Understanding Men In Relationships: 15 Truths About How Guys Think
The Secret Formula for Understanding Guys
If you want to understand men, the first thing to know is that men and women really do come from the same planet. Even though scientific studies have shown only a few differences between men and women, many myths claim that they are much more different than they really are. If you want to understand men better, then you should consider the differences and similarities between men and women while keeping in mind that each man is his own individual with his own needs and hopes.
First: Understanding the differences between men and women
1. Know that men tend to be more competitive.
Research has shown that men are, for example, more likely than women to take jobs where the pay depends on outperforming others. And you probably know from personal experience that men tend to be more interested in sports (playing or watching them) than women. Many men do this because they thrive on competition and find satisfaction in having skills that allow them to dominate others. If you are playing against him in a game, don't be surprised if he suddenly becomes ruthless and also becomes a bad player when he starts losing. Accept this behaviour without giving it any importance and move on.
Encourage his competitive leisure activities. You'll notice that many of the typical activities of men, such as gambling, hunting, watching or playing sports and extreme sports, focus on a competitive element. Because overcoming competition can be important to men, support activities that can bring your man this kind of satisfaction in a relatively safe way.
2. Be aware that men are more visual.
Sight is one of the strongest human senses, and processing all the things we see takes a large amount of daily brain analysis. However, men are still more likely than women to respond to visual cues. As a result, you may find that men prefer to look at a map to understand directions, for example, rather than hear them, or they may insist that they need to see a problem in order to solve it. So accept this tendency as an innate trait that they cannot control.
Don't be too offended if he looks at other women. Being more receptive to visual stimuli means that a man may be more likely to look (or even stare) at attractive people. But there's no need to get angry: just because a man looks at a woman in a tight blouse doesn't mean he automatically wants to sleep with her. These little looks are usually harmless and more of a reflex than a sign that your relationship is doomed.
3. Be aware that men and women do not value the same parts of a conversation.
Research indicates that this difference begins in childhood, when little girls bond by sharing secrets and discussing problems, while boys bond over common interests and activities. If you expect your boyfriend or husband to be like the female person with whom you have the best conversations and even better, you will be disappointed. Men tend not to build strong relationships through conversation and change the subject more frequently than women. On top of that, men don't make as much eye contact as women do when talking to someone: their gaze wanders more to the immediate area where they are.
Instead of punishing him for this difference and complaining that he never listens to you, pick your battles. If you really want to discuss something important with a man, make it clear and direct. Say, "It's important to me that we talk about this topic, and it would mean a lot to me if you could listen carefully." If you matter to him, he will make the effort to actually listen to you very carefully.
Expect to hear a solution. Another side effect of the way men approach conversations is that they tend to focus on how to solve a problem. If you want a man to just comfort you, instead of advising you on what to do, tell him that at the beginning of the conversation. Remember, he's trying to help you find a solution not because he wants to boss you around, but because he cares about you and thinks that's what most caring people do.
When your partner makes an effort to communicate, encourage it. Allen Wagner, a family and marriage therapist, tells us, "When a person tries something new, like complimenting you, and you stop them because it's a 2nd level compliment and you wait until it's a 10th level, you'll never get a 10th level, it will go back to 0... If you encourage him by saying something like thank you so much for telling me that, he'll feel good and be more willing to do it again."
4. Understand that men can't always identify emotions as quickly as women can.
Think of the old stereotype of a husband who has no idea what he did to enrage his wife. It's possible that he's not being deliberately ignorant: he really could have no idea why she's angry or upset. Because women have more developed limbic systems, they are better at classifying and deciphering emotions, a skill that was useful when women were primarily in charge of maintaining social ties in ancient civilizations. Men, on the other hand, lag behind women in studies of how gender identifies and controls human emotions.
Don't expect him to read your mind. If you are angry with a man, tell him in as calm, clear and reasonable a manner as possible. Once he is aware of how you feel, he can take steps to remedy the problem. If you don't tell him, then don't rely too much on him to understand your signals.
Give him space. Because men aren't used to discussing their personal problems with a friend, you may find that they tend to deal with these problems on their own. If a man shuts down when you try to discuss his personal issues, step back and give him space to work through them on his own. Most men will let you know if they want to talk about it.
5. Be aware that it is more difficult for men to be "just friends" with women.
Studies have shown that in platonic relationships with women, men are more likely to be attracted to their female friends and also more likely to think that they are sexually attracted to them. Although women also show signs of sexual attraction to their male friends, they are more likely to hold back when they know they are in a relationship. Men are less discouraged when their female friends have boyfriends and continue to show signs of attraction.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that all your male friends have a crush on you.
6. Understand that men and women may act differently in the workplace.
While they may perform the same tasks or cohabitate in the same office, men and women have a different approach to how they work. Men tend to focus more on getting a task done while women are more focused on the process of getting there. Women ask more questions while men find it harder to listen. However, both sexes feel that the opposite sex is not sensitive enough to their needs in the workplace.
Men and women also tend to react differently in the workplace in terms of stress. Women will openly express their concerns about a failed project while men will withdraw and seek solitude to deal with the failure.
Women and men also seek appreciation in different ways. Women are happier if complimented in a group setting, while men like to be noticed.
Then: Avoiding stereotypes
7. Don't assume that all men want to sleep with all women.
While you may be convinced that your boyfriend, friend or co-worker would want to sleep with every woman in an ideal world, this is "not" the case. Even though men look at the women around them and can be quite picky about who they sleep with, they are still selective when it comes to actually sleeping with someone.
If you're convinced that your boyfriend really wants to sleep with every woman, then what are you doing together? It's one thing to have a problem in your relationship because he does want to sleep with all women, but if there's a problem because you believe that because he's a man he necessarily wants to sleep with anyone, then, you need to rethink your thinking.
Sure, you may occasionally run into a sleazy guy. But remember, men can brag about how many women they sleep with. That doesn't mean they want to jump the gun.
8. Don't think that men totally hate movies and "girl" nights out.
You may think your boyfriend hates it when you get to choose where and what you do at night, but that's not really the case. Sure, your boyfriend may grumble and moan if you ask him to watch "Love Actually" for the tenth time, but he actually likes doing what you want to do because it makes you happy.
Remember, if your boyfriend really didn't want to do something, he just wouldn't do it. And the same goes for you.
9. Don't think that men are totally insensitive.
Think of Tony Soprano: a tough guy on the outside and a big, soft bear on the inside. It's true that women may like to be more open about their feelings and talk more, but that doesn't mean that men aren't sensitive, can't be hurt, and don't know how to sympathize or empathize. Men may be more reluctant to show their emotions, but that doesn't mean they don't have feelings as strong as yours.
Men are "not" cavemen who are only obsessed with basic needs: food, sex and sleep. Keep this in mind.
10. Don't think that men think about sex "all the time.
Sure, men may think about sex more often than women, especially if they're teenagers, but that doesn't mean they only have one thing on their minds all the time. Like everyone else, men think about their friends, family, hopes, dreams and careers. If a sexy woman in heels walks by, well, obviously, they'll probably be momentarily distracted, but that doesn't mean the inside of their head looks like the porn section of the local video store.
11. Don't think that men are only interested in appearances.
When it comes to appearance, men and women are all superficial. You may think that men are only interested in a woman's body, adding bonuses if she has a pretty face, but that's not the case when a man is really interested in a woman. Don't think that the only thing you have to do to impress a guy is to work out, put on eyeliner and wear tights. You have to impress him with your charm, your brains and your ability to have a conversation.
Sure, some men are more obsessed with appearances than they should be. But the same can be said for some women.
12. Don't think that men are more likely to be unfaithful than women.
You may think that men are known for cheating, who can forget the Tiger Woods scandal? However, women, as much as men, are capable of cheating, even though women are more looking for emotional connections while men are looking for physical connections. Don't think your guy will cheat on you just because he's a man. If he does, it's because he's looking for a connection outside of your relationship.
That's not to say there aren't some real scumbags out there. But women can be scum too.
13. Don't think men don't like to commit.
You may think that every man you meet is terrified of commitment and wants to run away as soon as you utter the phrase "I think you should meet my parents". In fact, men are just as committed as women. You are actually thinking of the 20% of men who are truly commitment-phobic. Keep in mind that there are many women who are just as scared of the idea of getting serious with someone.
If the object of your love is afraid to commit to you, then don't tell yourself it's because he's a "typical guy". There are many other reasons why a man doesn't want to commit, such as lack of experience or pain from a previous relationship.
14. Don't think men are intimidated by strong women.
Of course, men can be intimidated by strong women, if you are Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey. But, in general, men are more attracted to confident women who know what they want and are comfortable with taking action. Don't try to act like a "girl", play ignorant or giggle stupidly to impress a guy. If you want a man to take you seriously, then you need to show him your true potential.
Being strong means being confident. And everyone is attracted to confidence.
Finally: Understand men more deeply
- Learn to understand the male ego. If you want to understand men more deeply, then, you should try to understand the male ego.
- Give your boyfriend space. Mastering this process can improve your relationship in the long run.
- Learn how men behave in long-term relationships. This can help you understand the process a man goes through.
- Learn how to help your boyfriend if he is going through depression. This is a challenge in understanding men.
- Improve your relationship with your boyfriend. If you have a better idea of how to improve your relationship with your boyfriend, you will understand men better.
- Remember: the information in this article is based on generalities. So it may not all apply to the men you know.
- If your boyfriend is depressed, give him a hug to cheer him up. It will soothe him.
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