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There’s a simple answer to all of this. Because men wouldn’t buy relationship books. And in the words of my father, “that’s a dat gum shame.” (Clearly our people are from the south.)But despite all of the male-written literature on how women can improve themselves for the betterment of a relationship, where are the female-written counterparts? Lawd knows women aren’t the only ones who could use a little assistance when it comes to interacting, communicating and understanding the opposite sex. Men need plenty of help just like we do. Maintaining relationships, of any nature, is hard work. Would a “Think Like A Woman” book written by Mo’Nique fly off the shelves? Probably not.

But for some reason, men either don’t think they need it, don’t care enough or feel like they can figure it out as they go along. You know, just like the old sitcom bit where the man, usually a husband, out and out refuses to pull over and ask for directions even though he and his frustrated wife or girlfriend have been driving around in the same circle for the past two hours. Maybe it’s the same thing with relationship books.

I’m sure my experiences are limited: but, with the exception of what to get a woman for a gift, I can’t even think of a time where a man has asked me for relationship advice. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Just this past summer my 15 year old cousin asked my sister and I to tell him how he can tell if a girl likes him or not. I didn’t tell him this but I thought it was so precious. And I admired the fact that he was thoughtful enough to ask former girls turned women instead of talking to one of his knucklehead friends. Hell, at 15 it probably would have been “uncool” to ask his male friends such a thing. The expectation is that by the time you reach middle school, you have your mack game down pact. But as the girls and even women on the receiving end of that “game,” we know that’s not the case.

Which actually brings me to another point. In one of our editorial meetings, months ago, we were talking about how women often rely on a [small] network of people when things get rocky in relationships. I know it’s not good to have everybody in your business; but because I trust these women, anytime I have a problem, in any life arena, but particularly relationships, I almost always discuss it with my mom, sister and best friend. Of course, I mull it over in my own head first but for some reason it seems too cluttered in there. When I say it out loud, to someone else, I can hear whether or not I sound crazy or like I’m overreacting or if it’s actually worse than I’ve made it out to be. During the meeting we suggested our assistant editor ask her boyfriend who he talks to about relationship issues. She reported back that he said no one. He just tries to figure it out himself.

What a concept!

So maybe that’s the thing. I’ve heard several times now that men are problem solvers. They like to see the situation, identify the problem, find the solution and be done with it. And I’ve heard and even lived the generalized notion that women like to find a solution too. But sometimes we want to find several solutions and weigh out the pros and cons of each of them before ultimately making a decision. So maybe we’re more inclined to seek outside help and men are hellbent on figuring it out themselves.

But those are just a few of my theories. Have you ever had a man come to you for relationship advice? Why do you think men don’t buy relationship books?

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