WHAT IN THE WORLD
ARE THESE GUYS
Have you ever wondered what the guys you hang out with
are really thinking and feeling? Has your boyfriend ever
completely shut down on you, leaving you wondering why a
totally minor incident ticked him off so much? Do you ever
find yourself wishing that the cute but untalkative guy in
class would open up a bit more?
Would it matter if you understood the unique way guys
Whether you’re reading this book for fun, curiosity, or
out of desperation to understand guys, we believe you will
come away with a brand-new perspective on how guys
think that will affect your life in high school, college, and
This chart shows the six insights the book is going to cover.
These six “surprises” help us move past our surface understanding
(what we assume about guys) and take us inside to
what these guys are really feeling at their core.
So where did we get this information?
- Guys need respect.
Guys would rather feel unloved than
inadequate and disrespected.
- Guys are insecure.
Although guys look confident....even cocky
at times....they are often insecure in themselves.
They worry that they will be found
out, and therefore are drawn to girls who
help them feel like they measure up.
- Guys are tough and
Guys look indestructible, but on the
inside their hearts are tender, easily hurt,
and strongly guarded. However, they will
let down their defenses when they know
their heart will be safe with a girl.
- Guys are visual.
Even decent guys in great dating relationships
struggle with the desire to visually
linger on and fantasize about the female
body....and much of that struggle
depends on what a girl is wearing.
- Guys are all out for one thing.
Teenage guys are conflicted by their powerful
physical desires, which also have massive
emotional consequences. Guys need your
help to protect both of you.
- Guys go after the hot girls.
Guys are attracted to girls with a good personality
as well as inner and outer beauty,
but they can’t force a physical attraction.
The short answer: from the guys themselves.
The longer answer: In 2004, Shaunti wrote a book
called For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the
Inner Lives of Men. That little book explained a bunch of
things that women just tend not to “get” about men, and it
became a bestseller. It’s been talked about on TV and radio,
and Shaunti has had speaking engagements about it all
across the country.
People started asking Shaunti for a follow-up book that
would teach the same concepts, but in a way that would
better relate to you as teenagers. They wanted answers to
the question: What don’t young women already know about
guys that they really need to know?
We figured this need was a no-brainer. What teenage
girl wouldn’t love to have some previously undiscovered
insight into what guys are really thinking and feeling?
So we began our research....and discovered that getting
teenage guys to honestly share their deepest needs and fears
wasn’t easy. We eventually hit on the right formula, and
held lots of confidential meetings (focus groups) with groups
of teen- and college-age males....and conducted informal
interviews with guys everywhere. We also did a ton of test
surveys, stopping guys in malls, in coffee shops, and on the
street. When we promised the guys that their names would
never be revealed, many of them overcame their usual fear
of baring their souls. And, wow, did we learn some fascinating
We hired several experts to help us test whether everything
we’d been learning by just talking to guys was true. They
helped us design and conduct a scientific survey of four hundred
guys from all over the country who were between the
ages of fifteen and twenty to see how they really thought and
felt about a bunch of different things.*
For Young Women Only is all about the guys’ fascinating
answers from that survey and all those interviews. Because it’s
a short book, instead of trying to cover everything, we are
focusing on things that girls tend not to “get” about guys.
We’ve divided our findings into the six insights on the chart,
all of which are backed up by statistical evidence. Each chapter
of the book will cover one of those six insights. We think
you’ll be amazed by some of the surprises, just like we were.
Two for the price of one
Occasionally we also include some survey results or quotes
from For Women Only (FWO). That survey included men all
over the country from ages twenty-one to seventy-five and
was followed up with informal interviews of many more.
We’ve included a little of that information because sometimes
it helps to see what guys will be like a few years down
the road. So really, you’re getting the benefit of two surveys
and two books for the price of one!
Hearing it from the horse’s mouth
The best and most important part of hearing the truth about
guys from guys is that it helps us really know and believe it’s true.
In this book we want to move you from the place of
wishing certain things about guys to knowing the truth about
them....right from their own mouths. And when you know
the truth, you will have the opportunity to make better,
smarter decisions about how you interact with the guys you
know. Hopefully, those new choices will help you as you relate
to your guy friends, boyfriend, and even family members.
Your guides to the male brain
So who are we? There are actually two people writing this
book. There’s Shaunti, who wrote For Women Only. For that
book, Shaunti did tons of research and data gathering about
men that no one had done before. Turns out, her Harvard
graduate degree and years as a Wall Street analyst helped
pave the way for these well-researched books!
Then there’s Lisa, a screenwriter, author, and editor for
several magazines and books. Along with her writing
expertise, Lisa brings her practical experience of raising
teenagers. Her daughters, Sarah and Hannah, have helped
her tremendously, including rolling their eyes and editing
out any hopelessly “uncool” things they read in the first draft.
Neither of us is a counselor, so we have drawn on the
expertise of counselors, youth workers, pastors, and others
who work with and understand teens. The best experts in
this book, however, are the hundreds of guys your age. We
hope they will make you laugh while teaching you a lot
about what it means to be a guy.
BEFORE WE START: GROUND RULES
Before you turn the page and get a look at the inner lives of
guys, here are some ground rules:
- First, you may have noticed that the media often
makes fun of guys and stereotypes them. We won’t
be doing that here. We honor the guys who shared
their hearts with us, and believe that you will
really appreciate their insight.
- Second, this is not an equal treatment of malefemale
differences. We don’t deal at all with how
guys can or should relate to you. Yes, girls obviously
also have needs, and many of the truths discussed in
these pages apply to you too. But since the theme is
the inner lives of guys and our space is limited,
we’re focusing entirely on how girls relate to guys,
not the other way around.
- Third, remember that there are always exceptions to
every rule. When we say that “most guys” appear to
think a certain way, realize that “most” means exactly
that....most, not all. Since we have limited space in
these pages, go to www.foryoungwomenonly.com to
explore more resources, read the entire survey, or
join the discussion on these issues.
- Fourth, we’re talking about what is normal inside
guys, not necessarily what is right or wrong about
their outward behavior. We want you to understand
their thoughts and feelings, even when we may not
agree with their actions.
- Fifth, we need to warn you that some of the
enclosed insight may be hard to hear. In all honesty,
we were tempted to exclude certain points. But we
realized that we were hearing important things that
the guys themselves often can’t say directly to the
girls they know. So we decided to trust you with this
information. If anything is distressing to hear, please
don’t wrestle with it alone. Please pray about it and
talk about it with an older woman you can trust.
- Finally, as we discuss these findings, from time to
time we’ll be looking at the results from a faith perspective,
especially when there are noticeable
differences between the answers of guys who say
they don’t have any particular religious beliefs, and
those who do. The nationally representative survey
included all types of guys, regardless of their personal
beliefs, and we think this information will be
helpful even if you look at life and faith differently
than we do. But we believe that adding the faith
perspective is also valuable as we consider what to
do with all this new information.
By letting you in on the guys’ secrets, we hope you will
take it as an opportunity not just to learn fascinating new
things, but also to practice new ways of relating. Not only
can you become a much better girlfriend (or a much more
attractive prospect!), but it’s a lot easier to learn good habits
now in your teen relationships, so you don’t have to break
bad habits later when you are married!
In other words, the point of learning this new information
is not to change the guys in our lives, but to change and
So, sit back and relax....and maybe fasten your seat
belt!....as we take you on a journey into the inner lives of