- Statistically, men are more single-minded in their pursuits than women, preferring one activity at a time to multitasking. If you want your man to really pay attention, don't bother disrupting a gaming session or poker night. You're better off scheduling sit-down time with him when neither of you are distracted.
- If you want to talk about something serious but don't want Mr. Fix-It, connect your desire to share with his own . Example: "Hon, I need to share something important with you, like that one time you told me what happened to you in gym class." Note: avoid IEDs if you want to avoid a major fight--guys never forget their most shameful experiences, so don't cheapen them by trying to score points in the present argument.
- Everybody should know by now that guys aren't mind-readers, but they are also as stubborn as mules when it comes to their emotions. Gals--be aware that your guy friend might want more than friendship. If you don't feel the same way, make sure you let him know a.s.a.p. Many guys twist in the wind for months because they can't (or won't) interpret subtle brush-off signs, or figure that friendship will lead somewhere eventually. Surrounding yourself with doormat guys who will never act on their desire to have sex with you does not count as having friends; it's just attention-seeking behavior (see Warning section below).
- In this age of heightened awareness to rape, sexual assault, and harassment, women should get used to men abdicating making the first move. It is simply more pragmatic for women to make first moves in establishing relationships. With beautiful women the subject of affections from numerous men, it's simpler for the woman to choose the man she wants to be with, rather than have several men fight over her like she's a hockey trophy; this can also be attention-seeking behavior, if the woman in question purposefully plays several men against each other for her affections (Example: Bella in the Twilight series. Yes, I went there.)
- If you are a drama queen (or king), learn to recognize the difference between an actual issue or problem between you and your partner from an excuse to fight or bring up past grievances. Realize that the present argument may be just a cover for some other larger issue that has gone undisclosed and left to fester. The next time you feel yourself unable to stop yourself from arguing, ask yourself (or your partner) where this anger is really coming from. If your partner is unable to provide you with an answer, end the conversation until you both have a chance to calm down and identify the root problem. Otherwise, your tiny relationship cavity will become a huge seething relationship abscess!
- IED: Improvised Explosive Discussion, or anything that you know will be difficult to talk about, so you will wrap it in something innocuous to ease its passage into conversation. Wrapping questions of "where is this relationship going?" in discussions of what movie to see that night is an example. If you're worried, tell him you're worried. Nobody responds well to discussions that rapidly change course and importance.
- On sharing private details (discussed above): don't compete. If your man has a tragic experience, you can tell him your even-more-tragic experience, but maybe you will want to save that detail for the next conversation. Sharing is difficult enough for men in American society--don't make it seem like you're beating his worst with your worst.
- Attention-Seeking Behavior: Everybody wants attention, and that's fine. What's not fine is manipulating the feelings of others to get that attention. Examples include: starting fights with no grievance, or in a public place; setting ultimatums; depriving your partner of their own home or their own bed for your emotions; turning on the waterworks (enhanced crying and/or tantrum throwing for effect); getting violent because you know he can't or won't reciprocate. Even more dastardly behaviors include involving the kids in arguments (if you have them), blaming current strife on your partner's past, or (lowest of all blows) impugning your partner's masculinity. If your partner (male or female) persists in any of these behaviors, feel free to DTB (Dump That B****, or Bastard).
- Daddy Issues: Male validation is sorely lacking in today's culture--whether through the spike in fatherless households, the general disappearance of local business owners, or the outsourcing of tough labor to other countries, we're losing touch with our men. Some men try to capitalize on this dearth by attempting to fill this hole for a role model, father figure, or big sweaty man-hug; unfortunately, this is also manipulation, as nobody should ever be required to fulfill someone else's emotional circuit. Men who encourage this co-dependency should be avoided like the pedo-bears that they are, and women who seek this sort of validation should get their rocks off in an honest job as an exotic dancer or a sex worker. Above all else, don't join or start a cult, or some freaky pseudo-polyamory group that recruits and renames cadres of impressionable youths to be snacks for their depraved leaders. That way lies the dark side.
- Not all men either have or want emotions, just like women; however, you will most likely be able to tell the emotional men apart from emotion-less men because emotional men don't treat relationships like a game. Competition, bravado, machismo--these are emotionally stunting characteristics in human society, creating boundaries, teams, conflict, and ultimately hostility. Men that delight in emotional combat are not generally reliable long-term partners, as they tend to turn on their own partners just as readily as their fellow competitors.