The Guy/Gal Pocket Guide to Relationships
The Guy/Gal Pocket Guide to Relationships
By: Dr. Roger Landry (with guest contributor, Danielle Palli)
(Reprinted from the Huffington Post, July 2016 edition)
A Guy’s “Guy Guide” for Understanding Women
By: Dr. Roger Landry, MD, MPH
There are three things in which we men can be certain of: 1) the earth revolves around the sun, 2) the 2015 Super Bowl was one of the most exciting ever, and 3) sometimes, women are incomprehensible.
It would be much easier to write about the first two, but the third is important because, for one thing, roughly half of the humans we meet are women. And second, most of us are eternally attracted to women. There it is. So, how can we maneuver through the obstacle course of relationships with the women in our lives? Furthermore, am I an expert on the subject? Would any man dare say he was an expert on women? No, but I am experienced by virtue of years on the same planet with women. So, here’s some basic observations I’ve made and some tips to keep you guys out of the doghouse.
What Every Man Should Know About Women
1) Women change dramatically during their lifespan. The woman you met will not remain that woman. Dating, work, marriage, motherhood, grand-motherhood, and life in general dramatically change the priorities, and what they want from a relationship with a man. Meanwhile you’re “Forrest Gumping” through life and not actually changing all that much.
2) Women have to share. It’s in that second X chromosome. I know; the word isn’t in your vocabulary. Think of it as “shooting the s―t,” but that “s―-t” is now personal stuff … Now, you begin to understand.
3) Women expect you to show them you care about them. They won’t assume it. You’ve got to go the extra mile, dude. Get creative.
Some basic survival skills
1) Listen. Don’t just pretend to listen (Okay, sometimes you have to, but make that rare). Respond, but realize that just because she’s talking to you about a problem doesn’t mean she wants you to necessarily solve it. The “here’s what you have to do” approach won’t work. She wants to talk about it first.
2) Expect dramatic changes as a woman goes through rites of passage. Those changes WILL require changes in how you interact. “You’re not the same girl I met years ago” is the way it is. Live with it.
3) Shake it up (Be Flexible). I know, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But dude, it is broken if you think the same old way will work over time. Talk about it if something you’ve been doing for years seems now to just irritate her. Be nimble. Be caring enough to surprise her. And … good luck.
A Gal’s “Gal Guide” for Understanding Men
By: Danielle Palli, O.M., Mindfulness Coach
I sometimes wish I could go back in time and have a conversation with the “me” from twenty years ago. There’s so much that I’d tell her. I cannot say that those words would have mended relationships that were not meant to be, but they may have saved a lot of heartache – for both myself, and my love interest at that time … not to mention my dutiful gal pals who were there to offer support at any hour, and at their own emotional sacrifice. If I could go back in time, this is what I’d say …
What Every Woman Should Know About Men
1) He doesn’t like it when you try to change him. This is different from suggesting that men can’t change or don’t want to grow. But his timeline may be different from yours, as are his priorities, and forcing change according to your timeframe can be a recipe for disaster. Aside from issues that are immediate “deal breakers” (such as abuse or infidelity), understand that he will get there in his time.
2) If he says there’s “nothing on his mind,” there probably isn’t … at least, not anything that he may be able to clearly identify at first glance. As women, we may spend a considerable amount of time analyzing a recent conversation, our feelings about that conversation, and weighing whether or not those feelings are justifiable. A man is more likely to react first (and that reaction may simply be shutting down the conversation) and figure out why he reacted that way later. If he says “nothing,” that’s not a cue to analyze what you think he may be feeling or thinking, but to give him a little space to figure it out.
3) Men sometimes show love in different ways than you’d expect. On my birthday the first year my husband and I were married, I expected a grand romantic gesture like fine dining at an expensive restaurant on the beach and flowers. Instead, he replaced the transmission in my Jeep and bought me a GPS so I would be safe on the road and always find my way home. Was it what I was expecting? No. Was it an act of love? Yes. In Gary D. Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages: How to Show Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, he explores how people demonstrate love through words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time and physical affection. Understand that you and your mate may express love and commitment differently.
Some Basic Survival Skills
1) Say what you mean … not, “You know what you did!” Nine times out of ten, he really doesn’t! Clearly and calmly articulate, “I feel angry because ___.” Or, “I get frustrated by ___.”
2) Listen (Where have we heard this one before?). More specifically, try to listen without judgment or anticipation as to what you think he’s going to say. Additionally, do your best to not read more into what he’s saying than he’s actually said (refer back to #2 in the “What Every Woman Should Know About Men” section).
3) If he says he’ll do it, he most likely will. Timing and priorities may be different for the two of you. If something needs to be done today, then specify “I need you to help me with this today.” Saying that a task is “important” doesn’t necessarily translate into “today.” It could be interpreted as next week or the following week. Clear communication and patience are key.