Women’s brains connect everything to everything—and we can’t help but throw emotions into the mix at all times too.
In her book, What Women want Men to Know, Barbara DeAngelis, Ph.D. talks about an analogy that she uses to educate couples about how men and women function in relationships.
She pretty much sums up the difference between men’s and women’s brains and how they function, although that is not specifically how she presents it.
“Imagine a man’s consciousness and a woman’s consciousness are like houses, with different rooms for the different areas our mind focuses on in our life—a “work” room; a “body” room; a “recreation” room; etc. For most women, every room in the house of her consciousness is also a Love Room, even when it is dedicated to other functions. It’s as if all the space in the house of her consciousness is used for love. It’s a Love House!
“For men, however, there is only one Love Room in the house of their mind. Therefore, if the man wants to put his focus on love and the relationship, he consciously has to leave the other rooms and go to the Love Room.”
She says women put love first—not by choice; it just happens. Even though she doesn’t say it directly, she is referring to the way a woman’s brain functions vs. the way a man’s brain functions.
Mark Gungor goes further, explaining the differences between the physiology of men’s and women’s brains. He explains that women, if we borrow Barbara’s analogy, wouldn’t even have rooms in their mind house. It would be one big open floor plan of a house, where the entire thing is permeated by love and emotions.
Women’s brains connect everything to everything—and we can’t help but throw emotions into the mix at all times too—explaining why we women can remember everything (it’s the emotional charge on a memory that makes that memory stand out among others).
This is also why when one thing in our life isn’t going well or is bothering us, our whole world is affected by it. We cannot keep it separate from everything else in our lives.
While men, on the other proverbial hand, have brains that separate everything into boxes/rooms. And, he points out with much humor, none of the boxes are allowed to touch each other—meaning a man has the luxury of being able to concentrate on only one thing at a time.
Barbara goes on to explain the challenges this can present between men and women when she talks about women (who are essentially always in their love room) lovingly and romantically approaching their man, only to find that he is not, at that moment, in his love room.
He can react, therefore, to the woman’s approach, with confusion, irritation, anger, by seeming to pull away, etc.
This is usually when the woman will get hurt. We feel him not acknowledging, and pulling away from, our attempt at love/romance. We feel and see his reaction to our extension of love, and we take it personally.
In a reactive state to his pulling away, we pull away from our man, which he, in turn, does not understand, because in his own way of thinking, he didn’t consciously pull away from us. In this way, a barrier has been created between us and our man.
A very common, vicious cycle gets put into motion that neither really understands and that we usually don’t even know how to begin to talk about to gain clarity, because most folks, unfortunately, don’t know the differences in men’s and women’s brains and how they function.
Barbara coaches couples, at that point, to realize that the man is not in his love room, to acknowledge it out loud, and move on.
And while I can agree with her analysis and explanation, I think there’s more to be done with this knowledge other than just waiting until he gets into his love room.
In fact, I think it is our job, as women, functioning from a feminine perspective, to lovingly lead him—and at the appropriate time—a` la David Deida, into his love box/room.
First of all, ladies, do not take your man’s reaction personally. And even as I say that, if you are in your feminine energy at that time, I know you probably will—because you are a woman and any time your man pulls away or seems distant, you will react with pain and be hurt. That is just what the feminine does.
” A man’s safety is in production. A woman’s safety is in connection.”
Feminine energy is about love and connection. When we feel our man’s attention shift away from us—when he suddenly leaves his love box/room and enters another one, we feel it. It may hurt.
“If you’re with a woman and you suddenly turn away and begin to work, she feels it in her body. She feels your attention moving away from her. She feels hurt.”
~ David Deida
This is just the dynamics of the feminine/masculine interplay. So as I say “don’t take it personally,” what I really mean is educate yourself as to what may happen when you approach him with love and he is not in his love box/room and know that you may feel hurt when he turns away from you or seems to “ignore” you.
The remedy? Education. Educate your man as to what is going on in this type of exchange. And then educate yourself.
Know the way a man’s brain works, be ready with that knowledge and also be armed with what to say and do to avoid the, above, vicious cycle.
Does this mean you will never take it personally and it will never hurt? No. Sometimes I feel I fail miserably at this—mostly because of it’s newness to me. I usually don’t feel brave enough to do this as fully and confidently as I would like. But I keep trying and hope to one day master it.
He is not necessarily pushing you, your love and romance away from him. He is, rather, so focused on whatever box/room he is in at that time in his mind (remember, men’s brains focus on one thing at a time), that when you touch him or talk to him, he has to come from far away to find you.
He has to close that box in his mind in which he is currently. He has to make himself look at you and then listen to you and probably needs your comment/question repeated, because he was closing the former box while you were speaking.
Then he has to find the box you are trying to get him in and open it and get in that box in his mind.
All of that takes time. All of that takes his focus. And you can imagine how distracting and annoying that would be to him—especially when he’s working and in focused, driven, production mode (which is so very important to the masculine).
It’s no wonder he’s annoyed and angry when we interrupt him.
Some Differences between Masculine and Feminine Energy
What Mark and Barbara don’t talk about is what David Deida and Rachel Jayne Groover do talk about. They write about masculine and feminine gifts that we give each other—both consciously and not.
Masculine energy is focused and driven; it can be restless even, because it wants to be doing something, making things happen, driving toward a goal. Masculine energy is mostly in the head and unemotional; it is mostly predictable and straightforward.
Feminine energy is soft and emotional, allowing, flowing and flexible—full of the senses and the body. It is unpredictable, wild and anything but straightforward. Feminine energy is about creating, maintaining and improving connections and relationships.
Everyone has both energies inside him or her. And the gender of the physical body really does not dictate which energy is dominant in that body. Some folks walk around in a feminine body and operate most of the time from their masculine energy and vice versa. Some readily switch back and forth throughout the day and their lives, depending.
Each needs the other. Just like the yin-yang relationship, one cannot exist without the other. Neither is better or worse than the other. They just both exist.
The feminine needs the groundedness and stability of the masculine, and the masculine needs the flow, emotions and flexibility of the feminine.
The most important thing to remember about them is this: They will always polarize each other. Wherever you are on the spectrum from masculine to feminine, you will always attract the polar opposite.
There are reasons the Masculine and Feminine are constantly balancing, gifting and polarizing each other. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract.
So we could effectively drop gender at this point and just begin talking about masculine and feminine energy, because no matter the body, the rules apply to the energy.
Giving the Gift of Feminine Energy
The exchange of gifts of energy happens automatically on a subconscious level, but it is also important to realize the importance of a conscious, chosen exchange.
Without feminine energy to occasionally extend the invitation back into love, bring him back down into his heart and belly, masculine energy will take over and become obsessive and too focused and driven.
He will become stiff, automated and will always be operating from a mind/head/thoughts perspective.
Without masculine energy to occasionally extend the invitation back to Earth, and bring her back up into her head, feminine energy will take over and become too “out there” and flaky, and she will be too unfocused and be unable to complete tasks and get the business of life completed.
She will become too wishy-washy, unable to make decisions and have difficulty in this very masculine-based world.
Look for the next post where we will explore some tried and true, specific methods for inviting him back into love with your femininity, as well as other details.
Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.
Also published at elephant journal.