|Photography by Michelle|
There are numerous pieces of advice out there to better allow us to communicate with one another. Who hasn’t at least skimmed through “Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus?”
Yet aliens we still are. Guidance varies from “we’re opposite sides of the same coin” to “women are emotional, men are logical.”
I understand where the latter point comes from, but it is extremely elementary. Yes, we women are emotional beings, but I’ve met some fairly emotional men who could rival the most emotional woman I know.
Likewise, I’ve encountered women who are severely logical and have left me wondering if they even like chocolate.
Sadly, the only gold nuggets I’ve held on to have come from the movie He’s Just Not That Into You. Ladies, if a man likes you, you’ll know!
I will share four secrets with you dudes to help you live among us a tad bit better. Please share them with your friends, because we hate repeating ourselves.
The Notorious Five Pounds
If you are a breathing man, chances are you’ve heard several women say they need to lose five or ten pounds. I understand from a man’s perspective, you usually do not understand or see what we’re talking about. It is to your credit that you do not see the fat that we must rid ourselves of.
Unfortunately, we do. All the time. In every outfit. It may be that we’ve always had five pounds to lose. It may be the holidays just ended and we now have ten pounds to penalize ourselves for. It may be we just came back from vacation where we ate like we may never see food again and now we can’t fit in any of our skinny jeans. (Ok, I may be revealing too much about myself here.) Somehow, we always end up with five pounds to lose.
You as a man just need to accept this. Your girlfriend/wife/mother/friend/sister is not insane. We do need to lose it, but we may never do so. Never suggest we should work out or avoid certain foods.
Just keep telling us we look great. This needs to be a silent contract between us. We say “Ugh! I’m so fat and I have nothing to wear.” You pause, look at us with surprise on your face and say “No way! You look great!!”
It has come to my attention men do not know what it means to eat your feelings. Oh my goodness! You are missing out, men. You logical men may think of food as nourishment. Yes, we see it that way too. We also see it as the way to make ourselves feel better when we’re sad, when we’re angry, when we’re depressed, when we’re lonely and when we’re bored.
Our process may seem like overkill to you, but how do you think we maintain our birthing hips? We eat our feelings. Does it make us feel better? Momentarily, yes. But then we feel guilty for consuming an entire family-sized bag of lays in 15 minutes and the self-loathing begins.
At which point, we need some chocolate to ease the guilt. It’s a vicious cycle. The only advice I can give you is when you see this happening, grab the woman in your life a tub of ice cream and get out of the way.
No, this is not the break-up talk, nor is it the “where is this relationship going?” signal. We just need to talk. That’s how we’re wired. We talk things out. I watched the movie Argo the other day and noticed when a man needed to apologize to another man for being wrong about something major, all he did is walk over to him, make eye contact, and shook his hand.
That would never work in our world. We need to talk things out. We need to vent our feelings. We need to feel heard. We need to sound out what’s in our heads. So just listen.
We don’t need you to resolve the problem or come up with plausible solutions. We just need you to listen and comfort us by being there. If it helps, from time to time, you can zone out and daydream about playing basketball against Michael Jordan...or whomever...except Kobe Bryant.
Or rather, let me cry a river. It may baffle you to walk in to your house one day and find the normally stable woman you share your life with crying for no good reason. You may try to get to the bottom of why she’s crying, but all she says is, “I needed a good cry.”
We do that. We cry for no reason sometimes. We’re not sad. We’re not depressed. And you didn’t do anything wrong. Crying can not only be cleansing, it is also cathartic. We’re not crazy; we just need to rid our souls of excess. Think about it like a spring cleaning. So we pop in a sad movie like Steel Magnolias and have a good cry.
The average woman may need to do this every three to four months. If your lady is crying every other day, I recommend contacting Dr Phil, cause dude...you’ve got your hands full.