So last weekend, my Boss sent out the following mail (sort of like a weekend teaser). He’s big on learning (which is one of the reasons I respect him deeply) so this exercise was not much of a surprise to anyone at the office. The following is the mail he sent and the diverse reactions that poured in from some of my colleagues (of course I’ve made all comments anonymous). Feel free to add yours at the end. Enjoy!
I came across this phrase and I want to learn more. Please send me your individual take by COB today, noting also, that I will circulate all comments received to everyone so that others too might learn like me.
“Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”
– Oscar Wilde
Response #1 (From a Single Guy):
“Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood”.
This quote must have come from the author’s frustration with trying to understand women. However, I believe it is much more correct in a close (romantic) relationship because there’s just this way a woman in a relationship acts towards her man that she rarely does towards other men. There’s a difference.
Is it possible to understand women? Yes- as long as the understanding you have is that they may not really, r-e-a-l-l-y be completely understood. Some may argue but it is true- men are more ‘straight shooters’. It’s easier to read a man and anticipate his reactions to issues because by nature, (most) men reason with cold logic (that’s most of the time. Other times, they reason with something else…I won’t get into that today). They deal with issues (almost) on a purely rational basis. Yes, they have emotions (we all do) but it is easier for a man to dissect his emotion from his reasoning process and just make a cold, logical decision. A woman’s case is not the same. She is wired (very!) differently and being a man and also NOT an expert in female psychology, I won’t even make an attempt to explain that wiring. It is so complex that sometimes, it is downright annoying.
That’s why they are so interesting- sometimes.
Case in point: a friend recently posted this on facebook “when your girlfriend (and by extension, wife) just smiles and says ‘have fun’, you’d better abort that mission!” You need to see the comments that followed! The guys were groaning and the ladies were grinning.
Now as a man, I’m thinking to myself, “why in this world would someone say ‘have fun’ when they are actually feeling like they’re being abandoned and don’t really want you to go anywhere?” It makes ZERO sense. But if you ask a woman, she’ll explain why it makes PERFECT sense (but it wouldn’t matter because her explanation probably still won’t make sense to you as a man).
So yes, just love them as they are, but trying to understand a woman the way you would understand, say the principles of mechanics, trying to get a complete handle on her, is (almost) an exercise in frustration and proper disillusionment. There are just so many layers!
And they (women) sometimes seem to enjoy that slight ‘edginess’ of not being fully understood (some funny idea about maintaining a bit of ‘mystery’ to keep things ‘interesting’).
Women can be understood, but only AFTER you’ve made the decision to love. Because it is that love that will carry you (as a man) through the rigorous (and often exasperating) journey of trying to understand her (your woman). Waiting to understand before choosing to love will mean waiting for eternity. I think these will help:
1. Keen observation:
If you want her to verbally express EVERYTHING she’s feeling, you’d die clueless and she’d quickly develop a deep-seated resentment for your ‘insensitivity’. Most women tend to believe their man should be able to read their minds (“he should know that…”, “he is supposed to know that…”, “how can he say he didn’t know that would annoy me?”).
Yes, if you’re a man reading this, I can almost feel your frustration with that already- that’s just the way it is. NEVER depend on just words.
2. The ability to empathize
Which for a man in this case means suspending your logic a bit and REALLY placing yourself (mentally and emotionally) in her position and trying to see things through her eyes- no matter how ‘irrational’ (some would say childish) it seems. This is where many men have a big challenge. They just cannot get themselves to see the ‘sense’ behind some of her opinions/reactions.
3. TONS of patience, a strong ability to ‘absorb stuff’ and ‘let things go’ will help.
The easiest way to lose a woman is to relate with her strictly on the basis of logic.
Oscar summarized it neatly. Good job Mr. Wilde!
Response #2 (From a Married Man):
I agree with the statement totally because everything about women is always complicated. From upbringing to relationship to marriage to childbearing to choice making to dressing to emotions to ….just name it. A man can not just understand them. To get the best from them, just show love and care then you’ll be at peace in your heart and with them. A man should not bother himself about understanding them because they don’t understand themselves.
Response #3 (A Single Lady)
Here are my thoughts
I think women need to be understood and loved. Understanding makes love easier or possible.
Every woman wants her spouse to understand her. The definition of love is only complete when there’s understanding.
Response #4 (A Married Lady):
I think women ought to be loved and understood at the same time. I feel to understand a woman means one has vowed to tolerate a woman’s excesses, fluctuating emotions, insatiable desires/needs, and some unquestionable environmentally influenced characters; with the belief that you cannot change her or make her behave otherwise. To love a woman (if its unconditionally) also means you will need to understand her before you can love, so a woman should be loved and understood
Response #5 (A Single Lady):
The complexity of the average woman makes her too difficult to be understood. What works for her at a certain time may not necessarily work at another time. Women over time have proven to be very difficult to understand or predict. Therefore, despite the fact that at times, it may be difficult to fathom the reason why women act the way they act(which may sometimes sound irrational) they should still be treated with love. Women are unique, priceless creatures who deserve love and respect.
However, some women are less complex than others but whether you’re lucky enough to meet a less complex one or not. Keep trying to understand and adapt to her daily. This way you are able to love her better.
Response #6 (A Married Man)
In my own understanding and experience as a man who has lived with a woman close to three years, I will say that statement “woman are meant to be loved but not to be understood” is very correct. Women are the most dynamic creatures on earth, a nice woman today maybe the worst woman tomorrow. Women change according to situation they find themselves. Women have more than a thousand characters and they can display a new one each day. You can’t understand women. Understanding women is another journey of life itself that has no ending. Take women as each day comes, that means love them so that you can accept whatever they display to you each day.
I will not also for get to say that women are the easy going type, if only you can accept them the way they are.
Response #7 (A Married Man):
Women! Complex human being, all mystery waiting to be solved. I gave up on understanding their complex nature some while back. I take each one as they come and treat them independently. We sometimes complain about how complicated they take things, look at things, understand things but we just cannot help it, we keep loving them.
Why will a girl tell me to go and turn around and cry when I am gone? I don’t get it. If I want you to stay, I will tell you to stay but that is women. They are complex rational thinking being who do lot of reading. They don’t just read the said words, they read the action, mood, posture…. Women don’t even understand fellow women, it is…mysterious.
Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood. But wait! Maybe we were never meant to understand them; that will take the excitement out of it.
Response #8 (A Single Guy):
I think this statement is true. Unfortunately, I do not have sufficient personal experiences to back it up.
But from what i have been able to gather via discussions/interactions, I can tell that to a great extent, their personality makes them tend to place emotions ahead of reason/sound judgement.
This requires that when dealing with them, we must also act with the knowledge that their personality calls for more of understanding than criticism.
That said, I must also mention that love is generally easier to transfer when we understand the people involved. In other words, we can better love people we understand, than those we don’t.
So what do you think? Kindly share your thoughts on Oscar Wilde’s quote in the comment section (you can also ask your friends what they think about it too). Thank ya!
Coming This Weekend: “This Issue of Submission”. You don’t want to miss it!