Yes, love is patient and love is kind, but you can only experience this greatness when you and you’re partner have softened into your true selves. The true selves we’re all born with, free of ego, vulnerable, full of courage to forge lasting relationships. Unfortunately as kids, we’re sometimes stripped of these qualities when we’re told that to be men and women, we have to take very different paths. That’s why when we’re dealing with love, boys vs. girls in relationships looks and feels so different.
Boys vs. Girls
Boys are told from birth to shake off their emotions, to man up, and not cry when they’re sad, injured, etc. Girls on the other hand are allowed to cry, but are encouraged to stop crying because they don’t look pretty doing it. So from the get go boys learn feelings aren’t manly, and girls learn they must do everything to keep from not looking pretty. So girls grow up working tirelessly, trying to maintain a perfectly pretty outside, while letting our minds deal with all our emotions – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Boys on the other hand, grow up relying on their bodies to dictate their feelings, since that’s the only place they’ve been allowed to feel. That’s why it’s no surprise that there’s a difference between the way boys and girls perceive love. Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton says that’s why men seek satisfaction through their bodies, and women seek it through their minds.
The only way to bring these two differing views together is through compromise, a give and take scenario, filled with respect for each others way of doing things. Dr. John Gottman says that for a happy and stable relationship, you have to make your commitment to your partner stronger than your commitment to winning. If you do that, your relationship wins.
Basically ego has to take a back seat to allowing each other to be human. We are all perfectly imperfect, filled with doubt, uncertainty, fear, and pain. While it may feel and look different for each of us, it’s still there.
Glennon believes we set ourselves up by going through life trying to find that perfect partner. Someone who is steady and healthy, ready to love us, even as we get complicated and messy. When that vision doesn’t match reality though, we become angry and resentful. We begin holding back affection and love, and wonder why the person on the receiving end begins to do the same.
The Journey of the Warrior
To help us break out of this cycle, Dr. Gottman encourages us to lean on compassion and emotional intelligence – the ability to identify and manage our emotions, and those of others, as we tackle our problems together. To get here though, we have to work through the pain and discomfort of our past hurts. Glennon terms this, the journey of the warrior. This is where we decide to step up and figure out how to grow beyond our hurts, to become the hero of our own story.
How have you managed to work through the boys vs. girls in love catch, for a more fulfilling relationship?