Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, amiright??
Ok, enough with the tired references, but I have to admit, there’s some truth to this. Men and women look at the world differently, we were raised differently, and we were treated differently (at least in most cultures), so it’s to be expected that when it comes to having an intimate, romantic relationship – there will be some differences. There will be bumps in the road.
Here’s the truth: when it comes to love with members of the opposite sex, expect that sometimes you will be misunderstood.
But here’s the secret to success: you must also strive to understand.
For those new to the blog, I used to host speed dating events. It was a perfect scenario for me: meet a lot of guys, weed all the bad ones out, and do this efficiently by having 25 mini-dates in one night. I was on a mission, looking to find that guy who had all the qualities I wanted. Plus, I didn’t have to anticipate meeting him in person and whether or not he’d look like his photos, (unlike online dating), because he was right there in front of me.
This strategy didn’t work so well. I thought I knew what I wanted, and I did in terms of his type which made it easier to dismiss guys as having “boyfriend potential,” but that didn’t mean the guy was right for me. It takes a lot more than a “must-have” list or a five-minute speed date to find lasting love. And I learned that weeding people out is not the best strategy.
Strangely, for dating to be effective, you have to let more people in.
I spoke about my experiences hosting speed dating with Becky Sampson, host of the podcast Dating Up. (Thanks Becky for inviting me to be part of your great podcast!) I learned many things about both men and women through our events, including how different they are in their dating approach, what they are thinking, and how they behave. The biggest problem between men and women is how they misunderstand each other. I saw it happen ALL. THE. TIME.
A man is typically looking to impress a woman, especially one that he is attracted to. He wants to take care of things, to be desired, to be a hero (at least many men approach relationships this way.) Women however want to be respected, heard, understood. They want to connect, and they want it instantly (chemistry).
Imagine what happens on dates: men spend all their time selling themselves, while women spend their time asking questions, making conversation, and hoping to connect (they don’t like the sell). Men are pretty straightforward, hoping they come across as confident, while women are paying attention to the subtleties: wondering what he’s thinking, his motives, his intentions. The result? They both tend to draw the wrong conclusions, which can lead to a disappointing date.
While men and women can’t change each other, we can learn to understand each other better. I hope you get this from my podcast – it’s the one thing I stress all the time, including in my book. Be vulnerable, listen, pay attention, take a few risks with your heart.