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Quick Takes on Relationships with Mars/Venus Guru, John Gray

JayJay asks: Do you think men and women actually know what they want in a partner, or is what they actually want different than what they think they want?

John Gray: Often what people think they want in a partner isn’t what they truly need or want. In truth, many people end up in lasting and happy relationships with someone who is well outside the scope of who they thought they were looking to find. Love can grow in places we never expected. That is why I like to say, ‘date around, don’t sleep around.’ In other words, open yourself up to the possibilities that are out there, without becoming too attached too quickly and thereby narrowing your view of the possible relationships that might be right for you.

Scotch asks: What is the best way to communicate with a guy? I feel like they shut down the minute you want to talk about the relationship or something serious.

John Gray: Often a woman will feel that a guy ‘shuts down’ when it comes to talking about their relationship because a man’s sense of intimacy is very different from that of her own.

When a man pulls away because he feels a need for his own space, a woman becomes concerned, and says she wants to talk about his feelings. However, this is the opposite of what a man wants to do. In reality she should talk about the relationship when he is open and receptive — not when he is pulling back. Remember, as I wrote in several Mars/Venus books, ‘men are like rubber bands.’ They pull away, and they bounce back.

So what can you do when he’s pulling away? Actually, ignore him a bit and engage in other areas of your life, don’t make the mistake of making him your primary connection to having a social life.

It is for this very reason that I always encourage women to have an active and engaged social life that reaches above and beyond the relationship she has with her significant other. Relationships that often are the most successful are the ones where each partner has a strong sense of self.

Above all else, remember this: your boyfriend is not your gal pal. Girlfriends will talk about relationships for hours on end. Men have a much shorter attention span when it comes to discussing intimacy. Recognize this as a basic Martian behavior and you can better understand and adjust to the reality of sharing your life with a man.

John Gray is the bestselling relationship author of all time. His classic, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus spent an incredible five years on the NY Times bestseller list. Along with his 17 other books, including his bestseller, Mars and Venus on a Date, John’s books have been translated into 45 languages and sold over 45 million copies worldwide. For more dating information from John, click to

If you have any questions for John Gray, submit them here and check back soon for his answers!