The Naked Truth About Men and Romance

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naked truth about menKathryn Foster, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice in Ft Worth, Texas. With a masters degree in marriage and family counseling and a Ph.D. in psychology, she has practiced psychotherapy for 26 years. She has written two companions to The Naked Truth About Men (And Romance), one for couples (but written for men) What Women Want….Really! and another called When Your Relationship Changes. Her two novels are, Finding My Way and Sessions: Memoirs of a Psychotherapist.

Following are loosely transcribed highlights from my interview with Dr. Foster, as she revealed the naked truth and men and romance.

The Naked Truth About Men and Romance

How do our expectations of romance begin in childhood?

The truth is that men and women are so different. Girls focus on each other, their dialogue is rich, and they disclose intimate details about themselves. Boys establish hierarchy through sports and play but don’t reveal much about themselves. When a couple comes together in their teens, they don’t know much about how the opposite sex operates.

A girl expects a boy to develop emotional closeness through dialogue, connecting with her verbally and nonverbally.  Boys are not prepared to relate in this way. Moms raise boys to have empathic responses. But there’s much less empathy in boys and men. It’s a function of their brains. 

How are women’s and men’s brains different in ways that effect romance?

Men see sex and emotional closeness as the same thing. Women feel that they’re two different things. Our brains our old. They adapted throughout history. Men were hunters and women were nurturers, which gives you an idea about how it works in romance. Men suspended empathy to be able to hunt. Women gave birth, and had to be empathic. Men’s testosterone would sharply spike during hunting, which caused them to be self-interested. Women’s oxytocin from taking care of their children led them to give a lot. Language: men developed as silent stalkers of prey. Women were talking all day with kids and other women, and was a primary way for them to connect with one another.

What are the 3 biggest mistakes women make in dating?  

1. When you’re attracted, you assume the man is like you are. You don’t get what you grew up expecting. Unmet expectations can lead to disappointment in the relationship, which can lead to relationship breakup.

2. Women drop their female friendships. Friendship staves off loneliness, not romance. Men give support by giving advice, which elevates stress in a woman. Women’s friends offer acceptance and validation, which is calming.

3. Women doubt themselves and give themselves away in relationships. They give because they’re highly empathic. A woman has to be careful to ask herself, “what do I want to do in the relationship”, “what am I thinking”? 

What can women do to be more successful with men? 

Men are motivated by wins. If a woman presents her pain or negativity, she assumes a man will become empathic. But that’s not what really happens. His testosterone brain is trying to figure out what she wants him to do. Men don’t have the same access to emotions as women do. So if she presents the bottom line to him with a direct request, “Would you text me at 5:00 to let me know you’re coming home for dinner by 6:00,” his testosterone goes up and he knows how to respond. A man wants to make his woman happy. If a woman lets him know how to make her happy, a good guy will be thrilled!

To listen to the episode, The Naked Truth About Men And Romance, click here. 

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