This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" by John Gray. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is a legendary relationship guide written by an American relationship counselor and self-help author John Gray. The following Men Are From Mars quotes highlight some of the author’s key ideas about communication in romantic relationships.
Here are four Men Are From Mars quotes by John Gray.
Men Are From Mars Quotes by John Gray
“We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways—the ways we react and behave when we love someone.”
One of the main reasons people feel unfulfilled in their romantic relationships is that they feel as though they give more love than they receive. The problem is that both partners expect to receive love in the same manner as they themselves express love. But men and women display love differently. Understanding the differences in the way men and women express love is key to an emotionally fulfilling relationship.
“Men need to remember that women talk about problems to get close and not necessarily to get solutions.”
When women attempt to discuss their problems with their male partners, they tend to misread the motive behind it and try to offer solutions. However, getting resolution advice is not the reason women share what is bothering them. Women talk about their problems to connect with their partner, not to brainstorm solutions.
“When a woman’s wave rises she feels she has an abundance of love to give, but when it falls she feels her inner emptiness and needs to be filled up with love.”
In the book, Gray likens women’s intimacy cycle to a wave. When a woman’s wave rises, she feels feel happiness, trust, and fulfillment. But she is also deeply connected to her pre-existing feelings of fear, sadness, and insecurity. When a woman crashes or goes down into her well, it is a time to express and heal those negative feelings.
“Love brings up our unresolved feelings. One day we are feeling loved, and the next day we are suddenly afraid to trust love. The painful memories of being rejected begin to surface when we are faced with trusting and accepting our partner’s love .”
According to Gray, 90% of conflicts in romantic relationships are related to unresolved emotions from the past. When people feel safe and secure in love, negative feelings from their past may begin to resurface.
For example, imagine that someone lightly pokes your arm. You would most likely not feel any pain. But if you had an open wound on your arm, it would be intensely painful for someone to poke it.
This illustrates how emotional wounds from our past make us more sensitive to certain kinds of conflict. Without an awareness of the ways that your unresolved feelings affect you, you’ll likely end up in a conflict with your partner over something that is only 10% your partner’s fault.
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Here's what you'll find in our full Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus summary:
- Why it feels like men and women come from two different planets
- How to navigate the gender-based differences in communication
- The 6 things that men and women need in a loving relationship