(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)
Once again I realize the wisdom of asking questions and discussing specific topics with my female friends. To say that women are complex would be an understatement. But their complexity is more easily understood if I take one aspect at a time and study it to find out exactly (or at least to the best of my biased male ability) how it functions.
In a recent conversation with a dear female friend of mine, she began to stress the importance of a man’s ability to “listen” and “pay attention“. I smiled while asking her, “Isn’t that the same thing?” (I knew they weren’t, but sometimes I like to goad her). She scoffed and said, “No, they are two very different and very important qualities I look for in a man.” Now on the surface this may seem like a relatively easy thing to do. Of course you can listen… of course you can pay attention… right?? But you have to look deeper and realize how women define these terms. Because unless you’re operating with a keen understanding of how women perceive things (which most men don’t)… you could actually wind up with the opposite results.
PAYING ATTENTION: It does not mean that your eyes pop out because you notice how her new jeans look as if they were painted on. It also does not mean that you comment on her new hair color AFTER she mentioned to you that she had it done (definitely a bad move, you get no points. Depending on how long it took you to comment, you may even have points deducted.) with a simple “Oh yeah… um… cute”. It does mean that in conjunction with listening for instance, you’re able to determine her likes and/or dislikes and might then surprise her with a gesture or gift that she didn’t expect (or necessarily ask for), but rather was implied through conversations you’ve had with her. It also refers to recognizing and appreciating any effort she puts forth for your benefit, as opposed to taking her selfless nature for granted.
Sometimes we view things as complex, only to find out how very simple they are once we comprehend them better… women are a prime example of this. And so I encourage further in-depth research.