Dating and Relationship Advice

It's no secret that men don't always pick up on what puts women in a bad mood. Sometimes, we just wish men could read our minds — that would certainly alleviate a lot of hardships in our lives.

But until humans gain that coveted mind-reading gene in our DNA sequence, we will all just have to rely on using ordinary language to transmit our messages. I'm a firm believer that men would be able to identify a lot of women's thoughts or needs if they simply paid more attention.

Think of this post as the skeleton pitch for a lead male character at the end of a rom-com. It always goes the same way: A woman meets a man who seems great at first. Charming, smart, attractive, all that. But then time passes and she realizes he's not what she thought he was. She leaves, and the man goes through a metamorphosis and realizes what he's done wrong. And that's when the woman forgives him and they live happily ever after.

With that in mind, there are countless things women wish men knew, but 9 is a good number to start with. Famed scientist Stephen Hawking once said, "Women are the most intriguing mystery." Gentlemen, read on to learn how to solve this "mystery."

From flirting etiquette to showing respect for women, here's a good list to study:

1. Feminism does not mean we don't like chivalry.

Of course we want equality. We want you to acknowledge the existence of sexism and women's oppression, and take steps to dismantle both. But feminism, the pursuit of equality among all genders, does not mean, for example, that you shouldn't hold doors open for us. We're also fine with holding doors open for you. And you do not need to insist that we go through first when we're already holding the door. That's just inconvenient and inefficient. Just use some common sense in those situations.

2. You should ask us questions to get to know us, too.

We ask a lot of questions because that's how people show interest. It's not because you're the most fascinating person in the world. So ask us some questions, too, especially on dates. We hope you are interested in us as well, but sometimes it's hard to tell.

3. Don’t ask out strangers over Facebook.

It comes off as creepy. If we know each other decently well, then sure, Facebook can work. But if we don't have any mutual friends and have never spoken in real life, and you ask us out or comment on our appearance over Messenger, you just come off as socially unaware and cringey.

4. It's even worse to do this using LinkedIn.

It's disrespectful, to say the least. You are asking a woman out or commenting on her physical appearance in a DM through LinkedIn, a space where she makes professional connections in the hopes of advancing her career. When this happens, it tells us that men do not take professional women seriously. It debases all the hard work, education, and experience women have accumulated and reduces us to our appearance and likability on a site that's intended to be a place of career growth and opportunity. Do better.

5. We don't need or want you to be tough.

That's an antiquated notion that puts pressure on men to conceal their emotions or pretend they don't exist. We want you to share your fears and thoughts and feelings with us. Comfort and protection are not manly skills; all humans are capable of giving both. And if you need to be comforted or feel protected, let us do that for you. We love it when you do it for us, so jump on it and experience it on the other end.

6. Don’t be too weirded out to buy us tampons.

You should not be embarrassed to go to a store and pick some up. Menstruation is normal and should be regarded as such. Don't make it a big deal to go out and buy some. By making a big deal of it, you're making us feel as if there's something wrong with us or that we're burdening you with a problem that's specific to people with ovaries. You're also making yourself appear immature and ridiculous.

7. We (usually) aren't looking for solutions.

Sometimes we just want to vent and aren't in the market for solutions. We know that solutions exist, and odds are, we've thought about a few of them prior to coming to you. We just want to know that there's someone out there who cares about our feelings and will sympathize with and comfort us. When we want you to give a solution, we will ask.

8. We don't care about the "not all men" argument.

It's baseless and doesn't apply to anything we're referencing. It doesn't help us. We know that "not all men" are immature or sexist or creepy. The reason we talk about men collectively is because so many men in the United States grew up with preconceived notions of masculinity and patriarchy that carry into their relationships and interactions with women frequently and stay for generations. The effects are pervasive and warrant a collective use of the word "men." Be aware of this.

9. We know you can't read minds. But you can put in effort.

And effort is what this whole post is really about. There are many ways you can put in effort. If you know the person you're dating is going to work and they're running late, you can anticipate that they'll be too busy getting ready for work to make lunch. So you can put together something to eat for them. If you know that there's a book coming out that your partner is excited to read, and you see it walking by a bookstore, why not pick it up for them? Little things like these show thoughtfulness and consideration and make us appreciate you more. All it takes is a little foresight and common sense.

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