Public service announcement: Guys aren’t perfect. I just got married and I think my man is the greatest man alive. However, I’m finding that he, along with every other man on the planet, is not perfect. There’s been a learning curve for this new bride, but I’m here to share a few things I’ve learned that no one tells you about even the best guys.
10 Things Nobody Tells You About Even The Best Guys:
1. If a guy says he’s thinking about nothing, he means it.
This is a foreign concept for many women. How can one simply not think? Is that really a thing? Typically, when you ask your gal pal what she’s thinking about and she tells you ‘nothing’, you know that means she either doesn’t want to talk about it, or she wants you to keep prying to draw it out. However, men are not women. It is possible for a man to cease thinking, or to actually think about nothing. He’s not just being lazy or secretive. If he says he’s thinking about nothing, he’s seriously thinking about nothing.
2. Men need alone time– don’t take it personally.
This can be a hard one to navigate, especially when you think he’s sick of you. You need to know that it is very common and normal for any given guy to need some time to himself. In general, girls have a much higher threshold for relational interaction than guys do. Consequently, guys will typically max out their relational capacity much faster girls will. Is your man being irritable? Maybe give him a little space. Is he being short in conversation? Maybe plan a girls’ night. This bit of alone time will allow the guy to recharge his relational batteries. You’d be surprised how far a little distance will actually go.
3. Men need encouragement.
It doesn’t matter how confident your man is, he still needs encouragement. This can be doing something as little as laughing at his jokes, to writing him a note, to verbally telling him that you’re proud of him and think he’s the man. Whether it’s major or minor, men need to be encouraged. He may schluff it off or act like it wasn’t a big deal, but when a man knows his lady believes in him he will feel empowered and ready to take on the world.
4. Men need coaching.
All too often women have unrealistic expectations. If he has been leaving the toilet seat up for twenty-something years, then you can’t expect him to magically stop doing so overnight. Likewise, if he has been putting dirty clothes on the ground instead of the hamper for 20-something years, he’s not going to suddenly change his behavior (regardless of how cute the hampers are that you’ve strategically placed throughout the house). Show some grace, address the matter, and use positive reinforcement “It means a lot to me when you put the toilet seat down, sweetie. Thank you!” It’s baby steps over time.
5. Men don’t talk as much as women do.
There have been legitimate studies done that show that women speak an average of 20,000 words a day and men speak an average of 7,000-10,000. These numbers are clearly staggering. Similarly, to the average female relational capacity being greater than the average man’s, the average woman’s conversational stamina is likely going to be greater as well. Obviously, this is a general overview, and there are certainly exceptions, but if you find your man drifting in and out of cohesive conversation while on a long road trip, don’t hold it against him. He may feel like he’s just run a marathon while you feel you’ve just finished warming up. Again, don’t take this personally.
6. Men want more facts, less feelings.
Talking about how you felt and then how you feel about how you felt can be exhausting for men. Many men say that when they don’t think they can relate with the emotions, they just check out. Having grown up with all brothers I can attest to the five major male emotions: happy, sad, angry, weird, chill. If you are upset because your feelings are hurt, maybe use the age old confrontation equation: when you did _____________, it made me feel ____________. This works because you can’t argue what happened– it’s a fact– but you are also explaining how the factual action elicited an emotional response. Facts are tangible, accessible, and can’t be argued. More facts, less feelings.
7. Men don’t want you to talk during the game.
But, really. The questions, the comments about the uniform colors, the analysis of the cheerleaders’ outfits and performance– it’s not cute and he’s just not interested. In fact, he is most likely annoyed. If you ever get to observe a group of guys watching a game, you’ll notice that the only noises that happen outside of commercial breaks are less like conversations and more like phrases such as, “Are you kidding me?!” or “Did you see that?!” being shouted. It’s fascinating; it’s also how many men bond. So, if you want to see your boy any Saturday this fall, try your very hardest to keep your questions and comments to yourself until a commercial break. And don’t forget to use your smartphone to look up unfamiliar terms like “safety” and “touchback.”
8. Men want to see you active.
Contrary to popular belief, most guys don’t like being waited on hand and foot. This is great news for some and off putting for others. Regardless, your man wants you to have your thing. Maybe you pick up a class at the gym, maybe you try out some new hobbies, whatever it is, your man will like to see you trying new things and not simply waiting for him to be available to hang out with. That puts a ton of pressure on a guy to feel like every ounce of his free time he needs to make sure he’s entertaining you or available since you have nothing else going on. You’re better than that. Get some new hobbies and go be fabulous.
9. Men take on a lot of pressure.
Don’t be surprised to find your man stressing from time to time about the pressure from work, life, and family. Men generally put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform well and be successful. Unfortunately, every man measures success differently, so this can be difficult to detect. Regardless, be gracious with your man. Chances are he’s holding himself to a high standard that he maybe hasn’t put words to or isn’t vocal about. This is yet another opportunity to look for ways to bless and encourage him.
10. Men can’t read your mind. Seriously.
Wouldn’t it be nice if they could? When you tell him you’re fine, he probably thinks that you’re actually fine. Bless his heart. Most men can’t read between the lines and most aren’t magicians. If something’s bothering you, tell him! If you need help, refer back to the confrontation equation in No.6. You will save yourself from some serious disappointment and potential fights if you communicate your expectations up front. If your anniversary is coming up and it’s important to you that y’all go out, let him know a week or so beforehand. Set your man up for success. Also, offer solutions to problems, don’t expect him to figure out what he needs to do. If he’s upset you, tell him why and offer a solution for what he can do differently next time. Chances are he will be grateful you laid it out for him rather than sending him on some weird scavenger hunt to figure out what it is you want. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Just tell him like it is.