Mars and Venus on a Date
During my relationship seminars, single women often come up to me and describe in great detail what they thought was a wonderful date. The question that follows is almost always the same. Every one of these women says, "I can't understand why it didn't work out." If everything went so well, each wonders, why didn't he want to pursue the relationship? To most women, men are still a mystery. Their questions often reveal a complete misunderstanding and misinterpretation of men.
- How do I attract the right guy for me?
- Why do men talk so much about themselves?
- Why don't men call back?
- Why don't men commit?
- How do you get a man to open up?
- Why do I have to do everything to make this relationship work?
- Everything is great, but my partner doesn't want to get married and I do. What can I do?
- Why do I keep getting involved with the same kind of guy?
A woman's questions tend to revolve around one issue: How do I secure a loving, lasting relationship? Women want to make sure they can get what they need in a relationship. Men, on the other hand, have different questions. Their questions focus on making sure they are successful in their relationships but also reveal a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of women.
How do I know what a woman wants?
- Why are women so indirect about things?
- Why do we start arguing about the littlest things?
- Why can't a women just say what she means?
- How do I know if she is the one?
- Why does she always want to talk about therelationship?
- Things are fine now, so why rock the boat and get married?
- Why do women ask so many questions?
Although men's and women's questions reflect different orientations toward dating, they do have two things in common: Men and women want their relationships to be loving, and they definitely don't understand each other. We feel powerless at times to get what we want in our relationships.
It might seem hopeless, but it is not. Once men and women learn how they approach dating and relationships differently, then we have the necessary information and insight to begin finding the answers to our questions. Without a deeper understanding of our differences, it is inevitable that we will continue to misinterpret our dating partners and create unnecessary problems. How We Unknowingly Sabotage Relationships
When we misinterpret each other, it can cause us to sabotage our relationships unknowingly. A woman may mistakenly conclude her date is "just another man incapable of making a commitment" and give up. A man may think his date is another woman whose needs may smother him and take away his freedom. As a result, he loses interest.
No matter how sincere you are, if your partner is misinterpreting your innocent and automatic reactions and responses, your attempts to create a relationship may be unsuccessful. It is not enough merely to be authentic in sharing yourself; to succeed in dating you need to consider how you will be interpreted as well. For this reason there are times when we cannot just "be ourselves." Instead, we must hold back our initial gut reactions and measure our responses in ways that will communicate where we are coming from.
Making sense of the opposite sex frees us to make decisions and choices conducive to getting what we want, but in a way that works. To do this, it is essential that we have a deeper understanding of the different worlds we come from. While I have explored many of these differences in my previous book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, there are many issues specifically relevant to being single that were not covered.
A deeper understanding of single men and women can be immensely helpful in navigating through the five different stages of dating: attraction, uncertainty, commitment, intimacy, and engagement. With this new insight, it will be easier to interpret each other's behavior correctly and act accordingly. The Five Stages Of Dating
Stage One: Attraction
In stage one of dating, we experience our initial attraction to a potential partner. The challenge in this first stage is to make sure you get the opportunity to express that attraction and get to know a potential partner. With a clear understanding of how men and women approach dating differently, you will be able to put your best foot forward. Stage Two: Uncertainty
In stage two, we experience a shift from feeling attraction to feeling uncertain that our partner is right for us. The challenge in this stage is to recognize this uncertainty as normal and not be swayed by it. To become uncertain doesn't mean that someone is not right for you. When you are dating someone who seems really special to you, it is quite normal suddenly to wonder whether you wish to continue dating that person. Without an understanding of this stage, it is too easy for a man to drift from one partner to another and for a woman to make the mistake of pursuing a man more than he is pursuing her.Stage Three: Exclusivity
In stage three we feel a desire to date a person exclusively. We want the opportunity to give and receive love in a special relationship without competition. We want to relax and have more time to share with our partner. All of the energy that went into looking for the right person can now go into creating a mutually loving and romantic relationship. The danger in this stage is that we become too comfortable and stop doing the little things that make our partners feel special. Stage Four: Intimacy
In stage four we begin to experience real intimacy. We feel relaxed enough to let down our guard and share ourselves more deeply than before. The opportunity of this stage is to experience the best in ourselves and our partner, while the challenge to deal with our less-than-best sides. Without an understanding of how men and women react differently to intimacy, it is easy to conclude mistakenly that we are just too different to proceed. Stage Five: Engagement
In stage five, with the certainty that we are with the person we want to marry, we become engaged. In this stage we have the opportunity to celebrate our love. This is the time to experience our relationship joyfully, happily, peacefully, and lovingly. This is a time of great excitement and promise. Many couples make the mistake of rushing into getting married. They do not understand that this is a vital time to gather positive experiences of sharing together and resolving disagreements and disappointments before the bigger challenges of being married, moving in together, and having a family. This stage provides a strong foundation for experiencing a lifetime of love and romance.
Throughout Mars and Venus on a Date, we will explore in great detail the five stages of dating and the various questions that come up in each stage. Each chapter will provide you with fundamental insights about how men and women approach dating differently so that you can correctly interpret your partner and then choose to respond in ways that will not be misunderstood. In this way you will make use of every opportunity to create the relationship of your dreams. Dating Can Be Much Easier
Whether you are starting over, just starting to date, or have been dating for years, one thing doesn't seem to change: Dating is awkward and has definite moments of pain and discomfort. For some people, one of the primary motivations for getting married is to avoid dating. Yet dating doesn't have to be so dreary or difficult, nor does it have to seem endless. As a matter of fact, if you are looking for that special someone, the fastest way of finding him or her -- and being found -- is to create positive dating experiences.
Knowing what to expect in each of the five stages of dating makes it incredibly easier. For example, in the first stage -- attraction -- when a woman understands why a man doesn't call back the next day, even when he is attracted and interested, it frees her from worrying unnecessarily. By learning a new approach for calling him that doesn't minimize her position with him, it frees her even more to enjoy the dating process: no more sitting by the phone wondering when he will call.
In a similar way, this understanding of our differences makes the whole process of dating much easier for a man. For example, when a man understands exactly what women need and what he needs to do to satisfy those needs, then it gives him the confidence that he can succeed in winning over the woman he wants and loves. Quite often, what he would want is not necessarily what she wants. By learning these differences, he can understand what to do at each of the five stages.