Comments of the Week: Three F's vs Three C's

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We posted an article recently about cohabitation — it contained suggestions on how to avoid the transition from boyfriend-girlfriend to roommates who spoon and fart a lot once you move in. And it set off quite a debate in the comments section about what exactly men vs women (or is it men and women?) need when it comes to sustaining romance amid piles of bills and laundry. So, where do the rest of you fall when it comes to the three F’s… or the three C’s? (There has to be at least one guy out there who wants chocolate-chocolate-chocolate…right?)

SS: I [a woman] have been reading a bunch of books on marriage lately (from the men’s point of view: completely fascinating, literally cannot stop reading these, it’s like behavioural science for some other species!) and they all seem to say the same thing, from either a politically correct, or not so much, point of view. Basically: Don’t make every interaction a complaint. If one stays home and one works, allow the one who’s just gotten home some time to unwind (no immediate unloading and venting) and respect, respect, respect. If there is one common thread running through these books, it’s that men need respect from their partners (followed closely by sex and food.) Or, as one book so neatly put it: “Just follow the three F’s: Food, Flattery & Fucking.”

The women’s version of that would be, “Just follow the three C’s: Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate.”

Dannie: I, as a woman, would much rather have food, flattery and fucking than only chocolate. And, respect is a crucial ingredient to any interaction with me. In fact, if anyone, regardless of sex, is disrespected in a relationship, it’s not a good relationship. I despise the whole, “Men need respect” paradigm, because it usually translates into “Pretend to be submissive to boost his ego, and don’t contradict him openly to keep his poor little man brain from feeling stupid.” Respect is respect; both need it, not just the man. And, guess what — men and women are in fact members of the same species! We have far more in common than we do different. In fact, if we were more different than alike, one of us would be a banana.

SS: We actually share 50% of our DNA with bananas, not sure if the percentage is that high re: the amount of DNA I share with my husband…

Yes, yes, obviously if you’re with a guy who doesn’t respect you, you shouldn’t be with him, but I disagree that a woman who treats her partner with respect is submissive, or somehow kowtowing to his “poor little man brain.” My point was that women often belittle their husbands without even realizing it, questioning their judgement about every little thing, whereas I don’t notice men doing this to their wives as much (this is what I have observed, at least, in 23 years of marriage, and watching friends – divorced and not). Perhaps your relationship experience has been different.

Spes: 50% is not a lot considering we share more than 90% with fruit flies.

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5 Comments on "Comments of the Week: Three F's vs Three C's"

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Floridian Chica
3 years into my current relationship and while I have never physically cheated,I have had an emotional affair for three years. This guy and I were physical at one point in time, however realized that we were better as platonic friends. The physical part of our friendship ended a year or so prior to me meeting my current BF. Just to make sure things stay platonic our conversations are always over the phone and range from relationship advice/issues to family issues to just simply being goofballs. This guys totally gets me emotionally in a way my BF perhaps never will… Read more »
So men and women have a few differences. Maybe collectively, maybe not. Most of them, if not all, are probably socialized. People like to ignore the Gender Similarities Hypothesis, which is the result of 46 meta-analyses and 20 years of research. That, to me, is more significant than any survey or any mythology related to us by our parents about the inherent differences between men and women. Why are people not aware of it? Because it is far simpler to put people into categories and address them that way than it is to deal with dynamic personalities. Because it is… Read more »

As is frequently pointed out, men (and women) have less in common with each other than either has with a chimpanzee. It’s a silly comparison–it ignores the way genes actually code–but it is literally true. And listening to the tones running through some of these comments, I begin to sympathize with my simian brethren.


I guess I’ve just heard my father say one too many times, “I’m the man in the family! I need respect!” That’s the association I have with “Men need respect,” because inherent in that statement is the fact that women are left out of the equation. It’s not “People need respect,” but “men need respect.” There is a difference in connotation there that is distasteful to me personally; that’s all I really meant.

Ha! Love Spes’ addition. This is a really good conversation. My point was, far from “don’t respect your husband, because if you do, you’re submissive,” and more along the lines of the fact that both women and men need respect–and definitions of respect for both men and women should be the same. Honesty is honesty, whether it is criticism or praise, and it should be valued in any relationship, for both people involved. Does that mean everyone should go around being mean to everyone else? Hells to the no! Just the opposite. If someone has something to say, they should… Read more »