Are You Expecting Men to Act like Women?

My idea for today’s post came from a seminar I hosted last week called “Making Sense of Men.” It was co-led by a trainer for PAX Programs International, which is in the business of educating women about men. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with PAX, which is the brilliant work of Alison Armstrong, I can’t recommend it enough. I attended my first course with them 10 years ago, and it was a life-changing experience.

Alison’s mission is helping men and women understand each other, which inevitably leads to deeper and richer relationships and creates peace between the sexes. It also eliminates the craziness that comes from trying to figure out what the heck the opposite sex is thinking and feeling and why they do what they do. (I know you’re familiar with that craziness, right?)

A key point in this understanding for women is this:

A man can not be like your girlfriend, just with different parts.

I can not stress the importance of this! Do you know why we are so often disappointed by men? Because we expect them to be behave based on how a women would act. It’s all we know.

We don’t leave room for men to be men. We consider how they think and feel, but it’s generally not based on any real knowledge; it’s based on how WE would think and feel.

One of the keys to finding a fabulous man to share your life is to commit to learning about men. When you do, you will find that, as Alison says, they are not wrong: they are just different. Men are so different from us, and once you “get them” you’ll see their magnificence and absolutely love, love LOVE them like I and so many women I work with do.

Here are a few simple examples of how our differences play out in dating. Did you know:

When a man asks what you want to do on a date, it’s because he wants to be sure you enjoy yourself. We think it’s because he’s lazy or doesn’t care. Quite the opposite. It’s because he wants to please you, and the best way to do that is for him to have you pick your pleasure. When you offer to pay on a date – especially on the first – he assumes it’s because you don’t like him and don’t want to owe him anything. If you insist on pulling out your wallet, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t call you again. When a man you’ve been dating doesn’t call you for a few days or just dashes off a quick text, it’s likely that he’s simply busy. Can’t he just pick up a phone, you ask? Well, when men are working they are doing just that: working. They are singularly focused. Women, though, can do 100 things at once. We can participate in a conference, notice we need a manicure, write a to-do list AND wonder what our boyfriend is doing – all at the same time. That would make a man’s head explode. Asking a man how he feels is like asking him about quantum physics. He has no idea how to process that question. (Rather, ask him what he thinks.)

Learning about these and the many other ways we perceive things differently will make your dating life way more fun and help you make better choices. All your relationships with the men in your life will improve. When you know how men think, you will be able to communicate in a way that nurtures and respects them and also gets you what you need in the relationship.

Larry and I have been together about six years and have never raised our voices or hurt each other with words. We have disagreed, but we always work it out so it’s a win-win. You can do this also!

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