relationships_101_part_3_inside.jpgEven when you were young and had no interest in the opposite sex, you already knew this truth: girls and boys are different, and there’s just no changing that. Even as women stake their claim in the world and men become more in touch with their feelings, there are things that each side will never fully understand about the other.

Still, all this does not change the diversity between men and women. And if you’re trying to grow a relationship that lasts, then it’s time you learned more about how to use these differences to your advantage. Here are 3 ways you can start now:


It’s not about being politically correct. Instead, it’s about being completely honest with yourself. If you hate men so much, why do still want to have a relationship with one?

Making any kind of disparaging remarks or sweeping negative generalizations about males (that they can’t commit, they need to constantly be looked after, they’re all mama’s boys, etc.), even when you’re just with your girl friends does real damage to your current and future relationships.

When you say these things often enough, you subconsciously start to believe them. And once you believe them, you’ll always be looking for evidence to support them--even when you’re already in a relationship with a good man. You could start picking apart everything he does and might start to think that he’s guilty until proven otherwise. And no self-respecting person can last in a relationship when he’s made to feel bad about being who he is.

Grow a Better Relationship: Learn to appreciate and celebrate your man for who he is. Realize that he deals with his emotions differently. While you may believe that the best way to deal with work frustrations is to talk it out, he may prefer to keep quiet or decompress by sweating it out on the basketball court. Accept that your relationship is not a competition, so stop making him feel inferior by insisting that the way you do things is “much better.”


If you want the kind of relationship where attraction and sexual excitement will always be present, you have to remember that the key to both factors lie in your natural differences.A Kinsey Institute study suggests that women respond to more masculine men and men with a take-charge vibe are usually seen to be more physically attractive to the opposite sex.

These are the masculine and feminine polarities at work. These “opposites” create the tension that fuels attraction. In relationships where you try to become too similar, you end up being polite and efficient roommates, wondering years later where the passion had gone.

But in relationships where you allow your man to be masculine, and you let your natural feminine side take over at least once in a while, you will find that although the excitement and passion won’t always at maximum level, it will always be there.

Grow a Better Relationship: Your guy is not an arts and crafts project, so stop trying to mold him into your image of what the perfect boyfriend or husband should be. He might often be unable to take the place of your best girl friend who will know exactly what to say when you ask his opinion about what you’re wearing. What he can be is the person who will know exactly what not to say and a strong and steady source of strength during really tough times.


No one wants to go through life alone, unloved, and unappreciated. That’s the reason why we work so hard to build supportive, loving relationships. It’s easy to pinpoint what makes you happy: you want to feel loved, be his priority, know that, at any given moment, there is one guy who thinks “you’re amazing just the way you are.” And it’s reasonable to think that your guy wants the same thing. But it’s not always easy to find out what will make your partner happy—or at least how to convert those hazy “wants” into “haves.” The key to achieving all of that is respect. If you value your partner, then his feelings should be just as important as your own, and his goals should be just as significant as yours.

Grow a Better Relationship: Recognize the qualities in your man that make you proud to be his partner and let him know about these things. In turn, be aware of the traits that he says make you the perfect girl. Let go of your insecurities when you’re with him, and try not to be too critical of his flaws. Be appreciative and supportive of each other, and make sure that you’re honest and open at all times.

Read the first two parts of FN's Relationship 1010 series:

(Photo by Yinghai courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not meant to replace the advice of a qualified health and wellness professional. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.


There are very few slots left in Aileen Santos' private group relationship coaching session on February 13, 2011, entitled "How to Find the Love That's for You." To reserve your slot now, send a text message to Iya Santiago at +639159108991 or email for details.
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