In today’s video, I’m going to talk about why it’s so important to “not make your woman your world.”

Don’t make your woman your world… here’s what I mean:

Zachary Stockill: If you’ve been watching my channel for a while, if you’ve read one of my books or anything like that, chances are you may have heard me say some variation of the statement: “Don’t make your woman your world.”

This general idea, don’t make your partner your world, I think, is important for everyone. However, today, I want to talk to guys in particular, because I see this issue coming up more often among my male coaching clients.

Don’t make your woman your world.

If you’re curious to know what I’m talking about, and why it’s so important, I think you’re going to want to see the rest of this video. 

Before I get into the meat of this video, I’m going to tell you a brief story.

The first time, I fell head over heels, madly in love, I developed a syndrome that I like to call girlfrienditis. Kind of a clunky name. But bear with me…

I became what I now consider to be one of those “girlfriend guys.” You might know what I’m talking about. “Girlfriend guys” are those guys who are your best buddy, and able to spend time with you when they’re single…

But as soon as they get into a relationship with a woman, it’s like they’ve left the planet on a spaceship or something, 

They’re unavailable, you can’t get in touch with them, and they’re totally consumed with their new love interest. And again, of course, women do some variation of this too. I’m aware of that. 

But I’m a guy. I work with a lot of guys. And I’ve seen this, in particular, all the time among male clients (as well as myself back in the day).

There are a lot of reasons why guys do this. When you fall in love with someone…

Of course, there’s a natural inclination to become absorbed by that person; to start spending almost all of your free time with that person…

don't make your woman your world

And, you know, spending just about every waking moment together and texting them all day at work and all this stuff, becoming consumed by your relationship.

That is probably the biggest regret of my 20s. I think it’s one of the biggest mistakes I made as a young man, spending several years of my early 20s neglecting my friendships, and neglecting my life outside the relationship…

“Making your woman your world” presents all kinds of problems, not least of which is the toll it takes on your relationship.

One of the lines that I quote all the time from one of my favorite thinkers on relationships, a Belgian psychotherapist named Esther Perel… She has this great line that says:

“Desire needs distance.”

Sexual polarity is the lifeblood of any vital relationship. Masculine or feminine, yin/yang, some kind of sexual difference.

Some kind of difference in presence and energy is what builds attraction. We’re generally not attracted to people who are exactly like us in every single way. We need some degree of distance there to create some sparks. 

And when you start spending all of your waking moments with one person, a number of things happen. The number one thing that happens is decrease in your sexual polarity. The amount of “distance” between you, the amount of difference between your presence and your energies, everything starts to kind of level out. Whereas before, maybe you are a little more masculine, all of a sudden, you’re a little more feminine. 

By the way, the same is true for your girlfriend. Where she starts kind of becoming a little more like you, and you start becoming a little more like her, it’s this dreadful cycle where you want to spend all your time together, but then you stop having sex as much and your conversations get less interesting.

And you have fewer interesting things to share with each other because you’re spending all of your time together. 

Thus, the irony is what originally attracted you to each other in the first place starts to get lost.

In some ways, you fell in love with this woman because she was this kind of delicious mystery that you couldn’t wait to unravel. There was something you wanted to know more about. You wanted to know what she thought about certain things. And you want to know how her skin felt, and you were drawn to this captivating woman in part because she was a little mysterious, and vice versa. The same is true with regard to your girlfriend’s or your wife’s feelings for you. 

She was drawn to you, in part, because you were different and mysterious. There was a certain distance there between you that she found intriguing. When you separate that distance completely–when you stop making time for your other friendships, when you start neglecting your hobbies and interests, when you start spending every single waking moment together–obviously, there’s no more distance.

And desire needs a certain degree of distance in any relationship.

At the same time, for the guys watching us, your woman doesn’t want to be your world. Even if she says she does, I don’t think that’s actually true. 

No woman wants to represent her man’s entire galaxy. No woman wants to feel like she is your mother taking care of your every need. 

And, no woman wants to feel like you would completely crumble and fall apart without her. The ones that do have their own issues, which I don’t have time to get into right now.

Another related component of this issue is increased feelings of what I call subconscious social anxiety. 

don't make your woman your world

So human beings are a social species to the core. We need other people. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In some ways, it takes a village to raise all of us, well into adulthood. We need a broad base of social support.

Obviously, some people require a broader base than others. I’m very introverted. My girlfriend is a little more extroverted. So she needs a broader base of social support than me. 

But to some extent, we all need this. We need family, we need friends, we need other people we can rely on other than our intimate partner. 

But when where you’re basically spending all of your time with one person, I think this creates a certain degree of subconscious anxiety because, on some level, you realize that “this person represents my entire social safety net. And if I lose this person, I’m going to lose everything. I’m going to be alone. I’m going to be isolated, I’m going to be alienated. I’m not going to have anyone to rely on for company or fun or sex or support…”

Needless to say, I’m not speaking against monogamy here, or anything like that. The point I’m trying to emphasize is that when you rely on one person to represent your entire social world, that represents a serious problem. And it adds some anxiety to the relationship, even if you don’t necessarily realize it. 

By the way, for the retroactive jealousy sufferers or even the men struggling just standard run-of-the-mill jealousy… I promise you, your symptoms of retroactive jealousy and obsessive jealousy will be worse the more you rely on your partner to represent your entire social world… the less you are engaging with your friends and pursuing your own mission, pursuing your own goals, pursuing friendships…

The more you are limiting your sense of meaning and purpose outside of your relationship, the more you will struggle with things like retroactive jealousy and/or obsessive jealousy. 

So when I say “don’t make your woman your world,” this is what I mean.

Just to be absolutely clear, I am not suggesting you shouldn’t value your relationship.

What I am suggesting is to not make the mistake that I made in my early 20s, which by the way, I don’t make anymore these days. I make time to schedule those calls with my family and to spend time with my friends, to broaden my base of social support. Because I know it’s absolutely essential for my mental health. And it’s also great for my relationship. It’s great for sustaining attraction. 

Again, desire needs distance. So I hope this message resonates with a few of you watching it. Don’t make your woman your world because I promise you your mental health, your life, and your relationship will benefit.

If you’d like more information about my work, or you’d like to work with me one on one, please visit this page.

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Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.