It’s well documented that men and women communicate differently, which often leads to misunderstandings. However, among these differences a common need exists – we all desire to be heard, understood and validated, regardless of the conflicting circumstances.
This article focuses on how men can improve communication in congruence with their partner’s menstrual cycles.
Women and men don’t think the same
Unfortunately, men often view menstruation as a socially taboo topic and is often something they have little practical knowledge about, and so they can have a hard time talking about it with their partners. This ultimately leads to a lack of understanding, empathy and compassion about the subject, as it is a biological process that they are incapable of experiencing firsthand. Women in turn, are often quick to assume that men view them as incapable of rational thought due to ‘hormones’’, a stereotype perpetuated by popular media. This can make women defensive and unreceptive to discussions about their cycle at certain times.
When beliefs like these are combined with an inability or an unwillingness to deal with ongoing issues, communication breakdowns occur. Misunderstandings combined with fluctuating emotions and physical states can have a compounding effect that can be dramatic and destructive.
Are you self aware?
From a male perspective, we tend to crave sex more than women. Communication breakdowns usually happen when there is confusion about how men should respond to fluctuating moods during a woman’s cycle. Trying to change someone else’s behaviour is never a good idea, but changing your own perspective can create an environment for more effective communication.
Sometimes you need to step back and assess what is truly behind her words. Sometimes, she needs you to listen and acknowledge, rather than try and solve her problems. Sometimes, she does want you to pick up the slack, without her telling you to. Sometimes, she needs her space, and you have to know when that is.
“When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.” Stephen Covey
Is this really going to make her want more sex?
If you align your approach to a woman’s heightened skills and mindset throughout her cycle, you are not only more likely to be well received, but you will also be given surprising levels of action, commitment, problem-solving, creativity, support or understanding in response.
As men, we need constant reminders of when and how to do this, and luckily for us, there’s an app that just may help. You could start a spreadsheet of moods, or put reminders in your calendar, but there’s also an app called Good Books which sends you timely advice via push notifications based on your partner’s cycle. It also lets you know when your most potentially successful intimate times are, as well as aids in conversation tracking and communication.
No app or quick fix is going to solve all your relationship issues. For that, you need to put in the work. But having a better understanding of how a woman’s cycle can affect her likelihood of being empathic or open-minded, vulnerable or confident, energized or exhausted, introverted or gregarious, focused or overwhelmed, can make it easier to pick your best times for communication, and to tailor your own perspective to achieve a better outcome for you both.