When I was growing up, one of the first love relationship books I read was Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. The 8 word title describes how different men and women are.
We’re from different planets.
That explains it all.
We have different basic psychological needs.
But you knew that. What you may not necessarily know, is what to do about that successfully in real life with your now partner, or if you were to get into a more serious relationship or marriage.
Marriage, by the way, will teach you more than you could learn reading a lifetime of books on relationships. If you’re married, you know what I’m talking about.
I’m not the poster child for or against marriage, having been married and divorced. The invaluable relationship experience gained from marriage outweighs any regrets I believe, in case you’re wondering on the other side if it’s worth it to marry or not.
You may be curious about the Venus/Mars differences, so let’s start there.
Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus Differences
Men and women fundamentally behave and think differently. Our wiring is different and without stepping into the body of the other world, we can never completely understand how the other works.
A man in stress needs to retreat into “a cave” while a woman needs to talk with others. And, I suppose it won’t be with the man in the cave. — La Dolce Vita Diary
The Mars/Venus book made me scratch my head as to why one would want to get in a relationship.
If men and women are so different from each other in how we’re wired to think, why would anyone want to get into an intimate relationship (or even spend time in the same space for more than 24 hours)?
That would be like a lion and an ape coming together, in animal terms.
At a young age, little girls are finding things to do and creatively innovate with their resources. Boys tend to stand around if they don’t have instruction. They’re fearless and unemotional, compared to girls. That’s what I’m told anyway by my friends with little boys and girls. They’re as qualified to write a book about raising their kids as I am about my story.
So then why male-female pairing…is this some kind of joke from the Universe? Is it Adam and Eve’s fault?
I don’t think so. There’s a purpose.
A&E are the beginning to understanding love. But since times have evolved, modern men and women have blurred lines from traditional hunting and gathering.
Men and Women Similarities
In contemporary society, the pink and blue lines are purple. Modern men don’t need to hunt. The food has already been hunted and stocked on shelves at the convenient grocery store. They’ve become gatherers standing in the 10 or under check out line next to women.
Women can have job role responsibilities similar to men and become the family CEO. Both men and women take out the trash and cook. And we share the same language, words, and sentence structure.
Men Are Waffles and Women Are Spaghetti
About a decade after I read the Mars/Venus book, I read a relationship book that put a similar comparison in food terms and how we can help each other out:
Men Are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti
The concept that men compartmentalize and stay within each waffle box before going into another. This is good for focus and problem solving.
Conversely, women relate and intermingle every part of life. This is good for connection and multi-tasking.
Since this book, our complex society shifted again after the post dot-com world. As smart phone devices noticeably grew in popularity for the human race, they competed with eating dinner without device interruption.
Texting became part of the regular work day while attending a webinar or meeting, and checking the latest news, social media sites, and sports stats.
Both men and women are sending long messages when men were once only using a fraction of daily words that women used.
So we have to understand that your manly-man and girly-girl from an earlier era, are blending in behaviors and ways of thinking.
Unless your partner stays away from technology, they will be more complicated than Mars, Venus, a waffle, or a bowl of cooked spaghetti.
How To Become Better In a Love Relationship
In the early dating stage of a relationship, we see more similarities as both men and women try to relate on a superficial level.
The differences become more obvious as we let down our guard, take off our masks, and act like our original opposite sex-nature in a relationship (men are hunters who like boxes and caves, and women are gatherers who like involvement and noodles).
If you find a partner that you want to spend more time with or the rest of your life, you can enter yourself into relationship education where you learn to care for another, be less self-centered and more interdependent.
If you graduate, you grow and can become a better person. If your partner and you happily act as one union despite differences, then your degree has paid off.
You’ve grown to be more well-rounded when you become more like someone who is different or opposite to you. And they become more like you.
You’ve learned to communicate your thoughts and feelings better, and through practice learn to solve challenges considering each other.
You then become a powerful force that can be used for a greater good.
You can take each each other’s improved strengths, grow your family, help the community and world, and transform your lives for everyone’s benefit.
Relationship success reaches a new level understanding this larger mission and purpose. When you and your partner can share the same purpose, then you help each other towards the goal. You use gentle reminders in your daily routine lives that your relationship is a gift not to be taken for granted.
Without common purpose and reminders, relationships can take a difficult turn or season.
Relationship Ego Challenges
Challenges can arise when one of the partners doesn’t want to plan or work at a relationship. They are happiest if there are no relationship challenges. And then enter the ego…
In unawareness, lazily the ego mind takes over one of you in prideful and selfish endeavors. You want things your way. And you don’t want to compromise, or have another individual changing us that appears to be happening and is recorded. How dare they!
The only change we want to do is the clothes we put on or what we think is not working for us. It takes humility to change for the both of us.
Our egos will have none of that. There are 4 people in one relationship. You, your ego, your partner, and your partner’s ego.
Your ego may perceive that your partner acts like your mother (if you’re a guy) or your father (if you’re a girl) in certain behaviors. The ego then has a field day, searching for any little trait you disliked about your growing up…
Maybe one parent created rules, or saved every plastic container, and the other threw out anything where there was more than one.
And that image of your partner as your parent is stamped in your memory.
And on and on the ego drama goes to your past, your present situation, and how terrible the future will be if you can’t train this ape or lion to see things your way.
This relationship drama described is also known as the power struggle.
No wonder partners wake up one day as strangers. It never happens overnight even though it could be one situation that triggered the final outcome as it could feel like a ton of bricks falling down.
The ego has been looking for an excuse to see your partner as an enemy. While the heart quietly stands by in love, ignored, but whispering you still love this person.
Because ego shouts blame and attack in the moment. If caught off guard, you can be waking up your partner’s ego, or the sleeping lion that roars.
If one minute the lion is happy and tame and the next they want to attack you, they have an unaware ego issue.
The ape is scratching its head as to how this conversation went from one statement to a sour downward spiral. Wondering how two animals at the top of food chain could let that happen.
By the way, I never mentioned if the female or male is the ape or lion. That’s different in each relationship. Whoever has the pride, is the lion.
How To Survive the Power Struggle
Besides having a strategic plan, the only real chance for long haul relationship survival is for both partners to have self-awareness, commitment, patience and forgiveness, and a desire to grow.
The most important being self-awareness that maybe you’re learning from reading this article, or reinforcing what you already knew.
The best relationship protection plan is knowledge. You could save losing a relationship that otherwise had potential.
If you’re in a new relationship, practicing what you know about the power struggle will help but will show up differently with each partner as each person from Mars or Venus is unique.
You may also have to brush up on your rusty relationship, communication skills, and habits from your last relationship. Maybe this sends a reminder.
Best of luck in your relationships!
Previously published on medium
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