I'm often shocked to realize that men don't have the same caution walking outside in the dark that I do. When I go home at night, I don't put in headphones, I'm aware of the people I pass, I keep my pepper spray close. It was a long time before I understood that not only do men not do this, they don't realize that women do this every day.
There are a lot of things that are outside our scope of understanding because of gender. Here are a few things men admitted to Reddit that they wish women understood better about them.
"That we aren't the enemy. Truth be told, the way a lot of women talk about men depresses...me."
"Most men require positive reinforcement more often than you think. You may believe that thanking him for doing the housework you do on an almost daily basis is no great feat, but a simple 'thanks' makes me feel like a big manly-man."
"We don't all care about sports, we don't all spend time thinking about 'nothing.' Some of us make better parents and housekeepers than our female partners, some of us are more sensitive than our female partners, and these are not feminine traits."
"It's not easy being a man. Being expected to be confident, masculine, tall, muscular, successful, fearless, suave, etc. is hard. Now I'm not saying all women expect all those things -- but certainly a combination of those traits, plus more."
"Men don't often have people to open up to. There's a societal taboo about being seen as emotional or broken, although it's slowly changing. Right now though, that person is usually the one we're in a relationship with, the one person we feel like we can open up to. When you break that trust, when you tell your friends private (secrets), when you judge us for a moment of weakness, it would be like if all of a sudden all of your confidants turned away from you."
"I think about you all the time. Sometimes the smallest things remind me of you. I'm not always great at expressing it, and sometimes I am confused by my own thoughts and emotions. But believe me, you're on my mind."
"Guys have to deal with the anxiety of being found creepy, even by women they're uninterested in...I imagine there's some counterpart to this for women, but I don't think it's easy to convey what it's like to have people be offended by your presence in a way not normally thought of as judgmental."
"If you want something, tell us. Clearly. Verbally."
"There is no good way to reject someone - you're going to hurt most guys with it, at least a little. If you are deceptive or avoidant, you'll make it worse. You may have your own justified reasons for doing so, but don't pretend you're doing it for our sake."
"That we like to be the little spoon just as much as they do, if not more."
Editor's note: These comments were edited for punctuation and capitalization to enhance readability.