It can be awkward being a man. We have these things that we think and feel—things that aren’t politically correct to say, but matter to us. Here are thirteen of them.

1.That stuff about the stomach and the heart are pretty much true.

It’s primal. It’s hard to explain. On the one hand, we don’t expect you to be Betty Crocker, at home with an apron on making coq au vin. On the other, having a partner who can cook delicious food, and is willing to do so, creates tremendous feelings of connection and well-being.  A man has few defenses against a woman who cooks.

2.We’d like to talk about 6 early because it is important to us, but don’t really know how.

Imagine how this third-date conversation would go: “I want to talk about your libido. I have a high-energy libido, and I’ve been with women who didn’t and the lack of compatibility in this area was a big issue. How would you describe your libido?” You would likely be shocked, and there’s a great chance you would end the date right there. It’s important to us and we want to discuss it, but we’re afraid you’ll think we’re creepy.

3.Who you are is way more important to us than what you do.

This is really embarrassing. But when you talk about your greatest accomplishments—your master’s degree, your new position of power at your company, your latest business deal—we’re happy for you, but those aren’t the kinds of things that make us say, “We have to be with this woman.” We tend to value your personality traits way more than your professional accolades. Are you kind, loving, happy, and supportive? Are you fun to be around? Will you be nice to our parents? These are the issues that make us fall in love, not professional acumen.

4.We worry that you’re only interested in one thing.

You say, “How funny. We women are worried that you men are only interested in one thing.” Of course, for women the worry is 6. For men the worry is money. Everyone is worried about something. We’ve had so many married friends start to feel like walking wallets. It’s one of our worst nightmares.

 5.If you’ll give us some space, we’ll slay dragons for you.

It is a scene so common as to be a truism—the man cave. Books have been written explaining why men need a private retreat, but whatever the reason, it is a fact. Your man needs a place he can go think, be by himself, and nurse his wounds. It’s no reflection on you.  Recent movies have made it more acceptable for him to ask for his private space, but it can still be embarrassing for us to say, “I need to go be alone.” If you can find it in your heart to embrace our need for space, we’ll know that you understand us, and we will, literally, throw our bodies in front of moving trains to protect you.

6.We get so many mixed signals that it is hard to know how to act sometimes.

At work you’re my equal, certainly. On a date, you want me to make all the plans and take charge. In the home, you want primacy over the look and feel. That leaves things like travel, money, and the bedroom, to name a few. In the many situations a couple must experience together, it’s difficult to accurately guess how we should act. Over time, of course, we can figure it out, but it’s tough to always get things just right.

7.It isn’t the fear of commitment. It’s the fear of turning into the hen-pecked wimp that we’ve seen our friends turn into.

Men have a reputation for being scared of commitment. For some guys, that’s earned, but for most the name is misleading. We’re not scared of being with one person for a lifetime. We’re scared the relationship morphing into something we don’t recognize. We’re scared of losing the things (and activities) we love to the person we love.

More at eHarmony Advice