THE BLOG
09/12/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

How Happy Is Your Home? 5 Ways To Keep Your Partner Happy

I don't know about you, but it can be really annoying when people ask me my age for no particular reason, except that they want to categorize me and put me in to their box of limiting beliefs. For example, if I were to say that I'm 30, some people might judge that I should have found my career path or should be married. If I were to say I'm 36 some might think it's too old to have a child. We like to categorize things because this helps us make sense of many things we know so little about. When you read my tips this week, understand that there are so many exceptions to the rule and these tips are only a guideline to assist you in better understanding your partner. Especially if you feel you are having problems at times communicating.

Men and women do not think alike or interpret events in the same way at all. This is not a bad thing as opposites often attract. But if we understand how each other thinks differently, then we can get on famously and not put pressure on our partners to be like us or expect too much from the other person. A key element to a harmonious relationship is to understand the essence of who they are and not try to make them become who we are.

TIP 1: Stop expecting your man to say how he is feeling through words. Men tend to tell you what they are feeling though their actions. They don't naturally connect emotions with language, like we do. If you want to know more about a man, you will just need to spend time watching how he communicates.

TIP 2: As women, we love a good chat, as it makes us feel vital and alive. In fact, our number one priority is to have meaningful conversations with others. We tend to understand more about life though our interactions, and we are very good at this. Men tend to feel more vital and alive through competition. It's the thrill of the chase that is so exhilarating, even more than winning. They have an innate desire to dominate and conquer. Try interrupting a man when he is playing a video game, watching sports or building something.

TIP 3: As women, we are really curious about the emotional effect that events have on others and how people respond to what goes on around them. It's almost not the event that's the most important thing, it's how the event makes us or others who are involved feel. Men, on the other hand, tend to be more task-oriented. They love the event itself and activities that have tangible outcomes.

TIP 4: Women are extremely complex, multi-faceted, ever-changing and evolving. Men are graceful and simple, what you see is what you get. Once a man finds something that rewards him in a way that is meaningful to him, he will stay with it forever.

TIP 5: Women are problem-oriented. We spend time and energy talking about, reading about and trying to gain insight into any problem area of our lives, and then we devote time to resolving it. We tend to think a relationship will only flourish if we talk about it on a regular basis. Men, on the other hand, are solution-oriented; if something is broken they want to fix it as soon as possible. That's why he gives advice before we have finished talking about how we feel. He doesn't need to know why something broke necessarily and doesn't need to analyze the events that led up to the breakdown, he wants to solve the problem and then have things to return to normal as quickly as possible. If there is nothing broken in the relationship they see no point in discussing it. Men do what works and want to get results with the least amount of effort.

Of course women are capable of being competitive and results-oriented like men, and men are capable of being insightful, sensitive and nurturing. However, if you think back to primitive times while the men were out hunting, competing and trying to bring back food for the family, we were mastering our talking and relationship skills.

That's it for this week. If you like any of these tips pass the word round and you can e-mail me at sophie@howhappyis.com.