, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Notebook

This one’s for those of the male gender who can call themselves men. No boys allowed here. Unless you’re a boy who wants to learn about being a man, in which case, read on boys. Read on.

I wasn’t spurred to write on this subject just on a whim. Do I believe that men should understand a few things about women a bit better? Hell yeah. Is that something I would normally write about? Not really. Everyone is different, and trying to tie down specifics on a subject so broad as this is pointless.

But I was surfing the internet the other day, and I came across this article: 50 Things Every Woman Should Realize About Men by Chuck Henderson. I would like to answer it. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. This is going to be a long one, folks.

Chuck says himself that men know nothing about women, and as a woman, I can say that it’s kind of a mutual thing. It’s probably why I was so interested in reading the article in the first place. I also agree that women severely over think men. The majority of my friends are guys (working in a field that’s dominated by men will do that), and it’s something that I recommend to every woman. Maybe not being surrounded by men, but having some guy friends. Being friends with men makes you realize pretty quickly that they’re kind of simple (and I don’t mean that in a mean or offensive way).

So here it goes. 55 things (I added a few of my own) for guys to know about women. (Hint, a lot of it has to do with talking. GASP!)

NSFW, by the way.

1. Stay away from her internet search history.

I’ll follow Chuck’s lead and start here. I would usually say stay away from anyone’s internet search history, but not for the usual reasons. Sure you could find out information you don’t want to know, but on the flip side, you can also end up really bored.

2. You can’t change her.

This is a really good one that goes both ways. It’s actually just really good advice in general. You can’t change people. The only real change that can happen in a person has to be initiated by themselves. They have to want to change themselves. If they didn’t want the change, they’ll eventually resent the person who caused it. This is especially true for women. Don’t do it. Worry about yourself.

3. Make her feel like she’s the center of your world.

If you have to check out the hot waitress for one second (and I do mean only one second), okay fine. If she’s a high maintenance one who gets severely jealous, don’t let her see. You’re a man; you think with your dick a good majority of the time. The faster my fellow ladies understand that, the easier things will be for everyone. But seriously, you have to make sure that she knows that she’s the one you want. Because if you don’t, some other guy out there will, and your life will turn into a bad romantic comedy. Now, if  she’s pulling away and hates that you’re making her feel like she’s everything to you, those are some commitment problems on her side, which is a completely separate issue.

4. You need to accept her friends.

Her friends are everything to her. They’re the people who were there for every break up with the wine and the ice cream and the sappy movies that make everything a little better. They’re her sisters from other misters. It’s her job to decide who she likes as friends and who she doesn’t. Her friends are also the people she’ll go to when deciding things about you. It’s in your interest to be in their good graces. WITHOUT SLEEPING WITH THEM.

5. Suck it up around her parents.

I don’t care how nervous you are meeting them. I don’t care how much you like or dislike them. If she has parents, you suck it up and keep it inside. You don’t ever talk shit about them, even if she is. That’s a hole you don’t want to dig. And when you’re around them, you act like the gentleman you know you can be. Her parents are also big influencers in her life, whether they’re good or bad.

6. Let all that shit go.

This is another one that I agree with Chuck on (don’t worry, there are a few that I don’t, but I’ll get there). It’s good life advice, not just women advice. Bad things go down in everyone’s life. Holding onto that anger (and possibly using it against someone later) isn’t healthy. There’s strong research for the idea that having negative ideas and feelings, and bottling all that up inside, is a cause for cancer and other diseases. Just breathe through it and let it go.

7. If you can’t handle the answer, don’t ask the question.

More good life advice. While I believe that every woman should firmly take this one in as well (seriously ladies, why would you ever get mad at a man for telling you the truth to, “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” I feel like that’s information you’d actually want to know, especially before forking out a wad of cash), this one is good for men, too. If you’re about to ask a question you don’t know you want the answer to, hold off asking until you’re sure you want it.

8. Don’t say, “I’m hungry,” the second she walks through the door if you’re only intention is her making dinner for you.

I can promise you, unless she’s a chef (though I think even sometimes even that wouldn’t help), if you ask her to make dinner for you the second she walks through the door,  you’re going to get nothing but a fight. Learn to make some meals yourself, or be ready to order take out, but don’t act like she’s your mother whose only purpose at the end of the day is to cook you a hot meal and tuck you in.

9. If you do something colossally stupid, don’t expect sex.

While I’m sure there are some exceptions (some people really love angry sex), for the most part, if she’s pissed off at you because you did something so horrendously dumb, she’s probably not going to want to have sex. She might not even want to be in the same room as you.

10. She’s jealous of all your straight friends who are girls.

She’s also possibly jealous of the lesbian ones, too. This one is a two-way street. Jealousy isn’t an emotion that shoots straight. While we all could work a little harder on not being jealous because it is one of those negative emotions, it’s not always easy. That secretary (oh god, especially the secretary) or that girl from the gym (that one’s probably even worse) or that girl you’ve been best friends with since college (none of these are all that great when you think about it). She’s jealous of them all. I’m not saying you can’t have straight friends who are women, just don’t expect her to be 100% happy with it. And don’t expect her to not have friends who are guys. And make sure that she understands while you’re not 100% happy with it, it’s okay. Because everyone has the friends that they have, and you can’t try to get rid of any of them.

11. Respect her wishes on anal.

This wouldn’t be a thing if all women were for it, or all women were against it. There are all kinds of people out there. Some women will be into it. Some women won’t. The ones that aren’t won’t appreciate you trying to push the issue. Just be warned.

12. She’s thought about your friends.

Doesn’t matter how hot you are. If she’s attracted to one of your friends, she’s thought about him. In that way. We’re in a whole new world where not only men are able to think about whoever they want, however they want. And I’m not saying she’ll act on it, just like you wouldn’t act on any thoughts you have about her friends. Just know, it goes both ways.

13. You should find something she likes and get good at it.

For this slot, Chuck mentioned that girls should learn to play pool. Well, for the record, I know how to play pool. I also happen to suck at it. It’s more a skill for the bar scene, anyway. Not to say it’s not a bad skill. But there needs to be some reciprocation here. Women love men who they can share activities with.

14. Don’t be pushy.

This is one I believe Chuck worded very poorly. He suggests that women don’t like sex as much as men. That’s not true. We may not need it as much or as often, but that has nothing to do liking it. Besides, it helps if you’re good in bed. Relationships are give and take. You should both be taking turns in who gives and who takes, who starts something and who follows along. This may just be a conversation you must have if she doesn’t realize it.

15. Women notice when you don’t wear/use/notice the gifts we get for you.

This is one where women are easier. For most women, if you get into a bind and can’t figure out a more intimate gift that means something to her or something within your relationship, you can get her jewelry or flowers or candy. Side Note: A little tip, get her flowers when she’s not expecting them. Women love getting flowers (unless she’s allergic), and it’s such a simple gesture. But on to men’s presents. Men are so much harder to shop for. Women really have to think about men’s gifts, and so when that gift ends up sitting in a drawer and never seeing the light of day, it hurts. If you don’t like something, we’d rather hear it right away.

16. She wants to need you.

This one is probably pretty subjective; women love having their independence, me included. But this one goes back to the whole “daddy issues” thing (probably not a subject you should bring up yourself). Girls love their dads, and while she’s not going to (or shouldn’t) think of you as her dad, you’ve become the new man in her life who’s there for a majority of the time. So don’t be a jerk about her wanting and needing you. And there’s a difference between needing you and being clingy. Learn to recognize it, because if she’s being clingy, you two need to have a talk.

17. You can’t let yourself go.

Okay, here we go. Here’s one I was yelling at Chuck through the computer about, until I reached the final line. He talks about how women can’t stop going to the gym and let themselves go. He’s lucky he added “and to be fair, neither can he.” He would have gotten many of angry emails about that one if he hadn’t. Though, honestly, I believe I’m wording it better than he did. You can’t let yourself go. And neither can she. You both can’t get lazy, and I’m not saying that requires the gym for either of you. But you both fell for the person who wasn’t lazy about their appearances, and if you both get lazy you become different people who you no longer know or understand, which leaves everyone in a bad place.

18. If you’ve been living with her for more than 5 years, she expects you to pop the question.

This is one that goes on a case by case basis. Some people just don’t want to get married, but that’s a conversation that has to be had at some point. And I understand that some people just need some time to figure out what it is they really want, which is fine. It’s why I upped my number from Chuck’s 3. But if she is the kind of girl who wants to get married, and you’ve been living together for years, she wants you to suck it up and be a man and ask her to marry you. So you need to figure out what you want, sooner rather than later.

19. Don’t make an ultimatum. 

I’m back on Chuck’s side. Ultimatums don’t work in any situation, so why would a relationship be any different?

20. She probably wants kids. 

This is another case by case one. There are people of all genders out there who just don’t want kids. We’ve reached a point in humanity, in my opinion, in which having a house full of children isn’t written into our biology anymore. Our world is highly populated, and having eight or nine kids within our lifetime isn’t necessary anymore. That said, if she does want kids, and you want kids, you need to get on that before her biological clock decides it’s game over for her. Again, it’s a conversation that has to be had. Communication is a must. You’d be surprised how much can be accomplished by talking (as a man, I wouldn’t expect you to fully understand this).

21. She knows when you’re lying to her.

It’s a two-way street. Very few people are truly good liars. Just tell her the truth, about everything. It’s easier, and causes less pain in the long run if it’s not something good.

22. She wants you to like some of the things that she likes.

You two don’t have to love absolutely everything the other likes, but women like being about to share likes and experiences with you. Find something you both like. If it was something that brought you together in the first place, don’t ever stop liking it/doing it together. Even if it’s something corny and stupid. Being an idiot is way more fun than being cool anyway.

23. Don’t criticize her for changing her outfit multiple times.

This is something that generally happens for two reasons: she can’t decide what’s appropriate for whatever outing you’re going to, or she really wants to look good for you. If it’s the first, just try to be helpful, and not in a ‘we’re going to be late’ kind of way. If it’s the second, calmly and sweetly explain to her that you thought she looked great in the first outfit. It may not help her choose any faster, but getting angry that she can’t decide doesn’t help anyone.

24. Pretend to have an interest in her clothes.

If you’re a straight man and truly into women’s clothing (however you want to take that), then more power to you. But for the rest of you guys, we already know on some level that you don’t give a shit about what we’re wearing or what shoes go with what outfit. Smiling, agreeing and nodding will get you so much further. Though if you truly believe something she’s wearing or trying on (whether or not you’re a fashion genius or not) is absolutely ugly, for god’s sake, tell the poor girl. Especially if she hasn’t bought it yet. She’ll thank you in the long run. Just be nice about it. You don’t have to insult her to let her know it’s not the right choice.

25. Take her side.

This is another one I agree with. Of course, you should take her side within reason, but she doesn’t want to feel like she’s alone. That’s why she’s with you. Not the only reason, but if she wanted to be alone, she wouldn’t be in a relationship.

26. She’s down for trying new things.

Once again, within reason. But you’re together, and you’re mostly likely different in at least a few ways. Whatever that something new happens to be, whether an activity out in the world or something sexual for the bedroom, let her know what your ideas are. Most girls are down to try something new at least once. Let her know that you’re up for trying new things, too. She might surprise you with what she can come up with.

27. You need to tell her what you want.

It’s another one of those that goes both ways. But seriously, we can’t read your minds. If we could, there would be no reason to try to figure you guys out. You have to tell us what you want in everything. You have to tell us what you’re thinking. Talking. Again, I know it’s a foreign concept for men, but the better you get at it, the better you’ll look in the eyes of women.

28. All changes concerning your hair need to be brought up to her first.

If you want her to consult you about her new hair cuts, then you need to do the same. No one wants to come home one evening and find their partner has gone out and gotten a mohawk, or dyed their hair purple. Or both.

29. She doesn’t want to be left alone at the party.

It depends on what kind of person she is, but if you bring her some place where she doesn’t know anyone, she’s going to want to be glued to your side. She’s not being clingy, she just doesn’t know anyone. That’s awkward for a lot of people. So don’t leave her to go hang out with your buddies. If that was always the plan, you probably shouldn’t have brought her. Unless she really wanted to go with you, in which case, just suck it up and stay with her. Bring her along to hang with your friends. Anything is better than leaving her by herself.

30. Don’t ever flirt with her friends.

Here comes the jealousy monster again. If you don’t want her flirting with your friends, don’t flirt with hers. It’s as simple as that.

31. She’s an independent woman.

The sooner you pull your head out of that 1800’s wormhole, the better. She’s independent, with her own hopes and her own dreams and her own career. Meaning that while she’s supporting you with all that, you need to support her, too. Work as a team, in an equal relationship.

32. Ask her if she’s interested.

This one has already been mentioned a couple of times above, but I don’t mind repeating it. Don’t be pushy, but if you’re interested in something in bed (or trying something new), ask her if she’s interested in doing it, too. She might surprise you. Or ask her if there’s something that she’s been thinking of trying. But if you’re one of those people who are into something really kinky (like anything that has to do with poop, for example), mention it early on in the relationship. You don’t want to make it a year in and then break the news that you’re into something that’s a deal breaker for her.

33. Sometimes, she just needs to be a girl.

Even the strongest, most independent women have their weak moments, and for all you ladies who’ve read this far, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. But in those moments, she just needs you to be her shoulder to cry on. She doesn’t need you to say anything to make it better, or try to make it right for her. She just needs you to be there.

34. Cook her a meal every once in awhile, or even more often.

Chuck’s number 34 was along the vein of food, but it was so sexist that I can’t even begin to find a nicer way of putting it. Also, as a vegetarian, saving my guy the biggest piece of chicken because ‘he deserves it’ is a moot point. But every woman loves a man who can cook. Food is not just the fastest way to a man’s stomach. So cook her a meal, and make sure it’s a good one. You get some points for attempting to cook a meal and burning it because you have no idea how to cook, as long as she doesn’t end up cleaning up the mess you made. But if you don’t know how to cook, you should learn at least one or two dishes.

35. Don’t ever call her a bad name. And don’t ever hit her.

To her face or behind her back, it doesn’t matter. Women have  a way of finding things out. And if you say it to her face, even if (or especially) in anger, it’s one of those in the moment things most women won’t stand for. Watch what you say in the heat of the moment. And if you hit her, it’s game over, pal. Even in situations with men beating their wives/girlfriends and the women don’t leave, it’s still the beginning of the end. Just don’t do it.

36. She doesn’t want to know your number.

Not your phone number. That she’ll take. She doesn’t want to know how many women you’ve slept with. Even if she asks you, just don’t answer. Unless your number is below 5.

37. Don’t make her fake it.

Some women won’t care about hurting your feelings in bed and they’ll let you know they’re not having a good time, but most won’t. Don’t let either happen. You don’t have to be a porn star (dear god, don’t act like a porn star, no one acts like that shit in real life), but make it good for her. You’re not the only one in the room.

38. Once a cheater, always a cheater.

It’s true for everyone. If it happens once in a relationship, it’s most likely going to happen again. They’re just not happy with something, or they’re not getting something, so they go looking for it elsewhere. If she cheats, just end it. She’s not happy with something about you, and she certainly chose the wrong way to tell you about it. But it’s better to get out than to prolong the agony. And if you’re thinking about cheating, or have cheated, just break it off with her. No matter how happy you think you are, you’re not. There’s something wrong there. Even if it was just a drunken mistake. And it’s not fair stringing the other person along, especially if it’s going to happen again.

39. Open doors for her.

Chuck says that we should let you open them. I think more guys need to learn to open the doors for women. Guys need to find their chivalrous roots, because it really is almost dead. It’s usually a shock when I find a guy who opens doors or pulls out my chair or walks along the sidewalk closer to the street. These are things more guys need to learn to do. Mothers who were supposed to be teaching their sons these things have been slacking in their jobs.

40. You need to tell her what you think.

With everything. Honesty is the best policy.

41. Don’t be a moron, use your brain.

Seriously, that mass floating around in your skull is there for a reason. Use it. So many women find a man who can think and use their brains ridiculously sexy. I’m not saying you have to be the smartest person in the room, but the ability to think is underrated.

42. If you make her watch one of your action-packed, testosterone flowing, manly men films, you should go down on her afterwards.

Okay, here’s the big one. I was screaming at the computer screen. Chuck says that if we make you watch a chick flick, we should at least give you a blow job afterward since guys don’t like chick flicks. If you make her watch one of your hard-core man films (especially one she wasn’t really interested in watching in the first place), then you should give her oral afterward. It’s only fair.

43. Threesomes.

Like I’ve already said, there are all kinds of different people. Some women will be into them. Most probably won’t be. You can keep trying. That doesn’t mean it will ever happen.

44. She needs some alone time sometimes.

This is a tough one. Everyone needs some alone time every once in awhile. Or for introverts, more than every once in awhile. And when you’re in a relationship, telling the other person that can sometimes freak them out. “Was it something I did? Was it something I said?” Just a couple of the things that will flow through your mind when she says that to you, and vice versa.  Both of you may just have to explain that it has nothing to do with the other. You’re just a human that needs to hang out with yourself for a little while.

45. Don’t ever stop complimenting her.

Some women aren’t even that great at taking compliments. With all of the body image crap that plagues the media these days, some women just don’t believe in themselves. While she should be complimenting you, too, just don’t ever stop complimenting her. Women tend to care more than men what they look like, and how they come off to other people.

46. You don’t have to be right every time.

No one does. But sometimes, she’ll just believe so firmly in something, and probably something you feel is stupid. Just let her have it. Life is so much easier with a happy woman.

47. Make an effort for her.

We all know that you love hanging out in your sweats an a t-shirt (or even in the nude) so much more than getting dressed up. Believe it or not, so do women. We may be great at getting all dressed up and looking our best, but most of us love that moment when we finally get to kick off those heels and relax. The point is, she’s going to make an effort in her appearance for you. Do the same for her.

48. You’re not her father.

You’re not. Make sure she knows it. Don’t act like you are.

49. She’s not your mother.

She’s not. Make sure you understand it. Make sure she doesn’t act like she is. That’s not a good relationship.

50. Everyone makes things more complicated than they are.

While I will admit that women tend to be a bit more complex than men, we’re not that complicated. We only seem that way because men don’t like talking about things. Talking solves a lot of problems, and I’m speaking from personal experience here. Just don’t over think things, and open your damn mouth.

And now, a few of my own tips:

51. Read what she reads.

Even if she reads those corny romance novels, or trashy celebrity magazines. You can learn a lot about your woman based on what she reads. Just give it a shot one time, see how it goes. You’ll probably surprise yourself with the information you can get.

52. Don’t forget the little things.

With smartphones and computers and endless other kinds of technology, there’s no excuse. Forgetting her birthday, or your anniversary, or even (god forbid) Valentine’s Day, no matter how much she says she doesn’t care, isn’t a good thing. Even the smaller things aren’t excusable. Set the reminders you need to on your phone and fake remembering if you can’t actually remember. Remembering all of those things that shouldn’t matter but do will set you apart from the rest.

53. Random acts of kindness will make her smile.

They don’t even have to be the kinds of things that cost you money. Just a bit of effort and a little of your time could put a smile on her face and make her thank you in ways that you’ll like.

54. Do not mess with a woman on her period.

Yeah, I went there. It’s a bodily function that just happens to be contained to the female gender. It’s a thing that happens, and one you should be grateful for unless your goal is to have a houseful of children (as in, “Congratulations, you didn’t knock her up.”). All women act differently when that time of the month comes around, and it’s not something to be used against us unless you want an argument and a smack to the face. It’s not like we can help it. And just remember, you’re not the one who has to eventually go through child-birth. In the face of that, your argument is irrelevant.

55. Be happy.

No one likes a sour puss who complains about everything, including women. If you’re happy, and she’s happy, and you make each other happy, then everything else is just extra.