Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Relationship Advice

As as already been addressed once by me here, people, particularly those who think they have the whole marriage/relationship thing worked out already, have no qualms whatsoever about giving out dating/catching a man/relationship advice, solicited or not.

I know I don't have everything figured out, and I'm open for advice that I think will help. What would be easiest, though, would be if there were no communication problems between men and women. If we spoke the same language, we probably wouldn't all be spinning our wheels in singledom wondering what we're doing well or wrong. Now I'm no John Gray Mars/Venus relationship guru, but there are a few things I have learned about men and women.

Sometimes, boys are stupid. Boys will always be stupid. That's just a gender difference, and even though it's not "stupid," really, as defined by Webster, we get mad when they don't see things the same way we do or think they should, so they immediately are esteemed as lower life forms. Some of them are, but not all. As long as we remember that boys and girls always ALWAYS have different ways of expressing themselves, we (girls) may be able to keep our heads above the ocean of dating. Girls crave emotional feedback on a level that boys are incapable of giving, especially in situations where those boys consider the girl to just be a friend-friend or buddy. It would never occur to them in a million years that we express friendship the way we do. So instead of telling them so, we (females) think that if we do something MORE, the boy will get it and reciprocate. But he won't. Not in that situation. We forgive without them even knowing they've wronged us, we apologize, we grovel, we express, we love, sometimes we push and shove, all to no avail. They don't get it. It's not that he (pick a "he," any one will do) doesn't understand the WORDS you are using with him, he doesn't understand WHY that could possibly be important to you. Boys are all about checklists and accomplishing things, without a moment's consideration given to the emotional reason needed to perform said duty. It never occurs to him that we have different expectations, because he thought all that was required of him was to perform a particular duty. He did that, one thing on his list checked off, time to move to the next item. I'm not saying that to excuse him, believe you me. I'm just saying he doesn't know better. He's incapable of expressing emotions, feelings, thoughts, whatever, the way girls want to hear it. Unless he thinks he can get some action out of it, however, then the rules change. That's why it really is hard for girls and boys, past adolescence, to have the same types of friendships with each other that girls can have with girls. It is never an equal playing ground. Never.

And that's okay, too. It's part of the greater plan. Yin/yang, opposites attract, whatever you want to call it -- we're different from each other because we need those differences. We can't make them conform to our rules anymore than they can make us slap them on the butts when it's time to tell them they did a good job. We just all have to learn about the differences, accommodate them, be frustrated by them, grow, then move on.

Here's some good news though, for those of us who may be floundering. This is from today's Reuters wire:

(Reuters) - A leading German dictionary publisher plans to launch a guide it says will help men translate the subtext of female conversation.

The Langenscheidt publishing group, best known for its well-respected yellow foreign language dictionaries, will launch sales of a 128-page book to translate such baffling female banter as: "Let's just cuddle" into "No sex tonight please!."

"Each themed chapter offers men behavioral tips and exposes hidden messages transmitted by women in everyday situations, such as on holiday or during shopping trips," said Silke Exius, chief editor at Langenscheidt.

Other examples in the "German-Woman/Woman-German" edition due out in October include explaining why a woman asks a man to take interest in the pair of shoes she may be trying on.

She wants him to look because he's about to pay for them.

For those of us who don't speak German and/or can't wait for the subtext translation guide, or who know there is no babelfish on earth that will ever translate any male/female subtext no matter the language, I leave you with this happy site. It's rich not only because of the advice it offers men who are looking to get into a relationship, but especially because it was translated from something (Russian? German?) into English, offering much hilarity in trying to translate the translation.

Be safe out there, relationship hitchhikers, and don't forget your towel!

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Finally, a friend in cyberspace! You may remember Qwendy who wrote a charming guest entry here not too long ago. She has now started her own on-line journal. Though still new, I have no doubt she will make you laugh and cry right along with her. Enjoy!

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