Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Four Things All Women Want From a Man

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a beginner’s guide to winning the hearts of womenfolk

In the field of amour, I am what you would probably consider a late-bloomer. I didn’t have my first “real” girlfriend until I was nearly old enough to drink, and I didn’t have my first good girlfriend until about three or so years ago. Of course, anyone with even a passing knowledge of my romantic endeavors knows that such doesn’t necessarily mean I am inexperienced in the ways of womandom -- in fact, perhaps quite the opposite. A Lothario, I never was and never claimed to be, but over the years, I reckon I have learned a thing or two about how the fairer sex works, though.

With apologies to Christina Aguilera, I think I’ve been around the block enough times to truly understand what a girl wants and needs from a potential male love interest. Well, best let me reiterate that statement: what every decent woman wants and needs out of a potential male love interest; lest we forget, there’s still some real Jezebels and Lorena Bobbits out there, after all.

So, for all of you lovelorn and loveshy and lovesick young chaps out there, desperately in pursuit of that yin for their proverbial yang, take heed: here are the four things that all women worth a toot desire out of a male suitor…

Want Number One:
Women want someone that makes them feel different.

At last estimate, there are about 3.6 billion women on the planet. Really, all you have to do to woo any one of them is convince them that they, and they alone, are completely unique in regards to the other 3.5999999 billion females out there. I mean, actually convince them in a manner that makes them feel like they have something -- or are something -- that no other woman on the planet does or is. A simple task, I know.

Nobody falls in love overnight. Granted, it’s all cool and romantic to think so, but scientifically, it’s a load of horse manure. Sure, there may be a twinkling or some precognitive feeling one may get from a non-love-interest before courtship, but let’s be realists: you CAN’T win a girl over by acting like she’s the be-all, end-all woman-of-the-century after a month of dating. Nor can you force such a perspective, anyway: if she’s not a truly great person, trust me, by the time the year is over, you’ll know it.

The idea is simple. If the girl really is something special, and awesome, and unique, you’ll feel it over time. And as the months go on, you need to find ways to demonstrate her innate awesomeness to her. Women are generally a lot more self-conscious than guys, and anything you can say or do -- and sometimes, the less grandiloquent the showing, the better actually -- to remind her that she doesn’t have to be all self-condemning is the sort of thing she’ll probably remember forever. As you hang out, take note of all of her individual quirks and behaviors and perspectives, and how, comprehensively, they add up to a wholly unique individual, whose mannerisms and thoughts and ways couldn’t possibly be replicated by any other girl. Once you make a woman feel happy to be herself, you’re pretty much guaranteed a partner for life -- or, at the least, as long as either of you refrain from royally screwing things up, anyway.

Want Number Two:
Women want someone who can make them laugh.

Eddie Murphy once did a routine about how singers -- regardless of their outward appearance -- always had some sort of magnetic appeal to female fans. That may be true to some regard, but the more evidence-backed reality is that is indeed the comedians -- or at least, the more amusing-than-annoying guys out there -- that are actually desired most by women.

Keep in mind, I’m not talking about one night stands and all of that junk here. If all you really care about are bedroom exploits, well, that’s all fine and dandy, but it’s not going to help you understand the female soul any better -- and it sure as hell isn’t going to net you a wife someday. To be fair, some women may indeed have a sexual attraction to the unattached types -- the bed hopping musicians and the assertive thrill seekers and such -- but those kinds of affairs always end in catastrophe. Surprisingly, it’s not because they can’t create a stable home life (although such is almost always the case, anyway.) It’s because that naturally aggressive disposition keeps the two from ever forming a direct bond as intimate partners.

If you can make a girl laugh, you’ve won her heart. If you can make her laugh all the damn time, you might just have yourself a prospective love interest. You see, laughter indicates something deeper than you might assume; it indicates that you both share a certain perspective, and have a mutual understanding of certain aspects of the world you both inhabit. Comedy is something much more complex and cerebrally stimulating than say, music, because comedy constantly engages one’s own memories; thusly, if you can make a girl chortle, that means you’re able to perpetually remind her of a shared past, and of an ability to connect with you. If you’re laughing together, that means you are actively sharing meaning, which more or less serves as the super glue that holds all worthwhile interpersonal bonds together. That, and a humorous disposition is often all that’s needed to diffuse any potentially problematic spots in your relationship. In essence, the ability to provoke laughter is truly one of the more powerful communicative tools -- if not the absolute most powerful -- one may have in any long-term romantic relationship.

Want Number Three:
Women want someone who makes them feel safe.

When I say safe, I mean holistically safe -- that she doesn’t have to worry about you doing something monumentally boneheaded and screwing up both of your lives. All girlfriends have the exact same set of fears: that you’re cool now, but deep down, you’re a lazy, underachieving bum that would hook up with one of your exes at the drop of the hat. As a boyfriend, it is your mission to completely assure her that such is not the case: that you are committed to her 100 percent, that you do have an actual life goal in mind, and that, some day, you genuinely want to have a real life with her.

I guess in some ways, what most women want is to not have to worry about their significant other: that he has his finances straightened out (not that he has to have money, mind you, but just to know that he isn’t on the path to serfdom anytime) and he’s not furtively feeding any secret beasts -- you know, like you’re a closet meth-snorter with a thing for Taiwanese ladyboy hookers or something. If you can assure your girlfriend that you’re real, and honest, and not hiding anything from her -- no matter how painful or personal -- you’re on the path to forging something genuine with your gal pal.

She has to trust you, and know that, in your heart of hearts, you genuinely care for her; that if she needed someone to talk to at four in the morning, or take a day off from work to help her through some personal troubles, that you would do it without batting an eyelash. For many females, “security” means the promise of a future coalesced life -- and whatever you can do to remind her that such awaits both of you, the better.

Want Number Four:
Women want someone who makes them feel loved.

You may notice some of your female acquaintances, who are in their mid-to-late 20s, or even their early 30s, who bicker about not being able to find “husband material.” Odds are, the reason why they can’t land a steady, long-term boyfriend is because, deep down, they don’t really want to be “loved” by a man. Now, that doesn’t mean they are secretly lesbians, it just means their want of an intimate, psychological connection with another person isn’t there; no matter your gender, if you don’t have that particular desire -- to fully open yourself to another person, and have another person fully open themselves to you -- you will never know what “love” feels like.

Depending upon who you ask, love can mean any number of things, but if you asked enough behavioral scientists, a near-majority of them would say that love -- the good old fashioned American version of it -- means profound empathy, profound like and profound intimacy with another. It’s a trifecta in which a man submerges part of his identity in a woman, and vice versa. Love means giving up a part of yourself, and being able to fully embrace the differences in another soul; it’s a major decision, and something that should never, ever be entered into lightly.

More than anything, a good woman (remember, there are plenty of shitty ones out there) wants to be loved. She wants to feel that psychological connection with her man, and she wants her man to come to a full understanding, appreciation and acceptance of who and what she is on the inside, too. If you are willing to forge that union with a girl -- and it’s something both of you are serious about -- you might just have something wonderful in your future: an honest, genuine, loving relationship.

And if you’re not prepared for that? Then quite honestly, you don’t deserve another person’s love, anyway.

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