5 Things Women Want (That Men Have Trouble Coming To Terms With)

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what women want from men
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Women's needs are quite simple in many ways, guys.

One of the problems in modern relationships is that we inherited the template for what they should look like from our parents. Therefore, much of our language, beliefs, and behaviors are rooted in the past. For example, what women wanted in their relationships 30 years ago is not the same as what they want today.

With gender equality and women's liberation, the role of women has changed hugely during this time. However, many relationships continue to use the same relationship blueprint from this other age.

Unchallenged and without the evolution that women have experienced, men have some catching up to do. Many relationships are in a standoff as a result.

But how do we know what women want from men? Why is it some relationships are failing, some are surviving, and others are thriving?

For many men, it might seem that women can be demanding, never satisfied and often finding fault. However, their needs are quite simple in many ways. Once you understand them better it will not only improve your relationship with them, but you'll realize that these needs are not the sole desire of women.

Men and women are similar in so many ways, yet the dynamic between them is often defined by how we are different. The binary description of men being like this, and women like that, obviously oversimplifies things. However, it can be useful to look at the stereotypical man/woman dynamic to understand patterns of behavior to give us insights into how to develop successful relationships.

Here's what women want from men, that men aren't ready to hear:

1. Women want you.

Growing up as a boy is tough. Since they were young, boys learned to play the part of someone else. A version that was acceptable to their peers, and that allowed them to get through this difficult time unscathed.

This behavior triggers the first of two key stages we go through in life. The first stage is where we explore and learn who we think we are, as we attempt to find and fit into our social group. The second stage is where we unlearn all of this and realize who we really are.

It's this man that women really want. That's because this man is not worried about what others think of him. He's brave, clear, focused, calm, centered and ultimately he knows who he is.


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The characteristic women often cite as being most important in a man is confidence. What they mean is a man who is brave enough to be himself. Someone who is real, genuine and true. He's not looking for acceptance or praise and is comfortable in who he is.

We can overcomplicate things sometimes. Women want you to be you. The problem is that men have spent so long learning to be someone else. They attempt to fit into the life of what is expected of them and forget who they really are. True confidence is looking inward, seeing who you are, and liking what you see.

2. Women want your emotional safety.

What women want from men has evolved in the same way they have evolved. Today, women want men to have the emotional capacity and intelligence to make them feel safe. This feeling of safety involves them being comfortable expressing who they are without judgment. The more men can develop the capacity to hold emotions and the vocabulary to communicate them, the more they can share their emotions with others.

If men don't understand their own emotions they will be ignorant of hers. The more you can connect to and acknowledge your feelings, the more you can connect to and acknowledge hers. Expressing emotions allows you to connect more fully to others. This gives the safety and therefore the permission for women to do the same.

Men often feel overwhelmed by certain feelings and then check out emotionally in order to survive. This is learned behavior and can be changed once you become aware of it. Noticing habits we adapt to numb our feelings and then cutting these out helps us to stay present to our emotions and others too. This authenticity helps give women the emotional safety they want.

3. Women want your praise.

Women grow with praise. They love your praise and to know the effect they have on you. They glow when you speak truthfully about how you see and feel them. How you acknowledge, recognize and appreciate them for who they are. Women don't know what you're thinking, so you need to tell them.

Men will often say:

"But she knows how much I care for and love her."

No, she doesn't if you don't tell her.

What is it she does that you love? Tell her. Is it her laugh, her smile, the way she moves her body? Tell her. The way she pushes her hair out of her eyes? Tell her.


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Make a practice out of it. Find one thing every day that truly takes your breath away, and tell her. If you want a challenge then can you find the beauty in her criticism? Can you love and accept it as part of the woman she is?

"I love it when you challenge me."

"I love it when you help me to be a better man."

Can you find the part of yourself that truly believes this and praise this part of her? Praise her for the woman she is, not the woman you want her to be.

4. Women want your presence.

You'll often hear that women love a man that can listen. This isn't the full story though. Women don't want a man that is silent and nods occasionally. They want a man who is deeply present to her feelings. Someone who can listen to her beyond the words she speaks. There's nothing more powerful you can give someone than your full presence.

Men lose their presence when they go into fix mode. Instead, men give what they value, and men value solutions. It's because men love challenges. Once a solution has been applied men can rest, the job done, ready for the next challenge.

Women aren't like this, as they value feelings and not the resolution of them. Men listen as long as they think they can offer a tangible solution to the problem. Men want to offer value, something tangible they can see and hear.

Once men learn this value is not possible or desired they check out again, frustrated there's nothing further they can offer. They feel impotent. There is a difference in values, which is where the problems arise.

You can't value something you don't connect to or understand. If you aren't connected to your feelings then being deeply present to a woman's will be meaningless. Empathizing and validating feelings is what women want. Help them to know what they feel makes sense.

They want to feel that you understand and acknowledge their emotions. They want to know that what they're feeling makes sense, and don't want to be made to feel wrong for feeling them. Women don't want your solutions, they want your presence.

5. Women want your passion.

What are you passionate about? What do you love? I love being around passionate people; it's infectious. It almost doesn't matter what the passion is because it's the place you come from when you connect to your passion that's important.

People love your passion as much as you love what you're passionate about. Think of someone you've been attracted to in your life, especially someone you were surprised you were attracted to. Chances are it's because they were in their element, doing what they love, speaking from their heart.

Women want to feel your passion because in that moment they feel the real you. They feel your love, your heart, and your power.


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Mike Matthews is a writer, men's work leader and coach at The Inspiring Men Project. Through his writing and courses, he helps good men live great lives. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Mike's sharing a couples practice guide unique to Your Tango readers to help increase the intimacy and connection in your relationship.

This article was originally published at The Inspiring Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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