Guest column: His brain, her brain — never the twain shall meet

by Dating Goddess on January 31, 2008

While I’m traveling this month, some of my dating/relationship blogger pals have agreed to step in. Today our guest blogger is the author of the syndicated “Male Call, Advice From a Guy” column — and my pal.

Anonymous: I’m not sure there’s an answer to this, but why do guys always try to be so logical? I get frustrated with my husband sometimes because he can’t seem to just enjoy an experience, he has to try to explain or dissect it. What’s with that?!

Male callMale Call: The obvious answer is, ”Well, Sweetie, that’s just the way most guys are.” Aaaaannnnd . . . we’re done.

But a succinct and logical answer such as that would likely result in a torrent of response about how men and women are more alike than not, and how sexist we are for being such big meanies.But now science says we’re right! (We’re glad someone took those AP classes in high school.)

Turns out Marin County self-help-book regurgitator John Gray (he’s the one from Mars) was right, too — men and women really do see and feel things differently.

But while Gray’s thesis was based on his experience with a failed marriage and, at this writing, a successful one, rather than empirical data, this new info was cobbled together by real scientists. At least according to the NBC Nightly News.

Don’t laugh! We know no one watches the news at dinnertime any more. But seriously, it’s not that bad! And to think we almost missed it! We were cooking (heating?) dinner, and “Jeopardy” wouldn’t be on for another hour or so, and it’s that melancholy time of year when “Monday Night Football” has come to an end.

And suddenly, there was Brian Williams talking about how men’s and women’s brains are physically different. They had TV brain graphics and everything!

The research shows (said the reporter, whose name we didn’t catch because our boil-in-a-bag entree was, well, boiling) that certain emotionally rich experiences are stored in two different areas of a man’s brain — the emotional part and the practical part — but in a woman, they’re all mixed up together in one brain location. So men have the innate ability to separate the fluff, er, emotion, from the facts.

Cazart! That explains so much, yes? Why, for instance, a woman’s response to the climactic scene in “You’ve Got Mail” — in which Tom Hanks reveals himself to be the duplicitous, conniving robber baron who simultaneously drove Meg Ryan out of business and charmed her anonymously via e-mail — is one of tearful joy, and a man’s is “Wait, but it’s OK that he lied to her all that time!? Good to know.”

Or why a woman thinks it’s such a big deal when her boyfriend has a little fling, when, for him, it’s nothing personal, just … recreational. At least we think that’s what the NBC report was getting at. We’d switched to ‘”WWE Smackdown” before the end of the piece.

So please, Anon, just remember that you can never really know what’s in a man’s head. No wait, isn’t that from “Titanic’”? And come to think of it, maybe it’s a woman’s heart.

Oh, never mind. Dinner’s ready.

Got a topic on dating after 40 you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to Goddess@DatingGoddess.com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcus February 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Ha ha, pretty funny. All you have to do is pay attention to how men and women react to different things and you know this is all true.

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