- Gender and Relationships
Make-up Sex and Other Relationship Myths
Myth #1- Make-up Sex
Men are visual and lucky for women (sarcasm), their visual cues are constantly reaffirmed and enhanced by the wonderful world of 200+ channels on cable TV. At least 100 of these channels include a movie or sitcom at any given time, displaying the easy execution and sexiness of make-up sex...typically after a doozy of a fight between the couple. And that's supposed to be sexy too (more sarcasm). This simply is not reality.
If a woman is involved in an argument within the relationship, reality is she'll want to talk about things for a while (or longer). Perhaps the opposite, and she'll give the silent treatment. Women also do not forgive and forget easily- they are known to be like a river. Those things constantly flow through our thoughts and carry on down stream, never actually dissipating.
Simple behavior rules would determine it not wise to reward a guy with make-up sex either. Psychologically speaking, this would lead to him to pursue and cause more problems or give little care about arguing and fighting fair (an important relationship golden rule). After disputes are solved, it may be days, weeks before anything resembling make-up sex occurs. Make-up sex is also a way women can manipulate so in all given scenarios if make-up sex is a common practice within a relationship, the relationship is likely volatile or dysfunctional.
Myth #2- Men Don't Like Independent Women
Along with this myth comes the notion that men yearn to feel needed and independent women just can't give him that feeling. Independent women are no doubt, scary to some men, but mostly because of the stereotypes from decades before us when men and women had concrete roles. Today the roles of men and women are blurred and have changed dramatically. Men find themselves needed for relationship attributes, such as companionship and hands-on duty with raising a family. In fact, men are providing more care for the children in the home than years ago.
It really boils down to a woman's attitude about being independent. If a woman constantly recites a mantra of 'not needing a man' and acts as if everything in her life is fine without a man, any man within miles will run the opposite way. If a woman tells a man that if she desires children and will get them by donor if she doesn't have a man at the time, this is another cue a man deciphers as she doesn't need him. It's all in the attitude ladies. Be gracious about being independent. Also learn humility and dependence is fine at times. Let go of the control.
I remember this quote from the movie 'Shall We Dance' when Susan Sarandon states her insight on marriage: "We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it'." Carrying this thought on...humans biologically need each other even just for companionship. Women have grown accustomed to having to prove themselves but personal relationships are distinctly different (or should be) than work life.
Myth #3- Women Like Surprises
Have you ever seen a woman pack and prepare for almost anything? She packs for a hailstorm on a sunny day, a possible 2 day airport lay-over, a chance of running into an old boyfriend from 20 years ago, getting stranded God knows where, and a first aid kit for anything ranging from hay fever to malaria.
Women don't like surprises. Especially for mothers, our children give us enough unwelcome surprises. The last time I heard 'I have a surprise for you' was from my 3 year old who decided instead of displaying artwork on the refrigerator, she would make the refrigerator her canvas.
Even if men make reservations and plan a special evening, it is in your best interest to let your woman know the details a few days in advance or at least a few clues. It will give her time to think loving thoughts of you whenever she tells her friends about how you planned something. Women like something to look forward to and also be able to plan for it.
Myth #4- "I Don't Have Baggage"
Ten years ago you would have caught me walking around with my nose up in the air, far above many suitable dating candidates. Why? Because I didn't believe I had baggage. I was mutual friends with my ex-boyfriend, I had no kids, I had no past traumas or dramas so I was baggage-free, or as I would have said 'A good catch'. After all, baggage seems to be the measure of one's dating worth and I was traveling light.
I recently found out from a relationship counselor friend of mine that EVERYONE has baggage. If we were a child, then we've got baggage. In fact, we could have had drama with our exes, but it wouldn't effect us in our current relationship as much as our childhood does. This counselor uses an exercise with couples. When one person in the relationship is utterly frustrated and mad (chance are it has to do with baggage they're carrying), they do the following:
- Ask the other person to listen while you pour your heart out about why you are upset and be sure to stick to the subject.
- The other person asks if there is anything else you would like to add. If not, then they should paraphrase what you've said.
- Next, the other person asks 'What does this remind you of?'
- Keeping in mind of your childhood, recall a scenario or feeling you experienced in childhood that effects your thoughts and emotions in the current situation. There is always a connection between the two. Everyone has baggage- it's our early formed perceptions of the world around us.
I tried this one time with my husband and it really works. It makes each person listen to each other but it really made me realize how my perspective and things I am sensitive to are not from ex boyfriends, but from my childhood. It's also a good practice to reflect often. Sometimes when we believe we don't have baggage we are covering up or avoiding dealing with something. This can deeply affect a relationship.
Myth #5- Communicate More
This is a quality over quantity issue. Knowing WHAT to communicate about is more important than having MORE communication. You can talk all day and it won't improve a relationship. If a man learns what to communicate about then he still wouldn't have to talk any more than usual.
First you need to communicate about WHAT to communicate. What is important for you to know? If you are parents, communication about the kids is necessary. If you are in an exclusive relationship, communication about friends- new and old is crucial, especially with social networking sites like Facebook- it's easy to let old flings creep into your life and not think it's important to mention those friends to your spouse or person you're dating. If it has the possibility of effecting you and the person you are with, then it's best to communicate it. Telling your spouse what you had for lunch is not important communication. If you are in a relationship, it is your responsibility to find out what is important to your spouse and what to communicate about.
Myth #6- If We're Meant to be Together, It Should be Easy
Since men and women are both waiting longer than ever to get married, I can't help but think part of this is due to waiting around for a soul mate. We have our own lives for so long that only magic and fireworks the stars above can capture us. The misinformed belief about soul mates is about someone who fits the bill in all areas, but most of all 'feels right' or 'you just know'. While this can seemingly exist, the problem with relying on feelings is they deceive us especially during romantic courtship in the beginning. Finding someone right for you takes the involvement of your brain.
Relationships are work...for everyone. If you are with the right person, you chose them based on more than souls, stars, and songs. A soul mate can also be described as a mirror image of who we are, meaning more than magic and pixie dust, but rather sharing similar interests, same values, and compatible disagreement styles and resolutions. These are the qualities that make relationships, and life, easier.
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Lucky #7- The Only Way to Please a Man is With Sex
At first glance, many would believe this to be true. In reality, being physical with a man can be both purely a physical need for him and/or a way he expresses and feels love. Sex definitely pleases men, but that would be similar to suggesting the only way to make a woman happy is through shopping- indeed many of them enjoy shopping, but that statement is not universally true and there are many other ways as well.
Sex is also a short- term gratification. Just as shopping would be for a woman or any other pleasure in life. Obviously if in a relationship, the relationship needs to be built on long-term aspects as well. So we could say that #7 is a myth with some truth to it.
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