Not exactly a news flash.
But since this was uttered by a midlife male pal who I adore, I wanted to hear more on his perspective. He’s been dating about 3 years after his divorce from a long-term marriage. We were talking about why it’s so hard for a man to tell a woman he doesn’t want to date her anymore, so he just goes poof. Although I’ve covered this territory with other men, I was interested in his perspective.
“Men are taught to not let their emotions show, through messages like ‘Men don’t cry,’ ‘Be tough,’ ‘Just suck it up.’ Men learn to stuff their emotions and freak out when a woman shows hers. So they just disappear rather than having an adult conversation because they don’t want to face her potentially crying.”
Then he said something that just hit me as brilliant: “Schools ought to have all sixth graders read an age-appropriate version of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It would have a huge impact if men and women started understanding the genders’ differences early in life, rather than just making the other wrong.”
What would life be like if we all got that training early on? Heck, what would your dating life be like if you only dated men who had read and understood that book, or others like it? Would there be less judgment and more understanding? I think so.
Instead of always finding fault with the other gender, students would learn to appreciate what unique perspectives and attributes the other contributes. There would be less upset and fewer divorces.
Not that John Gray’s book is the panacea to peace between the genders. But it is a start. Or perhaps there are others that would be better choices.
Right now we depend on learning about the other gender all on our own. We may read books, talk to wise friends or therapists or take seminars from those who are willing to pass on their knowledge. But we know that many people don’t take the initiative to educate themselves. And unfortunately, they never learn and just continue to blame the other gender for being their worst selves.
If you were asked to suggest a book, seminar or resource to another who wanted to learn about gender differences, what would you recommend?
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