How to operate a lady

12 Sep

This one is for the guys: Having dissected, discussed, analysed and bitched about love relationships with old and new girlfriends a lot this year, I have come to think that I should spill some beans (relax ladies, your secrets are safe with me). There are some home truths that all guys should know about. The stuff some of us ladies don’t like to talk about or will deny to the bitter end. There is a good chance that your current or next girlfriend is dealing with some of this right now, so pay attention:

– We all think you don’t contribute enough to house work. Doing the dishes means also putting the dirty dishes into the dishwasher (not just next to it); doing laundry doesn’t stop with putting things into the washing machine; we also hate food shopping but somebody has to do it; dust is a reality and toilet paper doesn’t actually refill itself.

– To quote good old Jane Austen: “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”  You might think we have just met 2 minutes ago, but in these 2 minutes we have already decided whether we will kiss you, how many children we might have, where we are going on holiday and the clothes we will put you in to meet our parents.

– We cause drama and we know it. The problem with you guys is that you don’t listen or talk so we sometimes blow things up just to get your attention. And even if we deny the hell out of it, we totally know when we are being unreasonable. However that won’t stop us. And there is a good chance that we don’t actually want to argue but that we want you to give us a massive bear-hug and tell us that everything will be ok.

– We all have body issues. It’s not about being fat, but if our bodies don’t feel right and we don’t feel well in our skin, this affects everything. Our mood, our sex drive, our confidence. We can’t explain it and we don’t enjoy the whole thing one bit.

– We all have a secret crush on somebody. Whether it’s ‘the one who got away’ when we were 21, the delivery guy, the guy who always takes the same bus, a colleague, a mate or your brother. There is somebody. And he doesn’t look like anything you would expect. BUT, and the but is important: He doesn’t actually matter. He is not a risk to the relationship. His role is to put a spring in our step and to give us a little tickle in our belly. Don’t even think about asking us about him, we will never ever owe up to it.

– The whole baby thing (when you’ve crossed the magic 3-0). When we’re in our twenties, we like to have fun and pretend to be working on a career. If we are in a relationship, we are already busy looking after somebody, so some of us don’t think about a baba at that point. And then we hit 30. And suddenly EVERYBODY around us is having babies. They are absolutely everywhere. And of course they are cute and we want them as well, but that’s when things stop being easy. We might realise that Mr Relationship is not the baby-daddy we want or we realise that there is no Mr Relationship or we are perfectly happy with life as it is and baby can wait a few years, but other people (quite often our GPs actually) are telling us we should get a groove on. Because 35 is the magic number and suddenly being given a deadline can set off all sort of reactions. Some of us panic, some of us think about getting off the pill without telling you, some of us know we want your baby but that the relationship won’t last – it’s hormonal and it can be messy. Some of us are thinking about the b-factor all the time. If we want to or not.

– Some of us have gone home during our lunch break or have ended a perfectly fine evening early – because we needed a poo. Doing number 2 anywhere but in the safety of our own home is simply not an option for some of us and we go to ridiculous lengths to avoid it. Not a great deal to be added to this but I thought I mention it as it’s an omnipresent problem. (I should probably also mention that accidentally farting in front of you can make us instantly suicidal).

– We don’t actually put on make-up, or style our hair, or buy expensive clothes for you. Well, about 25% of this is for you. 49% is for us, 25% for other women, because they actually notice and compliment us and 1% is for crush-guy. Just in case.

– We end up mothering you because your time management sucks, errands don’t run themselves and although you say you like cooking, you never actually pick up the tools and just do it! We enjoy it as little as you do, but if we don’t nag you, certain things just don’t get done and the fear of you forgetting to pick up our dress from the dry cleaner in time for our sister’s wedding (and not 2 days later) causes way more stress than ‘giving you a little hint’. And if we have to do it 25 times, it’s because after the first 24 times, nothing actually happened.

– We don’t really ever ‘take it easy’. We compare ourselves to female friends, we try and please our and your mother all the time (because she judges our every move), we panic about your ex, we want you to think we’re cool and sexy and kind and beautiful and smart and interesting, and the more ‘cool’ we say we are, the more we are probably freaking out inside. Especially if we have a crush on you. Then you truly become our puppeteer and everything you do or don’t do affects us more than you can possibly know.

– We take on different roles and we need you to do the same. Modern times have generally brought about a much softer man, and that’s cool, but sometimes we need you to be a strong alpha male. Most of us consider ourselves to be much tougher than you, but because that requires a lot of work, we sometimes need a strong shoulder to lean against and know that we are in safe hands.

– We love surprises. And romance. A little unexpected gesture or a small gift can mean so much more than the scheduled presents we receive at birthdays and christmas. And…

-…they buy you brownie points. We are natural list makers and we know exactly who has recently picked up the hoover more, who did more shopping, who bought the drinks, who initiated sex (yes, it’s usually you), so anything you can do to get into the good books actually gets you there. We don’t forget. Anything. Ever.

Enough for today. If you are not in a relationship, don’t let this stop you from getting into one. We can be hard work and annoying, we can make little sense and your life hell, but we are also the most fabulous and wonderful creatures. Making a woman happy isn’t easy but if you succeed, oh boy, you’re in for a good time!

You’re welcome.

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