There’s no question that dating is a game. Difficulties arise because no two people ever go by the same set of rules.

As a result, it is very easy to do the wrong things, even when you are trying very hard to do the right thing.

Men can’t see your motivations or hear your intentions. They can only see your actions and hear your words.

Let’s look at some of the common mistakes women make when they are dating a guy and imagine what he really thinks about it.

1. She talks about her ex.

You might be thinking you are being open and honest and it helps you work through your issues and get back to normal. But he’s not your Dr. Phil! He hates the sound of that other guy’s name.

You could set a few hours aside for laundry and therapy about your ex on some Saturday afternoon and he might be glad to comply, but right now he’s thinking one of these:

  • "She still loves that SOB."
  • "I will never measure up to him in her eyes."
  • "If I hear his name one more time, I'll put my head through a wall!"

Make sure he knows you are never, ever getting back together.

2. She orders a salad.

A salad makes a nice appetizer before you eat, but it’s not a meal, at least not to a man. You want to show him you’re into healthy living, and you don’t want him to think you eat a lot and will gain 20 pounds a year.

But that’s not what he’s thinking. Here’s what’s probably on his mind:

  • "This girl thinks I can’t afford a decent meal for her."
  • "If I end up with this chick, I might never meat again in my life."
  • "She’ll think I’m a pig if I eat a big meal in front of her."

3. She texts last thing at night and first thing every morning.

You think you’re a real sweetheart, and you are. You’re not the clingy type at all, are you? And you’re certainly not controlling or demanding.

Don’t be so sure he will agree. Every man needs (and is entitled to) a few hours of caveman time every night and every morning.

Being harnessed with the commitments of love after he’s begun his final decompression and descent for the day or before his morning jog and coffee is almost inhumane.

His thoughts:

  • "It’s just ‘Me, me, me’ all the time with that girl."
  • "My gawd, woman, I can’t breathe!"
  • "If I don’t answer right away, she’s going to call."

4. She gives up her life and takes over his.

You want to show you are 100 percent committed to this relationship, and you want to make sure your man is happy and well taken care of all the time. But you’ve pretty much folded up the tent that attracted him to you in the first place.

You gave up being a yoga instructor to join his bowling team, and you take his mother to lunch or shopping three times a week. You’ve really given up your identity to share his.

He loves you dearly, but he has some second thoughts:

  • "This woman thinks I can’t tie my own shoes."
  • "What happened to that sexy, independent girl I fell for?"
  • "If this is dating, what the heck will marriage be like?"

5. She drinks too much.

You just intended to have a glass of wine to be sociable and feel classy. But it was chilled perfectly and tasted as smooth as velvet tonight, so it kept going down like water.

Now you’re blabbering about your first sexual encounter with the trombone player at band camp and those three rounds of yeast infections a few years ago.

By the time your brain kicks in and you dial it down, he’s already thinking:

  • "What a pathetic mess this chick has turned out to be."
  • "After I have my way with her tonight, I don’t think I’ll date her anymore."
  • "I am not holding her hair when she’s kneeling in front of the toilet later."

There are plenty of other dating mistakes women make, too. Playing with their phones or texting all night drives men crazy, as does expecting him to read your mind.

The hardest thing for a man to do in a relationship is to try to put himself in a woman’s pumps or to think like a woman.

It’s just as impossible for a woman to anticipate the way her man is likely to think about certain aspects of her behavior. But you live and learn, so never stop trying!