Having lived with my now husband for five years this year, I think I have had a decent amount of exposure to the complex inner-workings of boy brains. Each one unique and a mystery though they are, we as women can only begin to fathom understanding the tip of this iceberg…
This is not the first post where I have made comment that women and men have very different brains. In my relationship post, I touched on using the book ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’ to help better communicate and understand one and other. Though the book has helped us personally (we’ve used the feeling letter on multiple occasions), there will always be instances where you and your partner might not be on the same page. Depending on your personality types as well and whether you are a feeler or a thinker, your brain might have different ideas compared to your partner’s brain. Sometimes on the same subject, the rational or logical thinker has one idea and the feeler or emotional thinker has another.
Personally, I think that spending time with your partner in all kinds of situations and settings is incredibly key to getting to know how they think and process information, and also to understanding your partner’s priorities and filters. I’ve come to find that ideas in our household tend to snowball on the prior ideas (simple example: we’re going out for the afternoon, but only for 3 hours because I have to process some photos – we’ll stop at Home Depot, which is close to Wal-Mart where we can get groceries, which is near the dollar store where we need a few office supplies, then we’ll head home…), but that at some point on the way down the hill, one person’s snowball veers off the hill (…and lastly we’ll eat out at Mongolian Grill in another city because he’s hungry, now – all other plans are no longer valid). Sometimes it’s a time management problem where one person does not realize how long tasks are expected to take (like going up and down the aisles at Costco for him or taking the time to actually ‘look around’ at Value Village for me). And sometimes it’s just a whole different brain wave or an instance where one person has filters in place and the other has none (like when he thinks a kid tripping and eating it is hilarious, where as I feel concerned for child’s safety and would make sure s/he is alright).
Being with Dan for nearly 8 years, I’ve come to understand that these are his top three priorities: 1) video games 2) food 3) hot girls. Top three things I prioritize: 1) food 2) sleep 3) social contact. We have one of three in common, which is a basic necessity of survival. If your priorities rarely match, odds are you are going to have different tasks, needs and ideas on your brain, which is again why some couples struggle to connect. For example, I try to share photos on Instagram and also look at others photographers accounts, which I prioritize to do at least once daily. He feels this time could be better spent playing video games or snuggling with him rather than sharing and scrolling (valid point, but again, priorities are clearly different). Where possible, we try to compromise and explain our priorities and needs to each other. He also notices physical attributes of girls much more often than I do (while I might notice her hair, he notices different things…). Though we have a better understanding by communicating and finding connections via compromises, sometimes we still disagree on importance (like how I feel wrapping a gift and the experience of opening it matter, compared to handing someone the gift as purchased – it’s just not the same).
Understanding boy brains is ever-changing and evolving – an inexplicable feat that I fear women will never be able to articulate or fully comprehend.
I’m working my way through life in Canada and traveling when I can afford to explore beyond the border. Sharing my tips, trips, opinions and rants on life and travel in the meantime.