Understanding the differences between men and women in relationships.
Important: In my experience, how gender plays a part in your relationships is critical to understand as you go out and prepare yourself to date, or if you are dating now. While it doesn’t hurt for anyone to be aware of how your gender may affect your relationships, this post will probably be most relevant for heterosexual couples. This isn’t black and white. I do believe that personality has a lot to do with things, not just gender. I also want to note that I understand that not ALL people feel this way or have had these experiences, but these gender themes have run pretty strong with the hundreds of people I’ve seen in the last 30+ years.
GENDER DIFFERENCE 1:
Men tend to like themselves. Women tend to think that they are never good enough. In our society, most men have been taught that they’re great. I’m not saying all men, but most men think that they’re great. Everything revolves around their world. They don’t generally become very introspective. On the other hand, women seem to be always ‘lacking’in something, we’re not good enough for this, we’re not good enough for that. This is something that really affects women in their relationships.
GENDER DIFFERENCE 2:
Men don’t generally think of themselves as victims. Women are more likely to view themselves as victims. I think this is something that’s been generational, and it’s gone on for a long time. Men see themselves as being in control of themselves and in control of their environment, therefore, nobody’s doing anything to them. They’re doing what they want to do. On the other hand, women are more likely to see themselves as victims because they don’t feel like they’re in control. They feel like other people control them. Throughout history, women have been controlled more than men have. It’s important to pay attention to that and realize that as a woman, you’re more likely to feel victimized. Men don’t think of themselves as victims.
GENDER DIFFERENCE 3:
Men view themselves as more independent. Men were hunters and gatherers. They took care of the women and the children. It just…kept going from there. Men fought in wars. They got the jobs. They got the education. Of course, now, it’s A LOT more equal, but I still see many women who view themselves as more dependent on others than men do. If you find that you’re having issues about dependence or independence, then you might need to think about if this is somehow related to the social constructs around your gender.
GENDER DIFFERENCE 4:
Men see power as a positive attribute. It could even be seen as attractive. Substitute the word power for ‘being empowered’. Men are basically doing what they want to do and what they need to do, when they want and need to do it. They don’t really give a lot of thought to the other things that go on. They’re typically not thinking about how it’s going to make someone else feel. Whereas women think that if they are too powerful/empowered, it is a turnoff. We see this in gender stereotypes all the time (politics, movies, etc.): if women are powerful, then they’re not attractive.
GENDER DIFFERENCE 5:
Women are generally looking for the right one. Men generally date to have fun. Women are taught to ‘date to mate’. From the very beginning, we need to date to have fun, and to ‘fall in like’. Women don’t want to waste any time in just having fun and learning to like somebody, and all the things that I feel are very important. They just want to find someone that they can get married to. This tends to put a lot of expectation and pressure on a relationship really early on, which can cause an otherwise good relationship to end too soon.
GENDER DIFFERENCE 6:
Men usually don’t over analyze, and women do. Men look at what’s going on and they take it as it is. They deal with it. Women tend to go and look for hidden motives, they try and look at different perceptions, they try and guess what other people want. They’re used to taking care of people and nurturing, and making everybody feel great. They’re looking for ways to do that.
Be mindful of how your gender might play a role as you ‘know thyself’ better and work to architect your relationships from the ground up. Do you see these differences in yourself and in your partner? How is that affecting your relationship?