Sexpert Julie: Understanding Why Men and Women Bond Differently
What turns him on and makes him feel closer to you is way different than what works for you. Sexpert Julie explains why that is and how to meet halfway.
-Julie Elledge, Ph.D.
Tis the season for summer blockbusters, and your anticipated choice for your next romantic date with your man would obviously be Crazy Stupid Love, starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Steve Carrell. To your astonishment, your date has bought tickets for Cowboys & Aliens. Your man is excited about Cowboys & Aliens star Olivia Wilde who is rated number one in Maxim magazine’s “Hot 100” list of 2009. While you may like Daniel Craig’s washboard abs as much as the next girl, and you would enjoy this movie under different circumstances, it does not fit your idea of a romantic movie with your man followed by a candlelight dinner and then home for some sexual bonding. Of course, your man is completely baffled by your annoyance.
It seems counterintuitive that men and women would have different bonding strategies. After all, shouldn’t it all work together? It would be convenient if what turns him on gets your motor running too. That would be ideal, but the amazing human mind has developed two different paths for the genders. The ability to close the gap between the sexes so that couples can bond together can be managed.
It all began way back when humans evolved. Who survived had a lot to do with how we bond and learn to work together. While humans are smart, their bodies are weak in the animal kingdom. Those who were able to build trust in each other and work collaboratively were more likely to live to see the next day. Men who worked closely together hunting had to keep their eyes on their prey, whereas women who were responsible for caring for the next generation developed a different bonding scenario — holding their babies, looking into their eyes and responding to their needs (Fisher, 2009).
So, how does evolution affect how men and women bond today? Men bond with other men by playing sports or doing things together, while women are more likely to get together to talk over coffee. That doesn’t mean that men can’t talk over coffee and women don’t enjoy sports. Its just a bonding preference that culture and evolution has shaped for centuries.