Free Relationship Advice: Can Men and Women Really Get Along?
by Marc H. Rudov
With our divorce rate hovering somewhere between 50% and 60%, is it not reasonable to ask if men and women really can get along? My readers know, from my book and previous articles, about my interminable fascination with the battle of the sexes. Fueling my quest for better answers on this subject are the constantly changing statistics of my Website traffic. I have online access to a comprehensive report containing the number of visitors, the URLs of referring Websites, visitors’ IP addresses and browsers used, and examined content and visit durations—important metrics but nothing too exciting.
The juiciest part of the statistics report, however, is the list of keyword phrases that brought many visitors to my Website, via their favorite search engines. These keyword phrases tell me a lot about what men and women really think and feel about romance, and about each other. The picture isn’t pretty.
Below are two lists of keyword searches—one of men’s searches and one of women’s searches—that I gleaned from over 2500 keyword phrases posted in the past 15 months of visits to my Website. For this article, I chose the ones to which I had a significant reaction when reading them. What do they show me? Basically, that men and women are the same and have the same desires, fears, concerns, hang-ups, and vulnerabilities. What surprised me is the high degree of suspicion each gender has about the other’s trustworthiness. In my article "Five Myths About Women," I dispelled the long-held belief in our society that men are the cheaters. Women are equal-opportunity practitioners of infidelity. I am truly astonished by the high number of male keyword-search visitors to my Website who are in pain about their girlfriends, fiancées, and wives cheating on them. (Notice that all keyword phrases concerning infidelity are in bold type.)
My anecdotal discovery of massive distrust leads me to hold up a mirror, this article, so men and women can see the dysfunction for themselves. As I’ve stated in previous writings: Unless men and women eradicate their outdated socialized behaviors and relate as peers, they never really will get along. There is no excuse for this painful disconnect: men and women are virtually the same and absolutely equal. It’s time to get real.
Can Men and Women Really Get Along?
On October 18, 2004, Fortune Magazine featured another of its excellent "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" sections. And, on November 8, 2004, the Wall Street Journal presented its version of the top-50 women in business (and how they got there): "Women to Watch: Through the Glass Ceiling." Both of these reports prove, again, that women are powerful, smart, tough, savvy beings who can achieve whatever they want. All the women who constantly whine about inequality would do well to study their successful sisters.
Ironically, the meteoric ascendancy of women in the past decade is the root of the problem, causing many men and women to struggle with the roles they play in their love lives. The love dynamic between a man and a woman always has been related directly to their workplace dynamic—with the man traditionally dominating. Time for a "dynamic" overhaul: Today, women are CEOs, doctors, lawyers, judges, jurists, legislators, mayors, governors, cabinet officers, highly paid entertainers and athletes, and heads of state. New rules.
Women are struggling with these changes, too. There always will be women who feel aggrieved and powerless in the workplace, making B-lines to the EEOC for their remedies. On the other hand, the ones who know how to succeed, like Bernadine Healy, former president of the Red Cross and the only physician to hold that post, find better solutions using personal power. In Harvey Mackay’s new book, We Got Fired!, Healy summed up her experience dealing with men’s outlandish antifemale behavior: "somehow we all survived with goodwill and good humor in the end. Bottom line: Don’t get fixed on things you can do nothing about. Otherwise, they will slow you down."
Success stories about women abound, like the Healy story above. Yet, many women who do well professionally find few men who are secure enough to be with them. Legions of lonely, accomplished women have said as much to me. In one of the female keyword searches in the list below, an obviously successful woman wrote this nugget: "Why do smart, independent women have problems in relationships?" There are two basic reasons: 1) Men who, emotionally speaking, still live in 1950, cannot deal with self-sufficient women. 2) Women who are overly assertive and have a need always to be in charge—because they’re insecure—are hard to live with. Worse are the successful women who also want to be wined, dined, and placed on pedestals—give me a break!
The solution to creating harmony between the sexes is quite simple, yet challenging to implement for those stuck in obsolete thinking and behaviors:
Use these keyword-search lists below to gain new insights into where we are today as a society, as well as how far men and women must travel towards each other to create no-nonsense relationships. Happy hunting!
Significant Keyword Searches by Men (unranked)
Significant Keyword Searches by Women (unranked)
More from Marc H. Rudov * The Golden Rule Dictates Your Sex Life Five Myths About Women
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