Communication is the key to any good relationship. But so often in relationships it seems like men and women speak different languages. We all have this perception that men and women are so very different in everything they think and do.
But actually the research really shows that on average men and women are not dramatically different when it comes to personality, communication, cognitive ability and leadership. This is based on according to a review of 46 meta-analyses conducted over the last 20 years (“the gender similarities hypothesis,” Janet Shibley Hyde, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison; American Psychologist, vol. 60, no. 6)
Part of the problem is that the differences are what get noticed. That being said, men and women do have different styles in communication and often have differences in the relative importance of certain parts of a relationship. While every relationship is different there are some common complaints the both sides have about the other- .
Women often feel that men are:
1. Not sensitive to feelings and needs.
2. Not affectionate enough.
3. Do not pay enough attention to their partners
Men often feel that women:
1. Women criticize and nag too much.
2. Are seldom happy and satisfied.
3. Tend to withhold intimacy as a punishment
So what can be done? Both sides need to step things up in a relationship- it’s never one person’s fault.
Some strategies for the guys:
Be more affectionate, and loving – with no expectations of intimacy
Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings and thoughts with her
Anticipate her needs and the needs of the house- don’t wait until she is frustrated.
And for the gals:
Express their needs directly – tell him what you want and need.
Allow him to approach situations from a more task oriented perspective.
Reinforce him for good behavior—let him know if he is doing it right.
In the end, while our differences may exist, the effort both sides put forth in the relationship will help each individual be more fulfilled and more satisfied.