Rule # 14: What Women Want
Women have been the greatest source of joy in my life, and the greatest source of mystery.
I think the complexity of the gender is what attracts men to them.
To my sons: I know with certainty you will have your heart broken because you thought you understood what a woman wants in a relationship and have assessed the relationship entirely wrong.
To my daughters: I know with certainty you will have your heart broken because you thought you communicated clearly what you wanted in a relationship and the man misunderstood entirely. ( of course when this happens to my daughters I have a 40 gallon drum, a bag of lime and a shovel that will take care of the insensitive cad)
It is very hard for men and women to understand what each other “really” wants from their partner. But through many failures I have gained knowledge on the subject that needs to be shared. For me I learned none of this easily, and hope that through reading this posting I can save you trips to the florist, eating containers of Ben and Jerry’s at 2 in the morning and perhaps a tear or two.
What inspired me to write this posting was a quote from a movie I watched the other night, “The Tourist” which although a very average movie had one exchange of dialog that defines my entire insight on the subject of what women really want in relationships:
Elise: Invite me to dinner, Frank?
Frank Taylor: What?
Elise: [gives him a look]
Frank Taylor: Would you like to have dinner?
Elise: Women don’t like questions.
Frank Taylor: Join me for dinner.
Elise: Too demanding.
Frank Taylor: Join me for dinner?
Elise: Another question.
Frank Taylor: [thinks for a moment] I’m having dinner, if you’d care to join me.
Elise: [smiles at him]
Embodied in that exchange is the essence of what women really are looking for…and I ask you to re-read it .
Go on…I’ll wait.
In that exchange is the two keys to understanding what women are really looking for in a man.
Key # 1: A man whom knows where he is going
There is a running joke on most television shows about men being afraid to ask directions.
I think its because men get trained by their mothers, girlfriends and wives ( and I’m learning daughters) to not trust their instincts. They are taught to ask permission on virtually every thing in their lives. And when one of us finds ourselves lost on an unknown road we hide the fact, rather than risk further ridicule or lectures from our women traveling companions.
Its this uncertainty of directions which causes the the most confusion in life.
One simple truth is there are clear healthy or unhealthy things in life, but there are many right answers to a questions which can yield successful results. Simply there is more than one way to go.
When you find yourself looking for the route in life you can head for the expressway, the sceanic mountain drive or the urban tour and it doesn’t really matter as long as your headed in generally the right direction. If you get lost , who cares, life is far too short to worry about such things, find a new place to stop and eat, regroup and just trudge ahead. Its the journey that matters not the destination.
I have found that the confidence of someone who is not needy or dependent is attractive to virtually every woman. I think it is also why women are sometimes attracted to jerks.
This is an important warning to my daughters, because in addition to all men being pigs, there are a significant number of us that are jerks.
There are many jerks that women get attracted to because of the desire to me with a man who “knows where he is going”.
Avoid the “self involved child”. Guys that never mature can sometimes mask their immaturity and self indulgence personality in a smooth aroma of what appears to be confidence. You can wake up 3 years into relationships with men like this and realize that you are surrounded by emotional wreckage.
Daughters, look for the signs;
1. Does he ask you about you as much as he tells you about him?
2. Does he show that you are important to him by simple things like opening the door, or picking you up flowers every once in a while?
3. Does he avoid self destructive behaviors that impact your life?
If you answer no to any of these questions you have mistaken a immature jerk for a confident man. Confidence is not having the will to throw a temper tantrum if things do not go their way. Confidence is not being insensitive or inflexible- compromise shows strength more than it shows weakness.
Look for coolness not cockiness.
It will take some searching but men do exist with right stuff, and never settle for anything less.
As one last aside to my daughters about these “jerks”, men can’t not be fixed.
If they are jerks on the first date, they will be so 20 years from now. No matter how much you love someone you can not make manufacture maturity for them. Walk away early, and walk away quickly- you deserve better.
Key # 2: A man who in comfortable with who he is
Confidence comes from knowing that you are the man you want to be. It’s knowing you have choices everyday, and can go to sleep soundly knowing that you have made choices which reflect who you want to be.
I have seen men that wear $3,000 suits, and men that own only wears worn jeans both display the same comfort in who they are, and how they are preceived by others.
I learned this important lesson when I contracted Bells Palsy in 2001 and had 1/2 my face paralized for 6 months. It affected my speach, my appearance and my overall ability to be perceived as a healthy strong person.
What I learned in that period that being comfortable with who I was, unappologicly, confident and proud was much more important than how I looked outside.
Being comfortable with who you are starts with liking yourself enough to take care of yourself, and ends with the confidence that you know who you are.
I recommend that you spend at least 2 minutes every day looking at yourself in the mirror and asking yourself…”do I like this person”.
If you do not, for whatever reason take the steps necessary to change it, and I hope you know I am talking about far more than if you need a shave or haircut.
When you can do this everyday and answer, “Yes! I like who I am” then women will be far more attracted to you. This being comfortable with who you are is a magnet to women, it draws them in because it is both attractive and safe.
Liking yourself is the most important guide you should follow before trying to form a realtionship with someone else. If you don’t like you, why would anyone else like you.
I wish I could say women were not attracted by other things like physical appearance, wealth or power but that would be a lie. Especially when women are under the age of 28 they tend to make a lot of mistakes trying to indentify what is real and what is not.
But all women evenutally come to the same conclusion- It is impossible to be happy in a relationship with someone that has no idea who they are or where they are going.
My wife Bobbi tells me when she stress she feels like she is alone in the woods.
I think it is the role of men in relationships is not to “lead’ the way out of the woods, but to find your partner, build a warm fire and have some smoores until they are ready to walk with you out of the forrest.
The secret is too convey to her that she isn’t lost at all, and you know how to have fun where she is…and that when she is with you, no matter how deep in the forrest she is, she is home.
Knowing how to be where you need to be, and conquering fear of being lost through confidence and self worth will get you home safe with a woman who will love you.