Often women from a failed relationships or marriages will say, “I gave everything to him and still he could not love me”. I’ve heard this story many times and can sympathize with them; I’ve been in this exact situation myself.

Woman frustrated with boyfriendWhy do women feel we have to give everything? Well, we’ve been brought up by a generation of mothers who gave to our fathers. We have been taught to be the nurturers of society, the nurses, the teachers, the caretakers. Besides, we think, if we give everything then men will want to take care of us

Men, on the other hand, are taught that they have to work hard for what they get. Men go out into the world and do battle on a daily basis. They enjoy the fight of working hard for something and then achieving that goal.

Helen, a 34-year-old film executive, was a woman who seemed to have everything. A house in the hills with a swimming pool, fine furniture, an art collection, travel, expensive clothes, and sports cars. But what Helen didn’t have was a committed relationship. “I don’t understand why some guy doesn’t jump at the chance to have a relationship with me,” she moaned. “I have so much to offer.”

At first I didn’t understand either. Not only was Helen a business success, she was a knockout, too. But later, I heard the story of her recently failed relationship and the one before it. The reason for Helen’s failure to find love: Good Girl Syndrome. While living a sophisticated big-city life, she was also trying to be the “perfect woman” in a traditional sense.

To Helen, being a good girl meant that she could only be lovers with one man at a time. And that she had to try for a falling-in-love relationship with every man she went to bed with.

After all, a good girl only goes to bed with a man she’s serious about. So in order to justify the sex she, wanted, Helen always gave too much too soon. She cooked gourmet dinners, bought gifts, made plans, and was always available. No matter how unfulfilling the relationship, Helen worked frantically to show each man what a great wife she’d be.

The men Helen dated were scared off, plain and simple. After a few dates, just as the pursuit of Helen was getting interesting, the courtship was suddenly over, consummated. Helen would hand over her body, soul, and heart. Despite good intentions, her rush to commit turned intriguing affairs into heavy, threatening situations. While some of her lovers would stay for a short time and take advantage of the sex, the rest pegged her as too needy and took off.

And there’s nothing that will turn a healthy man off sooner than a really needy woman. The worst impression you can give is that there is nobody else in your life. Men are competitive by nature. If he can’t compete for you, he’s likely to find a woman he’ll have to fight for.

The antidote to the Good Girl Syndrome: Don’t just play hard to get. Be hard to get. The next time someone asks you out, explain that you’d love to see him, but you already have plans. That will get his interest. A man wants to feel he has a prize other men want–not someone nobody else cares about.

See more than one man, especially if you’re interested in a serious relationship. If there is a Mr. Could-Be-Right in your life, you’ll need to have lots of men to keep his attention. You don’t have to sleep with them if you don’t want to; he’ll think you do anyway.

Eventually Helen realized that she gave too much for too little in return. She decided to take matters into her own hands. She joined a dating service. The minute her current, couldn’t-care-less lover found out Helen was coming to the attention of thousands of eligible men, he suddenly became very attentive. But by then, Helen had realized she didn’t want him. She was already dating lots of other men– and starting out her new relationships on the right foot.