Let’s test your man knowledge! True or false?
- Men are not as emotional as women.
- Men prioritize looks in the opposite sex.
- Men think about you-kn0w-what every 7 seconds.
If you answered true to all three questions, you’re in good company.
We all know that men and women are different.
Men tend to be more competitive while women tend to be more collaborative.
Women tend to have better social skills while men tend to have better spatial skills.
But what most of us get wrong is the degree of difference.
If you compare women to other women, you find a much greater range of differences than if you compared women as a group to men as a group.
Women and men are much more alike than they are different…
Except that our similarities don’t make headline news.
“Men—They’re Similar To Women!”
For example, just because a man doesn’t show his emotions doesn’t mean he doesn’t FEEL emotions.
Men experience emotions just as intensely as women (case in point: they’re more likely to fall in love at first sight). But they’re more likely to keep those feelings to themselves, leaving no one the wiser.
Another difference that most people agree on is that men put a premium on attractiveness. They put looks first, personality second.
Researchers set out to test that common assumption.
They asked over 10,000 men and women from 37 cultures about the qualities they found most attractive in the opposite sex.
Surprise! Men and women were mostly in agreement.
The most important qualities in a mate, regardless of gender, are:
- Kindness and understanding, and
Looks did matter more to men than women, but personality mattered more.
Finally, if there’s one thing NO ONE doubts, it’s that men think more about getting physical than women.
One study found that college-aged men think about getting intimate on average 34 times a day, compared to women’s 19 times per day.
But here’s the curious twist…
The study also found that men think about food and sleep much more than women do, too.
Conclusion: It’s less that men have a one-track mind and more that men pay a lot more attention to their physical urges in general.
So, if men are much more like women than you might have guessed, what does that mean for you?
3 Rules for Understanding Men
1. Avoid assumptions starting with, “Just because he’s a guy.”
Just because he’s a guy doesn’t mean he won’t want to go to that movie with you.
Just because he’s a guy doesn’t mean he prefers yard work to dishes.
Just because he’s a guy doesn’t mean he only thinks about himself.
Any time you assume he’s a certain way because he’s a guy, you miss out on the opportunity to find out what HE thinks and feels.
Always ask him. Get curious about what makes him unique.
2. Start from your similarities.
When things get tough, the very fact that he’s male can feel frustrating.
He’s such a guy! No wonder he can’t understand you. His point of view is so MALE.
You can start to see all your differences through the lens of gender. He’s a guy. You’re a girl. How are you supposed to even get along?
But remember what the research says. We’re much more alike than we are different.
So look for your commonalities.
Look for the things you both agree on and start there.
Don’t assume that just because he’s a man he can’t understand or can’t share your point of view.
When you focus on your similarities, you’ll find even more similarities between you, because what you put your attention on will grow.
Yes, I have written an entire course on one particular way men and men are different. And I’ve shown you in that course how to leverage that difference to your advantage.
But that’s just one significant difference in an ocean of similarities.
3. Look where he’s looking.
A lot of our perceived gender differences come from the fact that we pay attention to different things.
He notices things that slip your eye. You notice things that slip his eye.
Instead of assuming that he’s blind because he can’t see what you do, let your perspectives complement each other.
What more can you see when you look through his eyes?
In the very best partnerships, your differences are complementary.
The fact that he has a different perspective doesn’t mean you’re at odds. It means that he’s added an extra layer of insight to your conversation.
When you know that deep down you’re more similar than you are different, you’re an individual not a stereotype, and you’re on the same side…
Then the fact that he’s a man and you’re a woman doesn’t make you from different planets.
It makes you companion plants, leaning on each other as you grow towards the light.