A challenging and interesting question to ponder over is: What do women and men want in a relationship? Given that the dating market has changed significantly over the past few decades, mutual attraction and love, dependable character and emotional stability top the charts for both genders.
Recent studies show that men want honest, timely, loving communication; men want women who answer questions honestly and also volunteer information. They want a woman who confidently asks for her wants and needs to be met. Men prefer a woman who can communicate without being too critical and who cares about preserving his dignity.
Men also are attracted to women who are self-sufficient, secure and confident: men want to be chosen for whom they are and not out of “emotional or material desperation.” Men need to be wanted and needed by their partners, but they want their partner to have a separate identity and have their own interests and friends, however, they treasure spending time with their partner alone.
Men also prefer a “manipulation-free” relationship: they don’t like to try to “read their partners’ mind” or figure out “symbols” or “signals.” Men don’t like to be forced into moving things too fast in a relationship before they are ready. They also don’t want to be blamed when “things go wrong” or play “head games.” Men prefer “emotionally stable” women who are courageous and strong and contribute their part to the relationship. Men also find fidelity and commitment to the relationship very important. They want to be treated with respect and be acknowledged for being “great guys who are loved and appreciated.”
What do women want?
Recent research shows that women prefer a man who is someone other women would want and desire. Someone who provides stability and someone she can count on. If you say you’ll be over at 9 p.m., be there, or call. Dependability is synonymous with trust.
Women want to feel safe with a man. They want to know that “everything will be just fine,” so men need to verbally assure and acknowledge outcomes.
Women want to be loved, so let it out guys, tell her every day, minute, second of the day that she is loved.
Women also like to be appreciated: men out there, show interest in the woman and make her feel beautiful and wanted, but don’t make her feel like you can’t live without her; that makes men look pathetic and drives women away.
Women are very forgiving but will not put up with a liar, if once caught, trust may never be regained, so tell the truth guys, even if it may cause potential problems.
Women enjoy a happy man who smiles a lot and gives them many hugs, a hug will go a long ways, and make her feel loved and protected.
In summary, although it appears that men and women differ in some aspects as to what they enjoy in the opposite gender, there are some common areas of interest, such as commitment, respect and unconditional love for each other, while acknowledging individual needs and wants; and of course, dependability and emotional stability.
Acknowledging differences in each gender, and respecting individual differences and preferences as well, will not only give a great start in the journey of a great relationship but ensure many years of mutual happiness to come.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Astrid Heathcote is a licensed psychologist with a private practice and residence in Ahwatukee Foothills. She can be reached at (480) 275-2249 or www.drastrid.org.