The Complexities of the Opposite Sex

We’ve been having a discussion in the Just Dating Group office about the differences between men and women. Jenny, one of the Just Dating Group Team gives her views on the topic…

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  Or at least this is what us girls are forever told by our mothers when growing up.  But recently I started to question, is it really fair to approach the sexual divide by classing men and women as almost different species?  We have our anomalies for sure, but are we really that diverse from one another?  I find that every now and then, something happens to highlight this void between us and results in leaving both parties feeling utterly confused!

Whilst men are always baffled when women cannot read a map or use logic to solve a simple problem, women are equally as perplexed with the lack of emotional intelligence of the male sex.  As my friend so aptly phrased it, ‘I just simply cannot comprehend, why intelligent, successful and independent young men, seem to have as much emotional intelligence as a beanbag!’  Whilst this may sound incredibly harsh and condescending, sometimes this is what the fairer sex perceive to be true.  However, what both parties have to recognise, is that men aren’t stupid, just like women aren’t psychotic (well, most of the time), we’re just wired oh so differently.

Growing up, women’s friendships are founded on communication, whether it’s playing mummies and daddies at the tender age of 4, or having a catch-up over a coffee in our 40s, we love to communicate.  We relish sharing our hopes and dreams, our fears, our hardships and above all, our emotional needs.  We are so accustomed to being aware of our sentiments 24/7 and find it easy conveying our needs.  Unfortunately for us, men just don’t live this way.  Men are designed to be active and productive and resolve difficulties when faced with them.  Rather than spending all day analysing their emotional well being, they just get on with life and keep moving past obstacles, which in actual fact sounds far more productive!  If only us girls knew how to function this way!

Speaking with a girlfriend over a glass of wine the other day she told me of her frustrations with the man in her life.  She explained that she had continued to ask her boyfriend if her not tidying their bedroom bothered him in anyway, and every time the response she got back was a simple, ‘no, it’s fine’.  Believing him, she took this at face value.  Then after 4 months, a big argument erupted from snide remarks after a stressful day for them both at work and he confessed that in fact, the state of the bedroom had bothered him the all along!  Understandably she was furious and felt rather deceived by him.  Why hadn’t he simply told her in the first place that he had a problem and resolved the drama when she asked?

The fact is, men find it hard to communicate and don’t do it in the way that we do. How open we are and how much we share is completely alien to them.   For starters, her boyfriend was trying to be kind and spare her feelings.  The last thing guys want to do is upset us or offend us, especially when they know we can get so emotional.  It is pretty intimidating to deal with if we’re having a big cry, all they know is that they sure as hell don’t want to be the source!  Whilst unhelpful in the long-term, his intentions were pure.  Secondly, men like an easy life.  Rather than risk making us angry and irrational (which us girls are superb at) they prefer the easy and detached route. Why make an argument when they can cruise past one?  And thirdly, a lot of the time when you ask a guy how he feels, he genuinely does not know.  Men are programmed to understand, happy, hungry, horny, sleepy and angry (because his football team just lost.)  Yes, of course they feel all the emotions that we feel too but they don’t identify with them on a daily basis like women, and you know what?  That’s ok.

So what can both the sexes do to ensure that our needs are met?  Guys, if you’re out there and reading this, make an effort.  We know feelings aren’t always your forte but just try to communicate a bit more.  If you’re pissed off tell us, if our bum really does look too big, tell us!  We may be moody for half an hour but that’s far better than you lying to us for months and then resulting in us having World War 3! Honesty is essential to the workings of a great relationship.  Whilst you may think we’re ridiculous, understand we regularly feel an array of emotions, even if that sometimes makes us a bit preposterous in your eyes.

And girls, stop over-analysing everything!  We all do it, and it’s time to stop!  Don’t expect your man to be as emotionally mindful as you are, would you really want him to sob hysterically when watching Mr. Darcy declare his love for Elizabeth Bennett?! The answer is no! Maybe your man isn’t a wonder with words but would you have him any other way?  As long as you’re not fighting because you’ve left things go unsaid then there really isn’t a problem.

So are we really different species?  I’d say not quite, we may struggle from time to time but you know what, that’s almost part of the fun of it all.  Men and women can live harmoniously together (well, almost!).  To men, women may always be irrational and emotionally unstable, just like to us women, men may always be emotionally retarded, but that’s life.  Let’s embrace our differences and remember, you can always have a beer with the lads/a glass of wine with the girls and moan like crazy about the stupidity of the opposite sex!