You have most likely heard of the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, written by John Gray, PhD and relationship counselor. Despite being written back in 1992, the book has experienced exceptional longevity, as much of the advice can still be applied to the dating and relationship frontier of 2013 – with a few new twists.
It’s also an especially helpful resource if you find yourself entering the world of online dating. If you’re actively meeting people and going on dates, you may soon find yourself in a new relationship, and the thesis of the book maintains that couples who recognize and adjust to the key differences between men and women will have a better shot at a making it work long-term.“When you remember that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, everything can be explained.”
There are two main points Gray makes in his book regarding critical differences to understand between men and women, to which I will introduce modern advice:
1. Men need to learn how to give, and women need to learn how to receive
- Women inherently give and give when dating or in a relationship. It comes naturally for women, while sitting back and receiving can be difficult and uneasy. When a woman starts giving less, like a miracle, their man will begin to give more. Gray calls this a “predictable coincidence”.
- When women give too much, they feel it is unjust, yet they keep giving more than they are receiving. Women should therefore limit how much they give.
- Sometimes, the more a man cares about a woman, the less he will give her. Men can be afraid of giving as they often maintain an incorrect belief that they’re not good enough or feel inadequate. They can compensate for this insecurity by not caring about anyone except themselves.
- No woman should ever give more than she is receiving. This applies to online dating as well. Don’t put more effort in than your man or your POF prospect is putting in. Pull back, and let things even out. Whether you’re dating or in a relationship, this is a recipe for success.
- If you’re a woman who is guilty of giving too much, don’t feel bad! Women have a tendency to do this and it’s easy to regulate. Two major examples of a woman giving too much are attempting contact too often, and appearing to be too available. An incentive for women to give less (i.e. text a little less, call a little less) is that it turns men on. Men generally like to pursue women; they don’t like to be pursued.
- If you’re a man who cares about a woman, but find yourself not giving enough (i.e., not putting in enough effort) due to any sort of insecurity, realize that a woman will pick up on this and try to give more, to dissolve your insecurities. This woman likes you for you, and wouldn’t be interested if she didn’t. Learn to give her more, so that she can give less. Giving can be in many forms: inviting her out, texting, calling, or making plans for a fun and well thought-out date.
2. Men are like Rubber Bands
- Gray states that “A rubber band is the perfect metaphor to understand the male intimacy cycle. This cycle involves getting close, pulling away, then getting close again.” The urge to pull away and distance themselves is instinctive for men, just like compulsive giving can be instinctive for women.
- Women are sensitive to a man pulling away, since they would usually only pull away if he wronged her. Women sometimes don’t understand that they have done nothing wrong: men simply feel the urge to pull away once they’ve gotten close. They pull away before they can spring back like a rubber band, and get close to her once again.
- Gray explains that if a man is able to stretch his full distance uninterrupted (by not being chased or followed by his woman), therefore fulfilling his need for independence, he will come springing back to her.
- When a man pulls away, and a woman leaves him alone and doesn’t chase him, it is incredibly rewarding when her self-discipline pays off and he comes springing back.
- This means she shouldn’t text, call, e-mail, facebook or message him on POF during the time he needs space. And why should she? She has her own busy life. Women may not feel that same urge to pull away, or need space the way men instinctively do. It’s helpful to understand that men are different in this regard. Women should accept it and let him pull away, knowing he will most likely bounce right back!