QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your Man?
How Well Do You Know Your Man?
Do you mistakenly believe you know your man well? Take my quick quiz to find out how well you do – or don't!
I'm frequently privy to the reasons why relationships fall apart, or at least witness them as they go through bumpy patches. A common complaint I hear is, "I thought I knew him," or "he's not the man I thought he was!"
Why do so many women come unstuck with this issue - thinking a man's one thing and then being surprised he isn't? What happens is we transfer our own emotions and beliefs onto our significant other. In believing that we know ourselves, we think we know them. This includes our likes and dislikes, and importantly, our relationship expectations, etc. We heap these things on to him when he may be thinking very differently. Such "transference" prevents us seeing the reality of who our partner really is.
We're all guilty of this to varying degrees and of course men do it too. However I think we women are more prone to this. You might think you know your partner but do you really? Answer the following questions honestly to find out.
1/ You show him two dresses, ask which he prefers, he says both are "fine", it means -
A/ He likes them both
B/ He wants you to choose
C/ He'll never give you an honest answer
2/ He's having difficulties at work, do you -
A/ Allow him thinking space and let him know you're willing to listen
B/ Make some attempts to get him to open up
C/ Feel rejected if he doesn't share much with you
3/ He's always quiet around your best friend, do you -
A/ Think he's happy to let you two get on with it
B/ Worry he's a bit bored
C/ Assume he doesn't like her
4/ Knowing he doesn't like chick-flicks, do you -
A/ Go to chick-flicks with girlfriends
B/ Try to get compromise - suggest he see your choice and you'll see his next time
C/ Insist he comes with you because you know he'll enjoy it
5/ He loves Saturday football (or any sport), do you -
A/ Follow your own interests
B/ Silently wish he'd give it up
C/ Argue with him saying he cares more for football
6/ When he describes his favourite sexual fantasy, do you -
A/ Appreciate his honesty and describe yours
B/ Think he might want you to try it
C/ Assume he doesn't fancy you
7/ Do you get frustrated when you two argue?
A/ No, because there are two sides to everything
B/ Sometimes when he doesn't "get" what I'm saying
C/ Yes, because he never understands my side
8/ When ill he goes silent, keeping himself-to-himself, do you -
A/ Accept he likes his peace and quiet
B/ Wonder if there's anything you can do
C/ Think he's a "moody so-and-so"
9/ He acts differently around his mum than your mum, do you -
A/ Realise he's more comfortable around his mum
B/ Hope one day he'll get on equally with yours
C/ Assume he doesn't like your mum
10/ He does the shopping and buys items you wouldn't, do you -
A/ Thank him but give him a detailed list next time
B/ Suggest you shop together next time
C/ Think him thoughtless for not buying what you would buy
Mostly As – High Level Of Understanding
You're not psychic but you understand and respect his differences. You don't jump to conclusions about what he may be thinking. Your relationships will be happier because you want to see his side of things.
Mostly Bs - Medium Level Of Understanding
You may not get it right all the time but you don't always transfer the way you feel on to him. You may lack confidence that you can ever really understand him. Build your confidence to communicate better with him with a few communication tips:
- Use "I" statements. That is, begin statements with "I think," or "I like to…" or "I find that." Men respond to the clarity of "i" statements, preferring that to beating around the bush.
- When asking a question ask what he "thinks" rather than what he "feels". Men do more "thinking" than "feeling" in discussions and find this a logical way to communicate.
- Clearly "feed back" to him what you think he said. For example, say, "I understand that you'd rather X than Y…" feeding back what you think he meant.
Use the relevant advice below.
Mostly Cs – Low Level Of Understanding
Men's minds are mysterious to you. You probably transfer your thinking on to him. Or you make assumptions not based on fact. This is particularly destructive if you've low self-esteem. You'll transfer damaging feelings to him. For example, you'll assume the worst - he doesn't like your friend, your mum, your choice of clothes, etc. Use the tips above plus:
- Never assume, but ask if in doubt.
- If you still don't understand his side of things, try asking in a different way.
- Listen carefully without jumping in thinking you "know" what's coming next.
- Stop yourself when thinking, "I know what's on his mind." You may not have a clue!
- Be clear about what you want/expect - even with practical things like the shopping.
- Do seek compromises.
- Understand "male silences". The "silent treatment" when angry is bad for relationships, but the fact many men figure things out on their own (like work problems) is not.
Finally, the golden rule is your partner is not you. He may want and expect different things but that's not the end of your relationship. Enjoy the unique things about him. Viva le difference!
Published in The Express Newspaper