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John Gray


How Much Does Hair Have to Do With a Person's Attractiveness? Dear John: How does hair color and style contribute to how much a person would find a potential partner attractive? Considering the amount of money hair care companies spend on creating new products, such as dyes, relaxants, shampoos, styling gels …Read more. Stepson Has Problematic Girlfriend Dear John: My 24-year-old stepson recently introduced us to his new girlfriend. She is 12 years older than him, which makes her just 10 years younger than my husband and me. She's loud and a big flirt who knows no boundaries. In fact, she has even …Read more. Threesome Tension Dear John: Recently, my husband shared with me that he would like to have a threesome with another female. I know this is pretty much a fantasy many guys have. After stating this, he said he would leave it up to me if it happened or not. And now, I'…Read more. Unhealthy Attraction Dear John: I have a crush on a woman at my work. She is several years older than I am, and is married with two kids. I know that this is an unhealthy attraction. The trouble is, I don't know how to fall out of love with her. I'm extremely shy around …Read more.
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Are Only Women Responsible for Household Chores?


Dear John: In the past, you've recommended that when a man notices things around the house that need to be done, he should ask his wife if he should do them. If you see something that needs to be done and you are quite capable of doing it, why does one need to ask permission?

I doubt that any woman would reply would be, "No, dear, I'll carry that up the stairs even though you are walking right by it and could easily do it." What it implies to me is that all things within the house (and raising the kids) are the sole responsibility of the wife, and if her husband does anything to help, that is a bonus. Doesn't she have the right to demand that he help without having to make it seem like he is doing her a "favor." — Unsure of Your Meaning, in Cambridge, Mass.

Dear Unsure: Many things that women do naturally — take on chores without being asked, buying little gifts, giving compliments — do not come naturally to many men. These men were raised in households where their fathers probably demonstrated little of this behavior with their mothers.

Such men may need a little encouragement. We all want to be recognized for our good deeds, and we respond to recognition with the resolve to perform other generous acts. A woman can motivate a man to take on these attributes by rewarding him with the same kind words and actions she would wish to expect — or hope to hear when performing the same deeds.

If, after repeated efforts, he catches on, we'd all be living in a better world.

Dear John: I was told that one of your books contains an outline on how to write an effective love letter to your partner when you've had an argument. My question is, which book? —Ready to Make Up, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Dear Ready: It is difficult to communicate lovingly when you're upset. By writing out our feelings, we are better able to release negativity and communicate in a loving fashion. There are three aspects to the love letter technique. First, you write a love letter to express what you are feeling, be it anger, sadness, fear, regret or love. You then write a "response letter" that expresses what you would want to hear from your partner. Finally, you share your love letter and the response letter with your partner. This exercise is covered in greater detail in my book "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus."

John Gray is the author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus." Visit his website,, for advice on dating, marriage, parenting, romance and workplace issues. Or email him at To find out more about John Gray and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



6 Comments | Post Comment
Um, since when does doing chores, buying presents, and giving compliments "come naturally" to anyone? Women and girls have it pounded into their heads starting at an early age. They are rewarded for doing it, and punished (sometimes severely) when they don't. It doesn't "come naturally". Babies don't do chores, buy presents, or give compliments. All of these are LEARNED behaviors, just like reading or driving. A girl who isn't taught to be considerate of others will grow up to be just as much of an entitled slob as a boy who isn't taught.

Like any other LEARNED behavior, being proactive about other people's comfort and convenience is something that can be taught. The fact these social skills are generally taught more seriously and more selectively to females in no way lets males off the hook if they somehow survive to adulthood without having learned social skills. It would be roughly equivalent to a woman reaching adulthood without learning to drive, or without learning to do her own laundry. Such a woman has two choices: she can either learn the skills she's failed to pick up so far, or she can live with the consequences of not having them. The same goes for men.

On planet Earth, the predictable and normal consequence of ignoring other people's needs and focusing solely on yourself is that you eventually alienate the other people around you to the point where they truly don't want you around except to the extent you're useful to them. Creating a special entitled class of people and deciding they're exempt from having to be considerate of others, and then continuing to enable that lack of consideration for the rest of their lives, cripples the entitled princelings just as much as it does their servants. It's why an entire generation of women is deciding that they don't actually need or want men in their lives: they're tired of the servitude, they want equal partners, but if the choice is between solitude and servitude, we pick solitude every time.
Comment: #1
Posted by: R.A.
Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:25 AM
R.A., perfectly stated. :)
Comment: #2
Posted by: julie
Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:10 PM
BTW, this does not apply to most men who are good guys and do help out :)
Comment: #3
Posted by: julie
Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:12 PM
Re: R.A.

Excellent post!!!! I think John is about the most sexist advice columnist on the planet.
Comment: #4
Posted by: nanchan
Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:09 PM
I agree fully with R.A. I believe John is speaking from a generational place. Men who are my dad's age (60s, 70s) are like he describes. Men of my husband's age (mid 30s) are expected to have figured it out, with some poking and prodding. My son will be taught that it's all about equality, period.
Comment: #5
Posted by: jenny
Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:50 AM
Maybe so, but what age is John? He looks younger than me (although his photo could be outdated) and I'm in my early 50s. When I was married or even just living with a boyfriend, they always pitched in and did their fair share of the housework. In fact, my ex-husband usually did more of it than I did, and he loved to cook as well. And I helped him with house painting, spackling, and minor repairs. Most people my age were raised by mothers who were what they then called "women's libbers," and I thought this was all sorted out already a few decades ago. Although maybe it had a regional component as well, since I lived in the Northeast, and some of the southerners and midwesterners I met when I was in my 20s seemed more stuck in the traditional roles.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Joyce
Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:05 PM
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