Have you ever wondered how women think? What process is going on in their mind to make them act like they do? The female mind is a mystery to many men.
Psychologists have studied the differences in male and female brains and the differences in how the two sexes think.
Although every person is unique and no one completely fits into a stereotype, there are some broad trends that are visible to researchers across the majority of people.
You aren't forced into the male stereotypes, just like your girlfriend isn't forced into the female stereotypes, but it is likely that you have both acquired at least some aspects of your gender's broader thinking patterns.
I have been doing a lot of reading lately specifically regarding how women think in relationships, since that is the area where men and women come into conflict so often when they get their wires crossed.
Understanding how women think is a mystery that I am figuring out and will probably be still figuring out until the day I die. But here are the things I have found out so far.
Box Thinking vs Web Thinking
The first thing to understand about how women think in their relationship thinking is to understand the broad differences in men's and women's thinking patterns. You will then see how these differences are applicable across several areas in a relationship.
Many researchers describe men's thinking as compartmentalized. It is as if we have a storage box for each aspect of our lives. We open each box one at a time, deal with whatever it is we need to deal with, and then shut the box.
I'm sure you have heard that men are supposedly not very good at multi tasking. That is because we tend to prefer to open only one thought box at a time. We can multi task and deal with two or more boxes, but we prefer not to do so if we can help it.
Now we know that women are supposed to be better at multi tasking and focusing on more than one thing at once. So men often make the mistake of assuming that women can just handle having multiple boxes open at once.
However it is there we make a major error. We assume that the way women think is like us, or just a slightly different version of how men think. We assume that have the same tools and are operating with basically the same process.
What the research says is that this is all wrong. Women don't think like us at all. They don't have boxes.
Instead women think in an interconnected web, where every thing is related to everything else. Her attention is diffused throughout this web and this is why she can focus on many things at once.
Because men can compartmentalize different aspects of our lives if we are having a bad time in one area of our lives we can stop it spreading to others much easier. So if work is getting us down, we are better able to stop that negative thinking spreading elsewhere by shutting down the work box. For women a crisis in one area of her life spreads everywhere though the web and it is much harder to contain.
Men are often accused of not listening to what a woman is saying, yet in their defense what she is saying sometimes makes no logical sense at all. This is evidence of the two types of thinking in action. What she is saying makes sense to her, because she is making connections in her mind across the web, without verbalizing it because she assumes that you too are making those same connections. You will have opened the box for the topic she is discussing and won't be making the same connections to other issues, and will then be told that you are dense or not listening because you can't make sense of what seems to be an illogical ramble.
How Women Think About Sex
This different style of thinking can also be seen in sex.
Sex is one box for men, but for women it is not isolated to just one area. For men sex is primarily about the orgasm. There is an act, a goal, a result and it all fits in a nice neat linear pattern. For women it is about the bigger picture. For her it is about all aspects of sex - the anticipation, the kissing, the touching, the foreplay, the penetration, then the orgasm, the aftermath, the emotions, how this all fits into her day and where it fits in the context of the relationship.
This is why men are much more comfortable having sex without emotion. They can isolate the two in different boxes. You can open the sex box without the need to open the emotion box. For women this is much harder to do, which is why sex comes much more readily with emotion.
In a relationship men want sex primarily to satisfy their physical needs. Of course there are also emotions in play and a desire to connect in a loving way with your partner, but satisfying the throbbing in your loins is a major part of it.
A woman has this too - she has primal physical needs that need satisfying - but naturally it is much more complex that this.
Sex is a way of you showing that you are interested in her and desire her. She wants you to be interested in her not just interested in the idea of being in a relationship. Early in a relationship she is testing to see if you just want to have a girl on your arm in public, someone to watch a movie with, or someone to get regular sex from, or whether you actually want her.
As the relationship solidifies, she wants to be seen as a desirable physical specimen and she wants to continue to have exciting and passionate sex throughout the relationship. So while her physical desires need to be met, she is also looking for the emotional connection and validation that you desire her for who she is - and that part of who she is, is a desirable sexual creature. Her sexuality is one aspect of her personality and identity - don't neglect it because you think you are being a gentleman - in a loving and stable relationship she wants to know that you want to ravage her.
How Women Think About Relationship Security And Investment
While a lot has changed in terms of female emancipation in the last few decades, not a long has changed in female psychology in the last few thousand years.
Women no longer need a man, but most women still want one.
They want emotional security, financial security and the stability that comes with being in a partnership. They want someone who is reliable, with a strong character, with purpose and drive, who can provide for her and the children.
Most women won't admit to this because it will offend the feminists, but there are plenty of women who would happily turn down the career path for a more traditional role.
However even women who want a high flying career and want to take advantage of the equal world we live in, want a man who is going to have their back when they need it. Someone who will be there for them if they choose to take a few years off to have kids, someone who will be there for them in case times get tough.
When you are in the early stages of a relationship be mindful of these thoughts. She does want fun and excitement, but she is also thinking about how reliable and secure a provider you can be.
And while she is thinking about how secure you will be as a provider, she is also thinking about how secure the relationship is. Are you going to disappear if she gets pregnant or are you invested enough in the relationship to stick around? The last few decades of contraception haven't changed this primal concern etched into the female psyche. If you are fooling around and she gets pregnant, she carries the child for nine months and raises it for life, while the man has the option of sticking around or boosting off.
A little game of control plays itself out where she tries to get you to want her more than she wants you. Because if it is the other way around and she is more invested than you, then you wield the power over her.
She wants you to become very invested in the relationship and she likely won't commit unless she knows she has got you. Partly this is fear of rejection but most of it is the need for security.
The Biological Clock
All of this is related to the issue of the biological clock. There is both biological and social pressure on a woman to find a man, settle down and reproduce.
This pressure gets greater with age as the clock ticks louder and a woman's looks start to fade.
A woman holds all the power in her late teens and early twenties. The biological ticking is very quietly and in terms of looks she is in her prime. So she can be very picky about which men she sleeps with. In her late twenties and early thirties men hold the power and she experiences the loss of power. Men are in their sexual prime, women's looks are fading and the biological clock ticks louder. The pressure to find a man and reproduce intensifies and if you are with a woman at this stage of her life she will be desperate to hold onto you. Her worst fear will be being dropped back onto the dating market, with a lower value than when she was last there.
If you love your girl then give her the validation that she needs. Let her know that she is beautiful, that you are there for her and that the relationship is serious and has the potential to move forward. Don't commit more than you can but what you can commit at this stage, let her know about.
If you are just in the relationship for fun and sex, and she is looking for a husband and kids, then do the honorable thing and let her know.
Meeting Her Emotional Needs
Women are much more passive than men when it comes to getting what they want. Generally they expect it to come to them, while men are much more likely to actively go after what they want.
When it comes to relationships she won't give you a plain English explanation of how she needs you to meet her emotional needs. Nor will she give you a calm, rational and logical explanation when you are not meeting her needs.
This is partly because she is passive but also partly because women fear rejection more then men. She is afraid to ask for what she wants in case she is rejected. During courtship women are supposed to be the passive ones who are pursued, so when they pursue what they want and get rejected they are hurt much more.
You see this particularly in dating, where women are reluctant to chase, but also in relationships. In every relationship encounter there are always little cues people give each other where they vie for each other's attention. Women don't want to vie too hard for your attention and be denied it. So they develop the habit of being passive, never actually asking for what they want. They might ask you to wash the dishes or take out the trash, but they are not likely to ask for the thing they need that meets their deep emotional needs.
You have to figure out what her emotional needs are and figure out how to meet them.
Does that sound hard?
Maybe, but it's only hard if you don't make the effort to actually figure it out. This is most men, because they don't even realize that they have to figure it out. Once you do work out what is required it is generally pretty easy.
Again this comes back to box vs web thinking. It is much easier to satisfy a man's needs because you only need to satisfy one box at a time. For women you have to take care of the entire web.
There is a great book by Gary Chapman called the "5 Love Languages." I have found this book to be most useful in figuring out how to meet my partners needs, without having to ask, and without her having to ask me.
The book explains how different people have different primary love languages. The five are physical touch, acts of service, gifts, quality time and words of affirmation. Generally we show love in our primary love language, even if that is not our partners.
By identifying our partner's love language and showing love in that way you can meet her emotional needs.
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