8 Things That Women Do In Relationships That Seriously Confuse Men

Men and women may not actually be from different planets, but it certainly feels like it sometimes. In addition to our emotional responses and approaches to love, there are some things women do in relationships that men simply can’t understand. Here are some of the biggest head-scratchers they just can’t figure out.

1. Taking ages to get ready

For many men, the time warp that occurs between a woman saying, “I’ll just be a minute” and her actual readiness is perplexing. Here’s the deal: the process of getting ready, for some women, is like a pre-game ritual. It’s not merely about the application of makeup or hair styling; it’s about getting into the right mindset for whatever lies ahead.

It’s her way of ensuring that she feels prepared to face the world, to feel comfortable in her own skin, and to present herself in a way that makes her feel confident. While it might seem excessive to men, this preparation can be crucial for her self-image and sense of well-being. So, when she’s trying on the fourth outfit, she’s not just changing clothes; she’s crafting her armor for the day or night.

2. Saying they’re “fine” when they’re clearly not

It’s a classic scenario — the word “fine” leaves her lips, but everything else says it’s anything but. This can be confusing and sometimes frustrating for men who take words at face value. However, this short response often comes from a place of complexity. She might be wrestling with an issue that she’s not ready to talk about, or she might feel that her problems aren’t being taken seriously.

Sometimes, it’s an invitation for her partner to show a little more concern and to ask a few more questions. It can be a silent plea for empathy and understanding, an emotional shorthand for “I want to talk about it, but I need you to truly listen and engage.”

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4. Sharing every last detail of their relationship with their best friend

To a guy, the intimate bubble of a relationship feels violated when he imagines his partner discussing the nitty-gritty details with her best friend. It’s not that he’s trying to hide anything; it’s just that he might view certain things as private. But here’s what’s going on: many women value their best friend’s insights as an essential sounding board.

They’re not spilling secrets for the sake of gossip; they’re seeking advice or validation from someone they trust deeply. This confidante acts as a mirror, reflecting back what she might not see herself. It’s less about sharing secrets and more about seeking clarity.

5. Trying to change them even though they fell for them as they are

“Love me for who I am” is a common plea, so when a woman tries to tweak her man, it can seem like a contradiction. From a man’s point of view, it’s confusing and sometimes hurtful. But for many women, the line between changing and improving is blurred. In her mind, she might see potential for growth and believe that her nudges are for the collective good of the relationship.

It’s not always about making him fit her mold but about encouraging what she perceives as positive change. Unfortunately, this can feel like a fundamental lack of acceptance, and it’s a tricky balance to strike between fostering growth and accepting someone wholly for who they are.

6. Expecting to (and really wanting to) receive flowers all the time

For a lot of men, the expectation that they should be buying flowers regularly can seem a bit out of touch with reality. It’s not that they don’t understand the gesture; they just don’t always get the ongoing need for it. But for many women, flowers are more than just plants. They’re symbols of thoughtfulness and a visual reminder that they’re cherished.

It’s not the bouquet but the idea that their partner was thinking of them enough to make that effort. Sure, they know that flowers aren’t practical and they wilt away, but each time they glance at that vase, they’re reminded that someone cares, and that feeling can be as important as any practical gift.

7. Never initiating intimacy even when they clearly want it

This one can leave men scratching their heads. They can sense their partner wants to be close but wonders why they don’t make the first move. There’s often a cocktail of reasons behind this: societal norms that wrongly teach women that they shouldn’t express their desires openly, fears of rejection, or even just not wanting to seem too forward.

Despite making strides towards equality, many women still grapple with the deeply ingrained idea that they’ll be judged for their sexual assertiveness. So, they may hint and hope you’ll take the lead, wanting to feel desired as a result of your initiation.

8. Buying tons of shoes and bags when they can only use one at a time

To a man’s mind, owning a mountain of shoes and a collection of handbags for every occasion can seem like a clear case of excess. But here’s what’s going on from another perspective: each pair of shoes or bag might represent more than just a fashion choice; it’s about self-expression and preparedness for different settings and roles women occupy — work, social events, seasons, or even different versions of themselves.

It’s like a toolkit; the right pair of shoes or bag for the right situation can make all the difference in how a woman feels and is perceived.

9. Having mood swings that make them completely unrecognizable when PMSing

When a usually level-headed woman turns into someone who’s moody or quick to tears, it can be disorienting for a man. It might seem like she’s turned into a different person overnight. However, these mood swings are often due to the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, something that’s beyond her control. PMS can affect emotional regulation and make small irritations feel overwhelming.

It’s not an overreaction or a deliberate change in demeanor; it’s a physiological response that can be difficult to manage. Understanding and patience go a long way during these times — she’s not enjoying the rollercoaster any more than you are.

Sinitta Weston grew up in Edinburgh but moved to Sydney, Australia to for college and never came back. She works as a chemical engineer during the day and at night, she writes articles about love and relationships. She's her friends' go-to for dating advice (though she struggles to take the same advice herself). Her INFJ personality makes her extra sensitive to others' feelings and this allows her to help people through tough times with ease. Hopefully, her articles can do that for you.