When my last relationship broke up, I had a chance to talk to my ex post-mortem and ask him how he was feeling. Now, I’ll be honest, I was hoping for something along the lines of “I’m heartbroken and I want you back!” Instead, what I got was an expression of relief: he told me he felt glad to be “free” of my “expectations” for him. That he couldn’t make me happy, so he was glad not to have to try anymore.

Great. Thanks, Ex-BF.

Of course women can, and many do, find happiness in a long-term relationship. Unfortunately, we all (men and women) have to go through the bad relationships where we aren’t happy to get to the good one--you know, THE Relationship--where we are. The question is, how do you make certain that THE Relationship is happy? While every woman is different, there are two basic things a man can do that will equal “happiness” to most women.

In my case, my ex was right: I hadn’t been happy in our relationship because I wanted things from him that he didn’t want and/or couldn’t give, which leads me to the first path to true relationship happiness with any woman:

Find Out What She Wants and Give it to Her.

This doesn’t just mean buying her things, guys. Think of it as finding out what she loves, or wants, or needs, and then show her that you support her in these things.

If your girlfriend is a dog-lover, show her that you also love dogs. Try to get to know and show affection for her pet. Do not, no matter how annoying her dog is, kick, yell at, or in any other way distress the animal. Remember that it’s not really about the dog itself, or about you. You’re doing this to show your woman that she is special to you and that you want to take care of her, even if all she needs from you is someone to give her yappy little purse-dog a bath once a week.

The second and perhaps more important way you can interpret this tip is to find out what she really needs and give her that; i.e., what is her innermost desire?

Take me, for example. My father abandoned me, so needless to say I have some issues around being wanted. I really, really need to be shown that the man in my life absolutely wants me around. My ex knew what I needed, but wouldn’t give it to me. He’s the strong, silent type, which is okay, but I needed more than the occasional smile to feel secure about his feelings. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like overtly demonstrating affection, and no matter how much his daily indifference hurt my self-esteem, he wouldn’t or couldn’t behave any differently.

In a happy relationship, each partner feels that his or her needs are being met. So if your girlfriend needs you to kiss her like you’re in "Gone with the Wind" every freaking day in order to feel secure, DO IT. Do not complain, or get resentful, or accuse her of being manipulative or wanting too much from you or whatever else. Remember, your goal is to make her happy. When you give her what she needs, you make her happy. Thus, you are also getting what you want. It’s win-win.

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This article was originally published at How To Get The Woman of Your Dreams . Reprinted with permission from the author.