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Friday, November 23, 2007

7 Things Men Wish Their Women Would (and Wouldn't) Do

By Brenda Della Casa
eDiets Contributor
You’ve been told they are un-committable creatures from another planet "who think with their nether regions," but the truth is, the guy in your life is a lot more like you than you might think -- he just doesn’t know how to tell you.
If your man won’t open up about what’s on his mind, don’t fret. You are about to find out the top seven things he’s secretly wishing you would start and stop doing right now. No analyzing required!
Please Stop: Nagging Him to Be More Romantic
He never buys you flowers, takes you out to dinner or lives up to your grand romantic ideals like your sister's guy. How does he know? You never stop telling him!
He Wishes You Would: Appreciate the Things He Does Do for You
Ok, so he may not surprise you with roses, but how about those days he walks the dogs so you can sleep in or the fact he suffers through your romantic comedy’s when he’s dying to see people run away from a chainsaw-wielding maniac?
Sometimes we gals become so fixated on a set list of what is considered romantic that we often devalue the dozens of other ways our partners show they care. There is also the unfortunate fact that dinners, flowers and shiny things in small boxes cost a bundle these days. He may want to do these things for you but cannot afford them.
Granted! Show him you appreciate him by thanking him for helping you move and killing that spider, the fact is that he wouldn’t do these things if he didn’t care about you.
Please Stop: Setting Him Up for Failure
You’ve been eating a little more pie and haven’t seen the gym in months. You’re pants are significantly more snug, but you refuse to believe that you have gained the 15 pounds your scale claims you have. So, you decide to ask your guy the question that makes the ears of all men bleed… “Babe, do I look fat?”
What He Wants: To Get Out of the Line of Fire
Let’s deconstruct this for a second. You know you have gained weight, screwed up at work or should not have cut those bangs at home, but you don’t want to face it so you expect your mate to boost your confidence by lying to you or running the risk of being called an inconsiderate jerk? This is hardly a healthy relationship habit, woman!
Granted! While it’s safe to assume no one else notices the small bump on your nose or an extra five pounds, being insecure about something is reason enough to address it, so take action through therapy or another way -- privately.
If you feel a little too soft, treat yourself to a gym membership or take the stairs more often, but don’t expect your man to boost your self-esteem by telling you what you want to hear. Sending him mixed messages, as in “I want you to be honest unless it will hurt my feelings,” not only confuses him, but also makes him feel trapped and suffocated and you look deeply insecure. Besides, there’s a good chance he doesn’t notice the dimples in your thighs until you point them out!
What He Wants: You to Accept Him for Who He Is
You really like your guy, but his style, haircut and/or Star Wars obsession makes you cringe. He’s a really nice guy, so you keep dating him with the intention of “tweaking him to perfection” once he agrees to go exclusive.
Please Stop: Trying to Change Him
While it’s normal for partners to influence one another, telling your guy to let go of ideas, opinions or the things he enjoys or cares about is controlling and disrespectful. If he tells you he’s a football fanatic while dating, don’t pout when he doesn’t want to do brunch on Sundays two years later.
Granted! Lose the “fixer-upper” mentality, and when a man tells you who he is, believe him and decide if his habits, values and lifestyle fits with yours before getting too involved. If he says he does not want children, don’t think you can change his mind later, and if he’s fond of plaid, know that his grungy button-downs are part of the package.
Approaching dating this way will not only prevent misunderstandings, it will also save you a lot of frustration. Think about how long it takes to change your own habits -- let alone trying to re-wire another human being!
Please Stop: Wearing So Much Green
A pretty saleslady tries to help him at the store and you accuse him of wanting to sleep with her. His best female friend calls him late at night and you wonder if they are having an affair. He’s so scared of your outbursts that he feels he can’t look anywhere but down when you are out together!
What He Wants: You to Trust Him
While a little jealousy can keep a relationship fresh, there is nothing that can ruin a good time faster than a cold plate of distrust. Unless your guy is doing something to make you feel insecure or disrespected, cut him a little slack.
He’s only responsible for his own actions and frankly, it’s not his fault his new co-worker looks like Adriana Lima or that his best friends’ sister came onto him. If your guy introduces you as his partner, shows that he cares about you and makes it clear he’s taken, he’s honoring you in every way possible. How would you feel if he threw punches or started an argument every time a man looked at you with adoring eyes? (And don’t kid yourself, lady, they do!)
Granted! It’s time to do a little soul-searching. Do you really think a little flirtation or a woman merely being attractive threatens the stability of your relationship? If so, take a step back and ask yourself, “What this is really about?”
Is your man really acting up, or are your insecurities getting the best of you? Taking a step back in these situations will not only show your guy he has your trust, but also that you are a secure woman who is confident in her relationship which is sexier than any set of batting lashes, I swear!
Please Stop: Analyzing Everything
We gals spend our Sunday brunches trying to figure out what he means, what he’s thinking and how to respond. Here are the answers: Exactly what he said, work/sports/that funny YouTube video and honestly.
What He Wants: Take Him at Face Value
I know you won’t believe me, but men are pretty straightforward creatures. Ever hear two men arguing and one of them saying, “What did you mean by that?” Yeah, didn’t think so.
Granted! Show your guy you’re more laid back than loco and accept that every statement doesn’t have a back story. Your conversations will become lighter -- and think of all of the time you’ll have on your hands now that you won’t be wondering if his mentioning how much you liked ice cream means he thinks you are a fat cow and should join a gym. Hey, I’m just saying…
Please Stop: Expecting Him to Always Make the First Move, Plans, etc.
You lie in bed waiting for him to put the moves on and get ticked when Friday rolls around and he’s made no plans.
What He Wants: You to Take the Initiative
Welcome to 2007, ladies. We can not only manage corporations and run for president, we can (gasp!) make dinner reservations too! While the damsel role can be fun, the truth is, men love women who know what they want and are not afraid to go after it. They also love knowing that a woman cares enough about them to make the effort and pull out all of the stops for a change.
Granted! Make reservations for the new restaurant you've been dying to try or create your own "sexy night in" and surprise him with candles, lingerie, a bottle of wine and... yep, that's about it!
Please Stop: Making Him Choose Between You and His Friends
He’s Mr. Wonderful when he’s out with you, but get him around his old friend Jason and he’s lighting his farts and playing beer pong in 30 seconds flat! Why does he hang out with such a loser? He’s such a bad influence!
What He Wants: You to Respect His Relationships
You’d be hard-pressed to find a woman on the planet who likes every one of her partner’s friends, but that’s not the point. The fact is your guy is an individual who obviously feels a connection and bond with the people he has chosen to have in his life -- in addition to the one he has with you -- and just like those people need to respect your role, you need to respect theirs.
Granted! While it would be wonderful if we could all “just get along,” the fact is just because we love someone doesn’t mean we are going to love the people they love, but making an effort with those people will go a long way with your partner.
If you absolutely cannot stand to be around his friend, excuse yourself from the situation after a polite hello, or simply decline an invitation with the explanation you made previous plans and send your guy along with a hearty hello.
Relationships expert, Brenda Della Casa, is a journalist and casting agent who has spent the last six years interviewing single men and women for a variety of television shows and articles. Last year she interviewed almost a 1,000 single, married and coupled men world-wide, together with hundreds of single women for her breakthrough book, Cinderella Was a Liar.

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