No one enjoys explaining that there is something missing from their relationship with their significant other. Not voicing certain concerns might help keep things calm and happy on the surface, but it denies both people the opportunity to repair any deeper problems. The issues might be minor, but that does not mean that someone should have to pretend that their significant other is meeting all of their needs when they are not or that things are perfect in the relationship when they are not. 

Both men and women often have a sense of how they are “supposed” to act in a relationship. Some of those stereotypes have thankfully fallen by the wayside. Many men, for example, understand that their girlfriend might work longer hours or make more money than they do. That said, there are still some lingering and unspoken societal expectations that men and women struggle to escape. In fact, they may have trouble voicing their discontent with their expected role in the first place. Here are six things every man wishes he could tell his woman.

“I like compliments, too.”

Women are seen as being more appearance-conscious than men, and men are told repeatedly that women like compliments. As such, one of the first things a man will do when he meets a woman he is interested in is compliment her. These compliments often continue throughout a relationship, but men sometimes struggle to articulate that they would like to receive some compliments of their own, not just give them.
Men like to be complimented as well, and like women, they like to hear about more than just their appearance. Everyone is flattered when a person they are attracted to tells them they are attractive, but most people want to be told they have other good qualities besides their appearance. Men would love to hear more often that they are funny, honorable, responsible, kind or a good person. They simply do not know how to articulate this to their significant others.

“Please notice the little things I do right, not just what I get wrong.”

When two people are living more or less on top of each other, the little annoyances can build up quickly into a serious problem. The fact that one person insists on leaving their dishes in the sink for the other to put in the dishwasher may seem minor to the person ignoring their dishes. To the person left cleaning up after their partner, they begin to feel like they are not being listened to or respected. This is a much larger issue than a few dirty dishes. It has built up into a problem that could jeopardize the whole relationship. As such, many people do sweat the small stuff in a relationship, and women have a reputation of being the ones to get short with their man when he insists on leaving his dirty socks on the floor instead of throwing them in a hamper. Men have complained, both seriously and semi-jokingly, about how women tend to have a short fuse with the little things for decades. That said, most of them would never admit that they wish their significant others would pay equal attention to the little things they do right.
If their partner is going to spend hours stewing over a few socks on the floor or a couple of dishes in the sink, would it kill them to take 30 seconds to appreciate that their man folded the laundry, ran the vacuum or took the dog to the vet that afternoon? 

“I have never noticed the tiny flaws you obsess over.”

Women’s beauty routines are said to be a mystery to most men. Women vanish into a bathroom and come out an hour later looking, to a man, little different despite the woman insisting that she only looks presentable now. Women are known to obsess over their appearance, but most men are oblivious to the minor flaws about which so many women stress. The vast majority of men have no idea that their woman feels her eyelashes need more curl, the hairline scar on her chin is must be hidden under foundation or that her thighs touch is a big deal to her. The average man has never noticed that scar, never heard of a thigh gap and thinks an eyelash curler looks more like a device from an Inquisitor’s bag of torture devices than a beauty tool. The man is too busy enjoying that she is his significant other to notice those tiny imperfections.

“I like being romanced, too.”

Almost every woman on Earth enjoys romantic gestures. Receiving a dozen red roses from a significant other is practically a romantic cliché, but there is a reason the classic gestures of affection continue to survive. Most women enjoy receiving flowers, jewelry, chocolates, candlelight dinners and other traditional romantic gestures.
Many men like to romance their significant others because they enjoy making their loved ones happy. That said, they would appreciate it if they were on the receiving end of some romance, too. They would like to receive a surprise gift, an unexpected dinner out or a sweet gesture. This can be anything from cooking their favorite dinner to insisting on paying for the movie tickets. Men are often told that they are meant to give the romantic gestures, not receive them, but that does not mean men are not craving a little romance themselves. 

“Do not ask me to ‘man up’ when I need to break down.”

Men are traditionally taught that they need to be strong at all times. This, however, is completely impossible. Everyone needs to be able to be vulnerable and break down at some point. A significant other should be someone safe with whom a man can be emotional or weak. Unfortunately, some women have no idea how to handle a man who is breaking down. He may act like he is angry at himself and wants nothing more than to pull it together. Women take this at face value and try to help him “man up.” The man, however, may actually want permission to simply cry on someone’s shoulder. They do not want to admit that they break down at all, but most men crave having a significant other who is willing to step up and be the strong one when their man needs a break.

“Please, please, please kill your own spiders!”

There is a running joke throughout culture that when a man and a woman are in a relationship, the man is the one who has to kill the spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, centipedes and other various creepy-crawlies that inevitably find their way into people’s houses. Women find something with too many legs and call for their man to come squash it. Most men do so without complaint. There is not, however, a gene on the Y chromosome that renders men immune to the heebie-jeebies that come from trying to chase something with far too many legs out from the crack under a bathroom cabinet. They do not mind killing the bugs on occasion, but would it really be too much trouble for women to squash their own spiders sometimes? Men find them just as nasty as women do.

No one likes to admit that they want something more out of a relationship, and men are especially unwilling to admit to wanting things that society has deemed outside of a man’s wheelhouse. That does not mean, however, that a man is not craving a little extra romance or attention from his woman or that he would not complain if he never had to be the one to squash bugs again. If anything, he might find it even more impressive to be dating a woman who not only has her own dreams and ambitions but kills her own spiders, too.