This column is not only about the divided mind of the human race in general, it is about the divided minds between men and women's beliefs around the topic of love. It is here we will be talking about the differences between how men and women view each other as complicated social beings. Not only do we have logical and emotional sides that are in conflict all the time, to complicate it more - we add in generalizations around gender orientation.
Statistics say that 89% of all people believe in love at first sight. Men are more visually aroused than women. Women may notice that men often summarize their allure by looking at their bodies and general appeal. And although not always conscious, women in general are less visually aroused than men, however on first glance, they try and assess men's signs of trustworthiness. Let's take an example of the first date: Men are wondering ‘will she like me; will I be accepted?’ While women have more concerns like ‘will I be safe’. No man drives to a first date and wonders if he will be safe. It's a different orientation. Some of the nervousness in dating is due to opposite things, women need to feel safe and men need to feel accepted. These are very different orientations.
Imagine how a man would act as if his principal concern was safety and a woman as if her principal concern was acceptance. Men yearn for their date to be very attractive. Women can be very suspicious of overly attractive men because they are looking for signs of trustworthiness; and they instantly regard them cautiously as a potential player. The super attractive man - like the “Mr. Big” character in Sex and The City, is both simultaneously attractive to women but also brings about a concern about his faithfulness and ability to be trustworthy.
John Tierney, in a New York Times article, came up with a fun theory called the Flaw-o-matic. He argued that many single people are afflicted with this Flaw-o-matic, which is an internal device that instantly spots shortcomings and flaws in a potential mate. These are overly suspicious smoke detectors, a Geiger counter of sorts that spots and creates faults with any potential mate, creating a force field around real closeness.
These are a logical consequence of your orientation. If yours in to remain safe - in the case of many women, your orientation is to be more cautious and error on the side of caution. On the other had, if your orientation is to be accepted, then you may well imagine that there may be sexual interest from a women when it doesn’t exist. Humans tend to believe they are more attractive than they are…..smarter, thinner, and funnier. There is a lot of data that suggested that humans beings believe they are attractive than they are.
Mirror Mirror on The Wall: Findings from a recent study by Nicholas Epley and Erin Whitchurch suggest that most people unconsciously overinflate their own physical appearance. Because I have never been on an internet date, I am told anyone on an internet date, they famously are misled by people because they see themselves in a more idealized version that is true. love is a home sickness in that we are constantly seeking the familiar; most people fall in love with those with similar interests, comparable intelligent, values and alike communication skills.
We have all heard that opposites attract and THEN over time they attack, within the first 3 – 6 months). After the intoxication phase, the very things we found alluring in our partners can drive us mad on a day to day basis.
People living in the 21st century, place little emphasis on Kindness and deep consideration. Lots of people claim they place emphasis on this, but it is just not borne out of the facts. With more feminized and fragranced men, and more strong and independent women it is making dating and mating more challenging for the divided mind.
That is WHY I love my friend Judy Collins's recording about 20 years ago, when we sang along to…these are hard times for lovers. Back then, love relationships were simpler; these days the world is a more complicated place regarding male/female emotional dynamics. SO, when you wonder why it seems so hard to connect with a member of the opposite sex, particularly in a lasting way - as Judy Collins taught us - These are hard times for lovers.
Ain't these hard times for lovers
Everyone wants to be free
Ain't these hard times for lovers