Something I want to mention is that men are often told NOT to give advice when a woman wants to vent or complain about a problem. This is a generalization, but most men, as soon as they hear of a problem, jump to thinking about how to fix it. Another generalization, but most women don't want that from their guy. They just want to be able to vent. I know in my own relationship I had to impress on my boyfriend that all I really wanted was hugs and comfort. I didn't want him to fix my issues. I would fix them myself. I just wanted to enjoy some hugs and encouragement while I was in the middle of doing so.
So perhaps Ian may think he is being sensitive to what women want? Of course, the problem with generalizations is that they're far from universal. I agree with those who say communication is a good thing. Let him know when you could use some advice, and let him know when you just want a safe space to vent.