What I love about writing romance is that I get to learn about the male species, and this can be quite enlightening. To be able to write a convincing male hero, I've had to have a number of conversations with men of all types, from singles to married to really, really married (like for 50 years or so). They've come from all walks of life, all ages, different cultures, etc. It doesn't seem to matter, though, their insights always amaze and--most of the time--delight me.
I've also learned quite a bit just from cohabitating with my hubby, including which questions to ask and which to withhold if I want to avoid a heated discussion about, literally, nothing at all.
We all have these relationship questions, those seemingly innocent inquiries to which we already know the answer but can't resist asking anyway. Don't know what I'm talking about? Let me give a couple of examples:
1. What do you want for dinner?
This questions is ALWAYS useless. We have this discussion endlessly, and it always turns out with a tie or default, however you wish to view it. Neither of us wants to foist our dinner menu choices on the other, for some unknown reason, and so this question usually starts a dialogue that can end only one way--with the IChoose app on my cell phone. Seriously, we've discussed dinner options for hours until I pull out the app and Hubby realizes that control has been taken away from both of us. Relinquishing control is not something he enjoys (writers take note of this very male trait), but he lets me whip out my cell phone in the spirit of cooperation. Ultimately, no matter what pops up as our selection, he chooses what he wanted in the first place or has me pressing buttons until we've played the best two out of three. Sometimes I wonder exactly how many relationships this app has saved. lol
2. How does this dress look on me?
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking a woman shouldn't ask this because the man will say something about her butt looking big, and animosity ensues. In truth, that's the least of my worries. I avoid asking how clothing looks on me because my dear spouse will inevitably say it something like, "Great! I like that blue on you." Which is very complimentary, except the color I'm wearing isn't blue. It's green. Not even sea green or greenish blue, but G-R-E-E-N like bad lunchmeat. However, Hubby, who is not colorblind, sees blue. He insists it's blue, too, even when I try to explain to him the subtle differences between, say, what color a turtle is and the color of the sky. Apparently, to him they're all the same. This goes for orange, red, and pink as well. I could be wearing a daring fuchsia dress that garners the attention of everyone at the King's ball, and Hubby, instead of acknowledging my bold choice and the social implications thereof, reduces its significance by labeling it red. Plain old red. Jeesh.
The outside colors, as I like to call them, are yellow and purple. Yellow falls under the orange category, while purple is a sub-color of red, although depending on which day of the week it is, the grape-y hue might qualify as a blue. Can you see my dilemma? How does a wife trust the judgement of a man to tell her how big her butt looks in a pair of pants if he can't even figure out that the pants are a fine shade of chartreuse?
Those are just two questions, and there's many more. However, I'd like to hear from our readers. What question do you know to never ask you significant other? Please do share!