History, anthropology, science and research dictate that men and women are physically, physiologically, emotionally, and psychologically dissimilar. Our brains are wired differently. Stereotypes aside, our genders think, feel and experience life in unique ways. Knowing this fact sheds some light on perceived idiosyncrasies.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, with partners questioning its strength. Maybe your partner is working too much. You feel ignored at home. He seems to criticize everything you do. You don’t feel appreciated, loved, or a priority in his life. After listening to my friends’ and colleagues’ common complaints, dreams, and wants, I’ve compiled a “wish list” of things most women want men to know about our likes and dislikes.
- Little things mean more. We appreciate small gestures. Show and tell your woman that you love her, regularly. Cultivate romance with small, but meaningful gestures. Leave her a love note in the morning. Buy her flowers for no reason. Bring home her favorite bottle of wine. Give her a kiss, a hug, a foot massage, a pat on the bum, or a cuddle under the covers. Cook dinner together, or better yet, do the dishes afterwards. Make a bubble bath for two. Walk hand in hand in the park. Watch the sun rise or set together. Overall, physical touch and thoughtful, positive affirmations of love can be far more romantic than expensive gifts.
- Listen when we need to talk. There is a big difference between hearing and listening. Women like to talk about their day, their feelings, and their hopes and dreams. Men not so much. Research shows that men and women even hear sounds differently. Men are often accused of tuning us out, and while that may have some physiological basis, they could put a little more effort into listening to and sharing conversations with their partners.
- We don’t always feel great. Our hormones often guide our bodies and our actions. We can’t help mood swings, cramps and migraines. We may not always want sex when you do, but it doesn’t mean that we love or desire you any less. PMS, periods, pregnancy, child-rearing, menopause, and aging wreak havoc on our bodies. Be patient with us — a little understanding can bring intimacy back.
- Let us shop in peace. Research indicates that men tend to shop for more utilitarian purposes. They are literally on a mission to get it done in a logical and quick way. Their purchases are primarily driven by need rather than want. Women, conversely, shop for the thrill of the hunt. Shopping is often therapy and we enjoy the journey of discovery in stores and online. If we pay our own bills, please respect our shopping differences and motivations and refrain from criticism.
- We want you to care for us too. Women are natural caregivers. Our bodies and our empathetic nature help us care for children and our mates. Sometimes though we need comfort and care. Help protect us in those times of sickness, stress, and high emotion. Let us talk it out. While we can appreciate the fact that men are naturally logical problem-solvers, we don’t always need to be fixed. Your support, reassurance, and nurturing are enough to make you our hero.
- Don’t criticize our bodies. Many women have body and self-esteem issues. The media bombards us everyday with images of the perfect woman. The standards for feminine beauty are high and we are generally judged more harshly than men when it comes to appearance. Women are much more self-critical than men. According to research, 80% of women are displeased with their image in the mirror. We are critical enough of our own body images without our partner telling us we have gained weight or we need to color our grays.
- We need shoes and handbags. A woman’s weight may fluctuate causing anxiety. But as long as we have the variety and comfort that comes with the right accessories, we feel better about our appearance. Yes, we probably have too many pairs of shoes and purses, and don’t really need any more. But we want different styles, designs, colors, and seasonal trends. Controlling how we accessorize evokes positive emotions.
- Be honest and true. Research shows that men are greater risk-takers and can lie more easily. Women tend to value honesty as a cornerstone of a relationship. We can handle the truth and will usually forgive you. If you lie to us, we often find out. If you cheat and lie, it’s hard to expect understanding or forgiveness.
- Don’t be jealous of our female friendships. Men and women approach friendships differently. Women are social creatures. We love our female friends like our tribe. Most women have many friendships which provide an emotional support network. Male friendships often revolve mainly around common interests, activities, competition and work. So when your partner needs “me” or “girl time,” show support and don’t begrudge that bonding.
- We love when you do household tasks without us asking. Women appreciate men who show initiative and effort. Take the garbage out when it’s full. Vacuum the living room. Make the bed in the morning. There is nothing sexier than a man who does dishes and helps clean the house. That is a true partner!
All books are available at amazon.com. Click on title to learn more.
Men, Women and Relationships: Making Peace With the Opposite Sex
by John Gray
I Hear You! The Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships
by Michael S. Sorensen
Unlocking One Another
by Zeneefa Zaneer
The Male Brain
by Louann Brizendine
The Female Brain
by Louann Brizendine
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