Health And Relationships
THE ESSENCE OF A GREAT RELATIONSHIP
One of the interesting things about men and women in relationship is that they have such different expectations of each other. One of the reasons for this is that we all conditioned socially from the moment we are born into certain roles and certain beliefs about ourselves.
One experiment was very telling in this respect, when a number of researchers brought a baby into a group of people, with the baby dressed in pink clothing.
The people treated the baby, men and women alike, with gentleness and cooed over it; when the same baby was brought in dressed in a denim suit, so that men and women and assumed it was a boy, they were much more energetic and vigorous with it, much less gentle, and adopted a completely different linguistic approach to it.
So right from birth boys are conditioned to expect life to be harder in some way, and certainly to be more oriented about achievement than emotion.
This is a hard fact to get our heads around, because many of the issues in society, and certainly many of the ills of relationship that we experience, come from the fact that boys are not brought up to be sensitive and emotional.
And you can see this in the way that any little boy is told to be a man, not to cry, or praised for his achievements. Girls are praised for being nice and kind and sensitive.
Now clearly these are such deep differences that we are not likely to be able to overcome them any time soon!
And both sexes are entitled to their needs and feelings. I sometimes wonder if itís possible that the reason that we treat boys and girls like this is because weíre actually genetically programmed to do so.
You see, the fact is that I believe we are deeply directed by our genetic inheritance, and for the generations in which we evolved, there would have been very different requirements on men and women: men would have been required to go out and be brave, not to show their fear, and to hunt fearlessly.
Women would have been required to stay at home, maintain a social connection with their partners, and look after the children.
All of these things are bound to give a certain predilections and predispositions in relationship. So maybe the answer is that what we should be doing is looking to the common ground, the needs of men and women have in common.
And then, when weíve identified them, perhaps we should be treating them differently in the two sexes. Itís an interesting concept isnít it?
You see, although love tends to be thought of as romance, and perhaps even as a feminine emotion, the truth is that men respect and like it just as much as women do.
And not just as a means to sex, though many men are oriented to make a woman come. (OK, here it is, guys, advice for men on how to make a woman orgasm.)
Men just donít admit the fact they think love is good, nice, fun, and itís certainly very sexy. Men and women appreciate love alike. What we donít want is to let the other sex romanticize love, or turn it into a sex-fest.
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Many men ďfightĒ women who want to have hugs and kisses, pushing them away, and not understanding how much women need to be pampered and lavished with affection, and how much they are hurt if men donít seem to care.
Love is essential for the well-being of all women. But is it essential for the well-being of men, too. I think the truth is probably much less so, because men are able to cut themselves off from their feelings, even within relationship, in a way that women are not.
One of the interesting questions that men can ask themselves to try and understand their relationship to love a little better is whether or not they enjoy loving attention, whether or not they enjoy getting the little things that women do to show how much they care about the man there with.
So women love nurturing men, and men love being nurtured, but they just donít like to admit the fact.
When women lavish men with loving gestures men and women alike feel good. A manís ego is boosted, so is a womanís.
Men take pleasure in being cared for, if they can allow themselves to relax into the experience. So if thatís true for men, why should men object when women ask for the same thing?
You see how these things are all about interpretation and expectation. They are about the beliefs that we hold about ourselves: so while men find it hard to whisper sweet loving words to their female partner, itís amazing what a difference that will make to a womanís feeling of well-being.
If a man finds that the conversation he is having over the telephone with his female partner is just irritating and annoying, rather than something that he treasures and look forward to, then no wonder women feel disempowered, diminished, and perhaps even unloved!
The truth of the matter is that women donít judge men by the size of what they do, which is a shame for men who like to make big gestures!
Women judge men by the fact that they do little things that show how much they care about the woman, and how much they think about her, even when theyíre not together.
These are the things that make a woman love a man, that might romanticize a womanís feelings towards a man, and enable her to express her sexual nature towards him.
Let's also not underestimate the importance of sex in an intimate and loving relationship!
The fact of the matter is that sex is one of the most difficult areas of human interaction, and learning to be a good lover, both in a physical and a spiritual way, is a great step forward to establishing a close and intimate relationship that will survive the trials and tribulations that inevitably crop up in life.
For one thing, men have certain responsibilities towards the women in their lives Ė they need to learn how to give pleasure to a woman. The same is true in reverse. A woman may choose to look after her man, help him feel confident and proud, and support him in what he wants to do.
Of course these things are a two-way street, and women require emotional support and love and intimacy to be fully in their femininity and to demonstrate all of the qualities that they can bring to a relationship.
Conversely a man needs to be in his power, in his masculinity, working on the archetypal axis of King / Warrior, perhaps while the woman works on the axis of Magician / Lover.
These may be stereotypical views of human relationships, but over many years studying the matter I have found certain things seem to help a relationship succeed Ė and regrettable though it may sound, these often play into stereotypes that our culture suggests we should be trying to move away from in the name of greater equality.
For me, the deeper issue is whether or not we going to actually achieve fulfillment in this life: because, I believe to achieve fulfillment, one needs to live in a way in accordance with the masculine and feminine nature that we possess.