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I've been trying to figure out boys since I was a young girl. I grew up with only one sister, so the absence of a brother to help guide me on how men think only made this desire more intense.
I started this journey around the time I hit puberty. We all know that girls mature before boys, so my interest in the opposite sex peaked before these boys even acknowledged my existence. Why were boys so damn hard to figure out? If one was merciless teasing me, did that mean he liked me?
Things got really excruciating when I gave birth to three boys all in the space of three years. How exactly was I supposed to raise these boys into good men when I knew so little about them?
To make matters worse, I got divorced at age 32 and was thrust back onto the singles and dating scene with virtually zero experience. I was like a naive teenager (this is not an exaggeration).
So what did I do? Well, the first thing I did was read every book I could get my hands on about men. I've literally reads hundreds of them. The ones that gave me the best insights were written by men themselves. Who better to learn from? I needed to hear it straight from the horses' mouth.
Next up, I wanted to become friends with men. And lots of them. So many women discount this but one thing I can tell you is this, your male friends will tell you things that men that want to date you won't. Find a few guy friends that will straight up tell you like it is. Maybe buy one of them a few drinks and pick his brain. You may be surprised by what he tells you.
I also gained so much knowledge about men from raising my boys. I had to learn as I went. What was quite surprising to me was how similar they all think. And men are really just boys—only bigger.
Fast forward *ahem* a few years, and I've definitely got men figured out. Ok, I'll be honest here, I'm still learning more about them everyday. But one thing I do know is that they are not that hard to figure out. It's the women that are trying to make it more complicated then it really is. So typical. Sigh.
I believe that the more you understand men and how the male mind works, the better you can get along with them and ultimately have more loving, fulfilling relationships.
1. Men are NOT women.
Ok, this sounds so freakin stupid to even have to say this (are you totally rolling your eyes rn?) but men are not women. They think differently and act differently. Their motivations behind the things that they do are not what you think. The main problem comes in when women expect men to behave/think/act like a woman would.
One quick example of this is how women like to talk a lot and this is the main way we bond. This is not how men bond. Men bond with others by doing activities with them. Talking is not really required. So if you're expecting to bond with your man by talking (because that's how you bond with other women), it's going to backfire.
Now of course you're going to need to actually communicate with any man that you're in a relationship with. But less is more. Save your long winded, deep philosophical conversations for the females in your life.
2. Men are not great at multitasking.
Men are genetically hardwired to be providers and were NOT given the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time. That means that they were not given the same ability that women have to multitask.
This is not some sort of genetic defect. Ladies, stop trying to make men into women! This goes back to the very beginning of humanity where men were the hunters. Imagine the focus it takes to hunt and kill, not to mention the pressure of having a family to feed. If he can't make the kill, he comes home empty handed and feels like a failure. So men can only focus on one thing at a time...
If you're expecting your husband to take out the trash, listen to how difficult your day was, AND help junior with his homework, chances are that he is going to SHUT DOWN and not do any of it!
3. Men have SUPER fragile egos!
I should've probably started off with this one because it's SO important to keep in mind when dealing with any man. Even the slightest hint of a challenge at a man's masculinity can have him running for the hills. Remember that men are just boys only bigger?
Sometimes something SO simple as stating the obvious could be enough to crush his ego into a million pieces. Before you speak (to your man or any man for that matter) you should think:
- Is this true?
- Is this necessary (to say)?
- Is this kind?
- You should also add in there: Could he possibility take this the wrong way?
Sometimes we need to keep our mouths shut.
I think so many women fail to realize how significant preserving the male ego is to the success of the relationship. Once his ego has been bruised, he's already got one foot out the door...
4. Men are competitive.
Men are very competitive, in fact, they want to WIN! He has to win, or at least feel like he's got the edge over other men. In order to get along better with your man, you're going to want to be his biggest cheerleader and increase his chances of winning. Help him in any way that you can!
But hold on just a second here! He doesn't ever want to compete with a woman. He's competing all day long with other men, that's just what they do. That's why so many of them play sports or watch sports, it's competitive. But when he comes home to you, he doesn't want more competition. What he needs from a woman is your unconditional love and support.
5. Men need praise.
Men need PRAISE just as much as they need food, sex, and sleep. If a man feels like he's not helping you in any way, then he feels useless! Men are action oriented, they want to do things for the women they love.
What most women don't realize is that more than anything in the world, your man wants to make you happy. If he can't make you happy, then he feels like a complete failure. Anytime your man does something for you, you should go over the top, thanking him and showing your appreciation for him.
Positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement. What I mean by this is when a man (or boy) does something wonderful, make sure he receives adequate praise for it! Tell him how much you appreciate it! Tell him how much of a gentleman he is! Let him know that it made you feel so wonderful! When he does something you're not happy about, mentioning it and then dropping it is enough. Get it?
One last thing you need to know about men is that they must feel respected. When a research team asked a group of men whether they wanted to feel loved or respected, they overwhelming chose to feel respected. Most men can't even tell the difference between being loved and being respected. Therefore (to men) Respect=LOVE.