We’ve recently noticed that while women make it a priority to get together every so often for wine and pedicures and a major chat-fest, the men don’t.
Perhaps it’s simply that guys feel it would ruin their rugged reputation if they called the gents together for Spa Night, but we’re pretty sure that’s not the only reason.
Comedian Brian Regan does this fantastic sketch about how a man can go out golfing with his best friend and not know anything about his dating life. He jokes about how his wife thinks there’s something wrong with him for not knowing how his friend Gary is coping with his divorce after having spent several hours in a golf cart with him. And in the movie “I Love You, Man” with Paul Rudd and Jason Segal, we see the guys get together for poker night. Paul Rudd’s character attempts to start a bonding conversation about favorite bands and is quickly shut down.
Both of these examples illustrate the most important thing women need to know about a heterosexual male-male relationship: for men to bond, they don’t need to talk; they simply need to spend time together.
HOLD ON, JUST ONE MINUTE! I sat next to my husband on our couch and watched TV every night this week and he didn’t say one word to me during the show, but then he wants to cuddle when we crawl into bed. Are you telling me that he thinks we bonded while just sitting in silence? We didn’t talk at all! How did we build a connection?
That’s the difference between female bonding/communication and male bonding/communication. For women to develop a relationship with another person, it’s usually founded on eye contact, similarities, and talking. Ladies, think about it this way. If you go for a walk with your girlfriend, you will gab about your day at work and your husband and the kids until magically, you’ve walked five miles. When men go to work out with their best friend, they could easily run in silence and enjoy the activity just as much as you enjoyed your walk and talk.
Similarly, on a girls’ night, you and the ladies will share stories and laugh, and the bonding ritual will be founded on the conversation that transpired. The activity planned for the night will have taken the backseat to whatever you ended up talking about. However, for men to gather, the activity is the central thing. Conversation will only interrupt the activity. Have you noticed that when your man has the boys over for the big game, they all seem glued to the set? They are all hardwired to focus on this shared activity. If one man started a conversation, he would be excluded just as a woman who is too focused on the activity instead of the conversation would be excluded during a girls’ night.
So, why do women need a girls’ night while men can happily crash on the couch night after night? It goes back to that communication deal. Women sit next to that silent man each night and feel unfulfilled in the silence. They need to talk about things to feel that emotional connection. Many men, however, feel that sitting together is a shared activity that counts toward bonding. So, if you share a long night of sitting in the dark watching re-runs of Three’s Company and he suddenly gets all cuddly come bedtime, don’t be too surprised.
You just spent the whole night bonding!