Why Men Only Remember Certain Things

I’m a big nerd.  I like computers and technology and I like discussing how they work.  Most of all, I like creating simple analogies that breakdown complex ideas, functions or processes because it’s easier for me to understand.  This blog will be a jumble of nerdy analogies that describe how guy’s think like computers.  And it’s long, so get cozy…

The most common complaint I hear from girls about the important guys in their lives is that guys don’t listen to them.  A book from 2006, written by a female psychologist, says that women speak nearly 3 times as much as guys (20,000 words/day vs 7,000 words/day).  The book also suggests that women get a slight buzz off of hearing their own voice (not my words, I just read it here).  This means that even if guys listen to double the amount of words that they say, they are still missing out on 4,000 words that a woman says.  That’s 21,000 words a week that guys miss.  Men do listen to a lot of things that women say, it’s just a lot of that information gets stored in their mental cache.

According to Wikipedia, Cache (pronounced like cash) is a “smaller, faster memory which stores copies of the data from the most frequently used main memory locations.”  When Facebook asks you if you want to remember your password so you don’t have to put it in the next time you want to log-in, that’s cache.  Although it is a form of memory, it’s temporary and only used for quick access to commonly used data.  If a girl goes out with a guy and they happen to get separated, a guy will remember that the girl he was a with was wearing a red dress.  But a guy will deem this information unnecessary to hold onto after a few days, and will “flush,” or essentially “wipe,” his cache.  It’s no longer needed for quick access and is ultimately useless.

There are settings on your internet browser that ask you if you want Facebook to remember you password for 30 days.  Guys have this same function, but only remember the critical data needed to log-in.  Let’s say a girl went out last weekend and says this.

“O my God, I have to tell you what happened on Friday.  So me, Jenny, Jasmine and Julie went out to this cute lounge called The Green Room somewhere like right on the border of Newport and Huntington Beach.  It’s a super cute little place, but was kinda crowded.  There’s some dancing but not really it’s more of a bar vibe, but totally retro and at the same time, really modern.  Anyways, I was wearing this super cute black dress and Jenny was like, “OMG I saw that dress at Nordstrom’s and almost bought the exact same thing!”  (She was totally jealous that I had it, but whatever, she always does that…).  So we were at this bar and Jasmine was like dancing with this guy who looked like one of our friends from High School but totally wasn’t (thank GOD!) and then we had like 4 martinis each.  It was so much fun and then we went back to Julie’s house and then passed out watching The Notebook and eating popcorn.”

You know what guys remember from that?  You went out to some bar last weekend with some friends and then went home.  That’s it.  I just wrote that stupid paragraph and I barely remember the details.  Guys will store that information for about 3 weeks and then flush it.  That’s why when you ask him if he remembers what you did 3 weeks ago, he won’t be able to give you an answer.  We didn’t deem it important enough to store in our long term memory.  The bad thing is, girls can take advantage of this.  A lot of girls know that guys don’t store that information and often forget things.  I’ve heard of multiple occasions where girls will act like a guy was supposed to remember something, but they never actually told them in the first place and then just brush it off, saying, “O, you never listen to what I say.”

Another way to look at it is working on a chalkboard.  Guys and girls will write on the chalkboard, but a guy will start to erase old information once it starts to get a little crowded so we can still remember the important parts.  Girls will just keep writing and they can remember exactly what they all wrote, even though words are on top of other words and look like a bunch of scribble.  Guys will look at a girl’s chalkboards and say, “wtf is that?” and girls will say, “is that all you wrote?”

Guys also defragment their memory almost daily.  Your computer will store things out of order because it’s told to store them IN that order in which it was saved.  This means that your computer has to work a little harder and jump around just to bring back something as simple as a Word document, just because you were saving it at different times.  Defragmenting tells your computer to store that information correctly so the computer doesn’t have to work as hard and pulls it up quicker.  Girls HARDLY defragment their memory.  That’s why they can recall minor details from a bunch of random events and guys never can, because their computer/brain has a higher processing power than guys.  We flushed that crap out a long time ago and just bundled it together as a block of information/data.  Guys will remember what they did last Cinco De Mayo, but girls will remember what they wore, who was there, how they felt that day, what they drank, etc.

Another common misconception is the difference between hibernation and sleep.  “Sleep” means that it’s temporarily shut down and can power back up again very quickly.  But when you “Hibernate,” the open documents are temporary stored in the memory of your hard drive, so if you lose power, your computer will restore those documents.  Guys sleep and girls hibernate.  That’s why when a guys memory shuts off for a second, we forget that you asked us to get milk at the grocery store.  We lost that information, while girls can be distracted, and then remember everything that they need to get because it was stored.  A guy didn’t deem it necessary to store that information before shutting down.  Also, guys can literally think about nothing.  Literally…nothing is going on up there during multiple parts of the day.  Girls brains and minds are always running in the background.

Guys will save important information to their hard drives if they, or a girl, says it’s necessary.  But it usually takes them losing that information first to realize it’s important.  This is like losing a paper that you were writing for 3 days, which causes you to save more frequently.  A guy might forget his anniversary, but the first time a girl yells at him for it, he’s saving that shit forever.

So my advice to women: don’t get mad at the men in your life for not remembering certain things.  Our chalkboards are the same size, we just keep it neater.  We don’t need a full synopsis to remember something; we just save the bullet points.  Our overall hard drive memory is just as big; we just don’t save as much information on it and use our cache more differently.

That’s enough nerding now.  I hope this clarifies a few things.

Thanks for reading

– The Green…Lounge?  Green…something.  Damn I can’t remember, honey, I’m sorry.


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