Guys & Dolls

conflictNow this may sound mindlessly obvious to many of you – but there are some serious differences between men and women. I know, I know that is not some new, earth-shattering revelation, but that is not the real point of this post. Because men and women are so dramatically different (and that dramatic part is for the women), we each need our own friendships outside of the male-female relationship we experience with our wife or girlfriend. Guys need guy friends and gals need girlfriends.

This morning a friend was helping me with my website when I referenced how I sometimes escape to Dunkin Donuts to get some work done. I have an open office area at home and I find I am often interrupted by my family.  I have a laid-back work style so they assume I am not doing anything important. My friend just laughed and told me how he can be working in his home recording studio; headphones on, music blaring, and his wife begins to tell him about her day. He can’t hear a word, but he “listens” carefully while she talks.

Men need other men to talk with because sometimes the estrogen levels in the house get too high, or another man can relate to his frustrations and struggles. Sometimes you just need someone who understands when you tell a funny story about getting caught in the woods hiking, but forgot the toilet paper (the response at my home would be groooosssss).

Women also need other women to talk to. Sometimes in our thickheadedness, guys don’t get it. Our wives to try explain their need for security, or affection, or just a sympathetic ear to vent the frustrations of the day, and all we want to do is throw back a beer and watch the ballgame. Women need to laugh together about their husbands leaving the underwear in the floor, or the fact that their kids were indeed born in a barn.

The key is empathy. Likeminded individuals can understand at a deeper and more compassionate level the challenges that are unique to our gender. I am convinced that many of the challenges in today’s marriage come because we lack the requisite relationships outside the home. Sometimes a group of men need to go watch Die Hard, or live for a week in the woods and kill something; while women need to spend a day at the spa, vacation on a Florida beach and drink a few fruity drinks.

Yes, I know this is an old-school, somewhat sexist post – but we have blurred the lines of gender far too long and our society is worse off because of it.

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