According to John Gray, author of the famous relationship guide Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, the similarities between men and women are far greater than the differences.
His approach is to identify the differences that exist for many people. They don’t show up for everybody but they show up for many people. When that happens, John prefers a positive method of interpreting them so that the people involved don’t feel threatened by them.
He believes that there is an inherent gender difference that is born into everyone. He calls it “a function of testosterone”, which can be measured in people’s physiology. The bottom line is that this is what humans are born into- muscles and testosterone that go together and testosterone goes together with a whole set of attitudes. It also goes together with a whole set of stress reactions and determines how people cope with stress.
John explains that the basic bottom line of relationships is that people deal with conflict and stress differently. For example, women have different hormones that affect their experience of stress, their experience of intimacy, and their experience of purpose in life.
Emotional Differences Between Men and Women
The main difference between men and women is that women explore issues in greater detail before forming an opinion. Men form opinions immediately and therefore women assume men are narrow-minded or rigid, when in actual fact, they’re not. John also explains that they’ll form an opinion very quickly but also be able to quickly change that opinion if given new information. So that’s another way men and women process information differently.
Men tend to make snap judgments and they’ll change them just as quickly. In comparison, a woman tend to take a longer time to form her opinion and once it’s formed, it tends to be more rigid, more stable and based upon a lot more information. So a man might be thinking in his marriage, “I want a divorce.” And the next day he will change his mind. But when a woman says she wants a divorce, it’s generally based on years of build-up and usually she won’t change her mind right away.
How to Deal With Conflicts
When in conflict, John suggests to solve the problem and avoid it in the future. What women want is someone who will empathize with her point of view, trusting and respecting that she can it through on her own. This creates lots of problems. The same principle applies for men. They are going to have to learn a lot of things on their own and if women keep telling them what to do. Men will just resist hearing that message.
This is where conflicts often develop, says John. Men tend to be overly analytical in trying to solve problems and women tend to offer unsolicited advice to men. What both have to do is to have a greater respect for each other to be able to listen to each other.
How to Enjoy Freedom While Being in a Relationship
John advocates the need to have separate time even when one is in a happy, committed relationship. Otherwise, a relationship won’t be healthy. He stresses that men need time to be with their make friends, shooting pool or going to the movies or doing what they like to do.
That is very healthy and if they don’t do it, it will threaten their romantic relationship with their female partners. Women have to realize that. If women want their male partners to be passionately attracted to them, they need to let the men pull away. This will stimulate their testosterone, thereby missing their female partners. And that, is the key to bring good energy back to a relationship.