Mismatches & the emotional bridge
After spending the last ten years or so studying psychology and behavior, I’ve come to the opinion that MOST of our desires, drives, preferences, strengths, weaknesses, behaviors, and personality traits are determined by our DNA and some by our social conditioning.
Even differences like whether a person is adventurous or sedate is largely a matter of programming from birth (If you really disagree with me on this one, read some books on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator like “The Art Of Speed Reading People” by Barbara BarronTieger and Paul Tieger. The book is filled with a lot of fascinating psychology concepts.)
All the personality type and psychology stuff boils down to one key idea in my mind… That people have a natural set preferences or things that ENERGIZE them. And on the flip-side, they also have things that the don’t like and that “de-energize” them. It’s fascinating to think about how this applies to dating, relationships, and love.
Have you ever read the personals? Maybe you noticed how many women say things like “princess looking for prince”, “friends first”, and “looking for my soulmate”. And have you ever noticed how almost NO men ever say these things?
What’s going on?
Have you ever listened to a group of women talking about men? Ever notice how they speak largely in some kind of code language that men usually tune out because they just don’t get that kind of female language? To men, women are constantly making a big deal out of tiny details that seem totally irrelevant to them.
Have you ever noticed, on the other hand, how men are “short” with each other and have no interest in discussing personal details and people?
What’s going on?
Here’s my take on this whole subject: Men are playing out a role that hasn’t changed for thousands of years. Technology might have changed our living conditions, but our basic human characteristics are the same.
There are many parts of the human brains that create drives and desires for different things. Often, these drives conflict with each other.
For instance, a man might want a strong independent woman in his life, but he might also want the feeling of being needed and depended on by a woman. He might want to have attention, but he might also want to be seen as above needing it. (Women have these types of conflicts as well, but usually in different areas than men.)
So, for example, I hear a lot of women saying things like, “I hate the confusing situations men create with women. Why don’t they just decide if they want a woman who’s assertive and independent or if they like a woman who’s passive and dependent?
My answer: Both situations satisfy important social and emotional needs for men—as weird and paradoxical as that might sound. Independent women make men feel like they’re not tied down—they make men feel free. Women who need or want a man’s help and support tend to make men feel powerful.
Both of these “roles” send emotions through the man’s body (emotions are highly addictive chemicals), it’s a way to feel self-righteous, it’s often fun, it’s interesting and prevents boredom, it gives things meaning… and on and on. There are a lot of good reasons for men to want both independent and needy women. But most women can’t understand because most women DON’T have these needs.
It’s like men saying, “I hate it when all a girl can talk about is fashion.” What needs does fashion fulfill for women? Fashion fulfills women’s need for social “organization”, fantasy, artistic expression, and ornamentation… all more typical female stuff that you don’t normally associate with the stereotypical male. Incidentally, this is stuff that fulfills needs that most men just plain don’t have.
There’s a concept I call the “Emotional Bridge” that men and women experience with each other that’s brought on, in part, by these differences. And it can make dealing with men feel like pulling teeth when it comes to communicating and building emotional connections or “bridges” between the differences.
The Emotional Bridge, at its essence, is basically a mental roadblock that can be undone by changing a few simple things about how you approach your love life.
I’ll explain it like this… Do you know anyone that has an amazing life, but they never seem to feel very happy or fulfilled, no matter how good things get? I think everybody knows someone like this.
And you probably also know some women who are unfulfilled this way with men and relationships – they’re always dissatisfied with what they have or where they are and so they always push and pull for more.
Maybe you’ve even experienced this yourself.
What’s really happening here and what can you do about it?
For lots of women the cause of this is pretty
straightforward: They can’t ever get to a more fulfilling place with the man in their life, or even on a personal level because they’re CONSTANTLY comparing what’s happening right now and how the man is behaving in comparison to the ideal situation they’ve created in their mind.
The act of comparing the ideal and reality and subsequently seeing how far ahead the ideal is to where they are is ultimately what drains and frustrates women. What’s created is an emotional “gap” between the woman’s ideals and the man’s ideals.
But guess what… Ideals and reality don’t have much in common. And a man’s ideals are different than a woman’s ideals.
So what if a man’s ideals really ARE different from yours? What would you do? Just thinking about this idea can radically change and improve the way you approach situations with men and where your emotions take you.
At this point it might sound contradictory, but I want to point out that there’s a TON of value locked up in your ideals. Creating an ideal situation with a man in your mind is a common and relatively natural thing for a woman to do. In fact, it can be healthy, it can motivate you, inspire you, and even inspire your future goals. These are great uses of ideals.
But when you compare your ideals to your relationship, and your life, it’s often impossible to be happy about what you see. It’s like trying to live a fantasy.
It’s worth pointing out that men do the same thing. Like those pathetic guys who seem to always be in search of the bigger better deal, even if they have a great woman. It’s like they think that they’ll find a supermodel to love them unconditionally but ask nothing of them in return. This ideal for men that there’s a woman like this out there for them is NOTHING BUT a fantasy. That woman does not exist in the real world, but lots of guys unconsciously chase this fantasy woman and situation in their life.
Don’t be the female version of that guy.