It doesn’t matter what your gender or s**ual preference is, there’s always a moment in life when an awakening occurs.

You either begin to notice people you’re attracted to in new ways, or you notice your friends begin to notice and discuss it, but either way, there’s no arguing that most of us are clueless at the start.

It takes a long time, and a lot of effort (and trial and error) to understand people who aren’t like us – and here are things more experienced folks wish they’d been able to realize sooner.

1. Someone finds you attractive.

That they thought I was attractive. I spent my youth with an inferiority complex brought on by bullying and when I left my hometown I quickly realized I was normal and women (girls at the time) were attracted to me.

Looking back I realize that I missed many opportunities for relationships because I thought I wasn’t worthy of love. I’m so glad I left that town behind.

2. Consent is cool.

When it come to romantic stuff : asking things straight up.

“Can I kiss you ?” I got rejected multiple tomes using that, but the girls LOVED IT and praised me for it. Some are still very good friend with me, and they feel safe around me (which is sadly more uncommon that we think) thanks to that. (and the fact that I’m not a creep who’s gonna try something, if you think it’s a “how to lower her guard” tips, you can go to hell)

“What do you like ?” when having s** for the first time. I was praised for it too.

So, really simple things they really like, thus improving the relationships (romantic or not) and trust !

3. There is no secret code.

to not put them on a pedestal, but still treat them with the respect you’d want.

To not be afraid of being rejected by them.

To realize when they excuse why they can’t go out with you, they’re really almost always saying they won’t go out with you. When they do want to go out with you but legit can’t they’ll make time or offer alternatives. And it’s not to be mean. It’s because either they are trying to avoid an angry reaction or it’s a misguided attempt to spare your feelings.

When I would take them at face value I ended up hanging onto false hope that kept me from moving on and even passing up other opportunities. Straight No’s are much cleaner and actually hurt less in the long run.

There is no secret code to making a girl to like you. No amount of niceness or favors is going to get a girl to OR OBLIGATE a girl to move you from the friend bucket to the boyfriend bucket if she’s already written you off. So don’t let yourself be used or kept in their back-up plan back pocket.

4. Everyone’s communication style is different.

That men and women communicate differently! It took me so long to realize that. For example, I’d be kind of upset when I’d ask a guy “how was your day?” And he’d say “ it was fine” and not offer more. I thought it meant he didn’t want to talk and that I should stop asking.

But guys (not all guys, I’m making more of a general statement here) genuinely just want you to know their day was fine. If something happened that was significant, they’d tell you. It’s not a personal attack on you that they didn’t offer more information, it wasn’t that they were trying to hide something or anything.

Their day was just fine, nothing significant happened. They appreciate that you cared to ask, and the way they express that appreciation is to respond. It just took me a long time to realize that guys see “fine” as a good answer; that it wasn’t meant to be malicious or push girls out of their personal life.

That being said, though, communication is key, ladies! If you want to hear something specific, if you’re not satisfied with a “fine”, let him know you’d like to hear something that happened to him. Ask him what the best part was, or something funny that happened.

Again, I’m making more of a general statement here, sometimes when someone gives you a one-word response, it’s because they truly don’t want to talk to you. But I’m saying just in general, the average guy doesn’t mean to be malicious or rude when they say “it was fine”.

5. Kindness is key.

That kindness, originality, and effortless comfort in one’s skin are the biggest turn-ons, and macho bravado is not.

6. Or bodies are literally different.

I thought girls were as s** crazed as boys were, but they just weren’t into me. Now in my mid forties and my wife on testosterone has opened her eyes to a little of what its like being a man. IT. IS. HILARIOUS.

My wife is not on steroids. She was gaining weight, depressed etc. Her T levels were literally undetectable. She was brought back up to a little higher than normal for a woman her age, and the change had some pretty humorous effects.

7. You can’t slack off.

No matter how many days go by, treat her as well as you did in those early weeks.

Never stop trying to woo her.

8. Desire goes both ways.

That majority of men enjoy when the woman is confident and can take on dominant charge, in a s**ual manner. Obviously not all, but my experiences, most.

Men want to feel desired, too. I don’t mind taking initiative, but I love it when the woman I’m with does as well.

9. Everyone wants emotional connection.

That straight men want emotional connection and a partner as much as women, in some ways more because they don’t have much access to have that type of relationship outside of a romantic one.

Straight guys aren’t constitutionally commitment-phobic, they are just like everyone else who can want to date someone for a while without wanting something more serious.

10. Girls have balls, too.

Balls are located at the very center of the breasts.

We store fat around them because unlike men, we will be protected from getting hit directly in the balls.

It was a very cool evolutionary adaptation, I don’t know why y’all got the short end of the stick.

11. Everyone is worthy.

They actually find me attractive, and a few wanted to date me while I was in high school (I was depressed and oblivious to it).

12. We meet in the middle.

I think women tend to prefer to develop relationships by having deep conversations early on, then hanging out more casually.

Men seem to prefer casual hangouts for a while and then eventually get into deeper conversations.

13. There are always wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Men who claim to be advocates for women can be some of the biggest s**ist assholes dealing with women one-on-one.

I do not find that the amount of lip service men give to women advocacy, particularly at work, correlates with how s**ist someone is or isn’t.

14. An excellent question to ask.

The fact that women sometimes aren’t trying to fix it.

There is that nail in the head skit and it’s so fucking accurate but learning to ask ‘do you want advice or do you want me to just listen’ was one of the more important things in having a good relationship.

15. Get them in the mood.

Men are not always up for s** at the drop of a hat. Sometimes you need to work them up. I always assumed they were just raring to go all the time and I got sad and rejected and took it personally if they weren’t in the mood.

Men are people too and it needs to be taught more.

16. Men need affection.

Men may miss the affection from childhood. Like a simple hug, kiss on top of the head or pats on backs or shoulder. Also to hear that someone cares and loves them.

If you didn’t get one today or in the future… I am sending virtual hugs and top of the head (don’t be a pervy) kisses to you all.

17. Fake it ’til you make it.

How much confidence attracts them. I just faked confidence at first and it worked so good now I am actually confident.

Confidence in Yourself first then Confidence in Outcome.

Confidence in Yourself: Develop a genuine belief that you’ll be absolutely fine no matter how things go, you don’t worry about interactions because there’s no bad options.

Confidence in Outcome: You’ll notice that people are responding more positively to your interactions and start to understand that’s normal, it’s normal that most of the time interactions will go well for you.

Now the cheat code for the first part is your brain isn’t rational, if you tell it something over and over there’s a pretty good chance it’ll start suspecting it’s true. Breathe calmly and every now and then say to yourself “hey, I’m going to be OK” “hey, i don’t mind how things turn out” and give yourself a little smile.

Sometimes you’ll lose your confidence, sometimes you’ll lapse into anxiety again but it doesn’t matter, you’ll get back into a good place and you’ll be OK if it’s not the same good place as last time.

18. Be kind out there.

Men are just as nervous about hitting on you as you are about hitting on them… so don’t always expect the guy to make the first move.

If you like him, tell him ? (from experience: been with my boyfriend for 18 months, I instigated things but he did say he’d always thought I was hot before I ever spoke to him but just didn’t want to shoot his shot and embarrass himself)

19. Just make an effort.

In my experience, women don’t care whether you do things perfectly, they just care that you made a thoughtful effort.

20. You have to let people all the way in.

I’m going to be a little particular about this. I wish I realized how much my wife loved me earlier in our marriage. I always knew she loved me but I took it for granted.

When I actually let her in a little I noticed she had an everlasting love for me from the very start. Our relationship was always a close one but I could of been a much better husband to her and now that she has passed away I’m beating myself up for not giving all of myself to her much earlier in our marriage.

Moral of the story is dont be afraid to show your true feelings for that special someone. I know it’s a gamble and you could end up getting hurt but if you are lucky you could meet your soul mate

Life is too short. Until we meet again I love you doll face.

21. This seems like propaganda.

I myself was surprised to learn that men miss the toilet when they pee because of how the urethra hole opens as urine bursts out. I had no idea.

Believe it or not, the male penis has “rifling” at the tip to cause the urine to twist into a more constrained stream.

Without this, the urine would really shoot everywhere all the time.

22. You don’t always have to “fix” things.

You don’t always need to solve a problem that is presented. Sometimes you just need to listen and consider the emotional impact. Sometimes its just about talking through something, not fixing something. Ask before automatically going into solve mode.

I’m not sure if this is just me (as a heteros**ual male), or whether this line of thinking is common in other men. It happens with my male friends quite a bit also.

The worst is when you say, “well that’s easy to fix, why don’t you just…”

23. They really are.

That boobs are heavy as f**k.

When my wife was pregnant sometimes I’d just stand behind her and hold em up for a bit. She said she could immediately feel the relief in her back.

Win win!

24. You can’t judge a book by its cover.

I spent a lot of time avoiding conventionally attractive guys, or even guys just generally more conventional, and going for ones who looked and acted more off-beat.

After years of this, I learned that being or looking weird doesn’t necessarily make a guy down-to-earth, empathic, humble, or deep; and being good-looking or more conventional doesn’t mean they will be arrogant, entitled, shallow, or bland.

25. Stay in the moment.

How every woman is different and there is no “works every time” method for having great s**.

The *only* solid advice is to listen and react.

“It’s going to take longer than you think” is also solid advice, but that plays into the listen and react aspect.

26. People are people.

That women are human too.

For so long I was scared to approach a woman as a friend because I had an unhealthy expectation that they wouldn’t like what I (a guy) like.

People are people.

27. We’re all in this together.

They are just as insecure as we are.

If there was one thing I wish kids knew better it would be this.

All it takes is one to be chill and act like they know what they’re doing and everyone else will follow.

Even adults.

Work culture instills a “everyone has to be perfect” and loves to make examples of failure.

So now everyone is afraid to speak up or take chances because they’re afraid of consequences. Why take a risk doing z when x has always worked.

I get on some of these meetings and mention a couple ideas that could improve work and why and it just blows their freaking minds.

28. Not everyone knows the secret code.

I had multiple circumstances in college where I was accused of being a tease, and kicked out of guys houses or left on the side of the road after I refused s**.

Turns out I have autism and “can I come up to your dorm to watch netflix” was code for “lets have s**” and they didnt actually wanna watch netflix.

29. It’s a human thing.

They are just as screwed up as we are.

Everybody’s screwed up.

30. Everyone loves a compliment.

That a lot of men feel insecure about themselves . That’s why it’s good to compliment them often.

You know that meme about guys remembering and treasuring every single compliment they receive?

Yeah i still do, I remember and treasure them all, all 5 of them.

31. Fakeness is not well received.

Becoming confident in who you are and being yourself really is the key.

Trying to impress or being somebody you’re not is a sure fire way to come off as awkward and turn people off.

These are all fair assessments, I think. There are so many things I’d wish I’d known when I was younger.

Is there something else you would add to this list? Leave it in the comments if so!