The Neanderthal Post

Survival of the Blog

Decoding Men’s Oddball Love Signals

WebMD Feature from “Redbook” Magazine

By Ty Wenger

Fifteen years ago, I found myself in a romantic pickle: Cheryl, a woman I had been dating for about three months, was nearing her 25th birthday. The birthday gift in any three-month-old relationship is a dicey one, and I deliberated over it for weeks. Too big too soon and it could look like I was trying too hard. Too little and I might appear indifferent. Too romantic and I’d run the risk of setting the bar too high.   And so it was with great enthusiasm that I finally unveiled the gift. It was heavy — about 8 pounds. And big — the size of a bowling ball. In fact, as Cheryl discovered after excitedly tearing off the wrapping paper, it was a bowling ball. And not just any bowling ball, but a blue, personalized bowling ball (“The Spanker,” the twin to the 12-pounder I had bought myself: “The Wanker”). And the pièce de résistance: Both balls came in matching brown pleather bags.

Hoisting the ball onto her lap, Cheryl turned to me. I saw several emotions pass across her face: shock, confusion, profound disappointment, then her dawning realization that how she responded to this present — this idiotic present — might well determine the fate of our relationship. She looked down, collected her thoughts, and raised her eyes to mine. “I love it!” she lied. “Let’s go bowling tonight!”   Four years later, despite the bowling ball, Cheryl consented to marry me — and we have lived happily ever after. (And, yes, we still have the balls, and the pleather bags, and we bowl about as much as we did in the first three months of our relationship, which was almost never.) In fact, it could be argued that the success of our marriage owes, in part, to that very moment. Because on that day (and many, many days thereafter) my wife made a conscious choice: to see my hapless effort at romance not as a personal affront but as a love note written by a man in his own foreign language.

“Men do affection in ways that are not easily recognizable to women,” explains couples coach Warren Farrell, Ph.D., author of Why Men Are the Way They Are. “The fundamental difference is that men tend to do, and women tend to talk — and much gets lost in translation. He feels frustrated, misunderstood; she feels like he just doesn’t care. If you can learn to read the signals he’s trying to send, however, he’s going to feel like his method of loving is being appreciated. He’ll probably feel like a good person. And then he’ll be more open to hearing something else — like how he could be even better.” The point is, once you recognize your guy’s less-than-smooth gestures as the clumsy signs of affection they are, you’ll probably realize that he is grateful for you in more ways than you ever knew.

So how, exactly, do we big dunderheads express our love for you? Let us count the ways.  Continue reading…

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Dating/Sex, Health/Sports, Love | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Men Married To Smart Women Live Longer

Times Online

by Shane Watson

There is a lingering suspicion among girls (as the unpopularity of science subjects demonstrates) that boys don’t value cleverness as an essential quality in a life partner. Given a choice between gorgeous or brainy, there is no guarantee they’ll do the right thing, because men think they’re clever enough for two. Well, it turns out they’re wrong. Swedish scientists have discovered that long life and good health have nothing to do with a man’s education and everything to do with his wife’s. Men married to smart women live longer — simple.

However, before you ring up your girlfriend to tell her that the man who left her for a bimbo will drop dead of brain atrophy, this is not a victory for women’s intelligence in general. It would be nice if our stimulating observations about FlashForward and the Tory agenda were keeping our men alert and full of life. Unfortunately, it’s simply our skill at processing advice about healthy lifestyles, and passing it on. All it boils down to is that “educated” married women have long since banned their men from eating pork pies at every other meal. They instinctively know about the importance of breakfast, the downside of dips (men think hummus is a diet aid) and the virtues of Green & Black’s 85% (the chocolate that doesn’t count). The Carla effect, in other words, is alive and well beyond the boundaries of the Elysée Palace.

Still, this seems like a narrow reading of how a woman’s intelligence affects her husband’s health. Cholesterol-watching is only the tip of the iceberg. On top of that, there’s the whole good exercise, bad exercise battle. (Men will only do exercise that results in a calf injury, and only in binges, so they are grey with exhaustion every day for a week, then laid up for the rest of the month; we are constantly lobbying for yoga.) There’s risk-avoidance training, too. For example, the struggle to prevent men walking to work in winter with sopping wet hair, wearing only a shirt; or, my personal favourite, reminding them not to shut the tea towel in the oven door, because that’s what causes all the black smoke and flames.

For some of us, the challenge of keeping our menfolk fit and well goes way beyond encouraging them to lay off the Player’s Navy Cut. Since being married to my husband, I have had to point out that swallowing chewing gum is not normal, let alone healthy. Ditto eating food that has been showered with glass. Lighting a fire in a tent. Cooking topless. Dialling while pedalling. Smoking over an open car bonnet (just kidding, but only just). The point is, without a female in the house, most men would come to a sticky end, with or without the daily sausage sandwich.

So what’s in it for us? Back in the days when the goal was to marry a rich man, at least you could look forward to a bit of his’n’hers indulgence. Now it’s all checking the salt content of the bran flakes and pushing selenium. You can’t help feeling a bit short-changed.

November 29, 2009 Posted by | Dating/Sex, Health/Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment