Once upon a time, I was intrigued by the question “What do men want? Single, dating in the city and hoping to find the perfect love was the status quo. I wasn’t aware of the complications connected to a longstanding relationship. It’s never as simple as giving into demands of a partner to keep him satisfied. Human beings are complicated, it is essential the desires of both partners are met. Having an understanding of what both parties require is important to the health of a relationship, however, many women seem to be more vested in finding out what men want.
In several cultures, the female is raised to believe that she is responsibility for keeping a man happy. There are variations of this ideal, Japanese culture introduced the geisha (geiko, geigi). A classic example of a woman trained to entertain others by performing traditional singing and dancing. The strict appearance includes wearing the designated oshiroi makeup, hairstyle and kimono accompanied by refined manners. Individuals are trained artisans requiring years of schooling and sacrifices.
In the Latino culture, there is a history of machismo ingrained in the fabric of male-female relationships. Men are perceived to be the authority figure while women are expected to succumb to their demands. Sometimes, expectations force major offerings by the female. Women tend to be the ones to give up leisure time, dreams or goals to oblige. My upbringing had some of this model until my mother came into her own. Fed up by the norm around her, she decided to rebel against the traditions by departing on her own journey to empowerment. Although, exceptions to the rules exist, it is something that plenty of cultures still try to uphold. Thankfully, modern day women are breaking down old school perceptions by owning who they are and using their voice.
Despite the revolution of change, the fascination continues to know what it is, men want. Films have been made, books written and relationship gurus share their own ideas about a possible answer to the question. Steve Harvey has made millions giving advice to women in book turned movie, Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man or sophomore book Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man.
Personal curiosity led me to do some research on the topic. I started with asking a handful of men the question and reading everything I could find on the topic. In a 2015 Oprah interview, Steve Harvey dropped three golden nuggets for women looking for an answer. Men want support, loyalty and the cookie with a caveat. Don’t assume if you give all three it will put a man on lock down. The cookie alone is not enough to tie a man into a relationship. Emotional attachment is necessary to help create cohesiveness between two people but that is another blog!
Dating gurus’ overlap on opinions about what men want. Honesty, admiration and to be spoken to like a man. They can also do without our emotional outbursts, as some would call it. Lastly, our partners want acceptance, respect and love. Sound familiar?
During my earlier years, I made a habit out of trying to fit the desired mold to please others. The reality is that no one wants change forced on them. If you change, it should be for yourself not for the sake of someone else. Being accepted for everything you are is love, beginning with yourself. Regardless of gender, these are basic human needs that encourage our evolution.
Consider the individual complex personalities, backgrounds and patterns everyone has, it’s understandable that acquiring a balance of wants, needs and desires between two people is extremely difficult. It can seem at times, you are playing a guessing game. Men and women communicate in different ways making things quite complicated. Learning what each partner wants is challenging but can be facilitated if you have couple guidelines in place.
- Having the best match is key but only possible, when you know what you want, first. You want to give yourself to a man deserving of all you have to offer.
- Talk and listen to one another. Having the lines of communication open eliminates misconceptions about mutual needs.
Men are a different breed but ultimately, they are human, like us. The two things they want most may be what everyone wants at the end of the day, to feel cared for and respected, embracing the imperfections.,
Lastly, both yours and his needs should complement one another instead of clashing. You should have a man in your life who shares the things you want, too.
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