Ask the Expert: The Relationships Men Commit to and Why.

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An interview that takes us to the depths of unknown territory: into the male mind, to find out what romantic relationships they really want.

Jonathon Aslay is a relationships coach based in LA. This media sensation is a confidant and guide to women world-wide. He has the inside scoop on the male mind—because he has one—but carries with him the sensitivity and compassionate listening ability that is more culturally female. His book entitled The Relationships Men Commit to and Why is a guide to getting to know the other half of the human species. Our conversation touches on many of the subjects in the book. Throughout the interview, we laughed knowingly, both being “seasoned” in the relationship arena.

The Real Difference Between Men and Women

I had always thought it was sexist to believe that men and women weren’t all that different until I was called on to raise my son solo since being widowed when he was 11. He is now 25. I have since gotten the sense that we are sometimes two distinct species. Can you explain your take on the similarities and differences of men and women?

Jonathon Aslay: Where do we begin? Let’s talk about the 25-year-old for the moment and what seems to happen in relationships. I think in the early stages, for men 18-30, they’re just making their way in the world, and they are highly driven from a sexual perspective when it comes to women. We’re not in that place that is ready to take on full blown relationships and commitment, where women come from the place of once they have had sex with a man, they bond with him. Chemicals such as oxytocin are released, and their desire for commitment and security happens. That’s one of the differences that happen in that age bracket. Men are driven by testosterone and the drive to make it out in the world. Then we have to take it into different stages.

It’s difficult to generalize all men without looking at what stages they are in their lives. One of the issues that come up for most of the women I coach who are dating men over 35, and my “sweet spot” might be women dating men between 40-55; there’s a whole different dynamic going on. The differences might be where they are socially and economically: are they going through a divorce? Men might be dealing with the financial aspects of that, which could be alimony and child support, and women might be raising children.

Fundamentally, we all want love. Men want love just as much as women and we really want relationship as much as women do. We are more similar. I said in a Facebook post “Know your audience.” Where are they coming from in their lives? Know what you want in relationship and know your audience. Can he fit into your life instead of trying to mold yourself into his?

How Men and Women Communicate Differently

What are the communication styles that women and men use that sometimes require an interpreter, or what I call “the universal translator”?

J.A.: This can be an interview in and of itself. I will take a particular thing that I see so often in my coaching practice. It happens with texting. I notice a habit that when a men sends a text: “How’re you doing?” a woman might write back a novel, sharing her entire day, in volumes of information. His response is, “That’s great.” That’s one dynamic that I see happening. Women have a tendency to give a lot more information, especially from an emotional or experiential perspective, where men tend to be more logical. To really trigger a man’s brain, ask him a thinking question rather than a feeling or emotional question or vice versa.

If there was one thing you would like women to truly understand about men, what would that be?

J.A.: I used to say men are very simple, but the reality is, that our lives might be complicated. In that there might be different layers and facets in where they’re at in their lives, based on their profession, what might be going on with past relationships? Look at a person’s lifestyle. Men are simple, but if their lives are complicated, they’re going to be complicated.

What makes it seem like men fear commitment?

J.A.: One of the differences is that women tend to get to the destination much sooner than men do. Remember I said that women bond to man as a result of those chemicals like oxytocin? They’re looking for that security and/or commitment and reach that point much sooner than men. What happens is that it might take a man much longer to get to that point and in that space it may feel like he fears commitment. He just hasn’t reached the destination at the same time. Let me just dovetail here, Edie; I can go into a whole thing about avoiders and attachers and attachment styles that might also seem like one of the reasons there are differences.

Often times men might not communicate on an emotional level, and when women are used to talking to their girlfriends on an emotional level, they are not getting fed in that capacity. They feel as though a man is not at the same place as they are. If men tend to avoid emotional conversation, that might give the appearance that they fear commitment.

Let me just say this: Men who are happy in relationships tend to nest. If he feels happy with the woman and he feels like he can be her hero and they share regular activities together and have regular intimacy together; he’s not going anywhere. He just may not focus on the destination the same way a woman does.

Men, Role Models and Parenting Relationships

Someone had mentioned something recently, that once a man is sexually intimate with a woman, chemical changes take place and testosterone level drops and he becomes more paternal, more like father material.

J.A.: I don’t have the data to back this up, but from what I understand is that about the time a man starts hitting 38 and then beyond, his testosterone levels begin to decrease and estrogen levels increase. It might be that, but I don’t have the factual data. Literally, 10 minutes ago Sheri and I were just talking about that very same thing for an interview she was doing and we were trying to find that research.

I also think that men become more connected to their hearts as they get older. When a man is more connected to his heart, he is more humble, more thoughtful and in that capacity is more nurturing as well. I know it personally for myself. Testosterone is a chemical that drives us and fuels our ego. When we are in ego, we are in the ‘me’ state, but when testosterone drops, we are less “me” and start letting that “we” lead in.

I noticed that you had wonderful role models in your parents for a life-long loving relationship, as I had as well which I imagine set the standard for your relationships. Is it possible to break longstanding negative generational patterns in relationships?

J.A.: The answer is yes, that anything is possible. For some people, if they grew up in poverty, per se, they are driven internally for having success financially. The same holds true if they were brought up in a difficult home. What happens though is that our blueprint for our lives is predicated and dictated by what we’ve learned. I think of my parents and glorify them now, but when I was growing up, I didn’t really pay much attention to how their relationship was.

What I picked up on were the negative things and rarely picked up on the positive. I think that’s human nature.

I think that whether you grow up in a fairly happy home or a difficult home, we’re going to pick up on the negative cues, more so than the positive cues. The blueprint I had was, “go to college, get a job, meet a girl, get married, buy a house, start a family.” I had no blueprint for how to make a relationship work and had no clue how my parents made it work, and the same thing holds true for those who had difficult relationships. As we get older and start to experience relationships for ourselves, we learn by trial and error. It depends on what we want. Oftentimes men and women have the greatest challenge because they don’t have any clarity on what they want in relationship. They have the idea that they want it.

I like to say that relationships are not 50/50; they are 100/100. 100 percent what each person brings to it: all of who you are, your history, desires and baggage included.

J.A.: I say the same thing in my book: The Relationships Men Commit to and Why. In fact, I call it the love pie. In that pie, you come in 100 percent to your half and the woman comes in 100 percent to her half. What I actually recommend to women is that they actually hold back a little bit, because women have a tendency to give 100 percent to his half. It’s especially that belief that “if I love him more, he’ll love me back.” I recommend energetically holding back one percent and in that one percent a man will chase.

We men need a little bit of that chase all the time.

I asked my mom, “How did you guys make it work?” and she said, “I always made your dad work for it.” She meant it energetically, but she never gave more than he gave to the relationship.

The Magic of the 10-Date Rule

My parents were married nearly 52 years when my dad died in 2008 and my mom joined him in 2010, and I asked the same question since they came from some divergent backgrounds. Their answer was, “We loved each other and that’s what mattered.” When they were celebrating their 50th anniversary and I officiated at their vow renewal ceremony, I asked my dad the secret to the longevity of their marriage and his response was, “Your mother is always right.”

Do women really need to adopt traditional roles like Steve Harvey contends in order to attract a man?

J.A.: It’s been so long since I have read his book. He has what he calls the 90-day period. It doesn’t matter how long you wait. It doesn’t mean there is any guarantee of commitment whether it is on the first date or 90 days, but I am always of the belief of developing a friendship first, because that is what carries a relationship for the long term. When we talk about traditional roles, I remember when I was dating and a woman said, “I’m a traditional woman,” I would get frustrated because I said, “I live in the 21st century.” What does that really mean? Do you want to go back to the old way of doing things or you like some of the old things? I’m saying that tongue and cheek.

What I subscribe to is: don’t give your heart until you really believe that he seriously, genuinely wants a relationship with you and you have developed a friendship. As far as giving up your body, that’s a whole other topic. I’ve known people who had sex on the first date and have been married 20 years. The bodies are buried of people who had sex on one date and never called each other ever again. If you’re a woman, be careful of sleeping with a guy too soon, because of the oxytocin that bonds you to a guy that you might not even like.

I have my ten-date rule. Rarely do relationships today get past the first, second or third date. If you get past the 10th date with a guy, chances are, you are going to have enough information on him to make a fairly informed decision. At that point, you are probably going to have sex somewhere in between. And if you have gotten to that point, chances are you’ll at least jump on the relationship train track where you are going to be exclusive and monogamous for at least 6-12 weeks.

Most relationships have a 90-day probationary period, like jobs. Every woman I have ever spoken to whose relationship ended said the same thing: “I knew in the first few weeks he wasn’t right for me, but I went for it anyway.”

Can Guys and Girls Really Be Friends?

As is the central theme of When Harry Met Sally: can men and women really be friends without tumbling into romantic interaction?

J.A.: The more mature both people are, absolutely they can be friends. If they’ve been former lovers and one still carries a torch, it can still be an issue. But if they’ve never had sex, absolutely.

I’m still friends with some with who I’ve been in a romantic relationship and some are platonic friends who are like brothers that I wouldn’t get involved with sexually.

J.A.: Some men and women might fantasize about it and go, “We’re such great friends; I wonder what it would be like to have sex?” I think of the Seinfeld episode with Elaine and Jerry who said, “we have such good this, why don’t we try this?” We don’t want to give up this, in case this doesn’t work. It comes from a space of, “are we there for each other?” You’re very good friends with a man and now you’re in this excellent relationship with a new man. Understand that we men are territorial, so if you have this good relationship with another man, it can create huge challenges in the relationship you are in. I would have clarity in defining that relationship.

Inside John’s Relationship with Sheri Meyers

I know you have a wonderful relationship with Sheri Meyers (author of Chatting Or Cheating) and the two of you are quite public about it in social media. What are the upsides and downsides of couples talking with and about each other via Facebook?

J.A.: That’s a good one. We met through Facebook and we have adopted what we call a Social Media Pre-nup when it comes to some of the private information that we share. Because social media is a consistent part of our lives and we have developed so many friendships with other people, it’s on the days that we’re apart—we spend about four days together and the other three days I spend with my children—that it tends to be a nice little way of keeping in touch with each other. It may be through a Facebook post or instant message. I can tell you how it could be a challenge in other relationships, especially if you are friends with past lovers. Let’s say your relationship is in trouble and you’re having some difficulties and you’re going to Facebook to feed that energy.

It’s very classy the way that the two of you do it, that you are supporting each other and are each other’s cheerleaders.

J.A.: We continually support each other because we use social media professionally. That makes us different than the average couple. It can be addictive and sometimes we do have our challenges that we are feeding the Facebook energy more than our own relationship.

Now’s the time for you to brag a bit…what is it about you that allows women to trust you and confide in you?

J.A.: I think it’s because I’m part chick. It means I can communicate and live in that level. I’m relational, I desire relationship. What makes me a unique coach is that I’ve experienced a lot of what my clients go through. I tend to be more of an anxious attachment style and I’ve been in relationships in the past with women who were in avoidant attachment style. I know what it feels like when you send a text and get no response back or the boyfriend needs space. I know how to tap into the feeling, but I also know what it took for me to overcome those.

In addition, what makes me a unique coach (and I do want to brag about this) is that I talk about real life, real issues and real relationships. My life experience has prepared me to help women understand men in this capacity. I’ve been married, had to deal with divorce, went through all those challenges and I had to go back out there. Add to that, I went from being an insurance broker to being a dating and relationships coach. I found love in the process.

Bonus question: What does it take to put the toilet seat down? I saw that you had that as a Facebook post based on my sending you this question in advance.

J.A.: You saw how I responded with the question: “Why don’t women put it up for us?” How do we resolve power struggles and differences in our relationships?  It’s really an opportunity to examine your communication style. Truth be told, it’s kind of a trivial thing. If we look it at a deeper level, is the guy being thoughtful and conscious? I’ve had plenty of times when I have forgotten to put the toilet seat down, but does that make me a bad guy? How do we resolve our differences and power struggles?


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Relephant read:

The Buddhist View of Loneliness as a Good Thing.

Bonus read:18 Relationship Red Flags Every Woman Should Know. Plus, a Video.

Love is Selfish.


 When relationships make you want to pull your hair out: 

How to make a relationship last: 

Watch out for this red flag: 



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Edie Weinstein

Edie Weinstein (Bliss Mistress) is a work in progress who learns daily from all of her relationships, a colorfully creative journalist, dynamic motivational speaker, interfaith minister, licensed social worker, Bliss coach and PR Goddess. She is the author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary. Connect with Edie at her website.

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anonymous Jan 8, 2015 9:14am

10 months ago, I re-met and have been dating an x-boyfriend from college days. I think what people need to keep in mind when reading relationship advice is not everything is going to apply or be accurate for their situation. Going into this “second time around,” I had extreme patience. I waited 3 times the 90 days, and we are serious and committed now. I knew long before he did that this was love. Sometime around month 5, I started pulling away. I had this feeling like “where is this going? what am I doing?” I was feeling a little lop-sided. I heard Scarlett’s Father from “Gone with the Wind”…”Have you been making a spectacle of yourself running about after a man who’s not in love with you? When you might have any of the bucks in the county?” lol When I pulled away, he came in. It could have gone a different way, but we fell together. Patience …is not my forte., but I mustered it. I sang the song by Mumford and Son’s “I Will Wait,” over and over. He is 52 single parent- teen daughter. I am 47 single parent – 3 years empty nester. We both agree, we wouldn’t have made it back in the day. Our lives had to follow the paths that they did for us to have our children and for us to arrive at this point in our lives; together. We both also agree that we were obliviously happy in our singleness and not looking for someone. We have a true connection now.

    anonymous Jan 25, 2016 3:55pm

    I'm glad for you, Sue. I wish you and your second chance man a great life together. 🙂 Namaste.

anonymous Jan 2, 2015 9:15am

Re Testosterone….. I was ill for a few years after Mumps. I began the US version of replacement at 46 and I feel like a 30 year old again. I went from being very weak in jan 2014 and very achey to sacking the NHS in July and going on the US version. 2 months laer no pain and I can bench press 50 kgs!

anonymous Dec 16, 2014 10:39pm

Do you find it strange that you are constantly wondering, “How can I get my boyfriend back?” Well do not worry; this is a perfectly normal question to ponder in your mind. Even if you have been broken up for a good length of time, [email protected] can still bring a restoration to that relationship and i can assure you of that because of the way he handled my situation and make my long lost love come back and now the restoration has turn into marriage. i am happy i came across this spell caster and i will forever be grateful to him.

anonymous Oct 3, 2014 8:19pm

Could not get through the entire article. Borderline sexist and is almost overtly demeaning to the psychology and emotionality of women.

anonymous Sep 8, 2014 7:39am

Usually, the best way to make a man commit to you is to not try too hard. Badgering him to be exclusive so soon might send him running in the opposite direction. Instead, lots of relationship experts opine that it is better to wait for things to be totally exclusive until both of you are ready for commitment. However, making a man feel like you are pushing him into marriage too soon can really terrify him.

anonymous Aug 17, 2014 3:58pm

part two; I have previously stated the importance of building a friendship/foundation however, this technique is easily disrupted, often through our own actions. First and foremost there is an obvious physical attraction, secondly, what are we doing? we meet at restaurants with the best ambiance and share delicious food while gazing at each other and if your are lucky, receive a wonderful friendly hug upon your first meeting. During this phase, hearts are taken/given and souls are being melted and I love it all, but not at all conducive to maintaining friendship status. The process becomes increasingly more strenuous while trying to manage the sexual chemistry that I am trying to avoid. The entire procedure leads up to intimacy, the speed of which it happens is often times uncontrollable…

anonymous Aug 17, 2014 3:20pm

part two; I have previously stated the importance of building a friendship/foundation but I think the process is too easily disrupted, often through our own actions. First of all, there is obvious physical attraction, secondly, what are we doing? we meet at restaurants with the best ambiance and share delicious food while gazing at each other. There is hair flipping and arm touching and if you are lucky, a wonderful friendly hug upon your first meeting. During this phase however, hearts are taken/given and souls are being melted and I love it all, but not at all conducive to maintaining friendship status. It then becomes increasingly more strenuous to manage the sexual chemistry that I am trying to avoid. The entire procedure leads up to the point of intimacy, the speed at which it happens is often times uncontrollable…

anonymous Aug 17, 2014 4:01am

My concern with the interview (albeit informative) where it's generalizations. While I do agree that it is important to build a friendship and allow for time to know your partner, sometimes I think it is overly romanticized because it sounds rational. Putting a number on it is irrelevant, ten dates could happed in five months depending on schedule. Each relationship should be evaluated individually and grown at it's own pace. I usually judge myself on each date in addition to gauge the over all health of the relationship. In the past, for me, intimacy has taken ninety days, other times much sooner. I have always found that the relationship will know when it is ready. The wide range of the responses is proof of itself…

anonymous May 1, 2014 1:03pm

Well, in my case I totally relate more with what is being said to be a men response…and I´m a woman…every partner I have had in my life was more into the commitment side than I was…I´m 38 now and I don´t seem to be changing that pattern…and it seems it is my completely free of charge attitude towards relationships what attracts the most sensitive and loving boys to my shore. Honestly…I have never had any issue with being the one who loves more and I´m always the one in need for space and slow down…sometimes I´m so left behind in the feeling field that I feel emotionally handicapped and start backing up because it is not fair…for them…and too much pressure for me… I´m much more into my mind and rational side than the emotional one…I can´t relate to the emotional unless I understand things completely…I must have being a boy maybe…but I´m far to pretty to be one… 😉

anonymous May 1, 2014 10:00am

RELAX, people! It's funny how the 'men" on this post seem to be the ones writing the novel.

anonymous Feb 4, 2014 9:36pm

You don't put the toilet seat down … you put the seat AND the lid down ; hah !

    anonymous Feb 12, 2015 9:35pm

    Agreed. Another reason, beyond the one that women don't want to fall in, is that I have heard that when you flush and the lid is up, it spews bacteria for many feet around. YUCK!

anonymous Feb 4, 2014 1:56pm

Hmmm….I think there's a lot of good info here, but as an actively dating woman, a lot of generalities, too. For instance, I've had sex with men that i didn't then want to commit to. In fact, this has happened more often than not in my experience. The men I want to commit to are inevitably the ones who can have an interesting, emotionally present conversation with me afterwards. I think THAT'S that makes the oxytocin flow, at least for me.

Also, I'm friends with several ex-lovers, and have a few men I'm occasional lovers with (I call them my lover-friends) who I don't want a committed relationship with. One is an ex- where at one point I DID want that, and we broke up, became fast friends, and now we have sex occasionally and are otherwise good friends who share our dating adventures with one another. I don't think it's true that men and women can't be platonic friends if they've slept together. I have more than one ex- as a friend who has since gotten into a LTR, and we get along great and their SO's and I get along great.

I think the idea that men and women can't be friends after they've slept together is more a function of a cultural "story" that tells us it's not possible. I'm living proof that it absolutely is possible. It doesn't even make any logical sense to me that it wouldn't be true given two people who have some level of emotional maturity and a desire to remain friends. You just need to take responsibility for your own emotional experience, hold the boundaries that make sense to you, and know yourself well emotionally.

I actually believe that the story that men and women can't be platonic friends is really damaging in this culture, and also cheats a lot of people out of experiencing the growth and challenge of shifting their emotional response to a person. it's a great way to train yourself to be more mindful, self-aware, and less reactive in the rest of your life, and I highly recommend it!

    anonymous Mar 31, 2015 8:48pm

    I like the ideal of what you are saying, and having just had an experience where I slept with someone and then he told me later that he actually liked someone else and that he told me that at the time (which he did not) I found it very hard to then settle for his second best offer of being friends since I was such good company.

    Perhaps the difference is when men and women can communicate honestly and openly about what the nature of the situation is, and not bullshit and lie to cover themselves, then that might be possible. For me, the fact that he lied and tried to fuck with my head and heart made it impossible to consider being friends…especially when the oxytocin was still coursing through me.

anonymous Jan 7, 2013 8:49pm

[…] toward any kind of healthy relationship. I have witnessed it, not just with dating and love relationships, but friendships […]

anonymous Jan 5, 2013 10:20pm

The info on testosterone is complete and utter bollocks. It's clear this dude don't know squat about testosterone. Testosterone increases aggression and motivation, yes, but it also increases a sense of fairness. There also isn't one age where testosterone drops, it's different for every man, and in every case, it's a sign of an endocrine issue. Men can and should produce testosterone in healthy amounts throughout life, IF one has good diet, adequate vitamin D, manageable stress, and solid exercise habits. Healthy men should reach a testosterone plateau, perhaps in the late 40's, and maintain that throughout life. If that doesn't seem normal, it's because most American men don't maintain their health.

Other than that, "your mother is always right." Yes, he is part chick, that's terrible advice. Relationships must have some mutuality, and if "she's always right," that is far from mutual, it's borderline abusive.

The article denigrated "Traditional women" followed by calling for a 10 date rule before sex, that was just too much. It's schizophrenic, you're attacking the very values you profess in the next paragraph.

There is some good with the bad, too but when you butcher basic physiology and speak such massive contradiction, it's hard to recover credibility.

The commenters, too, several, both male, (oh, the irony!) who made mention of "archaic male/female stereotypes" are symptomatic of the total lack of critical thinking that has come out of the feminist movement and its new-age metastases. Last time I checked, I was born with a Y chromosome and testosterone levels dozens of times higher than that of the average female human being. Those biological traits are inborn, inherited, physiological, and concrete manifestations of sexual dimorphism, which deeply influences behavior, thought, and emotion. While these inherent sex differences may be I archaic, they're more phenotype than stereotype, and are also as true today as they were 1,000 years ago, and thus are as relevant as ever.

I do appreciate Jonathon's statement in the comments about understanding human behavior. For those who are seriously interested in such an endeavor, and not simply paying it lip service while continuing to believe and espouse the "men and women are the same" new age rhetoric, one must begin with a serious study of the evolutionary processes that shape men and women, and their result namely the sex differences both physiological and behavioral.

As human beings, we have two sexes for a reason. Men and women are complimentary, equal in value but very different in behavior and physiology. Sexual reproduction is millions of years old, and as such, sexual selection conveys many benefits. Otherwise we'd reproduce asexually, like ferns and fungi, which is perhaps the end goal of the feminist and new age agenda.

I almost didn't leave this comment, as i would rather let sleeping dogs lie, but I decided to press on, mostly because it's clear that the time of ascendancy of the "Sensitive New Age Guy" is long gone, and we need some new voices up in here. The SNAG stuff is played out, old, tired, and pathetic. Men were induced by feminism and the new age culture to explore the feminine side, and rightly so, relative to the stolid old-school, 1950's masculinity. But even the old world masculinity had admirable traits, and men who get stuck in the SNAG stage are bereft of a true and confident masculine nature. Any exploration of the feminine by men can only be empowering if and when the insight gained in explorations of the feminine are honed, developed, sharpened, and made whole by using them to intelligently cultivate masculine values.

To men: own your masculinity! Don't be afraid to wear it proudly, to stand firmly rooted as a man. Accept no shame for being a man, for owning and cultivating masculine values and ways of being. Anything less is a waste of your manhood.

Women! We love you for your femininity, please embrace it so that we can dance in a mutually beneficial relationship based on complimentary and interdependent sexual characteristics that are different from male to female. Let us exalt your feminine beauty, grace, and nurturing. Please don't try to be men. There are enough men, and far too many women acting like men, and entirely too many women attempting to shame men for being men.

    anonymous Jan 7, 2013 6:00pm

    Revo, while agree with you about your assessment regarding testosterone and it's possible to maintain high levels well past your 40's the reality is that many men begin to see decreases after about 38 years old which has sparked a whole new industry of testosterone replacement . The reality is the American average male over 40 is slightly overweight , doesn't maintain a healthy diet and exercise levels have dropped.

    With respect to my 10 Date Rule, no where in the article to I state waiting 10 dates for sex. My rule of thumbs is that usually after ten dates a man seeks a more serious commitment. Now I'm not sure how much time you spend in the dating world, but rarely do most people make it past the 1st, 2nd or 3rd date and if a man seriously dates a woman ten times chances are they have had sex and then the question of exclusivity is discussed and possible regular activities.

    With respects to SNAG, I'm a graduate of the Mankind Project New Warrior and we tend to subscribe to the New Macho (google it).

    I agree with you that there are far to many women who spend way too much time in their masculine energy, but why do you think that is? Is it because the roles are becoming reversed as more women are becoming the breadwinner in relationships? This is a lengthy discussion and I regularly commit on (join my Facebook page if your interested) and welcome your thoughts.

    As far as my coaching, I have spent over 10,000 hours listening to and coaching women when it comes to dating, mating and relating. I am open to and evolving when it comes to the advice I share and my style is more like a big brother protecting their hearts from the men who are just looking to get laid vs. the men who are seriously looking for relationship (and yet come with baggage).

    anonymous Jan 7, 2013 7:25pm

    I can only respond to my own statements, so here goes: The comment about 'your mother is always right' was said kind of tongue in cheek by my dad, so it might have been helpful to have framed it that way. They had a mutually respectful and deeply loving and demonstrative relationship. Until he died at 84 (in 2008 and she passed in 2010), it was marked by daily love notes and conversation, handholding, hugging and kissing. They both spoke their minds and had each others' backs.

    As far as the masculine/feminine polarity….I was widowed at age 40 and raised my then 11 year old son as I had mentioned in the article. No way could I be both mother and father, so I asked platonic male friends to mentor him and be his go-to guys for things he wouldn't want to talk to his mom about. Two of them are New Warrior grads themselves. Even so, I still needed to take on full responsibility for being the breadwinner, take care of the house, my son, have a social life and take care of myself. Masculine? Feminine? I call it sane survival. I can be feminine, beautiful, graceful, nurturing, sexy AND strong and in charge. It's quite the dance.

    anonymous May 1, 2014 9:37pm

    Everything you said was beautifully put. I have not a single disagreement.

    anonymous Feb 12, 2015 9:31pm

    The 'your mother is always right quote' was said partly in jest. My parents had an egalitarian marriage. Neither acquiesced to the other. They talked things out and generally came to a mutually satisfactory response.

anonymous Jan 4, 2013 5:44am

I don't claim to be an expert on anyone but myself and even that is a work in progress. I asked questions of a man who has insights into the dynamics that occur in relationships. If you read my response from yesterday, you will see that I said there are no absolutes in any relationship. We are all unique individuals, living in various cultures that have beliefs and expectations for how we interact with each other. As a seasoned woman, I much prefer relationships (whether friendships or in the romantic realm) that defy stereotype, because in many ways, I do. Thank you for your response since it had me consider my values as well.

anonymous Jan 3, 2013 10:14pm

I cannot believe either of you are posing as experts attempting to bridge the male/female divide. This is the most trite and uninspired rhetoric around the nonsensical idea of "what is man" I have seen in recent times. Please, if you're reading this, take heart. There are men in the world who deal in reality and are not defined by simplistic aphorisms and archaic male/female stereotypes. Get off the computer and go find them.

    anonymous Jan 5, 2013 6:19am

    I liked the article in light, but agree with you on your advice.

    anonymous Jan 7, 2013 6:21pm

    As a concerned male myself, hit me with your best shot… What reality are you speaking of? The conversation I had with Edie is meant to inspire dialogue about the challenges men and women face today in dating and relationships.

    anonymous May 1, 2014 9:55am

    What is that saying, If you can't say something nice DON't say anything at all.

anonymous Jan 3, 2013 2:26pm

Reason, season, lifetime relationships and love is never wasted. I have seen up close and personal (in my own life and those of others in my circles and those I have counseled professionally) that duration and quality are not the same. We all have loved intensely and the relationship has flashed and burned out and have had others on slow simmer that have sustained over time. And I think we all have non-negotiables/deal breakers in our relationships. Enjoy the process however it plays out.

anonymous Jan 3, 2013 2:00pm

I like the warnings here 🙂 But every relationship is different, and I think the Disney-esque idea of staying with one person for ALL OF TIME – happily ever after! – ruins a lot of things. Some relationships are probably just meant to last a finite time. And while it is true that we can often identify the things that will end it within the first few dates (this was true for me in my 14 year marriage and a 5-year relationship afterward) women do often think we can change him, or at least learn to adjust to what we should know will be a deal-breaker eventually. I am going to adopt the 10-date rule, because I think sex does confuse things, for both sexes. So thanks for a timely reminder….. Alexa Maxwell

anonymous Jan 3, 2013 12:27pm

I agree that there are no absolutes and all kinds of issues arise in hetero and same sex relationships; because people are people and relationships are complicated. We do still need to understand each other. My observation is that in many cases, men and women are enculturated and indocrinated to have certain beliefs and expectations for personal identity and relationships. I too shy away from stereotypes and did my best to raise my son without gender bias, there are still behaviors and attitudes that present as more culturally male than female AND he also seems comfortable with strong women in his life (mom and girlfriend among them:) Glad this is raising feedback, regardless of what it is(:

anonymous Jan 3, 2013 12:18pm

i am always interested in reading this articles thinking I'll 'get something new'. but i never do. The reality is that we are compartmentalizing relationships when the truth is – sometimes realtionships work, sometimes they don't. The contributing factors are multifacted and complicated. What throws all these theories up in the air for me is that these same issues happen in same sex relationships. So, to define the workings by man/women is archaic and futile.

    anonymous Jan 3, 2013 12:44pm

    Yes cp24 you are right, relationships either work or they don't and the contributing factors are multifaceted and complicated. With that said, I think what matters most for many is the dialogue and an opportunity to share their feelings and maybe learn from other experiences. Wisdom can be passed down from many forms and what helps with this blogs and articles a better understanding for human behavior.

anonymous Jan 3, 2013 8:49am

I MUST point out ~ that men too have oxytocin rush during physical/sexual relations. NOT just womyn.

    anonymous Jan 3, 2013 12:37pm

    While I'm not an expert on the science behind oxytocin, my guess is for men it wears off much quicker when we are younger.

      anonymous Feb 4, 2014 1:40pm

      I don't think so.

        anonymous Mar 27, 2014 1:46am

        That is true. Women experience much higher levels of oxytocin, the attachment hormone, after sex.

          anonymous Aug 23, 2014 12:47pm

          Not all women.

          anonymous Sep 19, 2015 10:27pm

          It’s all about CONNECTION, CHEMISTRY, a DEVINE CONFIRMATION, and a true sense of SELF & PURPOSE. Can’t expect to have a lasting relationship if none of the above is real and shared with THE one! I know this this b/c I have yet to experience a fruitful & satisfying relationship that includes all of the above with a man. There was always something missing. At times it was I who who kept a blind eye to what was so obvious. I’ve learned this late in life but I think when the time comes, I will know it for once. Experience is a mother in training!

    anonymous Oct 3, 2014 1:29am

    Lucy actually women's oxytocin levels are much higher and actually bond with the limbic system of the brain. Women who do not exhibit this have had a different circuit disconnection in their brain and limbic system. It is also why it is said that women need an emotional connection to have intercourse compared to men who could have just sex with ought any attachment whatsoever. Either genetically or forced (as in porn stars, whose psyche has been broken down to be "rewired"). It's not a matter of better or worse it's just the way the male and female brain and body has developed till now.

anonymous Jan 3, 2013 7:00am

Hopefully tasty and nourishing food(:

anonymous Jan 2, 2013 10:58pm

I managed to marry the two men in my life who were just pretending to commit to me and pass over the ones who really wanted to so I'm still puzzling that one out. A lot of food for thought here.

    anonymous May 1, 2014 9:42pm

    Same. I'm trying to change that now by dropping the societal standards placed on my love life. It's always the same thing, you fall for someone and then people tear him apart. Or maybe that's just me? It's always " Oh, he is so skinny!" or "So short" or " geeky!" and the list goes on. I've spent so much time focused on my parental ( and cultural) standards of men that I ended up in an abusive relationship with a man who was good looking, wealthy ( cheap as hell and selfish to boot!) but looked great on the outside. Within the relationship I was slowly dying, and I took quickly moved on to another person I saw with rose colored glasses. During both times I've had terrific men enter my life and I played the loyal role with the guys I should've left. I have so much regret with those situations. I'm desperately trying to move on from those situations. I've forgiven myself and my exes ( but I've totally let them go). I want a fresh start with someone who is crazy about me. And if anyone ( blood relative or otherwise) has a single negative thing to say I will ignore their asses *flips hair*.

anonymous Jan 2, 2013 10:26pm

I would LOVE to see your feedback on this article. Does it touch a chord, spark some recognition, give you a sense of hmmmmm? Any other ponderings? Thanks for reading it.

    anonymous Mar 27, 2014 7:03am

    I love the bit about the toilet seat — I've usually had male flatmates and it's a habit for me to put the toilet seat back up once I'm done…that way I don't have to fall in coz the boys forgot! Many of my female friends think I'm weird, but doing it instead of nagging about it just makes life easier for the boys 🙂

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