Why do we group people together based on gender instead of personality when giving relationship advice? Males and females can share all the same attributes and traits. There is lots of conflict over gender fluidity and feminism and acceptance… isn’t the goal to come together for the sake of everyone? We need the relationship advice we are championing to reflect this. In my opinion, the best dating approach is looking at personalities, and not male or female. I will tell you why you should forget all that stuff you learned about dating and relationships based on your gender alone.
When you tell people they are different, they act differently.
Yes, some men and women are very different, but not all. I know plenty of males and females who have very similar personalities. When we put out broad generalizations about how men operate differently than women, we are teaching people that if they aren’t different, then they should be. Behaviors are learned. Men and women might take a different path to get the end result based on the way our brains are wired, but this doesn’t mean our behaviors should be vastly different. I might take the interstate and you might take the back roads, but we can end up at the same place. Have the same thoughts, ideas, and behaviors.
There is a vast array of relationship advice operating around this “men and women are basically different species” approach. But why? Why don’t we anticipate people’s behaviors based on their personalities and not their gender? Why are we trying to teach women to interact with men as if they are incapable of understanding basic emotion and teaching men to be the pursuers and wooers? When we are constantly telling people a blanket role they should be in, we are encouraging them to act differently than they may naturally. We are limiting their ability to form natural, organic relationships that may be 10 times more healthy and authentic.
Because of this, we need to stop telling people how they should think and act just because of their gender. We should be encouraging people to be whoever they are without being told what they should be. If a woman is an aggressive pursuer and a man enjoys that personality, GREAT! Let’s stop teaching both of them they are doing something wrong in their relationship or pursuit of a relationship. Let’s encourage development of relationships based on individual personalities and preferences that are all acceptable.
You may be making someone feel like an outcast because they aren’t “typical”.
Since people often fall into mainstream advice and norms, a person may feel like they need to act more masculine or feminine even though this may adversely affect their happiness. Men are often told they cannot talk about their feelings and the only accepted feeling they can demonstrate is anger. This is a terrible way to tell a person they have to act. Why are outbursts of anger ever a preferred way to express yourself no matter if you are male or not?
Okay, I get it, higher testosterone levels may cause men to be more prone to anger, but not all of them react this way. Just as women are consistently told to control their fluctuating hormones (hello there, menstrual cycle stigmas!), men are fully capable of the same thing. Many, many men and women do not struggle with this problem in the first place, so can we please stop telling them they do?
When we give relationship advice, we need to stop acting like we know the person based on them being male or female. All this does is make a person who may already be struggling to feel like they are not typical feel worse. If you like a person, please get to know them and their thoughts and habits. Then interact with them based on who they are and not their genitalia. You will be doing both them and you a big favor.
If you are trying to come together, why do you want to create a divide?
Relationships are about two people coming together. Contributing their own unique views in a way that builds strength for both parties. If every person was the same based on their gender, wouldn’t we have already mastered how to make ALL relationships work? It should be clear-cut and simple. But as further evidence as to why the approach doesn’t work, we still struggle trying to find balance. At times, females will be the strength for the men. Couples have to learn to take turns playing the supportive role. When the goal is to create unity, we shouldn’t do the opposite by teaching people they should only fit into a certain box.
Conflict comes from people focusing too much on how they are different. They focus more on the dividing concern than the connection. We get internal conflict because who we are does not match up with what we are told we should be. All these divides occur because we zero in on the problem and not the solution. The problem in this instance being trying to build and maintain a happy, healthy relationship. We want a quick and simple excuse as to why this is often a struggle. Somehow, we have come up with “because he’s a man…” and vice versa.
That is simply creating an excuse for the problem to continue. It is separating people. A better solution would be getting to know the personalities of each couple. The truth is there is no cover all solution to relationship problems. People are diverse. Their problems are diverse. Please stop making assumptions about your partner or future partners based on their gender. It’s not the way to go.
What do you think? Should we start focusing on relationships from the personality perspective instead of the gender perspective? Let me know!