Think You Know How to Treat a Lady?
Whether your relationship status is single, dating, married, or even "it's complicated," knowing how to treat a lady with the proper respect and courtesy is important for every man to understand. That even goes for those of you who aren't currently interested in starting a relationship. The idea here is based on an understanding that it is important to let all women know that they are appreciated and valued. Don't we all want that? But because men and women are wired so differently, cross-communication with the opposite sex is inherently complicated. Verbal and non-verbal language can be interpreted in ways that one side may never have expected. However, there are some simple things that we, as men, can do to make sure we are doing our part to bridge that gap. The principles I will share with you today on how to treat a lady can be used effectively not only in an intimate relationship, but for just about any interaction with a woman. Some of them may sound familiar, but let's face it, we all need a tune-up every now and then.
LISTEN... Really. Just Listen.
There is no greater principle than this one. I have wasted countless hours due to my misunderstanding of this concept, and may even waste a few more in my future. You may wonder, "How do I demonstrate that I am listening to her?" Well, the first step is to actually listen. If you are really listening to what she is saying, the likelihood that she will feel like you're not listening goes way down. But even if you are listening to her, if she thinks you're not, you have not yet fulfilled this most important step in how to treat a lady. Here are some other things to keep in mind:
1) Eye contact. A good rule of thumb to go by is about 8 seconds of eye contact for every 10 seconds of listening. Now, don't be counting the seconds in your head, or you won't be able to listen to her! But do get an idea of what that amount feels like and it will become more second-nature to you.
2) Respond. Appropriately. Even if it's just "uh-huh" or "go on" or "what happened next?", show that you are engaged in what she is saying. But beware, women know when you're just faking it. Be sure to throw in some creative responses of your own, like a question or comment that follows up on what she is saying.
3) She doesn't need you to fix it. Unless she's your colleague at work bringing up a business problem, when women talk about their problems, it's often not because they want you to fix anything or help by giving them a solution. The best way you can help is to simply let them know that you heard what they said and do you're best to empathize with them. Seriously, that's it.
How Many Dates Have You Been On?
I say (un)common because I'm not so sure how common these once-common courtesies are anymore. Most of these courtesies are for how to treat a lady on date nights, but #1 and #5 are appropriate for use elsewhere as well. Just use your judgment. There are plenty more courtesies that are important to know for how to treat a lady well, but here are some great examples:
1) Open the door for her. Yes, I know that some women find this insulting, so use your judgment if you know the woman is more on the feminist side of the spectrum. However, it is still safe to assume that women interpret this gesture as kind and thoughtful. If you want to score major points on a romantic night out, open the car door for her and see what happens!
2) Compliment how she looks. It can be anything: her hair, dress, make-up, shoes, purse, nails, you name it. Even if she thinks you're full of it, this simple compliment will let her know that you noticed a decision she made. Word of warning though: make sure this compliment is timed appropriately. Complimenting when it makes no sense with the flow of your conversation is a no-no.
3) Be on time. Even though she will likely be running late, knowing that you were responsible enough to arrive at the time you previously designated will show that you respect her time.
4) Ask her about herself. This could be anything, and will vary based on how well you know her. If you are just starting a relationship, ask questions that will help you get to know her better. If you're married, it may be as simple as asking about the favorite part of her day.
5) Treat her as an equal. This can be interpreted many different ways, but it essentially means to let her know that you appreciate her independence and strengths. This could mean anything from not going (that) easy on her in sports to asking her for help with something around the house. We're talking about how to treat a lady, not how to treat a child.
6) Be willing to admit when you're wrong (even when you think you're not). You can avoid LOTS of turmoil in the relationship by employing this principle judiciously. You don't want to just let her think she's right about everything and so deflate you every time, but you definitely need to pick your battles. Get used to saying you're sorry and just moving on.