Dudes are so all-knowing. They all “know,” for instance, that if we women would just be more direct, they could solve all our problems, morph into angelic boyfriends, and satisfy our need for deep love. Except that’s pure bullcrap. No, I don’t need a guy to interpret my every desire like a psychologist, but if my feelings are a constant mystery to him, we’re not gonna last.
- Well-matched personalities matter. It’s not important that a guy thinks exactly like I do. That would be totally boring. However, it IS important that we share some general underlying responses to the turbulence we’re sure to encounter once the spiffy newness wears off our relationship. The best partnerships work intuitively. Things just go more smoothly when you understand each other’s thought processes. Even if we each have a very different solution to the issue, those solutions need to be complementary.
- Learning to read one another’s signs is important. If we grow close, you’ll be able to tell when I’m frustrated or worried or sad. You’ll know how to ask me what’s up in a way that encourages me to be open and honest. If you ask sincerely with an intention to see from my point of view, I’ll do my damnedest to be straightforward with you — and I’ll hold myself accountable, not blame you for every shift in my mood.
- It’s a relief not to have to explain every little thing. With some people, there are two choices: struggle unsuccessfully to express my emotions or keep them to myself. Either way, in these match-ups, I never enjoy the intimacy I crave. The ability to communicate with those folks is necessary in everyday life, but in my relationships, I expect to find empathy. It’s about “getting” each other without constantly having to explain. That’s a hard thing to fake.
- When big stuff comes up for discussion, I want to be comfortable speaking my mind. I can only do that if I trust him to understand my meaning and work through awkward, messy moments with me to find a resolution that works for both of us.
- I expect him to know certain things without needing to be told. Ah, the basic tenets of human kindness. Some folks never seem to figure these out. Shout out to all the dudes who wonder why we get upset when we cook them a fancy meal and they leave the table without so much as a “thanks” or a “can I help with the dishes?” If a guy can’t understand those tenets or as wildly different expectations from mine on how to apply them, we’re not a good match. Some things should be a no-brainer.
- I’m not unreasonable — I don’t expect a guy to know everything that’s on my mind. I won’t get uppity if he doesn’t realize that some offhand comment reminds me of a lover who deserted me. I know some issues are mine and mine alone to sort through privately. If I need a little space to figure them out, I’ll give him a heads up.
- I realize I struggle with communication. I do all I can to apply best practices, but he shouldn’t be too surprised if I’d rather sleep on the couch all night than talk about my concerns. Doing feelings isn’t my forte, which makes it even more important to find a guy who figures me out without needing a ton of guidance. I would seem “difficult” to the wrong guy, but luckily I don’t settle for just anyone.
- I want to lean on him first. If I can’t establish the bond I need with a guy, I’ll end up seeking the counsel of best friends and family members. He’ll resent my need to expose those personal concerns. I’ll feel guilty for indulging my gossipy side. The whole indirect mess will do us no good as a couple. It’s far better to know that we’re capable of hashing things out by ourselves.
- Love should never be a chore. Yeah, relationships take work. No, I’d never expect a guy to be spot-on all the time. However, a relationship shouldn’t fill me with dread either. I don’t want to waste all my time with him trying to hash out our “issues.” I want to talk about important stuff, like classic literature, NFL stats, and favorite X-Men characters. Knowing how to discuss issues as a couple is like knowing how to change a tire. It’s an important skill to have, but we shouldn’t be dealing with blowouts every time we go for a ride.