I’m doing it. I’m CALLING YOU OUT. And I’m gonna tell you the things you should do because we as women WANT you to do these things (or at the very least, this woman wants you to do these things).
I’ll preface this all by saying that men, I think you’re great. I love how different you are from women. I am thrilled that your minds work in a COMPLETELY FOREIGN WAY to me. In fact, you not having CRAZY GIRL BRAIN is what makes relationships WORK. All in all, I think you’re tops.
But there’s some things you just gotta stop doing. And there’s some things you just gotta start doing. ENTER ME AND MY WISDOM. I’m gonna give you five tips of how to MAN UP in life (and just to level the playing field, I’m gonna be telling women how to to WOMAN UP in the near future).
NO. 5: Stop telling women they look “NICE” and/or “GOOD.”
- I am definitely NOT telling you to stop complimenting women. Just choose better words, please. I recently had a conversation with my sister wherein she said being told you look “good” is equivalent to being told you’re attractive. Say what now? “Good” and “nice” are words I use to describe raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, not someone’s appearance. To be frank, when someone tells me I look “nice” or “good,” I (and I think many women) perceive it as meaning my appearance is acceptable for society — nothing more than that. So break out the oldies and the goodies: beautiful, lovely — heck, go big with bewitching (I’d really love to meet the guy that could pull that one off), or even utter an appropriately-timed, “DAMN” (I think most woman want to hear that one at some point in their life). Even if paying the compliment is a little uncomfortable because of how straight-forward it is, trust me, 99.9 percent of women will feel INCREDIBLY FLATTERED. I mean, my prom date told me I looked “exquisite” nearly a decade ago, and it still makes my day when I remember that sweet and, yes, slightly awkward moment.
NO. 4: Set EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL boundaries.
- This applies to EVERY MAN IN THE UNIVERSE. If you’re attached, then stop seeking attention from and flirting with other women. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever talk to or be attracted to another woman. You are not dead or mute, so those things will happen. But just remember this: No one wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Gee, I’d really love to cheat on and hurt the love of my life.” Stuff like that happens gradually. So BE WISE, DANG IT. Listen to your spouse and/or girlfriend. If she is uncomfortable with your relationship with another woman, there are probably good reasons. And even if it’s just insecurity, you should be selfless enough in your love to protect her from those insecurities. As for physical boundaries, SET THEM FIRST. Yes, women should also be willing to set physical boundaries. But you know what? We get tired of playing defense all the time. As a Christian man, you should know your limits. And frankly, you can probably handle a lot less than you tell yourself you can. So stop lying to yourself and toeing the line. Remember that whole “flee from sexual immorality” verse in I Corinthians 6:18? Do that. LITERALLY if you have to.
NO. 3: Stop FRIEND-ZONING yourself.
- This goes along with the next one, but the gist of it is STOP PUTTING YOURSELF IN THIS SPOT. I’m not saying you have to DECLARE YOUR LOVE for a girl right away. But please stop placing yourself in this position of SEEMINGLY NEVER-ENDING TORMENT. It’s not fair to you. You are a wonderful human being who has a lot to offer. You do not need to CONVINCE a woman to like you by sticking around and, more or less, being used by her. Stop telling yourself she will one day wake up and realize how MEANT FOR EACH OTHER you are, because that DOESN’T HAPPEN. If you like her, spit it out early in your relationship. And if she isn’t interested, move on, dang it! I’ve seen way too many guy friends hang around and get hurt in situations like this. You don’t have to NEVER SEE HER AGAIN, but just maintain emotional AND PHYSICAL distance. A healthy woman will come around on her own if you are, in fact, MEANT FOR EACH OTHER. You don’t need to be emotionally used by her for that to happen.
NO. 2: Be HONEST.
- Seriously, guys, you have to stop “letting us down easy.” Notice I didn’t say, “BE A GIANT JERKFACE.” Just stop trying to “temper” the blow by saying stuff that you don’t mean, like “I’ll call you,” if you AREN’T GOING TO CALL. Or complimenting a girl while telling her you’re not interested. It’s just awkward and weird. I know what you are attempting to do, and I love you for trying to protect a woman’s feelings. But women’s minds are FRIGHTENING places that can CREATE SOMETHING from LITTLE OR NOTHING. So you have to be up-front. I may be in the minority in this, but I would much prefer a guy to tell me, “I don’t see you that way,” than spend a half-hour telling me how AMAZING I am only to mumble at the end that he isn’t interested. At best, that negates every nice thing you just said to me; at worst, it confuses me. So just be honest!
NO. 1: FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, LEARN TO ASK A GIRL OUT.
- Notice how I didn’t say: Learn how to ask a girl to “HANG OUT.” Goodness, this irritates me. And frankly, it at least slightly irritates many women I know. This is the culmination of the last two points, which also emphasize straight-forwardness. I get that it is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT to ask a woman out. But does it really help you out in the long run to have a vague understanding of what is going on between the two of you? Because then you have to have those TERRIBLE DTR CONVERSATIONS which OH DEAR GOD are the LEAST DESIRABLE THINGS IN THE WORLD. I want to RAM A PEN THROUGH MY EYE during those conversations. Just be up front. If you can’t force the word “date” out of your mouth, then just say, “I’d really like to take you out sometime,” or, “You’re wonderful. I want to get to know you more.” MUCH CLEARER than the ever vague: “We should hang out sometime.” And it’ll earn you MAJOR POINTS with most women. Oh, and one last thing, PICK UP THE DANG PHONE. I’m all for texting, but I think it’s too often a copout men and women use to avoid rejection. Rejection may be difficult, but at least then IT’S DONE. No vagueness there to allow ENDLESS PINING or confusion. Plus, you don’t have to stare at your phone IN ANXIETY for hours as you wait for a reply.
So there you have it, men. These are some things I wish (and I think most women wish) you would do. I know all of these items amp up the possibility of rejection. Just remember, though, that at the very least, most women will RESPECT YOU for being up-front. And we’re not monsters. We won’t laugh out loud or mock your efforts. Instead, we’ll probably do our best to keep from hurting you. But even if you do get hurt or rejected, isn’t it better to get everything out in the open rather than to spend MONTHS considering doing so? You won’t die of straight-forwardness.
I, however, might die OF IRRITATION listening to you as you beat around the bush and avoid the above tips.
For more illuminating thoughts, follow B. Weaver at @bweaver87.