I know that much has been written about how men and women interact. In fact, books have been written from both sides of the skirmish line and most of them are full of shit. Whether you believe that Men are from Mars & Women are from Venus (horseshit) or that Rules exist to capture the heart of Mister Right (even more horseshit), the truth is a lot less complicated. No matter what I say here (and I’m about to open my mouth just long enough to change feet), take what works for you and leave what doesn’t. The truth as most men see it is simple:
Women are bugshit crazy.
Just kidding. If you’re still reading, I think I can make up for that seemingly mysogynistic comment. I tend to think that men and women aren’t different at all, but they do respond to different methods of communication and interaction. This communication breakdown is what causes men and women to think as if they were bred from completely different species.
As human beings, we all want three basic things from a relationship… Since all relationships (both romantic and platonic) are essentially journeys, I think of the three things each of us seeks out in relationships as Gas, Food & Lodging. I’m not kidding. Of course, each of these three words is just a euphemism for more complex ideas, but the words will do quite nicely for my needs.
Gas is essentially the fuel that feeds us as partners in common goal. Gas is a euphemism for affirmation. If you tell someone that cares about you that they are smart, sexy, cool, brave, desirable, they in turn want to prove you are right. It provokes them into acting a certain way that benefits the partnership much like gas benefits an automobile. Relationships that are successful usually get good gas mileage, and each visit to the filling station provides the necessary fuel to travel over rough road, climb out of valleys and keep cruising in the right direction.
When you are on a journey, food is necessary in order to maintain the stamina and energy to continue. Without sustenence, a journey ends before it begins. A relationship needs to be fed as well. Food for relationships is really all about inspiration. Feed it with whatever makes you happy since happiness is contagious. Of course, you have to find ways of sharing this passion with your partner. Shared passions is the common attribute of successful relationships.
Lodging is the idea of safe haven while on a journey. When you get tired and you need a respite from the rigors of the road, having a safe place to hole up is important. In a relationship, each partner is that safe haven, each taking turns providing a safe “port in a storm.” The healthiest relationships function when each takes that role seriously. So long as you are always available to fill that role, regardless of the circumstances, few problems can keep you from moving forward on your journey.
It has taken me years to develop this ideology. Through my twenties and well into my thirties, I’d treat my girlfriends as one would treat a psychiatric patient that insists that the world is populated by little green men in silver suits. Which is to say that I’d respond to problems with a gentle nod my head and feed them another tablet of lithium. While this method brought about a comforting peacefulness to my relationships, it did little to promote relationships that lasted.
Take this advice as you would anything I throw out to you, my loyal minions (even the blogmoms toting images of their drooling demon spawn)… which is to say, ignore it completely.