It’s almost interesting how quickly five or six teenage boys can stink up a room. On the weekend we had a birthday sleepover for our youngest, a sugar-fuelled night of X-box killing and toilet humor. At one point I turned to my wife and said, “And this, honey, is why men are not emotionally available or in-tune with women.”
It’s quite true, when you take the time to consider it. Women start connecting on an emotional level early in life. Even as children most females talk about their feelings, dreams, and interests with other girls. They are relational machines.
Boys talk about farting, snot and make inappropriate jokes as they attempt to punch their friends in the crotch. This may not apply to all males but it certainly does to those I have known and grown up with. Put two young teens together, and if one of them is my fifteen year old, it will not be long before they are mocking each other out and looking for weapons to castrate each other. Male youth culture is obsessed with violence and erogenous zones. We are not taught to share our innermost thoughts and fears with each other. To do so is a sign of weakness and you will be summarily maligned.
I do not know if I had a single meaningful conversation with another male prior to senior high.
As I have mentioned at other times men are not dumb. Many women have been raised to believe men are stupid. They are not. Most are, however, emotional morons with little or no experience talking about their emotions or connecting on a deep level. Women learn, usually much too late, that most of the guys they have been with do not understand or connect with them as they wish and the result is frustration and pain. By the time they get to my office they are usually so frustrated they are considering leaving the relationship.
Women tend to have unrealistic emotional expectations of men. Yes this is a generalization but I tend to write in generalities. Women often say to me, “Why doesn’t he talk about his feelings?” When I tell them what I have just described to you the traditional response is, “But I have asked him to talk and told him I need him to engage and he isn’t. He should understand by now!”
I have long argued that high schools need to teach things that are actually useful in life. Few of us come into adulthood understanding the opposite sex, relationships, finances, or how the real world works. I did not learn how to talk to women, how women think, how to emotionally connect. Few men do. Most of us think of women as some alien life form that cries too much and never seems to be happy, in spite of our attempts to fix her. I have already written dozens of articles on how difficult it is for women and men to speak the other’s language and understand the other’s messages. Relationships are tough and it doesn’t help that the sexes cannot even begin to get inside each other’s heads.
Ladies, the secret of a happy relationship if you are dating a male is three-fold:
1. Lower your expectations. We have a mental illness. You wouldn’t yell at a child with down-syndrome for misunderstanding you so why would you get mad at someone who have absolutely no idea what you mean and has no training in connecting with himself let alone with you. Sorry but it’s the truth. The secret to a happy relationship is lowering your expectations.
2. Help him to move forward. Any movement forward is good news for your relationship. All you really need in a spouse is humility and a desire to make you happy. You can work with that. If he doesn’t have those attributes than you have a bigger problem than just emotional connection. Get help.
3. Realize that we constantly think you are condescending. This is an absolute truth for most men I speak with. We interpret almost any nagging and forthrightness as belittling. Being spoken down to is a core trigger for men. Our psyche is built on respect. When you talk down to us we lose our minds. Learning to speak “dude” is a key to understanding the male heart. We can’t hear you if you talk like our mommy.
Communication is make-or-break for most relationships. Coming this spring I will be offering an on-line course called “Speaking Chick And Talking Dude”. It has taken me years to even scratch the surface of understanding when it comes to connecting with women and I do this full-time. If you are in the Vancouver, Canada region I will be offering a group in Maple Ridge starting the end of January.
Good luck. I know this article is frustrating for many and brings up more questions than it answers. I did that on purpose.
(My editor added this comment: “Will you have the three secrets for the male – on how to survive with a relational being when you’ve never been taught how to be relational?”)
- The Biggest Complaint I Get About Men, Hands Down! (scott-williams.ca)
- How To Pick Up Women In Their Twenties (scott-williams.ca)