You hear it all the time, how men and women simply don’t operate the same. Men are known to be creatures of logic, and women are seen to be driven more by emotion. Is this really the case? Are we really built differently? My answer is an emphatic YES! These differences do exist in most cases, and have contributed to the ongoing communication gap that plagues our relationships.

Some of you may be thinking “well, if we know we are different should we not be able to use that to our advantage in creating more harmony and better communication?” If only it were that simple! But wait, it actually is that simple. We have over complicated this issue for far too long. We continue to have unhappy men and women dragging along in their relationships simply because neither truly understands the other. So how do we begin to put an end to this travesty? How do you we take the necessary steps to finally rectify this issue? Consider these tips when trying to get on the same page as your partner.

1. It’s not them, it’s YOU

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that your partner has done plenty to make you mad and contribute to a negative situation. I realize that you have made many efforts to fix things, yet they seem to resist them, and nothing has worked. Despite those facts, we as men and women will never be able to understand each other if all we do is point the finger at the other person.Being focused on defending your actions and pointing out their shortcomings will work against you. You are so caught up in yourself that you will then make it much harder to understand their reasoning, their needs, or their issues.

With that said, the first step is to focus only on what you can control, which is you. Yes, you may have done plenty already, but can you honestly say you have continued to be the man or woman THEY need you to be? Hold yourself accountable for your actions, and trust that by putting your best foot forward you will give yourself a much better chance at beginning to understand your partner and giving them the example they need to be a better partner as well.

2. Pay Attention

Communication is key, however many tend to overlook the significance of non-verbal communication. Men and women already speak different languages (men speak English, and women speak “womanese”…j/k), therefore a couple can talk all day and still not be on the same page. This is why it is important to also be mindful of body language. A lot of times what our partner likes and dislikes can become more obvious when we take into account their actions and reactions in certain situations.

Open your ears and your eyes in order to get more in tune with your partner. Also understand that both men and women have things that they will just have a hard time fully expressing. Some women may not tell their partner everything because she figures they should know/figure it out on their own. Some men will hold things back because they don’t want to deal with certain backlash they think they may receive. This is why actions can many times be more telling, and we need to pay more attention to both verbal and non-verbal communication.

3. Be Patient

We live in a time where we like things fast and convenient. If we have to wait too long, we abandon what it is we are looking for and move on to the next. Well, understanding your partner may not work that way. You are involved with a person who has been through years of programming (life). To break all that down and truly understand who they are is not race, it is a marathon. People have to realize that these things take time, and it takes even longer the more a person may do things to damage the situation and create a bigger gap between the two individuals (don’t feed into the negative cycle).

At times, some people don’t even fully understand themselves, which is why getting to understand them can become an even greater challenge. Be patient and focus more on embracing progress. Learning how to appreciate and nurture the progress will breed more progress, and before you know it, you will be at the finish line a lot quicker than most.

There is more to we can discuss to move towards understanding your partner better. I believe if you embrace these core principles that you will indeed be moving in a better direction. Your goal isn’t to understand all men, or all women, it is simply to understand the one you are with. That is your focus, and doing that will create a relationship so full of love, enjoyment, and fulfillment that every step you take in this process will be well worth it.