Guess what girls. It is up to you to make your relationship work - or not. Men are simple creatures. And, their simpler brains work differently from ours. They are not nearly as relationship oriented as we are. So, in a man-woman relationship it falls upon the woman to manage the relational interactions. Remember, that. Relationship management is your job, just like fixing the garbage disposal and changing a tire are his. Sexist? Nope. We are equal, but we are different. Here are the three other things you need to know so that you don’t screw up your relationship.
1. Don’t listen to your hormones. During the early stages of a relationship you are awash with hormonal messages. Your brain is playing tricks on you. These hormonal messages are designed to spark feelings of attachment and connection for the “beloved.” But, once you are attached the hormones stop coming. Now, you can see his true colors and it may be too late to escape gracefully. So, avoid making a serious commitment while you are feeling ga-ga from the serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, oxytocin, and vasopressin that your brain is putting out.
2. Don’t expect your man to be your girlfriend or your mother. Manage your expectations. Your man will typically not be able to support you or share your interests like a girlfriend. And, he will not be able to sacrifice or pick up after you the way a mother would. On the other hand, he will expect you to fulfill your role, however he sees it. So, ask him what he needs from you. You may be surprised (pleasantly or unpleasantly) by his simple answer. Tell him what you expect from him, but keep it simple and make sure its doable.
3. Don’t be too easy. Hunting is in the male DNA. He wants to hunt. And, often he cannot tell the difference between you and the wildlife. So, give him space. The “distance-pursuer” dance is an extreme form of the dynamic that plays out with a needy woman and a detached man. She is always chasing, while he creates emotional distance. If you are the pursuer, don’t cry, get mad, or nag for more attention. (AND, don’t tell him “we need to talk.”) All you need to do is create some distance.
Most human behaviors can be plotted on a bell curve. So everything I’ve said here may not be true for you. You and/or your man may fall outside the “normal” range when it comes to gender related relationship behaviors. If that’s where you see yourselves, that’s OK, just enjoy your differences.