How to Understand the Male MindYou want to know how to understand the male mind and you've come to the right place! Below is everything you need to accomplish your goal.
How to Understand the Male Mind | Stop Thinking it Works Like Yours
The Differences Aren't Just Physical
Many women make the mistake of thinking that just because we're all human, men and women act, think and do things in exactly the same way. Sadly, this is not the case and is your main problem in your journey of how to understand the male mind.
Men know women are different. You're a complete mystery to them. You smell better, look better, are able to multitask and you can do beautiful things like give birth and nourish your babies. You glide through a room when men clomp.
Unfortunately, your usual source of advice when you're struggling with a relationship is who...your sister, your mother or a girlfriend. All women who also don't understand how the male mind works. Instead, I encourage you to read this entire page. Hop around the website and check things out. This entire site is dedicated to helping you learn how to understand the male mind. If you're ready, we can begin!
How to Understand the Male Mind | He Dates First to Have Fun
When a guy first starts dating a woman, he wants to have fun. While he'll ask you out for a dinner or drinks date, he does so because it's what is expected. He would much rather go do something fun, and to be honest, it's a much better way to get to know someone. Why sit in a noisy, crowded restaurant around dozens of people who can hear your discussion?
Why not go bowling, antiquing, sledding, hiking or even to the arcade? Go rock climbing or ice skating. Learning how to understand the male mind means understanding that fun dates are more relaxed and allow you to see one another's true colors sooner. Anyone can sit in a restaurant and behave themselves, but to go out and do something with someone makes it more challenging to hold in your true colors, if you're a jerk that is.
You can still ask questions of one another while you're having fun and if things continue, it will be a very memorable first date. And, if that doesn't entice you enough, wouldn't you be less nervous if you could put on your comfy jeans, a sweatshirt and some sneakers instead of heels and a dress for an already nerve-wracking date?
Men do NOT Think About Milestones (and Neither Should You)
It's important that I start this section on how to understand the male mind and milestones with a confession. I was utterly clueless about women and milestones until I inadvertently misread a woman I was getting to know.
I met her in Florida while I was staying there a few years ago. It was spring and I was out with some friends at a local hangout. She was intriguing and I approached her. As it turned out, she was visiting from another country and my interest was piqued even more. We spent a bit of time together in Florida and I invited her to come back to Boston with me before she returned home.
She saw my invitation as a big milestone. It wasn't. That's just the type of person I am. I knew she was kind of lonely in a foreign country and I wanted to be her friend and get to know her. Since the upcoming weekend was Easter, I invited her to come to my sister's B&B with me to celebrate with my family. Again, I didn't want her to be alone. Nothing more.
This was big milestone number two for her and she had us just about walking down the aisle together. I was sadly clueless.
Unfortunately, I came to realize very quickly that she was miles ahead of me in where she thought our relationship was. To me, she was mysterious and I was enjoying getting to know her. I wasn't anywhere near thinking about a long-term relationship, but looking back, I can easily see why she thought otherwise.
She ended up hurt, which made me feel very bad about the whole situation. I just wanted to keep learning about her but she was moving much faster.
When you date a guy, don't look for milestones because he's clueless about them. If he wants to hold your hand, it's body language that he's interested, but it doesn't mean you should go buy a copy of The Knot. If he kisses you on the cheek on the first date, don't read more into it than he got the urge to kiss you.
Learning how to understand the male mind means learning that guys don't buy in that fast. No, wait, let me correct myself. Great guys don't. Players and losers do. A great guy is enjoying the mystery of unwrapping your secrets. He wants to slowly learn different things about you, over time. He wants to do things with you, like apple picking, touring wine country on a lazy Saturday afternoon or hiking through a local park.
That's it. He's not even thinking long-term yet so please do yourself a favor and turn off your milestone meter. It's broken anyway.
How to Understand the Male Mind | How Men Communicate
You can't learn how to understand the male mind without learning about communication and oh boy is it a biggie! Perhaps the biggest difference between men and women, well, other than physically.
While most women are very verbose, most men are not. Of course, ther are exceptions to all the things you learn here, but I speak for the majority when I say men don't use many words. Ever.
Men operate from one place - they want the facts and only the facts. If your cat died, he doesn't want to hear the story of the entire day. He wants to know what happened and how he can make you feel better. Period. If that's going to get a new cat, he's already turning the engine on the car to take you there.
From the time boys and girls first speak, on through their entire lives, men and women communiate differently.
Boys play in proximity to one another, but not necessarily to form friendships, at least when they're young. Girls play to form friendships and they use words to help advance those friendships. Boys tend to grunt at one another or use one to two word sentences.
As boys and girls get older, this continues. Boys run and play, using few words. Girls huddle, play jump rope with sing-song melodys to jump to and write in journals for pages and pages.
Then you enter your teen years and you start dating. Today, that means loads of texting and the differences become more obvious. Into adulthood, you're now over the fact that you text a guy ten lins and he texts back, "Okay" and it comes much later. This angers or frustrates you. You don't consider this to be any sort of a reply, and yet, there it is, and if you ask him for more of a response, you might get three or four more words, but they'll come hours, if not a day later.
Instead of being frustrated, understand these differences and modify your communication with men. Use fewer words and don't expect a quick or lengthy reply. Stick to the facts, which is what he's looking for to begin with. He doesn't want or need the fluff. If you had an emotionally tryig day, talk to a girlfriend first, then go to your guy. By then, you'll be better able to pare it down to less emotion and more facts. This is key in your journey to learn how to understand the male mind.
Use Your Texts for Flirting and Fun
Instead of communicating important information via text, use texting for flirting and fun. This will entice him to reply much faster and you'll likely get more words out of him too. You can also use texting to invite him to join you and your friends or go do something fun.
When y ou use testing in this way, he starts looking forward to seeing a text from you.
"Hey a bunch of us are heading to The Pub after work. Wanna join?" is much more fun than, "My day at work today sucked." He doesn't know what to do with that, but he knows whether he wants to join you for a fun evening at the pub!
How to Understand the Male Mind | Communication Books
The Power to Communicate
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Text Him This, Not That
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Men and Women Handle Loss and Disappointment Differently
When you suffer a loss or feel disappointed, your emotions are on overload, as well they should be, but understand that many men won't know how to handle this. If you want to know how to understand the male mind, however, you need to know that men handle loss and disappointment differently than women.
Every time I write about this, my mind goes to the premier episode of The Big Bang Theory when the two uber-intelligent roommates, Sheldon and Leonard are sharing their lunch with gorgeous new neighbor Penny, who has just broken up with her boyfriend. She exits the room in tears while they sit there, shrugging their shoulders and completely perplexed, not knowing what to do. While it's a truly funny scene, it's also very, very true to life.
All sitcoms aside, men and women handle these situations very differently. When your guy comes home and announces that Joe got the promotion instead of him, have no doubt that he feels disappointed, but also understand that he probably needs to retreat and lick his wounds.
This doesn't mean he loves you any less. It just means he needs time to process and figure out how to fix the situation. Most women don't understand men and their need to deal with problems on their own first.
Whenever a woman writes me about a breakup, one of the questions I ask is whether he has gone through something big recently. Many times, the man has. It might be a divorce or the death of his childhood dog, but he's gone through something emotional and he needs time to heal. Just the other day, someone shared with me that a couple I knew had broken up. This was a surprise as they had been together for a while. Then, my friend shared that the guy had lost his job right before the breakup.
At that point, I new he would probably be back, asking his ex to get back together again. Why? Because he needs time to retreat and regroup. He needs time to figure out how he will find a new job and move forward. Once he's figured that out, he will be able to re-enter the relationship.
When you're experiencing something very emotional, do yourself and your guy a favor and talk it through with a female friend or relative first. Get your crying and anger out while you're talking to someone who knows how to process those emotions. Then, once you've collected yourself, talk to your guy.
When he is experiencing something difficult, allow him time to retreat without padding along behind him, begging to know what happened. He doesn't want to be nurtured and he doesn't want to talk about it. He just needs time and if you give him that time, he will share and talk it over with you after he's got it all figured out.
Whether it's you or him experiencing something difficult, now that you're learning how to understand the male mind, you'll be better equipped to handle things.
What is Man Mode and Why do You Need to Start Using it Today?
How to Understand the Male Mind | Man Mode
On the surface, it might seem as if you're about to learn something that's designed to trick a man or play games, but it isn't. There's nothing funny about using the best tools you can to improve your relationships and Man Mode is a tool. This is one of hte best tools you will uncover in your quest to learn how to understand the male mind.
The most basic definition of Man Mode is this:
Man Mode is acting, thinking and communicating like a man. You react to situations in the same way a man would.
You, meaning you the collective female human population, have the gift of a very complex and active mind. For example, you can carry on a business call while feeding a toddler, bouncing a baby on your hip and cooking dinner. There is no way most men can do this. A man can do one of those things at a time, but not all four, especially without messing something up.
I tell you this to explain to you why I'm teaching you Man Mode as a method of learning how to understand the male mind, instead of trying to teach a man to think like a woman. He's not equipped to do so, but you're very well equipped to think like a man.
Once you learn how to think like a man, you will be able to significantly improve your relationships with all the men in your life, not just male partners.
Give Your Guy Perceived Freedom
I wouldn't be doing my job in teaching you how to understand the male mind if I didn't explain perceived freedom. This is something your guy wants, even if he doesn't realize it. First, allow me to explain this concept.
Let's say your guy wants to play golf this weekend with his buddies, but he also knows that you've got some stuff to get done around the house. In his mind, you won't allow him to play.
He's going to throw the idea of golf out there to you and see what happens. Your response, dripping with Perceived Freedom, shocks the heck out of him and intrigues him.
Instead of whining, pitching a fit or crying, you say, "Great! I'm going to go shopping with Sarah for her wedding dress and going to The Pub after! Have fun!"
You might be wondering how this is perceived freedom. He got what he wanted. Yes, he did, but so did you. You're going to shopping with your friends and hang out at a pub later, where there are other men. He might be out with his friends, but he'll be thinking of you and hoping you don't see a guy you like better.
Man Mode and Difficult Situations
Learning how to understand the male mind includes learning how to use man mode in difficult situations. As you just learned, men don't manage difficult situations very well. What I mean by difficult situations includes:
- The loss of his job or doesn't get a promotion
- A loss of someone close to him, including a family pet
- Finishing his divorce
- The loss of his social status
- A sudden inability to do something important to him
There are other examples, but most fit into one of these categories. While these situations are difficult for women too, you tend to forge on, blowing off steam with close friends and family members, and sometimes your guy, although hopefully you're learning to share with others first to reduce the emotion of the situation.
For a man, fixing these situations is foremost in his mind. Men are fixers of things and he is now in a position where he needs to fix these things before he can refocus his attention on you and your relationship.
How does Man Mode work in this situation? There are two aspects to consider.
You're Experiencing Something Difficult
When you experience any of those situations above, you might feel very emotional, especially at first. This might show as anger, disappointment, frustration, sadness or another emotion. Since most women aren't raised to hide those emotions, you wear them on your sleeve and everyone can tell something is wrong.
You now need to vent to someone, but I beg you, don't vent to your guy first. Find a female friend to get rid of the bulk of these emotions. Cry, yell, do whatever it takes to blow off the energy associated with your feelings. Talk it through and calm down.
Then, discuss it with your guy. By now, you're past most of the heavy emotions and you can share what happened with him in a calm way, which he can handle.
Know that once you share this with him, he will want to fix it, even if realistically he can't. He wants to help you find a way to advance your career. Maybe he'll offer to stay home with the kids so you can take classes or he can help you study for tests. If you need to hold a ceremony for your lost pet, he'll be there. He wants to fix it so be prepared for that type of response from him. This is all part of knowing how to understand the male mind.
He's Experiencing Something Difficult
If it's him experiencing the difficult situation, you need to allow him time to process those same emotions. He's not as well equipped as you to handle the emotion of these situations. Your reaction is the same as it was before. Go to your friends and leave him to sort things out.
He will come to you, when he's ready, and discuss what happened and the solution he has found. Your job is to listen and allow him to talk through and share things with you. Don't judge or criticize. If he asks for your input or assistance, offer it, but otherwise, allow him the opportunity to fix the problem.
How to Understand the Male Mind | Getting Him to Help
Nobody likes chores or doing extra stuff around the house when it's nice outside or there are sports on television, especially men. But what a man does want to do is show his love for you by helping you when and where he can. The trick is getting him to do so without an argument or begging.
How do you use what you're learning about how to understand the male mind to get him to help? Man Mode.
Your usual way of asking him to help probably isn't working, right? Try it this way instead.
First, give him a chance to cooperate:
You: Hey Chris, can you help me paint the guest room this weekend so it's ready when your parents come to visit in a couple weeks?
Him: Sure Babe, anything you want.
Of course, the weekend comes and he has other plans that are much more pressing than yours and the room goes unpainted. You might think that your next move is to get angry and threaten him, but it isn't, not if you want his help anyway. Your next move goes something like this:
You: I found someone to paint the guest room. Sarah's younger brother just moved back to town after his divorce and he's looking for extra work. He's going to do the painting this weekend.
Him: Oh no need. I'll get started on it tonight after work!
No way is another guy going to help you with a project. He'll do it himself and without any further delay or complaint because you just challenged him. His competitive nature was stirred and he'll do a great job!
Disagreements Man Mode Style
Disagreements can quickly cause contempt to build if they aren't managed properly. Enter Man Mode.
When you and your guy have an argument, chances are he tries to turn away from it at some point but you want to fight it out. Am I right so far?
Allow me to teach you how to understand the male mind by suggesting an alternate scenario.
When an argument begins, rather than continuing while both of you are too emotional, walk away from the argument.
You: You know what, Steve, I think we're both a little too overheated right now. I'm going to go work out and calm down, then we can talk this through.
You just surprised the heck out of him! This is what he wanted to do but you beat him to it, and you did what he didn't expect you to do. You acted like a guy.
Once the two of you have calmed down, your discussion will be more fruitful and you will be able to settle the argument. But something else happened. You acted mysteriously by doing what he would do, but first, and he's intrigued. This re-ignites his feelings for you. Mystery is always good!
Communication Man Mode Style
You previously read that men and women commnicate differently. How do you communicate Man Mode style? Just ike this:
- Keep the emotion out of your texts
- Use short, to the point texts - no more than two lines MAX
- Wait at lesat twenty minutes before replying to a text
- Save texting for flirting or quick join me messages, not for serious conversations
Try to practice radio silence throughout the day, especially if you live together or plan to see one another later. Save the conversation for when you're together, rather than hitting him with it in bits and pieces. He doesn't know what to do with some of the mundane, day-to-day stuff you send anyway.
How to Understand the Male Mind | Be Direct
A friend told me a story once about her time as a waitress. She had a customer come in with the purchase tag to her sweater hanging out the back of her sweater. My friend knew the woman would be horrified if she realized that she'd been out like that, but she was also afraid to say something.
She mentioned it to her manager, a guy, who couldn't understand why she didn't want to say something. "Just tell her it's out" was all he had to offer.
This is how men are. They're direct. One guy will have no problem telling another, "Dude your fly is open" while a woman would be horrified to say the same thing to a guy. It's no problem for one guy to tell another, "You're being a jerk about that. Let it go" A woman will tiptoe around it, especially in public.
Knowing how to understand the male mind means being able to use man mode properly, and that means you must learn to be more direct. Here's an example from my own life.
My girlfriend and I were traveling on the turnpike when she asked me, "Do you need to use the bathroom?" I replied that I did not and I was fine, thanks. A few moments later, she asked, "Are you hungry?" I again replied that I was okay. A few more moments go by and she's now upset with me, "WHY didn't you get off back there? It's the last exit for sixty miles and I need to use the bathroom!" Confused, I responded, "I didn't know you needed to stop" and she came back with, "I just told you I did."
To her, asking me if I needed to stop was the same thing as telling me she needed to stop, but it was lost on me. I felt terrible. I would have stopped if she had told me, directly, instead of indirectly, that she needed to stop. All she needed to say was, "Gregg can we stop at this exit?"
Say what you mean. Don't dance around a topic or try to get him to guess your needs. The male mind doesn't work like that. Just say it.
Books About Understanding Men
To Date a Man, You Must Understand a Man
10 Secrets You Need to Know About Men
The Untold Secret of How Men Think and What They Want
Manimals: 10 Different Types of Men and How to Date Them
Weed Out the Users, The Couch Potatoes and the Losers
Yes, this page is all about understanding men, but you haven't read everything there is on the subject. This book has helped thousands of women understand men on a deeper level, improving their relationships and helping them live happily with their guys.
There are traits that are unique to men and in this book, you'll learn all about them and how to use these traits to your advantage in your relationship. You'll learn why men struggle to show emotion, why competition is so important and why men seek status. None of the reasons are what you think and this book helps you understand the motivation behind some of your guys behaviors!
There are many things about men that go untold, but not here! Learn everything you need to know about what men are looking for in the woman they want to spend the rest of their lives with. This book gets detailed, going into things like waist-to-hip ratios and when men expect sex in a new relationship. Learn these untold secrets and more!
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While I hate to categorize people, the truth is that there area categories of men and this book helps you improve your BS detector so you can pick out the losers, users and couch potatoes from the guys who have the potential to be your Mr. Right! You'll even find a chapter on ditching your loser boyfriend so you can find Mr. Right!
How to Understand the Male Mind | How to Date the Right Way
Treat First Dates Like Meetings
Oh boy, this one is tricky. Women tend to go all in with their heart, even on a first date. You see him and immediately, you feel those flutters and a lot of excitement. He's handsome and he holds out your chair, his smile is to die for and you're hooked. He is going to be the father of your children.
Slooooooooow down, my beautiful friend. When you understand men, you have a better set of tools to approach this situation.
How about taking some time to get to know him first. Again, this goes back to having fun. Treat those first few dates as meetings. Ask questions. Share little bits about yourself, but not too much. Probe a little and see what lies beneath his polished, or sometimes unruly, exterior.
This takes the pressure off. If you stop looking at every first date as if it's a marriage interview, you won't be as nervous. All you're doing is meeting a new guy to see what he's like. How does he treat others around you? How does he treat you?
Take time, lots of time actually, to really get to know him before you decide he's your one and only!
He's Probably Dating Other Women - You Should Date Other Men
If you've just met this guy, he has no commitment to you, so don't get all up in his grille when you find out he's dating another woman or two. This isn't so much about how well you understand men, as it is about taking a different approach to dating.
I know this seems like cheating, but unless you've been dating for a while and you've both agreed to be exclusive, this is not cheating, on either of your parts.
Dating more than one guy at a time actually provides you with the opportunity to compare. Do you like the down-to-earth guy who would rather be in cowboy boots than leather pointy toe shoes or is the guy in the dark suit and tie really melting your heart?
Take that time while you're single to figure out what type of guy fits you best, then pursue him and kindly dismiss the others. If this guy is right for you, things will work out as they should.
How to Understand the Male Mind | Don't Overshare
This one is so big that I would be remiss if I left it out of teaching you how to understand the male mind. When you first meet someone, especially online, it's easy to overshare. You feel an instant connection and, sensing it, he starts bombarding you with questions. there are a few reasons for this, not all honorable.
First, he could be as excited as you are to find someone who feels like a kindred spirit, so he's honestly just anxious to get to know you better. The second reason is that he's a player, user or catfisher who wants to find your weak spots, whether you might have any money or other things that can be of use to him and how he can gain an advantage.
In either instance, you want to share as little as possible. If the guy is an honorable guy, he will accept your slow down plan as he realizes that he was moving too quickly as well. It's okay to answer one of his questions, like do you have any pets or what's your favorite football team if you indicated you have a pet or love football. These answers are fairly harmless.
Until you meet a guy in person, don't tell him too much that will give away your identity or physical location. Try to save as much information as possible for after you've met a guy in person and can determine for sure that he is or isn't a nice guy.
Once you meet him, you still need to share slowly. It's for his own good as well as yours. A great guy is enjoying the mystery behind this new woman. Each piece of yourself that you share takes away a piece of mystery, so you want to dole them out slowly. If you find yourself talking about you too much, stop and give a coy smile, then say something like, "Gee we've spent a lot of time talking about me. Tell me about your dog. His name is Henry, right?"
If you overshare a little, don't panic because if you and this guy end up in a relationship, you'll always be injecting mystery to keep the excitement alive.
Go on Fun Dates
While a dinner date is the expected date, why not suggest a date where the two of you can have fun? I eluded to this idea earlier. Men date to have fun and going out to dinner isn't nearly as much fun as doing something together. Even if you suck at bowling, why not make it a date? It'll be a ton of fun, especially if you can laugh at yourself for the gutterballs, or better yet, raise the bumpers and go for it.
Fun dates allow you to get to know someone better. People tend to let their guard down when they're having fun and you can see, early on, how he reacts to people and circumstances. This also raises one of his greatest traits to the surface - competition. Men love competition and, win, lose or draw, he will have fun competing with you.
If you're not into bowling, go rock climbing. Many towns have climbing walls. If that doesn't do it for you, there are tons of other activities you can try together, like hiking, bike riding, skiing or snowboarding. If you live near water, why not rent a boat and just hang out on the water? Anything that allows the two of you to have fun, istead of sitting like well-mannered robots at a table, is a great date!
How to Understand the Male Mind | Men in Relationships
As with everything else, men and women manage relationships differently. Their thoughts throughout are different. How they show love is different. Their fears are different.
These differences can inadvertently cause a great relationship to run off the rails when it shouldn't. Common misunderstandings and misread behaviors lead one or the other to assume things that aren't true.
Men Show Love Differently
When a man is in love, he'll do just about anything for his girlfriend or wife. This can be something as simple as bringing you your favorite local coffee or as complex as building new shelves or fixing a leaky sink. If he knows your car needs an oil change, he may take it for you. Men are problem-solvers and solving your problems is one way in which they show their love.
The problem is that you're looking for the words, I love you, which are less likely to appear than his acts of love. Yes, he'll say it, mostly because he knows you want to hear it, but his day-to-day actions are a better indicator of his love, and a key lesson in your journey to learn how to understand the male mind.
I coached a woman once who was incensed that her boyfriend gave her oven mitts for Valentine's Day. She felt it was terribly unromantic, and I confess that it was, but when I asked a few more questions, I came to realize he was solving a problem. She had baked something the week before and burned herself because her oven mitts were old and worn. She muttered something about needing new ones but not finding the time to get them, so he took that time and bought her some. He was showing his love by solving a problem. I'll grant you that his timing was off. No woman wants oven mitts for Valentine's Day, but she broke up with him over it, leaving him perplexed.
Look for the signs of love, like these:
- His protective nature kicks in when you're out together - an arm around your back, etc
- He solves problems for you
- His desire to do small things to make your life easier, i.e. mowing the lawn, getting your oil changed
- He gets/makes you something he knows you like, such as your favorite ice cream or coffee, your favorite dinner when you're feeling down, and so on
Things Men Worry About
When a man is in a relationship, he has a few worries you may not initially understand:
- She won't allow me to hang out with my friends
- She'll use/take all my money
- I'll never have sex with another woman again
While these may seem petty to you, they're very important to a man, but there are things you can do to alleviate his worries.
Instead of getting upset or angry when he wants to hang out with his friends, go out with your own friends or find something to do while he's away. Get a hobby, go shopping, volunteer somewhere or visit someone. This is why I always encourage women to maintain their friendships outside of their relationship. When he's doing his thing, you have someone to do your thing with. At the same time, don't give up your hobbies or your exercise classes. Continue growing and developing yourself as you would if you were single.
The trick to this is to make sure he knows you're going out and that when you go out, you look as good as can be expected, depending on what you're about to do. He knows that when you go out without him, he runs the risk of other men seeing you and this is unsettling to him, so while he wants to hang out with his friends, he won't enjoy it as much if he knows you're out too.
When it comes to finances, there is something you must understand. Men need to feel as if they can provide for their family. If a guy feels he's dating a woman who will take all his money, he fears losing that ability to provide. This is built into most men, and all great men and isn't to be taken lightly. If you are in a relationship with a man and you make more money than he does, don't flaunt that in his face. It's emasculating.
Make sure to include him in providing for your family financially. Even though you might earn more, share the responsibility of providing with him and don't make a huge issue of who earns more. Does it really matter? It shouldn't become a power piece between you.
If you both earn the same, or he earns more, be sure to offer to pay for your share of dates. He may decline your offer, but it will give him some reassurance that you aren't dating him for his money.
The truth is that he wants to provide for you. He wants you to have those great new boots, if they're affordable or if you earn extra money for them. He just needs to know that you're financially responsible and not out to break the bank. If you reassure him of this, he'll feel better.
And lastly, this thing about having sex with other women. The truth is that he doesn't want to have sex with other women, but he thinks closing the door to the option is scary. The way to make him feel better about this is not to allow your sex life together to become routine or boring. Change things up. Try new toys. Try sex in different places or positions. If you keep things exciting in your sex life, he won't even think about losing the ability to have sex with other women.
If You Want to Know Something, Just Ask
Men aren't mind readers, nor are women for that matter, but women tend to be better at it for some reason. Still, as I showed you earlier, men cannot read minds and they cannot read between the lines either.
Hinting that you want him to mow the lawn or paint the bedroom isn't going to cut it. Hinting that you want to get engaged, rather than having a serious discussion about your relationship won't get you a ring.
You read it before on this page, but it's worth repeating. If you want something, say so. If you want him to do something, ask him. If you aren't sure about something he said or did, don't assume or ask your best friend, ask him.He's the one who knows what he meant.
Men are direct communicators and they can be painfully blunt, but they say what they mean and they mean what they say. They don't tapdance around topics, they come right out with it.
They also aren't usually comfortable having touchy-feelie conversations, but will endure one if it's not too deep or painful. Engaging your guy in a feelings talk probably isn't going to excite him as much as inviting him to talk about something he can understand.
He May Need a Learning Curve
A guy who has lived alone for a long time might need some adjustment time if you move in together. For years, he's been tossing his socks into the corner of the closet until he does laundry, but now, you wan thim to use a basket instead. Old habits die hard so don't pick at these little things. Trust me, he wants nothing more than to please you so if you give him time, he'll learn.
Additionally, he might not be accustomed to the way you do things. Instead of forcing your way or the highway, work out a solution that you both can work with. You might feel it's important to clean the house thoroughly once a week while he doesn't see the need to do such a deep cleaning. These habits are usually rooted in your childhood. As a young girl, you probably had cleaning chores around the house. He probably had more "masculine" chores like taking out the trash and mowing the lawn. Now, you're expecting him to help with stuff he never did before.
Dave, Scott and Kevin were best friends in high school. Kevin was dating Suzanne. One summer, Suzanne and her family went on vacation and asked Kevin to take care of their home, mowing, brinigng in newspapers and mail. Kevin, Dave and Scott thought it would be funny to prank Suzanne while she was gone, so they went to the mall to one of those gag shops and purchased what was promoted as itching powder. Once in charge of Suzanne's home, they went in and ripped back the sheets of her bed, sprinkling the powder all over. Then it hit them. None of them knew how to make a bed. Their mothers all did it for them. In a panic, Kevin started watching his mom make his bed. Then, he want back to Suzanne's house and examined the other beds in the house. Eventually, before the family returned, the bed was remade and they felt they'd pulled off their prank. Unfortunately, karma was at play and Suzanne felt no itch. Best guess is that they purchased talc. The point, of course, is that none of these boys did any household chores, so when it came time, they were utterly clueless. Kevin and Suzanne married some years later, Kevin now an engineer. He never did learn household chores, except when necessary. For example, every time he needed to use the washing machine, he required instructions. Suzanne patiently helped him through every time.
Rather than expecting more than your guy might be capable of, grant him a learning curve, write him some instructions and allow him to work it through. He will, eventually, but don't get upset when his first efforts don't match your high expectations.
How to Understand the Male Mind | Be Careful with His Vulnerabilities
Everyone has vulnerabilities and they can be very difficult to share, especially with someone you really. Don't expect a man to begin sharing his deepest, darkest secrets with you right away. He shouldn't, and neither should you.
Once you've established a level of trust, however, he may want to share something that makes him feel vulnerable. Your job is to listen, without judgment and to show you are empathetic or whatever emotion may fit the situation. Here are a few examples:
- He has an STD and wants you to be aware so you can practice safe sex
- His confession that he is a recovering addict who now avoids alcohol or drugs or whatever he was addicted to
- He has a jail or prison record
- When he tells you he's into an alternative lifestyle that includes kink of some sort
- He lost everything due to a big mistake he made and now is rebuilding
There are dozens of other things which may make a guy feel vulnerable. If he trusts you enough to share it, you owe him the courtesy of listening. Once you've heard what he has to say, take some time to process the information, but tell him you need that time so he doesn't think he's stunned you into silence. Share with him that you aren't judging him for what he just shared, but you need time to think about the information so you best know how to reply.
He doesn't know what to expect, so maintaining an even level of emotion will help him be less fearful. Once you've processed the information, you may have questions. He probably expects this, but be careful in asking your questions so that you don't come off as beging too judgmental or mean. If what he has shared with you is a deal breaker for you, say so, but do so in a way that won't make him fearful of sharing it with someone else.
Remember, it took a lot of courage for him to reveal a piece of his soft underbelly to you, and he did so knowing there was a risk of losing you, if it was too big. If you choose to stay with him, be sure to ask all your questions and raise all your concerns. Do your research into whatever he shared so you speak with knowledge and understand what he's telling you.
Finally, be sure to share something of your own with him as well. This helps him see that he's not alone in his perceived imperfections and that you trust him enough to share something special with him. Accept his sharing as a true gift because it was.
Mystery and Challenge
Unless you're completely new to this site and my books, you've heard about mystery and challenge already. It's so important in helping you learn to understand men that it shows up in almost everything I write.
Mystery and challenge are great for your relationship. They provide you the opportunity to grow and continue to develop as an individual and they provide a way for your guy to maintain chase mode and be intrigued by you.
While it might seem as if this is trickery or playing games, mystery and challenge couldn't be further from either of those things. The methods of implementing mystery and challenge into your relationship benefit both you and your guy, which is why it's such a great tool to have at your disposal!
When your relationship is new, you're automatically mysterious and challenging to a man, but as he gets to know you and you develop routines, these things fade. In order to keep them alive in your relationship, you must continue to grow and develop as a person. Ideally, he's doing the same by growing and developing himself. How do these work to help your relationship? I thought you'd never ask!
How to Understand the Male Mind | Challenge
When it comes to dating, think of the attention span of a man to be near that of a toddler. Men need challenge to stay interested in a woman. Remember, men date to have fun, at least at first, and part of having fun is being challenged. This might seem confusing to you, so below, I've provided some ways in which you can include challenge in your repertoire.
How can You Challenge a Man?
Stay one step ahead of him
Get to know his routine and habits. If you know he always has lunch on Friday at a certain spot, get there a few minutes early and have his lunch waiting. If you know he always comes home and goes running, have his running stuff out and ready, but head out on your run ahead of him.
Turn back the intensity a bit
Some women operate at a very intense level and men do too. There isn't anything wrong with that, but when you're together, chill a bit and enjoy the moment. As you read above, guys aren't great at highly emotional moments and they don't deal with your intensity well either. Try to keep work discussions out of date night environments, dinner time and other times when the two of you are sharing something special. If he asks and seems truly interested, okay, but otherwise, make a point of enjoying one another.
Be brave and loosen up a little bit
If you really want to challenge a guy, face a fear. If he knows you're terrified of heights and he hears about or sees you cross a rope bridge, he will be amazed and will definitely feel that challenge. This also adds a tinge of mystery as he begins to wonder what you'll do next!
If you're married, there will be serious moments in your relationship. You will need to discuss whether you want to make the move that comes with the promotion one of you was offered. You will need to get on the same parenting page when kids come along. Buying a new car or home will require discussion, but otherwise, relax a little bit and enjoy your life. Have fun together, just like you did when you first dated.
Help Him Stay Engaged
A bored man is an unhappy man and a guy will become bored with you when the routine of life sets in. It's inevitable that routine will come to pass, but still, there are things you can do to keep things from becoming boring.
For example, change your hair color or get a new haircut. Instead of your usual rocky road, get rainbow sherbet at the local ice cream hangout. Change things up at the coffee shop from time to time and get a caramel latte instead of mocha.
These are small but important things you can do to keep boredom at bay.
Resist the Urge to Maintain Control
Some women have very powerful jobs where they are in control. This is awesome! All I ask is that you allow him to have some control in your relationship. Let him chase you.
Allow him to plan some of your dates. Let him make some of the choices sometimes, like where you'll get takeout or which movie you'll watch.
Nobody wants to be bossed around all the time, so share those responsibilities with him.
Develop and Maintain Boundaries
A great guy will not only like that you have boundaries, he will respect them. Boundaries are what hold you to your own value system and give you the power to say "No" and stand your ground.
This is sometimes counter-intuitive. A low-confidence woman will often think she must give a man everything he asks for in a relationship, whether it's what she really wants to do or not.
When you have boundaries, you're able to easily say no to things you don't want to do. A respectable guy will honor your boundaries and will actually like that you have them. Oh, he might still ask to have sex before you're ready, but that doesn't mean you need to say yes!
When a guy is out on a date with a woman, whether he's just met her or he's been married to her for ten years, he wants to be able to be challenged by conversation.
To do this, maintain a life, outside of your life with him, where you pursue hobbies and things you're passionate about. Do things that stretch you or things you've previously found to be risky and then share those adventures with him.
Also, have a great story! Your great story is written by the various pieces of your life that have made you what you are today. If you've just met this guy or you haven't been dating very long, only share your story in bits and pieces. There's no reason to spill your guts on the first date. It leaves no mystery to be unraveled.
Why Mystery is So Important in Your Relationship
Mystery is as important as challenge and it is a key in your journey to understand men.
Mystery keeps a guy on his toes and it also keeps him from becoming bored with the relationship.
Understand Men and Mystery - Embrace Risk
A great way to be mysterious is to embrace risk. Sure, it's safe to avoid doing anything risky, but you don't grow that way. You don't become a better version of yourself, day by day, if you don't try new things and take a few risks.
Watching you take those risks, or hearing about them later, brings a lot of mystery into your relationship!
And risk doesn't need to be some big deal either. Risk is more about taking a chance on something or facing a fear you have. You could take a risk by starting your own business or putting yourself out there to speak in public. Taking a risk could mean writing a book or starting a blog. Or, it could mean going bungee jumping or skydiving.
When you understand men, you realize that whatever it is that you feel is risky will be interesting to your guy!
Break the Label He Placed on You
You may do this without realizing it, and it's a great way to pique the interest of a guy!
Here's a great example. You meet up with some girlfriends at a local hangout, but you have to come after work, so you're dressed up still. After ordering your drink, you begin to let down your hair, literally or figuratively. Maybe you slide off your jacket, revealing an awesome tattoo or carefully chiseled biceps. Perhaps you do take down your hair, allowing your long flowing locks to bounce down your back. Then, you head out to the dance floor, shoes kicked off, to have a wonderful time.
Any guy who saw you come in probably has his jaw on the floor because whatever label he had placed on you, based on how you appeared, is now broken. You turned it all on it's head and shed that label. He's blown away and he can't wait to meet you!
Of course, to shed those labels, you don't need to be so dramatic. The idea is that whatever first impression you think you're making, turn it about 90 degrees to the left or right and watch their jaws drop! To understand men is to understand how powerful this tool can be in your toolbox!
The opposite might happen, in fact. Maybe your first date is a hiking date, so you wear jeans, a sweatshirt and some tennies. Your next date is out to dinner somewhere, so you're looking hot in something not too revealing but still showing off what you've got. The label is broken and he's awestruck!
The way you dress plays a huge role in what a man thinks of you. Many women think that they need to dress to show as much skin as possible in order to draw in men. These are women who don't understand men!
While it's true you will gain their attention, they aren't thinking what you might imagine.
When a man sees a woman who is dressed in a way that's too revealing, he immediately decides she isn't a keeper. What does that mean? It means he doesn't feel that a woman who dresses like this belongs in his life permanently. He may date you, but that's just a time filler until a keeper does come along.
Dressing in this way screams low confidence and low self-esteem. It tells a man you don't believe you have anything to offer but your body. I'm afraid this time, your mother was right.
So how do you dress? Keep your blouse buttoned past your cleavage, but not up to your neck. Wear something comfortable. If you want to wear a skirt fine, but don't wear one that rises past your butt when you sit down. Nobody wants to see that.
I'm not telling you to dress like a frump queen, but find something that compliments your body without revealing too much. That's how you draw in great men. The other way draws in players. Which would you rather date?
Break Your Routine
Being a creature of habit feels safe. You know what to expect and when to expect it. The problem with routine, however comfy it may feel, is that it's boring.
Remember, to understand men is to understand that boredom and men don't go very well together in a relationship.
This, like the other things you've read, isn't as complicated as it sounds. All you need to do is change things up from time to time. If Friday night is always Mexican night, be really daring and have Italian or Asian fusion. Drink a different flavor of coffee. Wear your hair a different way. Take a different route to work.
All these things help you as much, if not more than they help your guy.
How to Understand the Male Mind | How and When to Use Mystery and Challenge
Before you finish reading about mystery and challenge, there is one important thing to learn.
You don't need to pull these out on a daily basis. In fact, if you do, they will lose their effectiveness. Use these strategies when you feel things need a boost.
If you see a guy who intrigues you across the room, try to break the label he may have formed about you. If you've been in a relationship for a while, surprise him with a new hair style or a cuddly kitten.
I recently heard a story of a young woman who had been dating this guy for a few months. Due to COVID-19, she lost her job and was bored out of her mind. Her boyfriend, a police officer, was still working, so she wasn't able to fill her time with fun activities with her guy.
Instead, she dusted off the sewing machine she had been given years before, found a quilt pattern on Pinterest and got to work. She went shopping and gathered her supplies. By the time he saw her the next day, she had over 1,000 squares cut and was busy sewing them together in an intricate pattern.
To say he was blown away was an understatement. His girlfriend, who barely sat still, was making a quilt! Instead of wallowing in having nothing to do, she got busy and found herself a project. Three days later, she was preparing to do the quilting on her new piece. Talk about busting labels, being mysterious and challenging. She knocked it out of the park! She has him happily going with her to pick out batting and thread! He can't wait to see what's next.
They later became engaged, and in order to defray some of their wedding costs, she dragged out that sewing machine again, opened an Etsy shop and started earning more money. He just smiles and shakes his head at his fiance and her ever-present energy. She sets her mind to something and she goes after it. He never knows what's coming next, but he smiles at what was once his workout room, but is now her "office".
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