And they don't sugar-coat the truth...
We spend far too much time over-analysing the male psyche, their tight-lipped approach to dating driving us mad and giving us endless excuses to decipher each move over a cocktail with friends.
Why did he only send me three kisses? How long should I wait before I call him? Should I confront him about cancelling on me? Should I mention marriage?
The male mind is a mystery, so in order to straighten things out we caught up with 15 men, getting them each to tell us something they wish women knew about dating. Here are their answers... 1) We don’t want you to like everything that we like ‘It's OK for couples to have different interests and it’s normal not to spend all of your time with each other, so please don’t download all of my favourite songs, take up my hobbies and start drinking with my friends. I don't want us to be together 24/7 and you will look like a stalker.'
2) Nagging can actually have quite a dramatic effect ‘Obviously we need to be nagged from time to time but if every phone call or date involves us getting told off or being made to apologise, we’re going to start dreading our interaction with you.’
3) It is very obvious when you’re trying to make us jealous ‘You may think that you’re being subtle by flirting with other men in front of us and kissing people in our direct eye-line but you’re not, we know exactly what you’re doing. On the one hand it really does work and it will make us want you, but your motives are transparent and we won't trust you as much.’
4) Talking about your ex is the ultimate turn off ‘Even if you’re just making the point that I’m treating you better than the guy before, just bringing up his name will put me in a bad mood, and although you might like seeing me jealous, it doesn’t make me feel as warm and fuzzy: it just pisses me off.’
5) We love seeing you without make up ‘Yes, the rumours are true, we like to see what you actually look like - we’re dating you, not your make up bag. Plus it feels nice that you allow us to see you in a way that other guys don’t, it makes us feel closer to you – not to mention it makes you look more cuddly.’
6) Buying a round is a very cool move ‘Buying a round of drinks is a very cool, sexy move. Even if I end up buying four of the rounds and you only get one, that gesture does not go unnoticed. For bonus points offer to get a round when we’re with my friends – we might not accept but you will gain a lot of respect.’
7) Please don’t compete with our friends ‘Every guy has dated a girl who competes with his friends and trust us you don’t want to be her. Our friends fulfill a different role to a girlfriend and you can’t be everything – just like we couldn’t for you. Don’t get jealous if we sometimes spend more time with them – it really is nothing personal and we’ll think you’re so much cooler if you just go with it.'
8) Don't play stupid - it's not cute ‘Everyone has the occasional ditzy moment and yes it’s sweet and funny in small doses, but we’re not as clueless as we seem and it is very easy to tell when you’re putting it on. Please don’t – it’s not sexy, it’s attention seeking and makes us judge you.’
9) You have to at least offer to split the bill ‘Expecting a guy to pay for everything is really unattractive and quite frankly, off-putting. We love treating you to dinner and will often try and pay, but it’s annoying when we feel like we have to. Just offering to split the bill is a nice gesture – we won’t mind if we end up paying for everything but we will mind if you don’t even try to stop us.'
10) The chase is definitely necessary…but don’t push it ‘Coming on too strong at the beginning is an instant turn off, playing hard to get is 100% necessary – Just don’t wait for days in between messages though, there needs to be ongoing banter and the waiting game gets boring if it takes too long.’
11) Being decisive is key ‘There’s honestly nothing worse than complete indecision – ask any guy, it’s a really annoying quality. Just say what you feel: if you like the sound of something – say so and if you don’t, make that clear. It’s so simple and it makes such a difference.’
12) Telling our secrets is the ultimate betrayal ‘We’re not like women, we don’t confide in our friends in the same way, so if we’ve chosen to open up to you about something – it’s a big deal and a sign of our trust. If you then go and tell your best friends (even if it’s in a nice way) you’re violating that trust and that will really hurt, making us think twice about you.’
13) Don’t go looking for trouble ‘I feel that a lot of girls have a Marissa Cooper complex – they watch these TV programmes where the girl on the wrong side of the tracks gets the brooding guy to protect her and they go after that. Don't act out and try to create problems to cause drama. Obviously we will look after you if you’re hurt or get protective if someone upsets you but don’t go looking for trouble. It's not attractive and will just make us avoid spending time with you.’
14) Don’t offend our exes ‘Yes we’re not with them anymore and it’s natural for you to dislike them, but they were clearly a very important person to us at one time and making digs at them is actually quite counter-productive, making us protective of our ex and wary of you.’
15) Please don't cry in front of us ‘There is nothing worse than seeing a woman cry because in all seriousness, us men have no idea what to do and it's terrifying. All we can offer is a clumsy pat on the back and a sympathetic hug. It's just a horrible experience for everyone so try not to break down on us in the first few months of the relationship.'
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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