What Every Guy Needs to Know About Relationships (From a Woman)

photoFellas, I’ve dated a lot of you. You’re as stimulating as you are maddening. I get it, my gender isn’t exactly a calm river (next week is your turn, ladies), but we can’t keep hoping one day you’ll wake up and finally be able to read our minds (a common myth). Which is why I’ve decided to tell you truths your girlfriend may never tell you. I can easily do it, because I have no obligation to this (cyber?) relationship. I can be completely and utterly candid. Lucky you!

Take everything you can from this list, because I am not bullshitting you. Gaining insight will allow your next relationship to evolve and you can face yourself in the mirror sans guilt. This list serves as a gateway to becoming a better human being and a fairer lover. I hope you’re ready…

DO NOT STAY in a relationship longer than two weeks if ALL of these apply:

  1. You are no longer attracted to your partner.
  2. You don’t care how many times you see her during the week.
  3. You have lost the endurance to work on the partnership.

There is nothing worse than coexisting with a soul who does not enhance your life on a weekly or daily basis. Remember Glen Hansard’s powerful ballad, “Say It To Me Now?” Say it to her, now if the above remains true. Even if you can hear the crying once you leave. You will have saved SO many years of your life (and hers, too).

WHEN YOUR PARTNER ASKS if something’s wrong and it is (women can smell this a mile away) — TELL HER “YES”, then have a chat. It’s going to suck and last two hours longer than it should, but it has to happen. You have to rid it from your mind like a painful kidney stone. Shoot that sucker out or prepare to be emotionally constipated (and no one wants to date someone constipated).

YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY may not be as great as you think. If some of them are rude or show strong resistance to your partner – take her side initially. She is not your ex. She has not broken your heart or murdered your dog. There is no reason why the people in your life shouldn’t treat her as anything but someone you really care about. Be insulted if they are cold to her right away. They are choosing to reject your potential lifemate before interacting with her demeanor firsthand. Let them know that is unacceptable, and always stand up for your partner. She will feel betrayed otherwise. Who do you want to marry — your balding sibling or the supportive woman who is willing to sleep with you for the rest of your inevitably wrinkly life? It’s your choice.

IF YOUR MOTHER didn’t teach you this, I am going to. Appreciate the shit out of your partner. Most likely she is putting more than she has to into the relationship, into the apartment you sleep in, into the countertops she has to clean because guys can go weeks without noticing a sticky surface. So along with those gorgeous flowers, write her a note saying you are grateful for the love she gives and the things she has done (list them specifically as proof of your attention to detail). Don’t be surprised if she tosses the flowers and frames the note.

ACTIONS still speak louder, but words are like GOLD to women. Choose them wisely and mean them. Don’t say it if you don’t want it remembered for the duration of your relationship. I am dead serious.

FEMALES ARE AWARE of their intentions more than you realize, especially when they send suggestive (but “innocent”) messages. Save yourself a million future fights and admit to your partner these women are inappropriate – even if you’ve known them for longer. I hate to break it to you (that’s a lie, I love it), but longevity of a friendship does NOT cancel out a female friend’s capability of being inappropriate. Keep your eye on these interactions; it is your duty to make your woman feel safe around your friends. She will not feel safe when her intuition is saying “Betty” makes her uncomfortable and you’re disregarding her concerns by calling her jealous (HUGE mistake — don’t ever do that in any circumstance). Recognizing any disrespect that navigates too closely to the relationship will bring great relief to your partner. She wants a man who can (a) communicate and (b) notice when “bitches be cray”. It’s not about trust, gentlemen, it’s about recognition. Start practicing it.

And the most important one…

WAIT TO SAY, “I LOVE YOU.” Even if you know from the bottom of your gut and you called your mother to tell her it has arrived. Even if your partner says it first and bitches that you haven’t said it back. When do I say it, then? When you have a huge fight. When she asks you to take her dog out at 6am. When you get fired. When she snaps at you because she had a bad day. When her apartment has a leak that turns into a flood that ruins her vintage Mötley Crüe shirts — and instead of helping you mop up the mess, she’s hysterically crying in the middle of it all (I’m talking ugly crying). When shit gets tough for both of you and you don’t want to run away, that’s when you say it. THAT is real love. Don’t confuse, “I love you” with “I’m so happy”, either. It’s very easy to love someone when she’s all smiles and you’re both at a great place in your lives, but those moments aren’t eternal. When life tests your patience, you will really know if you are capable of loving her the way she deserves. She may secretly resent you for a while if you take my advice, but believe me when I say it matters more than you both realize. It will speak volumes when revealed accordingly. Love is a whack job, and you have to cater to its insanity. The absolute last thing you want to do is love her, then take it back.

  • Laura Pawlak
    April 24, 2014

    These articles just keep getting better and better!!! Congrats on another great insightful writing!

  • Isaac
    April 24, 2014

    Way to keep bridging those gaps! Great work!

  • Nancy
    April 24, 2014

    My favorite part . . . WAIT TO SAY, “I LOVE YOU.”

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