I attended a round-table discussion the other night in which the focus of the discussion was about relationships and dating or as I like to call it “The Great Debate”. If anyone has ever participated in this type of event then you understand that it can get a little heated and a little personal during the discussion. Sometimes in these type of events, all the people participating most often leave the event thinking the same way that they entered the room thinking, not learning a new perspective. The goal as I see it should always be to learn something that you didn’t know before you entered the room.
Hopefully the twenty something people who attended the round-table learned something new, I can’t speak on that but what I can speak on is what I learned after observing the different perspectives from each individual regarding dating and relationships. I’m an observer, I like to watch and listen to what people are saying before I make an assessment or personal judgement about the situation and what I learned after assessing the conversation that night was this; that the majority of the people sitting around that table were stuck in a perspective of “this is what men do” or “this is what women do” and this is why we are single.
I should point out that it wasn’t just the opposite sex speaking about the things that men do and women do, it were men and women saying these things about themselves, generalizing an entire gender. How fair is that? Whether it was someone stating “Women like to talk about things right then and there and men don’t” (as if men can’t be that way) or “that men are visual creatures and women are emotional creatures” (as if women can’t be that way) they (those who were speaking) continued to exist in what I feel is the root cause of the problem and that’s looking through the perspective that men and women are separate when in fact we are not.
Question, what’s the point of going to a round-table discussion or even a seminar if you’re going to remove the eyes you always had only to replace them with a new set of eyes but continue to see the same way? The goal, again, should always be to become more enlightened so that you can improve upon the situation that you no longer want to be part of but as I sat there and listened I realized that most of the individuals didn’t realize that they have accepted the separatism that has been thrown upon them.
Separatism-the advocacy or practice of separation of a certain group of people from a larger body on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or gender.
Many people have decided that gender separatism is okay when in fact it is not okay. Is racism okay? Is class-ism okay? Are there things that men do differently from women? Of course. Are there things that women do differently than men? Of course. But the things that both men and women need at our core are the same things. The things that we think the opposite sex does the same can be said about the other and you would be continuing to do yourself a disservice to keep believing otherwise. In order to have better relationships with one another, both men and women need to stop looking at it from a perspective of “what women do” and “what men do” and learn to understand that it’s “what human’s do”.
I too use to think from a standpoint of men vs women and that to understand a woman you need to think like a woman or for a woman to understand a man she needs to think like a man. But guess what? That’s not true! And I want to help you start looking at it from the human perspective instead of the woman’s perspective or the man’s perspective because the two issues between man and woman is gender separatism and improper communication.
I was talking to a friend about this and he said ” You know, you’re right, men and women may communicate differently but as long as we are getting the same answer then that’s what matters. If i ask two different people what numbers they need to add together to reach the number ten and one says eight plus two and another says 9 plus 1, they both are correct. It may have taken a different thought process but the result is still the same”
If you are trying to understand the other gender then you need to understand that properly communicating on each level is the key to a healthier relationship. Truth is however, that each individual will communicate differently. You have to learn and adapt to each person that comes into your life. One particular method of communication will not work for each person. We all have been shaped by our experiences and so we struggle to communicate in different areas of our lives, especially if there has been no one in our lives that have helped us learn to express ourselves effectively. Be mold-able friends, always.
Gender separatism is probably causing the biggest divide between men and women. Healthy couples always speak of “being one”, that they finish each other sentences, that they are unified. That can’t happen when you continue to live in the belief system of separatism. Stop placing all your eggs in a book or speech that is telling you that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Again, why aren’t we living on the same planet? That title alone is reinforcing separatism. Are we separate or are we one?
“I stopped looking at relationships as “what women do” and “what men do” and started looking at relationships as “what human’s do and then I understood”. I said this quote the next day after attending the round-table discussion. Let me explain what I mean. I recently became involved with a young woman who I’m in a relationship with, prior to that I had been single for almost four years. I too had the mentality of separatism and was having no success in trying to find a potential lover so I decided to take a hard look at my approach. It took me two years to understand it but I did.
I realized that as human beings, we all do the same things and we all need the same things that make a person and/or relationship feel worthy of our time. I asked myself what were the things that I need and then I asked myself if any of these things could be what a woman needs? Everything that I said needed and wanted I understood that so could a woman. Respect, communication, flexibility, sexual expression,patience, understanding, time, ambitions, hugs, kisses, quality time, and gifts to name a few These are things that human’s want and do not just women, not just men. So everything that I wanted and needed I started to give to each woman I dated and I advise you to do the same.
Ask yourself, what is it that human’s do? Not what men do, not what women do. I also decided to start finding more reasons to be with someone instead of reason’s not to and I removed judgement of the situation. Stop judging other people and deciding it’s something bad because of an experience that molded you into who you are. These are the things I changed in my life and in the last two years I became closer to being in a relationship than ever and now I am in one. I dated three women in two years and the last one has been successful as of the writing of this article.
I removed the poor communication, I removed the separatism, I removed judgement (as much as possible) and I removed the excuses as to why not and I’m encouraging you to do the same. Everything evolves friends, everything. Look at the universe and see how everything in it continues to evolve and change? So why aren’t you? Dating and relationships have evolved as well and you can either continue to say “men use to court” and “women use to call” and keep living in the past tense or you can be mold-able and evolve into what is happening now and bring a little (or a lot) of what you expect from the past into modern times. Stop allowing other people to dictate the reason’s why you are single or struggling in your relationship. Stop allowing other people to keep you separate from one another, stop allowing other people’s bad advice to continue to allow your current relationship to get further away from fixing. We are human;s who happen to have been created slightly different in order to keep balance in relationships
You can continue to see genders in a separate state or you can choose to see it in a unified state but what I do know is, that only one of them leads to healthy, respectable relationships. If you want peace in all areas of your life (not only relationships) move beyond the man vs woman debate and move towards the human debate because the truth of matter is and the FACT of that matter is, that while we may look different and think different we all are 99.0% the same….don’t be controlled by the 1%