Tuesday, August 9, 2011


There’s a lot of talk in internet forums and on blogs about relationships. Some humorous, and some really serious discussions about the great divide between men and women. Joking or not, a lot of us really do want to achieve some level of clarity through these exchanges. As women engaged in the discussion, we often find ourselves in complaint about those things that we find annoying, disingenuous or just flat out pathological in the opposite sex. Sometimes, we sincerely want to understand why they do what they do so that we might be more successful in our relationships.

My take on it? I’ve personally come to the conclusion that I don’t need to figure it out. Some things don’t really need an explanation. Me knowing the “why” of it all, particularly as it relates to men, changes nothing. I have chosen to stay in my lane and not sign up for the story that I need to understand them in order to accept them or be happy with them. For me, there is no great mystery to solve. They just do what they do. I just do what I do. It just is what it is, and I accept that.

Now of course, it takes all kinds to make up a world, and every person will have their preferences as to what they find appealing in terms of physical attributes and behaviors. Some of these traits are acceptable to us and some are clearly not. After years and years of grappling with this subject with limited results, why do we continue to seek answers? Is it really necessary to know why?

I’ve talked to a lot of women about this subject and most have been very vocal about their reasons. Many say that their intention is to understand so that they can make better choices in the types of men they date; be more loving and supportive in their relationships; or more simply, just not be frustrated by the behaviors that baffle and annoy us. We want to be able to “deal with” them. But, what I often hear in these conversations is that there is something inherently “wrong” with men that must be tolerated or fixed. It seems like the frustration we feel does not come from our inability to understand men, but from our inability to make them change! Simply put, it is a non-acceptance of what “is”, and we are often completely unaware of the energy that it carries- judgment, blame, and frustration.

Maybe we don’t need to figure men out. Maybe the only understanding that we need is the understanding that we could do a lot toward transforming our relationships with men by just accepting who they are without believing that they should be different in any way. Perhaps the challenge for us is not so much about understanding as it is about simply allowing what is to be. Just my two cents.