Life is mysterious. Life can be frustrating. Life most definitely gets messy. And when I started out with honest intentions to ask What Women Want from their partner, I was a little overwhelmed by the wonderful feedback I received. The last thing I wanted to do was rush together a list, publish it, and call it good. Women are more mysterious and deserve more effort than narrowing them down to a simple list (which, I must confess, I do have a list thanks to your helpful suggestions).
Just because I have a list to choose from doesn’t mean I have to spew it back to you in bullet point fashion. As I read through all the great responses I received from my initial question about What Women Want from their partner, the patterns didn’t hit me at first until I decided to take a pencil and put a star by the ones I felt were bare-bones necessities just to keep a relationship going. Then, I drew a little triangle next to the responses that I thought were extra bonuses (or above and beyond bare-bones). Next, there were many responses that had to do with teamwork so I scribbled a T next to them. And, finally, the last group of responses were the added spices, or the whip-cream-and-cherry-on-top suggestions that you gave me.
I wracked my brain for a couple weeks trying to decide whether these four areas were pillars, layers, components, or all-encompassing and I finally decided they do build on each other. So I came up with a pyramid that starts with the most important aspects of What Women Want from their partners as a base and then moves up through the aspects that are still important, but not as crucial as the first one.
I feel as though I should state the obvious here. I am by no means an expert on What Women Want. Just ask my wife or any woman I dated in years past (actually, it’s probably best you don’t ask them about me). 😉 I have tried and failed miserably over the years and even now I struggle to grasp the larger mysteries of What Women Want. I attempt to be the best possible partner for my wife but even after all your helpful suggestions I still fail on occasion. Some days it feels as though I’m chasing after the horizon. Even though I chase after it, no matter how close it feels I may never get there. But I try anyway. Sometimes trying is half the battle.
I appreciate how Erich Fromm (1956) described this issue of love in The Art of Loving:
There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love. If this were the case with any other activity, people would be eager to know the reasons for the failure, and to learn how one could do better–or they would give up the activity.
Since I haven’t given up on love just yet, I have decided to be eager about some of my reasons for failure. Thus, the deep interest in love and relationships.
Just so you understand where I’m going with this, I will give you a few examples of how I categorized your responses and narrowed them down. In future posts, I will share in greater detail each aspect of the pyramid and give some insight for each one. As a teaser, here’s what I’m working on:
SHOW HER SHE’S #1
- Be Honest with her
- Be Faithful to her
- Show her Respect
- Show her Honor
- Be Appreciative of her
- Good communication (listening and sharing)
GIVE HER AFFECTION
- Hold her hand
- Kiss her
- Tell her you love her
- Small gestures
- Smile from across the room
- Show her passion
INVITE HER INTO TEAMWORK
- Work together
- Help her with the kids
- Encourage her
- Be Patient with her
- Help her with daily chores
- Thank her for every meal
OFFER HER THE ADDED SPICES (OR THE WHIP-CREAM-WITH-CHERRY-ON-TOP)
- Be Spontaneous
- Humor her, make her laugh
- Have Strong Faith
- Find new ways to woo her
- Surprise her in and out of the bedroom
- Please her sexually
- Take her on vacation
- Be adventurous
As you can see, I have a lot of information to unpack. There’s enough here to fill a book, let alone try and write a simple blog out of it. That is why I decided to break it up into installments.
I understand that all women are different and some things might be more important to you than they are to others so I’m not trying to minimize what might be important to you personally. You might find the area you are lacking the most in your relationship is the area you would say is the most important.
For instance, you might have a partner that is great with the spices; he pleases you in the bedroom, makes you laugh, and keeps things adventurous. But he fails miserably with all other aspects of the pyramid. He’s called a friend-with-benefits, not a genuine partner.
Your partner may do a great job of showing you you’re #1 (faithful, honest, respect, appreciates you, etc), but the spices are GONE and the affection is hanging on by a string. This relationship is in jeopardy just as much as the relationship with the unfaithful partner.
Or, you and your partner may make a great team. You take turns with the chores, you help one another with the kids, and you share the financial burden as equally as possible. He may not show you affection like you wish and the spices might be stale but he’s a good man. Some days you feel more like a roommate than a romantic partner.
As you can see, simply saying SHOW HER SHE’S #1 is the most important aspect of What Women Want is very misleading. It isn’t the most important aspect but it is the base on which the rest of the aspects build on.
A quick note to the men that stumbled in here: Guys, if we don’t show our women they are #1, give them affection, invite them into teamwork, and offer them extra spices; we are headed for a world of heartache. Life is mysterious, women are mysterious. Life can be frustrating, women can be frustrating. Life most definitely gets messy . . . you get the idea. I can tell you this, guys, its easy to sit on a pedestal and keep our macho-man ego out of harms way, but there’s a lot we can learn from our partners if we let them influence us.
I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to scratch the surface of What Women Want. Be sure to follow this blog so you don’t miss future installments.
I’d like to close with a direct quote from a wonderful lady who added a fresh perspective to this issue for me:
I think all women want to know they are the most important person to their partner… all women want to feel loved and cherished and important. When we don’t receive tenderness, touching, those little looks and genuine interest in conversation, we feel like we aren’t appreciated and loved.
I would love to hear your feedback. I much prefer this (and future posts) to be a conversation about what we are learning from one another instead of me simply stating What Women Want. So please, share your thoughts. Share this post and invite others to give their feedback.
Peace and Love!!