All men are fixer-uppers. They are a combination of what they learned from their mother and all of the women who have come before you. The learning curve for men and women is entirely different. For women, it’s an actual curve. For men, it's more of a straight line with a slight rise at the end of it. Usually, it's at the end of a relationship right around the time you say “I’m done.” The time when he says, “I’m so sorry, I messed up. Can we get back together?”, you say, “I’m done.” He asks ”Why?” and you say, ”You don’t have the feeling anymore.” Or, as my wife says, “You killed my feeling.” Men are slow learners.
Do you do any kind of partner-dancing—ballroom, tango, salsa? I met my wife dancing salsa. Partner-dancing is a great example of the learning curve between men and women. When a woman first starts learning, she catches on quickly. If she’s with a really good leader, he can make her look really great quite easily.
For men, it’s entirely different. When a man starts learning, it’s painful. Perhaps it's because we are left-brained and can do only one thing at a time. It’s equally painful for women to watch. If he dances with a good female follower, she’s no help. In fact, if she’s not patient, she will look at him like he's an idiot. However, if a man persists, after a while he’ll have a growth spurt. After being terrible for months, he’ll suddenly be a good leader. As men, we remember the women who were patient with us and the ones who weren’t. It’s the same when it comes to relationships.
I ask women how they’re doing in their dating life and they say, "I'm okay, but the guy I was dating asked me what I think and then told me how he feels without considering my words. I’m not dating him anymore.” I suggest to them that they need to be more patient; that the learning curve is much different for men. I also say that it’s a tremendous gift when anyone is willing to be intimate with us for any length of time. And, it’s an honor when people are willing to duke it out with us. In essence, for emphasis, be patient. All men are fixer-uppers.
P.S. Consider coaching as a great way to understand men and ask your questions.
More couples counselor advice from YourTango:
This article was originally published at
. Reprinted with permission from the author.