for some kind of positive affirmation from you every day. And giving it to her is not something you can do once a month or week, on holidays or special occasions. She knows you appreciate her when you work at it all the time, especially those times when you don’t have to.

6. Don’t let her know she is important.

This one’s easy. If her father let her know that she is important as a person and you don’t show her the same thing, she won’t even consider a real relationship with you (because she knows you’re wrong.) However, if he didn’t teach her these things (making him a heartless jerk) then you have to go along with him. Otherwise, if you try to prove her father wrong and treat her with the love and respect she deserves, she will fight you. She may never unbelieve her father’s lie. But if you do choose to take on the job, commit to it like a man.

7. Don’t let her know she is interesting.

Don’t show any interest in her life, her passions, her story, her friends, work, hobbies, troubles, etc. Showing her she bores you is the best way to prove to her that she will never be her best with you.

8. Cheat.

No joking around on this one. Don’t cheat. Have the courage to say no or the decency to end the relationship. Stop and think of the damage you are doing to her for the rest of her life. However, if you want to permanently kill a good section her heart then go ahead. Tell yourself whatever you want. She will never recover, especially if she stays with you.

9. Don’t commit. 

She’ll feel fine if you can’t commit to anything, large or small. Can’t make little plans because of work or your family or your friends or your other interests? No problem. She’ll make plans without you. Can’t make big plans like spending the rest of your life with her? She’ll make those plans without you as well.

10. Don’t kiss her. 

If you don’t want her, don’t touch her. And especially don’t kiss her. However, if you want to be a man, shut up and take five completely uninterrupted minutes every day to hold her and kiss her.

11. Don’t cherish and adore her.

Don’t pay any attention to the needs she’s had since she was a child. Yes she is all grown up, but there is a part of the little girl she once was still living inside her. She needs your help in telling the little girl that everything is going to be okay because she is truly loved. Yeah, she can certainly handle that on her own, or with somebody else.

12. Don’t provide for her. 

Screw Travis McGee. It’s the 21st Century and women should be able to carry their own weight. Sorry, but if you can’t provide for her financially she will never be able to completely rely on you. She needs to count on you no matter what happens. Unpredictability is her worst enemy and the world is becoming more unpredictable every day. You must be her safe harbor, her one place to go when it all goes to hell.

13.  Don’t compliment her.

If you want her to find proof that she is attractive from someone else, don’t show her how attracted you are to her. If you want her to know how much you adore her, tell her how your attraction to her makes you feel. “Seeing your eyes makes me feel like I’m really home,” is better than, “You have nice eyes.” But don’t do that. You’d have to examine all the great feelings she gives you. And who needs that much self awareness?

14. Ignore Adventure.

Needing security must mean she wants routine and dullness, right? Do you realize how much a woman wants adventure? Not the adventure of being with you or the ups and downs of your relationship, but the adventures—large and small—you embark on together. She wants to be safe/secure enough in you so that you are the only one she will dare travel with on the adventures she desires so deeply.

15. Don’t surprise her.

Going to the trouble to be spontaneous or romantic without her knowing proves to her that she is precious to you. She needs to see you going to a lot of trouble for her to truly know she is loved and safe. That’s a lot of work.

16. Don’t romance her.

Your first date was a long time ago. No need to act like that idiot anymore. It’s probably best to just settle into a routine and ignore her need for unique expressions of your love for her. On the other hand, if you bring her out on a “first date” once in a while, or go out of your way for her romantically, you will reset the emotional freshness of her heart and your relationship.

17. Don’t be a hero.

She may not want you to solve all her problems, but she definitely wants a champion. Who the hell even knows what that means? It’s a fine line to walk. And it’s only attempted by the truest of men with the utmost courage and conviction.

18. Don’t take her anywhere. 

She is feeling things emotionally that you will never even come close to. Imagine all emotions—good and bad—are rocks. Someone hands two identical rocks to you and to your woman. To you it feels like a rock. To her it’s a boulder. The weight of all that, all day, every day, gets to be a burden. Whether you take her to dinner, a spa, on vacation, or just sit and watch her try on dresses, you will be her hero for taking her out from under her own personal pile of boulders.

19. Don’t change your habits.

Let pride be your guide. Never improve. You’ve gone far too long becoming just as perfect as you are. Why switch up your game now? Remember, compromise and consideration has no place in relationships … unless you want them to work. Anyway, who has strength enough to be flexible?

20. Hate apologizing. 

If you wanted to make this work, you would love apologizing. Point out your mistakes and apologize for them until she tells you to stop. But, that will only make her trust you and rely on your decency and trustworthiness as a man.

21. Don’t learn what emotional intimacy is.

Forget that emotional intimacy is the utterly close connection that will exist only when you are truly committed to and trust one another. It means you are both devoted to the well being and individual growth of the other, that you fully trust her and her you. It means knowing with absolute certainty that you are perfectly safe with each other. So, you would have to take the time to find a woman with whom you can build trust and be yourself. Worst of all it would mean not just accepting her for who she is, but celebrating who she is.

22. Don’t man up and deal with it.

You have issues. Everybody does. But you’re strong enough to handle them and not let them affect your life or your relationships. Certainly, you don’t need to deal with your past, your humiliations, shame, failures, addictions, etc. Getting help and staying strong only means you’re weak.

If none of these rules make sense then you need to meet my friend, Travis McGee. He is waiting for you on his boat, The Busted Flush, docked at slip F-18 at the Bahia Mar Marina in Fort Lauderdale.

Let me know what you think about this list, ladies and gents.

You might also enjoy How to Lose a Guy Forever or Maybe She’s Just Not That Into You, Bro on The Good Men Project.

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on April 3, 2017, in relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Reading this article, I couldn’t help but think my boyfriend, of just about four years, read this a couple months ago and thought this was a great guide for himself. Our relationship was like a fairytale in the beginning and all of our friends were jealous. Fast forward to around March and he seems to follow almost every rule. I finally worked up the courage to break up with him and we spent some time as “just friends.” I started not giving him attention and doing my own thing and that is when he came back crying. He finally realized how stupid he was being, so of course I let him back in. He now treats me amazing, just like he did for the first year of our relationship. I keep going back and forth about whether he is genuine now or if he is manipulating me. I am still being very cautious in fear he is just going to turn back around, but I am hopefully that he realized what he has and doesn’t want to lose me again, because he knows it will be for good.

    • I’m glad you were strong enough to leave. It’s hard to know whether your behavior had a permanent affect. Time will tell. But if he starts behaving that way again I hope you will be strong and find someone who is better for you.

  2. Sylvain Lechair

    Lecture très enrichissante comme toujours Ave ce blog de grande qualité.
    Il y a quelques rappels que je me dois et qu’il est toujours utile de relire plus attentivement 😉

  3. Sylvain Lechair

    Reblogged this on

  4. Interesting! I feel like this doesn’t go one way only it could be the other way around. But I can definitely see how this could be true. I know someone who is very committed to their partner but slowly their partner have been acting like some of these 22 rules and even though they are still committed over time it’s shows that they are slowly getting tired and disinterested in their partner because of the way he’s treating her. I know that men probably feel that it takes a lot to please or keep a woman but honestly I feel it is the same for women with men but in different things for example women are more sensitive than men and might need more attention or the man to be more sensitive towards them but for men they need to be attracted to the woman and women sometimes feel that it’s hard to keep a man because it takes a lot to impress them and get them to stay attracted to them.

  5. Are you indirectly talking the opposite …if men read it …they would think the opposite way 😊😊😀😀

  6. I find it interesting though. You know equality and women being able to provide as well as men and not needing men to be the provider or equal. I do believe a man shouldn’t be a slouch, but there it says provide for her on the list. I think this is why guys can be skeptical or critical or where they feel women don’t want equality, but to have their cake and eat it too. Your equal to men and should be treated that way, yet MEN are to be the bread winners still right? But whatever else benefits women, it will be about her taking the lead not him. I know it’s out culture, but that seems like a contradiction to me.

    I agree with most of it. It’s hard to imagine why a man who love his gf or fiance, wife, to not respect her and compliment her. Why he wouldn’t want to romance her? Not only would a relationship became dull if he doesn’t do these things, she most likely will not feel appreciated like she should. You shouldn’t take your SO for granted. I always find these lists interesting. I mean unfortunately there are men who treat women like crap or don’t know how to be good and women stay with them and such. But there are men who try to be good bfs and want to be. But I find it interesting though that you see extensive lists like this in regard to what women want and how men should be for women. I mean a lot of these are true, and better than others. Some I’ve seen where it was almost a contradiction. But still I find it interesting, because you see a lot of this as far as how men should be toward women. But not so much the other way around and if or when there is.

    It’s shorter and more basic. It sure feels like men have more to do to please women or for women to want to stay with a man or more boxes to be checked that for women. It sure does feel like women are good enough to please men in a relationship as long as their sex drive is fairly healthy. Whereas, men aren’t good enough unless they fill out and do more. Guys are easier to please it seems and more basic, it seems like that. There’s less of a list we put on women to fill outt than vice versa. I mean there are important things for a significant other. I think you can see some shared things, but I guess it’s less detailed and not a big deal for everything as long as the most important things and there can be compromise to work things out.

    • I actually don’t agree with the “don’t provide for her” suggestion, but I like the rest of it. That said, since we are not an equal society yet I’m sure it’s often true. Since I liked most of the list I posted the whole thing anyway. I have a cousin who divorced her first husband because he just expected her to provide. But I know other women who are the providers in their family and that’s fine if dad is being a stay at home dad.

      I see it more as neither the man nor the woman should expect not to provide in someway, whether it’s raising the family – being a stay at home dad or a stay at home mom – or bringing in the money.

  7. Well, it doesn’t seem that women are that much into men anymore. It doesn’t matter if they dub it fluid sexuality or bicurious or bisexuality or whatever, the point is that men aren’t that appealing to women anymore

    • Sure they are! But because we repress women’s sexuality it does tend to take more to get a woman interested.

      • Actually it’s not that women are attracted to men it’s more about what a man can do for a woman. Take for instance this list.
        This is a list about what a man should do or shouldn’t do.
        Let’s try some gender reversing here.
        Is there a list about what a woman should do or shouldn’t do?
        Probably not, because we, as society, we take for granted that the man is attracted to the woman and he has to prove that he is worthy enough for her.
        It doesn’t work the other way.

      • Yeah, there is a list the other way too. And I put it on my blog a few years ago.

        And even the list here isn’t how to attract a woman, it’s how not to lose her once you’ve got her .

      • You mean that female heterosexuality is being repressed. Because everywhere in the media there is female bisexuality idolized and sexualized to the point that if a female is heterosexual then she’s old fashioned or prude or uncool.
        Still oddly enough male bisexuality and homosexuality is still repressed. If a man even hinges somewhat attraction to another man then he is no longer a man.
        It’s very weird that the mainstream media, movies, TV, music videos, porn, etc present that the men are and should be super heterosexual whereas the females should be bisexual/homosexual. And I don’t believe that they are trying to represent LGBT in the media because I once again say the media ignores completely male bisexuality and the very few homosexual characters are always weak characters for a laugh. Whereas the media now ignores female heterosexuality to the point that most female characters are bisexual/lesbians and they are always cool, strong and sexy.
        So if men or women are attracted to men then they are presented as weak, uncool.
        Whereas if men or women are attracted to women then they are presented as strong, cool, sexy

        So I will say again that men aren’t appealing that much to women anymore

      • Well you are confusing sexy/sex object and sexual. Lesbians are highly objectified, appearing as sexual, largely for a male porn audience. But women are still punished for their sexuality, growing up in middle school and high school facing slut-shaming, threats from God and parents, and lesbians are still shamed because of their sexual orientation, too.

      • That objectification and oversexualization of naked women/lesbians has been fetishized even by women thus making men less appealing to women

      • Yes their bodies are eroticized and fetishized.

        But women’s desire is still punished, which makes it disappear. Or women get distracted worrying that their bodies don’t look like the eroticized bodies they see idealized. Or both things happen. Helping to explain why nearly half of women have no or low desire for sex.

        I have experienced all of this.

  8. Who would like to lose a woman? He can’t be a man. 🙂

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