STUDY: Why Men Are Usually More Distant Than Women in Relationships

Have you often wondered why men and women tend to approach relationships differently? In all honesty, I can’t tell you how many times my girlfriends have approached me with their stories featuring their husband or boyfriend as a “distant” figure that doesn’t “get it.”

Usually, my friends have an example of the oh so perfect man. “Steve is the perfect husband. Kelly is so lucky,” a friend recently proclaimed in response to her frustrations with her own husband.

I asked her what qualities he possesses that she likes. She outlined the following traits:

- He is romantic and always planning amazing date nights.
- He listens to Kelly and provides unwavering support.
- He helps with the kids.
- He enjoys cooking and helping around the house.
- He’s not always trying to escape with his friends, but loves to spend time with Kelly.

According to a recent study at the University of Oxford, “Steves” exist but they are largely the exception to the rule.

Out of 341 people studied in-depth, it was discovered that:

1. Women tend to look at relationships as a “team sport” that requires equal input by both partners, whereas the majority of men value their individuality to a greater degree.

2. Men are more likely to place their romantic relationships on equal (but different) footing with their closest friendships.

3. Men don’t usually bind their happiness and contentment with their relationships. On the other hand, women place a much greater importance on both their romantic relationships and close friendships for their happiness.

4. Women indicated they prefer cooperation to competition with their best friends, and usually place their romantic partner on a pedestal.

5. Both sexes reported “romantic extremes” with their romantic partners, which are often buffered by a best friend.

“Our research shows that successful relationships are much more essential to a women’s well-being than men’s. Men seem to keep their relationships at arm’s length,” shared Dr. Anna Machin of Oxford.

While men and women differ in their approach to relationships, both sexes did define their relationship as their ultimate source of “comfort, stability, and understanding.”

With this knowledge, the best advice one can provide frustrated women (like my friend mentioned above) is to try not to take your differing needs personally. Rather, it will probably be more rewarding to seek more than a romantic relationship to provide your sense of worth — such as passions, hobbies, causes, and groups of friends.

Not only will this make you more interesting to your partner, it will lighten the mood and offer a new and exciting dynamic to your relationship.

Finally, it should be mentioned that there are men out there seeking an equal partnership. If you notice that your boyfriend is distant, you may think twice about walking down the aisle if you seek a closer relationship. Waiting for “Mr. Right for You” may be the best proposition.

And if you are a man seeking high levels of freedom, amazingly enough, there are probably women out there that will fit the bill. Find the partner who will understand your nature and give you wings with which you can fly!

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