Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Can we talk?

Asked by wundayatta (58596points) November 1st, 2010

In order for intimacy to occur in a relationship, both partners need to share and disclose concerns from time to time. But be careful about how much time you spend on conscious relationship maintenance, because men and women have very different tolerances for “relationship talk.” Women, as a rule, have a positive association with relationship talk; it makes them feel connected and happy. Men, on the other hand, do not enjoy relationship talk; it makes them feel blamed, worried, and distressed.Source

Do you agree? Disagree? What is your experience with relationship talk?

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31 Answers

Marodr13's avatar

There is no such thing as a Pleasant conversation when it comes to relationship, one or the other is not going to really want to be involved.. I am not sure if anyone is out for the blame, but more importantly I would want to make sure that my view is heard.. Something that never happens, or it seems like it.. I dont have a positive view when it comes to relationship talks cause at times it opens cans of worms that in reality sometimes is best if left alone.. Another thing that I have learned through time as I am worried abotu everything, I feel that its best to keep it basic and not let your emotions involved… Bills and tears come together but should not!!

Brian1946's avatar

Not if you just want to diss me for wearing a t-shirt to the Emmies, Joan. ;-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yeah, I disagree. But I disagree with much that’s supposed to fit men and women are from different planets stuff. In our relationship, we must talk often in order to have the depth that we have and the open relationship that we have…having to talk can make either of us anxious or relieved.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Men, when faced with what they percieve as “a problem” want to immediately “solve it.” Relationship discussions are not intended ( usually ) to be problem-solving sessions. They are more exploratory and relationship building sessions. When men try to solve what they see as “issues” in a relationshp, women are often surprised that men see these things as problems, and are distressed that men want to solve them.

Blondesjon's avatar

If you have to sit down and have “relationship talks” you must be bullshitting each other the other 99% of the time.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Which is actually a pretty typical male response.

Blondesjon's avatar

@CaptainHarley . . . You mean level headed and to the point?

CaptainHarley's avatar

No, I mean male and task oriented.

downtide's avatar

My partner’s tolerance for that kind of talk is absolutely zero. I’ve learned that for all practical purposes it doesn’t really matter that much: we’re still together after 25 years and we’re still the best of friends. In all that time I think we’ve discussed “The Relationship” maybe twice. I guess we follow the principle of “show, not tell”.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I agree. I’m female and think talking is positive whereas my SO thinks talking means I’m unhappy with something he’s done or hasn’t done. My thinking is I’d rather we get to know each other up front on important stuff than be reactionary, letting stuff happen haphazardly and being upset when our deepest hopes don’t seem to pan out.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think so. There’s very little talking going on in my family, where I am surrounded by men and boys.

Blondesjon's avatar

@CaptainHarley . . . Awww. An answer for the ladies. Just like the giant ego stroke they require when “we need to talk”.

i’m not from mars or venus and i don’t play gender specific games

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Blondesjon Now you’re being either patronizing or borderline insulting.

I don’t see spending time with the one person on earth, who you are suppose to love above all else, as an “ego stroke.” And I don’t play interpersonal games at ALL, gender or otherwise.

I suggest you get down off of your gender-specific high horse and listen when someone tries to tell you something that could be of help to you in coming years. Oh… I’M SORRY! You already know it all. Silly me!

rooeytoo's avatar

I have known men who liked to talk and those who did not. But it does seem as if that premise is generally true, but I want to know why it is true. Is it one of those deals where son says my dad never talked about relationships, why would I? Or is it that the culture in which I was raised frowns upon men having such “girly” (and therefore undesirable) inclinations? Is it because John Wayne or (whoever is his counterpart in today’s world) was/is monosyllabic? Is it because parents say big boys don’t cry (meaning don’t express emotion)? Or is it testosterone and testicles that cause it to be so? And breasts and ovaries make you more talkative?

I kind of think it is the result of culture and upbringing again.

I don’t think I have ever met a woman who was not a spectacular problem solver

CaptainHarley's avatar

I think it has more to do with genetics than anything else. The human race grew up with males generally being the physically stronger sex, and were expected to resolve problems in an expeditious manner so the tribe lost as few members as possible. Women, being the primary caregivers for the children and infants, and being generally physically less strong ( and perhaps less adventuresome due to testosterone ) seem to have been largely the gatherers for the tribe ( as well as being the primary caregivers ). Over millennia this led to women being more focused on relationships than were men, since men functioned as members of hunting groups with specific objectives to accomplish.

I’m not saying this really well, since I hurt considerably just now, but I think you can get the general drift.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CaptainHarley Sigh…first off, not all ‘ancient’ societies were hunter/gatherers…not all hunter/gatherer societies had men as hunters and women as gatherers…some were egalitarian where tasks were divided more evenly…extrapolating those societies to centuries later is beyond shady given how different things have been since those times and being in charge of children and parenting and protecting the hearth (if we are to assume that those societies have anything to do with ours) would be the most likely candidate for quick decision making and the such..or you’ve never met a good mother.

rooeytoo's avatar

Thank you Simone.

@CaptainHarley – What @Simone_De_Beauvoir said goes for me too! Now you will have to excuse me while I go gather something for dinner and my mate goes out to club a mastodon for tea.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CaptainHarley Google ‘feminist analysis of hunter/gatherer societies’ and you’ll find loads to read…like here.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I put many qualifiers in what I posted. If you’re unhappy with that, sue me. I don’t subscribe to the feminist interpretation of either history or psychology.

cookieman's avatar

@rooeytoo: You have to club a mastodon for tea?! I simply ask one politely. They often bring scones.

ANYway…I think the statement in the original question is utter bullshit and just another example of gender specific roles we’ve saddled ourselves with as a society.

Some girls play with trucks, some boys like pink and some women dislike “relationship talk”.

Men ain’t from Mars, women ain’t from Venus, but these stupid fucking theories are from Uranus.

cookieman's avatar

@YARNLADY: Did you just have multiple Os?!?

rooeytoo's avatar

@cprevite :-) and ga

(the first one, not the oooooo’s to @YARNLADY although that is pretty funny tooooooo!)

cookieman's avatar

@rooeytoo: Thanks. This stuff drives me batty.

Recently we went shopping for Halloween costumes, which were divided into the For Boys section and the For Girls section.

So my daughter can’t dress up as a pirate or a cop if she want to?!? And they’ve never heard of a male nurse or a merman?!? WTF.

I ranted about it to the store manager while my wife and daughter pretended not to know me. :^)

rooeytoo's avatar

@cprevite – I often think fathers of girls especially should be so annoyed with all this stereotyping because girls are dissuaded from trying so many sports, hobbies, careers, etc. simply because they are girls. I am sure the same happens with boys as well but I don’t have personal experience with that. So keep on ranting, hopefully someday we will all be just people!
By the way I have a fantastic Australian Aboriginal carving of a merman, he is a handsome fishtailed bloke.

cookieman's avatar

@rooeytoo: see, something men and women both enjoy…a nice piece of tail. :^)

seazen's avatar

Agree. I’d discuss it with you further, Day, but it’s stressing me out.

deni's avatar

That sounds like something that would be occuring in an unhealthy relationship. But if you’re both happy and you know you love each other and there’s no finger pointing, there is nothing wrong with talking. I could not disagree with that more.

lapilofu's avatar

I’m usually considered a man and I think communication is the most important tool in maintaining a healthy relationship. So mark me as an outlier.

I’ve certainly heard that stereotype. I’d be interested to see good evidence for it.

(The stereotype that women talk more than men, generally, certainly turns out to be unfounded.)

Blondesjon's avatar

@CaptainHarley . . . I’ve been married for nearly 20 years and managed to not run her off yet. If it’s any consolation, she gets just as pissy as you do when I don’t sugar coat things. I understand that some folks have trouble looking at things when they aren’t coated in the bullshit we use to get through our day to day lives, but don’t expect me to buy into it.

and, for the record, i live in the country but i don’t own a horse

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CaptainHarley I was just trying to help ..and how could you possibly know that you don’t “subscribe” to something if you have no clue about it?

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