Many of my male clients are completely stumped by what women want from men. Truly it amazes me watching them stab around in the dark, not knowing what they can do to make their women know that they love them.
One of my clients told me about how he was going to give his girlfriend a vacuum cleaner for her birthday. I directed him to the local jewelry and greeting card stores. What she wanted, I told him, was not the practical but the emotional.
I know that ‘emotional’ is tough for guys so I thought I would break down 5 easy things that women want from men so that you can do them and make your woman feel loved. I know it seems hard to grasp sometimes but what women want from men isn’t really that complicated.
#1 – Use your words.
I can’t tell you how many women wish that their men would use their words more often.
They wish that their men would tell them that they look nice when they are dressed up, that their success at work is remarkable, that their golf game was dead on, that the dinner they cooked was tasty.
Earned compliments such as these make a woman feel good about themselves. Knowing that someone they love is noticing their successes means the world to them and makes them feel secure with themselves.
Furthermore, it makes women happy when men verbalize their appreciation for the things that their women consistently do for them. A client of mine always supported her man when he needed to work late but he never acknowledged it. Another made an effort to look nice whenever she saw her guy so he knew that he was worth the effort but he never seemed to notice. Another client helped pick up her boyfriend’s kids from school but he never thanked her. All of those things they did for love and none of their guys verbalized their appreciation of their efforts.
So many men say ‘I don’t need to tell her I appreciate her. She knows.” And while your woman might know that you appreciate her, she still wants to hear you say it. She wants to know that you see what she does out of love for you and that you recognize how special it is.
Don’t assume that your woman knows how you feel – tell her. Even if it’s hard for you to express how you ‘feel’ about her, you can recognize her successes and the things that she does for you, using your words.
#2 – Be affectionate.
One of the things that women want from men is that they be affectionate.
You might find it surprising that many men have hesitations about being affectionate with their women. For many of them, their understanding of relationships comes from watching their parents. If there were any intimacy issues with their parents, such as withholding affection if chores weren’t done, that is what a man thinks a relationship should look like. Because of this, being intimate can be hard for them because he mighthave never seen what healthy intimacy might be.
Unfortunately, for women, if their man pulls their hand away when she is reaching for it or turns away when she goes in for a hug, she feels like he doesn’t love her or isn’t attracted to her. And these kind of thoughts can breed an insecurity that can cause havoc in a relationship.
If you struggle with touching your partner, talk to her about it. If she can understand where you are coming from, and you can understand her needs around affection, it will reduce her insecurity and talking about it might bring about change in how you feel about intimacy. That will make your girl happy.
#3 – Don’t try to fix us.
One of the biggest issues that can arise in relationships is the difference in needs of women and men when it comes to dealing with things.
When women are faced with struggles, part of how they deal with them is processing the emotions around the issue. For men, the inclination is brain storm a fix. If a man tries to fix a problem while a woman is still processing the emotions, things can get messy.
What I encourage men to practice when helping their woman process an issue is empathy. Empathy is defined as ‘the ability to understand and share the experience of another.’ Instead of trying to fix her problem, try just understanding where she is at in the moment and acknowledging how frustrating/upsetting/anger producing it is. That is what she wants. For you to accept and understand where she is in the moment and to empathize.
So, next time your person is struggling with something, don’t make suggestions for how to fix things. Simply tell her that you understand how she is feeling and tell her that you are there for support.
This video is an excellent, and funny, example of what empathizing and not fixing looks like.
#4 – Treat us like women….
I know that this can be tricky in this modern day of women being equal to men- women can and should expect equal treatment both in the workplace and in the world. That being said, women do still like to be treated like ladies, ladies who are desired, respected, admired and appreciated.
So, what are some examples of this? How about opening a car door for your lady, buying her that special scent that she likes, telling her how fabulous she looks or taking her out on a special romantic date. How about rubbing her feet or bringing her flowers or retrieving something from a high shelf.
Yes, men and women are equal but that doesn’t mean that a girl doesn’t like to be treated like a lady sometimes.
#5 – …but don’t try to protect us.
Treating someone like a woman is one thing but treating us like the weaker sex is another.
I can’t tell you how many men tell me that they don’t share something with their woman because they are ‘trying to protect them.’ They tell those little white lies, lies that seem inconsequentially but have real repercussions.
What do I mean by little white lies? How about telling her you will be home for dinner at 6:00p, all the while knowing that you won’t be home until 7 and you don’t tell her because you don’t want to upset her? Or telling her that you are going to go out for one beer, knowing that there is a long, fun night ahead. Or not telling her that you ran into your ex at the coffee shop and you talked for a while. Or that not getting that raise is ok even if your credit card bill is getting higher every day.
All of these white lies might be meant to ‘protect’ your woman but, in reality, they will only serve to make her trust you less. And when she trusts you less, relationships can fall apart.
Being honest about everything, big and small, is the key to a healthy relationship and a big part of what a woman needs to feel loved. Making every effort to be honest always will help your woman love and trust you even more.
Knowing what women want from men is a great way for a man to set up his relationship for success. Knowing what she wants and giving it to her will make her feel loved and you will feel appreciated and everyone will live happily ever after.
Telling her what you appreciate about her, holding her hand or giving her a hug, not trying to fix us and treating us like a woman are things that every woman wants in a relationship.
That being said, there is a 6th thing that every woman wants that needs to be mentioned as part of this list.
Women want, more than anything, follow through. They want to know that, if you say or agree to do something for them, you will actually do it. If you say that you want to go to the movies, you will actually show up. If you are going to fix the car, get it done. If you are going to take the kids out to give her a break, do it.
One of the biggest contributing factors to downfall of a relationship is when men make promises and don’t follow through. When they do that, women often doubt their man’s affections and their insecurities can cause more damage than you can ever know.
So, recognize the importance of follow through. Establish goals that you can reach and, always, do them for your woman. Start here, with the list above. Set your intention right now that you will follow my suggestions and do the work that you need to do to make your woman feel loved.
You can do it! I know you can!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.