Interestingly, a lot of people assume that even though men are often confused by what women want, the opposite is commonly true as well. We men can often confuse women with our needs and wants. Interestingly, because we men are generally pretty simple, that is what can be the most confusing to women. I often hear things in my office from women like, "there has to be more going on there", or "what else does he need?". In reality, not much. There really isn't that much more going on inside of us, and that is usually the way we like it. The good news is, when a few strategic, basic needs are met within reason, we men are pretty satisfied most of the time.
One of the complicating factors in addressing the issue of knowing and fulfilling things men want and need in a relationship is this post feminism age in which we live. From the 1970s through the early 2000s, both in and out of the church, we've heard society's message that women taking care of a man's needs is somehow producing subjugation and even a form of relational slavery. If the giving were only one direction, I would agree with those criticisms. However, in a good, healthy relationship where both sides making an effort, the giving goes both directions and is very healthy and satisfactory for each involved. That is what to both look for in them and promote from your side.
So, instead of waiting for a man to come find and impress you, I suggest becoming familiar with what men want and, within reason, show what you have to offer in a relationship. Work on being more proactive and extraverted. That will bring you attention and will greatly expand your dating options and opportunities.
Therefore, in my understanding and in approximate order of priority and relevance, here are the top 5 things men want in a relationship with women. For her to:
1) Be in a good mood. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". Also, "happy wife, happy life". We men live to please women and for you to be in a happy, pleasant, positive mood. We infer that you are in a good mood through your behaviors: warm, pleasant tone, positive words, happy facial expression, etc. Smiles, laughter, positive comments pull men in like a magnet. Frowns, grumpiness, grouchiness, not so much. When you are happy, we feel like we are doing a good job in the relationship.
2) Treat him like he's a hero. "Hero" is a rather old fashioned word, but it applies very well to our second need. Forms of "hero" treatment from women include such things like compliments, appreciation, thank yous, flirting, and other admiring, appreciative looks, actions, and gestures. Feminist theory postulates that men like these things simply because it feeds "the endless male ego". However, in the therapy office, the only reason I hear from men as to why they like hero treatment is because it helps them feel like they are are doing a good job in the relationship. That's it. So that, in a sense, makes women the relational boss.
3) Bonding behaviors. Whereas women tend to bond more verbally, we men tend to bond more behaviorally. We get close to women by doing fun activities together. We enjoy when women will try to take an interest in and enjoy activities we are into so we can have similar interests. After marriage, the most obvious bonding behavior we like is usually sex/intimacy. Other common activities that we like and that we'd like women to enthusiastically join us with could include such things as sports, video games, camping, barbequing, travel, etc.
4) Looking good. It's true, we men tend to be wired visually so a woman's looks matter to us. There, I just came out and said it. Shaming men on this topic won't change it. It's still true and you need to know it. There is an old saying: men fall in love with their eyes, women fall in you love with their ears. We men are mostly attracted to…women we are physically attracted to. Still, if needs 1-3 above aren't met, the physical attraction will only carry the relationship so long and the relationship will soon drop off. Nevertheless, looks draw the most immediate attention and go a long way. We don't expect physical perfection, just a good regular effort in the looks arena: moderate weight (supported by healthy diet + exercise), fashion, hygiene, etc. NOTE: of course, please look for and expect these same things from the man in return. Work on yourself, and find a physically equivalent, compatible match.
5) Personal time and space. As men, we enjoy being supported in having some regular (but not excessive) time and space to enjoy our personal hobbies and/or bonding time away from the main woman in our life--whether alone or with our guy friends. When this need is understood and supported within reason, we have a chance to decompress and reconnect back with you. Our relational intimacy cups tend to get filled quicker than women's cups, and we'll want to space. Of course, women need space too. Ideally this need can be negotiated in a win-win fashion. NOTE: the better needs 1-4 are met, the less a man will tend to have need this space, but he'll always need some. Talk to him about it. Negotiate.
So, when you show a man you have these 5 things to offer, you make yourself much more attractive to men, your relational stock increases, and your dating and marriage opportunities increase. Just do your best in these ways, and look for a man with a lot to offer in return. The more you have to give and have to offer both directions, the more you also can expect in return. It's worth it. Remember, "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11). Best wishes,
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|2015-12-10||Randy Gilchrist||Understanding men|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to email@example.com).