Sum of Relationships

A couple of years ago I was engaged for about 3 years, living with the guy who I had assumed I would marry one day and though it was an epic fail, I did learn a lot about relationships. One of the things that I marvel at is the different ways that men and women think. It seems that both the sexes typically have a different means of getting to point B. For example: a+b=c, Women might use 2+2=4 and men 3+1=4. Now I’m not being literal what I am saying is our ways to get the same answers are different. Many people think this is due to the thousands of years of evolution where men predominantly were the hunters and so their brains are wired to provide while women were predominantly the caretakers of the house and family. There are also differences in the ways the sexes tend to communicate though the world is not quite black and white but has many shades of gray. The trickiest part in a relationship is figuring out the other person and ways of effectively communicating or showing affection that in the same language.

One of the biggest disagreements I have experienced in my life was the issues about going out. Now there wasn’t a problem with either of us doing it, the issues came about because miscommunication. I found that other couples I knew were also having the same problem. When the ladies went out they often told their partners what time they’d return, would give updates throughout the night about with whom they were with and where they were, etc. When the men went out they told their partners what time they’d return and then show up later, wouldn’t text at all while they were out, etc.  So from the ladies perspective the men appear extremely inconsiderate.  I have had several arguments about this as well. What I came to learn is that this was all due to a difference in how men and women operate. So I had to explain why it is that I wanted the updates on when my other half was going to come home or where he was. He thought I wanted him to do that so I could constantly keep tabs on him. On the contrary, I found myself worrying about his safety like a mom or something. Guess that’s that nurturing instinct. So when 2 AM came and he wasn’t home like he said, my first thoughts weren’t him cheating, however I was worried he had gotten hurt, incarcerated, or worst. I had to stress to him the importance of him taking 2 seconds of his night to text that he’d be late or whatever so I didn’t have to waste my life worrying about him being out. Thinking about it years later, it seems like when men are out, they are out. Period. Vacation. Checked out. They aren’t the best at multitasking so while we think they are being inconsiderate, it’s just something they aren’t aware they are doing. SOOOOO, as women we literally have to sit down and talk to them about what we want and expect from them! And vice versa! I have learned that men need men time. Which I was always cool with because I need to get away too! Anyways me and my ex had an agreement that as long as he made time for me (Netflix and chill not included), then he was free to hang out with his boys undisturbed, uninterrupted, no problem. Moral of the story, you have to sit down as a couple and figure out compromises in order for there to be harmony and cohesion. No two people are alike so you have to approach your next with fresh eyes and not treat them like they are your ex. What works for one relationship, might not work in another.

Another thing I find common is that people’s ways of expressing affection are completely different. Again another means of miscommunication. What I think is the way to express love and affection may be completely different than yours. For example, one year my mom received a nice bouquet from the guy she was dating. It was a beautiful arrangement of flowers but she had burst into tears. I was confused. Apparently to her if you want to express love, then give her red roses. Another example, a girl I know thought her boyfriend didn’t love her. He hardly held her, didn’t like to give her a lot of physical affection. She was devastated. When I took a step back I noticed her boyfriend did everything for her such as fix her car or build her furniture for her house, etc. They didn’t communicate in the same love language and so she was unable to understand that his way of showing affection was doing things for her. The general ways people show affection are verbal (saying “I love you”), physical (hugs, kisses, etc.), laboriously (doing tasks for the other), monetarily (buying things), and artistically (creating poems, songs, etc). So figure out what you like, what your partner likes and communicate with each other.

Bottom line, relationships are founded on trust and commitment and grow through experience, compromise, and communication. There is no way to have a successful relationship if there isn’t communication. I realize men are usually not too fond of verbal communication but that is how most women know how to communicate. Women, realize that if we demand men to compromise and communicate on our level with us, it’s all a give and take so that means we have to take the effort to let them feel loved and communicate to them in ways they can appreciate and understand. This doesn’t have to be a strenuous task! So go get out there, have fun with your loved one and get to know one another!

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