Maybe I should choose some serious topic which easily for me to extent deeply. But after a series of struggling in my mind, I finally decided to write this theme. It's not because girls at college are always sensitive and gossipy about the relationship between men and women, but owe to an impressive experience in my college life.
I think I'm traditional and in some way a shy girl. In China, differing from Europe or America, teenagers are not encouraged to date before college. All what we focus on is study. It's unbelievable if one admits that he or she hadn't been keen on someone before college. Though the feeling of love is acknowledged, there always exists obstacle for most of us to express it.
Last semester, it was the first time that I established lover's relationship with the boy who I admired for almost 2 years. At the beginning, we both valued it very much, and tried for every chance to be together. As time passed by, and the fresh feeling of love faded away, more and more problems arose. Especially neither of us had experience before; each step was a new challenge for us.
At the end, we both felt exhausted, and had no desire to move on. It was a rough time to go through, which is so impressive until now. Few weeks after we broke up, I accidently read a book called "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" that striking me sympathetically with the past. Then I searched other information about the topic, most of my confusion got to be solved.
Without an understanding that men and women are supposed to be different, it is such a temptation to think men shouldn't be "that way" or women should be the same, but it is unrealistic and will actually make things worse. When we expect our partners to be more like us, we are automatically giving them the message that they are not good enough the way they are, which is definitely not a loving message (Gray, 1992, pp. xviii). I'd like to write this essay to share my experience of the difference between men and women.
The next three parts illustrate some common misunderstanding caused by the difference between men and women. They're all my personal experience, each of which as an example here.
"We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways--the ways we react and behave when we love some one (Gray, 1992, pp. 2)."
I appreciate this sentence, because we all like to think others in our own pattern, but lack the awareness of our difference, particularly between men and women.
When we were together, I always related my life to his. When I bought something for myself, I would think whether he needed it or not, if necessary, then I would buy him. In contrast, he never had this mind at all. I couldn't understand and were eager to acquire his care of this, the more I wanted the more depressed would I be. He never brought to me any surprise, and I owed it to his insensibility towards our relationship.
Now I analyze this problem, I weigh more on his personality and my circumspection. He is a person, not serious about life, but serious about his academic. He doesn't regard details as a significant role in his life. Compared with him, I am a sensitive girl who cares so much about details; maybe some details are more than what they are due. So the distinction brought about the problem between us.
Relationships between men and women are not impossible or necessarily difficult. Problems simply arise when we expect or assume the opposite sex should think, feel or act the way we do. It's not that men and women live in completely different realities. Rather, our lack of knowledge and mutual experience gives rise to our difficulties (Conner, 2000, para.7). When we correctly interpret a situation, it is never as bad as we thought.
Women talk about problems to get close and necessarily to get solutions. Communication is of primary importance in women's life. To share our personal feelings is a source of tremendous fulfillment.
It was in the winter holiday when I was apart from him that I firstly tried to be close with him by communication. We shared our happiness together most of the time previously, not accustomed to talking about our annoyance. At the terminal of last semester, I quarreled with my roommate and felt so helpless.
One night we chatted through the Internet, I told him about it, wishing for his understanding and caring. But to my surprise, he almost had no response and didn't know what to say. I felt so embarrassed and depressed that he didn't sympathize with my story. It made me feel unloved and weak.
Next day, I sent a message to him telling about my sadness. He then replied with some solutions and illustrated with his similar experience, but it didn't make me feel better or relief. He just seemed like a fair-weather friend, instead of a special person to me.
Not until I learned the different definition of communication to women and men did I know how this thing happened. For men talking about a problem is an invitation for advice. When women share upset feelings, they assume that we are looking for some expert advice. They have no idea that by just listening with empathy and interest can be supportive.
"For males, conversation is the way you negotiate your status in the group and keep people from pushing you around; you use talk to preserve your independence. Females, on the other hand, use conversation to negotiate closeness and intimacy; talk is the essence of intimacy, so being best friends means sitting and talking. For boys, activities, doing things together, are central. Just sitting and talking is not an essential part of friendship. They're friends with the boys they do things with (Conner, 2000, para.3)."
In part B, I talk about his misunderstanding of me. And in this part I am going to say my deficiency on understanding of him. And this represents a universal problem between us.
It was a sweet memory on the Festival of Lanterns, when we went out to see the amazing lantern show. The road there was unfamiliar to us, and I'm a person who is not sensitive to direction. But at that time, I didn't choose to believe him.
Last time, we went to a new place, because of his mistake, we spent much more time on the way. So this time I turned to be cautious, asking others about how to go and neglecting his judgment.
Generally speaking, when a woman offers unsolicited advice or tries to "help" a man, she has no idea of how critical and unloving she may sound to him (Gray, 1992, pp. 15). For many men, it is very important to prove that they can get to their goal, even if it is a small thing. His feelings are like this: 'if I can't be trusted to do small thing like finding the right direction, how can she trust me to do the bigger things?"
Men pride themselves on being experts, especially when it comes to fixing mechanical things, getting places or solving problems. These are the times when he needs his lover's acceptance the most but not her advice and criticism.
Love is one thing developing between two people. We must not always expect our partners to always be loving and give ourselves permission to make mistakes. Many of the new insights you will gain.
It's not only an experience for me to get to know the opposite sex, but also a chance getting to know myself. Through understanding the hidden difference of the opposite sex we can move successfully give and receive that in our heart.
Love is magical, and it can last, if we remember our differences.