I think we’ve all fallen for the wrong guy at least once.

Some of us are professionals at picking the wrong one, but the majority of us have definitely done it at least once. As I dig deeper into this idea let me be clear about one thing, I am not talking what we fail to realize about the guy who is NOT for us.

As we approach 2017, dating around literally couldn’t be any harder. What with catfishing, “hatfishing,” and boldface liars, the dating pool gets shallower by the day. Still, we desire companionship and take the risk anyway–and we should. The way I see it, you don’t know whether or not a watermelon is sweet if you don’t cut it and taste it–and relationships are just the same. So don’t feel bad about falling hard when the opportunity arises. Taste the fruit, girl! If it’s bad, throw it out and if it’s sweet, enjoy it to the very last bite. Whether you’re knee deep in love or just getting your feet wet in the dating pool, don’t be naive to the one thing women fail to realize about men we fall for:

Men are simple.

The older I get the more I realize just how different women are created than men. As women (most of us) have a natural instinct to be caretakers and because we think that way, we often desire that same thing from the man we give our time to. Yes, there are some men who reciprocate that well, but most of them need the reminder. Again, men are simple.

What I mean by that is, instead of coming in from a hard day’s work and expecting him to know you want him to rub your back or fix you a glass of wine–tell him. Instead of wanting him to know that you really want that necklace you showed him when y’all walked the mall together–tell him. If you need him to take the trash out more often–tell him. Whatever that one thing is that you keep expecting him to know, but he just keeps missing… you have to tell him. It’ll make things a hell of a lot easier.

In my experience, asking for what I need or want gets me much better results than expecting someone to read my mind or ‘know’ what I’m feeling without me telling them. It’s unfair, too. Although there are some of us that do it well, not everyone does–and that isn’t just with romantic relationships.
Many of us ruin a good thing because of what we expected someone to do as opposed to what we asked someone to do.

We say communication is key in any lasting relationship, but we neglect the importance of actual dialogue. When you’re mad, don’t signal–tell him. Do it calmly, but you’re a grown ass woman. USE YOUR WORDS. If we realized just how simple men are, we would see that clear direction and suggestions will get us a lot farther than hints and subliminal messages. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care when he can’t “figure out” what’s wrong with you, but it says a whole lot when he responds (verbally and physically) to what you’ve actually said to him.

Actions speak louder than words but don’t forget that words make a little noise too.

To the men reading, I wrote this piece for my ladies, but it could be the same for you! The next time you expect your partner to ‘know’ something based on what you did but didn’t say, assume good intent.

Men are simple and the more communicative we are when building or maintaining a relationship, the smoother things are likely to go. Remember though, all is fair in love and war. Don’t expect to be able to keep things open and honest about your needs and desires without offering the other person the same courtesy. Tough skin gals, tough skin–but that’s for another day.

In the meantime, the next time you come home from work and want your feet rubbed, don’t hint–just ask.

This article was originally written by Editor-in-chief of Prime Fifty-Two, Isis Nezbeth, and can also be seen on Thought Catalog.