Actually, it’s more a case of: “Accept what you cannot change” – in this case, that men don’t think and communicate like women.
I’ve spent a fair amount of my waking (and sleeping) hours being frustrated with men who don’t communicate in the way I wish they would. I’m fairly certain this is something most women have done – or do on a fairly regular basis.
A few regulars:
– “Why doesn’t he just admit that he loves me?”
– “Why doesn’t he just get it?”
– “Why didn’t he realise that what he said was hurtful to me?”
– “Why is he being so insensitive?”
– “I think I understand what he meant, because it can’t have been what he actually said”
– “Why doesn’t he wants to talk about it?”
– “Why does he roll his eyes when I mention something he did a year ago that upset me?”
So, do you recognise some of these, ladies? I’m sure I could add to the list, endlessly.
Someone once said, “Pay attention to what he does, not what he says.”
Not all men are comfortable discussing how they feel. Even when they’ve had a bad day, some of them just want to take some time out by themselves, playing a game etc. Women tend to want to talk about it, and we tend to take it personally when they don’t want to share what’s going on in their heads. The next step is that it’s clearly got something to do with us, otherwise… why wouldn’t he want to talk about it with us? Because he’s not one of our girlfriends who come crying on our doorstep to talk about her feelings. In my experience, it’s best to just give him the time he needs and listen if he wants to give you a summary of what he’s been thinking. Don’t expect him to include you in the process. Some might, I’m not saying men don’t communicate feelings at all, but he also might not. And it’s got nothing to do with you.
In the same category as not being comfortable discussing how he feels, comes the “he never says he loves me” complaint. This isn’t something that comes natural to all men (or women, for that matter). We’re not all verbal beings, comfortable throwing the L-word out there on a daily basis or in every text message. This is where “pay attention to what he does” comes in. Does he take care of you? Does he help out when you’re struggling? Does he volunteer to do the dishes? Does he blow off a boys night out to be with you? Does he agree to go see a romantic comedy with you although you know he’d rather go see a movie with fast cars, blazing guns and hot chicks? Does he make an effort to get along with your mother? Does he bring you along to meet his friends? Are you invited to game night or beers with the guys? In short: Does he include you in his life and take an active interest in yours? Then it’s fair to assume that he cares about you even if he’s not verbal about it.
Men are visual beings
They’re going to look at other women. Women with ridiculously huge breasts on display. Women with half their arse hanging out of a mini-skirt that’s hardly wide enough to be a belt. Cleavages, legs, arses, bikini models, women that make you roll your eyes because you really can’t believe how blatantly obvious it is they’re dressing/acting the way they do to get men’s attention – and that it works, every time. My advise? Let him look. Even better: Agree with him. Acknowledge that Kate Upton is hot. That you wouldn’t kick Kelly Brooks out of bed. Believe me, it sounds a whole lot better than, “That skank? Really? REALLY?” or “You’re such a basic model, they’re so OBVIOUS!” Yeah, shit, imagine that. Obvious attractiveness is the worst… Bottom line is: Just because he’s looking doesn’t mean he wishes you looked like her, or that he’s going to jump into bed with her. Especially not if you give him something else to think about: you and her in hot embrace.
Also, ladies, if we’re being honest…
We look too. Who hasn’t watched Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and thought, “Nail me against that wall, big boy!” or sighed audibly at the sight of Johnny Depp? Why should he be different? Just because he likes what he sees it doesn’t mean it’s an insult to you because you don’t look like that.
Truth being told…
Another thing I’ve learned about men is that if you say “just tell me the truth”, he’ll take that as an opportunity to, well, tell you the truth. This may not always be the truth you want to hear (“does my backside look big in this?” etc) but if you’re more comfortable thinking that he’s probably thinking what you’re thinking, then don’t ask. Of course, he may actually say what you want him to say, but don’t attack him if you don’t get the answer you wanted. If you ask his opinion, be prepared to get it. Don’t ask, “You think she’s hot, don’t you?” if you’re not at least prepared for the answer to be “well, yes”. That still doesn’t mean he’s going to fuck her.
Yes, those. We’ve all had the “hey, sexy” comment thrown at us from a guy on the street at one time or another. Or a comment online along the same lines. It’s basic, but it’s a spontaneous reaction to a visual. A man once said to me that I have “a sizable arse”. I had to take a moment before I responded, because to be told straight out that you have a big butt isn’t necessarily what you want to hear. However, I knew that – coming from him – it was a big compliment. Why? Because he was into large, shapely women. I could have very easily have taken it as an insult, but chose not to because of who it came from. In the same breath as “men are visual beings”, it’s worth mentioning that men will sometimes give shallow compliments based on just that. If someone you’ve just slept with says you have “epic tits”, take it for what it is: he likes your breasts. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like other things about you, but that he particularly likes that part of you at that moment.
Surely you’ve found yourself saying “you’ve got such a big, beautiful cock”? No? Well, if you haven’t, try it. You won’t ever experience a man complaining about that – even though it’s shallow. ;)
Talking about problems
When it comes to talking about something that bothers you, it’s worth keeping in mind that he’s not like your lady friends. If you come to him with a problem, he’s not going to want to sit and listen to you and just offer tea and sympathy – he’s going to come up with a solution to your problem, because that’s what he does. He wants to solve your problem so that you can feel better about it, because to him talking about it isn’t really his idea of helping. If you just want to vent, say you want to vent. Or better still, talk to one of your girlfriends about it. Then come to him when you’re ready to hear six possible solutions to your problem.
I may never understand exactly how men “work” but what I do understand is that not all battles are worth fighting. I’m not saying this as an insult to men, but I don’t think they’re as complicated as women tend to think they are. If he says something, there’s a chance he means it even though it’s not what you wanted him to say. If he’s not forthcoming about his feelings, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them. It just means he’s a man and that he works slightly differently than you do. And that’s OK.