• Kathie Scalf

Think Like a Man


Being a single gal with several single female friends, obviously a large part of our lives revolves around dating. We spend a lot time discussing the men we see, be it the good, the bad or the ugly…and trust me, we’re seeing it all. I would say that at least 65% of these conversations consist only of deciphering the male mind and trying to understand why they do the things they do. The fact that women even spend hours of their lives this way is probably the biggest difference between the sexes and best example for my point; women are naturally deeper thinkers who analyze the past, present and future of their relationships, while men typically only exist in the here and now. Quite frankly, it’s time we ladies began thinking like a man, because the female brain is exhausting.

One area of improvement where men are leading over women, is that they just say outright what they want. I’m speaking in general terms here, but for the most part men don’t play the communication games that women do, whether women are doing it consciously or subconsciously. For example, the unending food conundrum. Ask any man what he wants to eat and you’ll typically get a one word answer – “Pizza.” “Burgers.” “Applebees.” Or they’ll say “I don’t care” and they’ll actually mean it. Ask a woman that however and you’re opening Pandora’s Box. “I dunno…what are you thinking? I kind of want Asian food but not like Thai but not Chinese either. But I just ate Indian food last week. Didn’t you and your ex go to that Asian restaurant all the time? Wow. Looks like all you can do is think about her.” The female brain is constantly firing on all cylinders instead of focusing on the actual task at hand, which is simply fulfilling our hunger. We don’t do it on purpose; we do it internally when we’re alone and we do it with our girlfriends. It would be to our benefit if we could more easily identify what we actually want and just verbalize it like our male counterparts, and that extends far beyond something as trivial as food. There’s no debate that women are paid far less in the workforce than men, and I wonder sometimes how much of that has to do with the fact that men aren’t afraid to ask for a raise or negotiate more money up front, while we’re over here “not wanting to cause a scene” by speaking up. And even with relationships, women will stew on things, letting them build up over time until they’re boiling over and they flip out about a litany of grievances that started because you forgot to put the toilet lid down. I don’t know why women aren’t more proactive in addressing something that is bothering them while it’s happening in an effort to immediately correct the behavior and save major headaches down the road.

Along the same lines of men saying what they want, you also have to take their words at face value whether it’s what you want to hear or not. In the same way a man will tell you exactly what he wants to eat and you should believe him, you must believe he means everything else, sometimes regardless of his actions. Many women end up in dead end, months-long “situationships” where their feelings get hurt because they didn’t believe the guy who said he didn’t want a relationship. These men will tell you that repeatedly, all the while they’re spending their nights at your home, taking you on dates and giving every sign that this is in fact a real relationship. Women will tell themselves “he’s just scared of commitment,” or “he’s coming around” and in their mind they’re in a full-blown partnership. Then one day the guy will hook up with someone else, go on another date, or decide to move across the country without telling you and all you’ll get as a parting gift is “I told you I didn’t want a relationship.”

Does that mean you have to just accept this kind of behavior as par for the course? Absolutely not! This is where women need to enforce that “man-think” and verbalize what they want equally. If you actually do want a relationship, say that up front. If something big is a deal-breaker like wanting children, put that out there. However, you have to be willing to walk away if they’re not sharing the same mindset, which is why it’s so important to really know exactly what you want and express it sooner than better. You will save yourself so much future heartache, because many women falsely believe men will change and I promise you this with everything I know to be true beyond doubt- you can NOT change a grown man. And the more you compromise your own needs and wants, or the more times you let them lie to you, the more they will lose respect for your boundaries and continue to test them. A liar will always lie, cheaters will continue to cheat, a man nearing 50 who says he doesn’t want any more children isn’t going to change his mind; don’t be the doormat who looks stupid in the end when you have the option to set boundaries for what you want up front and allow them to decide if they want to stay on board.

As backward as it sounds, (because it’s scientifically proven men physically speak much less than women on a daily basis) us ladies have to be better communicators. More specifically, we need to learn to be more direct and proactive about what we want. If a man asks you “what’s wrong,” don’t do the girl thing and say “nothing” because you’re really wanting him to coax it out of you or you feel like he should already know. Become so secure in yourself that you know exactly what you want and you’re ok with walking away from people who don’t align with that. And stop attaching make-believe messages to spoken words- believe people when they tell you who they are or what they want. If they’re being confusing with their actions, ask for clarification, then walk away. Those people are getting something from you while you’re draining yourself for them.

It’s time for us to admit that for once, men might actually be right about something and adopt this to-the-point mindset!