One of the benchmarks of maturity is realizing that you don’t know everything. Not that you haven’t studied enough or paid close enough attention, but that there are limits to how much any one person is capable of knowing. Take men and women, for instance. A man might like to think that he understands women—and to some extent, maybe he does. But his knowledge is finite. There is only so much that a human male is capable of comprehending about the complex inner logic of a woman. He can pretend to know exactly why women behave the way they do, but he’s just kidding himself. A man who says he “gets” women is like a guy in a kayak assuring you that he can paddle around a tsunami.
We consulted with a panel of over a dozen women, who shared with us 40 things they believe men don’t understand about women. Though the effort can be appreciated, it’s okay to admit when you’re confused. It happens to all of us. (Seriously, all of us.)
They can complain about their friends, but you can’t.
You may think you’re being supportive, but it crosses a line. When she gets angry at her friends and complains about them in front of you, it’s not an invitation to join in. Your job is just to listen and be supportive. The moment you agree too vehemently that her friends are in the wrong, she’ll take it as a personal attack. (Same goes for mothers. Never, ever, ever criticize mom, even if they started it.)
They’re not always looking for your advice.
Guys have a natural instinct to want to fix things. So, when women share their problems, we’re inclined to want the make it better, or at least brainstorm solutions. But more often than not, women are just looking for a sympathetic ear. They’re perfectly capable of problem-solving on their own; they just need to be heard and know that you’re on their side.
Cheese is a perfectly acceptable meal.
If they invite over some friends for a dinner party, and they’re all nibbling on cheese as a pre-meal appetizer, and they never get around to eating “dinner” dinner, that’s okay. That counts as dinner. In fact, it’s not even a disappointing dinner! It’s a meal victory! Same with chocolate, by the way. If you start snacking on chocolate and you realize you’re full, then that was dinner. You had chocolate for dinner. Deal with it. You’re winning at life!