Guys, I understand it just as well as you do – in today’s world, knowing how to treat a girl can be confusing.
There is so much conflicting information out there about how to get the interest of a woman, and then even more about how to keep it. Is it any wonder there are so many single people out there? Well, never fear – your friendly neighborhood single dad is here to help with a dating (and relationship) how to: how to NOT lose the girl.
The deep, dark secret to relationships is this: it’s really not as complicated as we make it.
According to my detailed research and years of experience, the big blunders men do that end up blowing up their relationships—or worse, send them off in a whimper—include:
Guys, Don’t Fail to Perform ‘Maintenance’ Tasks
When you have a car you love, or a piece of technology you couldn’t live without, how do you treat it? With respect, care, and upkeep, right? Relationships are really no different. You can’t think to yourself, ‘I’m so glad I’m not out there anymore and I can just let it all hang out.’ I mean, sure, be yourself. But don’t lose sight of the fact that your partner is a woman.
What does that mean?
Among other things, it means she probably doesn’t think passing gas is amusing or even tolerable. Think back to when you began the relationship. How did you handle gas in her presence? I know a few guys who had some creative solutions to the problem, but what they all have in common is that he just flat out didn’t break wind within nose-shot of his signifiant other (when humanly possible, of course).
It also means that she needs the occasional romantic gesture even though you’re now in a relationship. You don’t have to go overboard, but those little deeds go a long way. A surprise bouquet of flowers, dinner out, candles lit for a night at home, getting a little more dressed up for a date together… all of those things that you shouldn’t let completely fall to the wayside. (And here’s a tip: although flowers in person is nice, women really do like getting flowers delivered at work or otherwise in the presence of other people.) Your results may vary and hopefully by now you know more about what makes your girl ‘tick’.
Maintenance tasks also include regular communication. You don’t need to stalk her, but you do need to maintain communication. An email here, a text there, a call when you haven’t talked in a while… these things all go a long way.
Guys, Stop Trying to be Mr. Fix-it
Here’s a key, fundamental truth you need to know about women: they need to feel ‘heard.’ What does that mean? It means that once she starts talking, you can’t listen for the first 30 seconds to see if it’s ‘important’ and then tune her out. I know, it sucks but it’s true.
It also means that when she’s telling you about her bad day, her ferocious boss, a problem she has with a friend or coworker, or a fight with her mom, all she really wants from you to know that you heard her. Appropriate responses include things like, ‘Wow. I would feel the same way,’ or ‘I completely understand where you’re coming from.’
Resist the urge to solve her problem. If she wants help, she will ask for it. Solving her problem is not necessarily your job. Your job is to listen and to be there for her first. Above all, resist the urge to assume you know where she’s going with her story, interrupt her, and then help her. That’s a great way to get her to stop talking to you period.
In general, if she’s talking to you, pay attention. When you rush in and try to give advice, you’re shutting the conversation down. Chances are, that’s the last thing she wants.
Guys, Learn the ‘Code’
If you ask her what’s wrong and she says, ‘Nothing,’ but it really seems like there’s something wrong, there is. ‘Nothing’ is code for: ‘I really think you should know already what’s wrong with me because what you did is so egregious, you had to know when you did it that I was going to lose it!’ or it can mean ‘I am so frustrated with you, but I feel like there is no point in talking to you about this because you don’t listen or it won’t make any difference.’ Look for a possible cause in the section above.
The best thing you can do is sincerely say, “Listen, maybe I’m supposed to know what’s wrong, but I promise that I am completely clueless here. But I don’t want to be. Please tell me what’s wrong. I promise I will listen.”
Guys, Stop Casting Her in the Role of Social Coordinator
Women actually appreciate it when a man takes charge – at least occasionally. She doesn’t want to have to be the one who comes up with the plans every time you do something together. It makes a woman feel special to have you say, “Hey, I was thinking it would be fun if we…” [insert fun activity you will both enjoy here].
One caveat: don’t plan things you know she doesn’t enjoy. If she isn’t a sports fan, don’t think springing tickets to a sporting event is going to count as you taking an equal part in planning the relationship.
If you want to keep someone in your life, you need to treat her like you would want to be treated. Be involved, stay turned in and learn what makes her tick. Relationships are work, but with some smarts you can have yours humming on all cylinders in no time.
Cover image by dirkjankraan.com via Flickr.