“Imagine that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.
"One day long ago the Martians, looking through their telescopes, discovered the Venusians.
"Just glimpsing the Venusians awakened feelings they had never known. They fell in love and quickly invented space travel and flew to Venus.
"The Venusians welcomed the Martians with open arms. They had intuitively known that this day would come.
"Their hearts opened wide to a love they had never felt before.
"The love between the Venusians and Martians was magical. They delighted in being together, doing things together, and sharing together.
"Though from different worlds, they reveled in their differences.
"They spent months learning about each other, exploring and appreciating their different needs, preferences, and behavior patterns.
"For years they lived together in love and harmony''. (Excerpt from Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray)
This harmony, Gray explains, turned into conflict right about when the Venusians and Martians suddenly suffered from “selective amnesia'' and forgot they were from different planets (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Thus, men and women from that day forth expected the opposite sex to act and react in ways we ourselves would, which ultimately caused conflict.
In his book, Gray examines ways to respect and live with each others differences without becoming frustrated and feeling the urge to send that other person into exile.
We all know men and women are unlike each other, yet sometimes we expect the opposite sex to want the things we want and respond the way we would.
However, since men and women speak different languages, at times crucial elements of a relationship get lost in translation.
This is further examined in chapter five through a witty phrase dictionary of how men and women can commonly misunderstand each other.
For more than 15 years, Gray was a marriage and family therapist and is still one of the most recognised experts in the field of relationships today.
John Gray's bestselling Mars and Venus books have been translated to more than 40 different languages worldwide, with many swearing by his tools and advice.
His other titles include Why Mars and Venus Collide, Mars and Venus on a Date and Mars and Venus Starting Over.
Throughout his career, Gray spent many years defining and understanding the root of problems and recognising the true source of miscommunication between couples.
Undoubtedly, this prompted him to create the Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus title which became an instant hit with both male and female readers.
Each chapter of the book explores the anatomy of arguments, how to connect during difficult times, the type of love men and women look for, asking for support and being encouraging towards your partner.
The only way to grow in love, the author says, is by respecting and accepting differences.
Love is magical
“Through understanding the hidden differences of the opposite sex we can more successfully give and receive the love that is in our hearts.
"By validating and accepting our differences, creative solutions can be discovered whereby we can succeed in getting what we want.
"And, more important, we can learn how to best love and support the people we care about.... Love is magical, and it can last, if we remember our differences,'' (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus).
A slightly “harsher'' book He's Just Not That Into You, The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys, by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo gets right to the point as soon as you flip open the cover.
No mixed messages
Despite the authors (writers of Sex and the City) describing as women spending most of their time deciphering the messages they feel they are receiving from men, there is no such thing as mixed messages.
If a man is interested, he is never too busy to call or send a message, he is not too shy or too intimidated by you so stop overanalysing with your girlfriends about the things he said to you.
Behrendt and Tuccillo say, men are not complicated and although he may not directly tell you that you are not the one, his actions or lack of actions should.
Here is a little excerpt from the book just to give you an idea.
“Many women have said to me, “Greg, men run the world.'' Wow. That makes us sound pretty capable.
"So tell me, why would you think we could be incapable of something as simple as picking up the phone and asking you out?
"You seem to think at times that we're “too shy'' or we “just got out of something''.
"Let me remind you: Men find it very satisfying to get what they want. (Particularly after a difficult day of running the world.) If we want you, we will find you.
"If you don't think you gave him enough time to notice you, take the time it took you to notice him and divide it by half.''
Like I said, the authors do not waste any time but some readers find the book a little too blunt because at the end of the day we are only human and we have to work, travel and sleep.
However, the book stands by its message and that is, if he likes you, he will break plans and move mountains to prove himself.
Otherwise, he's just not that into you!
The book is made up of case studies with women sending in letters and the authors cut-throat response, it's funny and a light read, with many claiming its approach to be ruthless while at the same time strangely liberating.
I would love to read this kind of book. It tells you how relationships function.
This book helped me realise the difference between the two genders and the uniqueness of both. I understood why a man behaves the way he does and have started respecting the difference.
I was having difficulties in my last relationship, so I turned to this book — and trust me, it teaches you a lot about relationships.
The book is based on reality and is very inspiring. Moreover, you get to know a lot about relationships.
Yes I did read the book. A few arguments referred in the book does remind you of situations/arguments with your partner.
Medha Mukundan, UAE
Real life and books are totally different. These books can't help you get through life. I haven't read this book.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the book. As a medical professional, I counsel a lot of people, particularly young women.
I think these kinds of books are a must-read for those afraid to let go of relationships that have no future. The book is well-written, cynical and very realistic. Almost everyone will, I think, be able to identify with it.
Zahira, South Africa
The book made me realise how differently men and women think.
Do we really need books to tell us that any relationship needs to be based on mutual respect, trust and compromise to succeed?
Jyothi Krishnan, UAE
These books are good only for keeping on shelves.
I don't agree with the theory men and women are from completely different planets. It is best not to over analyse situations but instead let them take their natural course, that's the best advice.
People underestimate beauty. My dad told my brother never to date a girl he met before noon because any girl that needs to wake up that early clearly isn't beautiful enough to get through life on looks alone!
Suzanne Shoush, Toronto
I think this is just a commercial advertisement to sell books.
It's a very useful, interesting and logical book, a must-read. Just read one page and you will end up reading the whole book.
It is a nice book and I loved reading it.
I have read tons of these books which, in most cases, do not apply to Emirati culture yet they give insights about those Mars creatures!
Of all these readings I agree with what Laura Swenson said: “Men are like a deck of cards. You'll find the occasional king, but most are jacks''.
Om Nehayan, Sharjah
This a classic book on the basic differences between a man and a woman.
I used to read this kind of non-fiction but soon realised these are entirely fictional. What do books know about the unique relationship you and your partner share?
I believe men and women think, listen, operate, behave, speak, emote and feel differently. Knowing the differences and appreciating the other sex for these differences is the key.
Being in love for seven years and finally tying the knot was not easy. But when the Big Day arrived, my dad presented me with this book.
I would recommend this to anyone who is confused as to how the other sex thinks and works. We are very different and this book does a GREAT job of opening our eyes to how it really is rather than how it should be.
Hamriya Abdul Rahman
It is a good book and helps you understand relationships better. It makes us realise where we go wrong and how to correct it.
It was an eye-opener. I practised a few tips and found them effective in my married life. I started understanding her difficulties and also involved her in some decisions. The results were great.
It makes us realise that we are a different species. It helps us introspect and makes us understand why we behave the way we do.
I was having problems with my wife and when I read the book, it blew my mind. It had all the answers I was looking for and helped me improve my relationship. I wish I had known about it earlier.
The book throws light on various characteristics of both the sexes and helps handle relationships. When you start implementing the tips, you realise that you know how to read the other person — this is the greatest thing about this book.
I read the book and found it was just the reverse — men seemed to behave like women and vice versa.
If I had read this book before I separated from my wife, it could have saved my marriage.
I got my first John Gray book more than ten years ago and I still refer to it. It has made me understand the psyche of men and women. I have given out more than a few copies of this book to those close to me.
It takes a lot of courage and patience to make a relationship successful — there's no formula. It's my belief that the more you expect, the more disappointed you feel when things don't go your way.
The only way to have a harmonious relationship is to respect, understand, accept and love.
The book gives you guidelines on tackling relationships and cites wonderful examples. Women are always difficult to understand!
B. Nandhakumar, UAE
Such books are generally helpful and give an insight into the species called man. Even though the book strikes a chord, at the end of the day, these books provide information that work for some, For others, it's entertainment.
The book makes life little easier when it comes to relationships. It's an eye-opener.
I have not read this book but I have seen the one-man show called Defending the Caveman and the seminar Laugh Your Way To a Happy Marriage, both focusing on communication, better understanding and building a relationship in a fun way.
The best book I have read is Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin. The principles in the book are so true and yet so mistaken by most women.
It has helped many marriages. For me, I think, I am appreciated by my husband more than ever before.
Any book by Allan and Barbara Pease is a treat to read.
As a married Muslim woman, I like to follow Islamic teachings on the ideal husband-wife relationship. However, I do enjoy listening to Dr Phil and his marital advice.
Of all these readings, I agree with what Laura Swenson said: “Men are like a deck of cards. You'll find the occasional king, but most are jacks''.
Om Nehayan, Sharjah
I read the book when I was in the university. To most of my friends who have read the book, it was pointless.
As for me, it allowed me to further understand the bipolar differences between men and women.
It points out the importance of communicating the way the other does as it could actually signal different meanings. It was fun to realise how things men say can actually be “heard'' or interpreted differently by women and vice versa.
These books teach women to be independent and to love themselves more than anything. My personal favourite is He's Just Not That Into You. This book opened my eyes and slapped me back to reality.
It is true how women, when in love, would make up stupid excuses for inexcusable things that men do. I used to wait for my phone to ring hoping it would be him but no text, no calls because he was “busy''.
Then the book said that no matter how busy the man is, if he is into you, he WILL find time to call. No excuses. Of all the books I've read, the best advice that ever worked to get your man to propose to you were just two words: Go Away.
Syvil Ann Cortes
A relationship has multiple definitions. In simple definition, it can be considered as a clear understanding between two individuals.
However, love makes relationships stronger. In life, the basis of a relationship between two genders is understanding of the minds.
Our perception of relationships vary. When young, we look at relationships from a different angle, where desirability and affection wins.
The relationship changes when the mind and body mature. Men and women realise the true spirit of freedom at the latter stage of their life.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman
Gulf News Reader's Club Member
Yes, I did read that book. It was a nice book through which men can understand us. Most of the topics relate to our lives though I'm not married.
I can also recommend the books of Allan and Barbara Pease
1) Why Men Can't Listen and Women Can't Read Map
2) Why Men Don't Have A Clue & Women Need More Shoes!
These books carry a test which can help improve
relationships. You will learn a lot and this is better than attending anger management sessions. I'm a non-fiction book reader, by the way... I also liked the Princess Trilogy by Jean Sasson.
We'll be discussing Mills and Boon. Have you read any? Do you think they are a corrupting influence? Do you think the older titles are better than the newer ones? Join the discussion on our website www.gulfnews.com or by emailing us at email@example.com. Don't forget to send us your picture.