Viva la` difference! What a woman wants . . .
As couples parade through my office, I’m always reminded how very different women and men can be. These differences often mean communication between the sexes is challenging, at best! Just what are the major differences between men and women, and how can the resulting communication gap be bridged?
Not all men and all women will fit the following characteristics. Every man or woman will have their own likes, dislikes, and behavioral patterns. Often “unsaid” messages cause more communication difficulties than words ever could. But, in general, these seven “identities” resulting from gender differences seem to get substantial play in a therapist’s office.
Generally, men like . . .
- Watching football on Sundays, Mondays, or whenever they can catch a game
- Drinking beer
- Controlling any type of tech device which allows them to stay seated
- Ripping up household or honey-do lists
- Sex, whenever and wherever they happen to be
- A good meal set before them
- Little or no discussion about the mundane events of the day
Generally, women like . . .
- Talking, talking, and more talking with their spouse or partner
- Help with the kids and household duties
- Family time on Sundays
- Date nights
- Time alone for pampering, or just escaping the house and kids
- Romance and foreplay before sex
- Compliments and their partner’s undivided attention
Can you see the possible problems? How can such differences work for the benefit of a relationship?
The answer might be to change your perspective, possibly freeing yourself from rigidity. This is not easier said than done, but you have to keep it simple. Maybe encourage your man’s Sunday football afternoon and give yourself time for something you exclusively enjoy doing. Maybe you could change your family day from Sunday to Saturday.
Guys could make surprise dinner plans for the weekend, leaving time for romance, of course. Maybe take the kids for a Saturday morning and let mom go to the spa. Or, both partners could trade job jar tasks to understand why the other might need help, or why a job is particularly tedious.
Look at ways to see your differences in a new and positive light. Try to blend your differences and appreciate the uniqueness of each other. Swap your needs for a day or two to sense what you each need from your relationship. Take a peek into your partner’s world while opening the door to yours. Ask questions, and then listen carefully to the answers to learn how your partner thinks and feels. Put simply, walk in each other’s shoes.
But, most of all, appreciate the unique qualities you bring to each other to create a whole, wonderful relationship! Taking the time and making the effort to understand your partner will have long lasting rewards, and it can be fun too!