One from one of my female readers…
One of the beautiful things about having been with and lived with a man for a long time now is that I’ve gotten an insight into the male mind. I haven’t just learned about the way my boyfriend thinks, but I’ve also learned about the way his friends think. Since I’ve been with my guy for so long now, and his friends come over all of the time, his buddies have started to see me as a safe person to open up to. They’ve put their guards down. They know I’m not going to go running to the women they’re dating and reveal their deepest most vulnerable secrets. They know I’m on their side. I’m a confidante. And, through that, I’ve finally come to understand certain male actions and words that, as a single woman, I totally didn’t get. It turns out some of the things some men do aren’t as bad as we think. I said some of the things that some men do—just to be clear. Here are things men do that women often misinterpret.
Cancelling after a bad day
In the early stages of my relationship, after a very bad day, my boyfriend would just cancel our plans to see each other and ask if we could reschedule. It would upset me—I’d think ,“Why won’t he let me be there for him? Is he trying to keep an emotional distance?”
They want to protect you
My boyfriend finally explained that he just tries to protect me from his bad moods. After a crappy day, he’s worried that he won’t be able to contain his angst and may accidentally be short with me or cold towards me. He’d rather just hide away until he can be his best self. He would, of course, love my comfort and company but he also knows it could be selfish, since he may just be a jerk.
Turning down sex
The first time my boyfriend turned down sex, I panicked. Big time. I thought, “This is it. It’s over. This was just a fling. The chemistry is gone and we have nothing else!” (Yes, I was a bit dramatic). But, I thought for sure, “Men always want to have sex so if he says no, he’s just not into me anymore. Period.”
They can feel emotionally distant
So, it turns out that men don’t always want to have sex. If they’re going through something difficult, they feel emotionally removed from their partners. When my partner is under a lot of stress, he doesn’t want to have sex because he feels weird/bad about being physically close to me when he knows he’s so mentally far away. He says it feels like a lie. That is actually rather considerate, when you think about it.
Not texting; then calling
It used to drive me crazy that I’d send my partner several texts throughout the day to which he would not respond, and then he’d just call me, saying nothing about my texts. “Is he trying to send me some message that he doesn’t want my texting him?” I wondered.
They’d rather call when they can be present
Men are just not as good at texting as women are. Men don’t like texting as much as women do. My boyfriend does, however, like receiving my texts—they make him smile, he says. But he’s not great at formulating the type of response my text deserves, in the little time he has to text. He’d rather just wait to talk until he can call me at the end of the day and be fully present.
Keeping certain friends away
There are some friends that my boyfriend kept away from me for the first couple years of us dating. I thought this was some way of him keeping a distance from me—a way of keeping our relationship casual. I also wondered if he just totally misbehaves himself with these friends, like they’re bad influences.
They don’t want us to be insulted
I eventually learned that my boyfriend can behave himself around these friends but they are, truth be told, his more, errr, brute-ish friends. They say and do things that might gross me out. He’s known them forever, and finds them endearing, but he also doesn’t want them accidentally insulting me.
Asking to watch TV instead of talk
At the end of the day, sometimes my boyfriend cuts me off when I’m asking lots of questions and says, “Is it okay if we just watch TV?” It was hard for me to not be insulted at first. Is that his way of saying I talk too much?
They’re just burnt out
Sometimes, men—and women—are just too burnt out at the end of the day to carry on a good conversation. They feel bad just pretending to engage in a conversation with someone they love, and would rather just watch television, and re-fuel for another time when they’re excited to talk.
Skipping our friend’s bday
Skipping a friend’s birthday, skipping a bar crawl, or skipping other social occasions with my friends is something my boyfriend does from time to time. I used to think it meant he just didn’t care about my friends.
They need to save money
I eventually learned that, the issue wasn’t necessarily that my boyfriend didn’t like my friends. My man was just trying to save money, and was too proud to tell me that. Whoops.
Not talking about their day at work
To me, exchanging stories about our day is a part of bonding. But sometimes my boyfriend says he would just rather not talk about his day at work. At first, I thought, “Well, that’s a pretty big part of your day. It’s weird you don’t want to share it with me.”
They don’t want our pity
It turns out that my boyfriend just has some things happen at work that he worries would make me sad. He’s had bosses and colleagues that haven’t spoken to him nicely or just generally gone through some rough situations. He didn’t want my pity, so he thought it was better to just not discuss his work.
Doing a 180 on feelings
Almost every one of my guy’s best friends—and my guy did this too—did a total 180 on their feelings for a woman. What I mean is that they were very reserved, cool, and holding back. You wouldn’t think they even liked the woman. And then suddenly, they were all in.
They were gathering information
Men and women develop feelings at very different paces. I feel like women are more comfortable with allowing their feelings to just naturally occur. Men, however, hoard their emotions until they’ve gathered enough information on a woman to feel safe showing all their emotions.
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