Love: difference rules
The search for equality between men and women has gradually turned into a frantic search for similarities. And yet we shall never be identical, for since the dawn of time, basic differences have separated us... especially when it comes to love!
Although men and women are equal, they are not identical...when it comes to love. This is because they behave differently and have different expectations. Here experts explain what our differences are, so that we can understand each other better and find happiness together!
It’s down to women to do the attracting
Love according to the sexes. It’s the woman who initiates the relationship. As for the male, he is responsible for the second stage: the approach. The biologist Timothy Perper has noticed this remarkable division of roles: “In 70% of cases, the female is the central figure in the first stage, through the signals she sends out, a higher-pitched or more silvery voice, a coaxing smile...”
There’s nothing surprising in that: biologically speaking, she is the one responsible for perpetuating the species. So of course she makes a lot of effort to begin with. This acknowledgement has shattered the commonly held belief that it is up to the man to make the first move! Her move may be subtle - nice perfume, special dress, fleeting look or a blatant stare... but the first move belongs to her.
Time is relative... to gender!
We’ve only just said goodbye to him and already we’re taken by surprise when we hear the phone ring. We don’t perceive time in the same way. According to Jean-Didier Vincent, it’s our brains that make us different. The right cortex in women’s brains is more effective. As a result, there is a bit more “stopwatch timing”, more of a notion of the length of time. Men, however, divide time up into sections.
To sum up, she feels time passing, whereas he counts it. This fact also plays a part in memory. She stockpiles old memories, he cultivates instant memories.
We're speaking a different language
Whether we like it or not, it's a fact: emotional language is related to gender. This is further developed by the psychiatrist Alain Braconnier: “Girls are more ahead of boys in their acquisition and use of language, so they are used to naming and describing their emotions from an earlier age.”
As an indirect consequence, when they have their first row, she tries talking about it, he acts the innocent. Of course, he agrees deep down inside but he would rather resort to practical solutions without getting emotional, such as a candle-lit dinner, a holiday in Costa Rica, a night of passion...
Besides, expressing his feelings “does his head in”. For the most part, these men are loathe to look inside their own minds, never mind hearts. Calling things into question or psychoanalysis, recognising possible shortcomings in themselves... it’s really not their cup of tea!
Love and dependency
“Women identify their happiness with the degree of attachment their boyfriend shows them,” explains psychoanalyst Michel Hoky. Unfortunately, as soon as men see their partner every day, or almost every day, they quickly start to feel precisely that - “attached”. They feel their identity is being threatened. So when they have “footie nights with the lads” or “work flat out during the night” at the office, they are only acting on a deep instinct: shaking themselves free.
According to the psychologist Nathalie Bittman, the explanation lies in childhood: “At the age of 2, a little girl feels that happiness comes from identifying with and becoming attached to a loved one, the mother. But a little boy has to free himself from her to be like his dad.” Therefore, when he becomes a man, he always veers between wanting attachment and autonomy. This is where this desire for independence comes from, which seems to be a characteristic of these men.
We can both put in lots of time and energy trying to convert the other one to a particular way of emotional operating. But it could well be quicker and more effective just to accept our differences, work with what we've got and stop blaming our partners for not being us...
Copyright © 2009 Doctissimo
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