Dr. Richard Arenson, author of “Women Are Superior to Men” joins us this week for a light-hearted conversation about gender stereotypes and solving relationship problems! We talk about everything from intimacy (it’s more than sex) to the main differences between men and women, with some added comedic relief.
If you want help taking life less seriously while gaining practical tips to improve your relationships, keep listening!
In this week’s episode, we discuss:
[01:40] About Dr. Richard Arenson
[06:45] What inspired Dr. Arenson’s book?
[12:10] Promoting love and gender in a more positive light
[16:10] Comedy as a coping mechanism
[23:55] Gender stereotypes
[31:35] Solving relationship problems & learning how to communicate
[34:25] The importance of active listening
[38:40] The impact of phone addiction on relationships
[44:56] Common reasons why couples fight
[48:55] Intimacy in relationships
[55:45] Dr. Arenson’s favorite date
About Dr. Richard Arenson
Dr. Richard Arenson is a dual-trained endocrinologist and geriatrician who has won numerous prestigious medical and medical Leadership Awards and lectures widely on endocrinology, medical leadership, and personal management science. He is the author of the book “Women Are Superior to Men” and freelances as a stand-up comedian.
What inspired Dr. Arenson’s book?
When Dr. Arenson was ascending through medicine, he ended up in a medical leadership position. He realized that doctors are great at medicine but not always great with people. This led him to run courses for doctors to teach them more about how to help patients deal with stress, help families in distress, and how to manage a team. His wife ended up coming to one of his courses and said “You need to write a book.”
As he was writing about relationships and conflict resolution, he had an experience where women around him were complaining about their husbands. He told them “Don’t you know that women are superior to men?” This inspired him to keep that as the title and keep writing.
Promoting love and gender in a more positive light
People are divided now more than ever and the same thing has happened with love and gender. Even masculinity and femininity are now regarded by many people as negative gender stereotypes. Dr. Arenson’s writing is about promoting love and happiness while saying “We are different but that’s beautiful.” He wanted to put positivity back in the space. In his book, he reminds us that sexuality is something that should bond people, not divide them.
Comedy as a coping mechanism
Dr. Arenson always found that he loved making people laugh. He brought comedy to medicine because he thought it was boring without it. People knew that when they came into his office, they were going to laugh. This led him to start doing stand-up comedy. He shares that laughing is what makes us human. Life can be scary and if you stop laughing, it becomes scarier.
The book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” was iconic in its time but we have moved a long way since then. The differences between men and women are mostly biological and it’s a blueprint for our survival. Women are inherently more nurturing than men and are great at being mothers. Men are meant to be protectors. He also shares that women can multitask and men like to focus on one thing at a time.
Women are often more emotionally connected which has a huge impact on sex. Men can put sex in a box and it can be a physical act for them while women have a problem separating out complex emotions. We are all sexual beings, we just have to remember the differences between us. Men and women are genetically designed for specialized roles that have given us certain abilities and we should celebrate that.
Solving relationship problems & learning how to communicate
It’s healthy for couples to communicate and talk about their problems together but oftentimes men like to retreat when they are confronted with emotions. This is difficult for women because they believe their partner is pulling away from them. Dr. Arenson says that it may be important to give a man space but coaxing conversation is incredibly important. You can’t solve problems if you don’t talk about what is bothering you. When people get angry with each other they want to pull away but instead, you should come together. Stopping intimacy and affection is the last thing that is going to heal your relationship.
The importance of active listening
The number one factor in whether someone is satisfied in their relationship is if they feel valued. The only way that people feel valued is if they feel that their opinions are being heard and taken seriously. If you learn how to use active listening in your relationship, this can make all the difference. Celeste reminds her clients when they go on a first date to listen 80% of the time and speak 20%.
The impact of phone addiction on relationships
Dr. Arenson says that we don’t realize how addictions affect us until many years down the road. He thinks that there are profound mental and physical effects from people being on their phones. He recommends having time in your relationship when you put your phone away and be present with each other. This will help you get rejuvenated and be centered again. If you have a family, you could also implement family dinners. Evidence has shown that families that eat together have much closer relationships.
Common reasons why couples fight
Two common reasons why couples fight are sex and money. The movies have portrayed sex to always be fun and easy. This sets up high expectations and when people are met with the fact that sex requires hard work, that’s where sexual dysfunction comes in. Dr. Arenson reminds us that couples won’t always have matched libidos and the impact of stress can cause a lot of challenges.
Another reason why couples fight is because of children. Making sure that you are a united team before you have children is important. Children are going to push boundaries and your relationship.
There was a study done in Australia that said 80% of couples who got divorced stated inattention as a reason. Whether it’s sex or children, when people stop giving each other attention that is when relationships break down. You have to keep nourishing and feeding your relationship, intimacy, and life together.
Intimacy in relationships
People want to be validated, heard, and desired. This leads to much more satisfaction in relationships. Intimacy is much more than just sex, it’s about two people sharing pleasure, closeness, and love. When this happens, meaningful conversations and moments happen. You have to make time and put in effort to keep a relationship alive. Dr. Arenson says if you have to put a lock on the door to keep children out and have privacy, then do that!
Dr. Arenson’s favorite date
Dr. Arenson’s wife was in the same medical class as him and he never took the class seriously. She would move away from him because he was always making jokes. Surprisingly, on his birthday she gave him a bouquet of roses in front of 200 people. She asked him what he was doing that day and they ended up playing tennis, going out for lunch, spending time at the beach, and then going out for dinner. They have been inseparable ever since!
Connect with Dr. Arenson: