Men are from Mars and women are from Venus! This may not actually be the case. Both sexes are not worlds apart, according to Australian statistician John Croucher, who insists their behaviour is simply in the ‘numbers’. In his book “Love by Numbers,” he explains that behaviour and trends behind how and who people love can be interpreted in numbers.
To start off, let’s look at simple suspicions regarding infidelity. Croucher, a professor at Macquire University in New South Wales Australia, said if a man thinks his partner is cheating on him, chances are fifty-fifty that he’s right. However, when tables turn and it is the woman who suspects her partner, then she is correct a whopping 85% of time. It just goes to say that women are always RIGHT!…well, almost…
We Need to Talk
Croucher says in his book that in all his surveys, the number one phrase men dreaded is “We have to talk” or “We need to talk.” “Men don’t want to talk and if she does she’s either going to leave him, found somebody else or found something out about him,” the professor explained.
“It’s like that scene in the movie ‘Thousand Words’. The moment Jack McCall’s (Eddie Murphy) girlfriend (Kerry Washington) tells him ‘we need to talk’, his face freezes. I can relate to that,” Rashad Murad, a father, husband and professor based in Dubai, told Arabian Gazette. “I would be happy if my wife just tells me what’s on her mind, rather than making me go into a cardiac arrest by opening the conversation with those dreaded words.”
When asked what impact these four words have, he said with a sarcastic smile: “As men, we don’t know what wrong we did. It could be something simple as not putting the toilet seat down or something as bad as sharing a secret with a co-worker or even worse. So when those words are uttered, we are not sure what would come next. Not knowing the hell part!”
According to Croucher, the second question most dreaded question for men was: “Who was that woman I saw you talking to?” while women disliked “what’s for dinner?”
However, another treacherous question that rattles men, regardless of their age or relationship status, is when their partners asks: “Does my bum look big in this?” Around 52% of the men said they would definitely lie if their partner asks them this question.
“How can a man answer such a question?” Joshua Maleek, who has been married for 4 years, told Arabian Gazette. “I can live with ‘we need to talk’ question, I mean we end up talking, that’s fine. But this bum question is a real bummer. If I say no, she says I’m not looking properly or lying. If I say yes, good god, all hell would break loose. Still I find lying gets me out of an impending disaster,” he quipped.
Non verbal communication
A great portion of the book has been devoted to non verbal communication, translating body language in the most useful way given that 60% to 90% of physical communication between humans is carried out by unspoken signals.
Personal space is the distance which one has to maintain when talking to another person. Personal space is dictated by culture and also the relationship between individuals. For example, women in the Middle East, women take offence if a man stands too close when talking to her, while in some parts of Europe they find it acceptable. However, Croucher has gone a couple of steps ahead.
The Australian professor says that if a man wants to look attractive to women, he should wear a red shirt. Also he should chat up with another woman or better yet, two women. However, if you are a woman, men find you more appealing if you are alone.
“This goes back to our cave man days,” anthropologist Anne Marenes from the University of Colombia told Arabian Gazette. “Men by nature are supposed to be strong, brave and good providers. In ancient times, a man who had women falling at his feet signalled strength which is interpreted as strong off springs and a guardian. We may have evolved from being cave people but instincts never go wrong.”
“It is simply the aspect why bees are attracted to a particular flower,” Adam Northinker, a student of Human Studies at the University of Los Angeles, told Arabian Gazette. “When a woman sees a man chatting up with another woman or even two women, she wants to know what’s so interesting about the man. Thus, she is intrigued and wants to get to know him better. However, there are instances that this has backfired as well. Sometimes, a woman might look at such a male specimen and classify him as a ‘player’ and would not be interested at all!”
Further, a woman who flips her hair or crosses her legs is trying to get a man’s attraction. As is one who strokes a rounded object like her drinks glass.
“Men are visual creatures,” Anne explained. “They consider a woman’s hair (the crown of her glory) and legs to be one of the most attractive features of a woman. So a woman, by tossing her hair or crossing her legs, is bringing attention to those features, which men prey on.”
The Australian statistician also added that a woman putting purse behind her should not be interpreted as a good sign. The bag is an extension of herself and she’s hiding it, he remarked in the book.
Croucher’s assessment, a result of years of research plus a study of people’s behaviour, is a collection of some disparate facts. He says that 68% of men think a woman’s invitation to have coffee is actually an invitation to have sex.
“A woman does not invite a man to her home after a date if she is not attracted to him,” Adam says. “Her home is her sanctuary and inviting a man signals that she wants to get to know him better. The extent of getting to know part has to be decided by the two consenting adults, which sometimes, could be misread.”
Though Croucher acknowledges that some of the answers, particularly those dealing with sexual partners, are subject to some adjustment, many are a useful guide to how humans think. It is a fun thing but also serious at the same time because you can actually look at the way the rest of the world behaves, their attitudes and human nature and relationships.
“It just tells us about human nature, I suppose. It’s like asking a man how tall he is, he’ll add on 2 to 3 cm (0.8-1.2 inches) – but if you ask a woman her weight she’ll take off 3 kg (6.6 lb),” he explained.
“Again the caveman concept can be applied here. Men want to be strong and tall, which signals stability and productivity,” Anne told. “However, the world has set a different standard for women. Thin is supposedly beautiful one kilo can make a difference in the eyes of her peers.”
Croucher says that one of his favorite question was about marriage. Whether people would marry their current partner if they knew then what they know now. More than 70% of women gave a negative response.
“They ask people do you still believe in love at first sight and do you think you married your soulmate, and only 39% of people think they’ve married their soulmate,” Croucher said. “Twenty-one percent thought they would have married their soulmate but turned out to be wrong, and 32% were sure that they didn’t. So fewer than 2 in 5 married their soulmate.”