Shit my guy friends say

While I consider myself to be traditionally feminine in many ways, I relate to men better than I do women.

On any given night you can find me at a bar or eatery drinking peppermint tea with some dude(s).

I’ve been fed so much information by daytime television, magazines and modern relationship “guidebooks” about this mysterious species that is man.

What does man want? How does he get it? How often should you take him for a walk?

I really don’t see men and women as being that different. There are traits that are considered “masculine” and “feminine,” but your own personal mix of said traits depends on a lot more than what is between your legs.

Still, straight women seem to spend a great deal of time putting the opposite sex under a microscope.

Based on my experience talking to my guy friends, I can give you a rundown of “what men want” in very general terms, but I may as well write “how to treat any kind of person in any situation.”

Maybe if we thought of dating as relating to another human rather than going on an exotic safari, it would become a lot less confusing.

Make yourself clear

What is it that you want? For the most part, guys want to make you happy, or at the very least not piss you off. If it’s important for you to be exclusive, get a card on Valentine’s Day, or even if all you want is for him to keep doing what he’s doing, only lower and faster, you have to say so. If the guy in question can’t provide that for you, it’s probably best to find out sooner rather than later.

Don’t assume

I’ve gotten myself into trouble with this one. If a guy does something to upset you, the best person to seek an explanation from is the male in question. Sometimes we find ourselves asking, “Why is he doing this?” when he is literally doing nothing. Don’t fill silences with your own insecurities.

Step back

Another challenge for me, but so important. If you have communicated properly with someone and they still act distant or weird, poking at them will only cause a big ol’ dent. We’ve all had times when we want to be alone with our thoughts and someone lavishing attention on us never helps. Take a step back and do your own thing for a while - not to “lure” your potential mate, but because you will be really annoying otherwise.

There is no book that is going to teach you everything you need to know about every man. If you want to date the man who wrote that book, go ahead.

Otherwise, use your common sense, know what you want and let the chips fall where they may.

I can’t tell you it’s what I’ve done every time, but it’s what works.

Have a question about relationships you’d like Melanie to address in a future column? Email it to with “Open Relationship” in the subject line. Visit

Published in Volume 66, Number 28 of The Uniter (June 27, 2012)

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