10 things to know about Men
A new book gets inside the head of the average dating man and tells you what they think, says Anna Coogan
So what actually goes on in your man's head? The Men Files: What Men Really Think About Life, Love, Dating and a Whole Lot More is a new book which promises to offer insights into, and explanations for, the often bewildering behaviour of the male of the species.
Author Humfrey Hunter is a columnist with a UK newspaper and he wrote his new guide to what makes men tick after a spell of dating following two serious relationships, all of which left him wanting to lift the lid on just what men really think -- and why they act the way they do.
Some women will be devastated to learn that there are no Mr Bigs like in Sex and The City, and that if a bloke doesn't text or call after a date, then the simple fact is he is just not that into you.
Others, though, may be reassured to hear that men don't actually set out to break women's hearts.
Humfrey, a handsome man in his late 30s, is also a literary agent and has worked as a PR consultant specialising in crisis management. He says: "I am actually just trying to let girls know that we are not all b*****ds and not all weird.
"I am trying to tell girls that they should maybe not worry so much about some of the things men do because the way a man behaves is very rarely intended to be particularly vicious towards one person," he says.
While the man who sees himself as a dating guru for women goes on: "It is more to do with how he feels at that stage in his life and it just so happens that sometimes a girl gets caught up in it.
"I think that's quite reassuring for women and, in a way, I hope girls end up feeling reassured when they read the book," he says.
Indeed . . . here are the 10 things he believes every woman should know about men.
1 What does "I'm not ready for a relationship right now" really mean?
Exactly what a man is saying. It's nothing personal, but when a man is dating casually and tells you right at the start that he is not ready for a relationship, he is doing so because he thinks it is better to be honest. Should you hang around until he is ready? Tempting as it might be to wait around, don't do it. The girl he decides to have a relationship with will invariably be someone new and not you.
2 Does it matter if you sleep with a man on a first date?
He is unlikely to pursue a relationship with you if you do for one reason -- the thrill of the chase is over. Men are hunters by nature, and what's to hunt if you're so easily caught? Hunter writes: "The longer you hold back, within reason, the more a man will respect you."
3 You've been friends for a long time, how can you tell if he wants to be more?
He may be holding back from fear of being rejected. Or he may not have picked up any signs that you want to be anything more than friends. Here are a couple of indications that he might think you are special: when he has news, it's you he wants to tell, and when you are having problems, he is first in line to support you. His need to protect you says it all.
4 Is he playing mean to keep you keen? Or is he just not interested?
Some men set out to string women along. They're either mean or immature. Some men are simply lazy. Both these types of men are unreliable. Is it worth giving him the benefit of the doubt? Tell him you don't want to see him any more and wait to see if he comes back ready to commit. If not, you now know what you are dealing with.
5 Do men always hold a candle for their first love?
Hunter writes: "Nonsense. A man will hanker after his first love only if he hasn't found someone else who makes him truly happy since then. I know a lot of guys and I don't know a single one who is hung up on an ex from years ago."
6 You have been together for ages and want to get married -- why hasn't he asked?
He's not ready yet. This doesn't mean you're not the woman he wants to marry. Okay, if you get drunk and tell him you want to marry him and he reacts badly, this is not a good sign. But if he says nothing, or pretends it didn't happen, then take this as meaning he is also thinking along the same lines.
7 What does it mean if you only get together When there is drink involved?
Hunter writes: "The overwhelming likelihood is that you'll only ever be a girl he has sex with when he is drunk, because that's how your relationship has been defined from the start.
"In his defence, if you're allowing this situation to continue, then how is he supposed to know you want more?
"There is only a tiny chance of the two of you getting together after a start like this, and if you carry on with this arrangement then that chance will disappear."
8 Are sexy clothes important?
Not every day, but men like it when a woman dresses up and looks gorgeous and feminine. But men love their women the most when they are wearing a jumper and have no make-up on and are relaxing at home -- and are simply being themselves.
9 Do men fancy women over 40?
Hunter writes: "Of course -- Jennifer Aniston is over 40, after all. If you can't change something, like your age, there is no point worrying about it."
10 Do men hate it if women say they want children in the next couple of years?
Yes, but not necessarily because they don't want children with the woman who says she does. Men dislike feeling they represent another box a woman wants to tick, and that all a woman wants is children, and it doesn't matter whether they are his or some other guy's.
The Men Files: What Men Really Think About Life, Love, Dating and a Whole Lot More, by Humfrey Hunter, published by Headline Books, price €17.15