So, what really matters to women? I know, you're already laughing at the question, and some of you are muttering things about how no man will ever really understand women … but please, bear with me. Of course each woman has her own unique tastes and preferences, as does each man. However, there are certain common attributes that most women seem to share. Understand that there will be exceptions, but hopefully, this concept will help you to better understand one aspect of the opposite sex.
Men like their women to be happy, Women like their men to be strong.
No, I'm not kidding. Think about how you felt the last time your significant other was really happy because of something you did – laughing, playful, funny. Think for 20 seconds about this memory. How does it make you feel? For most men, it makes us feel happy as well, but more than that, on a deep level, it makes us feel confident as men in their life. If you can imagine what a caveman would have thought, it might be along the lines of "When I see the woman in my life happy, I know I have done a 'good job' as a man in taking care of her." Well, it turns out that as men, most of us are hardwired to experience this same thing, tens of thousands of years later. We feel we are fulfilling an important part of our role as a man when our significant other is happy. But that's not all … we also have some more pre-programming from back when we lived in the rocks and woods.
The other part of the equation is that women like their men to be strong. I know, it sounds like a simplistic male chauvinist stereotype from some guy named Bull who has more brawn than brains.
Strength has many different forms. A man who is strong is one who is truly assertive, without necessarily being aggressive. True strength in a man comes out in many ways. For example, this man will not be afraid to speak his mind when he disagrees with his boss, and he will not hesitate to confidently tell his relatives that he appreciates their comments on raising kids, but has chosen a different approach. The strong man is not afraid to be with his woman when she is upset – he does not run, nor does he feel compelled to fix her. He is simply there for her. A man of strength is aware of his feelings with his significant other, and can confidently share them with her, being okay with the fact that she may disagree. At the same time, he also picks the right time and place to discuss sensitive things. A man of strength does not feel the need to tell others how great he is, but rather, through his actions, demonstrates his true strength. This man exhibits the archetype of a king who is strong and confident, yet fair and gentle as well. He is a man who knows his power and also knows how to use it with sensitivity and wisdom.
As men, we all embody a part of this proverbial king. While there are many aspects to this characteristic, my point here is that it is especially attractive to most women when they see this quality in men. Again, do not confuse strength with aggression (which is just another form of fear). It is true strength that makes women feel safety and security on a very deep human level. Think about a time when you were really proud of yourself for acting with this type of strength in the presence of your significant other. What was her reaction?
A big point of confusion is that we often think our partner wants what we want. How can you find out what really makes your girlfriend or wife feel connected to you as a man? Here is a fun exercise to try together. Ask her to tell you what things you can do that will make her see you as a strong and confident person? Have her use specific examples. As she talks about them, write them down. Next, she gets to ask you what kinds of things she does that really make you feel connected to her, or just plain glad to be with her. As you talk, she gets to write them down. Again, give specific examples. Now, you each have a list of things you can do for the other to help them feel good. Put the list somewhere that you can see it every day. Try doing things from it regularly, and see what kind of results you get. This is a powerful way to recapture some real depth and connection in a long-term relationship, or to develop it in a new one.
Indeed, men and women are different on a fundamental emotional level. We are driven by dissimilar things. In the future, I'll talk about these differences (and similarities), and how understanding them can strengthen your relationship. For now, by best wishes to you on your journey towards closer companionship with a special woman in your life.