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Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Planet are you From?

A story for St. Valentine

My wife noted that I was reading "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." She said I thought you read that book years ago. I replied that I did, but I thought I would re-read it to refresh the subject in my mind. She replied that it was good that I was doing that, because I sure didn't get anything from it the first time. "You think?" I replied.

The author of this work is John Gray, Ph.D. It was many years ago that I first took to reading it, and the first thing that astonished me was how different men and women see the same thing. We are so different in our outlook that it is amazing that we can collaborate on anything so complicated as going to bed to have the necessary sex that produces offspring. I am convinced that were it not for such strong and instinctual feelings, it just would not happen.
I was quite frankly, flabbergasted at just how wrong we, as individuals get things, if we even think about it. We naturally think that the person of the opposite sex thinks in the same manner as ourselves, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  The book points out the wide divide that exists with something as simple as a couple dealing  with the problems of the day. A woman needs to talk about her problems with a sympathetic listener. That is usually not her male partner, because we think that if she is complaining to us she needs us to offer a solution. Wrong!

Firstly, I find that my woman wants to talk when I am in the midst of concentrating on something that really interests me, such as the news. What she really needs for me to do is turn off the television and pay attention to her. Since she won't want a solution from me, can I read the paper while listening, or work on a project if I'm quiet?  The answer is no. She wants my undivided attention as she gets the problems off her chest, and all she wants from me is the occasional response to confirm that I am listening. If I interject with words like "really?", or "that doesn't sound very nice," or, the best one of all, "what do you think should be done about it?", then I am being there for her and I am her hero. I get the Brownie Points, and she wants to be in love with me.

What I got from Dr. Gray was that by doing these things, which don't cost me a thing, I am giving her respect and my time and attention, and that plays very well with her. At the least I am not ignoring her as though she were part of the furniture. She is the one person I am supposed to love more than any other, and let's face it, I would get twisted out of shape were she not to show me attention when I need it. That would not be when I have a problem arising out of my day.

For those who are not well informed, a man's method of dealing with his problems is the opposite to a woman's. She will realise that there is something really bothering him, and she will ask, "what's troubling you, Dear?"  He will then make his problems a thousand times worse by replying, "Nothing, Dear!"  Talk about adding fuel to the fire!  What he means is, "Nothing that you can help me with. I will go to my cave, as men have always done, since time began, and I will think about what I need to do to solve my problems. No, I don't want to talk to you about it , Dear, because you will try to impose your solutions, which will most likely be of an emotional nature, while I am looking for pragmatic resolutions."

It is very peculiar that the last thing a woman wants from a man is a suggestion of how to solve her problem, but it is the first thing she offers to him. Mostly, she wants to talk about it, and that is the last thing a man wants to do, with her.  If he finds that he really does need to talk with someone, he will select a professional and sit down and have a business-like discussion about things. Those professionals are called consultants, and they cost a lot of money. It is ironic that at the end of the day, the advice he gets at a cost is most likely the same as he would have got for free from his wife. But, that's life! So, as we celebrate another day in honour of St. Valentine there are some things to bear in mind:

Men and women are different, perhaps totally so, and our challenge is to maintain an ongoing successful and happy relationship in spite of our differences.

To be able to give and to receive love is more valuable than all the money in the world. Whether your love partner is someone of the opposite sex or the same sex, makes no difference. I believe that a person who lives a life without the warmth of love, lives an empty life, no matter how much material things he accumulates.

If your life is full with love and good health, you are a very, very, VERY lucky person, Indeed!
Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Copyright (c) 2012  Eugene Carmichael