Communication between the sexes has always been a gray area, mainly because men often do and say things that women can’t understand. But that has to go both ways, right? There’s bound to be things sisters do that drive guys crazy—and not in a good way. So we called in Anslem Samuel, who pens a popular blog on life, love and relationships called NakedWithSocksOn.com, to help the ladies out. He polled a bunch of brothers to find out how women confuse them. Here are the (sometimes hilarious) results:
“I hate when women ask me about their weight and when I suggest solutions they act like I’m calling them fat or something.”—Richard, 28, single
Anslem says: Point blank: don’t ask questions if you can’t handle the answer. Most men know to fudge their response to such a setup question, but in the rare case that a man says yes, why should he be labeled “mean” for voicing his opinion? You asked! Besides, if this is your man, he’s going to love you and your lady lumps just fine.
“You really want them to say you look great. As a woman, you want to be showered with compliments from your significant other. We could go to our girlfriends for a “reality” check. Besides, you seemed to think this same pencil skirt looked just fine on Tasha."
—Carla, 28, single
TALKING DURING MOVIES
“Don’t ask me, ‘What’s happening now,’ when we’re both clearly seeing the same movie for the first time.”
—Mario, 30, married
Anslem says: High five to Mario. Nothing irks me more than having to stop and explain to my date who the bad guy is and what his plan is for world domination. If a woman can keep up with all the plot twists on her favorite soap opera or “Sex and the City” episode, a two-hour movie shouldn’t be that hard to follow.
“I actually agree. Ladies, let’s shut up and watch the movie. I’d rather cuddle up, eat some popcorn and enjoy the flick with my boo instead of hearing you yap about about it behind [or in front of] me.” —Darlene, 30, married
“My wife is awesome but it’s annoying when she calls me while I’m out [with the boys] and I told her I’d be home late.” —Brian, 31, married
Anslem says: I understand missing your man, but if you give him a pass to hang with the fellas let him enjoy it—especially if he spends most of his time with you anyway. The worst thing you can do is call to see what he’s doing and when he’s coming home. That just makes him look bad in front of his friends and makes you look like a nag. It’s not like he didn’t tell you he’d be out “late,” so just let the man enjoy his freedom in peace.
“Point taken. So next time he’s hanging out with the boys I’ll just send my husband a text message when I need him to stop by the 7-Eleven on his way home to pick up those diapers for the twins.” —Marcy, 44, married
“Why do women always go to the bathroom together?” —Jesus, 30, single
Anslem says: It’s not two (or more) women going to the bathroom at the same time that’s confusing; it’s the fact that most of y’all specifically ask for the escort. Are you afraid to go by yourself? Do you need help unzipping something? Are you talking about us? Men are clueless about the fascination with sharing the bathroom experience because our restroom dealings are direct and to the point. You go in, handle your business and exit as soon as possible without making eye contact or talking to anyone—ever! What’s so special about the ladies’ room?
“As women, we want to chat in the ladies’ room. ‘Girl, how does my hair, makeup, outfit look?’ It’s a chance for us to get a quick recap in. Also, that lonely walk to the restroom is stressful. We want some of the focus taken off of us.”—Barbara, 27, single
BLINDLY TRUSTING OPRAH OR NO-MAN PAM
“Why do women watch “Oprah” or read a magazine and start quoting it like it’s the Bible. Better yet, why get relationship advice from the girl with no man?” —Earl, 32, single
Anslem says: Just because someone said something on TV or in a magazine doesn’t mean it’s true—unless, of course, you read it in ESSENCE. Questioning a man’s intentions because of some quiz is just silly. Our relationship was perfectly fine before Oprah or your no-man-having friend got involved, so unless you have some stone-cold proof that I’m doing dirt, there’s no need to rock the boat. You’re dating me, not them.
“Look, I’ll stop listening to no-man Pam if you stop taking advice from locker room Louie. Period.” —Renee, 46, separated
“Why do women give men gifts only another female would appreciate, like flowers or candy?” —Neil, 27, single
Anslem says: Okay, flowers and candy are a bit of an extreme—I hope—but there are certain gifts the average man is not going to be gung ho about. While a day at the spa might sound nice to you, chances are your manly man isn’t going to want to spend hours getting seaweed avocado scrubs. Men are simple and practical. Looking for the perfect guy gift? Get us some tools, tickets to the game or lingerie (for you, of course) and we’re happy.
“Well, next time I’ll keep the spa gift certificate for myself and offer him a beer-of-the-month membership and a b-job.” —Carlene, 42, married
“How’s a woman going to put on fake hair, fake eyelashes, fake eyebrows, Spanx, high heels, a push-up bra and then want a dude to be real with them?” —Rahmel, 31, single
Anslem says: Sure, men have their own contradictions, like wanting a woman in the streets and a freak in the sheets, but what you see is generally what you get when it comes to guys. Unfortunately, the same isn’t always true for some women. There’s nothing more confusing to us than sitting across from a sister who’s talking about how she needs a real man in her life when all her body-slimming contraptions, layers of makeup and hair extensions conceal what she really looks like. Talk about ironic.
“Guys are very visual. You guys know the game…you invented it. You are turned on by the way we look. If that includes enhancers, so be it. I would like to know why men lie and say they live in a condo when they stay in their mama’s basement or floss around in their man’s Lexus. Some brothers are notorious for that.” —Ana, 25, single
“Why do women expect us to go shopping with them for hours and hours?” —Paul, 27, single
Anslem says: Men and women approach shopping completely differently—we see it as a chore, while y’all view it as an adventure. Aside from shoes and suits, the average guy doesn’t have to try on clothes. But y’all have your own complex size system and a never-ending obsession with buying shoes and bags that will drive any poor sap that was forced to tag along with you up the wall. This is not our idea of fun, so don’t get mad when we decline your next offer to watch you shop.
“We want validation that we’re buying what you’re going to be pleased with. A lot of women dress for men. We want you to like our clothes.” —Wanda, 51, divorced
“Why do they need to talk about every single detail of their day? It’s cute during the initial courtship but not too much longer than that.” —Jason, 30, married
Anslem says: Men aren’t too big on talking. That’s a lie; we like to talk, just not about the entire transcript of your day. Pay attention to a couple having a conversation next time and chances are you’ll hear the woman’s voice way more than the man’s. Unless it’s something the guy’s passionate about (i.e. sex, sports or sex), he’s probably not even listening.
“We as women are usually talkers by nature. We go into dating situations with such high expectations, so we’re trying to figure out if you’re the one as soon as possible. The more we talk, the more we think we’ll get to that quicker.” —Marie, 38, divorced
CRUSHING CELEBRITY CRUSHES
“Girls who get mad that I have celebrity crushes is confusing.” —Will, 26, single
Anslem says: Okay, your man having a crush on another woman is a problem, but it’s a big difference when that person is a celebrity. Not only is his dream girl unattainable, the odds of him actually meeting her and she having feelings for him are slim to none. Seriously, if you’re going to get mad at a man for admiring Halle Berry then you need a reality check. I know plenty of women that admire her beauty as well (she’s 42 and fine). Every man has a right to his own celebrity crushes, just remember that’s his fantasy, you’re his reality.
“We don’t wanna be compared to someone whose job it is to perfect—all the time! That’s too much pressure.” —Regina, 40, married