What do women want?
The epic struggle of mankind to figure out the inner workings of women is ages old. Even Sigmund Freud, the master of modern psychology, died trying to figure out women. It isn't easy.
I had a friend once joke with me that "men mostly want sex, woman want the right to be hypocritical, yet call men on their inconsistencies." Yikes. No wonder men and women have struggles getting along!
One reason why understanding women isn't such an easy thing is because the ways women process thoughts and emotions are drastically different than their male counterparts' ways of processing.
Studies indicate women use emotion to process thought as their basis for decision making 30% more than men do.* As such, women are also known for being more intuitive than men. This is not exactly true, as men use intuition in different ways, and have different ways of communicating. Nevertheless, men tend to bond through shared activities, whereas women bond through sharing thoughts and feelings.
I've noticed that a woman will want to tell every little nuance of a story, where their male counterpart might be feeling like, "ok, what's the point?" A man typically seeks a solution to the problem, as if the story was a problem. Or, he's looking for a way to suggest something to help his woman improve, which is based upon competitive thinking (how men relate in conversation is much more competitive). In fact, a woman often is just relating this story to SHARE with him; there isn't anything competitive about it.
So what do women really want in a man? You want my take at it, here you go.
The top 6 things women want FROM MEN, in order, are:
1. Confidence (or Power)
2. Sense of humor (Fun)
3. Money or the things money can buy (Security)
4. Looks (Protection and Attraction)
5. A little bit of "Bad boy" qualities (Mysterious and Independent/Strong)
6. All the other stuff they typically list (varies - sensitive, caring, etc.)
However, in interviewing countless women, and receiving numerous pointers from women (after all, I AM a MAN!) I must say that there is an expanded list for us guys to get familiar with, according to women. So, what is the expanded list? Men can get what they want from women much more frequently when they approach women with a few simple - yet effective - guidelines:
1. Women want a man to be confident! Confidence is the number one quality women look for. Don't be wimpy. Don't apologize for everything. Be real. Be you.
2. Women go nuts over a man who will go the extra mile. For example, he opens the door for her, he walks on the right side of the street, he helps her shop. I'm talking about being a GENTLEMAN! If she is cold, offer her your jacket. If she is in trouble, protect her. If there is danger, put your arm around her. Be a real man.
3. A sense of humor. Women love a man who can make her laugh. If you are dull, you are boring. If you make a woman laugh, you're halfway home. Take a chance, be real, but be funny.
4. Women want a man to listen to them (yes, even to the gripes and details of all the craziness) and not necessarily give advice. Many women love to complain about their problems; however, they complain not to receive advice, but merely to sound off. I know it's hard to nod and be supportive, because you want to watch ESPN or do something that to you may seem more exciting, but the fact is, your woman will go to the ends of the earth to love you when you truly listen to them and acknowledge their needs. You need to understand that women need to VENT. Allow her this, and she'll allow you in. Nod. Get involved and provide active listening feedback. Be truly interested in what she is saying without worrying about what you're going to say next. Then, watch what happens as your woman opens up to you more.
Women want men to listen to them, because they have a need to be heard. And, women want their man to express his feelings and trust her with his intimate side. Real listening, with real intimacy, is rare. Real listening is suspending thinking about what to say and being deeply engaged in what she is talking about. Listening requires actively paying attention -- shutting off the chatter mind.
5. Women want to be treated like they are the sexiest woman on the planet and that no other woman compares. Talking about your ex-girlfriends is not going to score big points with your new woman. Treating her like she's the ONLY one will make her smile for quite a while.
6. Women want to know you will be faithful. Don't tell a woman how you cheated on your ex. It won't make her think you are wise, loyal, or trustworthy. I'm not saying to lie to her -- just don't go there. Don't cheat on your woman. She will not think you are a better man for doing this. Just like you want think you are the only man she's ever loved, well, that's the thing she wants, too. The key to faithfulness comes from your own inner character. Be a man of character and you will reap a relationship built upon trust. You gain respect through consistent committed action. Respect backed up by love builds trust, trust builds a strong relationship that can stand the tests of life and time.
7. Women SAY they want a sensitive man. Truth is, if you go around apologizing all the time and crying frequently then a woman will abuse you. Trust me, it is NOT wise to do. This was well exemplified during the beach scene in the movie Bedazzled, where the main character in the film was trying to woo his love interest, his advice had been to "be more sensitive." Well, he went so overboard, was so sensitive, that his love interest ended up walking away with another dude with the assumption that they'd have meaningless conversation and casual sex! Boy was HE surprised! Being overly sensitive is a quick way to get shown the door. It is important to strike a balance. Be strong, be there, yet share your emotions. Speak up and be real. Let them know you care. But don't be a sissy.
Women say they want to be treated like an equal. This is not true. Women want to be treated like a WOMAN. Not like a man. If she wanted to be with a woman, she'd do that. She wants to be with YOU. Therefore, be a MAN. This is not to be confused with being treated like a piece of property, not to be confused with being treated with disrespect. Women want to be respected! A woman wants to be respected for being feminine, being a woman. Women are quite different from men. A man who takes the time to understand the difference is a wise man. Bottom line here: NO MORE Mr. NICE GUY. Be a REAL MAN, not a sensitive NICE GUY. Because the nice guys usually do finish last.
You still don't get it? Ok, then try this: be your own bad self. I will say that some women are attracted to "Bad Boys". I think there is a certain ruggedness to the bad boy - they break rules, they sometimes behave rudely. But the true gentleman always remembers what matters most. Have an air of mystique, but definitely be you. If, on occasion, that means doing what you want, rather than what she wants, then do it. Just don't make a continual habit of it - that's rude.
8. Women LOVE a man with a plan. Women love men with ambition. Men who know who they are, what we're doing tonight, and what we're doing with our life. If you don't have a plan, get one. I have a plan (a) and plan (b) ready at all times, so that no matter what, it will appear I'm fairly spontaneous, but reality is I usually know where, when, and how the evening or date could go. In dating, it is extremely important that you have a plan when you ask a woman out. They will judge your sense of confidence by how well you have thought out where you will take her and what you will do together. So, think ahead, have a plan, then work that plan. While you're at it make sure you have an alternative plan, too, in case she doesn't like the first one!
It is equally important for a man to know when to call a woman's bluff and let her know when she is pushing his limits. A man who just falls over and laps at his woman's feet is a man who is called "whipped" for a reason. An example is as follows: she asks, "what do you want to do tonight," he says, "whatever you want to do." If this is his consistent pattern, he's whipped. She won't respect him in the end.
9. Give the woman in your life gifts. So, maybe giving a gift once in a while isn't such a bad idea. Just don't go broke trying to impress her! Small gifts, especially gifts that show you were listening when she mentioned her favorite candy bar, or when she stopped at that jewelry counter to admire those earrings (but put them back without buying them), or how she commented on how she'd just love that dress in the window of that snazzy clothing store. Well, use your own imagination. But if you don't gift the woman in your life you'll probably be referred to by the woman you love as "cheapskate".
Now, "why," you ask, "do women care about gifts?" Good question. The answer is that one way women relate is through giving gifts - especially when you've paid attention to what they want. Women will gift exchange compliments with each other, too. So just trust me and surprise her with a gift every now and then and see if she doesn't respond favorably.
10. Be a true friend. Let her share her good times and problems with you. Be there, rather than just promising to be there. Consistent committed positive action is a definition of love. How do you show you are a friend? Are you there when it matters most? Are you there for the small stuff, too?
11. Women want to be loved, despite their flaws, and need to be satisfied mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as much as physically. Unconditional love would be ideal love. How can you love a woman without judgment, conditions, or rules? How would you like to be loved?
Sexually speaking, women define great sex differently than men, using words like soft candlelight, light touch, then becoming more aggressive as their mood rises to the occasion. A man, on the other hand, instantly rises to the occasion. Women want men to be their lover instead of obsessing over their body to just get sex. Rather than treat women as sex objects, treat them as someone to relate with; in other words, a real person! That means taking your time, showing extra attention, and being tender in ways with her to let her know she is special.
12. Women appreciate a man who is creative. Roses are nice. But sometimes it is extra special to think of something that most guys wouldn't do for a woman. It could be something frivolous, but if it is something that you think SHE would like, then why not do it? You might have just made her day.
13. Women want a sense of security, to know that her partner will be there if she becomes sick or when she grows old or flabby. Giving a woman security is being there through emotional and physical support. An example might be if she has to have surgery. Take the day off and be there for her, hold her hand, and give your full support to her. In other words, postpone that "tee time"! Security comes from trust. Again, this is about being able to rely in your strength of character.
Knowing these 13 traits, how can men better relate to women?
First, men need to develop ways of listening more akin to how women listen to each other. Women nod and say "aha, wow, yes, uh-huh" much more than men do. Men listen more quietly when they speak, and consider such mannerisms as an interruption. Men may improve their chances if they are interactive in conversation. Relate to them. Carry on the story with the extra question.
Men also need to cut the cheesy lines and just be genuine. An example might be how a man interacts with a woman in a bar scene. Instead of approaching her with some line like "your mother must be beautiful - just look at you," a man can be more genuine: "Nice restaurant, do you like the food here?" would be a much better approach.
If you are going to compliment a woman, pay attention to how women compliment each other. Good examples include: new hairstyles, jewelry, sense of style, great laugh. Poor examples would be her boobs, butt, or other body parts. Again, that makes her feel like a sex object or piece of meat. Relate and get the story behind that bracelet she's wearing. Use "props" properly and you'll get positive proposition results!
One challenge men have is the tendency to see a woman as his personal sex toy. This is a real problem between men and women. He really needs to put aside the sex issue and consider the deeper issues: how does he feel with her? Does she make him laugh? Do they share common dreams and goals?
Men need to appreciate a women for the effort she goes through to be beautiful for him. A woman does not have to be a size 6 or have perfectly toned muscles or large breasts to be a beautiful woman. It is important for women to love their body (flaws and all), as this attitude creates confidence in herself -- which is practically an aphrodisiac to a man. Appreciating what women go through is a way to develop gratitude. An "attitude of gratitude" goes a long way to improving a relationship. He can compliment her and let her know she is beautiful to him and that she is "perfect" to him.
Last, men need to share in the responsibility of building a good relationship. Helping make each day fun; living on purpose with aspirations, sharing the good times, and taking on the crazy challenges life can present, is what makes relationships worthwhile.