Hate to say it, guys…there are probably a few more than 5 things you should know.
But, here’s a short and sweet, starter-pack for you men out there that are looking to co-exist more effectively with the opposite sex.
Women want to know what you think, but we HATE to ask you what you think.
I’m speaking in incredibly general terms here, but a lot of men are uncomfortable talking about their feelings or being clear about what their actual intentions are. He might be so busy trying to be the guy that he thinks he’s supposed to be to “get” her, that the whole thing becomes a mess of mixed messages. In all fairness, this can go for women, too. On both ends, we’re grasping for clarity and spending our free time trying to guess what’s going on in the other person’s head.
Skip it, men. Get ahead of the game.
If you can tell that she wants to know what you’re thinking about, just tell her.
Does she keep second guessing her outfit choice while getting ready for your dinner date and you’re impatiently sitting there slowly dying of first-world starvation? Just jump in there and tell her she looks beautiful. Mention how you always love it when she wears that top/dress/anklet/scarf etc. That last little bump of confidence will get you out the door and put a smile on her face.
You want us to feel physically confident…trust me.
Do you already know where you see a relationship going (or not going)? Let it be known. The possible discomfort in that moment is nothing compared to a prolonged sense of confusion about what “this” is.
Think of how much time you could save by choosing to communicate openly.
Simple words and kind gestures go a long way.
You don’t need to drop $200 on dinner or pop bottles on a yacht. I’m sure that wouldn’t be a detriment to your dating life, but that’s just not the important part of this whole connection thing, is it?
It’s about cultivating appreciation.
Small, thoughtful actions on a regular basis are a huge part of what keeps someone feeling appreciated. Think of the things you could do to make her day go more smoothly. Remember to say “thank you” when she does things for you and don’t be afraid to verbally remind her from time to time that you appreciate her. That’s not even a gender thing. That’s a people thing.
Don’t forget about the simple gestures that say you care: opening doors, holding hands, offering your jacket in freezing cold 60-degree temperatures, a hand on the small of her back in the right moment.
Before you know it, you’re sending out charm and chivalry vibes like nobodies business.
We worry about our safety more than you do.
I’m convinced that women come with more sensitive “danger sensors” built in. We feel the need to be aware of our surroundings in a way that men often don’t – and sometimes it’s easy for men to forget that.
Trust me: you can be a strong, independent woman and still realize that you’re smaller than 98.6% of men. That’s just biology and probably math.
If you approach in a way that makes her feel safe, she’s more likely to be open to talking with you.
Is the environment suited to where you just tried to talk to that woman? Be aware that following close behind her and any form of cat-calling is going to put her on guard. Don’t bring her a drink that she didn’t see poured. At the end of a date, always offer to walk her to her car in the evenings.
So, just be mindful when you approach a woman that you don’t know. Avoid trying to go to her house on a first date if you’re strangers.
And pay attention to her body language and yours. It’s a shockingly accurate and under-utilized indicator of how someone is feeling about you.
Trust is everything.
When a woman trusts you, you’re going to reap a lot of benefits from that and avoid a ton of nothing arguments and awkward silences.
Where there is trust, there is freedom.
Things only get weird and oppressive when someone doesn’t feel safe. Ex: If your girlfriend has no doubt in her mind that she’s the one you’re focused on and that you’re in control of yourself when she’s not around, you get to enjoy a guys-night-out without guilt or stress.
I’d say a lot of this lack of trust is heavily rooted in the fact that many people simply don’t know each other well enough to be comfortable. If you’re worried that someone could pull a 180 on you at any time, you’re leaving the door wide open for jealousy and suspicion to take root.
Trust takes time and builds through consistent display of strong character. So, if you find someone that you care about, make sure that you’re cultivating trust by being a person of your word, aim for reliability, and be honest above all.
Being a good listener and responding empathetically is key.
How many times have you heard this one, men? “Just sit there and pretend to listen. Let her talk herself out.”
Doesn’t work, guys. We know when you’re not listening and it’s not attractive. I’d argue that if it’s such a huge pain for you to actually listen, you must not enjoy her presence that much. Otherwise, you’d care enough about her to care about what she’s got going on, right? Let’s hope.
Men have the tendency to listen for a bit and then immediately offer a solution to the problem. Case closed. Instead:
Try listening, empathizing with what she’s going through, and then remind her that you’re there to help fix or simply be support.
Never say, “Damn. That sucks.” And then just leave it at that. Yikes.
The energy should be more: “Yeah, I’d be frustrated about that, too. Anything I can do to help?”
If she wants help fixing the issue, this gives her room to ask for it.
Maybe she just appreciates that you asked and wants to hang out on the couch with you and a glass of wine now that you’ve allowed her the space to talk.
Either way, be willing to offer up an ear and a solid hug. Isn’t that what we all need?
Long story short: Your mission is to cultivate connection, appreciation, trust, and safety.
If you enjoyed this post, try another: “How to Approach a Woman in a Bar”
Check out my podcast, “We’re All Human with Courtney Diamond”. We talk dating, relationships, and what it takes to be a person these days.