One of the benefits of working in the frenetic world of PR is the people you get to meet. My favourites are the ones who aren’t known for the sake of it, but are renowned for a talent, idea or opinion that really warrants the attention.
Dr. John Gray is definitely on this list. The author of the iconic book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was out here to mark the DVD launch of the movie “How do you know” and he’s up there in terms of talent. He had a natural fit with the campaign, media love him and he’s so damn interesting and brilliant at what he does.
And so it came to pass that Dr John had a spare 30 minutes in between interviews and the guys on the team offered this time to me. Oh yeah… So I went in with two colleagues and a list of questions from the office and Dr John answered them so eloquently, even though he was trying to wolf down a burger at the same time. This is our account of that conversation, triple checked with those involved for accuracy and kicking off straight after initial pleasantries…
Q: We must admit we’ve had long debates in the office around your theories, especially the one that women should never chase. It’s a lovely idea, but what do you if a man doesn’t do anything?
JG: I should clarify, I don’t think women should never chase, they just shouldn’t chase in the way that they want to be chased. Men need a sense of achievement and accomplishment and they bond with you when they get this. It won’t happen if they haven’t worked for it. This is happening to the women I speak to all over the US – from New York to LA to San Francisco.
US: Oh. If we can interrupt, we have a theory on why this is happening if you don’t mind us sharing it… and it’s because we have an insane man drought here.
JG: Absolutely. This is happening in most major cities now. There are far more eligible women than men out there so the women are hunting. Men don’t have to do anything. They’re like the son of a rich man who’s never needed to work, but it means they don’t know what to do. They’ve lost their confidence. And it’s easy to go out there and get laid, but when I speak to women about it, they say they’re doing it because they think it’s what a man wants. They’ve stopped picking or choosing a man. And although guys like getting laid, they want a good relationship too.
Q: So does this mean the old game of ‘playing hard to get’ works?
JG: No. It’s not about games, but about authentic experiences. The feminine spirit is a nurturing one. Sure, women can go out there and want to get laid, but it’s not the feminine spirit to do so.
Q: So talking about this lack of confidence or knowing what to do, what do you do if you’re also ambitious? Does this just make it worse? Should you just not talk about it even though it doesn’t seem very authentic?
JG: Men like having a job or a role in a relationship. If you’re happy then we like to think we’ve got a lot to do with that happiness and can make you even happier. If you’re always unhappy then we’ll just see that as drama. It’s why the grandmothers of yesteryear would advise women not to trouble a man with everything on your mind. What you need to do is get men to do little jobs for you, and the way you go about this is really important. Don’t make the job so big that he thinks “Jeez, how on earth am I going to do this?” And don’t ask can or could you do this. Ask would you. There’s a big difference. And make sure you look away while you’re doing it, point or look somewhere else. Don’t focus on him while you’re asking. I know this seems small and trivial, but believe me, it really makes a difference. A man wants to feel like he’s making a difference to your life and that he has a role and a woman must be open to letting a man do something for her.
Q: OK. What do you do if you’re always going for the wrong guy though – you know, the musician or the traveller or creative? A friend of mine took her mother’s advice and went for a different kind of guy. He was so lovely and nice and they were the best of friends but after two years she didn’t want to shag him anymore. He wasn’t the rollercoaster she typically went for and she got bored and it really concerns her.
JG: Oh the highs of the rollercoaster and drama can definitely be addictive. It can feel wonderful as it releases all of these chemicals in your brain and if you experience this over and over again then normal life starts doesn’t seem to cut it.
US: You make it sound like a drug addiction!
JG: Yes, it can be quite similar.
It sounds like the woman you speak of is going in the right direction though. Do you know if he really did it for her in the bedroom?
US: Um. Not sure. We do know that he’s kinda the same height as her.
JG: Oh that’s not going to work. A man needs to be taller than the woman he’s with. I’m not a very tall man but am a whole head taller than my wife.
US: Ok… Many of our friends have lost hope when it comes to relationships. Some of them are down-trodden, broken-hearted and are tired of the endless accounts of commitment phobes, liars and cheaters. What would you say to them?
JG: I would tell them to go on a series of positive dates. In sales they have a “yes set” technique, which doesn’t sound very romantic, but applies here. Instead of going out there and looking for a partner, if you go on a series of positive dates as it will open you to the idea of good things happening.
Think of when you’re buying a house. You instantly go out there and try and look for all of its faults. Does it have termites? What’s the plumbing like? What’s the location like? Is it worth the money? If you were to visit the same house without the intention of buying it, you’d have a much different experience. It’s the same thing here. Don’t look to go out and get married, just go out and have a series of good dates.
Also, don’t have sex straight away. Ladies, if he asks why, you can say that you want to have sex with him. Guys won’t care as much if you want to have sex with them, they want you to want to have sex with them. Tell them you’ve done that before and it’s never worked out. And give him the opportunity to do things for you.
What I’ve noticed since writing Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus 20 years ago, is that there’s a lot more stress on a relationship now. And research shows that women typically don’t respond to stress the same way that men do. Most women end up do more and more and men want to do nothing, which causes even more stress as the women are wondering why her man isn’t doing anything and the man is wondering why she’s going crazy.
Try and not put any more stress on the relationship and don’t look to each other to fulfil every need. Keeping count won’t help so it’s good to do things that will make you happy and then you’ll have more to give to your partner.
Woman often like to give a detailed de-brief of their day and men can see this as a woman complaining so I recommend she say to her man, “I just want to give you a de-brief on my day for five minutes. You don’t need to say anything or solve anything, just be present. I can feel so lonely sometimes and want to share my life with you and once I’m done it would be great if you could just hug me.”
At this point Dr John had another media interview lined up. Later in the day I shared a cab with the Doctor, which is where the picture above comes from. So what do you think about our chat with the lovely Dr. JG?