I’ve written this for all the men who have a genuine desire to understand women and for all the women who would love men to understand them.
‘Men do not understand women.’ How could they? There’s an old joke I’d like to share with you that illustrates this point so well.
A man finds an old lamp on the beach and gives it a rub and out pops a genie. The genie tells the man that he has one wish (whatever happened to the other two?) The man thinks for a bit and then says, “I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii but I’m afraid of flying and I get seasick on a ship. Could you create a highway from my beachfront home in Malibu to Hawaii?” The genie laughs, “That’s impossible. Think of the logistics of creating such a highway. How would the support beams even reach to the bottom of the Pacific ocean? And that’s just for starters. Can’t you ask for something else?” The man thinks for a while and then replies, “Ok, I wish I understood women.” To this the genie responds, “Would you like that highway to have two lanes or four?”
Dr. Roger Sperry won the Nobel Peace prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1981 for his breakthrough research on the difference in brain functions between male and female babies. He discovered that between the 16th and 26th week of gestational development in the womb, a chemical reaction occurs in the brains of boys that does not happen in the brains of girls. Two chemicals are released that slow down the development of the right side of the brain. Dr. Sperry found out what all women already know, men are born with a disadvantage and it gets worse…
Jokes aside, we have all been taught the right side of the brain is the creative centre of brain but it’s a little more than that. It is the part of the brain that deals with the emotions and it is also the ‘caring’ and ‘nurturing’ part of the brain. Those who claim that women and men are alike should do a little research. We are vastly different in the way we think and respond because we are different physiologically.
Henry Higgins the fictional character who had the unenviable task of turning Eliza Doolittle into a real lady, retorted, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”
I’m not going to go into all the physiological differences between men and women because many of them are obvious. Women were uniquely created to bear children and care for them. Men were designed to be hunters and providers. I know that in this modern age we have largely departed from our traditional roles and women are now taking on erstwhile traditionally male roles and vice versa. There are great female leaders and providers and great male house-husbands who nurture and care for the children while their wives go out and bring in the bacon but this is not the way nature intended for it to be. If it were, men would have been created like seahorses. If you don’t know what I’m talking about pull out your encyclopedia or google the reproductive processes of a seahorse and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The purpose of this article is not to discuss the differences between men and women ad nauseum. It is to help men understand women a little better…something I know that some men would dearly love. Conversely I’d love to understand men better but that’s another subject.
‘To understand a woman is to love her’ ~ Unknown
If this were true, you could not possibly love a woman. Get this one thing straight. You will NEVER fully understand a woman but you will understand her better if you WANT to. This is the KEY.
In order to GAIN anything in life you must first WANT it. Desire, coupled with passion leads to action and action coupled with awareness leads to understanding. ~ Chanti
A couple with marital problems visited a marriage counselor in hope that he could help their relationship. The marriage counselor listened attentively to them both and after a short pause for thought, he strode around his desk, lifted the woman to her feet and then he swung her back in his arms and kissed her passionately on the lips. Her milquetoast husband was nonplussed but didn’t say a word. At this point, the counselor looked intently at the husband and said, “This….is what your wife needs every day!” to which the startled husband responded meekly, “What time should I bring her in every day?”
Men use romance to get sex.
Women use sex to get romance.
Ouch, I can almost hear the libbers rising up in defence over that one. Before you get on your high horses, I didn’t coin that expression. I don’t know who did but there is some truth in it. When a woman says to a man, “Please hold me,” a man may take this to be an invitation to have sex. His testosterone levels are charged up and he mentally rubs his hands with glee and thinks ‘Tonight is my lucky night!’. She simply wants to be held. I’m not saying that this scenario couldn’t lead to passionate love-making but it’s not the woman’s purpose or goal. In order for a woman to feel loved, she needs to be held, cuddled and caressed. If a man tended to her needs without expectation of sex (Please note: Men usually aim for the end result while women focus on the process) he is more likely to get what he wants. I’m not saying that women are not sexual creatures. We are but we’re built differently to men. Whereas a man can be visually stimulated and get turned on, a woman usually requires other ‘deeper’ stimulus. A woman needs to be turned on emotionally before she can be turned on physically. I’ve heard men say ‘My wife is not interested in sex.’ and I’ve wondered ‘Why?’ and asked “Was she ever interested in sex?” Yes there are women AND men who may have physiological or psychological problems that may affect their libido but I’m not talking about these. He will often reply, “Oh yes, when we were first married she couldn’t get enough of me but she seems to have lost interest.”
There are numerous reasons why women may lose interest in sex. Raising children is exhausting and after a hard day, a woman may not feel like the sexiest creature on earth and may find her husband’s advances tiresome but this is only one of a multitude of reasons.
Note that I said ‘…a woman may not feel like the sexiest creature on earth…’ In order for a woman to BE sexy, she needs to FEEL sexy. This is where your understanding of her makeup will make a huge difference. In order for a woman to feel sexy, she needs to feel beautiful (at least in your eyes). You can’t MAKE anyone feel anything but you can boost her self esteem by not focusing on her weaknesses but rather on her strengths.
What you focus on grows and what you neglect shrinks.
If you want your woman to be beautiful, treat her as though she were the most beautiful creature to have ever graced the face of the earth. We become what we think and you can influence what she thinks by what you say. This might be overly simplistic but it’s a basic truth. Try it out. You don’t even need to say the words ‘You are beautiful’ to make a woman feel beautiful although you should. If you pay her attention, look deeply into her eyes when she talks and make an effort to treat her with respect and love, she will blossom. Men and women love to be appreciated. We know that there are different love languages and how we show our appreciation and love may vary according to our partner’s needs but most people respond well to positive words and affirming actions. If you had to say to your wife, “You are so beautiful, I only have eyes for you,” and the next minute lasciviously stare at the waitresses long legs, she is likely to believe you about as much as she will believe a politician’s pre-election promises. Your actions need to match up to your words.
The feminist movement started in the late nineteenth / early twentieth century started for all the right reasons but as so often happens, the movement was taken to extremes. Feminists argue that sexed identities such as ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are social constructs. I won’t go down that road right now because I have strong ideas about this subject that might not be very popular. It’s a controversial subject that evokes strong feelings in men and women alike. We know that there are no hard and fast rules and we cannot state anything as a broad fact when it comes to humanity. Just on one level: Men were physiologically created to perfectly complement a woman’s physiology but we know that not all men are attracted to women and vice versa. Not all women are emotional and not all men are logical. You cannot make generalised statements like these and hope to get away with them. When I share what women want, I’m sharing subjectively but I know that I’m not alone in these thoughts having shared this subject with many women and taking in their views.
There are women the world over who seem to have lost a sense of their own femininity and the truly crazy thing is that these are women who often refer to themselves as ‘feminists’. As you can tell, I’m not a member of the ‘bra-burning’ brigade. Quite aside from the fact that I find this whole concept to be bizarre, bras have a practical purpose and I don’t really want to have breasts that look like Spaniel’s ears in a few years. *winks*
It is my opinion that most women, even those who have taken up traditionally masculine roles, do want to be feminine and they feel feminine in the presence of a man who has confidence in his own masculinity. Most women do not want wimps. We like men who are self-possessed, confident and protective of us. We do want to feel protected and safe with our men. We enjoy men who are decisive and who will take control in tenuous situations. I’m not talking about cave men who drag us about by the hair and who demand obedience and subservience from their women. Try that one out in this day and age and you’ll have an extremely rebellious woman on your hands. It’s often said that men are attracted to beautiful women and women are attracted to powerful men. This is a gross generalisation because attraction is such a complex mechanism but men are visual creatures and attraction is more likely, at least in the initial stages, to be based on what they see. Women may also be attracted to looks but you will often find that women will be very attracted to men who would not be termed conventionally attractive simply because the man has such an aura of power or confidence. He is the kind of man that walks into a room and commands attention because he is self-confident and seems to be in control. He is the kind of man who will make her feel safe. In short, one of things that most women seek, whether they admit it or not, is SECURITY. When a man cannot provide her with security, she will provide it for herself and she will lose respect for her man or men in general. Men in turn have felt threatened by the emerging Amazon women who no longer seem to need them and they may slip into a form of complacency. It really has become a vicious circle. Nevertheless, this was not intended to be a political statement or even a dissertation on the differences between men and women. It was intended to help men gain some kind of understanding of the wants and needs of a typical woman.
Women want men to listen, really listen. Please be aware that women don’t always directly say what they mean. This is where you will find confusion creeping in. How do you know what a woman means if she doesn’t tell you? Oh boy I wish I had a dictionary to offer men to help in this department. Men find the subtleties of feminine communication hard to understand. Women often take a circuitous route to a point whereas a man simply wants ‘the point’. He may become so confused by her form of communication he will start to wonder what she is getting at and when she finally communicates a point directly, he will say ‘What do you mean?’ Is it any wonder he doesn’t get it? I wish I could teach women how to communicate their needs more directly to men. It would make our lives so much simpler. Women prefer to be more subtle. We are also more inclined to hint at what we want or need rather than coming straight out and saying it. One way in which you can help a woman overcome this and get directly to the point is to reassure her. Women may avoid being direct because they fear a negative reaction. Tell her that you’d prefer for her to be very clear about what she wants and tell her that you will listen carefully and consider what she is telling you calmly before responding and keep that promise. Ask her if she requires an answer. Sometimes women share for the sake of sharing and don’t necessarily require anything from you but a willing ear. Men are problem-solvers by nature and when a women shares the details of a problem, they are inclined to click into ‘logic’ mode and tell her how to solve the problem when all she really wanted was for him to listen and make the right noises. It may be hard for you to keep your mouth shut in these circumstances but if you learn to listen without trying to solve her problems, you will find that she will be more open to you in future. She will also be more inclined to listen to any advice you may wish to offer. If you’re not sure whether you should offer anything up, ask her. “Would you like my advice here?” More often than not she’ll be more receptive if you phrase it this way. Now don’t make statements like, ‘You must…’ or judge her actions e.g. ‘How could you be so stupid as to….’ etc. The best way to tackle this is the way women deal with one another e.g. ‘Well what I would do is….’ and then end off with ‘What do you think?’ Always make her feel like her own opinion counts and you’re not just telling her what to do.
Obviously there is a lot more that I could share but I feel that I’ve covered a few key points here.
WHAT WOMEN DESIRE:
Physical affection (Cuddles)
Appreciation / Validation
Security (to feel safe)
The final point is vital….LISTEN
You will only understand what a woman wants if you are prepared to listen to her and if you truly desire understanding. It’s an ongoing process and the more you listen, the more you will learn.
I wrote this article with the intention of helping men gain an understanding about women and their needs but this doesn’t let women off the hook. Any relationship is a two-way street and their should be effort on both sides. I think it’s just as important that women try to gain an understanding of men and apply themselves to meeting their needs as well. I hope this article has been of some help and would love feedback if it has.