Solving the “Problem-Solving” Problem

The book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray attempted to popularize the concept that males and females are fundamentally different in their communication styles – as fundamentally different as if they were from separate planets. It postulated that men were “problem solvers” while women focused on emotions and the connections between people, which require listening skills rather than problem-solving. These differences in approaches, Gray contended, are the cause of much conflict between partners.

Gray’s book had an outdated binary view of gender and did not include the dynamics of same-sex couples (where these same problem-solver versus communicator dynamics often exist). However, the role of problem-solver does create major problems in relationships. Depending upon the person’s background, upbringing, and the immediate circumstances, any person in a relationship could take on the role of the problem-solver, regardless of gender.

Problem-solving keeps a person from being mentally in the present. Problem solving is about the future, where the solved problem is, leaving a person insensitive to the immediate situation. For clear communication and intimacy, being right there is of paramount importance.

When it comes to the bedroom, the “problem-solver” will have researched, practiced, and experimented to refine knowledge or techniques, becoming an expert in seduction, or cunnilingus/fellatio, or kissing, or whatever. Technique is great, but not helpful if one person does not notice that the other person needs something completely different at the moment.

What’s more, an additional problem has arisen: the problem-solver is not being as sensitive to their own place, because their head is off solving what they perceive to be wrong with the other person. Frankly, the experience is not being as mutually enjoyable as it could be if the problem-solver was simply being right there in the present!

I am intimately aware that I do this sometimes. It is my nature. It is something that I do more than merely on occasion. Some might even go so far as to say it is a chronic state for me. How embarrassing to have to admit to this publicly!

Nonetheless, since problem-solving is my particular nature, I certainly know that I can solve this problem! And I will solve this (as I suggest other problem-solvers do) in a very special, particular way: by not solving anything! (At least, not for a while.) I will refrain from problem solving during intimacy. There, that should solve that problem!

[Time passes]

And indeed! I have tried it, and it works! The reports are in! I have succeeded in solving nothing, and I am completely confident and certain that you can do the same (even if you yourself are a problem-solver). Here are the fruits of my efforts:

  • I was totally, completely present with the other person. We had an amazing time! The intimacy was immediate and deep and intense.
  • I was totally, completely present with myself, how I felt, and with what I wanted and desired. I was able to communicate all of this to my partner, because I was completely there and connected in a very nice way!
  • I am a hero!
  • Most interestingly, she was the problem-solver in this case! I had her read this bit appearing up there and she tried it. She loved it! She was completely present and in touch with her own needs and desires. She wasn’t trying merely to please me or solve that problem. She was right there with me, mutually enjoying a completely intimate experience. It was (by her reports) a totally amazing experience!

Try it yourself, problem-solvers. I think you’ll like how this problem seems to practically solve itself!