Things you should never do to impress a woman

Speaking somewhat cryptically and traveling in packs to the bathroom, women can be difficult to understand. Even if you think you've decoded our secret language, you may suddenly find yourself feeling confused all over again. If you've ever felt like women are deliberately trying to make things complicated, don't feel bad. Communication between the sexes can be so troublesome to navigate, that countless self-help books including Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus exist just to help us gain a sense of direction.

This gap in understanding can make dating, particularly in the earliest stages, a little frustrating. As a result, you may find yourself behaving in ways that even you don't fully support. As I've told my clients and students over the years, one thing will always remain true — you should always be true to yourself. In the interest of preserving your integrity, here are some things you should never do to impress a woman.

Brag about how much money you make

When you first meet a woman, it's completely understandable that you will want to seem successful, hard-working, and capable of paying your own bills. There's a sense of pride associated with feeling like we are well compensated for what we do, especially in light of how much pressure society can put on a man in this arena. Although, there have been countless examples over the years, we can go ahead and blame Beyoncé and Destiny's Child for elevating the importance of independent women finding financially stable men.

Don't let song lyrics and the plot of, basically, every romantic comedy get inside your head, though. There are many ways to let a woman know that you are earning a good living without resorting to bragging. If, however, you happen to be going through a tough time, be honest about that too. Most of us have struggled at some point and the right person will understand that.

Abandon your own opinions

Again, pop culture has perpetuated the myth that men should agree with everything a woman says in order to avoid conflict. As the saying goes, "Happy wife, happy life," right? While it doesn't hurt to be conciliatory sometimes, you should never lose your voice. You deserve to share your thoughts and impressions about life, and women deserve the opportunity to consider and respond to your perspective.

Having your own opinion is a basic right. It is a window into your values and beliefs and your potential partner should be given the chance to make an informed decision about who you are. If you dumb down your opinions to impress a woman, she won't have a full understanding of where you stand on specific things. Even if it's just an opinion about which restaurant has the best buffalo wings in town, speak up!

Brag about your sexual prowess

We all want to think that we are dynamite in the bedroom. Communication between partners (or potential partners) is a great way to make sure that each person's needs are being met. There's nothing wrong with talking about sex or even being proud when your partner seems satisfied.

It's entirely different when you overshare and start bragging about past encounters. Think about how awful it must have been for Jessica Simpson when John Mayer referred to her as "sexual napalm." Although, he has since apologized, the damage is already done. Any of his current or future partners are going to have to live with that image in their minds. When you get tempted to impress a woman by talking about your sexual skills, do yourself a favor and change the subject.

Buy her affection

When you are excited about a woman, there's nothing wrong with surprising her with a few gifts. She will appreciate the attention and you will have shown her that she means something special to you. A few nice gestures can really go a long way, especially if they come from the heart.

That being said, you don't want to go broke trying to win a woman over. If she's asking you to help pay off her student loans, wants to be taken out for expensive dinners, and is constantly in need of a new pair of shoes, she might be taking advantage of you. It's never good to try to impress someone with your wallet.

Fight with other men

There might be times when you're out together and some guy comes on to the woman you're with and gets too aggressive. Protecting her in a situation like that is a good thing as long as it doesn't become physical (always contact security or police for help if a situation escalates — don't try to be the hero!).

It's an entirely different story if seems like she's pitting you against other men, including an ex (or two!). Don't engage in those situations. She's playing games and you probably won't win. If she wants you to fight off other men to prove your affection, she may not be mature enough for a real relationship.

Pretend to be someone you are not

In our attempt to woo potential romantic partners, we might go the extra mile when getting ready for a date, or a night out on the town. We might put a little more effort into our personal grooming, pick our most flattering clothes, and be more personable in general. That's a normal part of the dating ritual.

It's not normal to become an entirely different person just to get noticed. If you love video games but the girl you're into hates them, you may not be a compatible match. Don't pretend to be a bookworm when you'd rather be melting face on Call of Duty. Either find a way to compromise or accept that you may be better off as friends. Giving up things that you love is not impressive by any means.

Bail on your friends and family

Whenever people get into a new relationship, it's pretty common that they might spend a little less time with their friends and family. After all, they are getting to know a new person and are investing time into the budding relationship. It's to be expected.

But if the new woman in your life thinks your friends are cretins and your family lacks refinement, don't lower your opinion of the people you love just to impress her. Stand by the ones who have been there for you. If she doesn't come to appreciate their eclectic charm, it's better you know sooner than later that she won't fit in with people you love most.

Hide your emotions

Although, things are changing, our society has long-held the belief that "real men don't cry." Little boys are often told to "toughen up" and then, as adults in a relationship, are criticized for not being in touch with their emotions. It's confusing and, sadly, can be disruptive to communication in a relationship.

While it might be scary to open up to a woman, you should never hide your emotions. It's actually a real sign of strength to be able to express yourself and openly discuss your feelings on different topics and issues. Avoid hiding how you feel about something just to impress a woman!

Your genuine self is good enough!

While it's totally normal to put our best foot forward when we are getting to know a new person, it's never a good idea to change who we are just to impress someone. It might be tempting to pretend we share similar interests but we can bond in similar ways simply by expressing an openness and willingness to learn about the other person's hobbies, dreams, and passions.

It can be intimidating to let a woman see your authentic, true self, but ultimately, you should want to be with someone who appreciates you as you really are. If you really want to impress a woman, be genuine and kind. You will be amazed by how much easier it will be to find the right partner!