Today I’m fortunate enough to showcase a guest post by Sid Balachandran who blogs at I Wrote Those, someone I used to read on Parentous and later on became friends with and shared parenting woes. Sid is a newbie Daddy who has relocated to India after a 7 year stint in London. He is a self-confessed techie, will-read-most-things-er, photograph-anything-er, love-to-travel-er and wannabe masterchef-er. He is the “carefree, relaxed and spontaneous” yin, to his wife’s “meticulous, practical and perfectionist” yang character. Though academically an engineer and a product manager by profession, he strongly believes that eventually at some point his “creative” side will lead him to his true calling.
Though Sid is an expert at humor, he recently wrote a beautiful novella, Harry’s Hut. This novella is available for free download at I Wrote Those. Don’t miss it! It has the right dose of all emotions.
Sid is famous among bloggers for his sense of humor which was clearly represented in his post What Guys Want. This post is an extension of it and his effort in interpreting women. Go on, read and enjoy the humor.
I’ll be honest. I am still kind of basking in the “accidental” success of one of my previous posts “What guys want”. So when Rekha kindly asked me to write a guest post for her amazing blog, I was excited to say the least. And a bit tensed. But mostly excited. And it got me thinking, what could I follow-up that post with. And then it struck me (Actually it was a pillow that my wife threw at me, that “struck” me; but it did make me think about something else). Today’s post is a kind of follow-up to that original post.
Whilst my previous post was an attempt to give you all lovely ladies a brief peek into the pretty uncomplicated workings of an average guy’s mind, this post attempts to do the opposite. Yes indeed, we’re going to look at a few examples that women want us men to know, but they hardly say. Once again, I am no expert on women (or men), but these are just the result of some observation and research. And of course, heavily generalised. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Do not venture to be the fixer
Guys, when a woman is going through something (no, not that…bad guy), more often than not, she’s not really looking for us to offer a fix. She’s just looking for someone to listen to her completely and help her through her emotions. Constantly offering solutions can sometimes make her feel like she’s not competent to arrive at a solution herself. So just give her a shoulder to lean on, and let her vent it out. Yes, I know. We men are solution-oriented and tackle problems head on by trying to fix them. This is one of those instances that can bite us back.
Oh yes, and one more thing. Never, and I repeat, never, ever call her dramatic or crazy when she’s venting out. Yes, they do tend to overreact occasionally, but it’s simply because it bothers them. Think of it like us shouting at the TV when we’re watching a game and our favourite team/sports person is screwing it up. They don’t call us crazy do they? So neither should we.
The “Word” conundrum
I’ve previously briefly touched on a similar “word conundrum” on my previous post. It was called “Nothing”. Fine is another such word. Chances are that the majority of times when they respond with “Fine”, it doesn’t mean that. Also beware; it is usually used in the context “Don’t worry. I’m fine”. Do not take the bait here. They are not fine and they’d like you to ask them what’s wrong and insist that you are there to discuss it and give them your undivided attention. This particular word can also be used in a different context such as “Fine. Whatever”, which often either signifies the end of an argument, or means, “You go ahead. I’ll bring this up when you are doing something important”. Oh, that reminds me, there are few others too. If you’ve been in a meaningful relationship with a woman before, chances are that you would have already encountered these previously.
So the other phrases/words to look out for are:
Nothing – I’ve already addressed this. But as a refresher course, here goes. When a woman usually says “Nothing”, kindly translate it as : “There is something wrong, but if I have to explain it to you, then you’re not understanding enough.”
Wow – Chaps, do not take this as a compliment. Well, at least not on most occasions. What it simply means is she can’t really believe how foolish or naive you are. It’s sarcasm dressed up in dinner jacket.
Go ahead – We naive guys often take this as an approval or consent for something, especially when it involves us doing or buying something that she’s less likely to agree with. But the reality is that it’s a dare. Translate it as “If you go ahead and do/buy it, you’ll pay for this later, because I don’t think you should”. But then again, occasionally, and I mean, very very occasionally, they could actually be consenting. In which case, stop reading this post and do or buy it now!
Oh, before I forget, while we are on the topic of “Fine” – When she asks you how she looks, “Fine” is NEVER an appropriate answer. You can be honest or you can be supportive. Fine is neither when used in the context of dresses/make-up/hair, literally anything.
Mr. Chivalrous, meet Ms. Independent
You should already know this. The modern woman is fiercely independent, and rightly so. They should be. But remember this. As independent as they are, they also secretly like it when you are a chivalrous gentleman. Of course, they’re not going to tell you this, because they’re worried about how it makes them sound. So yes, do keep chivalry alive and continue to pull out their chair for them (not when they’re sitting on it of course), hold the door open (make sure you read the Push/Pull sign) and if still in the dating phase, pay for the first couple of dinners. And no, it’s not because women are incapable of doing any of these. They definitely are competent to accomplish these and more. It’s just a way of showing that you know to treat a woman the way they need to be treated. With respect.
Take the lead
Women generally do not think highly of men who don’t take the lead. And no, I’m not talking about just in the bedroom (There, I said it. Stop squirming). As self-reliant and individualistic as they are, women prefer men who take responsibility, make decisions (after consulting with them of course), can be strong and show some leadership. I know it sounds like the job profile for a Manager, but this is a fact. So the next time, she asks you “Where do you want to go for dinner?”, it’s not because she doesn’t know. She’s giving you a chance to take the lead. Of course do keep her in the loop and take her choices into account. You can’t be autocratic. She’s not an empire and you’re not her Emperor (Well, Prince Charming, maybe)
Yes, it’s a joke that’s been recapitulated from time immemorial. Women take forever to dress. Yes, because they usually dress to impress. Even if they’re married to you. Let’s be honest. As a general rule of thumb, women do have better grooming habits than us men. Though they may not say it often (well, some are definitely more vocal than others), they will adore you more if you groom yourself well. Why do you think women of all ages are still gaga for people like George Clooney and Richard Gere? Aside from being reasonably good-looking chaps, they also carry themselves well. Oh, and yes. Shoes. Believe it or not, women (and sometimes other men) judge a man by his shoes. So do yourself a favour – pick up those smelly sneakers that you wear over and over again and bin them.
Don’t just be nodding like Noddy
It’s a well-known and documented fact that we men are good “nodders”. And no, I’m not talking about nodding to sleep. Which we are good at too, by the way. Once you lovely ladies do manage to get our attention, most of us tend to nod to show that we’re listening intently. But here’s the thing guys – nodding can only take you so far. Once again, as a general rule of thumb, most women like to talk to their partners. The topic is irrelevant here. Sometimes they’re complaining about a problem, sometimes they’re just venting it out, sometimes they’re just excited about something. “So what’s wrong with nodding to acknowledge the conversation?” I hear you ask. Nothing. It’s good. But as I said earlier, it can only get you so far. In order to show your support, you do need to offer some words of support. Even if it is the occasional “I understand” or the “I’m here for you”, it shows that you are truly interested in what she’s talking about. Just get involved in the conversation. If not, just be honest and tell her that you’d rather discuss it later. But tread with caution. That can back fire too.
The Simple Romance
This particular point is slightly more applicable for guys who are either married or in a relationship. So singletons, feel free to either tune out, or maybe listen in. This might be what you really need to know. Now, I need to come clean about something first. I don’t do a lot of this particular point. Or rather I haven’t in the past. Once I realized this (of my own accord of course, and maybe some romcoms..shh….I shouldn’t have told you that), I do try to do this a lot more often.
The ugly truth here is that after a point in a relationship, things change. And not always for the better. And unfortunately, it’s mostly with men. Women, listen to me on this one. It’s not that you’re now married to or in a relationship with a man who has changed so drastically from the one you used to know from your “dating” or “early marriage” days. It’s simply because, we tend to take you for granted. Yes, men – I know you’re coming to get me for this one. But it’s the truth. For the lack of better analogy, we men think of it like a conquest. So we still love you, but we sometimes don’t want to take the extra effort. I mean after all, the dangers of you leaving us are…well, reduced. However women expect it and secretly want you to be an “impromptu romantic”. No matter how much a woman vehemently protests against this point, they do. I even dare you to find me a woman who doesn’t expect or want this.
So to cut a long point short, do something special or spontaneous even when it’s not a weekend/ birthday/ anniversary. Do it on a normal day, when she’s least expecting it and she will really appreciate it. Sometimes it could be as extravagant as planning a getaway without telling her, or just buying her favorite popcorn when you go to the movies. Or for some of us married-with-kids kinds of couples, just have a late dinner and movie at home after the kids go to bed. Forget your schedule for once. It’s the small gestures that count.
(Phew. That point almost makes me sound like a relationship counselor)
Look into her eyes
Fear not, I’m not revealing a hypnosis technique here (Do email me if you find an effective one though). This is something that we men tend to take for granted at times. As a species, we men often enjoy having a conversation side-by-side rather than face-to-face. But it’s the complete opposite for women. For them, the first sign of you being interested in listening to their part of the conversation is making eye contact. It shows them that you prioritize them over whatever else may be going through your head at that point. I know. I’m one of you. (Men, I mean – just to be clear)
Let’s move onto a less mushier and a lot lighter note. Acquaint yourself with this fact. Women get the last word. Don’t bother with ifs and buts. Yes, there are some exceptions. But consider the alternative if she doesn’t. Trust me, it’s not worth the hassle. And what do you know, they might be actually “showing you the right path”. And if you do want to get out of it with less “injuries”, “Yes, Dear” works well. Mostly anyway.
This point isn’t just restricted to women. All of us, irrespective of gender, hate being lied to. And it’s kind of a given fact that we men tend to lie a tad bit more than women do. Now I personally don’t think the men “love” lying. But we find it rather difficult to not use a “white lie”, especially when it comes to women and some of the questions that we’re asked. I know this is going to sound like a Moral Science lesson, but lying is bad. Period. It might get you scot-free a couple of times, but once they catch onto it, you’re going to be in crap-town. But then again, sometimes your can’t help but fudge the truth a little bit. So I suppose the suggestion is, “Choose your lies wisely” 🙂
The “Love” expression:
Guys, women want us to tell them that we love them. Well, the woman that you’re in a relation with definitely does anyway. And yes, they need to hear the actual words. And as frequently as possible. And not just that. They need us to match our actions to the words that we uttered. If not, consider your declaration false. Time to get a bouquet and some chocolates I say.
And finally, as I mentioned earlier, this is in no way a comprehensive listing. No man can ever write a thorough account of what women want or mean. But nevertheless, before I wrap it up, I do need to add this last piece of advice:
Warning: Never, ever, touch that last piece of chocolate. Ever. That’s theirs. Feel free to substitute chocolate with “your woman’s” favourite piece of confectionery or food
Oh, and before I forget. Do kindly bear in mind that whilst for the purposes of the post, I (as a man) have had to assume some common traits that generalize womenfolk, I (and all other men) do understand and appreciate that all women are individually unique with your own personal feelings and tendencies. So power to you (and some to us).
Image credits freedigitalphotos.com/vectorolie|stock images| David Castillo Dominici | Imagery Majestic | Sixninepixels| Ambro & Google Image Search