I went to an all-boys school for high school so I was surrounded by testosterone for five years. Years that I must admit I do not regret as so many of my other friends do. I met some great people, friends that I still hold dear to this day. The experience without girls through adolesence was not unpleasant for me, though it did leave a lot of work for my wife to do when it came to educating me about cross-gender relationships.
In any case, I was immersed in males and male psychology and consequently understood them (us) fairly well. I find I can predict behaviour to a fairly high degree of accuracy after getting to know guys for a short time. The shorter a time it takes me to "figure out" a guy, the less interested I am in them. My daily exposure to the best and worst of them whittled the average time down quickly. Guys, I find, either remain the same juvenile jerks I hated in high school or they mature to the ones that I liked in high school. I place myself somewhere in the middle.
Girls, ladies, women; they remained a mystery. I hit college and was completely lost. Flirting was totally lost on me. It is only years after the fact that I can now recognize the few girls who did flirt with me as doing such. Totally clueless. I couldn't figure out their motivations, their hierarchy signals, their moods. The fairer sex might as well have been talking sanskrit for all I understood them.
Break: Yes, this is a gross and massive generalization but there are commonalities in either gender. There are as many simple women as there are simple men. I've met many of each. The complicated ones hold my attention in both genders.
After years of being with my wife, I slowly began to understand her but I knew I was just learning about one woman. There were many lessons to learn about women (and people, in general) from her but I had no delusions about being able to apply everything I learned about her to others. I would make a terrible date for any other woman; I have been shaped to the fit of one woman. I must mention that though I've got a good grasp of how my wife functions, I have not finished learning about my wife; she continues to surprise, one the most important conditions in marrying anyone.
As time went by I befriended a few more women, women I admire for many reasons (one of the most important conditions in befriending anyone), and a vague shape began to emerge. I think the number of women whose behaviour I can accurately predict has increased dramatically. I still do not have the same level of understanding as I do of men and likely never will. However, I'm quite pleased that I've achieved any level of understanding of women.
Some days, I feel I understand other people better than I do myself but I also get the feeling that a lot of other people feel the same way. That makes some sense, I suppose, since you can't really get an objective look at yourself. On the other hand, you can't get the full picture of someone else since you're never privy the whole of another person's life. Or perhaps there's just too much information to sift through for any useful analysis on oneself.
End crazy-person mumbling.
Well, in any case, I'm sure it speaks to my controlling nature that I even try to approach people in such a manner. I'm inquisitive by nature and I like to simplify. Where others might see crass reductionism, I just see it as elegance. If I can simplify something and the occasional someone without losing accuracy, that is beautiful to me.