10 Things Guys Wish Women Knew

Let's just say it: Dating is hard. And despite all of the dating advice you might get from friends and family, you'll likely find that much of it is actually not helpful at all. In fact, it's likely flat out bad. Of course, every situation is different and every person is unique, but your best starting point may just be learning a bit more about the opposite sex. To get you started, I did some digging and found 10 things guys wish all women knew.

They're not actually afraid of commitment

GASP! As eHarmony writers aptly point out in a post titled Six Things Men Wish They Could Tell Women, "All this business about men being commitment-phobic is mostly myth."

USA Today backs up this notion with help from a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which surveyed 12,000 men and women aged 15 to 44 about dating and relationships. What did the study find? That "men are more likely than women to prefer marriage over lifelong singlehood and in many ways are as interested in serious family relationships as women." When asked if they believe that getting married is better than remaining single forever, 66 percent of men actually said 'Yes' while only 51 percent of women agreed. Wow!

They like it when you wear zero makeup — really

Alicia Keys sure knew what she was doing when she officially announced she'd be going makeup-free from now on. As it turns out, men actually appreciate women who are confident enough to go au naturel. As Marie Claire writer Jenny Proudfoot discovered from interviewing 15 men, "Yes, the rumours are true, we like to see what you actually look like — we're dating you, not your makeup bag."

And if you think guys are just saying they like the way you look when you're not wearing any foundation, lipstick, eyeshadow — you name it — just to be nice, Cosmopolitan male blogger Cosmo Frank points out, "When we tell you that you look pretty without makeup, we mean it. We don't need a lecture on how you think you look. If we didn't mean it, we wouldn't offer it up."

They act extra confident when they're not feeling confident

Just as women struggle with body image, men get self-conscious and experience their fair share of down days, too. It may not be as openly talked about (if at all), but as Cosmo Frank explains, men worry about their looks quite often. In fact, they act extra macho and confident on days when they're trying to hide the fact that they're not feeling confident at all. "We have fears of going bald, gaining weight, or winding up with penis problems," writes Frank. "It might not be hammered into our heads 24/7 by media, but guys can still get self-conscious about their looks."

They don't think watching adult movies is a big deal at all

Yes, most men watch adult movies. Yes, most men do so regularly, even when they're in a serious relationship. Why? Because they just don't think it's that big of a deal. As Ian Kerner, Ph.D. and co-author of The Good in Bed Guide to 52 Weeks of Amazing Sex, told SHAPE, "This isn't an indicator that he doesn't want you. The average guy approaches self-love as a private act and probably does it for stress relief." What's more, it's important to note that "His preferred kind of X-rated video also doesn't mean that's the kind of sex he necessarily wants."

They want you to like the same things, but don't overdo it

Make an effort with his friends, support his favorite sports team, try to show an interest in the things that are important to him — but don't overdo it.

"It's OK for couples to have different interests and it's normal not to spend all of your time with each other, so please don't download all of my favorite songs, take up my hobbies and start drinking with my friends. I don't want us to be together 24/7 and you will look like a stalker," confessed a man interviewed by Marie Claire. Basically, be genuinely interested without forcing yourself to slowly morph into your partner.

They want you to compliment them (at least a little bit)

Receiving compliments from your partner is a wonderful feeling that men like experiencing just as much as their female counterparts. Even the smallest gesture or sweet words can go a long way and it's important to remember that guys aren't immune to flattery. Speaking with SHAPE, Dr. Berman, Ph.D., suggested giving "five genuine appreciations a day — even for the things he's supposed to be doing, such as taking out the trash or picking up the dry cleaning."

Women's Day contributor Brendan Tapley seconded that notion, "Just to be clear, the praise doesn't need to be physical. In fact, it's important that women commend those things masculinity tends to belittle, like if we're good cooks or get passionate about foreign films. Tell us, too, when we've been a good father, a caring son or a helpful husband."

They really do think about nothing sometimes

One of the most common relationship frustrations shared by women is when they ask their partner what they're thinking about and the response comes in the form of one single word: "nothing." In a Reddit thread devoted to men sharing what they wish women knew, the subject comes up over and over — and over — again.

"When you ask us playfully 'What're you thinking about?' an honest and truthful answer can be 'Nothing'. Really, you don't know how shallow we are. We are not necessarily trying to hide anything," declares xsgerry, while dermac writes: "When you ask what we are thinking about and we say nothing we probably really thought about nothing. Like no thinking has been done."

"It's not a secret, it's not something we don't want to talk about, it's literally nothing," sums up reincarN8ed. "We're not thinking about the cute waitress or who's winning the game or what moves we're gonna put on you later... we are thinking about absolutely nothing."

They can fake their climaxes, too

If there's one idea mainstream media has hammered into our heads it's the fact that women simply default to faking their climaxes whenever they're not really in the mood. Whether that's actually true or not is up for debate, but if you think men aren't guilty of doing the same (at least sometimes), then you need to think again!

As Cosmo Frank candidly reveals, "Sometimes we fake our orgasms. We can count the number of times we've done it on one hand, and it's rare that guys will pass on an orgasm, but sometimes it's better than... passing out."

They want you to pitch in when the bill comes

"Expecting a guy to pay for everything is really unattractive and quite frankly, off-putting," reveals one of the 15 guys interviewed by Marie Claire. "We love treating you to dinner and will often try and pay, but it's annoying when we feel like we have to. Just offering to split the bill is a nice gesture — we won't mind if we end up paying for everything but we will mind if you don't even try to stop us."

Another man said, "Buying a round of drinks is a very cool, sexy move. Even if I end up buying four of the rounds and you only get one, that gesture does not go unnoticed. For bonus points, offer to get a round when we're with my friends — we might not accept but you will gain a lot of respect."

They need their alone time

Just as much as women enjoy unwinding with a nice bubble bath or going out with their best girlfriends, men appreciate their alone time, too. Whether it be binge-watching the latest hot show or throwing back some beers with the guys, Woman's Day writer Brendan Tapley points out that "time spent enriching oneself also enriches partnerships. In other words, going on a hiking weekend with the boys does not diminish the bond we share... This kind of solo time will refresh us and we'll come back with more for you."