The rule of understanding women – and I can’t believe it’s taken me 30 years to work this out – is that there is no rule.
I’ll always be baffled by women – I can’t pretend not to be. Just when I think I’ve got them sussed, they do something that blows me out of the water.
Story of my life
I remember my first disastrous date. It was when I was 17, and I had just got my driving license. I took this adorable girl called Christine out for dinner. Unfortunately, she picked the most expensive restaurant in town, so I spent the whole night sweating that I’d have to wash dishes to cover the bill. But I ordered the cheapest thing on the menu for myself and scraped enough money together to pay. Funnily enough, the relationship didn’t last.
After that, I went a bit wild, especially when I hit 21. I was a young actor working in Hollywood, having a crazy time – trust me. I made quite a few mistakes. Let’s say I thought I knew everything about women, which got me into trouble. If only I’d realized then that I’d end up knowing absolutely nothing about them!
As for it becoming more comfortable to get dates when you’re famous, forget it, you never know if there’s a hidden agenda, whether a woman wants you or your fame, so you rely on gut instinct. It’s a myth that women throw themselves at you, too. Most women have too much self-respect for that, thankfully.
I’m a terrible cynic about love – but it’s my challenge in life to work on it. I wish I was as idealistic about love as my character—Will in Definitely Maybe. I do love romance, just not to the extreme where it’s a sickness. I know guys who struggle to hold down relationships because they’re addicted to the intoxicating feeling of falling in love.
Relationships are complicated. I don’t think it’s women who confuse men – it’s more a case of men trying to figure them out and failing miserably. The biggest lesson I’ve learned – and it was the hard way, I might add – is never to call a woman crazy. I did that once, and the fallout wasn’t pretty. You women confuse us, so we try to label your behavior as irrational or crazy.
It’s in men’s nature to want to fix things, but I’ve learned in relationships that a bunch of flowers won’t always work. Sometimes it’s more productive just to listen.
I’ve never understood how women tolerate men declaring their opinions on absolutely everything. They have patience that men can only hope to possess on their best day. Men could learn from women when it comes to subtlety. We don’t have as much emotional depth as you. I love that women can sit down with their friends and discuss the finer details of love, which solves half the problems in relationships. The thing to remember about men is that we don’t want to get involved in three-hour emotional discussions.
I love British women. They have a stronger sense of irony and humor than American women. I find their self-deprecating nature really attractive. What would turn me off in women? Seriously, though, vulgarity is unattractive. Saying that I’m the most vulgar person I know, so it’s terrible double standards.
Finding The One is as much about timing as it is about the person. Some people aren’t ready to settle down until they’re 50; others find their soulmate at school and stay together forever. I’ll know I’ve met The One when I feel really ‘seen’ by them – there’s nothing better than being appreciated for who you are.
The rule of understanding women
The rule of understanding women – and I can’t believe it’s taken me 30 years to work this out – is that there is no rule. The mystery of women is what makes you seem so magical – and so unlike us. And that’s what so great about love. Just don’t tell anyone I’ve let you in on the secret.