I have been asked the question, “Why do I have to do the work to understand men? Why don’t they learn to understand me?” I see you, and I get it. There was a time I would have asked the same thing.

Most, if not all of us, are never taught how to be in a relationship. We navigated our high school and college years using the ‘trial and error’ method coupled with friends or advice columns providing an opinion. Those early experiences often ended in heartache and unhealed emotions that were carried into the next relationship. Each experience ‘teaching’ us along the way as we have begun to build an invisible brick wall to protect our hearts.

We are influenced by what we read, see, and the conversations we engage in. Media is saturated with memes and statements that revolve around ‘He should.’ ‘He should’ be the one to apologize, ‘He should’ treat you like a queen, ‘He should’ want to marry you! Here’s the thing…if he’s supposed to treat you like a queen, shouldn’t you treat him like a king? If he’s supposed to apologize, shouldn’t you learn to do the same? And if you are ready for marriage, shouldn’t you be considerate of his needs if he’s not? It takes two. Just like a dance, both parties need to be willing to glide across the dancefloor of life in unison. It takes men willing to learn and support women as well as women learning and supporting men. Somewhere along the way, most of us missed the memo that learning to understand men will support lasting and fulfilling relationships. Instead, we’ve spent our lives blindly swimming through muddy waters in an attempt to find our Atlantis, oblivious how to navigate our way successfully.

Exhausted mom

Most women expend their energy to suit others’ needs. This expenditure can lead to feeling alone, unappreciated, and unheard because the energy tanks are depleted. Our minds are consumed with how we wish you could do more. It’s the ‘I should’ space that consumes valuable real estate within our emotional health. ‘I should’ be a better mom, friend, career woman, or ‘I should’ drink more water, exercise, cook, or clean to meet the expectations I put upon myself. When approached with how you can support men, you feel it’s another thing on your awareness list that you can’t afford.

By living in a depleted state, you are unknowingly operating out of instinct, which can equate to being emotionally impulsive. You become reactive to the behaviours and choices of those around you, most predominately your partner. It’s easiest to either take it out on him or be frustrated with his behavioural choices because ‘He should know better.’

Ladies, simply put, we treat men as though they’re a hairy woman. We expect them to think and act like a woman because, as stated, ‘He should know better.’ If they knew better, they wouldn’t do all those little and big things that annoy you, right?

Every journey begins with a single step. When we consciously take a step towards understanding another human through the willingness to see it from their experience and perspective, we are choosing partnership, and in essence, to be their dance partner. By approaching another with curiosity, you’re operating out of conscious awareness instead of instinct. You can be present without an emotional reaction to the situation as your heart space is open. When we take this step towards the men in our lives and approach them with the assumption of, “There must be a good reason for that,” we can release the emotional burden often weighing us down that manifests unmet needs, resentments, miscommunication, and misunderstanding.

Take that first step today. Learn the building blocks of understanding men to help you find your Atlantis and begin to be the dance partner he’s been waiting for.