What Women Really Want
I was thinking the other day that it may be God’s cosmic joke to make men and women relate to one another, and then put within us such a different set of longings. Women yearn for connection. Men long for freedom.
How Men and Women Are Different
Women judge themselves by their relationships, and their attractiveness. Men judge themselves by their production. No matter how hard we might try to give our children different values, they absorb it anyway. When I was a kid, one of the hottest games around was called Mystery Date. And this was during the 70’s, birth of the Women’s Movement. In the game, you would go around the board collecting cards, which were the accoutrements for different kinds of dates. Snorkel gear for the beach. Fancy dress and jewels for the prom. Maybe shorts and basket for a picnic? Periodically, you would land on the special square that allowed you to open the “door” which randomly generated a guy dressed for a certain kind of date. If you had all the right paraphernalia, you won! And one of the guys was a dud, your typical nerd. Of course the joke was on us, that was the guy who became Bill Gates. They still make the game, only now the door is replaced by a cell phone!
At the same time, the boys were playing Risk, Stratego and Battleship. Need I say more? The boys learned to strategize, which falls into their primal skill set of the warrior/hunter. The girls learn to gather stuff, and hope they attract a man! I think men see relationships as a vehicle to states of being, power mostly. For women, the relationship isn’t so much the vehicle as it is the accomplishment. I was thinking about how to explain to my wusband what the dissolution of our marriage meant to me, and I came up with this analogy that might correspond to his masculine values.
An Exercise for Men to Understand Women
Imagine that you had a job. It wasn’t the greatest job in the world, you liked some parts of it a lot, and other things were aggravating. But it was your job. You got a certain amount of satisfaction from showing up every day. You liked being able to go to a party and introduce yourself as “I’m a programmer at XYZ Corp.” You got self-esteem from completing projects well. And then one day, you got fired. They give you the “we need someone with a slightly different skill set now speech.” And even thought you know you are going to get a better job down the line, even right away. When you see the boss with your replacement, you get a twinge. You wonder why they didn’t notice how hard you worked, and why you weren’t good enough.
I think that’s how many, if not all, women view relationships. It doesn’t matter who ends them, the ending takes time to adjust to.