Men Share Guy Secrets Women Don’t Know About
There’s an old expression that goes: “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” However, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings and we have more in common than we sometimes would like to admit. Unfortunately, there are an incredible amount of stereotypes surrounding both genders that are present in everyday life. For example, it is said that men shouldn’t talk about their feelings, while women are expected to be overly emotional. Generalizations like these do nothing but prevent us from living our full humanity.
Even the most masculine, hard-headed of men have a softer side. Even the most sensitive women have an untapped assertiveness. Sometimes, it’s good to hear the perspectives of people on both sides. Here are some of the secrets you need to know, from the men’s side:
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#1 Depression Denial
Many men have anxiety or depression, but we will not talk about. In fact, we might even get moderately annoyed at you for bringing it up. I think there’s some biological basis to it — our hormone balances are different from those of women, so maybe that causes us to be more aggressive when it comes to sensitive topics.
#2 Mothers Matter
My dad served in the Pacific during WWII. A kid from the Bronx, he had never been out of the city in his entire life. Then he got sent to New Guinea. Decades later, as he lay dying in the hospital bed, he told us that his young friends, who were being slaughtered by other young men, would always cry for their mothers. Never for their fathers, always for their mothers.
He said, “They were just kids, just kids being slaughtered by other kids.” He also said they would often pass away in his arms. Their last words were always, “Where is my mother? Where is my mother? Where is my mother?” That affected him for his entire life. Luckily, my dad lived for a long time. He was the lucky one.
#3 Okay With Age
We don’t expect you to look like a supermodel as we age together. Yes, at times I do see you as I did 30 years ago, and in my imagination, the wrinkles and flaws disappear. But the times when I do see your wrinkles and flaws are the best because I know how you got every one of them. They are beautiful, no doubt.
#4 Fear Of The Threat
I’m always afraid of accidentally making women feel uncomfortable in my presence. For example, when I happen to walk in the same direction as a woman who just happens to be in front of me for a while. I’m not even interested in women in the first place, but society is becoming more and more hostile towards all men due to the actions of some men, and I think that does take a bit of a toll on me.
#5 Disclosure Agreement
When people come crying to us, our first inclination is to fix the problem. This is probably in our nature and biology as men. Since fixing the problem outright is usually not possible, help us out by stating something along the lines of: “Can I vent for a minute?” Or anything that signals to us that you just need us for a period of active listening, rather than a problem-solving session.
#6 It’s Not You
When we want to be alone, it’s not that we don’t want to be around you, it’s that we don’t want to be around anyone for a bit. This isn’t just a guy thing, either. I’m sure even girls need to take some time away from people sometimes, just to recharge themselves mentally and socially. Don’t take it personally, we’re all just going through things.
#7 Stick-Figure Hair
We really do think your hair is good. It looked good before and after you got a haircut. It looked good curly and it looked good straight. It looked good when you woke up and when you made it. As long as it’s shaped like the hair we gave girls on stick figures when we were five years old, we think it looks good.
#8 One Trip Or Bust
If we haven’t carried in all the shopping in one go, we haven’t done it right.
#9 Not Going Anywhere
If we tie down anything in the back of a pickup truck. it’s physically impossible for us not to stand back and say, “That’s not going anywhere.” Most of the time, we’re proud of our work and confident in the results, even if it’s something as simple as securing an item in the back of a pickup truck. We’re weird like that.
#10 Help With Hinting
We often don’t get the hint. Saying “I almost broke my neck in the driveway” is not the same as asking us to shovel it. In my mind, I’m thinking, “Thanks for the heads up, I’ll be careful.” Some of us react better when you just tell us, straight up, what you want from us. We can avoid those annoying back-and-forth arguments altogether.
#11 The Universal Nod
The “nod.” When you see a guy you don’t know, or a guy you kind of know but don’t really know well enough to talk to, you give a subtle nod of your head, which they return. I talked to my wife about this and she confirms that women do not do the same thing. Sometimes, they smile instead. Both are important social cues to know.
#12 Itch That Can’t Be Scratched
The mental struggle we have to go through to not scratch around our groin in a public setting. It’ll take 100% of my willpower to not do it. The itching can drive me insane, yet the euphoria from actually scratching it is so good. I often imagine this must be what it’s like scratching a dog’s ears. There’s just something so satisfying about the relief.
#13 Just Throw It
We desperately want you to toss us things instead of just handing them to us.
#14 Not Making It Up
It’s not uncommon for us to genuinely think you’re beautiful without any makeup. In fact, most of us prefer that you don’t wear it at all. That’s not to say that we like you less when you have makeup on; we simply appreciate who you are and what you look like whether you do decide to use makeup or not. You’re beautiful either way.
#15 Designated Downtime
When we come home from work, we could use some downtime to do nothing. The car ride home does not count. Give us 20 to 30 minutes without unloading on us. This may be true for everyone, but having a moment to just be dormant on your couch or in front of the TV lets our bodies and brains say, “Work is over and you can put it behind you!”
#16 Universally Known Urinal Laws
There is an unwritten rule of bathroom urinal etiquette that is never taught to young men but is somehow universally known. When a man enters a public restroom to go in a urinal, he is to occupy every other available urinal from other men. Meaning, the prime positions are in urinals 1, 3, and 5 if that is available. 2 and 4 should only be occupied if there are no other choices.
#17 Little Spoon Desires
Sometimes we like to be the little spoon.
#18 Interest In Interests
If we have a goofy hobby and you take interest in it, even in the slightest, we love it. I’m a big gamer and my wife will often watch what I’m doing and try to understand it. When she asks me, “Oh, are you looking forward to Anthem?” it’s really cool and I appreciate her interest. It’d be so easy for her to not pay attention, but she does and it makes a big difference.
#19 Their Own Biggest Hero
How often we fantasize about saving the day from a world threat or something. Sometimes, we’ll just sit and daydream about being a part of the Avengers or the Justice League. As men, we have an inclination to being protective figures. Part of the reason could be from societal pressures, but I genuinely think some of it has to do with our biology as males. Testosterone is a powerful (and highly influential) hormone.
#20 Craving Compliments
Most guys compliment other men in their heads but don’t say it out loud so that we aren’t mistaken for being gay. It’s annoying because: 1) there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being gay in the first place, and 2) it teaches men that it’s not okay for them to have feelings. I compliment my best buds just to see their faces light up. I think more men need to get complimented on small things, it doesn’t happen that often.
#21 Funny Thoughts
I spent an hour or so this morning reading about fighter jets, then I dozed off and dreamt that I was a pilot. I remembered a cool folder I had once with a T-rex flying a fighter jet on it. I laughed out loud at that memory and when my wife asked why. I told her not to worry about it. Then, I laughed again because I thought about a T-rex trying to fit in among his little peers at flight school. My wife and I then started fighting because she thought I was hiding something.
We’re really not that mysterious—sometimes, we’re just laughing at a T-rex trying to take notes on wind speed and lift.
#22 Fighting With Food
Men can have eating disorders and body positivity issues too! I’ve struggled for years, and yet the few people that I do open up to about it just write it off as a phase. When girls come forward with the same issue, it’s immediately addressed as a serious matter. And when the issue is talked about on a larger scale, men are rarely, if ever, included.
#23 Short Shower Talk
Generally, locker room talk isn’t a thing; at least at public gyms. Most guys want to get showered, changed, and out of there. We don’t engage in long conversations. High school locker rooms, on the other hand, might be a different story. Because boys are around their friends, they feel like they are in a more comfortable setting to be open about things.
#24 Affectionate Attention
Dudes can be starved for touch. If you want to be there for your guy, scratch his head or his back. Hold his hand, put your hand on his leg, do that thing where you lock arms and elbows when you walk. When I’m frustrated or in my own world stressing about money or what I have to do later that day, it really grounds me to enjoy the moment with my girl.
#25 All Apologies Accepted
Guys have near zero ability to hold a grudge if an apology is genuinely offered and accepted. Most guys have friendships that started out with some terrible misunderstanding but eventually worked themselves out. Women, on the other hand, can nurse a grudge in ways most men cannot fathom. They can just keep it going and going if they want to.
#26 Stressed And Scared
We feel great social pressure to be strong, less emotional, carry others, and make money. A lot of the times, we don’t know how to. And we’re scared. But we know we’re not supposed to be, and we know we’re not supposed to ask for help. So we get stressed and angry. Thankfully, we’re moving towards a society that is slowly letting go of those pressures.
#27 Afraid To Intimidate
Sometimes we don’t talk to people because we don’t want to intimidate them. I might see a girl with a cool shirt on, but I don’t want to make her think I’m coming on to her or something. Rather than freak her out, I just leave her alone. Especially if we’re on an elevator or something where she can’t leave if she actually is uncomfortable.
#28 Smashing Stereotypes
Getting it on isn’t all we want in a relationship. I’d rather be with someone who understands me than someone who I have an intimate, physical relationship with every day but don’t connect with emotionally. Some of us are into things like cooking, cleaning, make-up, fashion, etc. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re lesser men.
Please don’t tell us to “man up.” A lot of us were constantly told that growing up whenever we tried to express ourselves, so you saying it will often bring up bad memories. Men can be abused. Men can be harassed. No, we don’t “enjoy” being harassed by a girl, even an attractive one, and we often don’t talk about it because people will often straight up tell us we’re lying about it if we do.
#29 Satisfying Rituals
Not sure if this is universal, but guys usually have at least one pastime for which the process just as satisfying, if not moreso, than the outcome. One example is my morning espresso. If I’m making it, being interrupted or rushed is very disruptive to the point where I’d rather not have started it. For others, it may be washing the car, barbeque, or shaving. Being able to fully invest in these gratifying rituals is fulfilling to a surprising degree.
#30 Stealthy Search History
We will go to the end of the universe to hide our search history. Thank god for Incognito Mode.
#31 Left On Read
Not knowing really sucks. I learned not to “blow up” a girl’s phone, so I don’t send more than one, maybe two messages. Being left on read and thinking about where exactly it was that I messed up to not get a response, really sucks. Having to play it cool when I like someone in order to not scare her off sucks too.
#32 Appreciating Appearance
Men can think a woman is hot without being physically attracted to her. Men can think other men are hot without being physically attracted to them. Some men can have a respect for someone’s looks regardless of their gender. It doesn’t mean they want to get it on with that person, it just shows a level of appreciation for the way someone looks or the way they carry themselves.
#33 Fleeting Moments Of Marriage
I don’t know if it’s a common thing, but every time a girl talks to me, I imagine being married to her and stuff like that. Then, after a bit of daydreaming, I’ll come back to reality and tell myself, “Yeah sure, that’s never gonna happen.” I eventually go back to being sad and alone again.
#34 Not Always Up For It
I’m gonna do my best to explain this one here: We aren’t always up for doing stuff together. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about you. A lot of the hobbies that men typically do, you will notice, revolve around being alone, focusing on something and getting the task done. It makes us feel fulfilled, productive, and proud.
We also aren’t so entrapped by society when it comes to being social. In other words, just because Fred or Clive isn’t posting on Instagram about being out and about, don’t assume they’re lonely. Because we can so comfortably be alone with our thoughts, sometimes it really takes a great deal of empathy and understanding on our part to appreciate that you might not also have hobbies you can do alone.
I can open my laptop and start playing video games, but my girlfriend doesn’t have that node for “instant gratification.” When you say you’re bored, please help us to better comprehend what you mean by contextualizing what is causing you boredom. Sometimes we don’t realize we are being selfish and making you feel lonely when all we want to do on a Saturday is slob about. We love you, dearly; but we’re not always great at empathy because of a lifetime of being told to suck it up.
#35 Wanting To Be Approached
Men want to be desired too. I can count the number of times a woman has told me she was attracted to me on a single hand. And from my understanding, that is already a high number. We don’t miss “hints” because we are dense or stupid, we miss them because we have learned the hard way that sometimes what we think is a hint is really just a friendly compliment. That embarrassment sticks with you.
If you’ve ever looked at a dude and thought, “Wow, he’s attractive, I’d like to go out with him,” go talk to him. Men love confident women, and even if he doesn’t reciprocate, you will make his day, or maybe even his year.
#36 Bonding Over Gaming
When guys are playing video games, we are often playing with people we develop deep friendships with. For example, I’ve never met my best friend in person; however, I’ve been playing games with him for 4 years. But since we live so far apart, we are not able to play games with each other every day. So when you are yelling at your boyfriend for playing video games with his friends, just remember he might be talking to people he has been playing games with for years and hasn’t talked to in a while.
#37 Protective Over Pregnancy
We’re just as excited about your pregnancy as you are. We’re emotionally involved and fully along for the ride. We feel the need to protect, provide, and do whatever we can for you and the little one growing inside you. And if something goes wrong, it’s a punch to the gut like we’ve never felt before. Losing a baby is a devastating event for a woman, but it is an awful feeling for us as well.
#38 Need To Connect
Many guys are actually really lacking in confidence, usually due to bad experiences or otherwise. Some just want to feel loved once in a while. Hanging with the guys is great and all, but a genuine hug, or even just a compliment, from someone of the opposite gender, can really turn a guy’s day around. Make them feel wanted. Many of those guys you think are creepy aren’t at all; they just don’t get that interaction often, so when they do, it’s overwhelming for them. Sometimes we just want to vent, sometimes we want to be held.
#39 Self Conscious And Insecure
Guys are self-conscious too. Balding, gray hair early on, weight, clothing, how we look in a bathing suit on the beach, how we think women think of us, how we think other guys think of us—all these are just some examples. The point is, we absolutely care about our image and reputation, it just may not be verbalized.
#40 Twisted Interpretations
We actually mean what we say. “It’s not my favorite restaurant,” does not magically mean something else, especially not that we hate your favorite place. I was happy to eat there and keep my mouth shut about my opinion, but you just had to drag it out. I went to dinner with my wife’s family when we first started dating. It was a pleasant dinner, if not a bit quiet. I just figured they were not very chatty. After dinner, my wife said to me, “Can you believe my mom?!” I did not see that coming. How could I respond? I just said “Yeah? What was that all about?” My wife sounded off for like an hour about some conversation that I had no idea even happened.
#41 Learning Bedtime Patterns And Behaviors
If you turn us down for intimacy too often, we will start to see patterns in your rejections, even if those patterns are purely coincidental. For example, saying “I’m so tired. I could go to bed right now,” at 6:30 p.m. immediately turns it into a night where I’m not going to try anymore. Also, asking if we “want to be sexy” does not count as initiating. We like to know that you want it. If you don’t, that’s fine; but don’t make it sound like it is only ever up to us to decide if we are getting it on or not.
#42 Struggling With Superficial Friendships
Being an adult can be lonely, especially if you live far away from where you went to high school or college. It is hard to meaningfully connect with other guys and create new relationships for many reasons. A lot of guy relationships involve watching sports or doing hobbies that operate at a pretty superficial level. The effort to make a new friend and cultivate it to a point where you are actually close is a lot of work.
Women make new friends a lot easier and have more extended groups. The pool of options for male friends, therefore, are often spouses of their wives. It’s not a deep pool. Being socially isolated has a lot of repercussions that can manifest in a lot of ways. Also, just because we went to the party and said we had a good time, doesn’t mean we felt like we actually connected with anyone.
They may be friends, but only on a superficial level. If we aren’t calling, texting or doing independent activities with people away from the group as a whole, then they aren’t good guy friends. The weird thing is, you get to a point where it is what it is and you adapt to being lonely because you are fighting a structural problem that you don’t have the time or resources to resolve.
#43 Keeping It Together
Men can have weak moments and break down emotionally too. For example, my wife has a lot of anxiety and depression issues. She keys off the emotions of those around her and takes stress pretty poorly (I love her and I don’t blame her for these issues, I’m just stating a fact). Where I struggle is that I feel like I can’t have a weak moment around her, because it will bring her down and then we are both struggling.
But man, I’ve had some really tough days and I’d love nothing more than to just get home and work all that emotion out in some way (whether through crying or just being angry at the darn pillows). I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep it together and I’ll have a really bad breakdown at some point. I’ve discussed it with her and she told me she can handle it, but the few times I’ve allowed myself to be weak, she wasn’t able to. So I just try not to show that weakness anymore because I don’t want to put her through it.
#44 Misty-Eyed During Movies
Sometimes, when we are watching a movie and I get up to use the bathroom or get a beer during a sad or emotional part, I’m doing it just so she doesn’t see me cry. I don’t mind crying in front of my wife but I’d rather her not see me tearing up when Moana finally makes it past the reef for the first time. I’m being 100% serious, by the way.
#45 Finding Validation
It’s not always about getting it on. It’s about validation. Someone choosing to “give up the goods” to you means that you’ve been deemed worthy as a man. Guys sleep around not just to boost their egos and have a good time, but to combat their insecurities. And yes, men can feel insecure too; especially if they aren’t living up to the alpha-male, “James Bond” standard of casual promiscuity. They think, “If I can’t get laid, I’m not worthy. If I can’t find someone to like me, there must be something wrong with me.”
Those guys hanging around the bar at last call, looking desperate to find someone to take home, are probably not even all that interested in the intimacy itself. They’ve been out there mixing it up with everybody and struck out all night. Now they feel like passed over trash. They’re the girl at the ball that nobody wants to dance with.
The kid who couldn’t get anyone to attend their birthday party. They’ve watched all their friends go home, probably with either a girlfriend or someone they just met that night, and now they’re feeling like they’re back at recess getting picked last for kickball. They’re desperate just to feel “normal” like “one of the guys,” so they’re looking for anyone to make them feel okay. It’s not about intimacy. It’s about being picked for the intimacy and the whole cult of masculinity that makes it seem so important. It’s actually super sad that’s what matters nowadays.