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Men and women: Like Waffles and Spaghetti

A very popular book was released years ago that suggests that men were from Mars and women from Venus. You may remember it. It was a best seller and almost galvanised the belief that we are totally different from each other and don’t even speak the same language. Well here is another take on the man/woman relationship. The difference between men and women can be like the difference between waffles and spaghetti. When couples come in for counselling in my Brisbane office I explain their difference like this.

The reason the waffle reference is used is because men tend to compartmentalise things, events, relationships, hobbies and any number of other things that are in his life. These things can and are often unrelated and unconnected. At least from the point of view of the man. For example, it is often said that we men have a ‘nothing’ box. When you ask him, “What are you doing?” He says “Nothing”. He means it! He is doing nothing. Just chillin’ out. The nothing box fits perfectly into his waffle cone world and is not affected by any other compartment. After all, you can’t be ‘doing nothing’ and ‘something’ at the same time. Please don’t say sitting on the couch and watching TV counts as two. If he is watching TV, that box is called “Watching TV”.

The subject of intimacy and sex is often raised in couples counselling and what expectations there are around these topics. Using the waffle and spaghetti analogy we can gain a better understanding of why the different genders view them very differently. It is well known that men view and think about sex very differently from women. That is no secret. And I mention that because, no matter what might have happened in that man’s day, whether it be overloaded work schedule, bad traffic, a demanding boss or noisy kids, if the offer of sex is even remotely on the table he will more than likely say ‘yes’. Those other events are not forgotten but just compartmentalised.

Counseling Brisbane - Marriage coaching BrisbaneHowever, if his wife or partner has had a rotten day where her students played up, her mum is struggling with an illness, an unexpected bill turned up or she is feeling out of sorts, then the prospect of sex is very, very remote. Why? I am glad you asked. Well because everything is interconnected. All these things and events have an impact on the other parts.  So, the spaghetti reference is about everything being mixed in together. You cannot tell where one strand begins or ends or whether there is a thousand pieces or just one. Nothing in a woman’s world is isolated or compartmentalised, at least not like a man’s world.

Next time I will show you how to navigate this world for the benefit of both of you.