A recent survey concluded that a startling number of men don't know basic information about their partners. The results were definitely surprising, and if I'm honest I felt for these long suffering women whose husbands didn't know things such as their eye colour or date of birth. Of course, it's true that women are naturally more observant, and so notice things that men don't, but even so....date of birth? Eye colour?
I really couldn't believe that men could be so clueless, but it did raise a bigger question. Unobservant or disinterested? Is not noticing something that you see every day really about power of observation or could it be that the subject is just not interesting enough to be observed in the first place?
It niggled at me all day, and so I brought it up with my partner, ironically he seemed quite disinterested! Still, on this occasion he decided to humour me. At this point I was actually feeling quite sorry for the women whose husbands had been surveyed. I mean, imagine your partner not knowing such basic information. So, I asked the question, somewhat smugly, I confess....."so what colour are my eyes"? Without hesitation my partner replied "that's easy, they're brown". I should have been smiling, probably should have been happy that he answered without pausing or squinting to get a last minute look. Apart from the fact that.....MY EYES ARE BLUE!!! Always have been, always will be.....BLUE.
So, you can imagine that this went down...like a lead balloon. Here was me pitying the women whose husbands were clueless and here was I - one of them. This then prompted a quick fire round of questioning, many of which he got wrong. This did nothing for my self esteem, and I certainly did not leave this conversation feeling any way special.
It did get me wondering whether men only notice things that are relevant to, or that will have a direct impact on them. I notice every little detail about my other half, I know which aftershave he prefers, I notice which brand of toothpaste he prefers, I notice when he is feeling like he's getting old and do my best to make him feel good. I know him pretty much inside out. I remember things about our early dating when we had favourite restaurants, I remember what films we went to see, because all of that stuff is important to me.
Perhaps women just have an emotional response to memories and information about their partners. Maybe we do this because it means something to us when someone remembers something personal about us. If my friend gives me a gift and it's a book I mentioned months before I'm touched. If someone cooks my favourite meal it means more because they put some thought behind it.
I'm learning that just because sentiment means something to me, doesn't mean it's going to have the same effect on my partner. For example, today I heard a discussion between some older women, they were talking about not wanting to be alone. Thinking that I would feel the same at their age, said as much to my partner also saying it must be horrible at the thought of being alone....he replied to say there are times when he'd quite like to be alone and single!
I have come to the conclusion that either every day I'm learning something new about the male species....or else I'm barking up the wrong tree altogether!! I'll keep you posted!