As a therapist and life coach I am asked the question, “what does he/she want” more often than I can count. Men want to understand women and women want to understand men. My knowledge on this topic can often be lost when it comes to my own relationship (that is an article for another day), but it is really not as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. We have been fed, for so long, the thought of men and women coming from different planets. This idea of being from such distant places has indeed caused a disconnect. Of course, there are differences and that is not to be denied. However, I am no so certain they are as great as we have been sold.
All men want is the remote control to the television, a sandwich, and sex. Guess what? Women like sex and sandwiches too! Personally, I don’t care who has the remote, but I am fairly certain that women enjoy a chance at the boob tube as well. Hmm, seems pretty logical so far.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Relationships, at the core, require a few basic universal components.
Communication seems like a no-brainer when it comes to relationships. All too often we let life get in the way and put off what we need to say. The kids have things going on and the timing is bad. Our partner has a lot on their plate and we do not want to add to it. If I just ignore it, it will go away. The list of reasons as to why we bite our tongues goes on and on. What it boils down to is speaking from the heart. If there is something going on which is causing distress, your partner deserves to know and you deserve to get it off your chest. Some conversations are difficult and uncomfortable, but it is in those moments when you grow and connect as a couple. Every person wants to be heard and understood.
I think this is another no-brainer, but I have learned personally and professionally, it isn’t. The words that come from our mouths cannot be taken back once they are spoken. Fighting fair is of the utmost importance. Thinking about how we speak to our partner and about our partner is vastly important to maintaining respect. Before we speak we need to keep in mind the following; is it true, is it kind, is it necessary. Let’s be real, we will vent at times to our friends. But really, do our friends need to know all of the dirty details? How would it feel if you knew your partner were sharing that sort of information? Every person wants and deserves respect.
If your partner reaches out to you, respond. There will be times when we are unable to fully engage our partner. It is important to remain connected and if now is not the time then respect your partner communicate when a good time will be. No one deserves to feel ignored, especially your partner.
No, I am not talking the sort that leads to marriage. However, utilize these techniques for your relationship and you could be well on your way. The type of engagement I am talking about is emotional engagement. This comes with time and not developed overnight. Understand that your partner, whether male or female, is capable of a rainbow array of emotions. Emotions are an involuntary response of the central nervous system to some sort of stimuli. While some people are better with emotional regulation than others. EVERYONE has emotions!
Men and women are truly very different and yet so very similar.
Don’t forget to make each other a sandwich from time to time…with a side of sex!
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