Hannah and I went to this Fireside once, speaking was a guy I knew who was a successful relationship counselor. It was a YSA fireside so his talk was more like a presentation. The one thing he really focused on was the differences between men and women- how we think, things we do, things we say, etc. and how they differ from the same in the opposite sex. How there are so many differences that there should be no way we can co-habitate, but that with a little work, those differences can make a strong, complete relationship, as well as making you into a more complete person.
I've made a few of my own observations about the differences between men and women. One that I've been reminded of recently is that when women complain they don't want solutions, they want empathy. For instance, if a guy is complaining about, say, the electrical in his house giving out all the time, the correct response is to say, "Oh, I know a good electrician, here's his number." Now if a girl makes the same complaint, the appropriate response is, "That sucks really bad, I would really hate having my power go out randomly." Sometimes I forget this, every now and then one of my female friends will come to me with a problem, and like a guy I start prodding for more information so that I can formulate a solution, but they just want my empathy and understanding. Usually at some point during the experience I'll be thinking, How am I supposed to help figure this out if... Oh... yeah...
This goes along with one of the things he said. Men and women bond in different ways, men do things together, playing catch, helping each other move, watching the game, etc. and that brings us closer together. Women, on the other hand, talk in order to bond. If you really think about times you felt closest to your friends or significant other I think you'll find this pretty consistent. Using this knowledge I've tried to figure out ways Hannah and I can both do what we do at the same time, where we can be doing an activity together that also gives us time to talk. My first idea was playing catch, I think girls would be surprised how much guy talk goes on in athletics. Playing baseball from about middle school on it happened a lot. Between the circle stretch and loosening up it happened almost constantly. So I started trying to teach Hannah how to play catch, which is easier said than done. It's still a mystery to me how nearly every girl "throws like a girl." I don't understand how every girl learns the same wrong way to throw... but that's beside the point. In the end we figured out a way to play to our strengths. Hannah played lacrosse in high school so now we play with a lacrosse ball, she uses her stick and I use my glove and throw, it works surprisingly well.
One of the other good activities was cooking. Now I don't consider myself a chef or anything, but if I have the recipe, I can make it. I do have some skills though, I used to watch Food Network a lot because I had a big crush on Giada De Laurentiis, so I've learned a few tricks, but not many. So Hannah and I have cooked a few good meals and dishes together, it's actually a lot of fun, we've even gone to a few free cooking classes together.
Another thing we've attempted are video games. Now I know most girls aren't into video games, but a lot of guys are, and they're a lot more fun when played with someone you know. Hannah never really got into the more modern, complex games, but we would pull out the old Nintendo 64 from time to time and play some GoldenEye or Mario Party.
I've think that discovering ways to combine each of your strengths into couple's activities is one of the best things you can do. I think that if you can find ways to compromise and have your respective strengths compliment each other then your differences themselves become strengths rather than weaknesses.