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?