It is surprising how many writers, psychologists, or scientists have made it their life's work focusing on the gender differences. In our male-dominated society it is no coincidence that men have undertaken the bulk of this work. They made an effort to help men and women get along, but deep down the sexes are much more alike than the world cares to admit.
Today, most believe that men and women are significantly different in every respect. The focus on these differences has divided men and women, instead of bringing them closer together. More importantly, it discourages both sexes to grow and unify on a human level.
Still viewed as the inferior sex, women feel compelled to assume utopian attributes such as nurturing to the extreme and giving to the point of running empty. Women are expected to live up to the expectations of their families, employers and society. To add to their burden, they ought to stay slim, sexy, attractive, loving, caring and emotionally balanced. In their attempts to meet these expectations, many women lose their identities, values, self-worth and even their minds.
In contrast, the "superior" male sex has been praised for its Wal-Mart attributes of being realistic, practical, efficient and logical. Consequently, men still run the country, hold most of the assets and control the majority of public and economic affairs. Yet, men experience their own stress in a competitive world that expects them to be the pillar of their families. Many men are still programmed to be the sole economic provider in their families and suffer their own anxieties. Feeling the pressure of maintaining an affluent lifestyle or even just making ends meet, many become workaholics, grow bellies, lose their hair and become candidates for heart attacks. Both men and women alike experience stress trying to be super-humans in a society in which they feel they never quite "cut it."
Preoccupation with the differences often prevents men and women from asking each other for help. Consequently, both suffer silently through their own pain blaming each other for their differences and lack of understanding: "Men are never this" and "Women are always that." As a result of the generalization of their differences, men "shut down" and women turn to friends, therapy or medication. The outcomes are unfulfilling, frustrating relationships that increase stress or even lead to divorce. Consequently, we wonder whether men failed women, or vice versa.
So much effort and money has been spent (and made) on exaggerating emotional, intellectual and communicative differences between the sexes that we indeed believe ourselves to be from different planets. We must look beyond the differences and realize that women cannot live without Wal-Mart, nor can men live without utopia. Women need Wal-Mart for the practical, logical and task-oriented aspects of their lives and, in fact, may be shopping at Wal-Mart more often than men. On the other hand, men need utopia to experience all the beauty and humanity of life, and are visiting utopia more frequently than they admit. We are all from the same planet. It is about time we bridged the gap between the sexes and realized that we are human beings with many of the same needs, desires, dreams and hopes.
Whatever the case may have been in hunting-and-gathering societies of the past, today we are all hunting for the same things. Men and women alike are hunting for love, happiness, validation and prosperity, and are gathering whatever they feel is necessary to achieve this. Now, more than at any other time, men and women need each other in the pursuit of these common goals.
Do we really think that investing in gender stereotyping encourages successful relationships? Today, both sexes seek to be loved and accepted, instead of being labeled. Do we really think that lovers connect, because they have figured out their gender differences? Love flourishes when both move beyond gender differences and rejoice in their commonalities. True love is based on mutual respect, moral responsibility and authenticity all of which promote the human potential of both sexes and allow for interaction without judgment.
Men and women are indeed living as if they are from different planets and often do not connect intimately as human beings. Gender differences have been analyzed to death, and we may never be able to understand a man or woman. However, we will always be able to understand and respect a human being once we realize that we are all human beings first and men or women second. Inside each of us, men and women alike, lies a vulnerable soul, the desire to love and be loved, the need to be validated, respected and to feel important. Regardless of gender, deep down we all have a fragile ego that often feels inferior. Recognizing that both sexes have many of the same vulnerabilities and strengths is the key to men and women relating to one another on a human level.
We need to free each other from the gender roles that society has cast upon us and start focusing on the ties that bind us. The commonalities between men and women are so much greater than their differences. As we change our attitudes towards each other, we will be able to relate to one another on common ground. Lasting love is only possible when we appreciate that our focus on gender differences has been of great disservice. For any relationship to become a stable and lasting anchor in our lives, we must learn to give up our pride and unrealistic expectations of each other. If we are to find true love in this misunderstood world of males and females, we must stop trying to figure out the opposite gender and focus on the human being inside.
© 2005 Allie Ochs, Relationship Expert, Coach, Speaker and the Author of "Are You Fit To Love?" ISBN 0-9720227-9-1. Her articles are published in numerous magazines and newsletters. She has appeared on radio and TV. To order her book or to take the Fit 2 Love! Test visit her website at http://www.fit2love.com. For FREE relationship/dating advice e-mail: [email protected]
Breaking up.The End. The journey is over. You feel rejected.... Read More
One of my favorite comic strips growing up was "The... Read More
What are friends for and how can a friendship be... Read More
1) Think short term.Many people enter marriage with the same... Read More
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is... Read More
One kind of extramarital affair revolves around sexual addiction. The... Read More
Many women mistakenly believe they need to hire a private... Read More
When it comes to giving a romantic gift, it's not... Read More
If you have ever read teen magazines you will be... Read More
Are you starting to feel that your man has changed... Read More
Looks like everyone wants to sue someone right? Well, I... Read More
How much energy do you spend trying to get what... Read More
Surviving an affair can be a very traumatic experience. Partners... Read More
Well, here I am very much in love and starting... Read More
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have loved each other... Read More
Are you getting the love you deserve? Are you being... Read More
Mark Twain once saidGod's great cosmic joke on the human... Read More
Visit the dating sites.If finding love online is what you're... Read More
There is a cool little game for spicing up your... Read More
Many people know that the zodiac is a circle in... Read More
It is said that the stones in 3 stone diamond... Read More
IntroductionConflict in relationships is inevitable. Put two men together with... Read More
BackgroundSeduction is a subtle tool used with the ultimate goal... Read More
Is your man the cheating type? Here are some clues... Read More
Love is something we all need, and want. For love,... Read More
Q. It seems that no matter what magazine I am... Read More
Something in my life is weighing heavily on my mind,... Read More
Every relationship needs relief from the same old bedroom routine... Read More
Let me address this issue of eternity, this promise many... Read More
Have you ever wondered why you feel an instant attraction... Read More
Is your love relationship smooth? Have the both of you... Read More
AS I STARED at the sunset, I marveled at its... Read More
I came from good people. I didn't always know that.You... Read More
A bond (relationship wise) is when two people have a... Read More
Break ups are never easy. You are a bundle of... Read More
Wendy started counseling with me because Terence, her husband of... Read More
In many instances, we all are "gun shy" after a... Read More
is the most important question you'll ever ask yourself. Let's... Read More
There comes a point in every relationship when the person... Read More
In the springtime, with the flowers budding and the birds... Read More
"If he comes we welcome, If he goes we do... Read More
You hate it, but it's happened ? the love of... Read More
I hate moderation. I hate doing things moderately. I hate... Read More
Modern technology hasn't solved any of the problems of creating... Read More
Now I really have seen everything.The other day, I saw... Read More
"Big, little or short or tall, Wish I could have... Read More
"When we marry, we don't marry one person, we marry... Read More
We are all members of a few families in our... Read More
Every relationship hits a snag, or worse, a major crisis... Read More
In this article I'd like to share what the research... Read More