THE BLOG
01/31/2013 12:12 pm ET Updated Apr 01, 2013

What Do Guys Wish Girls Knew?

This question originally appeared on Quora.
2013-01-30-mmanning.jpeg
Answer by Matthew Manning, I'm dashing. (- - - - - - -)

Hey ladies, my name's Matt and I'm gonna give the keys to my love palace.

Haha, as if.

No, I'm just going to answer this as honestly as possible with thoughts that have passed through my own head. If it reflects poorly on me, then at least maybe I'll learn something new.

Here we go:

  1. I am overloaded with lots of information about you, and it can be overwhelming. My mother, my brothers, my father, my friends, movies, books, and songs have all been telling me how to treat you and what to say to you. I have heard about 50 contradicting absolutes about you, and I don't know which one to listen to. I'm not saying that you should adjust your expectations of me but ... perhaps some flexibility would help.
  2. Sometimes I don't know whether to be chivalrous or feminist. Should I stand up for you or can you do that yourself? Should I throw my coat over this puddle or will you be upset about the dry cleaning bill? Should I contradict you in public to reinforce my belief in your autonomous viewpoint or should I not embarrass you like that? I love you and believe in you - always - so ... maybe we could work out a cue or something?
  3. It bothers me when you complain about "men." Probably not in the same way as it would bother me to talk about "women" (there are historical dynamics there), but it is still annoying and can be hurtful. When I watch men jumping out of their couch with a bowl of chips on a Bud Light commercial, that pisses me off. I am not that, and when I get lumped in with some beer-guzzling, fantasy sports playing "average joe," I feel misunderstood and undervalued. 
  4. Sometimes I feel like I am performing for your friends. The scoring system in this performance is daunting - it's like I get one point for doing something right, and minus twelve points for doing something wrong.
  5. When you widen your eyes and make that really seething, burning look at me, I never, ever know what that means. I mean - I know I've done something wrong. That's obvious. But should I stop talking? Should I change the subject? Should I look at someone else? What piece of data am I missing here?
  6. I don't know if this thing I'm doing is annoying or endearing.  I don't know if this particular behavior is going to be categorized as a facet of my rugged individuality that you ultimately love and respect me for, or if it's something for which you're going to break up with me.
  7. I am sometimes leery that if I transcend sociological norms and express myself more openly to you, then you will not be as attracted to me (even if that's what you say you want). I am afraid that if I fully give in to this, then you won't see strength in me, and you will no longer have that small part of you in perpetual pursuit of the unconquerable bits of me.
  8. I feel disrespected when I don't see you put in an effort to have fun around my friends. See #4 - I feel like I am really working hard to get your friends to like me, and I don't know if you're putting in the same effort. This isn't a Hollywood bro movie - I love my friends, and I think they might feel bad that you look so bored.
  9. I am afraid of losing you. I feel jealous when you give attention to other men, but I'm afraid that if I express that jealousy it will drive you away. So I swallow it, and I shouldn't. I don't want to be covetous and I don't own you - but I am not yet self-actualized to the point where I can fully handle this specific type of stress. Ultimately, I guess I want you to be happy, even if that means happy without me.
  10. And finally - If I tell you what is about to happen in this scary/thrilling movie, then there won't be any *suspense.* Without the suspense, there is NO point in watching the movie!

*All heterosocial views are my own.

**I'm single and live with a bucket of pet dirt, so if you disagree with me you're probably right.

More questions on Dating and Relationships:

Subscribe to the In(formation) email.
The reality of being a woman — by the numbers.