Every Monday, I post the above meme in my private Facebook group for single women over 40. I like to begin a discussion about what they find most confusing about men. Why? Because I find that many women misunderstand men. (And men misunderstand women.) So many singles are searching for lasting love, and it’s difficult if men and women continue to see each other as the ‘enemy’ or an alien from another planet.
I sincerely believe that one of the keys to creating deep lasting loving relationships is understanding the opposite sex—how they communicate, think, and process information. With that in mind, I am posting a recent thread from my Facebook group about how to make sense of men. Here’s what the women in the group said about men and my responses.
What’s the most confusing thing about men?
Group Member: Make sense of men??? Ha ha…impossible!!
Me: Nah. Men are people, too 🙂
Group Member: Except for the unhealthy men online (and I don’t mean physically), most men want the same thing we do. BUT, men and women ARE wired differently. That doesn’t mean a healthy relationship cannot be formed between us. It’s a constant work in progress. We cannot get married and then sit back and do nothing. Sadly, many couples plan their wedding but don’t plan out their marriage. There are numerous topics which should be discussed before tying that knot. It just all goes back to those 2 important words: RESPECT and COMMUNICATION. Without that, there is no relationship.
Group Member: Many men I have known are very rigid in their belief that, even when someone expresses that a guy’s behavior is hurtful or difficult, these men will assert their “right” to be that way by saying, “That’s who I am.”
I have known women somewhat like this, but they tend to be more aware and make an attempt to modify their behavior.
Me: Those are rigid controlling men who are not team players. Stay away from them. There are so many men who are open to feedback, especially when said in a kind constructive way.
Group Member: Young men today are not as controlling as those of my generation, for they live in a different society. Today, women stand up for themselves far more than I did!
I can remember that even as recently as the 1970s, women were often depicted as weak and/or helpless in movies and TV, except when using sexual allure. It has taken me a long time to learn to stand up for myself.
Group Member: Me, too! My daughters are pros at standing up for themselves. I am still learning, but getting better! This group has helped a lot. We have a ready-whenever-you-need-it Cheering section here!
Group Member: I think that extroverted personality types may find it more natural to speak up for themselves. Introverts, like me, can be targeted by some. I have learned that I have to let predatory or controlling types know that being reserved does not equal being a doormat.
Group Member: Not always! Yours truly is a bubbly extrovert who was raised that speaking up for myself was aggressive/not good. Making everybody happy is what I was raised to do as an Extrovert.
Me: I am an introvert, and I have learned to speak up. Like Leslie says, it’s not necessarily an introvert/extrovert issue as much as it’s a kind, empathic woman issue. Us nice ladies often get thrown under the bus until we learn to recognize toxic. Oh, and yes, a people pleaser issue for sure.
Group Member: Took me a very long time to recognize toxic folks. Even now I can get pulled in, but have enough awareness now that I didn’t use to have that this person is likely dangerous to be around.
Group Member: What’s most confusing is when men show interest in getting together and look at your profile for several days in a row then disappear.
Me: I hear you. My best advice is that it’s not worth giving it any energy. If you try and figure out why men disappear, you will only drive yourself crazy. You will never know why. And it won’t matter. Suffice it to say that they’re not the right guy for you.
Group Member: It only matters if there was something I did or did not do to create enough attraction during our conversations. We can’t always blame the men 🙂 I always seek to learn. I am still single and not having a man tell me I’m his “ONE ” so there’s something I’m not doing right!!
Me: It’s important to take responsibility for your share in relationships, but these are men you’re not even dating yet. Sometimes it’s about something you may have said or not said or done, but usually, in the initial online dating back-and-forth, I chalk it up to online dating A.D.D.
Group Member: I’ve encountered this, especially when the beginnings of plans are made (“Are you available this weekend?”) then poof—even though things seem fine. I suspect (and sometimes it is later confirmed) that the man is not as single as he indicated (had a spat with a girlfriend or is getting back together with an ex). Or he’s also contacted several women and decided to go out with another one for whatever reason.
Group Member: Indeed –A.D.D.–short attention span and then “next”, which is why if they can’t wait to meet you to see your value, then their interest is not strong enough. This is why it’s good to have several men lined up for dates early on 🙂
Group Member: Sometimes I think men are testing the water and see if you won’t be into what they are into. It’s a sorting process. For example, if they love to run, but you have nothing about running on your profile, then they move on. Or, they like to mountain climb and you just told them, “I’m afraid of heights.” Or, he’s in recovery and you are holding a bottle of champagne and a glass in your photo. It’s not a rejection of you but a lack of compatibility.
Okay men, it’s your turn. What do you think about what the women said about men? And what do you find most confusing about women?