A broken promise is not a lie.
— Paul Ekman
Women can say what they want about men, but the vast majority of us strive to be a force for good in the world. This includes acting with honor and making promises that we intend to keep.
The vast majority of men are, in fact, nice guys. Now, what happens when a nice guy makes a promise? You get a man who refuses to break his word under any circumstance. Yet this romantic notion, known as the promise trap, has sunk many a good relationship.
“I can’t be mean to her,” the jilted man says. “I promised I’d always treat her like a princess.” He looks down in despair, knowing full well that the woman he loves is cheating on him and can’t even stand to be in the same room as him anymore.
“But she doesn’t love you or respect you,” you counter.
The man shrugs his shoulder and sighs, “It doesn’t matter. I promised I’d never leave her and I can’t break that promise.”
Promises Work Against Men
Men love to make promises because to us promises hold value. When a man promises to treasure a woman and never cheat on her, he has every intention of keeping that promise. Women, for their part, understand that men value promises and as a result they often exploit this male proclivity to make and keep promises.
“Sorry, I’m busy, I can’t pick you up from work today,” the frustrated man tells his wife.
“But you promised you’d always take care of me,” his wife responds.
“I’m just so busy right now,” the man says.
“You promised you’d always be there for me,” his wife replies, starting to sulk. The man kicks himself, resenting the promise he made. “Okay,” he says, relenting. “I’ll come get you.”
The moment a woman mentions the word promise, the man, remembering his sense of honor, falls into line and bends to the woman’s will as a stream of thoughts run through his head: I don’t feel good about this. But she’s right. I did make a promise. Next time I’ll be more careful. I’ve already made too many promises: I promised to love her. I promised to never look at other women. I promised to be loyal. And you better believe that a woman will remember each and every one of these promises.
When a woman steps out of line, however, you’ll soon discover that you’re not allowed to complain because you made a promise a long time ago never to get angry at her. And when she starts flirting with other men, you’re not allowed to flirt with other women because you promised you’d never act that way. You wanted to show her that you were different to all those other guys.
You may notice that women rarely if ever make promises. You’ll never catch a woman promising to “always be kind” to a man, and you’ll never catch her making a promise to “always be faithful.”
Women Rarely Make Promises
Surprisingly, men rarely ask women to make promises; and women, for their part, rarely promise anything in return. This is why it’s so foolish to make promises in the first place. Even if a woman does make a promise, she’ll have no problem breaking it because she’s ruled by her emotions, unlike men who are bound by their sense of honor.
When a woman gets married, she might promise to love her husband ‘till death do her part, but that was yesterday’s news. Today, her husband’s no longer attractive. He’s grown weak and needy, and all he does is sit around the house, trying to please her.
When she married him, she had no idea she was settling down with someone so pathetic. She thought she was marrying a confident man with a bright future ahead of him. How could he deceive her like this? He doesn’t deserve her love and respect, and he certainly isn’t worth the promise she made to him.
Now that you’re cognizant of the destructive nature of promises, the first and most important rule is—never to make promises in the first place. Making promises puts you in a vulnerable position and allows a woman to use your promises against you.
Don’t be Ashamed to Break Stupid Promises
If it’s too late and you’ve already made a handful of promises, keep this in mind: it’s never too late to break a promise—neither is it a crime.
If at any time you feel as though you’ve made an unreasonable promise to someone that’s now working against you, you’re perfectly within your rights to break that promise.
When you break a promise, however, you must be prepared to face a woman’s wrath. Women will try to use every trick in the book to make you feel guilty for reneging on your promise. They might call you a coward. They might call you a liar. They might even go so far as to question your manhood and masculinity. Nevertheless, your response to this onslaught must be met, as always, with stone-cold indifference.
“Yes, I’m breaking my stupid promise because I never should have made it in the first place,” you tell her as she rants about how you promised to always cherish her, even though she’s been acting like a spoiled brat and making your life pure misery.
“You promised you’d never ignore me,” the woman cries when her boyfriend doesn’t pick up the phone. In this situation, a derisive laugh accompanied by an attitude of “How could you expect me to keep such a stupid promise?” goes a long way. As the saying goes: promises are like babies—easy to make but hell to deliver.