- Gender and Relationships
What Men Should Know About Women
When my husband was in Iraq, I read everything I could get my hands on about how to please a man, what men want, what men think, what makes men happy, and what makes a man happy in bed, etc. He and I would talk on the phone, and he kept telling me things like, “I read that women want their men to be rough around the edges.” I asked him where he was getting his information, and he said, “Cosmo .” I had to laugh because he was reading the girls’ magazines. At that time we had been married for 20 years. Though, that doesn’t mean we are old, I am no longer a Cosmo girl and reading about young, single women was not going to turn me into one. I had to tell him it was not a definitive resource on what women want who are in a long-term relationship.
I began to ponder these conversations and did my own research on such sites as iVillage.com (a great site for women’s issues) and magazines. I was astounded at how needy most of these articles make women appear when it came to men. I did a web search for articles for men to read about women and what men should know about women, but I only came across 2 out of thousands I had found for women, and there was a required fee to get to them. It began to feel like there was some type of conspiracy to keep women in their place and men in their dream world with this false image of women who always looked like they were in the throes of passion. Men need to know what women want, not the "needy women" portrayed in mainstream magazines, but real women. Then I started looking at men’s magazines. The articles are understandably geared toward men and fitness, men and hobbies, men and sports, but nothing or very little on women, not how to get and keep a woman, not about what makes women happy in bed, and definitely not about dealing with the female emotional structure. Of course, I know men's magazines are never going to have in-depth articles on relationships with women because a man's world is branched out; whereas, society has made a woman's world revolve around man.
After my husband and I had talked about what he “thought” he had learned in Cosmo , I had to say, “Hold on there, partner. I hate to tell you, but you are not coming home to some 20 something, sex starved nymphomaniac, nor are you coming home to a porn star.” I am sure he was disappointed. On the other hand, everything I had read up to that point had been about “pleasing” the man. I began to think I was just a cold fish. I mean if this is what is popular and a large percentage of women read all this stuff, then the message seemed to be that women don’t count and if you want to keep a man, you better learn he is the center of the universe while you are just there for his pleasure.
What is society doing to women? After spending 17 months away from my husband along with several other wives who had husbands in his battalion, I started seeing for myself and from these women that we need men to know what makes women happy. And the truth is men aren’t going to get it reading Cosmo or any one of the popular adult magazines geared toward men and their wants and needs. The playing ground needs to be leveled for the sake of relationships. It is not a fault on either the man or the woman's part that society has tried to create stereotypes through media. Men aren't mind readers and women do not only want what money can buy. There is so much more to each sex and their needs.
What Women Want
- Women need some time to themselves or with other girlfriends, not unlike men needing to go play golf or having a poker night or even mowing the yard. A confession: women like to get away from their men sometimes, too. Shocking, but true. There are the occasional women who complain, but hopefully their complaints will pass when the relationship grows and she sees that both need time.
- Women just want men to be reasonable. Most of men don’t want their women in a bar alone; well, the same rule should apply to men, too. There are lots of other places to go and things to do that do not involve being in a bar with single women, for whom men will ogle. Women aren’t idiots. Men would save themselves some harassment and choose going to drink at a buddy’s house while watching football or whatever seasonal sport there is. Wives or girlfriends may say it is all right for men to go to bars or “gentlemen’s clubs” and it doesn’t bother her, but, believe me, going to bars without her causes resentment and trust issues because it is a signal that makes her feel you are saying she is not worthy.
- Most women like it when men make more money than they do, but women do not like to hear how much more important a man's job is while women's job are minimized. Please remember women do not just work at their jobs, but they also take care of the house and kids too. Most women love doing it when they know they are appreciated. Women do understand men do things around the house, but most of men are not there as much as women are, nor are most of men with the kids as much as we are. Those "at home" jobs need to be recognized as valuable, too. Many men are great at this while others do not notice.
- Men shouldn't nit pick every single little thing women do or try to do, like driving. If you don’t want women to drive, take the keys but expect consequences. But if a man asks a woman to drive, he should be quiet and let her drive the way she normally does. It is truly okay if she doesn't drive the way he does.
- Women want men to feel confident that they can be trusted to do things right and to remember that all of us make mistakes, including men. In many cases, nothing fires women up more than being told “instructions” over and over again then a month later seeing her husband or boyfriend has made the same mistake but expects complete understanding or worse, laughs it off after she had her butt chewed over it. Especially since, to date, she hasn't burn the house down or maimed one of the children or pets.
- It is all right for men to treat women like sex goddesses, without the rutting, but men also need to equally treat women as the intelligent creatures they are. Yes, the two can coincide with the other. Don’t get the wrong idea with this suggestion; women like the chase and the “wooing” but not the groping.
- Men should tread lightly if they see a woman with a sad face or an intense look. Don’t continually pester a woman about what is wrong, but wait until she is ready to talk about it. Remember, most of women give men the same consideration. And, when and if women do come around to discussing something they were working through their minds, men shouldn't say, “I knew there was something wrong and it would eventually come out,” as if that justifies the earlier aggravation of repeatedly asking, “What’s wrong?” Well, DUH! Yes, it came out, but so did the proverbial cat around the man's head when he pushed it too far. Saying “I told you so” is a sure way to start a fight, especially if one or both are already in a bad mood.
- Women do like to take care of men, but also like to be taken care of, too. It would be nice if the man had the babysitter ready, the restaurant chosen, and a movie he thought both would like to see. Maybe this is asking a lot, but God knows how many blood and gore or military movies women have sat through, and even learned to like because they are in love with their men. So men can learn to do the same for an occasional romantic comedy or even, yes, dare it be said, a chick flick. Or, if there isn't time for an evening out, a foot or shoulder rub would be an excellent treat. Women's lives, just like men's, are filled with details and a little TLC is always appreciated and goes a long way.
- Women, despite independence, like it when men open doors and pull out a chair. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but every now and then would be nice to be treated like a lady rather than the old ball and chain. Just common courtesy and manners apply here.
- Don’t complain just to be complaining. Women are called bitches if they complain, so unless you can change or help the situation, keep it to yourself.
- Women want a partner. For years women have had to, yes, recent magazine articles prove it, “serve our men.” Women go places with husbands and boyfriend that they do not particularly enjoy, they tolerate friends who they don’t necessarily find appealing, and stand by when a man needs a dinner date for the office party without complaint even though he leave her stranded with strangers while he talks business with someone. Men need to show the same consideration, but here’s a little secret, women probably would never strand a man to fend for himself with people he has nothing in common with. Also, when a man's head is saying, “I don’t want to do this” or “I don’t want to be here,” he shouldn't use the argument, “I never asked you or made you go with me.” While that may be true, he is missing the point. Women do things out of love and respect and want the same in return.
- After being with a woman for a certain number of years, remember you are not 25 anymore. Most women used to be more tolerant in their younger years and relationship, but it ceased to be funny when, after too many Crowns and cokes, a man takes a nose dive off the pool ladder while skinny dipping in the back yard pool with his buddies, but rather than falling in the water, he falls off the ladder onto the ground using his head to cushion the fall. Men need to pace themselves, especially when they are around other men, because women don’t want them to be in pain or see them cause some irreversible damage because they have had one too many drinks and were showing off to friends.
- Remember, if a woman has a problem, she just wants to talk about it and have a good listener. She doesn't necessarily want a man to fix it. Fixing it is part of what she has to work through, and chances are that a man would want to fix it in a completely different style because that is just the nature of men and women to take different approaches. Men need to remember "different" does not mean "wrong." On the other hand, if she asks for advice, a man needs to give it but without condescension.
- Men need to knock it off with the selective hearing. If a man sees something around the house, yes, even on the inside, he should just do it. By not working with your wife or girlfriends men must take some of the responsibility of turning them into nags when neither he nor the kids are willing to jump in to help. The kids see what their dads do and follow suit. It also leaves mom hanging out there as the bad guy. Talk about tension in the household.
- Women want men to remember that as a partner in the relationship, the future is with them. They are not just the mom or the housekeeper or the social secretary. Both need to build a strong foundation so they will have a comfortable future when the kids are gone and the job no longer matters. Women want men to recognize this issue.
- Remember, communications is the key to every good relationship. Women want to be the best friend, the lover, and the partner in every way. Discussing things, especially if there is a tense situation, helps relieve the tension or it brings out some funny things or intellectual issues that might not otherwise come out if communications stop.
- Make women laugh. Laughter and having a sense of humor can cover a multitude of problems or at least ease them. Women and men have stressful jobs, but a sense of humor will help break the monotony.
Well, this seems to be a lengthy list, but the tension has been building. Society makes women seem desperate to please their men or to be what their men want. Men need to find out what women want and honor these essentials as women have honored men and their sex since the beginning of time. If men want a real partnership, a real life partner who is enjoyable to be around and to talk to and who is going to be there through good and bad, then they must step up and give women the same consideration. She deserves to be treated like a lady, a friend, a tigress, a pal, and so much more if some concentration can be placed on her. Men want an equal, not an empty-headed Barbie Doll. Men want fulfillment, not a false sense of security of thinking they are the masters of the universe when it has been women who helped put them there. Is this an ego blow? Welcome to a woman's world. Women have been given all the “instructions,” so now it is time for men to receive a crash courses in “Girl 101.” Believe me, men will be satisfied with the results over all if they will give it a shot. The point is the more we value each other in our relationships, the more we are going to get out of it in the short- and long-run.
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© 2011 Susan Holland