You must understand her strength if you want her to be vulnerable.
"What do women want?"
If I had a quarter for every time I heard this question, I would have buckets full of money! Is it good looks in partner that we, as women, desire? Is it a man with money? Is it prestige in his job that we're attracted to? The answer is very simple: a heterosexual woman in search of a relationship is looking for a "MAN." And no, she is not merely seeking a penis with a wallet. She wants a "real" man.
1. Be a leader.
Even the staunchest card-carrying, bra-burning feminist (if she isn't lesbian) is looking for a man to help her take charge. In the real world, women carry a lot of extra baggage on their shoulders that most men don't: children, body image, glass ceiling, etcetera, etcetera. The list goes on and on. (Example: How many men carry behemoth-sized totes full of clothes with them, just to accommodate their dating life?)
Let's face it: after-hours our skirts get shorter and our heels get higher. And once kids enter the picture, forget it! How many men do we know who get up two hours earlier to do their hair and makeup, before taking their kids to school and showing up at the office focused, competent and presentable?
So the least you can do is take the burden off her shoulders where (and when) you can. That doesn't mean waiting for her to give you a list of chores. It means noticing what needs doing, taking charge, and DOING IT.
But how will she know you're a leader if you just met her?
Act like one from the very beginning. Don't ask her when and where she'd like to go on your first date. Tell her you've made reservations at the new, trendy restaurant on Saturday at 8pm. Hope, it's ok with her. Because of course, it is! And while we're on the topic of "asking," don't ASK her out on a date. Tell her that you'd like to take her out — and be specific.
As long as we enjoy your company and trust your strength, we're more than happy to let you lead us.
2. Be a lover.
Yes, sex is (EXTREMELY) important, but in a relationship, the woman needs to feel desired in order to feel sexual. Most women need to feel loved, first and foremost. Therefore, "Hey baby, I'm in the mood; let's go." — is NOT foreplay!
Women don't require much when it comes to you professing your love; just some sincere signs of caring every now and then. Sometimes a simple text like "I can't wait to see you tonight," gets us ready and able, right then and there. Signs of love can vary from small token gifts to lavish all-expenses-paid-vacations to mere touches of the hand. Just about any gesture will do, as long as it is heartfelt.
At the same time women need to feel safe and secure in love. Wondering why your "staff meeting" did not let up 'till 2 am and you came home smelling like Chanel No. 5, not only makes a woman feel insecure, it brings out feelings in her that she, herself, does not appreciate: jealousy and distrust. And believe me: when a woman doesn't feel happy and secure in herself, she cannot bring joy to you.
Word of caution! There is a fine line between showing a woman she's genuinely loved (and desired) and showing her that you'll jump off the nearest cliff if she's not in your life. "Neediness" is not a virtue (and it's not attractive). No woman wants or needs to carry you as an extra burden in her life.
3. Be a provider.
A woman doesn't need you to sport the title of head of a Neurosurgery Division or top Executive at Microsoft to know you're a provider. Hell, you don't even have to show her your bank account. You just need to make a woman trust that no matter what, you'll be able to provide not just for the two of you, but for your future children as well. Remember that glass ceiling I mentioned above? It exists. Women still make less money for equal work while also shouldering the bulk of childcare and housework responsibilities, while men work. So whether she's building her career or decides to spend formative years with her babies, she needs to know that if and when she needs it, her man will provide where she can't.
Unfortunately, in today's world, it's become taboo to talk about a man as a provider. The mere word "provider" will trigger a number of knee-jerk comebacks: "gold-digger," "sugar-daddy," "materialist," just to name a few. As a result, most women today won't even broach the subject for fear of being branded with those labels. Nevertheless, just because they won't bring it up, doesn't make them any less concerned. Yes, there is such thing as unconditional love. But there are also such things as rent and college tuition.
So how does one assure their lady that they will make a good provider for her and her children? Well, as mentioned before little gestures go a long way. Don't ask her to split a dinner check: after all, if you can't afford dinner, can you afford school tuition? (It's perfectly appropriate, however, to accept her dinner invitation if she specifies that she is taking you to dinner.) Don't request gas money, if you pay for parking on the date. You get the picture.
Stepping up and being the man every woman desires really isn't difficult. It's a state of mind, not the state of your physique or bank account. How you present it, on the other hand, is all up to you.
Marina Margulis is a Matchmaker and Dating Coach in New York City. If you need help becoming a man every woman wants or if you are already that man looking for the right woman, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.