In one of my first articles for LDS Dimension/LDS Dating, I wrote an article titled, “What Women Want” (see: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/what-do-women-want-2/). This information and these ideas were based upon a combination of my training, education, and clinical experience as a psychologist with women, men, and couples. I’m sure my own personal experiences added to these ideas as well. In that original article, I stated that the main thing women want and need in a relationship—in my understanding/opinion—is “to be the number 1 priority over other people, interests, and obligations”. In short, women want to be #1 in general, period. In my years of experience, I have never seen anything different than this idea reveal itself on the subject over time and across situations, although there are many different ways to say essentially this same idea and concept. For instance, a woman saying things like that “she just wants to be loved, cherished, cared for”, etc., are still all different ways of saying the same idea that she wants to be number 1, and that others aren’t to be put above her if she is going to be happy.
Occasionally (although rarely) over the years when this #1 priority theory has come out in my sessions, I have had some women want to dispute the idea. Perhaps saying such a bold statement that women want to be #1 that bluntly may feel a bit much for some. Still, when I then ask who she would be OK being over her as his top priority—perhaps his mother, sister, or daughter—women then ultimately agree with my original assertion. They may just reframe the same idea in different words, but the idea is essentially the same.
Theory—WhyWomen Want to Be #1:
Evolutionary psychology is a branch of psychology putting forth the idea/theory that certain instincts and behaviors are inherited and repeat with us as people over time because these tendencies served as effective ancient survival tactics. Therefore, how we naturally tend to think, feel, and act promote not only surviving, but also the successful acts of reproduction and support of the children as well. In the case of women wanting to be and pushing to be #1, the theory is essentially this: women who were able to successfully be treated as the #1 person in the man’s life throughout time were far more likely to have him consistently act as a successful, reliable provider and protector for her. This supported not only her own survival, but also the survival and health on her children as well. In short, women who were treated as #1 by him survived far better and more often than women (and children) without such a man in their lives.
Spiritually, we understand this same idea as originating more from God-given gender-based roles, instincts, and differences given in the pre-mortal existence with us as spirits. Accordingly, we find the following statement in the 1995 Proclamation to the World: “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose…In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.”
In short and in sum, women wanting to be the main priority is natural, logical, eternal, and sensible, especially during more primitive times before technological advances have better allowed women to provide for themselves. And since technological advances only really took off since the time of the restoration in 1830, the bulk to humanity has lived without technology. Hence, these gender differences were essential. Such natural/spiritual differences didn’t disappear simply because technology increased. We will always be men and women, wiring, gender differences, and all.
Navigating The Need to be The #1 Priority:
In this short article, I won’t be able to explore and review all of the different and best ways men can treat their wives as the #1 priority. Nor will I be able to give women many ideas for how to appropriately and effectively promote their need in this way. I will simply offer these 2 suggestions that will help the effort as a good starting point.
For Men:A great way to regularly demonstrate to your wife (or potential future wife) that she is the priority is to listen to well. Since the most common complaint of women in my office is that “he really doesn’t listen to me”, that is a good place to start showing her she is #1. For more ideas for being a good, attentive, active listener, you can find more ideas in this article: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/listening-skills-14/
For Women: A great way to effectively convey and reinforce your need to be the main priority with minimal conflict comes from a combination of 1) assertive communication on the subject + 2) giving positive reinforcement when he shows you he is making you the main priority. Two previous articles offering further ideas on these two subjects can be found here:
This trait of women wanting to be #1 isn’t going away, so please understand it and work with it accordingly. Women want to be the number one priority, and that is OK (when approached in a healthy, fair, appropriate fashion). And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
About the author
I am a founder of this site and as of May 2015 I am happily married to a wonderful LDS woman. I spent my years in the singles system as a singles rep working to optimize events and maximize the effectiveness of people interacting and finding someone to love. I studied psychology for years and my years as a software and business consultant have made me very adept at understanding people and their motivations. I hope to help others find that same happiness that I have.