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Relationship Advice for Those Who Think All Men or Women Are the Same

Aug 5, 2008
If you are like many women who seem to experience the same problems with men from relationship to relationship, you are probably wondering if all men are the same. You have probably heard many times that "all men want the same thing." Some women even come to detest men because of their experiences. Many men think the same about women.

But, if all men really want the same thing, then how do we account for successful relationships? Are they because the women in those relationships are less concerned with men's behavior and so put up with more? Actually, quite the opposite. The women in those relationships have a high self-regard and would not allow their partner to mistreat them.

In fact, all men and women need the same things. We have survival needs such as those for air, shelter, water, food, etc. We also have emotional needs such as to love, feel loved, feel important, feel secure, and to feel like we belong. And sexual desire is not unique to men.

Some men have learned to get these needs met by being subservient, some by being dominant and some by being jerks Each of these kinds of behaviors attracts a different kind of woman. The reason for this is that some women have also learned to get their needs met by being subservient, dominant, outrageous, etc. Why else do you think they would behave this way?

What kind of man do you think a passive woman is attracted to--a domineering man, of course. Not because she likes his arrogant and controlling behavior, but because she knows how to be a partner for such a man. She knows how to get what she needs from such a man, even if at the same time she hates her relationship. She cannot stand him, but she will never leave him.

When these matched relationships do break up, both the man and woman find new partners who similarly match and thus repeat the same patterns in the new relationship. Having the same experience with men and women relationship after relationship, they conclude that all men and all women are the same.

These people think that their only hope lies in finding a man or woman who is exceptional and rare. They see good men or women as 1 in 1000. All the while, they are surrounded by men and women who are quite different from their usual partners. But, their attraction for these people is just not there. Equally, these people are not attracted to them. A man who is not domineering will have little interest in a passive woman.

For single people, the answer does not lie in finding a "rare" 1 in 1000 man or woman. For women, the answer lies in learning to become more like the women who have healthy relationships. They will then be attracted to healthy men and repelled by the unhealthy ones--a reversal of their usual trend. The healthy men will also be attracted to them. What seemed to be rare before will become abundant for the woman who has learned to live in a better way. The same answer is true for single men.

For people who are already in a relationship that they hate, the answer is neither to breakup nor to put up with the relationship. Breakup would just lead to continuing the same pattern with yet another person. Putting up with the relationship will just keep you miserable. Just as for single men and women, working with someone like a relationship coach will help you to change your way of relating to your partner. Your partner's bad ways of getting what he or she wants will no longer work, but they will still be able to get what they need by adjusting to your new behavior. You change, they change, and the relationship changes. In this way one person changing his or herself really can change his or her relationship for the good and break out of a negative pattern and into a positive one.
About the Author
Jack Ito PhD is a licensed psychologist and relationship coach. For 14 years he has helped more than 1000 men and women to have better relationships.
Get your relationship unstuck with the Relationship Coach newsletter and a Free Relationship Planning Guide. Visit the Relationship Coach Blog for daily relationship advice.
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