by Johanna Lyman for GalTime.com

The biggest challenge with romantic relationships is having excellent communication. It’s also the single most powerful thing you can do to maintain a great long term relationship. Sadly, men and women tend to have very different styles of expressing themselves.

We all know men and women are different when it comes to expressing their feelings. But we’ve come up with the top five things women just wish men would know! Is that too much to ask?

Unfortunately, men get the short end of the stick. Women aren’t usually as straightforward as men when it comes to communicating. Many of us grew up believing that if a man really loved us, they would “just know” how to please us. I know that not only is that untrue, it’s also really unfair to men. But the fact remains that it’s one of the unrealistic expectations little girls are fed in their formative years. If you want to read more about unrealistic expectations, click here to get a preview of the first chapter of my new book, The Soulmate Myth.

Related: 6 Things to NEVER Say to Your Man 

I thought I’d give the men out there a little cheat sheet to help them understand us better.

5 Things Women Wish Men Knew

1. We’re suckers for romance. You probably know that, right? Never ask, “Do you want flowers?” Just do it. If we have to ask for it, it doesn’t count. If you really want to impress your girlfriend, you’ll get major brownie points for sitting through a chick flick with her. On the other hand, the little things count just as much as the major gestures. Sending a card for no reason is one way to make her melt.

2. PLEASE listen to us. I know it can be hard because we talk so much. But when you don’t listen, we take it as a sign of disrespect and it really pisses us off. When you listen, it’s great if you check in by verbally agreeing occasionally or even questioning to get clarity about what we mean. When you get that glazed look in your eyes, we know we’ve lost you.

Related: 4 Things Men Worry About

3. If you ask, we’ll tell you exactly what sexually makes us melt. The trick is to ask in the moment. If you ask over dinner, most women will be too uncomfortable to give you a straight answer. But if you’re doing it almost perfectly and ask what else you should do, she’ll beg you for it. And here’s a big hint: real women don’t respond to sex the way porn stars do. It takes a little time for our motors to warm up.

4. When you give a compliment, be specific. I know I have nice legs, but if you tell me you love how my thigh curves “like that,” it’s a real turn on. Also, you should know that you can never give too many compliments, as long as they’re sincere. Really. Even the most confident women I know don’t get sick of being complimented.

5. NEVER, ever forget a birthday or anniversary. See #1 for reference. In fact, see #2 as well. Write it down, or double check for the birthday on Facebook.  Don’t even joke about forgetting either one; we won’t think it’s funny. There’s just no excuse.

What do you wish your man knew about you? Let us know in the comments.