A few weeks ago, I posted an article about single women’s biggest communication challenges with men. One reader’s comments was so spectacular, I wanted to share it as an article. The author, ‘DJ Roukan’, was kind enough to give me permission to post with my edits.
Following are women’s eight biggest communication challenges, along with DJ’s thoughtful advice about how women can communicate with men more effectively. It’s a little long, but well worth the read. (Thank you, DJ!).
How to Understand and Communicate With Men
#1. After men email me on an online dating site, I don’t know what they want me to write. I feel they make knee-jerk judgments after I’ve written back.
This is a first contact. You have no idea what type of man he is or what he’s after. Is that not the first hurdle, to learn a bit about him? That first email is not about selling yourself, but investigation as to what he has to offer.
I hate to make this analogy, but it’s like advertising. You want to get the customer in the door, and then you make the sale. On the flip side, you too are the customer. You have a right to ask about the product, to know what you are buying into.
He wants to go deeper? He can do that by sitting across the table from you.
You are not a mannequin in a storefront; you are the prime product in the store. First contact emails should be about getting to step two, not dating by proxy.
If he does not move forward, move on. There are all manner of men out there; you are seeking that one that you click with, not the one that is good at clicking the send button.
#2. I think I share too much. I’m too transparent. I want to know how much to reveal and when. It’s my experience that men like mystery or aloofness.
Please don’t bleed all over the page. It’s hard to read when you do. Think of it like a cup of coffee that your long-term boyfriend asks to taste. Do you hurl it in his face and hope that he catches some in his mouth, or do you offer him a small sip?
Sips, just sips. And don’t forget that you are there to evaluate him as a potential life partner, not just win him. It’s a mistake that guys often make. They do a great job of winning her, but have no clue as to how to keep her because they created this whole impossible facade.
There is no rush. Too many women want to go from date one to planning the wedding. Don’t be that girl. Relax. Let it happen. Enjoy the ride.
#3. I wonder if men say what they really mean. I don’t believe what they are telling me. I think they’re telling me what they think I want to hear.
Yes, many times they are saying what you want to hear. Put yourself in his shoes. In fact, you are in his shoes. You are trying to put your best foot forward, right? Last thing you want to do is to piss him off with some random disagreement. Right? Guys fear this like nothing else, and they’ve been taught to impress. Why do you think we do all that door opening, gentlemanly stuff?
There is also the player, the guy that has studied ways to manipulate. You need to be aware of that, too.
The advice that I lend to guys is to watch how she acts and interacts not with you, but with everyone else. How does she treat the wait-staff, especially when something goes wrong? Is she cordial, understanding? Does it become a major crisis? Is she rude or curt? I say that because that is how she will treat you once the honeymoon is over.
If you walk out of a restaurant and the guys says, “excuse me” and walks over to help an old woman out of a car, or an old man trying to manage a door, and treats them with great respect, does it matter how many missteps he made in trying to “win” you? Have you not just realized that you found a winner?
There was a scene in the goofy movie, She’s Out of My League, where the couple is sitting in an outdoor restaurant and the guy interrupts her, gets up, grabs a sweater that another couple left behind, runs over and gives it to them. You could see her melt as if ice cream on a warm day.
#4. When talking online men send a picture of their penis as the first initial contact – wtf?!
I’m not sure why these fools are not prosecuted as much as we would prosecute the raincoat guy on a street in NY, flashing old ladies. It’s shocking and it sucks. I can’t explain this except to empathize and speak for the rest of us guys that would like to hang these fools off a third story balcony until they have a revelation. We are not them, and they harm us just as much, perhaps more so.
#5. I would like to get confirmation that men have actually heard and understood me. And I want them to pick up the phone and call instead of text.
Guys tell me, “So I texted her and asked her to like hang out at my place, maybe catch a movie or…something.”
Wrong, wrong, and wrong, dude. You do not text, and you DATE, not hang out.
Call the woman up, and ask her out on a real DATE. In fact, TELL her that you want to take her out, don’t ASK her. Define it as a romantic gesture, not like an invitation to down some brewskies and watch the WWF. She is a DATE. Date her, and dating involves personal interaction between people, not their smart phones.
It’s ok to let Mr. Text-Man go…especially if that texting demonstrates a lack of participation or care. You are not chattel to be texted just enough to keep you hanging on.
If I were a woman, I’d either call THEM up after receiving a text, or ask them to call me so we can plan a date and cut through that clump of peanut butter and get to the relationship part.
#6. In the emailing phase on the dating site, they are not reading what I have told them in a previous message. It’s frustrating, because I consider myself to be a very good communicator.
Drop them in your wake and sail on. I remember reading a few old martial arts and warrior books that attuned the “warrior spirit” to everyday life. One quote that tended to repeat itself was, “Do little that is a waste of time”.
You did not just birth a full-grown man who is starting at square one. You’ve met a guy that is supposed to already be there. If he is not, you are wasting your time…well, unless you have this whole maternal instinct thing going on and want yourself a Baby Huey.
Most women don’t, so don’t be afraid to move on, as it will only get worse and worse.
Again, you have a right to expect a certain degree of reciprocation, a modicum of maturity, communication, and empathy. So, expect it. Don’t you want that guy who will be your best friend, the guy who will take that proverbial long walk and have that conversation, the one who holds your interest? That’s the guy to look for.
#7. I have trouble letting down my guard to reveal my authentic self. I find it difficult to communicate with men about safe sex. I struggle with asking for what I need and want clearly without sounding demanding and needy.
I’ll be perfectly frank here. Condoms suck. I hate them. After spending some time with my wife, I’d have strapped a Sherman tank to that guy for the chance to ravish her. That was not lust but enthrallment.
I’m not good with feelings or the mush part, but I know that I felt something deeper than sex.
If you are not intimate enough to talk about sex, you are not intimate enough to have sex. Relax, let it flow until that time comes.
Be empathetic about it, but hold your ground. There is a way to get there, and it is the most important lesson a woman can learn:
Never, never, never freaking ever have sex with a guy until you are sure he is there for you and not the sum of your parts. Never, not ever, use sex as a means to keep him. Never think that you “owe” him that, or fear that you will lose him if you don’t. Refer to tip number three.
I’ve listened to far too many broken hearts not to hammer home that one bit of advice. If he’s going to walk because you have not had sex, not become close enough for YOU to desire sex with him, then he is not a man of worth…and not the man you seek. He’s just a penis in a safe wrapper.
#8. Men don’t know how to communicate. I hate having to read their minds. They don’t say anything. Ugh!
We get a lot of advice about listening more than speaking, so we tend to do that. It’s not unlike number two. No one has any idea how much to share, whether we will scare her off, what we should say, how much to say.
I’ve learned that women do not enjoy Mr. Stoic Man, but they also do not like Chatty Charlie…so we sit there wondering, WTF? Look at whether he is paying attention more than what he may not say.
Is he truly interested? Is he enjoying the conversation? Is he letting those “sips” out, or are his eyes glazed, thinking about a video or football game?
I tell guys to just be themselves rather then what they “think” she will like. I now tell women that also. Be yourself and if you run into guys that either won’t, or can’t communicate, you need to move on until you find that guy. Sucks, I know. Took me a long time and a failed marriage to get there myself.
Above all, I think we need to understand that it is work, it is a number’s game, and it’s a game we cannot win unless we continue to play. And do so with as little wasted time as we can. Stop wondering whether we can fix or figure out Mr. Broken Pants and move past him so as to find that guy that fits.
Strive to be the best woman, the best potential partner that you can be, and to feel your self worth and worthy of that guy that will make you smile each time you drive up the driveway, get off that train, knowing that you will be there spending the rest of your night with your best friend.
Jump on that time machine and see the two of you 20 years in the future. Ask yourself if that is the picture you are trying to paint.
Be astute. Be alert and orientated. Do the exact opposite of what people tell you by engaging your brain before your heart, so that you can feel safe enough to engage that heart…but only when your brain tells you so.
Again, just the opinion of a random guy, but an opinion formulated by a great many discussions as well as making all the mistakes. Of all the blathering that I do online, the most fun, the most rewarding for me is in helping women to understand this enigma we call “men”…and seeing that light-bulb go on when they gain greater understanding.
That’s my job. Yours is to choose wisely. Hope it helped a bit.
Great advice, don’t you think? Please share your thoughts below.
This article was first published in goodmenproject.com