Apart from the obvious emotional, mental and physical differences between men and women in relationships, women tend to be more emotional than men which leads to a difference in the way they love and want to be loved.
“Men on the other hand are wired to act during times of high emotion and since emotion can lead to violence" they tend to want to end the discussion where she wants to carry on talking, Peggy Drexler, Ph.D.
Mike Tyrrell talks about how this situation may actually be a survival instinct as it takes longer for a man’s blood pressure and immune system to return to normal after high emotion than it does for women. If he becomes very emotional his blood pressure increases and he is at risk of having a heart attack.
Dr Gary Smalley and Steve Scott wrote an article discussing the idea that women have a deeper interest in people and feelings when building relationships whereas men tend to be more preoccupied with practicalities that can be understood through logical deduction. They tend to be more 'challenge and conquer' oriented thus competing for dominance.
What about the physical differences between men and women in relationships? Dr. Paul Popenoe, the founder of the American Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles has dedicated many years to the research of biological differences between the sexes.
He found that a woman’s metabolism is normally lower than a man’s. Men and women differ in skeletal structure. Women have larger kidneys, liver, stomach, and appendix than men, but smaller lungs.
Women’s hormones are of a different type and more numerous than men. The woman’s thyroid is larger and more active. A woman’s blood contains more water and 20 percent fewer red cells which makes them prone to fainting and tiring more easily.
On average, men possess 50 percent more brute strength than women as 40% of his body weight is muscle. A woman’s heart beats more rapidly and she can withstand higher temperatures than men.
What about the sexual differences between men and women in relationships? Compared to a man’s sex drive which is fairly consistent, a woman’s sex drive tends to be related to her menstrual cycle. Where hormones stimulate men, women are stimulated by touch and Romantic words.
Which is why women need more emotional and mental preparation when it comes to sex and men need little or none. Harsh or abusive treatment can easily remove her desire for sexual intimacy for days at a time. Often men have no idea that his treatment of her leaves her feeling repulsed by his advances.
Men fall in love by physical attraction whereas women fall in love with personalities. Women are intuitive and have a greater sense of awareness taking into consideration how their partner feels.
They are wanting a lover, a best friend and an appreciated partner which will create a meaningful, multi-level relationship. Men tend not to be this intuitive and are unaware of how to treat her in a way that meets her deepest needs.
The skills we have to use in our relationships are generally based around what we have learnt up to that point. If we have observed negative influences, then we will instill these in our own relationships.
It is important to understand that we need to be open to changing the way we love in relationships to better meet the needs of one another. These emotional differences can be one of the reasons relationships fail but they don't have to be as long as each person is committed to it.
According to Dr Set Meyers, Men and Women have 3 basic needs:
To be noticed – when having a bad day, men need their partner to notice they are upset. When asked if they are ok, they will respond accordingly and move on. On the other hand, when women have had a bad day they will want to come home and talk about it in detail. All they need is for someone to listen. When people don’t feel as though they are being listened to they may become depressed, angry and confused which can lead to outside influences creeping in and destroying the relationship.
To be loved – men and women have the same basic need to be loved and cared for although they show their love differently. Men may prefer to show their love through actions, not words whereas women show their love through words.
To have purpose in the relationship – for two people to feel happy in the relationship, each person must feel needed. Identifying roles early on in a relationship is important for developing a sense of purpose. With clearly defined roles, each person will feel acknowledged and appreciated by the other. Without a sense of purpose, one may start to feel unhappy, defeated or even empty.
In summary, Men and Women Love differently based on their experiences, genetic makeup and basic human needs. Effective communication can identify how each person would like to be loved which will lead to a healthy relationship.
If you are having trouble expressing to your partner how you would like them to love you, grab yourself a copy of 'Five Love Languages' by Dr Gary Chapman and identify each of your Love Languages. We would love to hear in the comments box below why you think men and women love differently.