If you’re a woman please stop reading at this point. I recommend to you this article about doing business in college instead. If you’re a guy, keep reading. This is for you.

There are so many jokes and quotes about how difficult women are to understand. Even women themselves sometimes corroborate this, because they admit they don’t always understand their own girlfriends. But let’s face it. Guys can be really clueless. How do I know this? Because as a guy myself, sometimes I have to search really hard before I can find a single clue. However, there are some basic things about women that every man must learn and write on the tablets of wherever will help them remember more easily – your heart, your iPad, Galaxy Note, whatever.

I know, Volume 1 of the manual on Understanding Women is thicker than an entire encyclopedia, but just take this as the super-condensed edition. This is a long read but it’s worth it, I promise. Especially the last point. Let’s begin.

Women Are to Be Loved, Not Understood

This is a popular cliché (<–tautology) and thus it would be easy to dismiss it. But it is the first point here because it is the truest. The more you try to understand a woman, the more obvious it becomes to her that you are trying to ‘solve’ her. And what do we try to solve? Problems. You certainly do not want a lady thinking you consider her a problem, do you? I didn’t think so. Just get a clue and man up. Sometimes you’re going to have to show tough love and let her know she can’t act that way. Most times, you’re going to have to let it slide like the mature guy that you are, and pretend you didn’t notice. She’ll appreciate it. The trick here is not to let her walk all over you, but to be accommodating.

Speak Her Language of Love

Back in second year KNUST I attended a program by Ladies of Vision (LOV) in a bid to be less clueless. I’d say it was a good idea, because I heard about the amazing book The Five Love Languages. The speaker was Elder Kelvin Annan, who is one of the much less clueless men around. It turns out that people (not only women), are able to show love in five main ways. Thus we recognize love in 5 ways as well. The big revelation here is that we don’t all respond to all five love languages the same.

Do you remember the time you did some serious adwumaden (hardwork) for Ama or Akos, and she barely smiled in acknowledgement? It could be that she does not respond well to the love language of Acts of Service, and may rather respond better to the language of Receiving Gifts. Maybe all she wanted was a nice bouquet of flowers, or even a greeting card. I can almost hear a snide comment of another clueless guy saying something like, ‘All the girls I know respond only to the language of Receiving Gifts – mostly money, credits and Peruvian hair’. Well, hey, all women were not made the same; you need to get out more. The love languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.

Remember The Little Things

If you care about that lady, whether she is your close friend, girlfriend, fiancé or wife, then please don’t forget the important dates. Personally I’m good at remembering almost everything except dates. In primary school I kept wondering whether Independence Day was 7th March 1956 or 6th March 1957 (it’s the latter). But when it comes to birthdays (and anniversaries, if applicable) please don’t venture. Just don’t. It’s true that the term ‘Happy belated birthday’ was created especially for you, but you don’t have to use it at the least provocation. Also the seemingly insignificant compliments can go a long way to make her day.

Remember, the love languages come into play here. A lady who needs Words of Affirmation may feel really hurt if you fail to compliment her new braids. Especially when everyone else did. There have been situations when a lady is looking so good that, I automatically assume that everyone has already informed her and so for me to repeat it would be redundant. Sometimes that is true, but when it matters the most, the assumption will be false. So just run the risk of sounding unoriginal and compliment her anyway, if you really mean it.

Sometimes it’s her not you

They say nice guys finish last. This statement has been true more times than should be legal. One of the reasons is that a nice guy wants to do everything to make the woman happy. He even takes the blame even when the fault is the woman’s. This is wrong. Sometimes you should be able to recognize when the lady is lashing out at you because of something that has absolutely nothing to do with you.

Sometimes she may get angry just because you can remain so calm while she is being  so… well, you know. So, hey, Mr. Nice but Clueless Guy, stop trying so hard and just step back. You can’t always be Fix-it-Felix. Of course this is not to say that whenever she has an issue that you didn’t cause, you have to turn away. If you know her well enough, then you know how to make her talk. So just do your thing and let her spill the beans, and let her know you’re on her side. That’s another thing I’ve learned from less clueless guys. Women are not necessarily looking for a solution from you. They just need you on their side.

Women get jealous

I know you already knew this, but I’m not talking jealous in just a dating scenario. You can tell a woman you love her, she’ll tell you ‘Gelaway’, but she could still be jealous when she sees you getting close to other women. In fact this one is probably the most baffling clue that I’ve come across, and it’s not so common. But it is also not rare at all. It is a feature of the Friend Zone. Most guys know about the Friend Zone. If you don’t, then you are too clueless for this article, and thus beyond the scope thereof.

Now the tough thing about the Friend Zone is that you care for this lady, and she likes you too, but incidentally not enough to date you. So even though you care about her, you have plans of starting a family eventually so you look elsewhere for your precious ruby. Just when you find another lady you like, the original lady starts acting…weird. Now you’re confused. Does she love you now? Is she just jealous? Does she really dislike you and want you to remain alone forever? Dude, it’s hard to say. This one you have to take it into prayers. If you truly care enough about the new lady enough to forget the original one, my advice: Move on. She’ll come around. The flipside is when you’re actually dating a woman, and you get too chummy with other women, with the reason that she’s equally chummy with other guys. My fellow men, as I told you this one is the most confusing clue. The verdict, however, is that if it is making her too jealous, please try your best and stop.

She Hasn’t Met the Real You

I’m going to say this once, women can be really prejudiced. It’s amazing. They can categorize you within seconds, and while they can sometimes be dead-on because of their natural intuition, sometimes they can be very wrong. What causes them to misjudge you can be due to any number of factors. If you fail to look them in the eye, they can read meaning into that. The very way you speak can rub them the wrong way. Don’t take this to mean they are judgmental or something. It’s just how it is. If you’re having a problem understanding this, refer to Point #1 above.

The same way that guys can judge a woman based on her facial beauty or physical endowment (or lack of), so can a lady judge a guy based on a collection of parameters I am not so fortunate to fully know. The important thing here is if a lady is treating you in a way that you don’t deserve, it’s two things. If you decide she matters enough, approach her and let your personality naturally shine through without necessarily directly confronting her. If she’ll not be around you for long anyway, you can just take one for the team and let it go. The worst part is that whichever of the two options you take, you might never know why she didn’t like you in the first place. So the third option, which is only recommended for advanced users, is to ask her outright what’s wrong. Sometimes it actually turns out it is because she likes the guy.

BONUS: It’s Not About The Money or the Looks

This one is an advanced level clue, which I learned recently. In fact I haven’t had the chance to verify it, and also it contradicts everything we thought we knew about women. But according to experts, women don’t necessarily fall for guys with good looks or money. In fact, as a sort of defense mechanism they act like these are the things they look for in men, when in actual fact they have some hidden desires. All the women say they want a tall, dark, handsome man and society tells them that’s what they want. And after a while they start to believe it. But the experts say deep down that is not what they truly want! Reportedly, these deep desires are not something they are comfortable to reveal socially and so they make us believe they only like the good-looking athletic guys with the expensive cars. But haven’t you heard the expression “Mmaa pe nkwaseafo” (excuse my French) before? Exactly. You wonder why this beautiful woman is interested in a guy you find unworthy. This is because these guys found a way to appeal to the woman’s emotional mind that bypasses her logic mind, and it has little or nothing to do with good looks or money. If you want more info on this theory you’re going to have to do more digging.

So there you have it. Seven strong clues I’ve gathered after years of ponderous research and observation, not to mention moments of sheer befuddlement. Mind you this is not dating advice. I’m probably one of the last guys you should take dating advice from (but I’m still on the list). These are a few pointers to clueless guys (every guy) on how to treat a lady well. You may be successful at dating all right but believe me, if you have not been following most of these tips then the woman has been putting up with more than she should be expected to, and she deserves a break. It’s not easy to follow all these steps. I pat myself well done on the back if I’m able to do even three of these in any given scenario. But trust me, once you make the effort, that manual on Understanding Women suddenly seems to shrink to a very manageable size.

So do you agree with me on these? Or you think this is a list for chumps? Let’s face off in the comments right away, and say what’s on your mind. If you’re a lady and you stuck with us all the way here, it’s fine. I knew you wouldn’t listen anyway. Feel free to tell us something too!

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11 Responses

  1. Maame Esi Kweinuwa Borkor

    It said “for men only” so of course I had to read it! It’s pretty spot on and I like your insightful take on the “mmaa pe nkwaseafoo” expression.

  2. Maame Esi Kweinuwa Borkor

    It said “for men only” so of course I had to read it! It’s pretty spot on and I like your insightful take on the “mmaa pe nkwasiafoo” expression.

  3. dave

    This whole thing about trying to accommodate people who are ,on the other hand, have NO interest in accommmodation does not make much sense. I do not see how one side is accorded so much attention and concern while the other…. it just does not matter so “man up”.


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