We may think we know it all...
Ladies, we’re all human, but the similarities stop there.
How many times have you heard from a guy, who was just dumped by his long time partner, that he had no clue that there were problems? A lot. Right? There’s a reason for that. And remember the time when you bought a birthday card for his mother, and he just grunted before asking you to sign it from the both of you? The point is that men and women approach life and experience relationships differently. That does not mean that men and women cannot evolve or improve their relationships. It means that there are things that men and women need to know about each other before any real progress can be made. I’m a Guy’s Guy, so let’s focus on men first. Here are a few pointers to help you understand how men think and what you can do about it.
1. Men are not complicated. You’re probably already aware of this, but you might need a reminder. Sure, dudes have layers, but for the most part it’s "what you see is what you get". Guys are straightforward and lay things on the line, especially with each other. We don’t dance around with our feelings. And if we are having a problem with our relationship, we say so. If we don’t bring anything up, consider us happy. If that black bustier and thong ensemble turns your guy on, he’ll probably expect you to wear it every Saturday night until hell freezes over. But if you can top it, he’s game. Men can be that simple. I’m not saying that this is necessarily a good thing, but at least we’re predictable and we’ve got to start the conversation somewhere.
2. Men don’t pay attention. You might think and secretly hope that we’re paying attention to the little things the way you are, but unfortunately we’re not. So when he brings home a bouquet of fresh flowers because you mentioned liking daisies, it’s a small act but at the same time a big deal for a guy. It means he’s paying attention and you acknowledge it, which is really cool. Unfortunately guys suck at paying attention, so these tender moments can be far too rare. But don’t abandon hope. He did bring you those flowers.
3. Men can’t read your mind. This one is my personal pet peeve. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dealt with women in relationships and business where all of a sudden (at least it seemed that way to me) they just picked up and walked. And they seemed pissed about it. As a result, like other dudes, I’ve come close to having abandonment issues. It’s this passive aggressive behavior that bugs me. Unlike women, men don’t hold their feelings in, solemnly fuming or grousing to our friends about the relationship, prior to finally breaking up two years later. If we’re no longer interested, we’ll most likely say something to that effect and hear you out even if we’re set on dumping you. We’re just wired that way and it’s much cleaner. You might want to give it a try. Of course there are guys who keep a broken relationship going for the sex, but they always end up being the one that gets dumped.
So what can we do? Just being aware of our differences is a good place to start. Men need to shape up quickly if they plan on keeping up with all of the strides women are making and their long overdue recognition. The best thing men can do is pay attention a lot more closely to their partner’s needs. Women are amazing at this, but they can’t expect men to just lock in and get it. Guys need a little prodding now and then. Try to be as clear to your guy as he is with his friends. Put your guns on the table. No secret pouting or carping about him with your girlfriends. Be crystal clear and talk it out. Guys will get the message if you communicate with them the way they talk to each other.
Do you think you know everything you need to know about men?
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- Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: 2013-Style
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- Four Telltale Signs He's NOT the One
- Can You Trust 'Summer Love'?
Robert Manni is President of BrandEnable LLC, a marketing consultancy in New York City, and author of the novel THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE, a fast-paced tale of flawed men and savvy women competing for love, sex, power, and money in the city where they play for keeps, described as Sex and the City meets Mad Men.