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What do Men really want in A Relationship?

Updated on July 25, 2017
ian 12am profile image

Ian has experience in relationship and marriage counselling.

Are men impossible to understand? Or are they simply over grown babies who will never mature no matter what! Well… the answer can be subjective. Questions like this are not uncommon in girl (read woman) talk. You probably have heard women declare things like: “Men don’t know what they want. Despite being ‘the perfect wife’, he still flirts with his secretary!”

No matter what you want to believe, men know exactly what they want. They therefore have expectations beyond sex. When these expectations become elusive, they start to behave in ways that puzzle women. In this article, we attempt to understand the complex mind of the adult male (human being). There’re misconceptions that bring women to misunderstand men. These need to be bluntly pointed out in order to draw a clear picture;

  1. You are so mistaken if you believe that an office secretary or house maid is less of a woman than you are in a man’s eyes.
  2. Secondly a big pitfall is to assume that you are ‘a perfect wife’ - if such a thing exists any way. (At least men understand that there is no such thing as a perfect husband).

So what do men really want?

Truth is men are as complex as women when it comes to relationships (its human nature). Society has however evolved to trivialize men’s needs to just good food, hot sex and big egos, as depicted in the numerous soap operas. Girls grow up being taught that ‘the secret way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’ This notion is so misleading because ounce a girl learns how to prepare a delicious dinner; she sits back and assumes that she’s learnt how to be the all deserving perfect wife. That all she needs to do is be a superstar between the sheets, to make and grow nice looking babies.

Unfortunately there is more to what men actually want/need from a woman, than just great sex and tasty dinner as explained here;

Attention... not smothering

Men need lots of attention especially from their woman. Some women have learnt this, but they unfortunately confuse attention with smothering. Men want attention, but when it’s excessive it becomes suffocating. Many women fail to discover this delicate balance. They thus end up with a confusing rebellious ‘immature’ husband. Every man is unique and no particular strategy will universally apply. You need to understand your man and how much attention he needs, without feeling shackled.

Attention doesn’t mean inquiries about every detail of his life and whereabouts. Men are rarely good at divulging minute details when reporting life issues. If he is not ready to speak in as much detail as you require, let him be. If he opens up about a distressing issue, do more listening than speaking. When you speak, be as reasonable as possible. If he is not taking your reasonable counsel, give him some time. Don’t force it. He’ll come around with time. Just being available to listen to him can be enough. Pay attention when he speaks about the things he likes or enjoys to do and show interest in what he’s saying (Just like you’d want him to). Be present when he feels vulnerable, like when he feels insecure about his abilities or when something at work is bothering him. Don’t assume that he’s a man and he can handle it on his own, even if he says he can. This is where most women get it wrong. Men will always declare that they can handle it – because they are men. But this is not always true. So what should you do? Let him know that you believe he can deal with it and stop poking him with endless interrogation. Avoid getting whinny and dramatic over it. Give him space and time to deal with it as you observe. As sure as day follows night, he will eventually consult you because he almost always needs your approval. This brings us to the next point:

Pay attention when he speaks about the things he likes or enjoys to do and show interest in what he is saying
Pay attention when he speaks about the things he likes or enjoys to do and show interest in what he is saying


Men need approval from their woman on almost all aspects of their life. They need to feel like they can impress her at all times and that she is available and willing to share her opinion in their plans; their dressing, their friends, their hobbies, their attractions; the car they want to buy and so on… this doesn’t mean that he will always take your opinion or follow every word of your advice. So don’t expect this. In fact, to expect that he’ll always follow your opinion as ‘gospel truth’ is to be controlling. He just needs your opinion to help his decision. Men (like women) are influenced by their peers, their family, their woman and their personal desires. This obviously means that there is a chance he’ll not always follow your opinion. So what do you do? Just be available and listen to him no matter how ridiculous (you think) he sounds. Then express your opinion and make it sound informed and reasonable rather than emotional. Wait for him to decide. Do not decide for him. Support his decision. If it’s something unacceptable to you because of religion or other social factor, decline participation, but don’t try so hard to stop him. If he fails at it, don’t rub it in his face. He already knows that you were right. He still needs you to be available to listen to his failure and offer a shoulder of empathy.

He wants an intelligent, independent woman

Most modern men aren’t looking for a dependant in a wife. They are looking for a capable intelligent partner with ability to make reasonable developmental decisions. Anything less will attract them to the office lady executives who exudes intelligence and confidence in their actions. Avoid being too ignorant about current affairs or things to do with his work because you are always glued to the ‘telemundo’ channel. Try to have a career or something away from home that you do so well that it causes him to constantly admire how you pull it off. This will enrich your knowledge base and make you more resourceful when he needs you to be.

Don’t make a man your whole world. This will only cause you to be needy and you’ll start smothering him. He has a life away from you which includes work, friends, siblings and hobbies. So should you. Remember not to get too self-absorbed though, as this may diminish the amount of time you have to express your love. You must find time to do things together.

Do not treat him like a money making machine because he’s not. Demonstrate a capability do be independent. If you don’t agree with his approach to finances, show him that you can live without his money, and that you can make smart decisions with yours. This is really attractive and inspiring.

Sound informed, intelligent  and reasonable rather than emotional when you speak.
Sound informed, intelligent and reasonable rather than emotional when you speak.

He wants a wife, not a mother (he's not an overgrown baby)

He is human and therefore far from perfect (just like you). You Must understand this if there is going to be harmony. This is challenging because it calls for enduring patience. Do not question him about always leaving his coffee mug at the TV stand. If forgetting to close the kitchen door is extremely wrong when he does it three consecutive times, but acceptable when you do it ounce in a while, then you are being unfair to your relationship. Adults like to be right. He’ll almost always have an excuse for not doing things as they should be done, but so will you. And like you, he will expect that you understand his reasons no matter how unreasonable they sound (to you). Constant reminders are for teenagers who need parenting. Adults in a relationship watch each other’s backs. Just like you clean after him, he endures and covers for you in your dramatic emotional downsides.

Men actually know what they want; they simply aren’t good at expressing it. When they aren’t getting enough of it from you, they will be tempted to look elsewhere. If the maid is more available, more understanding and more reasonable than you are, he’ll share with her. If the secretary sounds more informed and intelligent, he’ll enjoy her company. These tips aren’t full proof, but can help understand your man better and almost guarantee his happiness.

© 2017 Ian Batanda


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    • ian 12am profile imageAUTHOR

      Ian Batanda 

      14 months ago

      Thanks Limey,

      Communication is very important and is the only sure way of obtaining facts about what both parties really expect from a relationship.

    • LimeyFeline profile image


      14 months ago

      A useful strategy I have employed to find out what men (in this case, my husband) wants from our relationship is to just ask him point-blank. It saves me from having to play the guessing game, which is a huge waste of time. Communication is always key!


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