Male-Female Communication 101

Let’s face it, there are times in all of our lives when we wonder just where our opposite-sex partner (or perhaps any partner) is coming from during a discussion … or not coming from, as the case may be. It’s part of their charm, right? Well, their mystery, anyway! A fictional scenario that fellow blogger DM at I Also Live on a Farm shared on his blog post yesterday says it all. It’s simply too good not to pass along. Let’s see if you can relate to it!


Roger and Elaine

Let’s say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine.  He asks her out to a movie.  She accepts.  They have a pretty good time.  A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves.  They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither of them is seeing anyone else.  And then, one evening when they are driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and without really thinking, she says it aloud:

“Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other exactly six months?” 

And then there is silence in the car.  To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence.  She thinks to herself; Ge’ez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that.  Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Roger is thinking:  Gosh, six months.

And Elaine is thinking:  But, hey, I’m not sure I want this kind of relationship either.  Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward….I mean, where are we going?  Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy?  Are we headed toward marriage?  Toward children?  Toward a lifetime together?  Am I ready for that level of commitment?  Do I really know this person?

And Roger is thinking:  So that means it was…let’s see…it must have been February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s which means…lemme check the odometer….Whoa!  I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Elaine is thinking: He’s upset.  I can see it on his face.  Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong.  Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed, even before I sensed it…that I was feeling some reservations…Yes, I bet that’s it.  That’s why he is so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings.  He’s afraid of being rejected.

And Roger is thinking:  And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again.  I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right.  And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time.  What cold weather?  It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Elaine is thinking:  He’s angry.  And I don’t blame him.  I’d be angry too.  I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel.  I’m just not sure.

And Roger is thinking:  They’ll probably say it’s only a 90 day warranty.  That’s exactly what they’re gonna say, the scumbags.

And Elaine is thinking:  Maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me.  A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, school girl romantic fantasy.

And Roger is thinking:  Warranty?  They want a warranty?  I’ll give them a warranty!

“Roger,” Elaine says aloud.

“What?” says Roger, startled.

“Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears.  Maybe I should never have….Oh my….I feel so…”(She breaks down, sobbing)

 “What?” says Roger

 “I’m such a fool,” Elaine sobs.  “I mean, I know there ‘s no knight.  I really know that.  It’s silly.  There’s no knight and there’s no horse.”

“There’s no horse?” says Roger

“You think I’m a fool, don’t you.”   Elaine says.

“No!” says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.

“It’s just that…It’s that I…I need some time,” Elaine says.  (There is a 15 second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response.  Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work)

“Yes,”he says.  (Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

     “Oh Roger, do you really feel that way?” she says.

      “What way?”  says Roger.

      “That way about time,” says Elaine.

“Oh,” says Roger. “Yes.”

(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse.)

At last she speaks: “Thank you, Roger.”  she says.

  “Thank you,” says Roger.

Roger then takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakian’s  he never heard of.  A tiny voice in the far recesses  of his mind tells him that something major was going on back in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.  (This is also Roger’s policy regarding world hunger.)

The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours.  In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification.  They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with Norm, a mutual friend of his and Elaine’s will pause just before serving, frown, and say; “Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?”


What do you think? Does this story ring any bells?! 🙂


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37 Responses to Male-Female Communication 101

  1. heimdalco says:

    I absolutely LOVE this post. Blogger DM seems to have hit male & female responses right on the head. I laughed out loud while shaking me head in agreement with every word. It so made me think of discussions I’ve had with my husband with him telling me what he was actually thinking, which is right on the spot with this fictional “in head” male dialogue. We … males & females … think so differently (& emotionally … or not). It’s a wonder relationships ever really get off the launch pad. But then, maybe that’s just what God intended … a pre-test of tolerance preparing us for a life as a couple.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I think it’s the familiar truth in this little story that makes it so funny. You’re right, Linda, it’s the miracle of good relationships that they blossom and endure despite their communication “challenges”!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Musings and Wonderings and commented:
    I have read similar stories in the past and for people I am sure this rings true as males and females are truly wired differently!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Margaret says:

    Who’s been standing on my shoulder observing and listening to my conversations with the male gender?!! 🙄😁
    The book ‘Men are from Mars and Women from Venus’ had an important message didn’t it?!
    Great post Jane – made me smile as well as groan 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray… that’s a book I read decades ago. This little scenario is like that, two people speaking very different languages. John Gray does a great job of explaining the dynamic. We all do way too much assuming and 99.9% of the time we get it wrong. Dead wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Victoria says:

    Oh, Jane….all the bells are ringing…I laughed the whole way through…and started thinking about a wacky conversation the hubster and I had recently as he tried to describe the location of a long-forgotten breakfast spot. No amount of ‘no, not near THOSE railroad tracks” and “yes, down the street from the old theatre” helped me follow his train of thought. In the end, once we were out of the car I said, “draw me a picture” and once I laid eyes on the “map” that had been in his head, we were back on track…but it was a laugh-til-you-cry (or sulk) moment, for sure. Thank you for sharing the story! xo! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I can’t even count all the times we have driven in silence while I anxiously try to figure out what I said that has pissed him off or hurt his feelings. And when he finally speaks it turns out that he’s just ruminating on the Canucks loss or that thing the garage door has been doing or what he wants for dinner or …..
    I laughed out loud reading this post!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Love the world hunger solution mention. 🙂 Yeah, some classic venus/mars issues here. Those silent moments when you just know whatever you’ve said hit wrong. Then again, sometimes it’s also just spouses/partners. A gay couple we often get together with I notice have that same dynamic happening. One of them said something recently and the other spouse looked at me with these pleading eyes saying, “See what I mean????!!!!” lol. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Bernie says:

    This is so funny and so relatable. The Engineer and I are on different planes about 99% of the time and yet have managed together for 4 decades + so I guess we occasionally get each other. We often joke that we operate on a need to know basis! Bernie

    Liked by 2 people

  9. dfolstad58 says:

    Bless you for this humorous share! It is right on the money. Speaking for myself I know it’s often the case my thoughts are on completely different tracks than what my wife expects. We both laugh about it.

    Liked by 2 people

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  11. Omg, I read this twice and am still cracking up. DM nailed it! I’m saving and sharing this with my male and female friends. Love this! Thank you for passing it along, Jane 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Forestwood says:

    This post is excellent and highlights the need for communication practise for us all. I was told by someone a long time ago that you should work on relationships with your significant every day. I guess those people who sync beautifully have done that? My partner is a bit like Roger.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Too funny!!! Thanks for the giggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think it would have rung a bells 40 years ago, but these days, I identify more with Roger…hmmm. I won’t say more in case I get myself in trouble. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Rose says:

    My husband and I are fortunate – we observed a lot of Roger and Elaine relationships. We decided early on that we weren’t mind-readers. If we wanted to know how the other felt, just ask. If we had something we wanted to say, just say it. Kindly and truthfully.
    This doesn’t fix the misheard comments though. Like the time I thought he was talking about the neighbor, and he thought I was talking about the newspaper… I don’t remember all our words, but we laughed pretty hard when we finally figured out our hearing was the problem. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Rose, I can’t think of a healthier ground rule for good communication than “Just say it, kindly and truthfully.” And, LOL, that’s an increasingly familiar observation about less than perfect hearing becoming an obstacle to effective communication!


  16. Ouch! You nailed every young woman who’s ever dated!!

    Liked by 1 person

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