Category Archives: Understanding Men

6 Ways Men WISH Women Would Show Their Love (Rather Than Just Saying It)

couple in love

Take note, ladies.

Words of affection are like chocolate buttercream cupcakes for the ears, right? There’s nothing quite like listening to the one you love wax poetic about their love for you and the ways you are special to them. That kind of attention can really make our hearts sing.

When it comes to experiencing love, we are all unique and complex people with equally unique and complex love languages. But to be sure, there are patterns, themes, and trends that resonate with most men’s experiences of feeling love.

Likewise, there are actions women can take that result in predictable outcomes — whether that’s having a guy fall deeper in love or watching him fall right out of love.

So how do you say “I love you” in a language your guy values and understands at his core?Knowing how to show a guy you love him is going to be a little different for everyone, but here are 6 actions — not just the words “I”, “love”, and “you” — that resonate with men worldwide to get you going:

1. Do acts of service.

“She just doesn’t love me anymore,” Jeff said.

In his mid-40’s, he’d been married to his wife for 27 years, and they seemed to me to be happy and compatible as an outsider looking in. So, I started digging.

“What’s missing?” I asked.

“I don’t know…” he replied.

“Did anything major happen?” I asked.

“Not that I can think of,” he replied.

“Does she say she loves you?”

“Yes.”

“What would it look like if she showed her love for you?”

“I don’t know.”

“What did she used to do that she doesn’t do anymore?”

“Socks. She used to make sure I had new socks in my drawer. My black socks have all turned to gray. And she used to get my white shirts to the cleaners and back into my closet. She doesn’t do that anymore.”

Bingo! Simple! So simple, in fact, that it seems silly or inconsequential — but it’s not.

It’s that magical moment when a guy absentmindedly leaves an empty container of deodorant on the bathroom sink and when he goes for it the next morning, he finds a new tube in its place. Yeah, that’s love.

Acts of service are ways guys see we care for them. They feel tended to, special, and loved. And sometimes we stop doing these things because we get busy or we forget or we think he can do it himself (he totally can, but that’s not the point). It doesn’t always register for us that in his world, those little things are one of the ways he hears “I love you.”

This isn’t “clean up every mess/replace every old pair of socks/cook every meal” but rather “Here’s a small thing I know will make a big difference in your day that I can do for you to show you I love you.” There’s a lot of mileage between the two.

2. Engage in sex.

Speaking of acts, being his playmate in the bedroom (and out of it) is definitely a way to say “I love you.” One major contributor to a guy being at the top of his game is getting enough of what he needs in the bedroom, and you are his partner in this (as he is yours for getting what you need).

One difference between the sexes is that, often, women need to feel connected in order to want to have sex while men get connected through having sex. That piece is a bit of a conundrum, but by taking initiative in this area you’re showing him how you feel about him through a literal act of love — and that’s a language he definitely knows how to speak.

3. Show your appreciation.

“I love you” sure is nice, but what goes even further is showing (you’re picking up on the whole “show don’t tell” theme here, aren’t you) appreciation for what he provides.

Things like, “Wow! What a delicious dinner you made for us, thank you so much!” or “Thanks for picking up the kids. That totally saved me today” go super far because they’re tied to specific things he’s done or said.

Sometimes we feel that our partner doesn’t need appreciation for what he’s provided because, duh, he should already be doing these things (and maybe even more!).

I mean, look at all that you do for the family, right? When we look at things this way, however, it rarely leads to appreciation. Instead, it causes resentment. Vocally appreciating what your partner does provide fuels and inspires them to do even more.

4. Be okay with his process.

Does he load the dishwasher the way your mama taught you? Nope, he doesn’t. But do you know what? Those dishes don’t mind, and most of them will even come out pretty clean. And the ones that don’t can always be run through again. It’s okay. Really, it is.

If the way he folds the laundry or fluffs the couch cushions or does any other household chore is just too unnerving for you to stand and you’re compelled to teach him the more efficient method, then awesome, do it! But teach him the better way as if you were teaching a grown-up whom you admire, not a slightly stupid, 6-year-old child.

We were trained through sitcoms to make fun of him or belittle him instead of understanding and respecting his process. This is not additive — it’s damaging to any partnership and it does not say “we’re partners in this” or “I love you just as you are.”

5. Be happy and nice to him in front of other people.

His mom is in town and meeting you for the first time. You’re nervous, you want her to like you, and now she’s sharing embarrassing stories and making disparaging remarks about her son in front of you. What do you do?

Smile awkwardly and stay mute?

Say, “Aww, you sound like you love him. What I really admire about your son is…”

Agree with her so she’ll like you and give her ten new examples of what a knucklehead he is.

Option A is okay in a pinch but doesn’t bring much to the conversation.

Option C either buys you friendship with mom or shows her you have bad judgment, and your mate? Yeah, you’re now in the never-to-be-trusted camp for ganging up on him.

Answer: Option B.

6. Always have his back.

If his boss is over, don’t contradict your guy in the middle of dinner. Taking his side in front of other people is having his back. You can sort out the finer points of where you don’t see eye to eye when the two of you are in private.

It’s easy to be there for the good times, but to be his number one fan in the bad times and hold the candle of hope for him when he’s in doubt or struggling through one of life’s challenges is how he will experience your love.

Guys think that words are nice, but these six actions convey everything they need to know about your love for him, whether you say so out loud every day or not.

I’m Wendy Newman, a media-celebrated author & trusted dating, sex & relationship advisor.  If you’d like to understand men, pick up the Myth of the Alpha Male here.

By Wendy Newman originally published on YourTango.com

Don’t talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. And talk…

When you’re Internet dating it’s possible to get too connected by phone before meeting. This is a rookie mistake worthy of avoiding whenever possible. When we do this, we get hooked, and guess what? Most men know in the first five seconds if they’re attracted to you (or not). The odds that it will work in real time for you and for him are much, much smaller than the fantasy of the telephone.

In 2008 I went on my first meet-and-greet coffee date (Date #13). Date #13 and I spent our first six hours getting to know each over the phone. I was charmed by him, as was he by me. His deep voice made me shiver, and I know I give pretty good phone too, so when it finally came time, we couldn’t wait to meet.

Within 15 seconds of being face to face at the Barking Dog Cafe, his disappointment of the in-person me was palatable. The warmth and animation I experienced over the telephone line were nowhere to be found. He hardly made eye contact, he drank his coffee as quickly as he could and was out the door in ten minutes flat. As a rookie, I was shocked and deflated.

So Why Do We Do It?

One of the reasons we like to connect by telephone is we want to vet him. We think we can learn about who he is before we waste our valuable time. We want to pre-qualify him for the job of boyfriend. This is an inefficient strategy. Think about it: You meet online and you write back and forth a few times, that’s 20-60 minutes of crafting the perfect email(s) and replying. Then you spend time on the telephone, like in my case, six hours. When you’re not writing or talking to him, you’re daydreaming about him. And about 90% of the time, it’s over in an instant.

Try this instead:

You could be out your front door, meeting someone at a café or wine bar within a mile of your home, and back from that date all within an hour if you timed it right. If you like his profile, go!

I’m Wendy Newman, a media-celebrated author & trusted dating, sex & relationship advisor.  Pick up my book, 121 First Dates: How to Succeed at Online Dating, Fall in Love, and Live Happily Ever After (Really!) here!

A Woman’s Secret To A Productive Meeting

Have you ever been in a meeting where a man just leaves? Maybe he doesn’t leave, but his enthusiasm wanes. Do you have trouble getting participation from men on your team? Consider the problem may be as simple as the difference between how men and women communicate and produce results effectively.

For women to be at our best, we need to connect with each other. We feel safe, seen and heard when we spend time checking in with the people around us. You might notice that at the start of every meeting you socialize. A quick “How’s the family?” or “What new adventure have you been on lately?” We schmooze. And at some point, someone in charge (possibly you) wrangles everyone’s attention to start. Women are at our best after that type of association: We feel an affinity for those around us and we’re ready to get to work.

Unfortunately, it’s not this way for men. For men to be at their best, they need to produce results. For them, the point of a meeting is not to schmooze, but rather, get down to business. What causes that safety women feel in connection is only caused by uninterrupted producing, strategizing and planning. When settling into business doesn’t happen quickly, when the point of the meeting is thwarted by idle conversation, they lose momentum, focus, and energy. The minutia of the check-in literally kills their drive, brilliant ideas and ability to do strategic planning.

Do you want more out of your team? Offer them an optional pre-conference check-in starting 15-20 minutes before your scheduled meeting time. Tell your attendees, “If you want to say hello to the team, show up in the conference room at 10:40. Business starts promptly at 11.”

And try not to laugh out loud when you see the women trickling in just after 10:40 and the men showing up at 10:58.

I’m Wendy Newman, a media-celebrated author & trusted dating, sex & relationship advisor. If you’re looking to understand men at work, check out the Myth of the Alpha Male  here.

What Do Men Want?

my boyfriend's health problems

A few years back I found myself sitting across a table from a professional matchmaker.  She asked a question I’d never been asked before: “What do you bring to the table?”

I almost laughed. Easy! I bring what all men want: a willingness to pay attention to them. But I realized she was looking for a more substantial answer. This got me to thinking…

What is it that men want from us?

What do women bring to the table?

What qualities and ways of being make us worth the trouble?

I went straight to the source – to men – and discovered the list of what men love about us is very long. But still, the top three things men look for in a mate can be relatively easy:

  1. Affection
  2. Attention
  3. Understanding

So, single women, as you’re building your wish list of the attributes of your soul mate, make a list of your own. Start by answering the question “What do I bring to the table?”

What you have to offer may take you on the path to finding who you’re looking for and the type of relationship you’re after.

I’m Wendy Newman, a media-celebrated author & trusted dating, sex & relationship advisor.  Pick up my book, 121 First Dates: How to Succeed at Online Dating, Fall in Love, and Live Happily Ever After (Really!) here!