Alright… enough is enough. Let me start by saying that I am not a man-hater. Not in the slightest. In fact, I love. adore. admire. and maybe even cherish men. However, it is time to address the fact that they often use the term “PMS” or “PMS-ing” as an attack/explanation/joke towards women. Men typically don’t even use it correctly, as they refer to it (any time of the month) when a woman is being “moody” or “emotional” (maybe she’s just being honest or speaking her mind). I’m a fan of gender-neutral terms… so let’s make PMS something a little more bilateral. PMS for women… fine. PMS (Pissy Man Syndrome) for men… now the playing field is even.
Now, let’s review the new rules. Men, too, have a cycle. They are moody, emotional, wonderfully human creatures, as well. If they claim otherwise, they are either lying or in denial. If you claim otherwise… you likely haven’t had many long-term interactions with men. Let’s move on to the man’s 28 day* mood cycle.
*The days listed are rough estimates… give or take a few. Men are unpredictable.
Days 1-7: Stable… Like Tom Hanks
Your man is your rock. He is available, stable, prompt in responding to or initiating contact with you and he makes plans. A good indicator of knowing he is the Stable part of his mood cycle is taking a look at his living conditions… squeaky clean? Yep. He’s there. He listens. He is calm and kind. He is a nice shoulder to cry on if necessary. He is not necessarily sexy during this time period (unless you are into completely stable men… if so, you are far more mature than the rest of our species and must share your secrets), but he is easy to love and he feels safe. It can be a good time to talk about something that has been on your mind as he will likely be highly receptive. It’s a wonderful time to schedule a family dinner (as they often can’t be avoided and a stable man makes a fabulous impression on parents). It’s a good time to invite him to spend (a brief amount of) time with your girlfriends (he’ll appear to be the ideal man… he listens! He understands! He’s attentive!). If you are one of those women who needs her man to go shopping with her to feel appreciated (and, please, I hope you change your ways… no more turning your boyfriends into your best girlfriends… tsk tsk), this is one of the best times to ask him as his patience levels are high. This is the best time to increase your mental/emotional closeness. Talk. Get to know him even better. And listen. This is when he’ll open up.
Days 8-14: Affectionate… Like Fabio
Your man is all about you. You feel like an irresistible goddess (well, you feel that way all the time… this is just when he reminds you of that). He is touchy and affectionate. He says just the right things. He is constantly sexy and he is genuinely sweet. This is when your head spins and he has the ability to make you a bit swoony (sidenote: we should all make it a point to swoon more frequently… it’s a lost art and it feels topsy-turvy heart-fluttery uh-ma-zing… master the swoon. Your man can’t make you swoon, you say? Move on to the next eligible suitor immediately). This is when a kiss makes you cross-eyed and you just fit. Cheesy? Totally. Awesome? Uh, yeah. This is one of the best (okay… the best) time in the man’s PMS cycle. This is when your physical bond is the strongest and you feel a bit like a twitterpated teenager. Bask in this out of control lust. This is the stuff that Monster Ballads are made of and you, my dear, are living proof. So put on some Whitesnake and get all gussied up to spend a night (or weekend) in with your man.
Days 15-21: Moody… Like James Dean
Your man is brooding. Something about him turns highly introspective. If you are a realist, you may say that he’s just being quiet. If you are a romantic, you would say that he’s misunderstood and mysterious. If you are a cynic, you would say that he’s self-destructive and pushes people away with his silence. Any and all of the above may be true. Likely, he is just being human. This is when you may feel a distinct disconnect when you try to talk to him. Things don’t flow as easily as usual. The tension radiating from him may be palpable. He may have had a bad day at work or may just need some down time. He may be bipolar. That’s up to you (and maybe a licensed professional) to diagnose. This is the time to enjoy the peace and quiet between you. Do something low-key, like going to the movies. And don’t force the conversation. He’ll talk when he is ready to talk. Men hate the following two questions: “Is something wrong?” and “What are you thinking?” Avoid these at all costs. Keep the mood light and don’t increase the furrow on his brow by pushing him too hard. This is a nice time to do something sweet for him without being asked. You could drop off dinner or buy him his favorite beer. It’s a way to relieve stress for him and make him feel comfortable without forcing the issue. Plus, James Dean made the whole dark and brooding thing work for him. Maybe you can learn to enjoy (or at least tolerate) this side of your man.
Days 22-28: Angry/Distant… Like Charlie Sheen**
Your man is impossible. It’s as if Invasion of the Body Snatchers has actually happened and, though he looks like your man, his eyes seem a bit cold. You search his face desperately for Tom Hanks/Fabio/James Dean from the past few weeks. He’s not there. You ask a simple question like, “How was your day?” and he responds with a slightly caustic, “How do you think it was?” You feel like you are walking on eggshells and each smile appears more like a snarl. This could just be you feeling a bit oversensitive. Or, he could be full blown PMS-ing (yes, this is where you may use the new man-directed term). His moods are not your fault. He is not mad at you. Do not blame yourself. If you are able to be moody, irrational, or a bit crazy for no reason at all… So is he. Likely, your man has just (temporarily) turned into Charlie Sheen (full blown PMS status). Give him his space. This is the most ideal time to focus on yourself and your fabulous life. Go out with the girls. Lunch with your mom. Read The Unbearable Lightness of Being for the seventieth time (maybe that’s just me). Consider his PMS Time, your You Time. Soon enough, you’ll have Tom Hanks back in your life.
*Note to my readers: This entire process/mood cycle can take place within one 24 hour period. Twice.
** My deepest apologies to Charlie Sheen. My sympathies are actually with him. Poor guy (no sarcasm there).