Whether you’re looking for a relationship or in one, it’s important to know the psychology behind men. If you know the playbook, it’s much easier to navigate the playing field. I’m settled down these days, but as a recovering dateaholic, I’ve done enough dating to pass these tips on to you, my fair sisters.
We all know those fabulous cliches that hold true: “Be the mate you want to attract,” “Like attracts like,” and all those nuggets of wisdom. Yes, these are true and important to keep in mind, whether you’re in a relationship or considering one. But at the same time, it’s important to know the perspective of the opposite sex. These hints are a good way to get some insight into the male psyche and avoid pitfalls, based on their annoyance factor.
In no particular order:
1. Nagging. Perhaps this is obvious, but let’s go a little deeper. Men’s communication and cognitive skills are different than women’s (check out John Gray’s book Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus for more on this concept). Women are traditionally known for being better multi-taskers, so go easy on your guy if you have to remind him of things. “Tell the truth and run” is a Yugoslavian proverb, and a good bit of advice. Nagging is like nails on a chalkboard, and a good way of creating a rift. It’s also a way of making yourself feel bad, so avoid this one – for him and for yourself!
2. Drama. Unless you’re acting partners, avoid drama like the plague. It’s not cute or pretty or charming. It’s a waste of energy that only serves to alienate. I’ve always seen drama as a diversionary tactic; a way of avoiding something within a relationship. Don’t think men don’t pick up on that. Men want to be with you, not your weird scenarios or dramatic situations. Let’s not go “there,” ladies.
3. On a related note, baggage is not pretty, either. Baggage is drama’s first cousin, and something that should be avoided. Men don’t care about your ex-boyfriend or your latest discovery in therapy (unless that discovery is that you’re a raging nymphomaniac who has a football addiction). “Baggage” is another word for a negative vibe you’re bringing into your relationship from somewhere else. Not only is it not fair to your mate, it’s a concept that can put a strain on or even end a relationship. Make sure you go into a relationship with your side of the street clean, and you can’t go wrong.
4. Overanalyzing. Women are known for thinking a little too much, and putting every move a man makes under a microscope. (“How many days has it been since he called?” “He looked at me cross-eyed, does that mean he’s going to stop seeing me?”) It’s sometimes a challenge to not give every little action some significance – but give it a try, ladies. This is also a double bind situation, because we probably feel silly enough thinking these thoughts – but putting them “out there” can wreak havoc on our self esteem. Sometimes it’s best to take those thoughts to our trusted girlfriends instead of our man-in-question. Which leads to…
5. Insecurity. This one can take on many forms – from being jealous to snooping to being distrustful – but no matter how it manifests itself, it’s not conducive to trust. Men want to be with an equal, and that’s not possible if your insecurity is making you do things you’re not proud of. If you’re not able to trust the man you’re involved with, that’s an issue, but if you’re with someone trustworthy that you’re not trusting, the issue is yours. Remember that a relationship is an equal partnership, and that your guy shouldn’t be your source of self esteem. It’s not just undue pressure on your man, it’s not self-honoring. Be mindful of these points, and I bet you’ll see your relationship grow and change for the better!