I’m not so convinced men and women are really so different. Having said that there are a few things that women do that I suspect guys simply don’t get.
Maybe it’s something biological or just culturally ingrained. Probably a bit of both.
So I turned to the guys in my life to ask them:
What do women do in a relationship that leaves you scratching your head?
This is what they told me:
1) Saying they’re fine when they’re clearly not
Research has shown that women prize a man who tries to understand her emotions.
The catch is:
Nobody is a mind reader.
But often we expect our partners to automatically know what’s going on with us.
Sadly, one study has proved men really can struggle to try to interpret women’s emotions.
And if they read between the lines we can even feel let down and disappointed. We wonder if they really know us at all.
Rather than be open and honest about how we’re feeling we keep schtum. But we’re not fooling anyone.
He knows something gives, and wonders why you don’t just tell him when he asks you what’s up?
I’ve been totally guilty of this passive-aggressive technique many times. And deep down I know it’s not cool.
In order for us to understand each other in a relationship, we have to practice clear communication.
2) Filling the entire house with decorative cushions
Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’m alone in this one.
Call it a stereotype but I think it’s so true:
Women have a thing for cushions.
Hey, I’m not suggesting it’s genetic or anything. But when we’re in nesting mode we can’t help but go crazy for a well-placed pillow or two.
The bit that men really scratch their heads at is the fact we don’t even use most of them.
The bed is crammed with pillows we throw on the floor when we go to sleep. Meanwhile, the couch is covered with so many cushions we have to move them just to sit down.
My boyfriend fails to understand. All I can tell him is that it looks nice.
3) Spilling every tiny detail to their bestie
Guys that don’t get into deep juicy talks with their besties don’t know what they’re missing.
Sure, there are certain things that need to remain private between couples.
But sadly men are still socially discouraged from opening up to one another in the same way women do.
They may not totally understand why we divulge every little thing about ourselves and what’s going on in our lives to our pals.
But here’s the thing:
They’re the ones missing out.
That sense of connection is so good for our mental health. Plus it makes for a mighty fine gossip session.
4) Creating unrealistic expectations
It’s only the first date and if I’m honest I barely know him.
But that doesn’t stop me from going home and daydreaming about our future fantasy life we’re going to have together.
Let’s face it, it can be fun.
But it can also set us down a dangerous path. Because it is often in the early days that we start to let silent expectations creep in.
Expectations of not only the other person but also our relationship with them.
And we don’t always let them in on it either. Yet we do still feel disappointed when those expectations aren’t met.
5) Not initiating sex even when they want it
Men chase, and women are chased, right?
Or maybe not. As I think most of us would agree that’s a bit outdated.
In the era of equality, women are encouraged to go after what they want.
So why then do so many of us still struggle to initiate sex?
Studies highlight how men are still predominantly the ones to start sex more often in a relationship. Interestingly though, the evidence also suggests women want to be initiating more than they do.
According to internationally recognized sex educator, Justin J. Lehmiller Ph.D. some old hangups are probably in play:
“In part, it’s likely because there’s more pressure to adhere to traditional gender roles of women as the “gatekeepers” of sex and men as the “initiators” of it in a heterosexual context. By contrast, in research on same-sex relationships, we consistently see that there’s less pressure to fit a traditional role and more opportunity to find equity both in and out of the bedroom.”
6) Falling for someone and then trying to fundamentally change them
We find the perfect guy. Well almost perfect. At least he will be with a few little tweaks.
Anecdotally I have noticed that women have more of a tendency to want to change a guy than the other way around.
Maybe that’s because we’re already perfect. But I very much doubt it.
Having high standards is a good thing, but expecting someone else to change in order to meet your preferences is not.
We can fall into this trap when we hold on to overly romanticized ideals. Because sadly real life never lives up to the fairytale.
Not only is trying to change someone unfair, it rarely works either.
7) How their hormones impact them differently throughout the month
Let me make one thing clear:
Guys and gals both experience a wide range of emotions. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is nonsense.
I once saw a meme that read:
“The best marketing scheme in history is men getting away with calling women the more “emotional gender” because they’ve successfully rebranded anger as not an emotion”.
Anyway, the point is, we all feel things.
But it’s also a fact that women’s hormones throughout the month fluctuate so much more than men’s do.
Studies have shown how a monthly cycle changes women’s brains for better and for worse.
Guys don’t always get where those extremes might be coming from.
8) Expecting to receive flowers
Romance may not be dead, but the cheap flowers he felt obliged to pick up from the garage on his way home most certainly are.
Many a male friend has told me how they “don’t get flowers”.
They fail to see the point in picking something living and letting it wilt in a vase.
They certainly don’t see how we can attach so much meaning to the absence of flowers.
Even when they can wrap their head around the fact that it’s the gesture that counts, it still seems a pointless one to them.
I mean, why don’t we want something more practical like a sandwich from Subway or a penknife?
9) Taking forever to get ready
Actually, I’d say I’m pretty low-maintenance as a woman.
I take around 40 minutes to get dressed for a night out if I’m doing the works. That includes showering, washing and drying my hair, and putting on some makeup.
But without fail, my boyfriend still takes way less time than me.
I suspect men all across the globe have gotten good at sitting patiently for the women in their lives.
They may be left wondering how it could possibly take so long.
But there can still feel more pressure on us women to look a certain way compared to men.
The bottom line:
It takes us so long to get ready guys because we have way more to do than you!
To conclude: Men and women are still more similar than we are different
I’m sure you and the men and women in your life will be able to come up with plenty more personalized little differences between the sexes.
It’s to be expected. We’re never going to completely understand our significant others all the time.
But I still believe what I said in the intro to this article, that we have far more in common than we hav differences.
As Quora user Gaurav Roy nicely puts it:
“We are 99% similar. Whatever things you wish from us, be it caring, appreciating etc, we wish the same from you too.”