Unfortunately, we’re not mind-readers—at least… most of us aren’t. That means that if we want somebody to know something, we have to vocalize it. Or hope beyond hope that they’ll pick up on the trail of clues we leave in our body language.
The men of Reddit have come together and shared the things that they wish women knew and the things that are important to them, in the context of romantic relationships and beyond. They opened up about cute things like the fact that men really do enjoy hugs and compliments and also broached practical topics like the need to be alone from time to time. (Hey, boundaries are important, especially in relationships.)
As you’re scrolling down, upvote the posts that you agree with. And you should also swing by the comment section to share the things that you wish your partners knew, too, dear Pandas. Bored Panda spoke about the dynamic between men and women, and why it’s important to communicate about what’s most important to us with dating and relationship expert Dan Bacon, the founder of The Modern Man. Scroll down to read what he had to say.
Bored Panda asked dating and relationship expert Dan to elaborate on the kinds of attitudes that are healthy in relationships, as well as whether it’s important to be on the same page in terms of respecting and understanding each other’s passions in life.
“The best attitude is true, sincere love where you honestly care about the other person and only want the best for them. However, that can only happen if the dynamic of the relationship continues to produce those feelings over time,” the expert told us.
It’s ok to make the first move. Guys can be shy too. Come talk to me instead of staring at me.
“If the dynamic of the relationship causes one or both of them to lose their feelings of attraction and love, then it will be very difficult to behave, think or care in the same way they did in the beginning. As a result, the relationship will become stale and a breakup or divorce will almost certainly happen at some point,” he said that consistent, genuine effort has to be put into relationships to make them work.
“Unfortunately, most people don’t ever get taught how to create and maintain a mutually happy, in love and attracted relationship dynamic, so they just wing it and hope for the best, which then results in high levels of breakups and divorces,” Dan said that just hoping for the best without actively doing your best isn’t good enough.
We like random gifts, we like random hugs, we like random signs of affection and love — sometimes just a cup of coffee in my favorite mug is enough to convince me it’s going to be a good day.
Relationship expert Dan explained to Bored Panda that even though it’s wonderful to have the support of your partner when it comes to the things that you most care about, at the end of the day, we have to understand that this won’t be the case in every scenario.
“A man needs to be aware that his girlfriend or wife may not understand his passion project the way he does,” he pointed out that a guy’s girlfriend might simply not ‘get’ why he wants what he wants or needs what he needs.
Girl: I’m dropping so many hints! Why doesn’t he get them?
Boy: I think the girl is dropping hints but I’m not sure I want to risk my friendship and embarrassment, so I’ll just ignore them.
When we tell women that we don’t know how we feel about something it’s usually true and we genuinely don’t really understand how we are supposed to feel. I personally wasn’t allowed to express emotions growing up and it turned into me not being able to understand my emotions.
“She may not see the importance of it, or might be annoyed with it because he has failed at it for years on end and they have bills to pay,” Dan said that some people might even start resenting their partners if their passions, projects, and goals haven’t yielded fruit (yet).
“She wants to see progress in their life and have a feeling of security about their future, rather than watching him spending years or decades fiddling around with something that isn’t providing results for them as a couple now,” he noted how some women think and how they sometimes disregard what guys think is important.
When we say we’re thinking about nothing, the majority of the time it literally is just nothing or ridiculous scenarios that we make up that sound stupid when said out loud.
However, Dan believes that even a lack of support can be a blessing in disguise. “A woman behaving like that in a relationship is often a blessing for a man. In many cases, a dissatisfied girlfriend or wife will drive a man to work harder and smarter, which can lead to the success of his passion project,” he said that some guys go the extra mile when they have something to prove to the people closest to them.
“He will have a ‘must succeed’ attitude, rather than only giving it a shot and seeing how it goes. That’s often the difference between success and failure.”
If I’m lying in bed with someone, just enjoying the moment together, I should be able to just enjoy the moment and let my mind drift to wherever it’s going. If you want to talk about the future of the relationship or something, that’s great and we can do that if you start that conversation, but if you ask me out of the blue what I’m thinking about, and I say Bolbi’s “Slap slap slap” song from Jimmy Neutron, then you shouldn’t get mad at me just because it’s not the thing you wanted me to be thinking about! Just tell me you want to talk about the relationship and we can do that!
We actually really want to be complimented too. A 60 year old women complimented me 5 years ago and it still makes me feel good, which just shows how little we get compliments.
However, that’s not to say that support isn’t important. It is! And a lack of it can be a very clear indication that the relationship might not be working as well as it should. Passion projects, large or small, can help identify weaknesses in relationships by seeing how one’s partner reacts to them.
“If a man finds that no matter how much progress he makes, she still gets annoyed and doesn’t like him working on it, he needs to start thinking about whether or not she should remain part of his life,” the expert said.
“He doesn’t need to leave her right away, though. He should make real progress on his passion project and then, if she is still dissatisfied, he should calmly and lovingly let her know that he’s not going to stop working on it and if she doesn’t like that, she is welcome to leave him.”
I really like to hang out with my friends because I love them. Not because I don’t want to spend time with you.
Sometimes stuff is just difficult. For no reason I can also be sad, just because I don’t cry doesn’t mean I’m not sad.
We don’t want to be the ones who always initiates sex, it makes us feel creepy sometimes.
I am perfectly happy sitting in silence/playing video games for a few hours at a time on a weekend morning/night and it doesn’t mean I’m mad at you/ignoring you/don’t want to spend time together. Ya boy is just trying to chill.
All the hurtful things they say don’t just magically disappear from men’s memories. We have feelings too. And criticizing a man for being honest with feelings as not being manly is not only cruel but also highly ironic considering there’s a constant yearning for men with emotion.
if you dont tell us you want something we honest to god wont know…
case and point, my Ex was sat at home and i was going to the local shop
“hey, do you want anything from the shop?”
“no, im good”
she got mad because i didnt buy her anything….
When we went on that date and I kept you warm on that bench and you rested your head on my shoulders. And afterwards we kissed and said goodbye…I still wasn’t entirely sure you were into me and I’ve been thinking about how dumb I am for the last couple of days.
We want to be seen as sexy, beautiful creatures. Many of us want to be pursued also, to feel like we don’t have to always motivate women into wanting us. Nobody should be the designated initiator 100% of the time.
You know that complaint that women sometimes have that just because they are polite to you doesn’t mean they’re interested in you?
Yeah, that works both ways. I’m not saying “good morning” because I want to bed you, I’m not holding the door for you because I think you’ll reward me with some nookie for doing so, etc. etc.
I’m doing so because, like you, I’m a decent human being and am being polite.
We need just as much support as you do, it’s always a shock when a guys kills himself until you look back at all the subtle cries for help. We’re screaming on the inside and we need someone to let us know it’s okay.
If you take the initiative and ask an average looking dude out, there’s like a 99% chance he’ll say yes.
Not all men of course, and some women have it too but…….The nothing box is real.
The nothing box is a small section of the brain that contains absolutely nothing at all. When we enter the nothing box we genuinely are not thinking a single thought. There is no song playing in our head, there is no thought process, there’s so much nothing that we don’t even recognise at the time that we’re not thinking anything, because to do so would be a thought. If someone looks like their brain has just checked out and they have a dead-eyed stare into middle distance then they’re probably in the nothing box.
The passage of time ceases to exist, no physical sensation makes it through. Once in the nothing box, you stay in there until some external stimulus or the formation of an errant thought pulls you out of it. Leaving the nothing box is the first time that you are even aware you were in the nothing box.
It’s like a nap for the brain while all other functions remain.
I want physical affection outside of sex. Maybe it’s just the women I’ve been with, but no one ever hugs me, rubs my back, or plays with my hair. And I do that stuff for you ladies all the time. Sometimes I just want you to walk up to me and hug me.
Part of the reason I ask for sex so often is because i feel physically lonely and it’s the only time I get to feel the touch of another human being.
We aren’t unemotional, we just may not show it as often. It hurts when I’ve had to hear from my mother or sister say things like “you’re a guy, you aren’t good with your emotions” or “you don’t understand being emotional”. I do. I absolutely do. Saying things like “I don’t understand” in such an arrogant, condescending tone only makes me want to show them less.
It’s hard to get over y’all. We don’t really have emotional support systems in place to rely on and a lot of men have small social circles so losing someone means a lot to us.
When we say you’re pretty without makeup and that you don’t need it to be beautiful, we mean it.
That us men do not always need to be emotionally strong. They should realize that we are human and we have feelings too and sadness is not a sign of weakness for us men.
When I get angry at my video games I’m not an angry person. I just fuckin suck at Dark Souls.
I still have fond and treasured memories of being appreciated or generally uplifted by compliments I got in 10th grade. I can tell you the exact date of my last hug. I still remember what time it was when someone last told me they were proud of me. And I drown the pain in porn, booze, and weed, but I still cry myself to sleep most nights because the pain just gets to me.
What, as a guy, do I wish girls knew? I wish they knew how much the little shit matters. Especially to guys who are anti-social or just introverted. Compliments, appreciation, hugs, it doesn’t matter. Affection does so much for guys, in a world that’s increasingly devaluing them.
We are not all good at fixing shit. I’m absolutely terrible. I hate working on cars. I have zero interest in cars and have zero interest in figuring out how it works to fix it.
If you genuinely compliment a guy… don’t be upset if they don’t react the same way a woman would react to a random compliment. Most dudes get them so infrequently that when it does happen, there is a part of them that wonders if it was genuine…or if they are just giving them a polite and/or pity compliment. This often leads to an awkward/unenthusiastic response to the aforementioned compliment. It never occurs to most guys to just say, “Thanks!”
If you don’t want to hear the truth about something don’t ask me to tell you the truth. Because I’m going to tell you the truth every time.
Sometimes men just don’t get hard. It’s not you. It’s many things, from lifestyle and diet to stress and anxiety. And just getting older. Please try not to take it as a sign of lack of attraction or affection. Sometimes it just happens.
That sometimes a hug or nice compliment can mean a lot. We can ride that wave for quite a while.
That the whole wanting sex all the time pretty much is because we’re attracted to you and it’s just a biological response. The vast majority of us guys don’t start out going, “I want to fuck something!” We start out pretty much thinking about whatever else (cars, games, friends, body aches, et. al.) and then you come along and hold our hand, kiss us, snuggle, and before you know it, we want to be as close as we can to you and that means sex.
My ex-gf accused me of just wanting sex all the time and that’s all I saw in her, and it was totally not true. I loved doing stuff with her, hanging out, laughing. But when we started snuggling, she made me horny. Because I loved her and was so incredibly attracted to her. So yeah, I want to share that intimacy with the woman I love. It wasn’t “I want sex, come here and fuck me.” It was “I’m so happy you’re holding me ….. oh I’m getting hard…..let’s make love!”
That every expression that crosses our face, does not relate to you. Some of us have a lot going on between the ears and we’re trying to make sense of it.
We are people too. We have the same feelings, fears and dreams as you do. Our way of expressing ourselves may be different than yours but we still experience the same range of feelings that you do. Please don’t treat us as something less than yourself. We feel just as much as you do and we express it differently.
Our feelings are just as valid as yours, and shouldn’t be held against us. My fiancee and I are in the process of planning our wedding, and she consistently gets irritated with me because I don’t get as excited as she does. I’m sorry, I do want to marry you and I am excited, but I find it really fucking hard to jump up and down about picking out flowers and centerpieces. Just because you have been planning your Disney wedding since you were a young girl doesn’t mean dudes do the same, and getting pissy with me because I am not mirroring your emotions exactly is really not cool, and not healthy for both of our mental health and the relationship.
If you’re throwing signals at a guy, and he’s not catching them, it might not be because he’s so dense he doesn’t notice them. It might be that he does see them, but his self-esteem is so low his internal dialog talks him out of believing you are interested in him in a romantic or sexual context.
Throwing more obvious signals doesn’t overcome that. If knowing his self-esteem is that low isn’t enough for you to lose interest, be direct. That doesn’t mean ask him if he wants to “have coffee” or “get a drink” with you, as either of those leave wiggle room for misinterpretation. Ask him out on a date (specifically say “date”), so there is no mistaking your intention.
The worst thing likely to happen is that he’ll say no. Which does sting, but not like spending a month throwing hints he never responds to.
I know fuck all about my mates. I don’t know what they’ll do in the future, I don’t know that much about their romantic life. They don’t know anything about me. Sometimes guys spend time around each other and don’t get too mixed up in the past or the future. This concept blows my sisters mind.
We are insecure as hell at times. Be it “fuck I’m an fat piece of shit”, “i could be the ugliest person alive”, “I’m in no way capable of doing this”, “I’m drowning and in way too deep”. It can creep up out of nowhere and cripple us.
We love being complimented, want to be wanted, want to feel needed…. which is part of the reason we automatically slip into “how can this be fixed” when we listen to your problems instead of giving a “oh damn, that sucks” answer that you might be looking for.
A lot of us aren’t horny 100% of the time. If I just came off a 12 hour day in 104 heat I’m just not feeling it.
That when 2 guys talk to each other, they dont talk about life, hobbies, kids, work, etc. We just talk, and we dont remember what we talk after it.
You have a massive impact on our lives the smallest things you can harm or help us so much since we are so starved for affection and have our emotions alienated I had one friend who was a girl who just acted kind to me and it helped my mental health so fucking much.
Just because I’m not in the mood right now doesn’t mean I think you’re ugly. Sometime when we snuggle, I end up falling asleep. The bed is comfortable, so pressing up against me might not get me in the mood. I’m just content laying down, feeling your body, and falling asleep knowing everything is okay at the moment.
We crave affection and close intimacy, but society tells us if we aren’t ready for sex at a moment’s notice, we aren’t really men. Like FUCK I JUST WANNA BE HELD SOMETIMES TOO.
I am interested. Don’t let my aloofness fool you. I just have no situational awareness when it comes to being hit on.
When you’re mad at anything we did tell us. Don’t play the silent treatment game and then get mad when we don’t pick up on it or understand what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. Told my wife this before we got married, lol.
I can take care of our kids by myself. I’m not an idiot. Go hang out with your friends.
When we’re start dating, all other women don’t magically become unattractive. No, I don’t want to be with them, but some are still pretty. I will look. I won’t stare. It means nothing and has no influence on my feelings for you. Btw, I’ll probably look at that guy with huge arms too, and it won’t bother me if you do the same. Attractive people are just beautiful things in nature like a sunset or a mountain view. Go ahead and look. Enjoy. I don’t want to stick my dick in any of them.
That I’m a softie. I like pink. I like cute things. I like to hang out at home. I want to be the one laying on your lap. Not all of us are mr. macho man lol.
Wearing my Cubs jersey while watching them play brings good luck and helps them win.
Days off are for resting. Ive dated a lot of women who heard I had 2 days off work ad took it as an invitation to make plans for us. Like yeah I appreciate that you put all this effort into planning our time together but sometimes Im just burned out and need like 2 days of just sitting home in my underwear watching tv.
Just say it straight. Don’t make me read between the lines or trying and take a hint. How in the heck am I supposed to know you’re into me if you don’t say it. I don’t know you well enough to read your brand of body language, but I’m interested in you cause you seem cool.
If you respond with a “no” to my interest I will respect your boundaries, don’t expect me to “try harder”. No means no.
Verbal communication is way better.
That sitting on the toilet with the door locked is super peaceful. Just me and my stank.
Just ask how our day was. I just wanna talk and share my opinion.
We would give you way more compliments, but too afraid to be blamed for sexual harasment. Or look like perverts.
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