Written for Quora: What did you learn from previous relationships?
Mastery of the interaction with women is not an easy task for any man. People say that men are from Mars and women are from Venus and indeed at times, it feels that we are entirely different species not able to find a common language.
There are some things that I learned the hard way (still learning to be honest).
I will write this essay for my fellow men and I hope they will find something that will resonate with them, but I am secretly hoping that women will read it through too and it will elucidate some mysteries of men’s psychology for them. After all, both parties want the same — to understand each other.
Ok, here we go.
Woman = emotions. Man = logic.
Failing to understand this leads to many troubles starting from the first stage — the seduction and during the development of relationship itself.
In a seduction phase, many men suck at finding a way to a woman’s heart because they talk about things like science hoping to impress the girl with the intellect trying to tap into her rational part.
But that’s not the intellect that touches the girl’s heart, it is the passion with which a man speaks about his ideas. It’s not what you say. It is how you say it. Women seek emotions.
In the relationship itself, not knowing how to talk to a woman becomes the major obstacle in a fight.
Calling for woman’s logic is futile.
It’s like throwing peas to a wall. Everything will bounce back.
No amount of reasoning and building up logical chains will convince a woman that is determined to hold her position.
In most of the arguments, it is not personal, it is emotional.
She will stay argument-proof no matter what just because she feels this way at that particular moment.
She might change her feelings later but it is as unexplainable how it happens as it is unpredictable.
The main problem arises because
Men think of women like they think of themselves.
And women think of men like they think of themselves.
And that is the reason why we can’t find a common language.
In order to deal with a woman, a man should understand how her mind works.
Woman’s mind is “circles”. Man’s mind is a “straight line”.
Men’s logic is deductive. Remember Sherlock Holmes? This is the way men think. Straight line. A so-called logical chain that I mentioned.
If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.
Always straightforward. A line →
Using this logic, man’s mind can build complex concepts under the guidance of first principles of thinking. We believe in things only when we can prove them in practice. We don’t trust someones’ opinions unless a person possesses a trustworthy expertise. We believe in science and use the scientific method.
Women’s logic is inductive. A woman is thinking in circles — circles of association. It’s a real mystery for men how the process works. This is a simple picture for the sake of being more illustrative:
A woman looks at one event/concept and brings up the whole semantic network associated with it — classes, sub-classes, associated concepts (blue squares in the small circle)
She picks the concept point (oftentimes it is the worst case scenario) in the network (Concept 1) and builds up another circle of associations around it. This process can be repeated again (Concept 2) and again (Concept 3) bringing a woman to a conclusion through the logical path that is hidden for men.
Let’s say, you bought and brought home really small potatoes 🍠→She is pissed off by how small the potatoes are😠 But what you hear is: “You want me to stay in the kitchen all the time?!” And the next head-shot 😠💢→ “Do you think I am your slave?!”
Not my best example but I hope you could see that THERE IS a certain logic in what a woman says.
Most of the times men miss the point when the shit hits the fan. We fail to see the logic behind these seemingly unrelated things. In a woman’s brain, they make perfect sense. And that is the reason why,
Men argue with facts and women argue with conclusions.
(And this is why I am the one who cooks at home 😅).
Women are impulsive. Men are abstinent.
Women’s impulsiveness comes from their emotional reactivity to external stimuli.
A woman may be confused by a choice which bag to buy: “should I buy a red one or a blue one?” And as a result, buy a pair of jeans.
Feelings over logic. We, men, will fail to explain this.
She might go and spend all her money on clothes or she may buy cosmetics for 100$. Two days later she might tell you that she ran out of money and needs some help. The only reasoning she will provide is “omg are you kidding me, we absolutely need it!”
No honey, we need food to put in our mouths and we need a roof over our heads. Makeup and raggery are not on my man’s list of must-have stuff for survival. And that’s another difference:
Men are designed for survival. Women are designed to sustain Life.
Of course, we admit that a woman in a beautiful dress with a well-done makeup shines our day and gives us inspiration which is absolutely necessary and I am surely not saying that 100% of women are bad at managing personal finances. We, men, just have a hard time justifying the prioritization of women’s expenses.
Women like to talk about relationships. Men talk about ideas.
Men and women fail to find a common ground in their discussions. Men, at least the men I prefer to surround myself with, love to talk about ideas, they talk about concepts, what is done and what can be done in the world.
Women, in general, will be much more interested in such topics as relationship dynamics and people in her life.
This is one of the common places where things go sideways.
I learned that one of the secrets of a healthy relationship is to do things together, create a common vision of the future and execute on it.
Then make these things the major topics for discussions.
Of course, it will be impossible to avoid arguments but at least it the strategy of a life together is something that both parties are interested in.
Women don’t love superheroes. They love those who take care of them.
I used to think that women love hot guys or rich guys or both. Obviously, money and appearance are important but what I discovered is that in reality, the most important thing for a woman is to see that a man is taking care of her.
When a man can be of sincere and thoughtful service, without losing his dignity, of course, it is noted by a woman and appreciated at the highest level.
From my relationships and all relationships around me, I learned that a woman can tolerate almost everything in a man for this single quality.
Woman’s attention is multi-spacial. Man’s attention is “tunneled”.
Men are hunters. Nature designed us in a way so that we can focus on one thing at a time. We have “tunnel” vision and “tunnel “ attention. If a woman needs to ask a question during the dinner she has to turn off that TV.
Man’s brain is designed in a way that it automatically cuts off the information that is out of the focus. When we are focused on a task at hand, we simply don’t hear what women say.
Women’s attention is the whole opposite and this is why women are so insanely good at multitasking. A woman can discuss the latest events on the phone with a friend, watch TV, mix a soup on a gas range with one hand and give her son doing his lessons some hearty slaps upside his head with the other. No man can possibly compete with this level of performance.
Understanding of this difference is important as it is a foundation to elaborate the right way of interaction with the opposite gender.
Women need attention. Men need space.
There is something that women need to understand about men.
A man has his mission. He has his personal war to go to, he has his demons to fight, dragons to slay.
A man can’t give all of his time to a woman i.e. to his family.
If he doesn’t do “his thing” he stops being a man.
For a woman, on the contrary, the love/relationship/family is “that thing”.
I learned that a healthy relationship is the one where woman understands and respects man’s needs for some space, time and periods of isolation when he can concentrate on his endeavors.
In response, a man should make a dedicated time when his woman and family take the spotlight of his attention without any distractions by other deeds.
Men are simple. Women are complex.
Men are simple. Seriously, you can make a man happy by doing three simple things: giving him time and space to deliver and monetize the value by doing what he loves, making sure that his stomach is full and balls are empty.
This is a very rough approximation but it wraps up basic men’s needs in a nutshell and would be quite enough to keep a man content with his relationship.
Women are bloody complicated. How many times did you have moments when a woman says: “I want something. But I don’t know what it is”?
At the moment of hearing that, every man is internalizing the Jackie Chan face. 👇
There are so many things a man should be considerate about. I will not even dare to dive into the depth of it.
I will just take a look at some major things.
Don’t argue with her.
Long story short. She will be mad. You will be forced to apologize.
Within a couple, you have a 95% of capabilities for a compromise so it is you in 95% of the cases who will be responsible for the first step towards mitigating the conflict coming up with apologies.
When you fight never leave the fight unfinished.
Every time there is a fight there should be a peaceful resolution. The worst thing to do is to walk away from each other when you get mad spending your time alone with unresolved conflict in the heart.
The longer you stay apart the bigger is the gap between you. All the negative doubts and thoughts that will pop up such as “ She doesn’t respect me! She doesn’t appreciate what I do for her”, “she is not the only one woman on earth”, “I can find someone better than this ungrateful bitch” and “I should break up with her” will further aggravate the situation and put your relationship under the risk.
Strive for immediate resolution.
Stop the war before it starts.
Take the “preemptive strike”. If you know that you made her mad and the explosion is seconds away. Don’t let her start boiling. Lift her up in the air and swing like a little girl. She will really feel like a little girl and won’t be able to help it but laugh. Shut her mouth with a kiss, not a counter-argument.
Keep the fire.
Make gifts. Even something small insignificant but unexpected. Keep her surprised. It can be a little thing worth 10$ but she will appreciate the fact that you thought of her. The surprise is the key.
Note for men:
If a woman doesn’t express her gratitude for what you do for her, break up with the bitch and never come back.
Note for women:
If a man doesn’t make gifts and surprises for you, dump the moron and never come back.
Keep in mind, a man will hesitate to do anything if you ASK for it. When you start asking it stops being a gift, it becomes an order. The difference in energy that man experiences between “I want to do something for you” and “I owe you something” is dramatic and defines the outcome. If you want to make something happen just mention it and your man will surprise you. If he won’t it’s ain’t your man. Read the note again.
Find a helper.
The primary role that a man should seek in a woman choosing a wife is a role of a “helper”.
Your woman should be by your side when you need her, she should instill the calmness in you that when you deploy for your Man’s mission your homefront is secure and kids are safe.
In a family, a man and a woman don’t walk hand in hand. One partner is in the front taking the punches of the world and another is backing up. When you are shooting your enemies with a machine gun you need a woman that will pass you the ammo.
Sexual compatibility is critical.
If a woman and a man do not match in the bedroom this union is doomed. Find someone with similar tastes and appetites.
If you know that the relationship has no future it’s time for a breakup.
Mature men never break up by walking away.
Women can do that. They can break up with you by disappearing and ignoring you. They think “he is not an idiot, he will get it”. And indeed you are not. If you experience this, let her go. It’s not a sustainable way of ending the relationship, but as men, we forgive them, just because they are women.
Never do it on the phone or even worse by text messages. Face her. Meet in a place where there are people so that she will hesitate to be too emotional in public. But also select a place so your conversation keeps private.
There will be many tears and two broken hearts so mitigate the pain by reframing the blame—tell her “it’s me, not you”. Again, mature people understand that a breakup is not someone’s fault, both partners are responsible. Tell her that you will be always there for her if she needs something but let her know that it is better for you not to see each other for some time. Chances are you she will never contact you again.
This is the excerpt from another essay but I think it is the reminder of it fits the context.
This word is overused.
There was always too much hype about love. There are as many definitions of love as there are people on this planet making it a very abstract thing to talk about.
Abstract things are impractical, they don’t tell me what to do. They don’t teach me how to keep my relationships sustainable.
There are no guidelines on how to learn how to love. But there is one thing that I can learn — I can learn how to serve
Service is the thing that helps families stay strong at dark times. Service is unconditional.
Service is something as simple as seeing the dirty dishes in the sink and washing them without mentioning it. Service is taking care of my wife when she is sick. Service is taking care of parents and raising children. Service is sacrificing my own resources for the benefit of my friend.
I struggle to find a definition of love, and maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to know it at all. All I need is the service, and that alone will be enough.
Service is what I learn in my relationship and I see and appreciate every sacrifice that my partner does for me. I believe this is the secret of all happy families.
Knowledge of interpersonal psychology makes things more complicated but the application easier.
I hope that you learned something new in this essay and it will help you to grow your relationship strong and avoid some of the mistakes I did.
Love and be loved.