What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice.
Studies and life experience repeatedly show us that girls will be girls and boys will be boys — for the most part. But what does that mean for us all when it comes to the world of relationships?
I can give you a dollar a minute for each time my husband has said to me, “Yes but what’s the point of this?” or, “What’s the bottom line, honey?” And my response is regularly the same: “Honey, I just want to talk about it.”
There is no right or wrong here. What we must recognize is that there are marked differences between the sexes — and we should celebrate those differences to the best of our abilities.
That’s not to say that men won’t talk around and around a subject. But have you noticed that men tend to do that when they really want to get their point across. Whereas women are often more apt to reflect, consider and sometimes be OK with not knowing.
And how about the age-old joke about men not asking for directions because they know how to get from A to B — as if it’s shameful if they don’t.
Let’s take a closer look at some reasons for these stereotypical ways of communicating (and their related behaviors).
Here is where the Hunter-Gatherer piece comes in: Out there on the tundra, there was no time for chatting and a cup of tea. The bottom line was always the point. Kill or be killed. Bring home the dinner or the family will starve.
Male DNA has an built-in imperative to protect the family from starvation. The female factor is stereotypically the relational component.
Not to say this remains a hard, unbreakable rule, but the stereotypical dynamics can be noted and observed each and every day in families around the world.
Babies typically are tended to by females, who are on the front lines of cooing and ahh-ing to their infants, teaching them how to relate, feel secure and belong.
No doubt aspects of these male-female stereotypes continue to shift and adapt as society evolves. For relationships to endure and thrive, however, a little give and take would help to incorporate our ever-changing world.
Encourage our men to share more often. Encourage our women to risk bottom-lining now and then. This creates a path of balance that makes relationships more relational.
I’ll go first. Here’s my bottom line for this post:
At the end of the day, true intimacy is what we all want. Love makes the world go round.
Photo: Nevit Delmen