Waffles and Spaghetti


Waffles Spaghetti

One of my favorite videos to share with clients is ‘Guys are like Waffles & Girls are like Spaghetti’ on Youtube. It’s just a college kid drawing on a white board talking about the humorous differences between men and women and how they tend to think differently- Waffles and Spaghetti. The analogy refers to men as waffles, focused on one thing at a time and thinking more compartmentalized like the boxes of a waffle. On the other hand, women tend to think more fluidly and verbally, with every noodle on the plate touching every other noodle. Oftentimes with couples I’m seeing spaghetti and waffles all over the place! Not to stereotype all men as thinking rationally and all women as thinking emotionally, as certainly we can adapt and learn different ways of thinking. However, I believe it’s important to honor and respect how men and women are designed differently in their thinking and how that can sometimes challenge our communications, perspectives, and interactions.


I recall learning that while a boy is forming in utero he gets a testosterone wash to the brain that literally separates the left and the right brain from each other. I’m no scientist, but that creates compartmentalized thinking in males whereas females tend to have more connections between the left and right sides of the brain. So this is described as ‘spaghetti and waffles’ in my office as a way of helping us respect and regard those differences in each other.

I remember early in my marriage, my husband, Mike, and I would be driving down the expressway and I’d see that time alone, without distractions, as a great opportunity for us to talk. I would eagerly ask, “What are you thinking about?”, expecting him to join me in some meaningful, connecting conversation. When his reply would be “Nothing” or, as he points to the car ahead of him “I’m thinking about how to get ahead of that black suv”, I would inevitably feel surprised or hurt because how can he not be thinking about anything?! And then, when he insisted he wasn’t thinking about anything at all, I might actually start to question his honesty and believe he was withholding from me. Today, I’ve come to understand and accept his ‘nothing box’. It’s actually a really nice strength that men possess. Sometimes I wish I had that ability!

It’s important for women to understand that men really do enjoy that ‘nothing box’, it serves them well. The ability to focus fully on one thing at a time, is a benefit to us all. When a man is working on fixing the kitchen sink, that is all he’s thinking about! When he’s mowing the grass, he’s mowing the grass. When he goes to work, it’s all about work. When he’s watching the football game, it’s all about football. The only box I would argue where men do NOT compartmentalize is the sex box- that area just might permeate all the other ones!


On the other hand, women are more like a plate of spaghetti, where every noodle is connected to every noodle on the plate and the sauce covers everything. Generally speaking, a woman doesn’t separate things categorically in her mind. Her thoughts kind of happen one after another after another and she needs to talk about them. Men tend to struggle with this as they prefer fixing things. Men also have difficulty understanding how women can go on and on and on, not realizing they simply desire to be heard, understood and comforted. That need for a woman to verbally process, talking things out loud and connecting through conversation, is part of how she is designed. Her unique way of thinking brings strength to the marriage relationship. It’s part of how she is able to multitask- working, managing the household, cooking dinner, talking on the phone and caring for the many emotional, physical and spiritual needs of family and children.

Waffles + Spaghetti = 🙂🙂

Honoring these Waffle & Spaghetti differences between men and women is a game changer in marriage, parenting, and really all relationships. Rather than demanding ‘sameness’ from a spouse or partner, couples can learn to accept and work with their differences. Can we be patient with each other? With some effort and intention, trying different ways of communicating will actually bring about understanding and progress rather than paralysis and frustration. With grace and understanding, a couple can have their waffles and eat their spaghetti too.

Come visit us at Married Life Counseling if you need support to implement these suggestions!

For more on communication and relationships, visit our blog page.

To take a deeper dive into Waffles & Spaghetti, visit the following link for book information.



Christie Orosz, LPCC-S

Christie Orosz, LPCC-S

Christie is the founder of Married Life Counseling and her passion for marriage stems from her own personal journey. Her parents struggled, and then she and her husband struggled. She has the determination to help other couples grow in their marriage.


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