How To Understand Men: A Guy Offers Tips On Figuring Out The Way They Think

As a guy, I can’t tell you how frustrating it can be trying to understand women. I can only assume it’s equally frustrating for women to figure out men as well. We can be confusing, tough to read, and difficult to understand at times. But if you want to date guys and have meaningful relationships with them, there are certain things that are worth figuring out. Here’s how to understand men and get some insight into how they think.

  1. Don’t assume stereotypes. I know it’s tempting to think that all guys are the same. You may have even come across a bunch of guys that share the same annoying characteristics or fatal flaws, but I assure you it’s not a good idea to assume that all of us fit the same stereotypes. Each guy is going to be a little different and not always fit every part of the mold. Even with everything else listed below, don’t assume that it applies to every guy. Just don’t assume the worst and try to keep an open mind with every guy you meet rather than assuming he fits the stereotype of every other guy you know. This is one of the biggest keys in helping you understand men.
  2. Let him be the man. This may sound a little weird, but you have to let men be men. Granted, nowadays there are some more enlightened guys out there in terms of relationship roles. But most guys still want to be the hero and the provider when it comes to women. Try to understand that guys feel like they need to be macho and express their manliness. This means that most men will take great offense and be hurt if you do something to emasculate them, even if it’s an accident.
  3. Actions are more important than words. You may have noticed that men aren’t always open and honest when it comes to sharing their feelings. Your partner isn’t always going to come out and tell you how much he likes you. It takes time for him to let down his defenses. In the meantime, you need to be able to understand how a guy feels based on his actions. If you know how to read them, a guy’s actions will tell you everything. This is why you should put stock in a guy’s actions rather than his words.
  4. We need space. If there’s one thing you should understand about men, it’s this. I know that when you like a guy, it can be tempting to spend all of your time with him. But for us, we can like you and still not want to spend every moment with you. We don’t want to feel smothered or feel like we have no life outside of the relationship. Women need to understand how to not be so clingy and when to give a guy some space. Just remember that just because he needs space doesn’t mean we don’t care.
  5. We’re not that judgmental. Most of the time, men aren’t picking you apart and judging every aspect of you. Even if you think we are, there’s a good chance that’s not the case. Particularly early in relationships, guys are usually more concerned with impressing you than worrying about whether or not you’re perfect. I know it might go against your instincts, but try not to worry too much about what a guy thinks about you. Just try to relax and be yourself because most of us aren’t super judgmental.
  6. Positive reinforcement is best. As I mentioned, guys want to be your hero. We want your admiration and respect, which means we take it hard when you criticize us. Believe it or not, guys are sensitive to criticism and negative reinforcement. It can make us shut down and feel insecure, which can hurt our confidence. Much like women, we prefer compliments and positive reinforcement. This will help stroke our ego and give us more positive vibes about you and the relationship.
  7. We need to be sold on commitment. It’s widely believed that men are afraid of commitment. To some extent, this is true. But it might be more accurate that men just need to be sold on commitment. We have reservations about settling down and losing our freedom when we commit to a relationship. It just takes time for us to see that the positives will outweigh the negatives. Rather than get upset when a guy is reluctant to make a commitment, just be patient and try to make him see the positive side of it.
  8. We don’t read minds of pick up on hints. This might sound a little harsh, but women need to understand that men aren’t as emotionally intelligent as they are. That’s just the way it is and so we don’t always see things the same way you do. That means we don’t always pick up on subtle hints about what you want from us. We also can’t read your mind. With guys, you sometimes just have to spell out what you mean or what you want to get us to understand your perspective.
  9. Sex is important but not everything. Yes, sex is on our minds, pretty much all of the time. It can also be a driving force early in relationships and be a big part of why we’re interested in you. But I assure you that it’s not the only thing that guys want. When it comes to serious relationships, guys are interested in a lot more than sex. We’re not always big on wasting our time dating someone we don’t genuinely like just for sex. Just keep in mind that sex matters but isn’t everything.
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.