This post is more or less the result of a chat I had with two lady friends this weekend. It was an innocent meeting that sort of became a very interesting interview with them trying to figure out how men think. We talked about a lot of things and my sincere hope is that one day, these things will help and save them problems in the future as far as men are concerned. Of course I will deny, or maybe plead temporary insanity or something if things backfire should they attempt to practice or live accordingly but I will also, naturally, accept all manner of gifts (preferably cash) if it works out well for them or any of you. This list is in no way conclusive or comprehensive. Many men will not even agree with me about all of these and others may come up with their own different lists. The order is also random.
1. I bond with men differently from how you bond with women
Just because you benefit greatly from hanging out with the gals, don’t come home so psyched and expect to get me to also hang out with my boys the same way so that I enjoy it the way you did with your gals. Long sentence, read it again. Most men have very few deep relationships with other men. Many have none. I believe the depth of men relationships should be measured in microns (a millionth of a metre), the way gold coating on some jewelry is measured. I can meet an old friend who went to the US fifteen years ago and our conversation could go something like
“Hey, how’s it going?”
“Oh, it’s alright I guess”
“Cool, that’s great”
then proceed to shoot pool all night and go home so happy that we were able to “catch up after such a long time”. The rest of the night is spent discussing many other things most of which are impersonal and ‘safe’ to discuss. From then on we will just take it from there and move on. If you ask me what he was wearing or whether he had a ring on his finger or the colour of his clothes chances are I will have no idea at all.
On a related note, don’t make your man have to choose between you and his male friends.
2. I get validated from solving problems
Ladies, I can bet all I have, that you have said this to a man.
“I just want you to listen, not solve my problems”
When you come to a man, his approach is that you have a problem that you want to discuss and find a solution to. So when you talk about your issues with your siblings, workmates and friends, he is working out a list of steps and a plan of action to embark on so that you can deal with it once and for all, to ensure you will never have to complain about these issues ever again.
It is very important to us that we be respected and seen as competent especially competence that I have spent a lot of time and energy, sleepless nights and gone through more stuff than google to acquire. Be impressed that I know that a Vitz in some parts of the world is a Yaris rather than disappointed I don’t know that mauve, lilac or lavender are colours. A man would go to great lengths, including out the door (!) to protect the perception of competence and to command your respect.
Having said that, don’t ask why I like solving other peoples problems but not my own. Don’t suggest that I look for help since in so doing you are actually implying that I am incompetent and uninformed. Yes I know the kitchen tap needs to be looked at, and I will get around to it, just not now. Right now I am dealing with Razor who stole my car in Need for Speed Most Wanted and I have to beat 14 other drivers on the blacklist to race him and then beat him to get my car back. Then I’ll deal with the tap. Ok?
3. I think of sex, all the time
This is probably the hardest thing for men to deny. Hard as in… oh never mind!
More men struggle with porn than women. Men love to look at naked women. Naked women acting naughty? Aiii. Don’t take it personally if he tries to deny it or hide it from you. It does always necessarily mean that he is cheating on you, many times it is just that he is embarrassed about it. Sex is in a man’s mind more times than he is willing to admit.
Our natural reaction when we see another beautiful woman is to look. Just coz I looked, it doesn’t mean I want her, or want you to be like her or anything. I just looked. It is a reflex. Don’t read too much into it. Don’t go all Nigerian drama on me, it was just a look. Kaos have an interesting saying.
“Nasya ni nou ndinasya ithinzwe”
It is usually very difficult to translate the exact meaning of such sayings, but it is a bit like this. Just coz I said it is fat, I did not say we should slaughter it. Basically, I was just giving an observation not necessarily suggesting a plan of action. I am just saying what it is not hinting that we do something about it.
4. I really am listening
Yeah yeah, I know men struggle with multitasking but just coz I am not nodding my head incessantly and saying things like “Ehe,”, “I see”, “Uh huh” and other things that women do, it doesn’t mean I am not listening. Challenging me to repeat everything you have said is not necessarily the best proof that I am listening. In fact many men can repeat everything you have said word-for-word and then proceed to ignore it, and you, completely. Don’t allow my lack of interaction to make you think I have tuned you out. Just coz I am quiet, it doesn’t mean I am not listening. You just need to relax and continue saying what you are saying.
5. Don’t set me up for failure
“Does this make me look fat?”
“We need to talk”
“What is your plan for…”
“Do you really love me?”
“How come I see other men do…”
Like I said at the beginning, this list is not conclusive. Your man may have a different version of this with maybe more points.
I didn’t make these up, don’t shoot the messenger. I am just stating an observation. Hey, “Nasya ni nou ndinasya ithinzwe”
Ladies what do you think? Men, what more can you add to this?