The Differences Between Men and Women
By Joanna, age 21, South Wales, United Kingdom
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
1. He doesn't listen.
This seems to be a common complaint of women across the world. When you talk, he's silent - is he even listening? The problem here is, women are more active listeners, which means when our girl friends are telling us about their problems, we'll interject with 'mm' and 'yes' to show we're listening. Studies have actually investigated this and shown that men just don't interject. They do listen, but without saying anything themselves.
2. He doesn't remember or stick to our plans.
This is a problem that I have run into time and again with my current boyfriend, but when we've spoken about it, it seems to come down to the simple fact that he's disorganised. He doesn't remember that we made plans a week in advance; he's more last minute than that, whereas I have had it lodged in my memory since we agreed to go to the cinema two weeks ago. The fix? Remind him gently of the plans you've made, checking a few days beforehand that he's still up for doing what you arranged. If he's already forgotten and made other plans, see if he's willing to change them, or choose another day to do what you arranged and ask him to keep that day free instead. Sorted!
3. He doesn't want to go out (to the cinema, to restaurants) with me, but he'll go with his friends.
This tends to be the case a few months in to a relationship, when the newness has worn off and instead of going out when you see each other, you hang out at each other's houses. I would suggest going out to a restaurant or cinema, and would always be met with the same response: "Who else is going?" I spoke to him about it, and he said he wasn't used to being with a girl who wanted to go out and do things together. I guess to a point we all do model our expectations on previous relationships or relationships we're familiar with like our parents', but at the end of the day I think it's important to do new things together and get out of the house sometimes, otherwise you get stuck in a rut.
4. He tries to wind you up, doing childish things and generally being irritating.
I've noticed that whenever my boyfriend is bored, he'll do anything from flying his toy helicopter in my general direction to leaving the football on TV, knowing that it irks me. The basic problem is, he's bored. Men seem to get bored easily and seem to seek attention when the boredom sets in. The other problem, of course, is that men can have a tendency to be childish (as exemplified by the toy helicopter example). It's irritating and unnecessary, but I'd recommend suggesting something to do when he starts to bug you. It can be anything, like a game of Monopoly, an Xbox game, watching a film, or going for a walk, but anything to take his mind off his boredom and stop him thinking of ways to annoy you. This will likely solve the problem.
5. He refuses to acknowledge that he's stressed or worried.
A typical man trait, in my experience. He might be snappy, irritable, and altogether intolerable, but when you ask if he's alright or stressed out, he will deny it, at least initially. Once whatever is stressing him out has passed by, he might talk about it, but the best thing to do with a stressed out man who doesn't want to talk about it is not to talk about it. Even if you know he's worrying about something, it's likely he's in the process of sorting it out himself, and if he hasn't asked for your help, perhaps he doesn't need it. It's easy to think, in these situations, that his problem is you - he's snappy with you, short with you - but in truth, that's probably just because you're the closest person to him, and he's likely to be snappy and short with others that are close to him too.
6. He pays more attention to his Xbox than to me.
This occasionally happens, and as long as it's occasional and not every single time you see him, it's tolerable. Sometimes it's that he's just bought a new game, and he's glued to it. Sometimes it's that he wants to do his own thing. The key here is to have your own hobbies, separate from each other, and also to be sensible about when you see each other. If you know he's been out to buy a new game he's been looking forward to, perhaps it's best to spend the evening separately, giving you chance to read a book or write a Sweet Designs Magazine article. Or, if you've been lounging around with each other for a fair few days, take an evening off to avoid getting bored.
7. He doesn't seem to be as affectionate as you'd like.
Sometimes men seem to think that saying 'I love you' once is enough. It's not. The tricky thing with this one is that if you bring it up, he'll tell you that you know he loves you, and it's obvious in the things he does without him saying it. The best thing to do perhaps is to think it over yourself. So, he hasn't said he loves you in a few days, but has he called you just to chat about nothing or see if you're okay? Chances are he has.
8. You sit down to watch a film, and he opens his laptop to play a game.
I'm not sure if it's only my boyfriend who does this, but his usual argument is that he's seen the film before, even though I haven't. The fix is to carefully choose a film that he hasn't seen and really wants to see, but one you will enjoy too. Failing that, watch one of his favourite films, and perhaps one of your favourite films afterwards. He might complain about watching The Devil Wears Prada at first, but guaranteed, once he starts watching it, he will want to know what happens, without even thinking about that game on his laptop.
9. He constantly comments that actresses in the film or show you're watching are good looking.
Whilst initially, it sounds like he's purposely trying to upset you, he probably isn't. Thinking rationally, we girls all watch films and like to drool over the eye candy, even if we aren't so vocal about it as some guys will be. Try to have a laugh about it, give your opinion on how good looking you think the girl in question is, and turn it from a point of insecurity to a light hearted conversation. Remember, he might be drooling over Jessica Alba on screen, but he's with you for your non-airbrushed natural looks and your personality. She's got nothing on you!
10. He's laid back with things that you're not laid back about.
It's a well known fact that women are more emotional than men, which means that sometimes when you're crying because you've just fallen out with your best friend, he sits there like 'what's the big deal?' This can be infuriating. What's the big deal? It's only the girl you've known your entire life who knows everything about you - of course it's a big deal!
But before you fly off the handle, step back from the situation and try to think about it the way he thinks about it. It's your best friend, so of course that means you're a little upset, but how many times will you fall out and make up with your best friend in your life? So many you'll probably lose count. So instead of letting it get you upset, just think, in a week or a month, we'll be fine. Distract yourself from whatever's got you down and focus on what you do have - your boyfriend telling you it'll be alright, and instantly you'll feel better.