Sep 132010
 
Authors: Anna Baldwin and Eugene Daniels

By Anna Baldwin

This might be one of the biggest issues in relationships. And by one of the biggest, I mean, the biggest issue in relationships. Communication is essential for keeping any relationship strong and healthy. Communication makes lifelong relationships.

Disclaimer: For this topic of communicating in this column, I will use the term relationship to include official pairs, as well as two people who are “just hanging out” or “kinda talking.” (We’ve all been there.)

In one short sentence to convey an easy answer: Efficient communicating in relationships is weak or completely absent because lying or staying silent is sometimes easier.

Think about it. Once in awhile it’s hard to admit the truth to your partner about something that will make you look like less than an angel. Solution? Distort the truth about it or keep completely silent, hoping they don’t bring it up. Especially during a time when sharp knives are around. Like cooking.

An example: He might say he is “too busy or at the wrong time in his life” to avoid being in an initial relationship with you or to break up with you. Real answer: He’s just not that into you. Or there is someone else. Either way, see what is happening here?

And either sex can be guilty of this non-communicating act.

Another element that contributes to these lost-in-translations is technology. I personally believe that Facebook and texting are evil. Necessary, but evil.
Yes, I do text, and maybe more than the average person. But it doesn’t mean that I whole-heartedly approve of it or believe that it is a stellar mode of communicating important or emotional information.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a journalism major, but when I receive texts like, “wat u doin,” I don’t automatically believe that the sender actually cares about what I’m doing. I actually sometimes think that the sender is wondering if I’m doing something at home because they are going to rob me, and it’d be really awkward if I was sitting on my couch as they broke through my window.

It’s easy to not believe or think someone means something else by what they type online or in a text. It can be confusing, and it just doesn’t hold the same substance as a more direct method of interaction.

But aside from the problem of incorrect grammar or spelling during electronic talking, would you rather be told someone loves you via a text, face-to-face or during a phone call? If you didn’t already know by what I’ve been writing, or if you just joined the conversation, texting or online talking can be bad communication. It creates more problems in relationships.

Let’s just avoid the confusion and try to avoid heartfelt, professing-your-love texts. Now, u hav a good nite.

By Eugene Daniels

When Anna and I were trying to find a topic for this week, the one thing we could agree on was that just addressing communication would be too broad.
And let’s face it: asking if the two sexes had troubles communicating would have produced a one worded column: “Yes.”

So I suggested we tried to find out why this was. Why can’t men and women find a common communication ground on which to build relationships? Now, as you can imagine, research for this was quite interesting.

Most women said, “Men don’t listen,” while most men replied with, “Chicks complain too damn much.” (There were other things said, but they probably wouldn’t make it past my editor’s desk, so it is better if I just don’t even try to add them).

But a couple of times, I heard something that I never thought of but now agree with. The reason that we have troubles communicating is … society. Yep. You saw it. I am taking all the blame off of us men and putting it on society.

Now before you rip up this column and dump it in the trashcan (or the recycle bin for you tree huggers. I kid I kid.), hear me out.

Women are taught to be very emotional as they grow up, to express their feelings, to cry when needed and nag when the crying doesn’t get them anywhere. But us men from a very young age are shown that we are meant to be the opposite.

We are meant to be tough, told things like: “Just because your bone popped out of your arm doesn’t mean you should stop practicing.” We are meant to hide our emotions, hearing: “No woman wants a crybaby.”

So that’s what we do. As we get older, we become less emotional and more closed off. So when you ladies sit down and ask us questions like, “Why are we having issues” or “Where is this going from here?” (Hate that one!), you may find yourself thinking that we don’t give a damn. But ‘tis not true ladies, ‘tis not true.

We are simply trying to be what society wants us to be tough and Stallone-like. And after years of doing it, most of us find that we are stuck at that point.

It’s not that we don’t care; it’s only that answering those questions goes against every thing that we have been programmed to do since Little League.

Trust me, I understand that relationships are nothing without communication. But ladies, how about this: You try to meet us halfway. Instead of wanting us to cry and drink tea with you, understand that we are trained to not show weakness, to not whine and to not want to “talk about it.”

So communicating in relationships can be much simpler if everyone understands each other. Women, know that we do love you, and we do want it to work (usually), but that talking about our feelings all the time is probably going to make us want to shoot ourselves in the face.

And men, we just have to know that ladies are going to complain all the time, and we must try to find a way to do it without being pansies. Because, let’s face it, women complain a lot.

Anna Baldwin is a senior journalism major, and Eugene Daniels is a junior journalism major. Mars vs. Venus appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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