20 pieces of advice for women about men

Ever since I started my first blog, my readership has been mostly of the female variety. And because I seemed to be one of only a handful of boy bloggers around, I ended up getting asked for the male perspective on a lot of relationship stuff. This is a list of advice I’ve given, advice I should have given, and things I muttered quietly to myself as I banged my head against a wall.

1. Respect is deserved and should be demanded. Always.

2. He should tell you how he feels. Without prompting. Without forcing.

3. If words aren’t his thing, he should show you. Without hesitation. Without need for interpretation.

4. He should care about your stuff. He shouldn’t tolerate it. He shouldn’t listen to your stories just to get a chance to tell his. He should legit care.

5. If he doesn’t put in the work at the beginning, he is unlikely to suddenly flip a switch and start doing it later.

6. How does he make you feel about yourself? If he tears down, instead of building you up, he’s not the guy for you. Or anyone else, really.

7. If he can’t decide between you and someone else, he just did.

8. The way he talks ABOUT you should be at least equal to the way he talks TO you. And they both should idle at just shy of gushing.

9. Pay attention to why he fights. He should fight because he feels that he’s been wronged, not just to prove he’s right.

10. Pay attention to how he fights. He should always fight with restraint.

11. He should NEVER call you a word that is sometimes referred to simply by its first letter.

12. He should look at you like you’re the last french fry and the drive-through just closed.

13. He should have a smile that is just for you.

14. Watch how he treats his family.

15. He should hold doors open. For you. For everyone.

16. Listen to how the people who know him best talk about him.

17. Because you asked should be reason enough.

18. Allowing you to feel unappreciated, even for a moment, should crush him.

19. He shouldn’t need to MAKE time for you. He should cherish GETTING to spend time with you.

20. Don’t ever, ever settle for a guy who isn’t off his ass in love with you. And willing to show it.

[Originally posted May 2012.]

74 thoughts on “20 pieces of advice for women about men

    • Obviously no guy is perfect. And even the good ones have bad days.

      But you know that guys like this exist.

      And you’re waiting for yours.

      Even though some days he seems to be taking way too long to get there.

        • I found one …took me a really really really long time, but they are out there…It’s so easy to overlook any one of those 20, and when you do overlook ANY of them, you truly are in trouble. It’s one thing for your guy to have a bad day, and another for you to make excuses for him…I wasted a lot of time with guys with whom I had to make the effort, not the other way around, guys who would put me down, just to make themselves feel better in comparison, or guys that I had to fight with to get them to spend time with me. I have made excuses for these guys all my life, until I stumbled onto the person I am with now, and I swear there is not a day where I am not floored by that. I had completely given up and was seriously demoralized at the prospect of having to settle – I thought everyone did in some way. Maybe it’s not about the right guy, but about the guy who is right for you. If you are not sure about him now, he probably is not the right one for you.

          • They exist. I’m dating one. He is in LOVE with me and everyone knows it. I don’t know how the hell I ever tried to date anyone else– all my relationships before this one were like 3 months tops because I WILL NOT be treated poorly. Finally at 27 I’ve met someone who treats me the way my Dad treats my Mom… He set a great example.

    • Eleni – I didn’t think they did either, and I was the biggest skeptic of all time… until I found one. They’re out there, I swear to God. And they’re totally worth waiting for.

    • They really do exist but very hard to come by cos they not like the other guy who will let his presence felt among the crowd so ladies dont notice them when they cross paths with one….Hence, the twenty first century lady only goes after outer rather than inner ones.

    • Right??

      That has always baffled me. (And this applies to women deciding between dudes too.)

      If he isn’t sure at first, and doesn’t make you a priority from the start, that seems like a sign to me.

  1. YES. But when I say it apparently I’m being smug because I have someone like that and “you got the last one!” as if I stole him off the Last Chance To Buy shelf.

    Maybe it’ll sound less smug coming from a man…

  2. I can’t believe I’m actually admitting this, but I think I might have finally taken your advice. Knock on some serious pieces of wood.

    OK you can wipe that smug look off your face and stop patting yourself on the back now.

  3. Seriously love this post. I hope one day I can find someone who does all of this… It sounds really great & almost unbelievable, but in that good way that makes me want to keep looking until I find it. :)

  4. I ruled out a guy this last weekend for many of these reasons. I love that I now have this lovely list to continue to remind me. I am sending this to all of my friends regardless of gender. Thank you, Peter.

  5. This is awesome. And luckily for me, I smiled a lot every time I read one that applied to my boyfriend (which was nearly every one). Men like this really do exist.

  6. Thank you for writing this. I’ve been telling my daughter the same thing for years, but you wrote it just right. I’ve been married for 27 years to a man who worships the ground I walk on and I tell him and show him how much I love that every chance I get, which makes him love me even more. And no, I was not lucky to have find him I just refused to settle for anything less.

  7. I like this list a lot, of course, taking it with some flexibility. None is perfect and expecting that the person we love or we are together will look at us always like we are the last french fry on Earth may lead to some very large disappointment when this doesn’t happen. However, I had let some people I liked a lot treating me very badly and I do agree with you that respect is the first thing to be deserved in any kind of relationship (friendship, family interaction, or romantic relationship). I should definitively print this list and stick it to my fridge, so that next time I will meet someone who doesn’t treat me as I deserve, I will be reminded to walk away from him.


  8. Hey! I think I married that guy! You can add to the list: “Will never ask you to clean out the shower drain.” That one is my favorite way of how he tells me he loves me… aaawwww!

  9. Ah what wonderful advice, thank you for writing this. I absolutely agree with you and think that surely you must be the most cherished husband/partner alive :)

  10. EVERYTHING is TRUE!!! Guys like this do exist, I wish I didn’t agree with this, but from personal experience I know its completely true. It so freaking sad and unfortunate that i know this.

  11. What I would like to see is the female list. Because men are people too. We want much different things than women do.

  12. My gosh, if only!!
    Reading this actually made me a little sad… but then I read some comments from women saying they had indeed found their perfect guy. So in the meantime my faith in men has been restored just a little more. Genuine, loving, and respectful men do exist after all!

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