Men are apparently from Mars and women from an entirely different planet. No wonder it often becomes difficult to understand each other. In Dr. John Gray’s seminal work that we allude to here, he says, “It is not enough to merely be authentic in sharing yourself; to succeed in dating you need to consider how you will be interpreted as well.”
To make sure that your efforts and intentions are interpreted correctly, it may help to hear from women what they want from men. Well, nuggets of relationship advice for men from an expert and an author, both of who are women, are as close as you’d come to having that wish granted.
Receiving relationship advice from the point of view of the opposite gender can clear up confusion about why certain things in your past may have happened the way they did. That is why we consulted with psychologist Nandita Rambhia (MSc, Psychology), who specializes in CBT, REBT, and couple’s counseling, for her advice, so you know how to deal with similar situations more proficiently in the future.
What Do Women Want In A Relationship
Before we venture into relationship expert advice and other dating tips for men in detail, let us try to touch upon what we are about to dive into. What a woman wants in a relationship essentially boils down to a few basic things; these are:
- Honesty: Women expect open and honest communication of feelings
- Respect: Women expect their partners to be at their side and support them without trying to be their saviors
- Appreciation: Women desire appreciation by being told how they have added value to their partners’ lives
- Vulnerability: Women love for their men to be vulnerable with them; for example, by him asking for her help
- Equality: Women want to be in a relationship of equals where their say holds equal value
You would have noticed how none of women’s needs from a relationship are alien concepts relevant to only one gender. After all, it’s human nature to expect this from a fellow human being. With these values in mind, it shouldn’t be hard to comprehend the relationship expert advice we share with you today.
Relationship Advice For Men – 21 Pro Tips By An Expert
“If only we could understand what do women want in a relationship,” men often wish. When a man is embarking on a romantic pursuit, it is a trusted female friend or confidant he turns to for help – be it for deciding the right move to ask her out, saying “I love you” for the first time, asking her to move in, or planning the most romantic proposal.
When it comes to relationship tips for men, a female friend will have far more insightful inputs to offer than his male buddies. But if you don’t have such a trusted friend in your life – or she’s the one you’re trying to woo – deciding on the right course of action can be a lonely journey to embark on. Fret not. The right advice from a wise woman can set you up for success. Here are our 21 pro tips to keep in mind when dating a woman:
1. Don’t patronize her
First thing. No mansplaining, please. “Let me tell you why that is…” – the moment you open a sentence with these words, your chances of making any progress are nipped in the bud. This tops my list of mistakes to avoid if you want to build a lasting successful relationship with a woman.
Whether you’re looking for the first relationship advice for guys or have loved and lost in the past, the importance of steering clear of patronizing women cannot be stressed enough. Don’t presume to know what’s best for her, be it in relationships or life choices.
Your relationship status notwithstanding, you’ve no business telling her how she should live her life, who she should socialize with, or what her career goals should be. Of course, if you’re already in a relationship, as her partner, you have every right to offer your opinions and insights. As long as you remember that these are not binding on her.
2. Don’t invalidate her feelings
This is undoubtedly one of the things every man should stop doing in his relationship, yet a lot of men tend to invalidate their partner’s feelings. Often unwittingly, because they simply cannot relate to them. Hearing you say things like “I can’t believe you’re mad about something so silly” or “You cry at the drop of a hat” is hurtful.
Whatever you do, don’t blame her feelings on PMS. A guy I was dating had a tendency to casually enquire if my period date was around whenever I got upset over something. It annoyed me to the point that I bought a t-shirt that said, “It’s not PMS, it’s you!” Even if you cannot fathom why she is reacting to something the way she is, at least, acknowledge her emotions. “I’m sorry to see that you’re upset. It wasn’t my intention to hurt you,” works a lot better.
Related Reading: 11 Dating Tips For Beginners – Make Sure You Follow These!
3. Don’t try too hard to be cool
Another common tendency among men when they’re trying to impress a girl or win her over is that they go overboard in their effort to come across as Mr. Cool. A majority of women don’t care for it. You end up making a fool of yourself. So, do yourself and your romantic interest a favor, just be who you are. Even if that is nerdy, geeky or dorky, it won’t put her off as much as a fake act will.
This is an especially crucial nugget of first relationship advice for guys. I can understand that if you’ve not been in a relationship before, first-date nerves can be through the roof but being disingenuous won’t do you any good. Nandita says, “In your bid to make sure that the girl you’re crushing hard over likes you back, you may try too hard to impress her. That can backfire. So, take a deep breath and be who you are.”
4. The devil is the details
Heed this advice from a wise woman and develop a keen eye for detail. If you pay attention to and remember the little things that matter to her, you will hold the strings to her heart in no time. Nandita says, “It may earn you a lot of brownie points if you are not looking here or there, or at other girls. Mind your body language. Focus your attention on her. “
A simple gesture such as picking up her favorite milkshake on the way to meet her or remembering to order extra olives on her pizza is enough to melt her heart. My husband, for instance, religiously checks in with me every night if I’ve had my endometriosis meds. I find it adorable.
When I was visiting him once back when we were dating, he had painstakingly stocked up the house with things I love. From my favorite coffee to sandwich spreads, multigrain bread, and even my go-to shower gel and body butter, it was all there. The gesture moved me to a point that I couldn’t stop tears from streaming down. Just like that, I knew he was the one! You see how the little things can show your kind and caring side. That’s what most women seek in a partner.
5. Be honest about your dating goals
If you’re actively looking to date, be it through online dating apps or IRL, being completely transparent and honest about your goals is always advisable. Whether you’re looking for a long-term partnership, a casual fling, or just a one-night stand, make it a point to put it out there right in the beginning. Nandita says, “Guys who are genuine seem very attractive to women. Honesty is a value and speaks volumes about a man’s character.”
On the other hand, there couldn’t be a worse put-off than a guy pretending to be interested in a woman when all he wants is to get in her pants. Toying with a girl’s heart and making her feel you’re as emotionally invested in her just to get yourself some action is among things a real man should never do. Man up, tell her what you want, and learn to take her answer, whatever it may be, on the chin.
6. Always prioritize consent
This is especially crucial relationship advice for teenage guys but holds for men of all ages. Don’t let the hormonal rush take over your sense and push you to a point where you unwittingly abuse someone sexually. Those few moments of fun can have life-long devastating consequences for the one who doesn’t want it.
Married men should be wary of this too. Whether it’s your first time with a new partner or your 100th in a long-term relationship, always seek her consent before getting intimate. If you want to show that you are strong, show strength in restraint. And remember no means no. No matter at what stage of intimacy you’re at. Nandita says, “If your partner wants more, she will ask for it. Consent before sex is non-negotiable. A lot of romance that happens today is in the online dating world. Be careful with virtual boundaries as well. And do maintain dignity even on online platforms.”
7. Stand up for her
For Grace, one incident of not finding her partner standing by her side when she most needed him became the undoing of a 3-year-old relationship. She was driving to his place when a bunch of guys started trailing her car. She called Eric over and over to see if he could meet her halfway but he didn’t answer his phone.
Nor did he care to call her back even after she’d left 15 or so frantic voicemails. Needless to say, a huge argument ensued. He made a veiled suggestion that perhaps it was the length of her dress that made those guys follow her. She called it quits right then and there, and never looked back.
If you’ve gone looking for relationship advice from a woman’s point of view, you’d probably know how important this is. Women want and expect their partners to stand up for them. This doesn’t just hold true for physical fights, but emotional too. Your emotional support, you standing right beside her, as opposed to telling her to let it go, back down, or worst of all, blame her for “asking for it”, means the world to her.
Related Reading: The 12 Stages of Relationship Development – Explained
8. Understand her before you make a move
Is there a girl at your workplace that you just cannot take your eyes off? Or perhaps, you’ve connected with someone on a dating app who’s making your heart skip a thousand beats. The impulse to act on these initial feelings of attraction can be very strong.
My relationship advice for men in a new relationship is to hold their horses at this stage. It bodes well for you both to take the time to get to know each other before taking the plunge. Understand her likes and dislikes, and see if you’re a good fit before asking her out. This reflects sensitivity on your part
My friend, Sheena, had to call things off with a guy she really liked and had been on a few dates with because he was terrified of dogs and she had two giant ones at home. “I thought we both asked the right first date questions and took things forward because we hit it off instantly. Somehow, the topic of pets just didn’t come up, and eventually, turned out to be the deal-breaker!” she said.
9. Accept her sensitive side
This is one of the most important things a guy should do in a relationship. Almost all women are emotional, sensitive beings. Even the ones who’ve been hardened up by their circumstances. If you want your relationship to flourish in true earnest, take this advice from a wise woman seriously and learn to accept her sensitive side.
Better still, celebrate it. By encouraging your partner to wear her heart on her sleeve, you’re fostering an atmosphere that allows her to nurture your bond to the best of her ability. Who knows, with time, some of this sensitivity might rub off on you. Or might help you get in touch with and channel your sensitive side. And together, you can build a wholesome, holistic relationship.
10. Build a friendship with her
This is hands-down the most valuable advice. If you want a solid relationship that will stand the test of time, base it on a genuine friendship with your partner. Think beyond romantic dates, lavish gifts, and hot action in the sack. Invest time and effort in bonding with her over things that you both care about.
As someone who fell in love with and married her best friend of 11 years, I cannot stress enough how beautiful it can be to share your life with someone you share a genuine friendship with. This friendship will sustain your relationship and pave way for a deeper love when the initial spark of romance fizzles out.
11. Open up to her
If the table were turned and you were the one doling out relationship advice for women, you’d probably say, “Don’t make us talk about our feelings.” We get it too. Drowning your feelings in a pitcher of beer, bottling up, and moving on is a lot easier than being vulnerable. Even so, relationship advice from a woman’s point of view would be the exact opposite of this.
Let her in. Open up to her. Talk to her about your fears, apprehensions, reservations and doubts. Nandita says, “You need more feeling words. You have to actively try to broaden your vocabulary.” She gives examples:
- Happy: “You awaken my positive side”, “You make me feel on top of the world”, “I feel calm when I am with you”
- Upset: “I am worried”, “I am concerned”, “I feel that you don’t care”
It’s nice to touch base with each other’s innermost thoughts every once in a while. That’s what pillow talks are for!
Related Reading: 20 Valuable Tips For A First Date After Meeting Online
12. Don’t run from the “where is this going” conversation
One of the bad things guys do in a relationship – most of them anyway – is treating conversations about the future like some sort of taboo. But know this: if you’re in a long-term relationship, this conversation is inevitable. For instance, if you’ve been dating for a few months, she’d be wondering if and when you’re going to say “I love you” or ask to be exclusive.
Likewise, if you’ve been together for a couple of years, she may have questions about the next step – moving in together, talking about marriage, future and kids. Even if these conversations scare the living daylights out of you, know that there is no way around them. By being evasive, you’d only cloud her mind with doubts. Perhaps, even send her spiraling down the path of overthinking.
That’s why a piece of solid advice is to brace yourself for discussing future plans, if you’re in it for the long haul. The more you avoid this conversation, the more it will loom large on your relationship like some sort of an invisible ghost.
13. Communicate, communicate, communicate
This is a bit of relationship advice for everyone. Communication problems are the root cause of so many relationship issues. Rather than just expect your partner to know and understand what you want from the relationship, communicate your needs and desires clearly.
Just the way men can’t read minds, women can’t either. One of the things a man should never do to a woman is bottle up his feelings when talking about them seems too difficult. When you do this, your partner will feel confused, disoriented, and on the edge. This will only augment any issues you may be dealing with.
14. Don’t shut down
This piece of relationship tips for men is essentially an extension of the previous one. Disagreements, disappointments, differences of opinion are part and parcel of relationships. It is how you react to these that counts. If your partner has done or said something that has upset or hurt you, don’t shut down.
Stonewalling her or resorting to the silent treatment won’t magically make your problems go away. If anything, it’ll only compound them by adding misunderstandings and presumptions to the mix. Irrespective of how serious or trivial the issue is, if something is weighing on your mind, talk to your partner about it.
15. Your emotions are not your weakness
For centuries, men have been conditioned to withhold their emotions and feelings. The whole “men don’t cry” stereotype has made generations of men suffer in silence. One of the most precious nuggets of dating advice for men I have to offer is that there is no glory in this false sense of machismo.
Nandita says, “Men love to be strong in the literal or physical sense of the word. While that is great, men need to believe that being vulnerable, opening up, and letting their emotions show is also strong.” Real men CAN and SHOULD cry. Shedding a few tears is not what you should worry about. Being abusive is what a real man should never do.
Times are changing. Men who can own up and talk about their feelings are increasingly being seen as more attractive than the quiet, brooding type. Embrace the notion that your emotions are not your weakness, and you will be able to connect with your partner on a whole new plane.
Related Reading: 20 Tips To Get Close To A Girl And Win Her Heart
16. Be proactive in keeping the romance alive
Looking for some first dating advice for men? Well, we have got just the one for you. “Learn the art of romance”, says Nandita. Don’t let the onus of keeping the romance alive fall squarely on your partner. If you do, she will get tired, burn out, and eventually give up, thinking these things don’t matter to you. So, take the initiative to plan romantic gestures, like date nights, taking her out, and pampering her.
My friend Arina is the envy of our entire girl gang because of what a mushball her husband, Jacob, is. He whisks her away for a few moments whenever we’re all together, just to steal a kiss or two. Takes her out for quick coffee dates in the middle of a workday. Brings her flowers, just because. These are things a guy should do in a relationship. Take the lead to romance her and she will reciprocate manifold.
17. Respect what’s important to her
If there is one slice of relationship expert advice that shouldn’t be overlooked, it is this, it is this, it is this! No matter what your woman does or where her passions lie, as her partner, you must respect the things that are important to her.
Be it a job, her family, passion for fitness, a penchant for cooking, a zest to learn new life skills, and unwavering commitment to her children – if it matters to her, it should matter to you. Don’t undermine her by saying things like “You just balance sheets in an office, it’s not like you’re going to change the world” or “Why can’t you miss your workout one day?”.
18. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice and help
Remember you’re both equal partners in a relationship. It’s not your job to care and provide for her or always be on top of things and vice versa. If you find yourself stuck or lost in a certain situation, don’t hesitate in asking your partner for help.
Be it something as simple as taking her help with directions or asking her for a loan to pay off a debt, it’s okay to be the one relying on her. She’d be happy to lend a helping hand. In fact, by turning to someone else for help when she’s perfectly capable of offering it, you make her feel like a lesser partner.
Nandita says, “You don’t have to know everything. You don’t have to show that you have more knowledge or are more resourceful, or are superior. That is desperate behavior and reflects low self-esteem.” Being too proud to ask for help when you truly need it is also one of the bad things guys do in a relationship. Make a conscious effort to break this pattern by seeking her help in the little things. Treat her like an equal, and she will love and cherish you all the more for it.
19. Be consistent
You’re texting her through the night one day. Waking her up with a phone call the next. Then, you just vanish for days. There she is wondering what the hell could’ve possibly gone wrong. Then, you come back behaving as if it is business as usual.
Nandita says, “Saying or doing things that are diametrically opposite at times can confuse your girl. Consistency in how you behave and what you say shows that you are confident and self-assured. Anything otherwise is a sign of insecurity and reflects poorly on you.”
Love bombing her and playing hot and cold will not take the relationship anywhere. These petty mind games will only put her off and raise many red flags about your viability as a partner. If you truly care about her, let your feelings shine through your actions unabashedly. Heed this advice from a wise woman, and be consistent in your behavior and patterns.
20. Don’t take no to sex as an affront
Men and women are not just wired differently on an emotional level but on a physical one too. Think of the opposition of feminine energy vs masculine energy. There will be days when she may turn down your sexual advances and say no. Unless it’s a case of mismatched libidos, learn to take a few nays in your stride.
Don’t take it personally. It’s not that she doesn’t want to make love to you or find you attractive. It could well be one of the million things going on in her body that’s putting her off the idea of sex. Perhaps, she is PMS-ing, feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Maybe she is just bone-tired after a long day and wants to crash for the night.
21. Don’t ghost her
There is no way to predict how a relationship will pan out. Perhaps, you’ve been dating for a few weeks or months, and then, you realize that it’s not working out for you. Maybe you’ve been together for years and now you feel as if you’ve fallen out of love.
You’re well within your right to pull the plug and move. When you do, keep this nugget of relationship advice for men in mind – DO NOT GHOST HER. No matter what the circumstances or how unpleasant the conversation is likely to be, man up and accord her the courtesy of being told that you’re done and want to move on. Nandita adds, “Even when you must be away, do inform her that you are not going to be able to connect. It’s that simple.”
- Women’s expectations from men are based on basic values of honesty, respect, appreciation, equality, etc
- You can be respectful of a woman by ensuring you don’t patronize her, don’t invalidate her feelings, don’t ghost her, and are mindful of consent in dating
- Being sensitive toward her and appreciative of her will take you far in your happy relationship
- Live life with honesty and showing honesty in your relationship will not seem hard work any more
- Build a friendship with your woman partner, open up to her, allow yourself to be vulnerable
- Be proactive in keeping the romance alive
Every woman is different and unique in her own way. So, relationship expectations can vary from one to another. Even so, this rundown on relationship advice from a woman’s point of view will help you sail through comfortably in 9 out of 10 instances. Before signing off Nandita adds a piece of bonus advice. “A guy who can cook will definitely sweep women off their feet.”
This article has been updated in October, 2022.