Learn Her Cycle And Adjust Your Approach

To many men, women are frighteningly random creatures. One day they are fine, then the next mad, then horny, then sad. It’s confusing to find something that worked with her on one day, totally backfired on a different day. The answer possibly lies in not anticipating the effect of her menstrual cycle.
I work with a lot of women and after a while if I pay attention I can start telling where they are in their cycle based on the variance in mood and appearance over time. The ones on birth control are easy because my wife is on it too and I just think of them as ahead a week or whatever relative to my wife’s cycle (which I track in my planner).
It’s not as strong of an effect if they are on birth control, but it is there. Ovulation is a subtle effect, one week they come in rocking a slightly sexed up version of themselves – it’s a slightly lower cut top, the extra sheen on the lipstick, the earrings they like. Ovulation means “I spent an extra ten minutes on my appearance today just because I wanted to”. Then the next week they are a little more snippy and easily annoyed. The week after that they are “headachey”… because obviously they aren’t going to announce they are cramping up because they are on their menses to a male coworker lol. The week after that they are back to “normal” and then the cycle repeats. It’s really not rocket science to figure out where she is in her cycle if you have frequent contact with them.
I suppose I could use this information for evil, but I tend to just use it to influence my decision matrix; lets do lunch vs giving you space vs I have Motrin vs lets really push and get this done. It just makes it smoother and easier to get along. I don’t have an Excel spreadsheet of this stuff or anything creepy like that (that would make for an awkward meeting in Human Resources lol), it’s just noticeable to me these days.
I once had someone drive ten miles out of her way to bring me a bagel because I was hungry. Lower cut top, chatty as all get out, full hair takedown shakeout and redo in front of me. Ok… I really can’t tell a lie on this one…. I really like this sort of treatment lol. I tried to finesse a repeat bagel delivery the following week and was told I needed to find my own damn lunch. Week 1 Ovulation, week 2 PMS. See how that works?  I just notice it better now.
Women have a predictable cycle of generalized mood and interest, but most men never bother to learn it and just think women are random. If you play hard Alpha on a women with PMS it usually backfires, if you play soft Beta on an ovulating woman it usually backfires. If your wife is ovulating, playfully chasing her, escalating to a tickle fight and trying to pull her pants off might work a treat. Trying the same thing on her when she’s PMSing… probably not so much. The same thing in the middle of her having her period is going to be… funky.
Variance in approach in a LTR is a key skill.


  1. Julia says

    Okay, I think you have now become Menses Man!

    I asked my husband if he would like to track my "cycles" in a calendar book; he laughed his ass off. (I don't even have a clue as to when I ovulate.)

    No offense, it's cute, but I'd watch out for that "bagel fetcher" – she apparently also finds you cute!

  2. David Collard says

    I have never noticed most of this, and I work with women. Perhaps it is my very low empathy. Although I did once diagnose a woman as being in her ovulatory phase from the character of her blog comments. Chicks get "frisky".

    Athol, you are a true scholar of females. I only have one woman I need to watch, my wife, but you seem to approach the entire genus with the scientific interest of a David Attenborough or a Desmond Morris. The latter wrote "Manwatching", but you could follow up with "Womanwatching".

  3. Anonymous says

    I've found women tend to get offended if you attribute behavioral changes to their menstrual cycle.

    I always just chalked it up to feminism.

  4. Beau Nertaun says

    I used the rhythm method once as part of a birth control scheme, and I definitely became very aware of predictable mood fluctuations in what had previously seemed an unpredictable girl. I've never noticed with coworkers though! I will try.

    Lots of women get offended if behavior is attributed to the cycle, because it demeans their emotions by suggesting the emotion isn't valuable, or it has no basis in reality. Some women are more open about the *fact* that the cycle does have some effect on their emotions. Of course, that fact doesn't necessarily mean the emotions aren't based on reality as well.

    My question is, what does a married man do if his wife regularly has powerful negative emotions with no discernible basis in reality (definitely not the claimed basis)? As an unmarried man, I dump the gal, but I still wonder.

  5. Badger Nation says

    "Women have a predictable cycle of generalized mood and interest, but most men never bother to learn it and just think women are random."

    I have several friends who seem to think this way. I tell them women are not hard to figure out once you have the right perspective and frame them appropriately, but they insist on persisting with their crude beta-toned pedestalized views of women and decline to acknowledge women's deep biological yearnings.

  6. Badger Nation says

    "I've found women tend to get offended if you attribute behavioral changes to their menstrual cycle.

    I always just chalked it up to feminism."

    It's a real double bind. I've known women who will try to excuse their emotional outbursts by blaming PMS, but if YOU try to minimize their rage by saying "you're overreacting, this is PMS," be prepared for more rage.

    I've simply gone to viewing an ostensible PMS outburst as a shit test, and telling her that millions of people don't use biological discomforts as an excuse to flip out. She wants an excuse to blow off steam, and I won't give it to her. Go to the batting cages or the gym.

  7. Anonymous says

    It seems that some readers missed the point. They think that to apply the info of a woman's cycle they have to vocally tell a woman about it and her behavior. It seemed obvious to me in the original blog post that a man uses this info to adjust HIS approach to her behavior. Making a public announcement to the woman about her cycle isn't necessary.

    If the woman in question is a man's wife- then it is ok. And tone means a lot. Recently, my husband playfully told me that I must be getting my period soon. I wasn't offended because of the way he said it- and I found it sexy that he knew me so well. I didn't notice my crankiness and I didn't suspect my period because it wasn't due. Nevertheless, my husband was right: my period came early that time.

  8. Julia says

    Menstrual cycles are extremely personal for most of us; WE know we have them, but we don't want YOU (men) to know we have them or mention it in any way, unless we're married to you or in a LTR. Some of us still have that quaint thing called "feminine modesty" and to have a co-worker or casual boyfriend tease us about "being on the rag" or "that time of the month again?" is the insult of all insults. Don't do it for your own safety!

    Just flip it around – would you like us to inquire or neg you about your prostate, your sperm count, your T levels? Probably not, unless you're married to us.

  9. Pete says

    If you're telling your wife/girlfriend/female co-worker that you know she's only being bitchy because she's on the rag, you are an idiot. She knows that, but doesn't want you to know. You might as well tell her that you think she shits her pants.

    Athol, what about a pregnant wife? Those hormones are all over the place. Any tips on dealing with that stuff?

  10. Anonymous says

    Obviously some of the comments made here, were by women on there menstrual cycle.
    I will remain Anonymous

  11. Athol Kay says

    You shouldn't verbalize you understand her menstrual cycle as an effect on her mood and mindset. Just use it as an element in your decision making matrix.

    If she is shit testing you, you still have to pass the test if she is PMSing. You just shouldn't seek to place additional demands on her when she is PMSing.

  12. QueenCat says

    Athol, you wowed me?how you observe and analyze women. You impressed me on that one. It's true that many women don't want men to point out where we are on a cycle when we are cranky, but at the same time, we appreciate that you know without saying it where we are on a cycle because that shows you care. QueenCat

  13. Athol Kay says

    Pregnant wife is a little different in that pregnancy creates it's only little world of rules. You can say "ok you're pregnant so we both know that you are going to have mood swings, so I'm going to ask you how you are feeling and you need to tell me". Then if she's in an up mood you play, if she's in a down mood you deflect shit tests and minimize additional demands. In time pregnancy passes.

  14. David Collard says

    Two good pieces of colloquial advice which probably contain more truth than ten sociology textbooks on women:

    "Bitches be crazy, Man!"


    "Treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen".

    And as the guy above said, don't supplicate, don't be beta if your woman is misbehaving. Be nice and beta once she is being a good girl. Not when she is visiting CrazyTown. And they all visit CrazyTown regularly (or irregularly).

  15. Badger Nation says

    I think I've been misunderstood…I was simply commenting on the cultural discussion of PMS, not how I adjust my approach to a lady by the calendar.

    Here's another thing about game, especially in an LTR: the value of information often goes up if you don't tell the other person you have it. Easy example: get her something she really wants. Don't tell her you asked her friend/sister/mama/child/whatever to get the idea. Just let her believe you are the best psychic beau in the world and reap the rewards.

  16. Anonymous says

    Women who are on hormonal birth control don't ovulate. Nor do they menstruate. They have withdrawal from hormones which causes the uterine lining to shed; it is not the same thing as a menstrual period.

    I suspect you are simplay observing the women around you and attributing various behaviors to ovulation, when they are related to other things, maybe things of which you aren't aware. I am shocked though that you have a wife on hbc and weren't aware that she wasn't ovulating. I think this is a classic example of seeing what you want to see, interpreting the facts to fit your theory rather than forming your theory to fit the facts.

  17. Athol Kay says

    Anon – I believe you are referring to a different post that I published a correction on over a year ago.


  18. Anonymous says

    So, why can't I feel this way all the time? 2 days out of the month? That sucks. Isn't there a way to lengthen that out? Honestly. Drugs? Herbals? What?

  19. hannah says

    I wouldn’t say this was reliable for all women. My cycles range anywhere from 30-38 days. When I got pregnant all 3 times with my children I had no clue I was ovulating even though I have read up about all this stuff. The 3rd time I got pregnant I thought I wasn’t going to get pregnant that month because I showed zero signs of ovulation and according to the ultrasound the baby was conceived quite early in my cycle so I seem to ovulate sporadically.


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