David and I were taking a walk around BGC one time early on in our relationship. The streets were dimly lit, yet further lit by the large glowing moon above us. There were other couples out that night, strolling along the streets hand in hand. We were enjoying our conversation discussing the high points of our day and any exciting new challenges that had come up, when David stopped me for a moment and turned me towards him. He put his hands on each of my shoulders and looked into my eyes. I thought he was going to say something sweet and I was excited to hear what it was. So I looked back into his eyes waiting for him to finish. “You know?”, he said. “Yes?”, I replied. “You are really lucky to have me,” he said.
In all seriousness, and since his comment was in fact a serious comment, he was right. I was ‘blessed’ to have a relationship with him. But I wasn’t quite expecting him to tell me at that moment, in that way. Fast forward to today and we have plenty of laughs over that memory with friends, (although David says he can hardly remember it), and David gives me many words of affirmation and encouragement.
There’s nothing new about men and women being different. A lot has been said and written on that topic. Like my story, many couples have to live with different thoughts, different opinions, different feelings, and different approaches. Regardless of how much information is out there, we often forget to factor in these differences during our conversations, and end up fighting each other instead. Our differences can lead to some memorable laughs and also some memorable arguments. While we all experience the same things in life such as relations, death, loneliness, imperfections, men and women attempt to solve these problems in completely different ways and utilize love differently.
As you probably guessed from the story above, David is straight to the point and direct when he has something to say. I, on the other hand, have had many conversations with David where I would be talking about one thing, which connects to another, and then another. By the end of the conversation, David is rather frustrated and also a little confused, wondering why I can’t keep to one topic. Whereas to me, it was all connected and part of the same thing. Women in general think this way (not all, but a lot). We connect things.
Some usual differences between men and women are as such:
- We process thoughts differently – Women consider multiple sources of information at once and many thoughts are connected. Men tend to focus on one thing or limited things at one time and avoid distractions. The solution or end result will be similar between men and women but the process in which they get there is different.
- We handle emotions differently – For example women recall memories that have strong emotional components, while men tend to recall events through the task or activities that took place. Which is why I remember my example story above so well and David doesn’t.
- We connect differently – Men usually feel closer through shared activities, hobbies, sports etc, whereas women tend to feel closer through communication, intimate sharing of experiences and personal perspectives.
So I’d like to share some simple thoughts on handling, and more importantly, enjoying each other’s differences.
- Be with someone you know loves you and trust your partner’s intentions.
- Don’t focus on the negative, but remember the positive.
- Instead of expecting things from our partner or nagging, do those things for our partner. Example is the best teacher.
- Love our partner for who they are, not what you want them to be, and be thankful for them.
- Understand we have differences. Don’t critique them.
- Enjoy God’s love and learn to love like him.
If we have already found a person whose values we trust, whose character we enjoy, and whose soul we love; then any other natural differences between a man and women should be a cause for celebration and not something to fight over.
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.