Women often have a lot of misconceptions about how men think. This doesn’t mean that women are never accurate – naturally, your observations and feelings are perfectly valid. However, it’s easy to see how one can misunderstand the opposite sex when you assume that he should think exactly like you do. Alas, he won’t.
So when we try to compare the female brain to the male brain, we have to start with the stereotypes women have about men: always thinking about sex, not listening, thinking they’re better than women, not caring about how they look, and the idea that men don’t cry. Nevertheless, if you’re searching for the perfect man, it’s time to change the way you think and really understand the intricacies of the male brain.
10 Things Women Must Know About Male Psychology
Before you start your family life with the man you have now, get to know him better by understanding male psychology.
1. There’s really no blueprint.
When it comes to your love life and how men think in relationships, it may be difficult to accept, but there’s no blueprint for understanding all men in all situations. Even if you refer to studies and clinical psychology, you’ll discover that guys vary widely. While many men can be afraid of intimacy or want to take things slow, there are still those guys who are hopeless romantics and waiting for the right opportunity to settle down and raise a family.
It’s convenient to simply throw up your hands in frustration that men are “just different.” But the truth remains that no two men will be exactly alike when it comes to how they approach relationships.
If you feel like you don’t completely understand how your male partner behaves, it’s not because he’s a man, but because he’s not you. He’s a separate human being who doesn’t think the way you do. As always, you have a choice. If you don’t like how he thinks or treats you, you can find a different boyfriend. But you can’t make him think just like you just because you love him and he has a lot of potential.
2. Understand that men and women are biologically different and socialized differently.
Culturally and due to masculine norms, boys and girls are raised differently. Many men are often rewarded for their adventurous and tough personalities. In contrast, women are often rewarded for being great caretakers.
Research published on mindbodygreen reveals parents use more words about emotions with their daughters, supporting better emotional intelligence. In contrast, they use more words about spatial objects with their sons. These ways of upbringing reverberate in all of us, affecting the kinds of individuals men and women grow up to be.
According to sex therapist and director at The Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center, Jesse Kahn, LCSW, CST, various genders are socialized differently. Generally speaking, they often have different societal expectations.
Having said this, while there are obvious biological differences between men and women, and there are gaps between populations (Men are, in general, stronger and more competitive, women tend to be more communal and sensitive), it’s important to remember that there are infinite exceptions to these overall rules. Not all women are better at expressing their feelings, and men aren’t always more logical than emotional. It’s imperative not to make assumptions about what a man is and isn’t capable of based on gender or sexual orientation. Avoid assuming his feelings about things only because he’s a man.
3. Men need space, but not always because they’re falling in love.
More myths about men say that men may act distant when they like a person or pull away when falling in love. This is called the rubber band effect, as outlined by Dr. John Gray of Mars/Venus fame. But even if men do need space – as all people do – it’s not a great sign that he’s ambivalent about you. More likely than not, he’s having second thoughts and doesn’t know how to express himself. He may even conclude that he doesn’t like you but isn’t saying it aloud until he’s sure that he wants to break up.
When your boyfriend or male spouse asks for space, you should ask him what he means and why he needs this space. It’s normal to ask for this, but you should never make assumptions about why. Ask for clarity to better understand what he needs and whether you can give this to them. Communication is key, but in general, a guy who wants a little time to himself is normal; a guy who is “taking a break” from you just hasn’t had the courage to break up yet. You should probably do it for him.
4. Some men are afraid of commitment and intimacy.
Some people experience fear when they fall in love. It can always get scary when you become vulnerable. When you fall in love, there’s the possibility of getting hurt. Some people run from serious relationships because it’s easier to leave than to suffer through a possible rejection.
This behavior is usual among individuals with an avoidant attachment style. This type goes along with other styles: secure attachment (comfortable with intimacy and being loved by others), anxious attachment style (needing constant attention and validation to feel loved), and avoidant attachment style (avoiding intimacy subconsciously and afraid of commitment). Men are more likely to develop the third one.
It’s a bit of an overstatement to say that men are afraid of commitment when 50 million men are voluntarily married in the United States alone, and women are more likely to avoid marriage after divorce. But still, masculinity is often associated with not being vulnerable. And vulnerability involves commitment and intimacy that may cause fear and withdrawal from some men.
5. Men aren’t encouraged to engage with their emotions.
The notion that men don’t talk about their feelings isn’t true. This is another stereotype about men. And unfortunately, this becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you’re with a guy who struggles to open up his emotions, you can always be gentle and encouraging with him. You can ask him questions so he can share his emotions, and thank him when he does, even if these feelings are difficult to hear. Furthermore, you can give him positive reinforcement when he talks about his feelings, so he knows he’s safe with you.
There’s a lot of talk about how men are all about looks, but they’re really about feelings.
Men want to feel accepted and appreciated. They may not show it, but men have this need to feel appreciated. They need to feel good about themselves when they’re in a relationship. If you can accept a man 100 percent without criticizing him or constantly trying to change him, you’ll have a man who is grateful and loyal because no one else has ever done so.
6. Men don’t know what women want.
Technically, nobody knows what anybody wants unless they’re told directly. Like
everybody else, men aren’t mind-readers. Therefore, it’s important to let them know what you want.
When you feel like your partner isn’t fulfilling your needs or giving you the things you want in your relationship, talk about it. It’s possible he doesn’t know your expectations or desires, and a conversation will make all the difference. Don’t expect the man to “just know” what you want.
7. The male brain isn’t a mystery.
Understanding male psychology is not about reading about all psychological studies out there. Your man is unique from all other men. Even popular beliefs and trends in male behavior (including this article!) may not be applicable to your partner. There will always be outliers.
Simply put, if you want to know what a man wants in a relationship, ask him directly. Men tend to be very direct and honest when it comes to expressing their needs.
8. Men do what they want.
No need for gender studies: men aren’t that mysterious. If he wants to call, he’ll call. If he wants to see you, he’ll see you. If he wants to commit to you, he’ll commit to you. If he’s not doing any of the above, it’s because he doesn’t want to. Wondering why is a waste of your energy; you’re better off finding a man who naturally treats you the way you want to be treated instead of trying to get a guy to become the man you want him to be.
9. Masculine energy doesn’t like to be directed or corrected.
While toxic masculinity is a thing, not all forms of masculinity are inherently toxic. Competition isn’t always toxic. Sexuality isn’t always toxic. Aggression isn’t always toxic. Directness isn’t always toxic. Everything in moderation, you know? But when you’re dealing with men – in general – it’s wise to know that telling men what to do is usually a failed strategy. Yes, it’s a stereotype but think of all the times you’ve told a guy he was wrong. How did he react? Probably with his primal autonomic nervous system: fight or flight. The best way to communicate with men, therefore, is the same as how you communicate with women: with validation, with understanding, with empathy, with curiosity – not by telling him he’s wrong every time he disagrees with you.
10. Men, like women, seek pleasure and avoid pain.
This is part of human nature. Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud originally coined this term of pleasure principle to characterize the tendency of people to look for pleasure and avoid pain. He argued people would take great strides to avoid momentary pain, specifically at times of psychological weakness or vulnerability. This desire for pleasure explains why men will have sex without commitment, and the avoidance of pain will explain why he doesn’t break up with you even when he doesn’t see himself marrying you.
The Male Brain Is Easier To Understand Than You Think
The psychology of men isn’t that complicated. Think of men as just like any other human being. They want to be complimented, listened to, taken care of, challenged, and loved like the rest of us. Stop dwelling on gender roles because doing so will not help you find that perfect man.
Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with men – and believe me, there’s plenty! – your best bet is to take care of what you can control: being optimistic, confident, and understanding with whomever you meet along your journey. This way, it’ll be easier for the right man to fall in love with you.