Guys make all sorts of stupid mistakes when it comes to the dating game and relationships, but some mistakes are more easily fixed than others. These are the mistakes that just come from silly misconceptions and plain laziness. None of them cost a thing to fix and you don’t have to change what you wear or how you look. You just have to not act like an idiot. I know, I know, easier said than done. But in the end, it’s all up to you – not your wallet, not your stylist, not your friends, just you – and that’s why these are nine mistakes guys make with women are all easily correctable.
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We’re taught from the time we’re very, very young that men and women are different, and while that may be true in extremely superficial ways created by society’s definitions of what men and women should be, when it comes down to it we’re all just people with the same basic wants and needs. She might seem like a mystery or a puzzle but that’s just because you treat her like one. Just ask yourself how you would feel or what you would want – and I mean really think about it, don’t just laugh and do the defensive “I’d want a sandwich and a blowjob” guy thing. That’s the sort of laziness I’m talking about. Men aren’t from Mars and women aren’t from Venus. They’re both from Earth. Try treating her like a human being. I know it sounds simple and ridiculous, but you’d be surprised how foreign a concept that is to a lot of dudes.
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I know you’re terrified of falling into the Friend Zone but look, calling her every 15 minutes on the dot isn’t going to do you a whole lot of favors. It just makes you look desperate and sad and potentially even a psycho. You don’t have to play games and wait three days on the nose to call her – honestly, that also just makes it look like you’re trying too hard because believe it or not, women know what you’re doing, dummy – but you do need to chill out. Do what feels natural or else you’ll look like a neurotic, desperate fool. This goes for how you approach a woman too. Shitty come-on lines and overly-aggressive posturing just make you look like a jerk, or worse, a potential date-rapist and amazingly enough, most ladies aren’t into that sort of thing. I know, shocking!
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Sure, you might think you look cool by waiting for her to make the first move, but really she’s just going to think that you’re either an aloof asshole or that you’re in a bad mood and want to be left alone. Don’t be afraid to smile or talk to her. And when it comes to relationships, make sure that you’re honest with her, both about what you want and how you feel. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that by being the strong, silent type you’re keeping things on an even keel because really, all you’ll end up doing is alienating her. Sure, you don’t want to be the dude who falls apart over every little thing and constantly whines and complains, but that’s not a guy or a girl thing, that’s just an annoying asshole thing. Nobody likes that. What you need to do is find the middle-ground. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable every once in a while. Everyone wants to be let in so let her in and let her fall for you, the real you.
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Look, you might think it makes the ladies swoon whenever you pull out your big… wallet, or whenever you tell that bullshit story about wrestling that bull, but really the only thing they’re doing is rolling their eyes at how ridiculous you are. Women like a dude who’s confident – hell, everyone does – but there’s true, calm confidence, the sort that’s just there, steady and understated, and then there’s the flashy sort that just reeks of rampant insecurity. When you do this, you don’t look strong or confident, you just look like a scared little boy. And that shit isn’t even remotely attractive.
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Aside from being creepy as hell, this one is also incredibly annoying. No one wants someone hovering over them all the time, making their decisions for them. Be her friend and her partner, not some condescending asshole who thinks he knows better just because he was born with some junk dangling between his legs. And if you actually find a girl who likes this kind of thing and needs you to act like her daddy, then run because those are the kinds of issues no one needs to be a part of.
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It’s fine to have fun and to get rowdy every once in a while, but there are times when you need to put on your big boy pants too. Believe it or not, most women don’t find it attractive to have to drag their wasted boyfriends home every other night while they vomit on themselves all because some dude inexplicably nicknamed Hot Carl dared them to chug a fifth of Popov. This also goes for video games. It’s fine to be into video games (shocking expose: the ladies like video games too), but there’s a difference between playing Xbox together (not a euphemism for sex, I swear) and holing yourself up for nine hours straight and hurling insults at your friends and screaming with rage because your little video game dude got killed. Just like you don’t want to be her dad, don’t make her feel like your mom.
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Don’t be that asshole who just tunes his girlfriend out because you think that she’s just a silly girl who only cares about stupid things. Just don’t. It’s lazy and stupid. The truth is that you allow yourself to believe those things because you can’t be bothered to try. And hey, that’s fine. If you don’t want to put in the effort because you don’t want to go that deep, then don’t do it. That’s on you. But what you shouldn’t do is put that on her and tell her that it’s her fault that you won’t listen. And if you do really want to make it work, then make the effort, man. That’s it. That’s all you’ve got to do. Just listen, really listen to what she’s saying and you’ll be surprised at how much easier it all gets.
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Don’t just assume that she’s always going to be there. She won’t. She doesn’t owe you a goddamn thing. I’m not going to give you a bunch of ridiculous magazine tips here like making a weekly date night or any of that annoying nonsense because that’s not what I’m talking about. Just treat her the way that you’d want to be treated. Pay attention to her, listen, try to take an interest in something that she likes to do. Again, if you want it to work, you’ve got to make the effort. And if it’s someone you really care about, then it shouldn’t be that much of an effort anyway.
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Eventually she’s going to figure you out and if you pretend to be something you’re not then it’s just going to make her think you’re an insecure asshole. Don’t force yourself to be a certain way or act a certain way just because you think that’s what she wants. It will just make you uncomfortable and resentful and in the end you’ll both just end up hating each other for it. Be yourself. You’re awesome. Just remember that and you’ll do just fine.
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(Previously published on April 11, 2013.)