It’s true. Women are terrible listeners. I don’t know how we got the reputation for being good listeners because we aren’t. Not even a little. I guess we are good at all the peripheral signals of listening: eye contact, nodding, sympathetic sighs, touching a hand, asking probing questions. But when it comes down to actually hearing information as it is and then acting on it in an appropriate way, we suck.
For example, often when we are dating a guy he will say things like, “You shouldn’t date me, I’m an asshole,” or “I’m not ready for a relationship,” or “I’m not looking for anything serious.”
And instead of going, “Oh, cool. Thanks for letting me know.” and then moving on. We think, “challenge accepted.” Then we pour our hearts out, give our bodies over, put in extra effort to win him over and rescue him from his self-delusion and in tears months or even years later when he’s acting like an asshole, staying emotionally distant or not committing we get angry! Why is he so difficult and mean!??
We ask him. He says the same thing. He’s saying it’s him. He’s not ready, he’s not interested. He thinks you’re great, it’s not you.
And off we go to our girlfriends to cry and lament, “What is WRONG with me!? Why doesn’t he LIKE ME?”
More often than not, men tell us exactly what they are thinking and feeling. Sure, some men lie, but a lot of men don’t. A lot of men think more of themselves, and you, than to lie so they are very direct. And in fact they respect you to make decisions for yourself. So, if he’s not ready for something serious, and he tells you that and you’re still wanting to see him, he’s feeling pretty lucky that you are on the same page. After all, he told you. And there’s nothing wrong with your hearing. You had a conversation about it even! He was feeling a little guilty because he does think you’re great and thinks you deserve to find the kind of love you want but he’s not ready and you convinced him it was fine! You reassured him that his emotional unavailability, inability to commit, obsession with hobbies was totally cool with you! Who is he to doubt your decision making?
But you didn’t listen! You heard his words and then made up a completely different story in your head!
I have women call and text me all the time asking me to interpret conversations and text messages. Seriously guys, there are so many of us involved your relationships at the beginning we’d fill a banquet hall. When giving advice, I keep to two theories: Actions tell more than words and take men at face value. Assume he means what he says unless the actions prove otherwise.
All of the interpreting, the obsession with analysis is ruining your relationships ladies and making you hang on to relationships that aren’t worth your time, making you put effort into men who aren’t willing to give any back and making you miserable!
We need to listen to them! If you make a slight adjustment to take him at his word, resist the temptation to interpret and translate his words into your fears and hopes, your relationships will get so much easier! I promise!
Now the people you need to STOP listening to are other women, men who don’t invest in you, magazines and your own negative self talk. All that nonsense has brainwashed you into thinking you are supposed to be a certain way.
When I read articles about hook up culture and women wanting casual sex and how liberating and empowering it is, All I can think is BULL SHIT!
If you ladies were so satisfied with casual sex and one night stands then you would not be keeping me and ten other of your friends on the phone and stuck on text messages interpreting smiley faces and intervals between responses and what he could have meant by this or that. If you were okay with casual sex, you would wake up the next day, celebrate the good sex, feel awesome and get on with your day. And when he texted or called you three days later you’d have to take a second to remember who he was. The truth is, casual sex is not fulfilling. Casual sex causes anxiety. We want a hell of a lot more than casual sex because we have a lot more to give than just our bodies.
But if we admit to it, we are labeled needy and high maintenance. Guess what!? Most of the people labeling us needy and high-maintenance are other women! Men have adopted this insult because it works for them. They are far more comfortable with causal sex and so if there is an easy way for them to cut a woman off who doesn’t interest him for more than sex, then he’ll use it. Not only do we not protest this stupid insult, we’ve adopted our practiced indifference as a badge of honor! WHAT THE FUCK!
Listen, if I don’t want more after I hook up with a guy, then I probably shouldn’t have hooked up with him to begin with. My fault. Move on. The worst thing you can do is invest more in the guy as if spending a certain amount of time with him will somehow legitimize your hookup. Just move on! Who cares?!
And besides that, since when did it become so bad to be needy? Who says it’s a virtue to be low maintenance? To make little to no impact on the world around you?
That’s not going to fly for me! I’ll tell you right now I’m high maintenance! I’m needy! I’m difficult as hell! I require attention, respect, appreciation, affection and love every single day. I have all of that and more to give back. I’m not living quietly. I’m making a dent in this world and so should you!
And you know who else wants you make a dent? You know who else has absolutely no problem with you having high expectations and high standards and not being completely independent but in fact downright needy at times? The man who will love you. Because as much as you want to be wanted, he needs to be needed. Stop acting so tough, sweet cheeks. You’re a sweet doughnut not a bagel.