Men are simple creatures. This statement has got to be one of the most common clichés ladies hear every time their boyfriends, boy-toys, fiancés, and even husbands have them on the brink of tearing their hair out with confusion. How can this sweeping statement solve any one of the problems we face when interacting with the ever-baffling male species?
Well, this little gem of a cliché has been served to us on a silver platter time and time again and it’s high-time we paid heed to it. Here are ten ways men cease to amaze us in their abundance of simplicity:
1. When your man says, “I just want to be left alone,” he- wait for it- means it! I remember when my younger cousin first embarked on an intimidating journey into the world of dating, the first thing my uncle told him was, “When a woman says ‘Leave me alone!’ that means follow her wherever she goes and ask her if she needs anything.” So, for a lot of ladies, it’s a foreign concept that leaving him alone actually means you should leave him alone. Take him for his word and leave him to his devices for a little bit.
2. When he says, “I don’t care, you pick,” he doesn’t have some secret place in mind that he’s vying for you to pick. When I tell my man to pick a place to go eat, I have about five places in mind that are acceptable for him to name. If he doesn’t name one, I start making suggestions. And by suggestions, I mean the only places I’m willing to go to. On the other hand, when men say “You pick,” he’s saying, well, “You pick.” If he has a preference, he’ll, more often than not, express it.
3. Getting him a gift is not supposed to be a death-march. If my boyfriend rummages through my jewelry box, he’s going to find those earrings I bought because they were on sale and found out too late that they go with literally nothing I own (and I’m still waiting to find something to wear them with). He’ll find the hideous bracelet a friend bought for me two Christmases ago that I just don’t have the heart to get rid of. And somewhere, amongst the ruins, he’ll find a pair of earrings I’m absolutely in love with. The poor guy has to decipher which pair of jewelry is which and is grossly mistaken if he thinks all jewelry in that jewelry box is created equal. You, on the other hand, just have to rifle through his closet to get a hint of a gift idea. He probably wears every last thing in the closet. Total shocker.
4. Men have a routine. And no, it’s not necessarily a before-bed skin routine, but it’s as consistent as that. Women tend to think men are their exact and stark opposite, but men are human too (shocking, I know). Something that almost all humans have is routines- things you do daily to feel comfortable and consistent in your space. Now, I know consistency isn’t a lot of men’s strength, but their routines are solid. Every Sunday, he likes to relax and watch football. He likes to listen to his music when he showers. He likes to sing while cooking (honestly, he can do whatever he wants, as long as he’s cooking). Whatever the routine may be, it makes him feel comfortable and content in his space. Try as much as possible to respect it, as he should try to respect yours.
5. Guys-time may be filled with grunts and burps and bad sex jokes, but it’s a necessary evil. Just kidding, it’s not evil, but sometimes it may not seem to be chock-full of as many high-quality discussions as you think girl-time with your friends has. Whatever you may feel about his friends, as long as they’re respectful towards you, don’t make a fuss about him spending some time with them. He needs his friends as much as you need yours- he just might need them in different ways. For instance, he loves having someone to laugh at his lewd sex jokes or burp with him. Again, kidding. I’m sure there are plenty of instances of high-quality discussions occurring during guy-time.
6. At the risk of hitting you with another cliché- he’s just not that into you! When you’re into a guy, you want to talk to him often, know a lot about him, spend time with him pretty regularly, and all that jazz. Well, guess what? A guy is going to want the same thing. Quelle surprise! Crazy, right? We read in magazines and books different ways to tell if the guy you like is into you too, when it’s actually not that hard to decipher. He wants the same thing you want. He’ll ask to see you, he’ll text or call you and he’ll ask you questions about your life. In simpler terms, he’ll show interest in you.
7. Deciphering the infamous “I don’t know,” statement is actually as simple as it gets. Guess what it means? It means just what it says: he doesn’t know. No, seriously ladies, he doesn’t know. Because of the way men are programmed by society’s gender-roles (yes, I’m playing the gender-roll card), they feel they’re supposed to be right about 99% of the time. That’s what makes so many of them so stubborn. So when he freely admits he doesn’t know, he seriously just doesn’t know. So you might just have to break it down for him.
8. Men don’t always remember every detail of every story we tell them; that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you. I never considered myself a gossipy person, but when I would tell my boyfriend stories, I could see his mind wandering further with every “he said, she said” statement. I was extremely tempted to throw a fit because this stuff was important to me! How could he not listen to me! Just how you’re not interested in every topic he discusses with you, he’s not interested in every topic you discuss with him. As long as he’s trying to listen to you, cut him a little break. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you, it just means he’s a separate entity from you and not everything you love hits his pay-attention threshold the same way it hits yours.
9. When he says, “I don’t want a party,” he means he doesn’t want a party, dammit! Plenty of ladies I know (including myself, I must admit) say, “I don’t want a party” or “I don’t need a gift” and mean “You better get your ass in high gear planning my party,” or “I hope you know what kind of flowers I like.” That’s not to say women are necessarily demanding; more so, they don’t like to feel demanding by saying exactly what they want (we’re victims of gender roles too, you know). If men, on the other hand, say “I don’t want a party,” they really don’t want to show up to a house full of balloons, streamers, and people yelling “Surprise!”
10. Men are as confused as we are! They may not have whole magazines dedicated to deciphering us or long-winded discussions with their friends on what do to about us, but dealing with us can be as baffling to them as dealing with them is to us. They don’t have an abundance of knowledge about us locked up somewhere; they’re just trying to feel their way through their ever-confusing interactions with us. We all share an unfortunate and often crippling confusion when it comes to one another. Hey- at least that’s something to bond on.
[Lead image via bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock]