In the 21st century the media and society often pit men and women against each other, as well as blur and confuse ideas about gender and gender differences. As a result, it is common for men and women today to possess an antagonism towards the opposite sex, as well as a confusion about gender and gender roles/traits. What effect does this antagonism and confusion have on dating and relationships? In short, a bad effect: it is very difficult to connect with and maintain a relationship with a person who has basically framed as the enemy and that you have been given confusing messages about. Hence Satan has promoted friction, anger, blame, and animosity against the opposite sex as a way to further promote the breakdown of marriage and the family.
However, the Lord feels the opposite about the different and complimentary nature of gender and gender differences between men and women, as well as marriage as an institution and staple of society. In Matthew 19:4-6 we read: “…Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Ideas to Love the Opposite Sex:
*Be familiar with traditional masculine and feminine traits. In the 1970s the Bem Sex Role Inventory offered a list of top traditional masculine and feminine traits. As you become familiar with each traits, look for the most positive, healthy, admirable versions of all of these traits in the opposite sex. Accordingly, the Bem masculine traits include: acts as a leader, aggressive, ambitious, analytical, assertive, athletic, competitive, defends own beliefs, dominant, forceful, has leadership abilities, independent, individualistic, makes decisions easily, masculine, self-reliant, self-sufficient, and strong personality. And the feminine traits are: affectionate, cheerful, childlike, compassionate, does not use harsh language, eager to soothe hurt feelings, feminine, flatterable, gentle, gullible, loves children, loyal, sensitive to needs of others, shy, soft spoken, sympathetic, tender, understanding, warm, and yielding.
Even though these traits were originally generated in 1974, these are still regarded as basic traits of traditional masculinity and femininity. If either list offends you, you may have been conditioned by the media and society to think negatively about that gender. So, this becomes an opportunity to change that thinking and warm up to traits of the opposite gender, perhaps your own as well.
*Find positive role models in the media: find a few opposite sex actors from TV or the movies that you not only find to be physically attractive, but more importantly exemplify positive and attractive traits from the other gender. For example, several possible popular male actors showing positive male/masculine traits could include Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Ryan Gosling, and Matthew McConaughey. Likewise, several possible popular female actors could include Scarlett Johansson, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, and Jennifer Anniston. Just examples—choose your own. Politics and religion aside with these actors, watch how all of these and other actors carry themselves with confidence with their positive masculine and feminine traits. Look to such actors for traits to admire and look up to. They are stars for a reason, including their ability to show a positive and attractive version of their gender.
*Look for the best in the opposite sex in your life: focus on and look for positive role models of the opposite sex in your own life: family members, friends, coworkers, fellow students, acquaintances, etc. Look for positive examples of masculinity and femininity among those you already know. There is an old saying: that which we focus on, we amplify. As you focus on and amplify the positive traits of those of the opposite gender in your own life, noticing these same kinds of traits in potential dating partners becomes easier and clear.
From the 1995 Proclamation to the World we read: “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” Value traditional gender traits and find attraction in them, rather than resentment or antagonism. Remember these traits are natural and tie back to our pre-mortal characteristics from the beginning, as well as our post-mortal traits in eternity. This is always the way it has been and always the way it will be. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.”
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
|Understanding men, Understanding women, Dating
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to email@example.com).