We are alike in so many ways, but when it comes to relationships and love, men and women are complete opposites. There's no denying it. What might surprise you however is just how many and how real these differences are. Hang on though, you don't want to run and hide or ignore these different ways ...
We are alike in so many ways, but when it comes to relationships and love, men and women are complete opposites. There's no denying it. What might surprise you however is just how many and how real these differences are. Hang on though, you don't want to run and hide or ignore these different ways of looking at love and relationships.
Based on some just-released findings from my one-of-a-kind long-term study of marriage. One key finding from the study is that becoming aware of the differences between you and your spouse will lead to a stronger and happier marriage in the long run.
Let's first talk about what men need to understand about women and relationships.
1. Conflict Lingers. My long-term study on marriage finds that women are much more sensitive than men about conflict and problems when they arise in a relationship. When a woman has a disagreement, it lingers in her mind for 2-3 days. She replays it over and over. She wants to go over the disagreement the next day. In contrast, men have a conflict with their partner and once it's been discussed, it's resolved. The fight doesn't linger in their minds. They have already moved on to thinking about something else.
2. Don't Fix. Men need to understand that when women have a problem and they come to share that problem with you- they don't need the problem solved. Men want to repair or fix issues when women bring them. Women just want you to listen, empathize, and say you understand.
3. Women Connect Through Talk. Women connect and feel close to others by talking and sharing personal information. Talking time is therapeutic to women. If you want a woman to feel close to you, she needs to open up to you (and you to her). Most men feel connected by doing activities with others (play cards, sports), but women feel close by simply talking.
Now, what do women need to understand about men and relationships?
1. Need Affirmation. Men need affirmation from their partners. Affirmation is the degree to which you are made to feel loved, cared for, and valued or special. Studies show that long lasting relationships are ones where men feel affirmed. Women also need to feel cared for, but they have so many other people to get affirmation from- their sisters, their best friends, their mother, even the neighbor down the street. Men typically do not receive affirmation from anyone besides their partners!
2. What He Does, Not What He Says. Men are action oriented. They have trouble verbalizing their love. Men can learn to verbalize their feelings, but they are more likely to express their love and feelings by doing rather than by saying-like filling up your car's gas tank, picking up your cleaning, or starting the coffee in the morning. Romantic? Perhaps not by a woman's standards, but to men it is what love is all about.
3. Talk is Problems. Men don't like to be criticized. And when women bring up the need to change something in the relationship (or them), men interpret this type of talk as criticism. Women may have the best intentions at heart, but men hear trouble and it is their fault. So next time you are tempted to talk about your relationship, go up to your man and first praise or acknowledge his strengths. Then zing him with the necessary change.