The Definition of Relationship Problems – Drama

Get Free Email Updates!

Join us for FREE to get instant email updates!


-By Caleb Jones

Longtime readers know that I have a very specific definition of the term "drama" when talking about relationship problems. Per the glossary, it's this:

Drama – Any harsh negative actions directed from a woman to man where the man is the target of said negativity. Screaming, nagging, complaining, arguing, demands, crying “at you”, threats, ultimatums, the “silent treatment”, refusing sex because of non-medical reasons, all of these things are drama, and there are many others. Drama is not “anything negative”. Specifically, it must be harsh (sweetly lying would not be considered drama) and focused at the man (angrily complaining about her boss at work would not be considered drama). Drama is a female trait. (Men have guy-drama.)

(I'm not going to discuss guy-drama today since that's a very different animal from normal drama.)

I have very specific reasons for being this clear about my definition of drama. You may notice that my definition may differ strongly from your definition of "relationship drama", or perhaps the typical, societal definition of that term.

Many people, men and women both, view drama in a relationship as "anything bad". She lied to me, that's drama. He burbs loudly while he talks to me, that's drama. She badmouthed me privately to one of her girlfriends, that's drama.

The problem with this definition is that it's impossible to achieve a consistent state of happiness in any relationship you have if you hold human beings to such impossible standards. I don't know if you've noticed, but even "good" people can be dramatic, bitchy, irrational, and secretive, and they're like this pretty damn often. If you demand that your perfect girl who is Not Like The Rest™ never does anything bad ever, you'll never be happy.

Where I differ strongly from most other people is that when I date a woman, I expect her to be flawed. I fully expect her at certain times to do and say things that make no sense, and get flustered or angry about things that have nothing to do with me and/or are completely outside of my control. That's what girls do. Moreover, I expect some of this no matter how old, intelligent, classy, or educated she is. I expect these things because she's a human being, and that's how human beings work. As in all things, I am rational about my expectations, and adhere my expectations to the real world, not some Guy-Disney fairytale.

So if I'm spending time with a woman I care about (whether she's an FB, MLTR, or OLTR doesn't matter), if she starts getting upset about something, that's perfectly fine with me. That's not "drama". It's simply her exhibiting normal human behavior that I can't do much about, even if I scream at her with a bunch of guy-drama and command her to never do that again (like that works long-term). Certainly I can reduce the amount and frequency of negative behavior from someone in my life, but I can't eliminate it completely. Neither can you. It's foolish to think otherwise, and I'm saddened by the sheer number of men I see (of all ages) and women I see (usually over age 33) who expect 100% perfect behavior from their partners at all times.


Where I Draw The Line

Obviously I have a very clear line where negative behavior from a woman goes from irritating but acceptable to unacceptable. That's when the negative behavior is directed at me. It's not about whether or not her behavior is negative; it's more a matter of where her negativity is directed.

So if a woman is washing dishes, cuts her finger, and starts screaming her head off about how furious she is about that, and how much she hates dishes, and how horrible her day has been, and how life is so unfair, blah blah blah...that's totally fine. I have no problem with this behavior whatsoever. Seriously. Women are emotional creatures and need to emote, so I'll let her do that.

But...and this is a big BUT...if in the midst of her tirade she whirls around and starts calling me an asshole because I didn't text her back last Thursday, now she's entered the unacceptable zone. This is now drama, since the negativity is directed at me. She now has about 20 seconds to calm down or she'll get an instant soft next.

At that point, nothing else matters. It doesn't matter if she's right or not. It doesn't matter if she has a good point or is being completely irrational. It doesn't matter if she on her period or not. None of that matters. Unlike most men, I'll give her 100% acceptance if she's upset or negative, but I also don't do drama. Any drama, and she's GONE. (At least for 2-7 days for the duration of the soft next.)

Forms of Drama

Many men are under the opinion that drama is only when a woman is screaming at you. Wrongo. Drama is ANY type of negativity directed at you. The classic example of quiet drama is the famous "silent treatment", a weapon married women commonly use against their husbands (or live-in boyfriends). Though I myself have had MLTRs attempt to use this against me in the past once or twice.

Make no mistake, the silent treatment is drama. It doesn't matter if it's quiet; it's still negativity directed at you. That means the instant a woman refuses to talk to you or answer a question, provided your question is a nice one and you're keeping your tone of voice down, she needs to get an instant soft next.

Here's a real life example. Several years ago I was driving in the car with an MLTR. We were discussing something and I said something she didn't like. I forget what it was. Since she was aware that if she screamed at me I would soft next her, she just frowned, folded her arms, and looked out the window.

I asked her something about where we were going that evening. No response. She just sat there doing the silent treatment, starting out the window. I asked nicely, "Are you going to answer my question?" Still no response.

Silent treatment is drama. I don't do drama. So I shrugged, turned the car around, and headed back to her place. When she realized we weren't headed to my house, she asked where we were going. I responded that the silent treatment is drama, I don't do drama, so she needs to go hang out with someone else. She apologized and pleaded with me to turn around, and when that didn't work, she said I was being immature. (Miss Silent Treatment was accusing me of being immature. I love women.)

I simply said "no" a few times, said nothing else, didn't argue with her in any way (a key component of the soft next most men have trouble with), got to her house, nicely kicked her out of my car, didn't see or talk to her for four days, and had sex with someone else. After four days, our relationship resumed peacefully for another year or two, and she never did the silent treatment again.

My point here is that a woman's negativity can take all kinds of forms. True, it can be the standard loud screaming, threats, and name-calling, but it can also be the quiet, passive-aggressive silent treatment, or the attention-getting crying "at you", the guilt-inducing act of saying "Everything's FINE! No really, everything's FINE!!!", or the angry-mother-like power trip of refusing sex because you didn't do what you were told. All of that is drama. All of that is negativity pointed exactly in your direction.

Levels of Drama

Drama is also a matter of intensity. As I stated above in the definition, drama must be clear and harsh. This means that if a woman comes to me in a quiet, calm tone of voice, and says, "Hey, what you did yesterday really made me feel bad", that's perfectly fine. We can discuss that. Yes, it's negative, and yes, it's directed at me, but it's not harsh. Instead of taking an accusatory tone and stance, she's taking an adult tone with a frame of collaboration rather than attack or punishment.

If a woman comes to you calmly like this, and states something that you clearly did wrong, then you should apologize. Don't get into a big discussion, but do apologize if you were in the wrong. We're all human and we all make mistakes.

Again, though, she must come to you nicely and state this. If she walks up to you and starts screaming at you about something you legitimately did wrong, that's drama, and it's time for a soft next, and it doesn't matter if you were in the wrong. She chose to act like a child instead of an adult.

What if a woman comes to you calmly and sweetly, and complains about something, and it's something you didn't do wrong? What if it's just something she doesn't like about your behavior? In that case, you do exactly what I described in detail in this post here. You tell her that's the way you are, you're never going to change, and if she doesn't like it she can go date someone else. And by the way, you need to mean this. If you don't, you have oneitis.

So far, none of this is drama and is perfectly acceptable. If she starts raising her voice and accusing you of things or calling you names, now it's drama and now it's soft next time.

So to identify if something really is drama, and thus worthy of a soft next, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is it negative in any way? If no, it's not drama. If yes, go on to question 2.

2. Is it directed directly at me or at someone / something else? If not directed at you, it's not drama. If it is, go to question 3.

3. Is she speaking in a calm, quiet, tone and making rational sense and behaving like an adult? If yes, it's not drama; work with her collaboratively to solve the problem, if possible. If no, it's drama. Give her one warning, and if she doesn't calm down in about 20 seconds, soft next her ass immediately.

(Then hopefully go have sex with someone else, so you don't have to go without sex during your soft next. If you're monogamous, well, then I guess have fun jerking off to porn.)

Want over 35 hours of how-to podcasts on how to improve your woman life and financial life? Want to be able to coach with me twice a month? Want access to hours of technique-based video and audio? The SMIC Program is a monthly podcast and coaching program where you get access to massive amounts of exclusive, members-only Alpha 2.0 content as soon as you sign up, and you can cancel whenever you want. Click here for the details.


  • Dawson Stone 2014-06-04 09:26:55

    BD, great post. I couldn't agree more. I think is one type of drama you left out which I also don't abide…manipulation (or at least the attempt of it). Women are practically trained from birth to manipulate (usually with sex when they are older) and men just tolerate it. Especially with sex. Any time a women tried to use sex as a bargaining chip…next. But many times a woman is more subtle. You have to cut that off immediately.

  • Mike 2014-06-04 12:43:15

    Awesome post BD, you're an inspiration! Glad I found your site, as no one else on the planet is giving the solid relationship advice you give. I've used it myself to great effect, even though my soft next's aren't as smooth as yours... yet. 😉

  • Blackdragon 2014-06-04 13:55:03

    I think is one type of drama you left out which I also don’t abide…manipulation (or at least the attempt of it).
    I view manipulation as unacceptable behavior, but not drama. As I said in the article, not all bad things are drama, but often they are still bad things you need to NEXT women for. For example, if a woman quietly and sweetly steals $60 out of your wallet, is that drama? No. Is that unacceptable and next-worthy? Hell yes. So if a woman tries to manipulate you, hell yes you need to soft next her instantly. But it's not what I would categorize as "drama" (unless she's trying to manipulate you in a loud or obnoxious way).

  • drank 2014-06-04 18:37:15

    "Women are emotional creatures and need to emote." This is off topic from this post, but the above line stuck out to me. We as a species rationalize the reactions of a stressed/distressed human as "normal." The example used here is prime (where the woman's emotional level reaches a boiling point), as is when a little kid is screaming or something (or when a guy gets pissed). Never understood why we rationalize this suffering/uncomfortable state.

  • Blackdragon 2014-06-04 19:25:06

    In terms of what I'm talking about, it's not an issue of rationalizations, but expectations. I can expect human beings to act like human beings without excusing their negative behaviors.

  • drank 2014-06-05 21:29:15

    Right, I am going ethical and you are going as is.

  • PUA Brian Kinney 2014-06-06 12:00:46

    Solid gold BD, Even in your example with your MLTR in the car is accurate, in the past I used to accept apologies and then return to normal with girls but they get accostummed to it and drama is even worse if later in the relationship you don't accept her apologies, besides women don't forgive inconsistency in a man. Regarding this topic women are like small children, they constantly try to push your boundaries and keep pushing starting from the last thing you accepted. Drama is the ultimate form of shit tests. One question: Still no solution for drama when you live with a woman? Since you said you can't soft next a woman you live with. PUA Brian Kinney

  • Blackdragon 2014-06-06 12:49:37

    Drama management when you actually live with a woman is an entirely different topic, since as you said, it's impossible to soft next a woman you live with (unless you have a Dual or Virtual Live-In arrangement that I discuss in my ebooks). So it's off-topic for this article, but to give you a few quickies: - You must accept the fact that the amount of drama you will experience and put up with from a woman will increase at least a little when you move in with her, no matter how badass or Alpha you are. There is literally no way around this long-term. - The less betaization you agree to when living with a woman, the less drama you'll receive from her. In other words, an Alpha who lives with a woman but is not legally married to her and not monogamous to her (and she knows it) will experience less drama overall than a guy who is legally married with no prenup and monogamous (or "monogamous") to his wife. - A Virtual or Dual Live-In arrangement does maintain your ability to soft next while you live with a woman, because you have another "home" you can go to whenever you want and not have to return from (which makes these arrangements more effective than "going to a hotel for a night", which is not a soft next, because she knows you have to come back).

  • PUA Brian Kinney 2014-06-06 14:44:34

    "You must accept the fact that the amount of drama you will experience and put up with from a woman will increase at least a little when you move in with her" What a great answer!!! Of course, you can't expect zero drama after you live toghether, that is analogous to those dumb individuals you mentioned who expect 100% perfect behavior from their partners at all times but this time in a OLTR. All you can do is make drama tend to zero as much as possible. Dual and Virtual live-in sound revolutionary I imagine that you don't want to reveal much yet but I hope you can successfully raise kids under this arrangement. PUA Brian Kinney

  • Blackdragon 2014-06-06 15:43:40

    I devote two full chapters in the upcoming book on how to raise kids within an Alpha Male lifestyle. 🙂

  • Paul 2014-06-08 15:13:59

    This is off topic, but I was curious what your thoughts were with strictly flirting while in a monogamous relationship? Is it wrong to flirt to better your relationship so that you become more outcome independent inside your own relationship?

  • Blackdragon 2014-06-08 15:21:35

    I really can't and shouldn't give direct advice regarding monogamous relationships. I disagree with the entire concept, and haven't been monogamous myself for approaching a decade, so I'm not the ideal guy to ask anyway.

  • Juan 2014-06-29 13:17:43

    I was thinking about upgrading an FB to a MLTR....maybe she feels my intentions, anyway she texts me about things like: she is going to date "X guy", what am I doing because she is just at "Y guys" place and it will be sooo cool with him etc. Obviously she is trying to test me, how I respond, how beta am I. I just ignore it, and skip the topic, after all she is free to date or fuck any guys ( or girls...she is bi ) she wants. But it disturbs me a lot. Should I tell her not to talk to me about the guys she is dating, and the next time she does, handle it like a "drama" and soft next her? Or simply ignore it and don´t upgrade her, since she would just cause drama if I would upgrade her. ( I don´t really want to treat such kind of behavior as a drama. I think if I would do so, that would be a male drama from me...)

  • Blackdragon 2014-07-01 14:04:33

    it disturbs me a lot.
    If it disturbs you a lot, and she's only an FB, you need to come to a complete stop and figure out what's wrong...with YOU. Go read my oneitis post. Make sure you're fucking other women. Make sure you have strong goals that excite you that have nothing to do with women. Etc. Next her if necessary to recover your frame.
    Should I tell her not to talk to me about the guys she is dating, and the next time she does, handle it like a “drama” and soft next her? Or simply ignore it and don´t upgrade her, since she would just cause drama if I would upgrade her.
    I would definitely NOT upgrade her if you feel this jealous. No no. The ideal solution is to let her tell you whatever she likes and to not care. But if you're not there yet, sure, you could tell her that you would appreciate it if she kept her other activities to herself (just realize by doing that you've entered into Alpha Male 1.0 territory and lost a little frame with her, because she knows she "got" you a little). Again though, the problem is not her, it's you.

  • Juan 2014-07-01 17:11:54

    You are absolutely right. One FB of me went in a monogamous relationship, the other lives far away, and it takes time here to get new girls. So I focused too much on this one girl. Its shit. It´s not simple to hold the Alpha Male 2.0 frame, I always have to be conscious with it. But soon it will be just a habit "not to care" etc., like getting up early.

  • K 2015-09-05 08:37:57

    BD, could you explain the conceptual difference between "soft next" and "silent treatment", please? Is the key difference in the physical presence/absence of the other person or in the motives behind the act (impulsive/premeditated)? Thanks

  • Blackdragon 2015-09-05 12:07:22

    BD, could you explain the conceptual difference between “soft next” and “silent treatment”, please? Is the key difference in the physical presence/absence of the other person or in the motives behind the act (impulsive/premeditated)?
    The difference is in the physical presence. You cannot soft next a woman if you (the man) are still physically around her in the same house. That is not a soft next regardless of what's in the man's mind. He's still there, so there's no visceral threat of him leaving. He's there, but purposely ignoring her, and she knows he's doing it on purpose, so it's actually attention he's giving her (though indirect). Silent treatment is the opposite of a soft next. The silent treatment is drama.

  • Jack 2016-01-17 06:50:51

    Damn bro, laying down the knowledge.

  • Noemi 2016-05-08 10:57:33

    Funny how my ex used to behave this way. And he's a male. I got tired of his ways and dumped him. I wish I saw this earlier, as I tried too hard to be the calm, patient, understanding girlfriend instead of putting my foot down and not reinforcing the behavior. Act like a man? You get kibbles. Act like a man-child? No kibbles. I now realize that male divas do exist. Lesson learned.

  • newstudent 2016-05-20 18:57:44

    just found your site, it's 4am friday night in my country after banging some chic and i can't stop reading. great info! i believe your take on "next" can be adapted to general boundary's making with all people i'v got two questions, not sure if totally related to this but would love for advice: how do you handle negative comments from a girl during the seduction faze?                                example scenarios: chatting girls in the street and one tries to insult you...                                                  or during tinder chat if a girl putting rude resistance...  now this ain't drama but just happened today so wondered how you'd go about this scenario:                so i have dinner with this crazy chic(real weirdo but cute) made a mistake of letting her know i'm paying in advance(to make gratitude for something she did) anyway at dinner she's acting loud, starting silly conversation with the next table than comes up and talking flirty with the bartenders...feels like the opposite of drama as it ain't towards me, but is uncomfortable...i mean i did banged her eventually but wondered if theres a way to teach a girl that's when she's with me she's just with me...and how to make more compliance as this is my weakness. thanks

  • asker 2016-05-20 19:58:31

    what do you say about sean connery method? can that be the "next" solution for monogamous living together situation?   also there's the make up sex - is it a good drama solution or will it be more of a reward?

  • Blackdragon 2016-05-20 20:33:42

    i believe your take on “next” can be adapted to general boundary’s making with all people
    Correct, it can.
    how do you handle negative comments from a girl during the seduction faze?
    On first offense I laugh, ignore it, and continue. On further offenses, I next and move on to the next woman on my list.
    at dinner she’s acting loud, starting silly conversation with the next table than comes up and talking flirty with the bartenders
    Not a nextable offense. If it really bothered me (and it would not), I would just downgrade her to FB and keep fucking her but without going out with her.
    wondered if theres a way to teach a girl that’s when she’s with me she’s just with me…and how to make more compliance as this is my weakness.
    That's Alpha Male 1.0 stuff. I don't care what a woman does. I'm too busy being happy.
    what do you say about sean connery method?
    Hitting women is for pussies. I'm against the initiation of force, both politically and personally.
    can that be the “next” solution for monogamous living together situation?
    No. Nexting removes drama. Hitting a woman will simply create more drama down the road.
    also there’s the make up sex – is it a good drama solution or will it be more of a reward?
    Make up sex is only good if it's AFTER your properly executed soft next.

  • MongrelMage 2016-08-24 21:03:49

    Black Dragon, You mentioned refusing sex for non medical reasons as soft nexting level drama, but I'm confused about what threshold of refusal you would initiate a soft next for. It doesn't seem like refusing sex can follow the 20 second rule at all. This was one of the biggest problems I had in my last (and hopefully only) monogamous relationship. Thanks,

  • Blackdragon 2016-08-25 12:05:13

    MongrelMage - I'm getting a lot of questions about that so I'm writing a blog post about it. Coming very soon.

  • zetafemale 2020-06-29 14:13:47

    I'm using soft next as a woman if I get disrespectful behavior (ie. insults, ignoring me) from a guy. I'm usually very involved in relationship and they become too sure..