Stand tall and be her leader

Be certain,” Catelyn told her son, “or go home and take up that wooden sword again. You cannot afford to be indecisive in front of men like Roose Bolton or Rickard Karstark. Make no mistake, Robb–these are your bannermen, not your friends. You named yourself battle commander. Command.”

— Lady Catelyn to her son Robb Stark in A Game of Thrones (531)

…nor can a man afford to be indecisive in front of his girlfriend, his students, or anyone, really. It’s incumbent on him to take the lead and drive things forward, whether it be the relationship, the lesson, the battle, or the Honda Accord. Being able to make a choice and stand by it is what separates the metaphorical men from the boys here. Hemming and hawing does a man no favors.

When I walk into the classroom, I need to know the lesson plan because if I don’t, the students won’t know what to do and they’ll grow wary of my authority. Students have a way of knowing whether someone’s confident or not. Women do too. Dannyfrom504 recently wrote in which he said that although most women want a man to take control, a sharp distinction stands between being dominant and being dictatorial.  In other words, dominant is authoritative and dictator is authoritarian: “Here’s what’s going to happen” vs “My way or the highway, bitch.”

The key idea here’s to make a choice and stand by it. If my girlfriend asks me, “Where do you want to go for dinner?”, she’s asking me to choose for us. A lot of guys make the mistake of thinking that they should choose something she likes*, but as Danny showed, when she asks you, it’s about you and what you’d like. When girlfriend was over last night and asked, “Do you know what you’d like for dinner?” I thought for a second and said, “Fish.” We proceeded to go to the food fish place in town and enjoyed a quality spread. In the past, I would think, “Is this the right choice? Is she going to like it? What if she doesn’t?” Such thoughts are poisonous because they leading down the paralyzing road of self-doubt. Do your best to keep those thoughts out of mind and move forward.

Here’s the Wipers and their anthem “Up Front.” Greg Sage’s line “I can’t stick around while you try to decide” is an all-time favorite.

It’s got to be up front…I can’t stick around while you try to decide

Rock on…

*In other words, you’re not a mind reader. How she’s acting can provide plenty of clues about what’s inside her head, but nobody’s perfect.

** Related songs:

Husker Du’s “Indecision Time”

Go to the left, go to the right
Your mind is going to keep you up all night
You twist in your sleep, grabbing the sheets, sweating to death

Rush’s “Free Will”

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Excellent song, not so excellent way to be in a relationship.

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