Dr. John Gottman says that couples -most of the time- fight about nothing. I’m not talking real things that a couple would argue about, I’m talking day to day stuff…like you get home from a great day at work but your boyfriend didn’t have the best day so when you go to greet him his tepid response upsets you, because most likely you think it’s about you, most of us do this, if he/she is upset it’s about “me” as if we don’t have feelings about anything else?
It’s easy to forget that men and women are biologically different. Gottman uses an example of a couple being woken up in the middle of the night when a car backfires. If you put the women in a room in silence she’ll feel better in 20 minutes, due to the man’s adrenaline it takes him 4-6 hours to calm down. That’s probably a good explanation as to why most men walk away from fights.
I read Gottman’s book “The Seven Essentials to Making a Marriage Work” and I was shocked at my lack of emotional intelligence in my relationship. If he was mad it was about me, if I wasn’t greeted excitedly or warmly he was mad at me, everything was about me. He also lacked emotional intelligence too as he felt the same way most of the time….not uncommon, most people do until they learn or they’re the exception.
How did it get like this? When did we go from being in love and developing healthy relationships to treating each other badly, forgetting this simple reminder: It’s me and you vs. the problem, not me vs. you. Powerful right. We get mad at each other about stupid things and we fight about that stupid thing, you know why? Because we’re selfish, we make it about ourselves rather then taking it for what it is, you’ll find it’s usually nothing. I read somewhere that love is what happens when you take the selfishness out.
I remember some time ago I had a fight with a guy I was seeing and he said he didn’t want to talk for a couple weeks. When I hung up and thought about it I realized if that’s what he needs that’s what he needs, I have to respect his boundaries and feelings rather then being hurt and hurting him back because he hurt me and how dare he hurt me. That was a huge revelation and it took a long time to figure that out, respecting how he feels rather then manipulate him to get what I want.
As a Matchmaker it’s obviously constantly about love and relationships and giving guidance. We need, want love…but interestingly enough, most people won’t do the work to learn how to be in that loving, healthy relationship. I think it’s the most important thing to do, because it’s more then emotional intelligence, it’s about understanding how different men and women are and embracing that instead of generalizing men and generalizing women as difficult or crazy. What’s crazy is we are biologically different and we don’t understand what that means….some people do, a lot of people do but a lot of people don’t.
Or maybe being at peace within ourselves is too difficult so we need that validation, but being validated is just a bandaid, unless it comes from within, it goes away. Maybe we’re afraid to ask for love so we start arguments to get attention because we can’t simply say I need love because maybe we don’t know that’s the root of the problem (for some). So maybe take some time to search within and get honest with yourself and you’ll find the answers, learn how to let go and understand how important it is to be good to one another.