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The Thing About Men

Updated on October 10, 2012
The Manly Look
The Manly Look

The Female Urge to Understand Men

For centuries, women have been passionate about their desire to understand men. Let me say up front that I have no quarrel with women. I find comfort in the possibility that their undying quest to understand us is a testament to our magnificent greatness. Historically speaking, there is evidence to suggest that women see men as mysterious creatures of the most desirable kind. I can find no reason to argue.

So women start their lives with this built-in urge to understand their men. Which arouses unease in men because they see no reason to be understood when all that matters is right here right now. I've heard mutterings in the taverns and poker rooms of the nation where men express the suspicion that women are on a mission to change us. They feel that the campaign to "understand" us is just a smoke screen to cover their real intentions. Which, of course, sets up barriers to any meaningful exchange and makes the ladies' goal of understanding men that much harder to reach.

Some women get frustrated easily and too quickly buy into the opinion that men are rowdy ruffians with no potential for genteel communication. So, nursing the pain of their failure at getting those masculine innards out on the carpet, they retreat into a commune for women to seek the comfort of a gentler place. There, they spend their days exploring their true feelings and generally getting into the groove of understanding and being understood.

Which is wonderful healing experience for the girls. As far as I can see, they have a deep need for sincere, meaningful conversations, a need to truly explore feelings, relationships, and other such emotional supernovae. They say they rarely find these things in their relationships with men.

Men, on the other hand, are not nearly as keen about revealing their deepest secrets to other persons. In fact, they do everything within their power to avoid getting trapped in the unnervingly intense discussions that women find so attractive. A budget tip here for ya, ladies: the "No Men Allowed" sign at the front gate of your commune is an unnecessary expense.

Being male, I appreciate that ladies are likely to view my objectivity with an eye of caution - perhaps even cynicism in the odd extreme case. Nevertheless, I will go out on a limb and offer a postulation. I will postulate thusly: It is a woman's perception that men are less sincere than women in the pursuit of true love.

That being said, I may need a few minutes to check for evidence that I am still alive. Men who postulate about women are in grave danger of a premature encounter with the dreaded sickle. Curiously, studies have shown that women have an instinctual affinity for wielding sickles.

So, if my postulation is anywhere near true, the quest for true love is what motivates women to persist in trying to understand men. Which makes things complicated because men have very practical ideas about true love that require almost no understanding at all.

Meaningful Conversation

Let's take conversation for example. Women want to discuss every conceivable parameter of an issue. Men just want to get to an agreement - any agreement - so the world can get back to critically important things like the basball game on TV.

Maybe it's the idea of agreement that's at the root of the problem. Hey, maybe we've stumbled upon something here! All that emotional spontaneous combustion for which we get blamed? Is it possible? We agree too easily? ... okay, maybe not.

Anyway, back on subject, a man attempting to converse with a woman is like a civilian taking an evening stroll through a minefield. He doesn't know where those deadly little bombs are, but the law of averages says he's bound to step on one eventually. Allow me to illustrate with an example from my personal life. We enter midway through an evening meal.

"Do you like your dinner?"


"Is your meat cooked the way you like it?"

"Uh huh."

"Is it cooked too much?"

"Oh no, it's just great."

"Are you sure?"

"Oh yeah, it's great."

"I'm sorry about the peas. I took them out of the freezer and warmed then in the microwave. You think I'm a really lazy wife, don't you?"

"Oh no, everything's great."

(I glance up just as a tear trickles down her cheek. Too late I try to duck down... she catches my eye.)

"You didn't even say thank you for the nice meal I made you."

"I said I liked it."

"But I had to ask. It's not the same."


"You don't love me anymore. I KNEW it!"

Defeated, I get up from my half-finished dinner and slink away to my basement office. Sitting at my computer, I open a graphics program, select a greeting card template and begin frantically pasting together a document I hope will somehow morph into a peace treaty.

I find some old pictures from our honeymoon and past one on the cover. I open up my online thesaurus and choose a bunch of embarrassingly sappy adjectives which I sprinkle around the inside page in a sequence that I hope will rhyme. I hastily print out a full colour copy, sign it with an even sappier comment and tiptoe up to the living room to see if I might have regained my right to live.

There was my sweet wife sitting ever so martyr-like on the sofa, still wiping her eyes and sniffling into a tissue. I meekly handed her the card and quietly slid away to a chair in a far corner of the room.

I watched out of the corner of my eye as she looked at the card's cover. She read the inside, then placed the card in her lap and stared into space. An eternity later, she picked up the card, read it again, then turned to face me... I froze.

"Do you mean that?" she asked softly, her eyes glistening.

"Oh yes!" I lied, praying she wouldn't challenge me with a pop quiz on the card's actual contents. "I meant every word!"

And I was thereby committed to sacrificing the completion of my next Hub in exchange for an evening of connubial bliss. She prattled on for two and a half hours straight while I nodded, smiled, frowned, and raised my eyebrows at points where I gambled it was the right thing to do.

"Isn't it wonderful when we can communicate like this?" she cooed sweetly as we prepared for bed. And we ended our day with the ritual approved by clergy for tithe-paying couples who have promised to tolerate each other until one of them dies.

Later I lay there thinking about my good fortune in having had those card templates.

The next day I overheard Wifey on the phone with one of her girlfriends telling her about the meaningful conversation we'd had, declaring how fortunate she felt that she had true love in her marriage, and opining that maybe men weren't such beasts after all.


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    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you, Penny. Inspiring laughter in people is my first objective; it makes me feel good every time that objective is achieved. However, receiving flattery is a very close second on my list of objectives and I can assure you that I always feel good when THAT objective is achieved.

      I appreciate your visit.

    • pennyofheaven profile image


      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Hahaha you had me in fits of laughter. Absolutely brilliant hub!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      at least you are smart enough to make a card and write something inside. All I get is an empty card with NO writing, NO signature and its not even in an envelope..ha ha (I don't try to figure men out, I gave up on that years ago) ha ha!

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Canada

      Hi Bella. Thank you very much for coming by and leaving those very wise words. I won you as a fan, did I? Well my chest is just swollen near to bursting with pride. A fan is a fine addition to an aging scribbler's list of things to feel proud about!

      I'll be over to visit you just as soon as I finish telling all my friends about this.

    • bellawritter23 profile image

      Erica Sanchez 

      7 years ago from California

      The only thing achieved in trying to change a man is changing ourselves and becoming the person he didnt meet. I have come to understand that you can not controll or change people places or things. And has made my life a lot easier. You have to be happy and content with yourself once that is accomplished then everything should fall into place for one. Very nice hub you have won yourself a fan....


    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Yeah, it's true that we menfolk are dark and inscrutable critters. But, like you say, we do come in handy from time to time. I try my best to live by the Red Green creed even if I do have to sneak out and pay someone to fix whatever it is that's broken! That way I still get the love...ha!

      (I'll be over to visit your page real soon.)

    • Beth100 profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      I gave up trying to figure you men out. I just know one thing: if I present something to you, you will try to fix it and make me feel better. What more could a girl ask for?? Just love you men the way you are! :)

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Hear, hear! Leaving men to meet women's most basic, simple and necessary needs is the best idea I've heard in a long time. Unless, of course, providing the biggest and best material possessions in the universe is classified as a basic need!

      And no thinking about it only to then go and spoil everything you've created. It's perfect!

    • Lynda Gary profile image

      Lynda Gary 

      8 years ago

      So true, so true. LOL. One of the things I try so hard to teach women (because they make up the majority of my clients) is this: Women have needs. Those needs can be met in MANY ways. The MAN is usually NOT the way to meet those needs. Men are good for life's most basic, simple, and necessary needs. For everything else, find a friend (female, that is)...

      Sort of.

      I'm not sure.

      Let me think about it...

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for visiting. You are a pleasure to know.

    • peptalk profile image


      8 years ago

      An excellent examination of relationships and beautifully written to boot!

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Hi there, Isabelle. It's a relief to know there's at least one person out there who recognizes my powers of description! Thanks for the visit and the comment.

    • Isabelle22 profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere on the coastline

      Oh this was just terrific. You describe men down to a tee.

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Ha ha! Good one! I admit, in spite of all my bluster, I am indeed "manipulated and controlled" by my wonderful wife. And I don't mind a bit!

      Thank you for the visit. You are an exceptional person.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      You are right; women have a “need” to mold and reform men; whether it comes from their maternal instinct of from deep insecurities, it does not matter in the end. What matters is that, in the process, they drive both men and themselves miserable.

      Smart women, all through history, never tried to understand men; they just manipulated and controlled them with great success. According to a friend of mine “men never grow up emotionally after the age of 5, intellectually after the age of 12 and physically after the age of 21. If a woman can’t control such a child, she is NOT a woman”

      Do I agree with her? For the most part, I do

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Hi, Jen! A visit from you always mixes me up. On the inside I'm a mixture of Romeo and Thor, one hand holding champagne and the other thumping my chest; on the outside I try to still my quivering chin with the facade of a smirking wisenheimer... sensitive yet strong!

    • wyanjen profile image

      Jen King 

      8 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

      What's all this talk about tools? You guys have tools for love! Oh, wait.

      I just figured out that you were talking about emotional stuff. Hmph.

      Since my divorce, I've figured out that I don't want a sensitive Romeo any damn way. I don't need a man who will buy me chocolate and champaign on Valentine's Day.

      I need a man who is strong, and sensitive maybe, but... strong. :-)

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Thank you, skye, for all those flattering words. Feel free to lie as much as you like; I'm a fool for flattery! I'm popping in and out of here as I do "real life" work so I may not always respond ot you as promptly as I should. I'm grateful to you for the vote of confidence.

    • skye2day profile image


      8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Hey nite, On the side of this page is the hub mob questions or comments. You could probaly link this over there by copy and paste. This hub is great.

      It is tribute to men at the hub mob pages this week. In my opinion your hub needs to get over there . It will get lots of exposure. Your words flow like sweet music. The humor is awesome and good medicine for the soul. The Lord is using you to touch others. Tell your wife that you are needed at hubs to touch other lives as well as hers. In Joy.

      Hugs Your friend. :) (:

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Hi, prettydarkhorse; I'm happy you stopped by. If I made you smile then my mission is accomplished! And thanks for becoming a fan; I feel really special now! See you around the forums.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      hmmmm, you make me smile and laugh, well thats women for you, hope they will understand the men more! See , men are also sweet. I love the way you write simple yet true and you write with humour. I am a fan now YAY!

      you have a good day!

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by. By the way, I'll volunteer to take that punishment you mentioned, for myself and for a few of my friends as well. I'm selfless and thoughtful when it comes to things like that.

    • Lisa Hess profile image

      Lisa Hess 

      8 years ago from

      I think you are insightful but from the male perspective. We women are truly more interested in slaying you with love, kindness and an irresistible amount of punishment though sexual enticement until you are filled with blinding desires. And you love it as much as we do. Kisses

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Hi, Friendly; thanks for your very kind words. Men loving without the required tools is a pretty neat idea. That could be a useful defence for me some day! I appreciate your visit.

    • Friendlyword profile image


      8 years ago from

      In the end, you are a very good man. And you are blessed with a very, very good wife. Women love deeply. Men love deeper but without the tools needed to express it. Thats how it's suppose to be.

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Oh Lee, you can analyze me while giggling whenever you feel the impulse to do so. Henceforth, I shall write for only you!

      Lady Emmy, I am ever so humbled to have been graced with your visit. I accept your award of "genius" with a grateful heart yet my thoughts shall remain in humility.

    • Lady Emmy profile image

      Lady Emmy 

      8 years ago

      Excellent... a work of true genius! But it is also so true... if "we" don't analyze, who will? Not all men are Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung! But it really had me laughing... right to live... I am so happy my husband grew up right between two sisters with a mother who was around a lot- he learned early on where many of the potential mines were! Still laughing... genius...

    • Lee Thacker profile image

      Lee Thacker 

      9 years ago

      If 'WE' don't analyze who will? Then where's the growth, the furthering of creation? Fine hub...had me giggling..

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Canada

      Getting peole to laugh takes up a lot of my time... and I don't regret a second of it when they do. Many thanks.

    • bayareagreatthing profile image


      9 years ago from Bay Area California

      This was great...I am still laughing...

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Canada

      Hey, Raven, you're my kind of girl! I bet you could make me cry if you really wanted to.

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 

      9 years ago from Cabin Fever

      What a sweet hub. Get over analyzed or HIDE! Over analyzing is my main function and like a robot seeks this strange repetition, but like a complete Martian seeks strategy to such a conundrum. Errr...(who invented hide and seek games?)

    • Niteriter profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Canada

      Sigh... my right to live is constantly called into question... !

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      ah but of course they always will be beasts...... was the dinner nice, do you love her, is she happy with you... men such a waste of space


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