The three best books to read for men to understand women in dating and relationships.

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Sophia

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Hi Chaoticia,

Could you expand your post with what worked for you, and why? This room is for discussing books, and the post as it is comes off simply as an advert (which isn't okay).
 

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Hmm. Color me skeptical when any source claims to be able to explain “all men” or “all women” or “all anything.”

Certainly men and women are (still, sigh) socialized differently in many (all?) countries, and perhaps these books are speaking to that shared experience? But in my experience there’s at least as much variation between men or women as a group, as there is claimed to be between the two sexes.
 

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I agree any book that over-generalizes, or the reader expects to take as "the answer" is immediately suspect.

My example, dated now, that changed my relationship life was Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, which I read back in the 1990s. It didn't describe me very well, nor my partner at the time (nor any partner since) but it drove home the important point of listening and looking for how my partner expresses herself. It was too easy, and caused too much trouble, to assume that my partner processes things in the same way I do, or expresses herself in the same way I would. Each person is unique, and when I look for her way of doing things instead of overlaying my lenses on each situation things go much more smoothly.
 

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It's such a pleasure to be thought of as the sort of person another person would require a 300-page pop culture psychological treatise to understand.
 

Helix

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"how to explain the fabulous female brain" and how to "decode her most baffling behaviour"

Sounds like patronising and exploitative tosh.
 

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One of the ones that was eye opening for me were Deborah Tannin's books, which looked at general differences in communication style (with an emphasis on modern US) between men and women. She is a sociolinguist, and so didn't posit biological explanations (which is what annoyed me about Gray's books, since he had no formal background in the life sciences at all), and she emphasized the fact that girls and boys tend to grow up in different "worlds," even within the same household. She wrote other books about cultural and regional differences in communication style that were also eye opening for this person with a rather "east coast" style (in spite of living most of my life out west).

A big one that helped me and my future spouse was his understanding that I don't usually want him to jump in with a bunch of suggestions when I am venting about something that bothers me. Tannin called this "troubles talk," and statistically women are more inclined to use it as a way of blowing off steam and of eliciting empathy and caring, while men sometimes see it as a chance to prove their competence by jumping in to tell the woman how to fix the problem. Then the guy gets annoyed when the woman indicates that she's already considered his solution and it won't work/hasn't worked because, then she gets annoyed because he thinks she's so dumb she hasn't already thought of the solution he is offering anyway, and so on.

Sadly, there are still a lot of issues with men talking over women in both professional and social settings and with men holding women in low esteem for sometimes adopting a more conciliatory or consensus seeking conversational style, and there are no shortage of books advising women to speak and behave more like men if we want to be respected professionally. But all those "lean in" advice fails to acknowledge that women pay a huge price and still are often dismissed when we do emulate a male style of communication, because people tend to perceive women as talking more than a man in a conversation when in fact the woman and man spoke equal amounts.

But yeah, it does get tiresome that we still think of the male perspective as "normal," and men are the ones who need instruction manuals for how to relate to women. Honestly, the reason men have a harder time relating to women is because they are socialized still to think that women are less interesting and important, so boys and men are less interested in reading books, watching movies etc. about women's lives and experiences, outside of whether or not they look good in skimpy clothes.

My brain is no more or less fabulous than anyone else's, and my mind is no more or less complex or mysterious. And the inner workings of my mind are not remotely secret. I am very good (too good, many tell me) at letting people know exactly what I am thinking if they ask, or even if they don't.
 
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lizmonster

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My problem with Tannen comes down to a guy I worked with. He was engaged, clearly adored his fiancee. He described Tannen's book as an absolute relationship saver. They read it together, and realized they were never really going to understand each other. He said that took a lot of pressure off.

This was a nice guy, with some brains. And rather than try to figure out how to productively engage with the person he was planning his life with, he felt Tannen let him off the hook.

As for the "I'm just blowing off steam; please don't try to fix it!" problem? Almost everyone I know, regardless of gender, doesn't complain because they're looking for answers. Everyone complains to blow off steam. Nobody wants a fix-it person. Are men "trained" to provide solutions? Maybe. But you know what else I've learned? So am I. It requires an act of will for me not to start brainstorming when someone vents at me, even knowing they don't want to hear it.

I understand it can be a fine line between studying the sociology of gender roles and declaring absolute delimiters of behavior. But seriously - I am not a zoo animal. I am not an alien. I am not an "other" or some standard deviation from an arbitrary norm. I'm an actual human being, distinct from all others, overlapping all others.

Maybe the best way for men to write women is for men to stop assuming women aren't the same goddamned species.
 

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Not seeing an equal level of critical-thinking with mine (inclusive of knowledge of logical fallacies) to have conversations in this thread, and also seeing some strawmanning and "single gender fallacy" from people that are way far off, so I'll abandon it and continue the conversations with myself due to lack of interest in the available conversation.
 
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Helix

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You started a thread with these words

No BS, this is sociology and science.

followed by some Amazon links. No discussion, just a statement of what...?

So when there's some discussion--and not simply blanket acceptance of the accuracy of those seven words--it looks a bit feeble to back out behind a shield of claims about logical fallacies.
 
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Chris P

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Not seeing an equal level of critical-thinking with mine (inclusive of knowledge of logical fallacies) to have conversations in this thread, and also seeing some strawmanning and "single gender fallacy" from people that are way far off, so I'll abandon it and continue the conversations with myself due to lack of interest in the available conversation.

Says the person who didn't engage for two weeks in a conversation they started. Yes, it struck some folks here in a way you didn't expect. We don't get to choose how people react to us, we can only choose our words. Had you, as was suggested in the second post, engaged us further and expanded on what you liked about the books, you might have had more of the conversation you were expecting at a level of critical thinking more to your liking (which I found to be an incredibly conceited statement, by the way). As it was, you did not give us anything to discuss in this thread.
 
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Not seeing an equal level of critical-thinking with mine (inclusive of knowledge of logical fallacies) to have conversations in this thread, and also seeing some strawmanning and "single gender fallacy" from people that are way far off, so I'll abandon it and continue the conversations with myself due to lack of interest in the available conversation.

I really think that's an excellent idea.

I suggest you take the conversation entirely elsewhere.

You know that thing in the The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write, where we ask you to respect your fellow writer?

We mean it. You have failed so utterly that well, I'd just rather you went away.
 
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