Anyone who struggles to understand the opposite sex would have benefited from the program cosponsored by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, as it sought to answer, “Is a Good Man/Woman Hard to Find?” last Monday.
The program, featuring guest speaker Lynette Harris, director of Community Standards, was meant to enable members of both sexes to openly discuss their opinions and experiences about their ideal relations, such as what qualities they look for in a man or woman.
“People don’t have a lot of information on the other gender,” Amber Cox, senior psychology major and community service programming and finer womanhood committee chair for Zeta Phi Beta said, noting the value of the program. “Their views are usually based on one experience.” The women of Zeta Phi Beta promoted the program by acknowledging that men and women perceive reality differently, often resulting in broken hearts, high divorce rates, misunderstandings, poor communication and violent confrontations.
To encourage a more personal and open conversation, participants were seated in a circle in alternating male/female order.
When Harris asked members what they looked for in a man or woman, the main responses from women were independence, as in men who don’t rely on their mothers, and honesty.
The men said they liked women who could hold a conversation and knew etiquette.
Harris questioned the types of relationships men and women pursue; do they look for exclusive relationships or just want to hook-up?
A few women at the program said they had trouble understanding the time at which a man is “mature” enough to want a relationship. Some of the men argued there is no certain time or age at which a man wants a relationship, as it depends more on finding the right woman.
Harris said that whether a person seeks a lasting relationship or just a hook-up, it is only fair if the other knows what his or her partner wants and agrees to the proposed situation.
Interactions, disagreements and communication skills with a partner were other hot topics.
One conclusion that was reached was that if women and men were more direct with their partners, and did not just assume to know what they’re thinking, then communication would improve.
When a disagreement arises, the group determined the best solutions are to first give both partners the chance to cool off, then to be understanding, not bring up past arguments and to talk everything through.
Harris concluded the program by discussing how people in a relationship should be accepted by their partners for whom they are and not for whom their partner wants them to be.
“People need to have honest communication and accept honesty,” Harris said during the program.
At the conclusion of the program, Harris said she considered the discussion a success.
“The group was very open and very willing to participate,” she said. “I didn’t have to pull teeth to get answers.”
The openness made the program a productive one. “I wanted to hear different opinions and the guys were very open,” Cox said.
Shyneefa Ramsey, senior psychology major and vice president of the chapter, thought the program made a positive impact.
“People were able to realize that they could change,” she said.
The talk was part of Zeta Phi Beta’s Z-Hope series, which stands for Zeta’s Helping Other People Excel and focuses on the mind, body and spirit.