One thing I hear over and over is, “I just want to understand men.”
Maybe you’re in a relationship where you never know what he’s really thinking. Maybe you’re tired of not knowing why he says the things that he says. Maybe you want to be with a guy but he’s sending you mixed signals.
Maybe you’re confused about what he really wants and how he really feels. Maybe you’re just tired of not understanding why men act the way that they do.
Whatever it is, one thing is sure – you don’t want to be confused by men anymore. So you want to know where men are coming from, and how to understand their words and actions so you’ll never be confused again.
More than that, maybe you want to understand what men are looking for in a relationship, so that you’ll know what he truly wants and how to give it to him to have a partner for life.
The truth is, men are mostly very similar to women. However, there are a few differences, many of which come from how men and women are socialized differently growing up.
Before I continue, obviously not every man and woman conforms to these trends. Every man and every woman are different, and I wouldn’t dream of trying to say that ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to people’s personalities and how they act.
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So don’t take this advice as gospel – everyone is different, everyone’s experiences growing up were different, and no one can be measured using a one size fits all rule.
But generally, on the whole, there are a few differences between men and women due to socialization and outside influences growing up that impact people’s love lives daily.
Some Key Differences Between Men And Women
Men Have Trouble Identifying Emotions As Well As Women Do
Both through socialization and actual physical differences in the brain, men aren’t as good at processing and identifying emotions as women are.
Men are taught from childhood to keep their emotions down and buried, to ‘keep an even keel’ so to speak. Showing too much emotion (or worse, openly crying) is taught as “unmanly” to boys.
As a result, men are often not as good at processing their emotions as women are. They generally have a harder time identifying and empathizing with the emotions of others as well.
So if you’re feeling a certain way, don’t expect him to easily recognize that and address it, or to quickly understand why you’re feeling that way. Just because you would immediately recognize what’s going on in a situation doesn’t mean that he would see the same thing.
And in that same vein, sometimes the best choice when he’s going through something difficult is to give him space to work through it himself. He might not be used to discussing his emotions or his problems with someone else and he might prefer to figure it out in his own head.
Either way – he’ll let you know if he wants to talk about it with you.
Men And Women Focus On Different Parts Of A Conversation
Growing up, girls tend to be socialized to share their problems and secrets with each other. Boys, on the other hand, are socialized to bond over shared activities and interests by talking about them.
As a kid, he’s much more likely to bond over what his favorite sports teams were or what games he liked playing rather than bond over what he thought of other people or problems he might have been going through.
In fact, boys are often socialized not to share the problems that they’re facing. Many are taught that it’s ‘more manly’ to face your problems alone rather than look for help from friends and others.
So when you’re talking to him about a problem at work or a friend you’re having differences with, it might seem like his attention is drifting – because that’s not what he’s typically focused on.
Further, guys often respond to hearing about problems by trying to solve them and offer solutions. It’s an often-referenced complaint that guys offer solutions instead of support – but they think they’re being supportive by offering solutions!
If he tries to solve your problem rather than just listening to it and supporting you, know that that’s a very male response and it’s all about how he was brought up.
Men Are Socialized To Be More Competitive In Their Daily Lives (About everything)
Guys are hard wired to be competitive – it’s in everything that’s presented to boys while they’re growing up. From games, to sports, to grades in the classroom, everything is a competition… and boys are taught that the only important thing is winning.
So if he gets weirdly competitive with you – that’s his competitive side coming out. It’s instinctual to him.
But more than that, this is actually one of the keys to building a strong relationship with him.
Guys want to win more than anything, it’s hard wired into them. They want to win at their job – and that could mean getting paid more. Or it could mean being their own boss, or it could mean working 2 days a week and having the rest of the week off.
It’s different to every guy, but the important part to him is that he feels like he’s winning by achieving what he wants in his life.
In a relationship, that’s even more important… he wants to feel like he’s winning, like he’s earned you, like you could be with any man but you’re choosing to be with him.
The way to make him feel that way is to bring your best to the relationship every day, and demand that he brings his best as well.
If he’s dragging his feet and not committing to you – don’t commit to him either – he has to know that if he doesn’t step up and ‘lock you down’ then some other guy might and he could lose you.
He has to know that he needs to bring his best to the relationship every day in order to “earn” you and keep you by his side.
These are a few of the biggest differences between men and women in how they’re socialized.
But more importantly, there’s one part of understanding men that’s key in relationships. This insight is one of the most important ingredients in a happy relationship – without it things can fall apart very quickly.
The Key To Understanding Men And Relationships
If you really want to understand men, and understand what they want in relationships, this is the lesson to remember: guys are happy when the relationship is going well.
Guys want a relationship to feel like ‘smooth sailing’. They hate arguments, they hate fights, they hate worrying that they’re going to say or do the wrong thing, and they hate walking on eggshells to avoid drama.
If you want to keep him happier in this relationship than in any relationship that he’s ever been in, the key is focusing on making the relationship as relaxed, comfortable, and happy as possible.
When a relationship is relaxed and comfortable, a guy can let his guard down. He won’t feel like he’s got to avoid saying the wrong thing, and he won’t feel like he’s going to upset you by relaxing and showing you his true self.
If he feels like he can ‘take off his mask’ and be his true self in the relationship – he won’t give that up for anything.
This is the key to understanding what men want in a relationship. Men (and women) have to wear masks in public all day, hiding their true selves. These masks go on in front of friends, or at their jobs, or wherever they are, because they try to meet the expectations of others rather than live who they truly are.
So when a guy finds a woman who not only welcomes it when he acts like his true self around her, but accepts who that is and loves that person – he never lets go. He would go to the ends of the earth to be with that woman, because she loves him for who he truly is.
more: 36.5 Truths About Men
So if you can give him the space to relax, let his guard down, and be his true self around you, he’ll never want to let you go.
He’ll love being around you, he’ll crave being around you, and he’ll do whatever it takes to be with you.
That’s how you truly understand men – by giving him the space to be who he truly is around you. And that’s how you build a relationship that lasts.
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How To Understand Men: What Men Wish You Knew
- Men have trouble identifying emotions as well as women do
- Men and women focus on different parts of a conversation
- Men are socialized to be more competitive in their daily lives about everything
- Men are happy when the relationship is going well and he can be his true self