Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Gender Gap

Communication and the gap between genders came up at my house recently. As you may have noticed, I'm all for letting people be who they are, so long as they are being moral, decent people. (If you're going to be a creep, then I'll beat you senseless.) One thing I have noticed in relationships is the inability to allow your significant other to be themselves. Of course, not everyone falls into this trap - but a disappointing number of people seem to be limited this way. It goes something like this (from the female perspective): She learns all about the guy - what he likes to eat, what music he listens to, what kind of cars he likes, what brand of clothing he buys, what sports teams he follows, his favorite sports player/musicican/actor, his favorite comic, his favorite restaurant, his preferred time to go to bed, the channel he likes to watch, his best friend and his best friend's preferences....the list continues. Yeah, guys, we are really this detail-oriented. And of course, she assumes he knows these things about her....until she finds out he does not. Suddenly he is a calloused creep who doesn't know anything about her. How could he possibly even care about her when he knows nothing about her? The guy, on the other hand, assumed that conversation, nice dinners, and a couple of romantic surprises of flowers, a piece of jewelry, or an oil change, was enough to establish that he cared. Little does he know that he must memorize the specific details of the woman he is dating in order to be communicating appropriately and to know her. When she turns on him, demanding what he truly knows about her, to describe how he cares about her and why, his eyes mirror those of a deer in headlights, as he gropes for some semblance of an answer that will please her, though he has no idea what the correct answer is. Doesn't this sound like fun? I can only speak from the female perspective on this one - that is not to say that there are not men out there who have similar bad habits - but at some point, women have to appreciate that we each communicate differently. Whether it is genetic, behavioral, or cultural, it just is. And you have to allow people to be who they are. Our idiosyncracies and personal preferrences do not define our character or whether or not we are worthwhile partners - our character and moral judgments are what matter. Of course, if the way someone chews is enough to send you over the moon, then perhaps this person will never be for you. However, a little less emphasis placed on the miniscule might actually heals rifts in relationships. That's my take on it, for what it's worth.