1. Women don’t listen. When a man says something, give him a chance to speak. Listen to what he says. The problem is that sometimes, guys will end up with someone who makes him feel as though he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We’re not always right, but we do have opinions, and it gets under our skin when we’re made to feel like our opinion doesn’t matter. Who wants to stay with someone like that?
2. Women listen to their friends too much. We understand the need for female friendship. We can go with the girls’ night out deal. But when you start letting your single girlfriends (who constantly run guys off or haven’t dated since antenna TV) get into the business of your relationship, that’s asking for trouble. You want to think that your man has a mind of his own when he’s out with the guys, right? We’re no different. We expect you to talk to your girlfriends, even if it’s about us. Just be careful what you decide to bring back from those conversations.
3. The relationship is NOT a family affair. We’re not trying to take you away from your family. This is a relationship, not a kidnapping. However, if we’re mature enough to leave home and keep what goes on between us just between us, then is it too much to ask of you to do the same? If you tell your mom and your sisters about every single argument and disagreement that we have, then don’t you think that they’re not going to like us very much? Then you’ll wonder why we don’t like going around them, right?
4. We’re not joined at the hip. We don’t have to go every single place that you go, and we don’t expect you to go everywhere with us. That’s what makes our time together special. We each had our own likes and dislikes before we met. You did things alone or with your girls, and that’s fine. Don’t try to drag your man with you if it’s going to be nothing but you and the girls talking. We don’t want to sit and listen to talk about hair, nails, fashion, who’s man is cheating on who, etc. Just shoot us first, if that’s the case.
5. Is this a relationship or a prison sentence? We expect parolees to give an account of where they’ve been almost all the time, and who they’ve been with. Parole officers check to see if the parolees actually report to work. A relationship is supposed to have more trust than that. If a man feels that he’s not being trusted, and he hasn’t done anything deserving of the interrogation process (a la Law And Order), then don’t expect to have him around too much longer. This would apply primarily to someone who has a lot of insecurities.
6. Independence is great — to a point. Call it ego, male insecurity, whatever you like. There’s no getting around the fact that we need to feel that we’re in this for more than just s*x (yeah, I know … sounds weird coming from a guy). If you keep telling a man (and showing him, too) that you can do everything on your own, then what do you need him for? As shallow as it may sound, we do have to have our ego fed just a bit (maybe some guys more than others, but I think you get the idea).
7. Being too dependent is not a good thing, either. I know it sounds like we can’t make up our minds between numbers 6 and 7, but there is a balance. It’s like we want a grown woman who can handle her business, but still let us know that there’s a place in her life for us that only we can fill. You’re not a child, and we don’t expect to treat you like one or take care of you like one. If you come to a guy for every single thing,and can’t seem to make up your mind or make decisions … well, one day he make make up his mind and not come back.
8. Don’t you ever have anything nice to say? Yeah, we mess up from time to time (and it may seem that those times run pretty close together). But what about some props? Can’t your man do anything right? I’m not talking about being patronizing or treating him like a first grader keeping his colors inside the lines (“Way to go, Ronnie!”). Nobody can stand always being criticized. Psychologists call it “positive reinforcement.” Men call it “giving us a break.”
9. There’s no future in the past. We’ve all made mistakes. The thing is to learn from them, not live in them. if your man made a mistake, and you’ve agreed to forgive him for it, then do that. Don’t bring it up and keep beating him over the head with it. If you keep bringing up the past, then be prepared to talk about your man in the past tense, as in “ex.”
10. Maybe his friends won’t be your friends, but don’t dog them out, either. He knew them before he knew you. He knows how they are. If one (or more) of his friends are players, he knows this already. You don’t have to remind him of that. if you keep making negative comments about them, what you’re really doing is showing an insecurity and, in a more subtle way, expressing a lack of trust. If he’s with you and everything is going right then don’t let whatever actions his friends take influence the relationship.