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Mars vs. Venus: Stereotypes and Assumptions

January 18, 2010

This is the fifth of a series of posts in which I’ll provide my male perspective on selected topics, while fellow blogger, Lauren, provides her female perspective. We’ll link and post before reading what each other wrote. Topics we will be discussing will be ones that may be better understood or further examined once considering the perspective of each gender. Note that Mars is a single guy, while Venus is in a long-term committed relationship – not that that would impact our opinions or anything…

Today’s Mars vs. Venus post is Part 1 of a 2-part series. Lauren and I came up with a list of questions for which we think the answers will vary based on gender. We first guessed what the other person will answer, and then exchanged our actual answers (much like “The Newlyweds Game”). After each question, you’ll see what Lauren thought my answer would be in pink (because she’s a girl and girls have to like pink by federal law), and my actual answer in blue.

On the Topic of Dating and Commitment:

1. Rank in order of importance for attraction prior to first date (1 being the most important):

___2___ Physical attractiveness ___1___

___3___ Sense of humor ___2___

___1___ Intelligence___3___

___5___ Financial standing ___5___

___4___ Appearance (i.e. fashion, hygiene, maintenance, etc.) ___4___

I appreciate that Lauren gave me credit for not putting looks before everything else, but in truth, if I’m not physically attracted to you, there’s not going to be a date. I really don’t consider that shallow. I really just think that there has to be physical attraction and chemistry for a date to work. Everything else is very important–in fact, the success of a first date is much more contingent on humor and intelligence.

2. Would you prefer high-maintenance/looks fantastic OR laid back/less “together”?

Laid back/less “together”

Laid back/less “together”

3. Do you wait for the other person to say “I love you” first, even if you already feel it?

Yes.

I wait until I’m pretty confident she feels it too, even if she hasn’t said it.

Really? I’m surprised by Lauren’s answer. I mean, somebody has to say it first. I don’t mind putting myself out there if it’s how I feel (and if I feel like it’s not going to create an awkward situation).

4. What constitutes cheating? a. kissing b. sex c. anything in-between d. emotional relationship e. flirting/dancing

a. b. c. and d.

a. b. c. and d.

I’ll be honest–I changed my answer on this. I didn’t include (d) before. But if my girlfriend falls in love with someone else, that seems like cheating to me. If she’s in love with someone else, I want her to be with him, not me.

5. Is a little jealousy preferred, in order to know your significant other cares?

Yes.

No, jealousy is not good. There are better ways to show that you care.

6. What is the minimum/maximum a couple should date before getting engaged?

Min – 1 year; Max – 5 years

Min – 1 year; Max – 5 years

Lauren somehow got this exactly right without looking.

7. How long should an engagement be?

1 year

As short as possible—as soon as I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you, I want the rest of my life to start immediately (thanks, When Harry Met Sally!)

8. Once in a committed relationship, should you maintain friendships with the opposite sex?

Yes.

Yes, definitely. I need you to have other outlets than me.

a. Should you start new friendships with the opposite sex?

Yes.

Yes. If you say you’re with me, I believe you, so you can explore new friendships at your leisure.

9. How often should your significant other go out for the night with friends?

1-2 nights/week.

Once a week at least.

10. When living together, but before married, should a couple share expenses or keep them separate?

Separate.

Share expenses, but whoever makes more money pays for more.

Separate? Really? Why? I’m not talking all expenses–I’m talking about things that you share by living together, like utilities, food, rent, etc.

11. After a break up, is it better to cut all ties or stay in touch?

Take a period of distance, but catch back up with each other in the future.

Stay in touch. I tend to get over breakups quickly and want to switch to friendship mode.

Now click over to Lauren’s blog and read what I thought she would answer versus her actual answers for the same questions!

What do you think about these answers? Both the answers themselves and the contrasts between what the female assumptions were versus the male realities? Keep in mind that Lauren was answering for me specifically, not men in general.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 7:07 pm

    This is a great post. I read the Venus version first. I have to say though that I am apparently breaking “federal law” because I HATE the color pink. I don’t mind it in nature or on others (as long as it’s used responsibly) but I don’t want it associated with me. Thanks for sharing this great series!

    • January 18, 2010 9:44 pm

      Thanks, Jayde. I give Lauren full credit for the ideal. Good luck getting Congress to reverse the Pink Law!

  2. January 19, 2010 12:23 pm

    Came over ffom Lauren’s blog…enjoyed reading the different gender views.

  3. January 19, 2010 1:38 pm

    Thanks! Lauren and I were just answering for ourselves, but I think our guesses show how much we assume about the opposite sex.

  4. Red permalink
    January 19, 2010 6:03 pm

    Comparing notes on the money question (#10): For himself Jamey said that whoever makes more should pay for more. But on Lauren’s post, Jamey says he believes that Lauren thinks that the man should pay for more.

    So do you think that Lauren is steeped in chivalry, and thus expects the man to be more of a provider, or do you think that in Lauren’s situation her man will make more than she does, and thus pay the greater share of the bills?

    • January 19, 2010 7:05 pm

      Well, keep in mind that my post on Lauren’s blog is just a guess as to what she thinks. I wouldn’t read more into it than that.

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