If there’s one thing every woman needs to know about, it’s the inner workings of the male mind. When a woman is involved in a relationship with a man, or if she wishes to be, knowing how his mind works is essential.
Hopefully, she has already learned-- not the hard way-- that his mind does not work the way hers does.
More from YourTango: The Art Of Going On A Great Date
Where should she start? I recommend that she start by understanding male pride.
Men take pride in their accomplishments but only in those accomplishments that are fitting for a man. A man will take pride in a good golf game or a promotion. He might be sensitive and supportive but he will never take pride in those qualities. Praising him for qualities that he does not see as manly will get a woman nowhere.
When it comes to women, men take pride in their ability to protect and provide.
That is where men live. A woman who ignores it or disparages it will soon discover that her relationship is on life support. Often, she will not even understand why. Unfortunately, the culture does not teach women to respect male pride. More often it teaches them to trample on it. If a woman respects her man’s pride, it will become her friend… kind, caring, and considerate. If she fails to respect his pride, it will become her worst enemy.
The culture tells women that they should proclaim their independence and autonomy, thus, that they do not need men to protect or provide for them. Yet, when a woman tells a man that she does not want him to be her protector or provider, he hears that she believes him to be inadequate. The message is insulting, demeaning to his manhood.
Their relationship, such as it might be, has gotten off to exactly the wrong start.
Worse yet, the male mind will attempt to interpret the independence/autonomy message and will start asking himself what she really wants from him. The woman is thinking that her independence will make her more loveable and will make it possible for him to love her for herself alone. She thinks she is offering love and will receive true love in return. Anyone who thinks this way has obviously never had a successful relationship with a man.
A man will mull it over and conclude that she just wants him for sex. Given that he does not want to offend her or to disrespect her, he might decide that the only thing she is going to get from him is sex. Given that he feels insulted and demeaned, a certain amount of hostility will inexorably creep into his sexual encounters.
More from YourTango: Does He Really Love You? Does It Matter?
Of course, there are other tried and true ways to mishandle a man’s pride.
High on the list is competitiveness. When a man takes pride in his achievements, a girlfriend should share his pride and express her own pride in him. A competitive woman will not revel in his achievements, but will respond to his success by asserting the value of her own accomplishments. These may be very real, but when a woman presents herself as a competitor, she is denying that she is a partner. She is not telling her man that they are together; she is saying that they are at odds. At least, that is how a man will process the information.