(PRWEB) August 05, 2012
A survey finds that disparities between the sexes when it comes to relational expectations might not be so wide a chasm. According to the survey, both women and men value honesty and kindness in a man over attractiveness (http://bit.ly/OOb7Xt). Dr. Bonnie says it makes sense that women would feel this way: "Women tend to be less visual, and therefore would care more about things like honesty, sense of humor, and other 'intangibles.' But it's also encouraging to hear that men recognize this."
When men and women both place the emphasis and importance on similar things in a relationship, or when looking for a partner, it means priorities are aligned and can make for a much smoother relationship. "Additionally," says Dr. Bonnie, "someone who values an honorable character over looks or material wealth will make a better long-term partner because they've likely invested in themselves by doing things like developing hobbies or building other relationships."
According to the survey, women also put more emphasis on romantic aspects of the man and the relationship as opposed to how the man is as a lover. Dr. Bonnie says she's not surprised: "Women tend to be more relational, so it is more important to them to cultivate romance. Of course they want a sexual connection and spark, but that usually comes after romance as opposed to being the catalyst for it."
Of course, the survey reflected some discrepancies between men and women as well. Men see the ideal man as being the breadwinner, and as being able to provide for his family, while that wasn't as important to women. Dr. Bonnie agrees, and believes people in relationships where the man is the bread winner ARE happier in the long run, even in this day and age. "Men expect to be relied upon," she says, "and when they don't have to be it can chip away at how they view themselves. It will bring up issues around self-image and self-esteem."
Issues around money can be crucial for sustaining a long-term relationship. Money is the number one relationship wrecker and couples need to be equipped for dealing with financial issues especially because about 22 percent of American marriages have a higher-earning wife. Dr. Bonnie talks more about this in her book, Financial Infidelity.
"It's encouraging to see that men and women are agreeing on the most important thing about a man," says Dr. Bonnie, "it's a good place to start from when building a relationship!"
For exercises to help navigate finances and relationships, check out Dr. Bonnie's books Financial Infidelity and Make Up Don't Break Up. Or click here to see her talking more about how to keep the lines of communication open: http://youtu.be/9oP9R_LvStc