Yes, falling in love is a wild and crazy process, and I would argue that this is the case largely because men and women are so different from each other — fundamentally different.
My best friend is a guy, and when he shares stories with me about his own adventures in dating and relationships, I find myself having to scratch my head as I wonder why he just did that seriously odd thing or sent the woman he feels a strong attraction to such strange text messages.
And, of course, he feels the same way about me in regard to my own stories about men.
Relationships with men lead most women to experience not a few head scratching moments of their own, as guys make some truly bizarre mistakes that leave us in doubt about a possible future together.
Here are five seriously odd mistakes men have no idea they make with women when it comes to dating, love and relationships.
1. Not telling her what you really want.
When your girlfriend asks whether you’d prefer Italian or Chinese food for dinner, or whether you’d rather spend Friday night hanging out with friends or staying home watching Netflix, telling her you don’t care and that she can decide is neither helpful nor accommodating.
Women don’t ask for your opinion to simply fill the air with words. They ask your opinion because they sincerely want your input and care about your preferences. Despite what you may think, most women don’t want to be the one who makes all of the decisions for both of you.
So, when a woman asks for your opinion, SPEAK UP! I’m sure you have one, and sharing it with your girl will make her feel happy and part of a team. And that’s the goal, right?
2. Not calling women out when they deserve it.
Life is challenging and even the best people can be difficult at times. We work hard, have to keep up on social media, have family and friends pulling us in all directions at all times, and there is never enough time for the amount of sleep we need.
On those days when you’re exhausted and it has you acting like a jerk, your girlfriend or wife probably calls you on it, and if she does so in a kind way, you probably know that she’s right and make a quick shift to change that.
For some reason, however, guys don’t tend to do the same, preferring to keep their heads down when the woman in their life is behaving badly.
For 20 years, my now ex-husband kept his head down when I did things like snapping at him for coming home late, meanly telling him he smelled like beer, and or refusing to join him on visits to his family because I was “having a bad day.” No matter what, he’d just let it go.
I know I was hurting his feelings, but he never said one single word, and so I kept on behaving that way, respecting him a little bit less each time.
And then one day, he left. Just got up and walked out.
So, call your girl out when she deserves it. Speak your truth, earn her respect and retain your respect for yourself.
I am not sure there is anything more fraught with issues for people who are dating or in relationships these days than text messaging.
While most guys see texting a basic means of communication and something to do when they’re bored, many women see their messages as a source of meaningful information to be studied and reviewed in the search for hidden meanings and subtle clues.
So when a man texts frequently and then disappears suddenly, it’s causes a tremendous amount of frustration for the woman in his life. If you text a woman, she replies and you pull a disappearing act, she is likely to spend the minutes, hours, or days obsessively checking her phone and wondering what is going on.
So, If you only have time for one text before your meeting, tell her that. Something as simple as, “Wanted to say hi but I’m going into a meeting, so I’ll be out of communication for a while,” is all it takes to keep her from feeling hurt, confused and angry with you.
4. Talking about their own hobby to the exclusion of everything else.
We women are SO glad when the man we love has a hobby that keeps him busy and makes him happy, and we typically try our best to be supportive of that every way we can. For many of us, it’s not a man’s hobbies that drive us crazy, but when he talks about it incessantly, almost to the exclusion of anything and everything else.
I had a boyfriend who lived for riding his bike. It was the only place in his life where he felt truly successful. I supported this because it made him feel good about himself. But then started talking about it. And talking about it. And talking about it. The talking would start right after his Sunday morning ride, he would fill me in on how the ride had gone and what he could have done differently. This train of thought would continue into the week, pivoting mid-week into a discussion of talk what he expected Saturday morning’s ride to look like.
It got to the point where, other than pausing occasionally to make plans with me, it was the only thing he was interested in talking to me about at all.
So I left. I hope he and his bike are living happily ever after.
Have your hobbies, guys. But don’t make them the center of your life! And remember to ask her questions about her own life and hobbies, too.
5. Sulking about her guy friends.
As I said above, one of my very best friends is a guy. I love him, talk to him every day, and know everything about him, which is probably why I know for a fact that I would never, ever get romantically involved with him.
Fortunately, my current boyfriend is comfortable with our friendship, but I’ve dated men in the past who definitely were not.
Not “allowing” your girlfriend or wife to be friends with guys or to spend time with men who get her but she has no romantic interest in is a huge mistake.
Girls needs their friends — NEED their friends, and if the woman you love is good friends with a guy who can help her interpret your words and actions because he understands them in a different way than she does, that is actually a huge asset to your relationship that probably saves you from all kinds of grief.
Be confident, trust that she loves you and rest assured that friends is all they will ever be. She will love you even more for it.
Making the same mistakes over and over again will doom every new relationship you enter from the start.
So be honest about your opinion and your feelings, be careful with your text messages, be enthusiastic about your hobbies, but not to the exclusion of everything else, and go easy on her about her friendships with other men.
Remember, this woman loves you and she is yours to lose. Don’t mess this up!