~ By Dixie Andelin Forsyth
When Bob and I were dating, I was ready to say “yes” to getting married before he was ready to ask. The reason, (I found out later) wasn’t because he wasn’t in love with me. It was because he was concerned with how he would even buy me a ring, let alone financially take on the responsibilities of a wife and possibly a family. He was a student with most of his education ahead of him. For years I thought I knew I wanted to marry him sooner than he did me. It wasn’t true at all. Bob was compartmentalizing it while I didn’t much care about how we would afford to be married. Once he figured it out (He decided to trust God and go ahead) he proposed right away. Was he unromantic? Not at all. We focus differently.
Want to know how men approach romance? I’ll get to that in a second. For me, it’s all about my feelings—I don’t feel I can even live without him. I think of him and his arms around me constantly and how that feels. For him, it’s more about a particular focus. Men are extremely emotional and if they let their feelings take over, it makes them feel more vulnerable so they compartmentalize. They look at most things as a task rather than as a relationship, not because they don’t feel deeply about the woman they love, but to feel some sense of control. That doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t important. It’s incredibly important.
Being compartmentalized makes you less aware of all the elements of a relationship at any given time. Men can be very romantic—but there is a goal involved with it. What’s the goal? It could be a lot of things but there is so much going on around you, so many things to focus on, men use a sort of “mental eraser” to block out everything around them that doesn’t apply at the moment. Men have to be relaxed enough to allow feelings and emotion (their heart) to come to the forefront. This is because, by definition, if you’re task oriented, like men tend to be, you must block out any overload of emotion because it will distract you from reaching a goal.
Women are more in touch with their heart and emotions all at the same time. We are better at multitasking. Our lesser ability to compartmentalize works to our advantage when it comes to doing several things at once. We can be aware of our feelings about the one we love, while also working or driving or whatever. But it can be a disadvantage too—we can focus all the time on our romance and analyze every single detail wondering what the significance of each element is.
As you understand the differences between how you view romance and how he does, it helps you be less likely to over analyze and more likely to be sympathetic with the way he does things, which will tend to deepen your relationship even more.
(There’s more about this subject in the new book coming out soon, “Fascinating Womanhood for the Timeless Woman)