Five Facts from a Guy {things women assume men know but we actually don’t} #7

Another Friday, another round of awesome insight from the gentlemen in my life! Today's facts are from Chris' (and now my!) friend, Garrett. He's here to tell us the things that we think and want men to know, but they don't actually know if we don't tell them.


And, in case you've missed them, catch up on the previous Five Facts from a Guy posts.

{Garrett married sweet Kathleen last spring in Seabrook, SC. I was so grateful to attend their wedding with Chris early on in our relationship, especially now that they've become great friends!}

How many of you have heard the following phrases used to describe a guy: rough around the edges, a work in progress, not boyfriend/husband material. I’m willing to bet a good many of you have. I know I started out in this category. But how do men become “boyfriend material?” Well, how do you get your dog to stop peeing in the house? You train them. And as my wife likes to boast to her friends, thanks to years of her efforts I am now husband material, or “well trained.”

Now this is not to say that women don’t need training as well. We're all human. Women don’t just innately know that guys need time with their male friends. Or know how to forgive them for being a little immature and irresponsible once in a while. Or have the ability to recognize that even though they are furious with and want to kill their male counterpart from time to time that maybe, just maybe, their current emotional reaction is a bit stronger than it should be. But I digress.

Here is a list of five facts from my training that men should know, and women think that we know, but we actually don’t know until we have been taught otherwise.

1) Thoughtful gifts are worth way more than expensive gifts. All guys know the stress and anguish associated with trying to find the right gift for your significant other. And because we procrastinate, we all end up getting herded into jewelry stores where we shop based on price tags and commercials. But how are we expected to know what to buy? It’s actually fairly simple, thanks to smart phones. Just keep a list of the things she sees and loves but doesn’t buy. Then when an occasion rolls around, pick something from the list. The moment when she opens her gift and she realizes that you thought to remember that thing she wanted, the price tag on the gift won’t matter.

2) Spontaneity keeps relationships interesting. Thanks to things like InstaGram and Pinterest, men are now locked in an eternal battle to outdo one another to show their significant others how much they love them. Or so it would seem. But you don’t have to outdo @Romeo22, who spent 10 hours writing “I love you Juliet” in floating candles on the lake under the bridge where they had their first kiss. Because @Romeo22 is probably a stalker. It’s the little, spontaneous things that keeps the relationship interesting. Sneak home from work early to cook dinner. Bring home $3 flowers from Trader Joes. Plan a day trip as a surprise. Again, it’s not the size of what you did, but the fact that you thought to do it.

3) Women like to be complimented. This seems obvious, but is more of an art than a science. “Oh my god you look so hot right now.” “Your body is bangin’.” “Your eyes are like (insert anything here).”  These are not what women want to hear. Even overusing terms like “beautiful” and “gorgeous” can be detrimental. Try picking out smaller details. “I love the way your earrings bring out your eyes.” “You hair looks really good that way.” “Your legs look really good in that dress.” Those are compliments that show you’re paying attention.

4) You have to listen, and listening is hard. This is honestly the thing I think is the hardest to master. It takes active effort to tune out your surroundings and listen to what somebody is saying. Don’t glance at the TV over her shoulder. Leave the phone in your pocket. Don’t let your eyes wander south. Even the guys that really try to listen fall short of capitalizing on how much they’re listening. Once you’ve done the hard part of actually listening intently, ask a question that shows you’ve been listening. “Susan is your friend that just got engaged, right? How is she doing?” In one sentence, you’ve proven you were listening and taken an interest in something important to her.

5) The toilet seat. You wake up in the middle of the night. It’s cold and you’re half asleep. You go to the bathroom, sit down, and SPLASH. You’re in the toilet. Trust me, this can happen. And the only thing worse than it happening to you is it happening to your wife. The seat goes up and the seat goes down. Make a little song out of it if you have to.

I’m by no means an expert, and this is not an exhaustive list. I’m actually even reluctant to submit this because I’m now going to have to step up my game quite a bit. But if you can do these five things, you’re off to a good start.