Sunday, September 13, 2015

Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus!

“So, would I seem pressed if I called to talk to him about why he totally stopped talking to me?” a friend texted me one night.

My first reaction, “Absolutely!”

My friend had been talking to a guy for a few weeks and she was really feeling him. He’d been calling consistently for about a week and then started to linger off. The phone calls and text began to fade. She found herself doing more of the reaching out and it was a constant question of should I call or text? Should I invite him out or suggest something for us to do? Is there something wrong? Am I doing too much? The typical self-conversation of single women in this thing called dating!

Let the games end and never begin! I find for my ladies, that this is the hardest thing to combat and fight when dating.  The communication struggle is real! Men are absolutely from Mars and women are absolutely from Venus!  

You talk it over with your friends and they tell you not to call and text anymore. Let him call you.  You check your phone periodically just to see if his number will pop up on your phone.  And if you’re me, you turn your phone off from time to time hoping that when you turn it back on a text or missed call will come through from him. Don't judge! You gotta do what works for you! Then a few days or a week later, after you have decided in your mind that he’s “just not that into you” and you’ve let it go, he calls or texts!

“Hey, how are you?” he says.

You’re about to lose it!!! Really!!??? (in my Kevin Hart voice)  If you’re honest and upfront like me, you hit him with, “I figured you weren’t interested, haven't heard from you in a while.”

And that’s when he hits you with the ringer, “Well, all you had to do was call me!”

This scenario played out for my friend almost to the tee! Once he decided to call and she shared her concern and/or frustration, he reprimanded her and explained that if she wanted to talk to him all she had to do was call. All facts presented, he preferred to talk on the phone and she was a texter. We’ve been friends for a few years and I can probably count on my hand how many times we have had full blown conversations over the phone! It’s just not her communication style.  She had been texting him periodically to check in, but he would only respond with short answers, which could only leave her feeling “some kind of way.” In his defense, he preferred for her to call and therefore only responded in a short way to possibly give her the hint that a phone conversation would better suit his needs.

So what do you do with that!? In most relationships, the opposite is true. Most men like to text while many women enjoy intimate, long phone conversations.  Early on she shared that she preferred texting but did appreciate that he would call and talk to her throughout the day.  Although it was a bit uncomfortable for her, she obliged and went with it. But now he was challenging her to step up to his communication style and, in essence, disregarding her attempt to reach out in her way of communication which was texting.  Can the sista get a little credit! She tried!  

What’s a girl to do? These days texting is a convenient but impersonal way of communicating needs, wants, and desires, but a phone call allows for more of an intimate space for conversation, emotion, and truth.  But she finds great comfort in texting three-page text messages to express her feelings and inquiries.  Is she suppose to immediately oblige and conform to a form of communication that is uncomfortable and unusual for her just to appease a man she barely started talking to? If we flip it, many times we as women will challenge a man to grow up in his stage of communication to pick up the phone to call us or to ask us out rather than sending an informal text message.

Was she wrong for not picking up the phone? Was he wrong for not responding to her as she would have liked? The author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Dr. John Gray, explains in the book,

“Men mistakenly expect women to think, communicate, and react the way men do;
women mistakenly expect men to feel, communicate and respond the way women do.
We have forgotten that men and women are supposed to be different.
As a result, our relationships are filled with unnecessary friction and conflict.
Clearly recognizing and respecting these differences dramatically reduce
confusion when dealing with the opposite sex. When you remember that
men are from Mars and women are from Venus, everything can be explained.”

It may not explain everything, but they do say opposites attract and differences are actually great things in the proper perspective. Differences must be acknowledged, respected, and then properly addressed to meet each other's needs appropriately.  Now I am nowhere near perfect in this realm of communication or even how to apply this successfully, hence why I went to see a therapist a few months ago and I'm still single.  I am learning that it is extremely important to let your needs, wants, and expectations be known up front, particularly in how you prefer to communicate, how often, how long, what time, etc.  As women, we tend to hold back or give half truths in hopes of not scaring the man away with our true desires and needs. In a sense afraid that we may come off too needy or desperate.  If I can let the cat out of the bag, everyone needs something; at what level or degree of that need depends on the person, but we are all needy people. Many are simply in need of companionship, love and affection.    

I believe that my friend and her guy simply have differences and shared a miscommunication that can further be evaluated moving forward. There will have to be a compromise at times for one form of communication over the other, but that is the wonderful thing about relationships that helps to keep peace and harmony.  And at this point, I believe many of us have had enough drama to last us a lifetime. I am ready for the peace and harmony that comes with a healthy relationship built on two different people, from two different planets, who somehow simply make it work.