Oh, Cosmopolitan magazine. Nothing says "healthy relationships" quite like an article dedicated to teaching women to "train" their boyfriends by applying animal training techniques, as treating them like human beings would be totally absurd, no?
In the world of Cosmo, everyone's boyfriend is a lazy, selfish, messy, unromantic jerk who needs to be "trained" to be, you know, marriage material. Men, in Cosmo-Land, are dogs. Or elephants, horses, or chimpanzees, depending on the situation. Everything that your crappy, terrible boyfriend does wrong can apparently be fixed by utilizing animal training methods: essentially, you need to trick and train him into being the person you want him to be. Mmm, healthy! Sounds like a really mature, open way to build a relationship. Here's an example:
#5 BOYFRIEND BUMMER: He Won't Drag Himself Off the Couch
As Used on Lions. Lions are, in a word, lazy. According to trainers, they sleep for up to 20 hours a day and only move when they see it as beneficial to themselves. "Trying to get a lion to do something when it's in resting mode can be very difficult and even dangerous," says lion wrangler Dave Salmoni, host of Animal Planet's "After the Attack." "That's why we make use of the animal's active time instead of trying to force it into doing something it doesn't want to when it's chilling."
Apply It to Your Guy. A man in veg-out mode is unlikely to move no matter how much you try to engage him. "You have to gauge when he's in a productive mood and then pounce to get him to do what you want," says Riche. If you notice that he prefers working out in the morning, that's a good time to ask him to help you clean when he's finished. If you need something done during his downtime and don't want to wait, bribe him. "Motivate him by making it worth his while," says Riche. When you feel like you haven't been able to have a heart-to-heart but he's in a coma in front of the TV, try plying him with his favorite snack. If his cravings for the food outweigh his interest in the TV, he'll eventually cave.
So...basically you should treat your man like a lion by bribing him to clean up his shit with a delicious snack. You know who else this strategy works on? Four year olds. Look, man. If you need to "train" someone to fit the mold of what you feel your ideal partner is, perhaps you're with the wrong person. These articles are just as gross as the Men's Health articles that give instructions on how to "make her yours," by weird manipulative techniques: there's no emphasis on real conversation as much as how to manipulate the situation for your own benefit. And sometimes, it's better to leave people's bad habits alone. Here are a few lessons I've learned over the years:
#1 Boyfriend Bummer: He Won't Stop Sleeping As Experienced With: Cthulhu
Look, all I'm saying is, sometimes you should just let him sleep. He will wake when he wants to. And if you wake him up, you might not like the results. I had this boyfriend once (you don't know him, he lives in R'lyeh) and I totally woke up him before he was done dreaming and let me just tell you: it was NOT a good move on my part. I mean, it was really bad. Really, really bad.
#2 Boyfriend Bummer: He Wears A Costume As Experienced With: Batman
So I was all about the costume for the first few weeks, because I'm pretty gothy and was all "Ooh, bats, nice." But then he insisted upon wearing it everywhere: to the movies, to the grocery store—he even wore it to my friend Tricia's wedding, which was so embarrassing, because it was in August and it was 102 degrees outside and his pants nearly melted and stuck to the pew at church. But as soon as I asked him to take the costume off, I lost him, and I've missed him ever since. Thankfully I've started dating a nice rich guy named Bruce who, strangely enough, kisses just as well as my beloved bat.
Boyfriend Bummer #3: He's An Imaginary Creature As Experienced With: Figment
Nobody liked Figment, but we were in love. Everyone kept saying, "He's not real, Hortense, that's why his name his Figment!" But I didn't care. I saw him for what he was, not what he wasn't. It wasn't until he stood me up for an anniversary dinner that things fell apart. "You didn't show!" I yelled. "I never show," he yelled back, "I don't exist!" I begged him to materialize into a real thing, but he refused. Sometimes you just can't force an imaginary being to cross into the real world.
Boyfriend Bummer #4: He Is A Bowl Of Cereal As Experienced With: A Bowl Of Frosted Flakes
I tried so hard to make him understand that true love meant never getting soggy in milk. He didn't agree. And now I'm left with nothing but a dirty spoon and a box of empty promises.
6 Ways To Train Your Boyfriend [Cosmopolitan]