Insight from men on dating and relationships gleaned from two "man panel" events.
What if you could hear men honestly share their thoughts and feelings about women, dating, sex and relationships? I had the opportunity to do that twice last week when I hosted and observed "man panels."
If you've never been fortunate to hear a man panel, it works like this: we gather men — both single and married — and a facilitator asks them questions previously submitted by the participating women. The women listen as the men give their answers, yet they are not allowed to interact. By silently listening we create space for the men to speak freely and without restriction. You would be amazed at what men will share when allowed to do so!
The men who participate need only meet these qualifications: they must appreciate women and be able to articulate their truth. They are not coached, and they are not pre-screened to determine how they might answer the questions. I've attended numerous panels over the years, and the men seem to answer the questions just about the same way every time. The consistency used to surprise me. Now it just reinforces what I already know: that men are loving and kind and have an endless desire to make women happy.
I wanted to share some of what I heard. Below are a few of the questions asked and the men's answers. These are "from the horse's mouth," so it's truth. I didn't make up this stuff. (It's not verbatim but close to it.)
Enjoy, and let me know how you feel after reading this.
Q: If you can tell women one thing you think they don't know, what would it be?
A1: I want you to feel happy…I want to help you be happy.
A2: You often think that if you have to tell me what you want and I give it to you…it doesn't count. If you tell us what you want, we're more than happy to give it to you 99% of the time! This goes into the bedroom and everything. But just because you have to tell us doesn't mean we don't deserve the credit for doing it.
A3: Dating at this time of our life should be enjoyable. Everyone just likes to have fun. We often look for what's wrong when we should be looking for what works and just enjoy each other. It's about two people meeting. And if it works...that's great!
Q: What turns you on about a woman/what do you get from women?
A1: A smile. Any smile. From any woman. When women smile at me, it makes me giddy – even though I'm 42 years old. It doesn't matter who she is. Women usually don't even look at us, so when she does it feels good.
A2: A woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. That's confidence, and it's a turn on.
A3: When she is just being herself.
A4. Women bring empathy, love, tenderness and warmth. I love that about them.
A5. It's non-competitive like it is with men. Men and women can talk about relationships. Men don't talk about relationships. We only talk about what we're doing.
A6. Women are just beautiful creatures. They are so different from us, and they are so beautiful.
A1: Yes, help me! If a woman asks me out, I think "Wow, I'm that good!"
A2: Approach us and make it clear you are interested. It's fantastic when I know you'll say "yes"…but let me take lead and ask.
A3: Maybe I haven't even noticed you. So if you're interested in me, definitely let me know you're interested. I realize that's a potentially vulnerable place to be, but if you don't ask you don't get! (Note from me: my father always used to tell me that. Seems to be true in many ways.)
Q: What do you want from your woman?
A1: I want her to be like my mom: I want my woman to love me unconditionally and always think I'm better than even I think I am.
A2: Love…and acceptance for who I am.
That's just a taste. Men really aren't different than us in the ways of love, are they? They want to give and receive...and be accepted for who they are. Men definitely do think differently, but that doesn't mean they want different things. Once you accept that, take some time to understand how they think and feel, and learn how to communicate with them. You too can have a fantastic relationship with a loving man.
I'm so curious...how did you feel reading this? Tell me about it here!