Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart

What do we actually know about each other?  When I say, “each other” I mean men and women.  There’s the old saying that “men are from mars and women are from venus”.  So is this true?!  Are we really wired-up so differently that having a romantic relationship is like a game of Marco Polo?

Oh, I know there are some men that have a “sensitive” side and some women that have strong “masculine energy”.  But for the most part, are the rest of us just playing pin the tail on the donkey, sort of speak, with what is going to connect us to our partners?  (Anyone else notice the over use of childhood game references?  Yah, me too.  Not sure where that came from tonight. Anyway…)

As a woman who has been told all too many times that I’m more boy in a relationship than a girl, I think I have a little bit of insight into this territory.  Short of being professionally trained and a clinical observer of the male/female relationship, I think I have a pretty good handle on these things.

Basically what it comes down to is that men are simple.  Yup, no disrespect intended but they are pretty much operating off of  a what-you-see-is-what-you get mentality.  They rarely have hidden agendas.  There is no hidden meanings, and more importantly ladies, they aren’t looking for hidden meanings either.  Most guys need to be directed if what you want is not totally obvious and upfront.

And ladies, stop trying to figure out your man.  The reason they say the quickest way to a man’s heart his through his stomach is not always literal but the message is clear.  Men are looking for basic needs to be met.  That’s it.  They have no hidden meaning in saying “I’m hungry”, “I’m tired”, “I want to watch the game”, “can we stay in tonight”…it just is what it is.  They aren’t avoiding you or being withdrawn, it’s just what they want.

Now Valentine’s Day may pose a problem for some of you, particularly those of you in new budding relationships.  Women, we tend to look for Valentine’s Day to be something really exceptional!  We want this to be the day that he pulls out the stops, demonstrates that he listens to all those little thoughts and desires that we’ve mentioned, and basically act romantic & thoughtful when he never does any other day of the year.  My response to that is, “REALLY?!”  Sorry to burst your bubble, but the deeper meaning of this day you are hoping for is more than likely totally lost on him.  (Unless you give him a good, strong, fair warning that you are basically REQUIRING this from him.  Then let’s hope he gets your direct communication.  Let’s hope…)

The truth is that men do care and appreciate you, but they are not really taught or conditioned to be in touch with, let alone demonstrate, their emotions.  When it comes to Valentine’s Day they are going to look for the shortest route between two points.  How do I meet what she has projected to me she expects and how do I do it in a way that will satisfy her with the least amount of effort on my part?  Don’t mistake me, the least effort comment is also not derogatory to our dear male counterparts.  It’s just that they are simple.  So too much effort, leads to things being complicated, leads to them being overwhelmed, which leads to frustration or a feeling of inadequacy-hence it is avoided.  That’s all.

And men, well you need to know this about we women-folk.  We are looking for the deeper meaning, deeper connection in EVERYTHING.  Yup, EVERYTHING.  Our doing your laundry…yup.  How soon you turned on the tv when you came home…yup.  Your response to the dinner we made…you guest it.  How long it took you to call about getting the tires on our car rotated…uh huh!  (You’re never really safe, sorry to inform you.)  And the change between when you first started dating to when the relationship has been going on for awhile-totally a blog all on its own.  So after all this commentary on my part, what I really want to get to is what each party is going to do for the other for Valentine’s Day.

This is what I know long before it happens…men are not going to pick up on subtle hints.  They are going to look for the quickest and easiest way to express their feelings, i.e. cards, flowers, chocolates, dinner out.  This is because this is what they believe are tried and true.  And maybe even more so, it is out of the ordinary from what they do to express emotions on a day-to-day basis so this seems like an “above-and-beyond” act to them.  Ladies, don’t dismiss this act and if it is really going to bother you-tell them.  Trust me!  He won’t be hurt or annoyed (maybe he’ll be feeling a little disoriented at first.)  He will appreciate that you gave him some direction though.  Really!

And I can guarantee you that women will be looking for some way to express their emotions, or their needs/desires, in a way that is well thought out and DEEPLY full of meaning.  They are going to try to find that baseball card that you one time, drunken-mentioned, your kid brother left outside to be destroyed back in 1982.  They are going to try greeting you at the door wearing nothing but seran wrap even though she is horribly self-conscious of the 30 pounds she’s put on since you first got married.  She is going to try making that special German dish your mother always made you for your birthday before she passed away even though she can’t even make spaghetti without setting off the smoke detector.  Don’t be fooled men.  These are not simple, mundane acts.  They are highly calculated, well thought out and incredibly significant to her.  Show a little recognition of that.

Isn’t that what this post ultimately boils down to?  We each need to be paying recognition and appreciation for the acts, and style of expressed feelings, that each party puts forth.  Try and be a little forgiving and understanding.  Aren’t those the greatest acts of love anyway?

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