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Men and women will always be different. We like that they’re wired and tick differently. At times, though, it can make our heads spin. But we need to make her feel special and appreciated.

Men think problems out, most of the time on our own. Women like to talk it out with you or a friend. We could spend a lifetime trying to figure out the opposite sex. We could possess all the knowledge from the previous millenniums and still need to explore further.

And while each woman is different and unique, there are a few similarities they all share. And within these similarities there is a recurring theme—it won’t make sense to me or to you, and we won’t be able to reason or rationalize it in our brains.

Then it hit me. I don’t need to rationalize it. All I need to do is understand that women are different and accept it.

Here’s how to understand her and do things for her even when you don’t “get” her.

1. Listen to her and use every muscle in your brain to not think about how you can fix it for her. Think back to the last time you were stuck in a jam and just needed a friend to listen. For us men, this doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, it’s usually after exhausting all other options and we just need a friend that’ll listen.

Women are similar, except that the listening part comes more often. They’re wired differently. That’s why we like them. Women like to communicate. We do too, but they do more. What I mean by this is that topics we find unnecessary or irrelevant could be important to her. This should make it important to you too. We might resolve it in our head, but they’ll talk it out. What we call “venting” might be how she processes and shares with you the events of her day.

When she comes home and shares with you a frustration from her day, try to look at it from the perspective of her wanting to include you in her day and not that she wants you to fix her day. If she wants you to fix it, she will let you know. You might think that if you fix it now, you’ll be saving her from a potential frustrating day down the road. This may be true.

But when she’s sharing her day (aka venting) with you, this is not the time to fix it. If you absolutely feel you need to bring it up, then do so later. Appreciate her venting, and be thankful you’re even a part of her day.

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” —Richard Moss

2. Learn her love language. There are only five, so it shouldn’t be too tough. They are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. If you’re unfamiliar with these five love languages, I suggest you learn about them.

These love languages aren’t strictly for women. We men have them too. For me, it’s quality time. I can remember growing up wanting to spend more quality time with my dad. But he wasn’t there. I didn’t quite realize why it was so important to me until I came to learn that this was my primary love language.

In your relationship, it’s important to know hers. For you, it might be receiving gifts, so you go and buy her expensive gifts. You even did all your homework and planned gifts for a year. Now, if her love language is words of affirmation, then you’re not hitting the bull’s eye. You’re coming close but still missing. I’m not saying she won’t appreciate the gift, because she will. But if you really want to make her feel special, learn her love language.

3. Take date nights. Spending time together comes first. Finding the time to spend together also comes first. I used to think men were supposed to put providing for their family above all else. For those of us that are single, it can be in preparation for providing; studying, workaholic or fill in the blank. It’s called being responsible, or so I thought. I even thought this was what women wanted.

A few years ago, a girl I was dating told me I was selfish. I didn’t get it then. I was being responsible for my own priorities, not the priorities we shared. What I’ve come to realize is that a relationship is like taking a journey together and having an adventure. If you’re absent or not on the path, then you’re not part of the adventure. Being “busy” is no excuse for not making time for the one who is most important in your life. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we know we can create time when it’s a priority.

4. Make up a holiday. You don’t have to follow the calendar to plan a special evening for her. Sure, those pre-decided dates, like anniversaries, help—especially for us men that need to plan things out. Make one up, however, and put it on your calendar—a holiday just for her. 

Buy a gift for no reason because women love gifts. It doesn’t matter how grand it is. A little gesture goes a long way. Nine out of 10 guys have a tough time gift shopping. What I try to do is listen throughout the year for gift ideas. Trust me, they do throw hints out there and, if you’re listening, you’ll catch one.

5. Get her a "push gift." This a new concept for me. My coworker told me about it (he actually gets credit for “date night” too) and said mothers really appreciate it. A push gift is given by a new father to a new mother when she gives birth to their child. Considering she carried and delivered a child, a gift is nothing in comparison, but the gesture will be appreciated. It can be given before, during or even after the delivery room.

6. Do the little things. Take out the trash, put down the toilet seat, create a grocery list if you can’t remember them all, fix the clogged sink, make breakfast or get the kids ready so she can sleep in. Any of these loving gestures will not make you less of a man.

Sometimes we complain about the woman in our life nagging us. For some of us, though, they ask and ask again while we're watching TV, right after saying we don’t have time. Excuses. No matter how rationalized in your brain, it is still an excuse. Be responsible and fulfill your duty.

Each of these ideas has its time and place. One does not replace the other. Some men only buy flowers when they’ve made a mistake. These ideas are not for that. You will not make her feel special if you do this. You will make her suspicious of you, however.

When it comes down to it, we do the things that make sense to us. We like to do things our way. But what really needs to happen and be understood here is that they’re different and our brains can’t solve that. What we can do, though, is move past it and do some of things we know they like. Treat her right and make her feel special.

We won’t always “get” women, so be thankful this isn’t a requirement to make her feel special, loved and appreciated.

P.S. Don’t be afraid to apologize and say you’re sorry when you’re wrong! Don’t be stubborn and think you’re showing your strength by refusing to admit you’re wrong. It’s not a competition. But if it were, you would still lose. And always remember to say “thank you” and show gratitude, especially for the little things she does every day.

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