5 Thoughts Women Wish Men Knew

what women want from menEver wish you could read a woman’s mind? I can’t, so instead I asked “what do women wish men knew?”

Last night I tried to gather a group of friends together for some “Taco Tuesday” specials in Old Town San Diego. The dudes in the group bailed (ahem, Mike) so it was just me and a few great ladies. Of course conversation has to eventually cover dating, relationships, men, women, bad communication and more.

What’s great, is two people sitting directly past our table, in my line of sight, were not having a good time. The absolute divide between this 20-something couple was obvious. Lady Girlfriend was leaning back, crossing her arms, and about to chew her middle finger off. Mister Boyfriend was trying his hardest. To seemingly no avail. Oh, if this guy knew what women wish men knew.

I was telling Jenna, who was sitting next to me, my plan to write an article on How to Escape Zip Ties In The Case of Your Kidnapping (you guys want to know this stuff, right??). Instead I decided I need to make some demonstration videos first so that’ll have to come in a week or two. But this couple across from us inspired me to ask, “If you could tell all men five things all women wish men knew, what would they be?” Here’s the material gleaned from my conversation with Jenna:

Communicate what you’re thinking

We’ve heard this before. And whenever I hear this from women I think, “Uh, are you sure? Because when I say what I’m thinking I usually get in trouble.” Well, despite the many things I’ve said to make a woman mad, women still wish they knew what we were thinking. Why? Because they are often busy making up what we could possibly be thinking. When it comes to relationships, they often would rather have these thoughts laid to rest.

I asked Jenna for some examples so we’d understand what women wish men knew.

  • Be up front (if you like a girl)

What are your intentions? If you want to get together, tell her. If you’ve been wanting to ask her out for weeks and you’ve got a budding friendship, waiting too long will either hurt and confuse her, or get you grounded in the Friendzone.

  • Are we still going out tonight?

If you tell her you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t leave her stranded someplace because you wanted to change plans or something came up last minute. If you have plans or a date, follow through. Don’t say you had to work all night and bail.

  • Don’t say something to make her feel good that’s not honest.

I love this point. Often as guys we are tempted to avoid the tempest of a woman. Anger, tears, rage, sadness. Frustration and accusations. If you’ve ever experienced those things you’re probably like me and have felt it easier to not argue, just say something to make her happy. That WILL make it easier for you in the very short-term. But if you keep making those investments into short-term happiness, you’re really making long-term withdrawals. As you become passive in communication you’ll have dysfunctional tools to resolve conflict.

  • Communicate what you’re thinking in the relationship.

Don’t leave her in the dark. Don’t know where you’re at, what you’re feeling or what you want? At some point, you should be open and talk about that too.

Listen, don’t try to fix problems

Try to be a psychologist not a mechanic. If it’s your first time listening to a frustration or problem, just be there to support and listen.

Here’s an example statement Jenna said women wish men knew to help them process:

“I’m sorry to hear that. Want to talk about it?”

It seems so simple…

Sometimes a woman wants to vomit out a roommate issue. Well, not actually puke, just vent. So let her. If this is a pattern the lady continues to bring up, it’s might be time to point that out. Process what a conversation with her roommate could look like and encourage her to have that conversation.

Chivalry isn’t dead

Here’s some habits that shouldn’t die:

  • Opening the door
  • Walking on the street side of the side walk
  • Compliments-tell her she smells and looks nice.
  • Anything that lets her know you’re thinking about her.
  • If you’re on a date, keep the phone in your pocket.
  • Give her a hand when she’s walking up steps, getting out of a car, or stepping down from something.

Be confident in your decisions

When you’re deciding what to do for a date, do it confidently. Do you feel like you keep getting shot down when you share date plans? Here’s how Jenna says you might respond:

“Italian is a bad idea? Okay, it sounds like you know what you want to do. Where should we go?”

When it comes to bigger decisions, if you’re serious, feel free to include her in your mental process. But at some point, when an individual decision (unlike a mutual decision such as a married couple buying a house) must be made, make it boldly and confidently.

When she’s emotional just let her be emotional

Whether its sadness, anger or rage-mode, let her have room for it. Be patient with it and let it go. Don’t be bothered or angry. Be there for her, but give her space. She’s got a process to go through and she’ll invite you in when she’s ready! Trust me, women wish men knew this.

More thoughts women wish men knew?

To our female audience, any other thoughts on what women wish men knew? Or any sage advice from some wise men out there?

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About Todd Mayfield

He's a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas.

He works for a series of private schools to advance innovative education to combat ballooning classroom sizes and challenge the status quo of the current public and private education format.


  1. I am not smart enough to know any more of these on my own. But the list you have here is pretty good. :-)

  2. Todd,

    This article is right on the mark.

    Though I am married, I still need to print this article and tape onto my bathroom mirror.

    As you say, and as I am reminded frequently in real life, listening to a women vent is a fine art that must be learned (in my case) over and over again. Sometimes, I find myself rolling my eyes when my wife flies off on a tangent.

    But, eventually I remember that I liked it when she did this before we were married, since I could never carry a conversation. I probably wouldn’t be married now, if it weren’t for those long rambling tangents.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      That’s some pretty good insight! Now, what have you done to recover when you yourself have rolled your eyes??

      • Out of a strong desire to avoid the scary implications of having my wife catch me at it, I make sure that my face is always turned away from her when I roll my eyes.

  3. Edward Antrobus says:

    I settings think woken wish guys could read minds. Why tell me to pick a pace only to reject each one until I reach the one you want?

  4. Good stuff Todd, a good reminder and touch up on some points well made.

  5. As a woman, here’s my 10 things I wish men knew:

    1) You say listen because women like to “vent.” I agree. Unfortunately, men like to blather on about themselves ad nauseam…and they enjoy an enraptured audience but never ask any questions about the woman who’s just patiently listened about the minutiae of their lives.

    Communication is a two-way street. It’s a shared experience of mutual give and take. If a guy is interested in a woman it stands to reason he should be curious about her life too.

    2) Chivalry, if not dead, is on life support. I noticed older men used to be better about opening doors and walk street-side but the last few years I’ve seen these little things disappear. A woman of substance is going to notice. She may not say anything, but it’s such a small gesture that comes with big dividends. Wish men of all ages would practice this more.

    3) Be confident! Yes, absolutely. Too many guys fall into the trap however of “It’s my way or the highway” attitude. Make a decision but consider her feelings and pay attention if you’re always doing what pleases you, and never considering her interests or likes.

    4) I’m actually a rare breed of woman and not overly emotional–I got the rational gene but being friends with emotional women has taught me to let them cry or carry one even when you’re not entirely sure what bee stung her ass. If she’s too emotional though…be wary.

    5) I’m probably going to take some guff off this remark but I have to toss it out there…pay for the dates (at least in the courting phase). As a woman whose spent the last decade doing dutch or paying for dinner and drinks because if I don’t then we’ll never go out anywhere, it really hits an odd nerve. My friends and I don’t nickel and dime each other so why should a potential partner? I’m not even remotely suggesting that men should wine and dine or spend more than they can afford. I’m also not suggesting that the woman shouldn’t contribute. It’s been my unfortunate experience though for too long with grown men that should know better that if you expect my time, emotions, body and respect the least you can do is take me out to dinner once a month to somewhere fun but not costly. Again, men don’t seem to mind me ponying up when the check comes so why shouldn’t they reciprocate? It doesn’t lend itself to romantic feeling and eventually you lose the girl with only a few extra bucks in your wallet.

    6) Flowers are nice. They are appreciated. I love them! Doghouse flowers are not so desirable. If every time you hit a rough patch with your woman and you show up with flowers…it starts to be off-putting. Besides, I’d rather receive flowers just because, then have a reminder of our fight or disagreement. Say whatever it is with actions not rose petals.

    *Don’t get your woman a bouquet and only let her take one flower home while you keep the rest at your place. This happened to me a few months ago and I’m still scratching my head.

    7) Do not ask her to perform a professional service (i.e. if she’s an attorney — ask for free legal advice) until you’re well into a serious relationship. I’ve been hit up to do what I’m paid to do by men who think because we’re dating they’re entitled for me to work for free.

    8) Do not inundate her with non-stop daily emails, texts, voice mails, etc. Maintain control!

    9) If you’re unsure about something, take a moment and try to consider it from her point of view. Women and men are different but we’re still human beings. Always reacting strictly from your point of view is limiting and lazy. Self-reflection for both sexes goes a long way.

    10) Treat women the way you want to be treated. If you want her to listen, then listen to her. You want her respect, treat her with respect. You want her to make time for you, then make time for her and in a way that will make her look forward to seeing you more, not less.

    Some of these belong on some of your other articles, “Make Her Feel Special,” “Getting Dumped,” etc. but I just thought I’d offer the female perspective.

    Nice site, good advice. Hope to read more soon.

    • Todd Mayfield says:

      I really appreciate your insight! Your thoughts are definitely great content within themselves.

      “Chivalry, if not dead, is on life support.” Well-stated! We agree and my co-founder has also hit on that topic as well this week!

      #4 is a great warning for guys coming from a woman. Thanks for being honest! It’s easy for a guy to feel like he has to cater to a woman to the point of putting up with too many ass bee-stings. How would you suggest men decipher between when to really be understanding and consoling, and when is it too much and to “be wary,” as you say?

      #6 Your bouquet experience is rather bizarre…

      #8 What do you suggest to a guy that’s getting inundated with emails, texts and vmails 4+ times a day?

      #10 What advice would you give to guys so that they carry themselves in a way that women want to see them more, not less?

      Thanks again for taking the time to write as well as read our site!

      • Hi Todd, sorry I didn’t see your reply until now…I’ve been reading all your other terrific posts.

        To answer #4 i.e. emotional women, I would say there’s a line between a guy being a shoulder to lean (or cry) on and being an emotional air bag or Kleenex crux. Pay attention to when she emotes. Is it at home? Over the phone? Is it connected to something real and tangible? If she’s seeking attention or is just a Drama Queen, her emotions may be out of sync with what’s really happening — Red Flag Alert. If she’s just a little down or blue but it has nothing to do with you, the relationship then offer some kind words but don’t try too hard to change her state of being either. Another big clue is how you feel after being around moody or overly emotional women (men too). If you feel drained and down yourself, chances are this is a toxic personality or you’re Florencing the emotionally unstable. Run!

        #8 – The guy is inundated w/ emails, texts, calls from the girl: This is tricky as I have failed miserably when it’s the other way. In the beginning, the attention is flattering but it can be a signal that this person is needy or seeking narcissistic supply, etc. I operate from the “If it costs you nothing” respond mentality in that if I can send a quick reply/response without it interfering with my work or day then I do…but if they continue to keep on then let them know gently but firmly that you have to concentrate and focus on work or whatever but you look forward to seeing them soon. Pay attention to what they are sending too. Is it all about them? Do they take an interest in you?

        Another warning flag is the mode of communication. Is it strictly email/IM’s/texts? Yes, we live in a technological era but these methods should not replace talking on the phone and seeing someone in person. I’m a writer so it’s tempting to rely on email/texts but it is really lazy communication and so easy to misinterpret. I’ve seen both sexes scrutinize a text or email like they’re trying to solve a physics equation. Sometimes a text is just a text. If someone be it a guy or a gal only wants to communicate on a keypad/board, you might be in trouble down the road. Keep it personal ladies & gents.

        I’ll answer # 10 separately to keep this from being too long.

    • Thanks for the advise. So much more weight when a woman tells me what they want. Haha… No offense to Todd.

  6. #10: Hmmm…gotta say that most of your articles cover this so I’m not sure what more to add…but here are some of my personal thoughts hard won by experience.

    UNIQUE: every relationship/date/meeting is and should be treated like it’s unique. I’m not sure if internet dating is to blame but I’ve run across too many men with a disposable attitude. Never forget women are human beings…we’re not from Venus and we’re not these inexplicable creatures. Every person regardless of gender is special and should be treated as such. Humanely. Do practice good judgment about the quality of people in your life.

    BAD ADVICE: Don’t follow the nasty advice found on SoSuave.com and similar sites that degrade women and promote selfishness. Not to be corny but since this is a refreshing, God-centered site, I’ll suggest if you’re unsure of how to act or what to do in the company of women, think of someone you admire greatly that acts (so far as you know) with integrity and model what you think they would do. Aim higher rather than trying to get away with doing as little as possible. Be a man that people admire and practice compassion and humility.

    KINDNESS: Be kind. Not the same as being “a nice guy.” Kindness and thoughtfulness tend to go hand in hand and is sorely lacking nowadays. If you listen, appreciate your woman (or man as this all goes both ways) and act with integrity and respect then you’ll attract like-minded people and if you don’t at first do NOT become embittered or assume the worst.

    RESPONSIBILITY: Take responsibility for your actions and life. This one is something I’ve recently learned to pay attention to and it speaks volumes. If you’re operating from a victim mentality or blame everyone else before taking your own inventory, you’re not learning, growing and experiencing lessons. Yes, unfortunate things beyond our control do happen, such is life, but we are in control of our actions. Don’t be the guy that says “all my exes are crazy.” Really? If that’s true (and that’s a mighty big IF) it says more about you in choosing them, especially if you married ones of these “crazy kooks.” I doubt that’s the case and it’s a dismissive, lazy way of foisting blame on someone else. Be specific and acknowledge your part in the dynamic even if it did amount to “crazy-making.” Own your end no matter how uncomfortable it is and account for it. You’re less likely to repeat the same mistakes or keep choosing “crazy” partners in the long run.

    *If you’re with someone who labels all their exes as crazy, be wary. Ask questions. Listen actively. If they still can’t come up with any blame on their part just know that one day they’ll label you as “crazy” and won’t take any ownership in the relationship. Not healthy!

    GENEROSITY: This goes beyond money. It’s a spirit of being. Be someone who enjoys giving, that can be your time, your experiences, your personal strengths, whatever but give. Do not give with the expectation of return. Take pride in treating someone to something that leaves them in a better state then when you found them. It becomes tricky because you don’t want to keep tabs but do pay attention if the relationship is one-sided. If you’re the one doing all the giving and the other party is happy to just take, then cool it and see if they reciprocate. You will know in your gut if this is true because you will feel devalued or under-appreciated so take care not to be used either. It should feel good to give, not an unnecessary burden.

    These are just some yardsticks I use when sizing up a potential man/partner. I think the most important aspect is how a person makes you feel. These are some questions I ask myself: Do they enrich your life or drain it? Do they make you look forward to another day with them or do you feel insecure? Do you trust this person with your life or do you feel uncertain about their intentions? Are you a better person around them or aspire to be so? Do they have your back and do you have theirs? Do you share the same values/beliefs? Does this person “get you” in that they recognize how special and unique an individual you are (warts and all). Are you settling, managing down your expectations or just killing time to “have” someone? Do you have to be a completely different person just to be in their presence? Is this person someone that you would consider a friend if it wasn’t romantic? Do you truly believe you are worthy of love, care and respect? If not, you’ll attract people who fulfill your beliefs. Do you honor/acknowledge boundaries and support each other? Do you feel cherished and confident when you’re with them? Are you grateful that the twists and turns in life, regrets, past experiences, etc. have led you to them? Are you filled up or yearning for more? Are you being realistic or idealistic? If the world was to come to an end and you had only a few scant hours to spend with someone, would they be at the top of your list and would you be on theirs? Are they willing to risk losing you because they are unwilling to compromise? And finally…Are you enough…today, in this moment, are you enough for them?

    Clearly, these questions come as relationships progress. Some of these should be in your head during and after the Pink Phase (honeymoon courtship) but it does take a while to see how a person “unfolds.” I must give credit where credit is due to Natalie Lue of BaggageReclaim.co.uk I’ve learned oodles from her sage advice and have seen an immediate and positive impact in my relationships (romantic/professional/platonic).

    Your site is a wonderful counterbalance to hers and I enjoy it immensely. Many thanks!

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

  7. My one addition to this goes under the “Chivalry” category. Guys, you need to stick with it, even if your girl looks at you funny the first few times you do something chivalrous. Not all men act with chivalry, and as a woman, I’ve been conditioned not to expect it. I don’t think anything of it when someone doesn’t hold open a door for me- but I am often pleasantly confused when a guy does, with an emphasis on “confused”. It takes me a few seconds to realize what’s happened and I don’t always process everything in time to say “Thank you”, but it absolutely makes my day. So keep at it, guys. Keep opening car doors, offering your hand or your arm, and doing whatever it is that real men do to make a woman feel special.

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