The Art of Complimenting, Conversation and The Ability to Listen • LOVE, SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

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Women are pretty simple. You just need to read our instruction manual. We are like all models, as you update we come with new features. Once you have familiarised yourself with these features you will begin to question why you didn't update sooner and how much better this new version is. Okay so enough with the technology metaphors. Basically there's three fundemental things you need to learn to keep a woman happy: compliments, conversation and good listening skills. 

Nearly Natural artificial flower arrangement, £39  Black Stripe Reversible Roll Wrap by Kate Spade New York, £8.30  1960's '746' Phone

I believe that women are all insecure. Men too. But women especially. Yes we can declare our strong independent female status as a sign that we are bold, brave and don't need someone to complete but beneath that layer will always be someone who has been hurt, let down and disappointed. Not because relationships and love sucks but because people change over time and naturally we grow and fall apart. So whilst the stitching of the wounds is still fresh and the memories hurt to touch we bandaged it up with a protective wall around it to stop the dirt and other infections getting in. With this wall comes the idea that we are complicated and confusing as a species, that we say things we don't mean and that what we say has hidden messages and meanings. This is not true. What we say is what we mean, we might just be polite about how we say it in a way that you can take in a different direction if you're not really listening to the message we are giving and only hearing.

Okay, let's break this down and start with conversation. Whilst some men might hate it, women are natural talkers. Even us shy ones. We love to talk because we feel it solves what's on our minds and the saying 'a problem shared is a problem solved' didn't come out of nowhere now did it? So if we are being a little bit quiet it probably means that something is bothering us and we are playing out a conversation that we don't know how to start in our heads, which is where you step in and ask us what's wrong. It will probably turn out that we will say 'fine' which to you is confusing because if we were really fine we wouldn't be quiet and showing the signs that something is wrong. But in actual fact we are fine. We are not mad at ourselves, or upset with something we've done, we are analysing a situation that has happened between us, which makes us not fine. But we ourselves are. We are just feeling quiet and a bit pants at the moment.
So before you accept the word 'fine' as 'fine' really take a moment to think about what we are really telling you here. Yes whilst on the outside we are okay, we have cleaned the mess you've left on the floor for the thousandth time, we've done the food shopping for dinners every night of the week and we've got 101 other things to check off our never ending to do lists, on the inside we are feeling a lot of pressure - pressure we need you to relieve us from. Because fine is really just fine. It's a bland boring word for so-so. We didn't say good now did we? We didn't say we were happy, great, feeling fantastic, fabulous as ever... did we? No. We said fine. A banal word that really doesn't mean much other than we are not in physical danger, suffering a horrendous illness or mourning the death of a child. We are just simply fine. Nothing good, nothing bad. Just okay. So when you shrug your shoulders thinking you've asked us what's wrong and we've given you an answer to say we are good, we haven't.  Because we never said that we are good. And by you walking away it tells us that you are happy with us not being good or anything that describes us as feeling positive and happy. You are excepting this limbo of emotion, where internally we need help but aren't asking you because we don't want to be a burden. We want you to offer to make us feel better and be happier, just like we offer to do the same for you by watching your TV shows and going to the cinema to watch what you've picked. Cooking your favourite dinner. Cleaning and ironing your shirts. We make everything about you and this is the moment where we want to offload and have you do something for us... have a conversation with us.

So whilst you may think we've given you a trick answer by saying we are fine, we haven't. In fact we have been truthful and you are just accepting that fine is how we should be. Wrong. We should be feeling over the moon with love, happiness, feeling at ease and supported. But you've walked away allowing us to be less than that. You haven't made the effort to make us feel good, happy, great, feeling fantastic, fabulous as ever. And why not? Why do you want us to just be fine? You shouldn't.

So this is where you pry us, which may take longer for some than others but the minute you give up you have shown that you don't care enough to fight. You should always fight for a relationship if no one is being abused or bullied or in danger from the other mentally of physically, so don't just stand and keep asking us over and over again what's wrong. We might be nervous about bringing this up with you because we don't want to feel like we are picking our flaws or moaning at you, we just have a rant that we need to get out, a cry we need to have, whatever it may be. So hug us, look us straight in the eye, sit down with us, hold our hands... just show us that you really do care and that you want to fix the situation. Like I said we may be a bit shy but once we open up we will let loose and really expose ourselves and our vulnerability to you, a sign that we are trusting you to take this on board and consider things without hurting us or walking away cowardly from a situation. Maybe we are unhappy with how you've been leaving the house lately and we feel you don't do your fair share to help around, or maybe we are worrying about something financially, maybe we need to be able to depend on you more, maybe we are feeling slightly insecure with how we look and need confirmation that you are taking all of this on board and are willing to listen.
Make us laugh, ease us into taking and show that you want to solve and change the current situation. Otherwise us talking and crying is pointless if you ignore what we say and don't do anything about it.

This is the important part, listen. Don't glaze over what we are saying and think that we are moaning for the sake of moaning, as what may seem like nothing to you and no big deal has clearly been festering inside us and causing worry. So we need you to show that you support us. Listen, repeat what we have said to show that you have understood, apologise for making us feel this way - even if you haven't noticed or think that you have (the fact that we are telling you we are upset with this action shows you have, even if you haven't meant to or done it intentionally) and tell us how you are going to fix it and change things.
If we are crying because we feel slightly neglected in the relationship and things have been very centred around you and focused on you at your new job or supporting a hobby of yours or going to things that interest you then tell us how you will make it up to us by evening the board and spend time talking to us about our day, even if we don't tell you straight out. Ask us when you come home what we've been up too, show interest in things that have happened in our friendship circles, tell us you like our new hairstyle. Just show us attention in a way that seems genuine and real. We don't expect a bouquet of flowers everyday (as nice as that would be) or a teddy bigger than our bodies (again, as nice as that would be) - we love you and not the flashing of cash on pointless items. We want your attention from you, not your wallet. A pair of earrings are lovely but that won't solve the fact that you don't take your shoes off after rugby when we've spent the day cleaning the carpets, or making the bed and you put wet towels on it.
Women aren't impressed with random unthoughtful gifts, we are impressed with time and loyalty. You taking us to the park to walk around and talk about how we feel is far more romantic and impressive than you showing up with a new bracelet and then ignoring us to spend all your time out with your friends. We work hard to make you happy and we expect the same from you.

We tell you we love you, that we are attracted to you, that you look sexy and these are all unprovoked at random points in the day. To which you will respond with the 'I love you too' but when do you compliment us unprovoked at random points? Probably when we are undressing, or not wearing much to cover our skin. When something sexual or the idea of sex seems possible then we are attractive and sexy to you too. But that can leave us just feeling like a doll to you, that you only want us when you want something out of us (or in, if you get what I mean) and that's not good enough. We don't do that to you, so why only tell us we are pretty or look hot when you think about sleeping with us? Objectification of women is a big issue anyway, it doesn't help when our partners treat us as objects in a supposedly loving relationship. Keep us happy by saying that we smell nice when we have bought a new perfume, or that you like that dress on us when we come out of the bathroom in our work attire. Have we got a different lip colour on to what we usually wear, have we changed our hairstyle, did we cook a nice breakfast? We want to hear that you are impressed with us for the little things. That you admire how smart we are, that you are proud of us for being able to do the shopping on the way home from work before we pick you up from golf and that we have also managed to book you into the hairdressers as well at the weekend. We women are amazing multi-taskers, doing more than you could ever know about. We want to feel adored for cooking pasta perfectly, or making an effort with your family, for baking banana bread for you to take to work, for looking nice with clothes on. Do we have a nice pair of legs that look good in what we are wearing? Do we have good eye makeup? Are we really good at making the home look lovely? Are we doing really well at the office? We need this validation to make us feel appreciated for the mini things as well as the massive.

Compliments are a free ticket to making someone smile, never underestimate that. The person before you probably did and that's why we are no longer with them, because they didn't see all the wonderful things we offered them and appreciated us for our own beauty, inside and out. Do you want to be that person? Do you want to make that mistake? Really listen to words we use, it's all about the adjectives and hyperbole we use, we are clever enough not to say outright that we feel horrendous but we do tell you subtly, in our own way. We don't lie, you're just hearing it that way because it avoids conversation. We need that conversation, we need to be listened to, we need the compliments, we need you to co-operate and act a little more like we do for you. Three things that are completely free that will keep any woman happy. If she says that wouldn't make her feel good, happy, great, feeling fantastic, fabulous as ever, then she really is lying and saying what she doesn't mean.
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