Relationship Differences Between Men and Women
It's been said a million times in many different ways: Men and women are different. Understanding the inherent differences between the sexes is an industry. Consider, for example, the success of the Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus series.
But there's one basic, but important, difference that, once understood, can help singles and couples create more satisfying, successful relationships: Women tend to assign relationship meaning to almost all interactions, while men tend to assign relationship meaning to almost no interactions. Women focus on the relationship too much, and the men don't focus enough, and this is how relationships get into trouble.
Women look at almost every interaction as either relationship-promoting or distance-promoting. Obviously, if a woman is interested in the relationship, she would like most interactions to be relationship-promoting (i.e., bringing her and her partner closer together). On the other hand, when a woman loses interest in a relationship or is angry or ambivalent about the relationship, almost every action she takes will be distance-promoting (i.e., pushing her partner away).
Men look at interactions as serving a purpose (communication of information, accomplishment of a task, entertainment, etc.) It's not that they don't take actions that promote closeness; they certainly do. But, on a daily basis, especially once the relationship is somewhat established, men rarely look at interactions through the lens of the relationship.