“I’ve Got This”. The sexiest words a man can say. Or are they?
It’s hard to be a man dating or in a relationship with a woman these days. I know, I know, “poor them”, right? But, hear me out. Women reading this, give my ideas a chance. Men, see if any of this resonates with you.
Sometimes it seems we women want it all from our men. We want strong protective men, who we can rely on to do all the things we COULD do ourselves, but would rather not. We often want them to take a leadership role, but not always. And we expect them to know which is which, without us telling them.
We want them to be sensitive to our feelings and listen to us, but not problem-solve for us, because that’s condescending. Right? We expect them to know what we mean by “I’m fine”, based on our tone of voice, like our girlfriends would. We like it when they do things like walk on the street-side of the sidewalk, hold doors, and handle small conflicts, but not when they do it “as if” we can’t take care of ourselves. It’s almost like the way they do these things matter more than the things they do, and what’s OK with us changes based on our mood and the context, and that’s what’s so confusing to guys.
They tell me they don’t know how to act, because they’re so often very willing to do what their woman wants them to, but still feel they get demerits for not “knowing” what it is. There’s a line from the movie The Break-Up, with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, in which she says “I want you to want to do the dishes,” and he replies, “Who would want to do the dishes?”
And we women often operate with the idea that if we have to ask for it, it somehow counts less. So we drop hints, use tone of voice to indicate something isn’t really OK with us when we’re saying it is, use silence to indicate we’re unhappy but don’t say what we’re unhappy about…and then say “men are such idiots” when they don’t get it.
The thing is, men are just wired differently. They almost never talk about a problem unless they want an idea or solution. They pretty much always ask for exactly what they want. They realize that there are tasks that need to be done, and will do them to show their love. They want to be their woman’s soft place to land, and don’t understand why that’s such a problem for so many of us. “Soft place to land” can mean they’re empathetic and supportive, but they don’t try to fix things. They trust us to handle our own business, and want to watch us shine, and also want to be the safety net should we need one.
Men are more likely to show their love by actions than talk about it in words, but they like words coming back at them when we’re happy with what they’ve done. They grew up playing sports, being coached and cheered on, and that sticks with them into adulthood. Try doing that with your man, tell him what you want and appreciate when he gets it right, and see if that doesn’t change things for the better.