by Lisa Jones
The biggest fight in my relationship has been replayed more times than Beyoncé’s tumble in Orlando. It usually happens something like this: First, after 3 or 4 hours of silent abuse by me, my boyfriend starts to suspect something’s up.
“I know you’re annoyed,” he says. “What did I do?”
“You didn’t do anything,” I say. “It’s fine, whatever. I’m not annoyed.”
“Just tell me.”
This goes on for hours until I finally blurt it out: “You didn’t introduce me when we ran into that guy you work with! And why do you need to go out to brunch with your ex?” Then I feel silly for letting such small things bother me, and we laugh and roll around on the bed and all is right again in our world.
But he raises a good point: Most of the time he has no idea of what sets me off. Which is why I’ve prepared this handy inventory of things men tend to do that we tend to find annoying. If you study up, you’ll be able to stop repelling the women you want to meet—or aggravating the one you have. And we women can continue not telling you why we’re mad, because we’ll figure, “Hey, he should know already!” Besides, who said this would be fair?
1. You’re a Nag
You ask how much our new haircut or handbag costs, yet conveniently don’t mention your sportsbook.com account or the $200 you lost on the NCAA parlay. Until we’re sharing a bank account with you, we’re not all that interested in your opinions on how we should or should not spend our money.
And if we are sharing a bank account, here’s something you should know: Reminding us when we’re in the throes of post-retail bliss that we just blew all our disposable income for the month is not going to endear you to us. The perfect boyfriend response: “Wow, [fierce/sexy/hot] new [haircut/handbag/lingerie item]. I guess dinner is on me tonight!” Then wait a few days to bring up your financial concerns, by proposing we both start saving for something we want to buy together.
2. You’re a Mess
Actually, we really don’t mind if you’re a little messy at our place. An empty beer bottle here or dirty T-shirt there—no problem. But when we start seeing pieces of you (literally) all over the place, we tend to go off. Like when we find your pubes all over our bar of Dove, or toenail clippings on the nightstand, or a pile of chewed-out sunflower-seed shells on the counter. Please clean that up before we see it and want to gag. And then we’ll promise to be better about leaving globs of our hair in your shower drain. Do we have a deal?
3. You Use Guy Talk with Us
If you have any romantic inclinations toward us, please don’t call us by our last name. Otherwise we’ll assume we’ve already been relegated to buddy status and start thinking of you that way, too. Also, you’ll rarely find us holding entire conversations in Simpsons and Old School quotes.
Similarly, we don’t talk in numbers the same way men tend to. We’re happy to see evidence of your improvements at the gym, but we really don’t need to know how much you can bench-press. We also couldn’t care less about your day rate, the price of your car, or the number of beers you once shotgunned in college. And fantasy-league anything will make us flirt hard with the waiter.
No, the conversation doesn’t have to be all about us, but we do want you to shoot for topics of mutual interest.
4. You’re Vague
Men seem to have perfected a special way of talking about the future that makes it unclear whether we’re a part of it or not. Or maybe you don’t know you’re doing this? For instance, you frequently mention your buddy’s wedding in another state 6 months from now and you haven’t asked us to go with you. Or you have a monthlong international business trip coming up but haven’t asked us whether we’d like to come for a weekend visit. If you picture us in your future, try talking about these things in such a way that we’ll stick around for it.
5. You Stop Wooing Us
You have us as your wife or girlfriend. We’re committed to the situation, and all is good. But pretty soon you stop trying to impress us—and we don’t like that.
“Now that we’re married, he never tries to ‘win me’ anymore,” says one friend. “If he wants to come on to me, he needs to ditch his gross dress socks and gym clothes and make an effort. Otherwise he ain’t getting any. Also, there is less foreplay and it’s more routine, which I hate. After 7 years, a man’s got to bust some new moves.”
Or at least bring back a few of the retired ones that used to work. Like simply bringing home a pizza, a bottle of wine, and some flowers when we’ve had a bad day. Bring back the woo. We want the woo!
6. You’re Sloppy with Porn
We don’t care that you masturbate, and we can’t change the fact that you might occasionally browse the fine and varied selection of naked ladies on the Internet. But if you’re looking at porn on a computer we also use, kindly delete your history. We don’t want amazonbabes.com to pop up every time we want to do some shopping or, worse, when your mother’s over and an underwearless young starlet showing her bald spot appears as we’re showing Mom something online.
7. You Don’t Call
Texting is fast and easy and leads to sexy banter—but save it until after the first date. Calling a woman to ask her out is much more personal. It takes more effort (and balls), which is exactly what we find so sexy about your doing it. Okay, it’s an unfair burden for you, but it comes with an advantage: It makes you stand out from the mass of other men who text instead of calling.
“So many people are conditioned to communicate through text messages that to receive a phone call or even an e-mail feels like a generously romantic gesture,” says Kristina Grish, author of The Joy of Text: Mating, Dating, and Techno-Relating.
Another thing: Don’t include us in any mass texts you bang off to half the female names in your address book at 10 p.m., expecting one of us to come rushing out to meet you for the night.
“Women know when your ‘plans 2nite?’ texts are generic, and when they’re intended to specifically address them,” Grish says. “You have so few characters to make a succinct point, but tuck an inside joke or reference into the message to make it personal, sexy, and fun.”
8. You Say No to Sex
When it so happens that we’re the one who wants sex and you’re the one who doesn’t, we find your refusal to be confusing and irritating. Reassure us that we’re attractive and that you love us, but that you just aren’t in the mood.
It helps to throw out a hint at what’s going on—that you’re tired, depressed, anxious at work, whatever, says Aline Zoldbrod, Ph.D., a Boston-area psychologist. That way we won’t obsess or be too pouty or aggressive.
If we happen to be fresh off a girls’ night out liquored up and ready for sex, which you’re refusing, tread extra carefully. Horny can change to emotional, crying wreckage very quickly when your girl has a couple of glasses of Prosecco in her.
(via Men’s Health)