What Do Women Want in a Man? Part 2


Get the Point...Guys?

Well I would imagine that the photo got your attention as it did for me when researching today’s post. Yesterday’s post on What Do Women Want in a Man sparked a lot of debate from readers all over the web. I was given Top 10 Lists, essays, and passionate emails detailing the stories of countless men and women. I was amazed at the diverse opinions and approaches. I had some men that talked about the duality of relationships…that men need to approach interpersonal situations with two different mindsets. That men need to be able to be strong when required and calming other times. I had women write in that they were concerned about the next generation of boys and their conceptualization of girls and women. And…I had women write in that placed a lion’s share of the responsibility on women themselves.

So…I am of the mindset that in order for all of us to have a healthy and spirited debate, we should call each others bluff, lay our cards on the table, and stand accountable for the mixed messages our respective genders put out into the cosmos. What do you say? Are you with me? No tricks or backroom deals here.

The Trick is on our Kids if we don't straighten up

If we are to truly make an impact for ourselves and those impressionable to our every move…we need to be honest with one another abut what we are truly facing. This, to me, is not about religion or spirituality. This is about day-to-day meteorites hurled through our communities and into the minds-eye of our children. I have been tricked in my day and probably the producer of a few myself. I, like many of you, have taken what I thought to be good information from the opposite sex and acted accordingly. I have incorporated better listening skills, I have worked to restrain my genders obsession with “fixing” things when an ear is all that’s needed, I have taken the lead at the junction of passion and justice demonstrating leadership and protection for those in need, and I have demonstrated domestic abilities that just might shatter the Mr. Mom/Michael Keaton soliloquy of the 80’s.

Are You Doing Your Part Guys?

Yes, I have done a lot of good and a lot of bad in my day. I am guilty of working hard at the above and expecting even more in return. I am that human being! Know any?

I have ridden the great Trojan Horse into relationships looking strong and confident while domestically delicate when the occasion calls…only to turn around and expect the same level and display of love and compassion from my partner. Fair? Maybe to some, but in the spirit of laying it “all” on the table…not fair. How is it that I can be fair in relationship negotiations if I have an ulterior motive that gets me the “deal” and sets me up for failure to deliver on the agreed upon contract.

It really is simple when you boil it all down. It isn’t something that Oprah or Dr. Phil or your great Aunt Sue can tell you that will be the end all be all. Can you realistically expect others to “follow” you when you don’t even trust yourself? Think about it…if I am approaching relationships trying to be and expect the best, in the beginning, only to change course and expect more of my partner than I do of myself then what am I really doing? Can I even begin to understand the messages I am communicating and am I fair to this other, well-intentioned person?

Because if I cannot then I sure won’t be able to handle the outcome if my partner actually “comes through” and improves their actions and/or behavior. Which reminds me…the other day I entered my local YMCA to take a Pilates class with my fiance. It was to be my second class ever and I had been pleasantly surprised at the number of men in the room.

Anyone up for a Personality Stretch?

Calm, peaceful, a feeling of acceptance that was much more relaxing than the Peacocks and Silver Backs just steps away grunting for bench press supremacy. Don’t get me wrong…I have my strutting moments too 😉  But today was to be relaxing and a sign of commitment to my partner that her activities are important to me too. Well….halfway into the class the instructor demonstrates a stretch that she warns isn’t too feminine to the guys in the room. I appreciated her thoughtfulness and left it at that. Not so said the 20-something female two rows back who proceeded to laugh and look at the guys in the room during the stretch. I glanced over…saw another guy visibly irritated and I thought…

“What does this woman expect from us? Aren’t we showing that we are evolved?”

Looking back I almost wish I would have said something because I am still thinking about it two days later. A time and place I guess, but it begs the question of both genders: Why is it that we trick each other? When the other sex is doing what we want we aren’t prepared to swing back around and improve ourselves or acknowledge the effort of the other. It can be very perplexing and challenges men (in reference to the Pilates class) to wonder what women really want. And, are women approaching the situation in a thoughtful manner or are they too setting up girls to unknowingly trick males like many of their mothers do.

Case in point—TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras–for those of you who have not seen the show it is almost as disturbing as watching an episode of COPS.

Skewed Reality in Childhood...Broken Expectations in Adulthood

What? Really? I am serious!! To watch girls, I mean toddlers, parade around in flashy outfits, sporting fake teeth (on last night’s show!), and shaking their bodies in a sexually suggestive manner troubles me. I am troubled that these girls and their agents, I mean mothers, actually believe that there is benefit in supporting the very stereotypes that lead to eating disorders, a false sense of self, and misconceptions of what love and beauty are and how to attain them.

How will these young girls think about relationships and what to expect from them and the men they will be involved with? Their skewed sense of reality only supports the negative stereotype that women only want a Mrs. degree and to be pampered…which only supports men in their belief that they are only valued for what they can produce for the family financially. It can be a wicked system that requires honesty and real-time Feedback from both genders.

We all play a role in understanding what each gender wants in a relationship…for the good and the bad. Some women want to be treated like a princess when they act less than and some men expect dutiful women who pay daily homage to their fragile egos. Both foolish and both disrespectful for one another.

So I ask you…as we look at what women want in a man…What does your gender do to weaken your argument and what do you estimate is the fallout for the next generation?

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

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5 Comments

Filed under Girls, Good Men, Males, Marriage, men, Mothers, Relationships, women

5 responses to “What Do Women Want in a Man? Part 2

  1. I looked up your post from yesterday but don’t see many comments outside my own and your responses – where are the others that you refer to that you received? I’d love to read them…

    • Hi Trish,
      A number of them are on The Art of Manliness on my page and in a couple of different group links within the site “The Great Debate” and “Men and Women” ….below are copied comments…enjoy 🙂

      ply by Luis González 22 hours ago
      1. Love
      2. Faithfulness
      3. Emotional Stability
      4. Financial Stability
      5. Affection
      6. Trust
      7. Empathy
      8. Strength
      9. Courage
      10. Ambition

      Im not sure in what order but I think that’s what they want

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      Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male Permalink Reply by Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male 22 hours ago
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      Hi Luis!
      Thanks so much for your contribution. If you don’t mind I might reference your list on my blog site.
      Question: I love that you put Ambition and wonder what your thoughts are as to why in 10th position? I am with you that women probably like seeing ambition from their men I just wonder what other men think about it since we have all been raised, to a great degree, to think our value is in what we can produce. Thoughts?
      Dr. Rod
      The Normal Male blog

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      Luis González Permalink Reply by Luis González 15 hours ago
      My pleasure Rod! Glad to help.
      Yes feel free to reference the list on your blog.
      On regards to the position of Ambition or any of the other qualities/values/attributes I was basically writing as I was thinking so that’s what i meant by my last sentence of not knowing what order.
      On regards to Ambition directly. I believe Ambition is not just in reference to our career (“what we can produce”) but life in general. While ambition will play an important part in moving forward professionally, we should also apply it to our daily life. I think, for example, that some of the people that take the time to read the Art of Manliness and participate in the community, are trying to better themselves as men and part of their Ambition in life is to become better men. For me that is how Ambition plays a role in my life, I use it to be the best man possible both professionally and personally.

      The funny thing about Ambition is that women are many time directly involved in male ambition. There is a great truth behind the quote “Behind every great man there is a great woman.” When a man truly loves a woman and especially, but necessarily, when this emotion is truly reciprocated, ambition and drive hit their acme, because it is when men wants and is driven to be the best he can be, especially for the woman in his life.

      There is a book that I found very useful and you might want to take a look into if you haven’t already. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It is a phenomenal book overall but Chapter 11 offers some insight to what I just said. In that chapter it states that the emotion of sex has behind it the possibility of three constructive potentialities:
      1. the perpetuation of humankind
      2. The maintenance of health
      3. The transformation of mediocrity into genius through transmutation.
      It also states that the vast majority of “men who have accumulated great fortunes and achieved outstanding recognition in literature, art, industry, architecture, and [other] professions were motivated by the influence of a woman…. The pages of history are filled with records of great leaders whose achievements may be traced directly to the influence of women who aroused the creative faculties of their minds, through the stimulation of sex desire.” It also states that “Sex influence, from the right source, is more powerful than any substitute of expediency which may be created by mere reason.”

      Anyways, sorry if this was too long but here are my 2 cents. Have a good one!

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      Topher White Permalink Reply by Topher White 22 hours ago
      To me, I think the thing is that women aren’t the same thing all the time. (You can make the same argument about men, but I digress). With apologies, I think the unfortunately titled Meredith Brooks song Bitch actually makes a pretty profound point. A woman isn’t the same thing all the time.

      What does a woman want? She wants me to be:

      1. Strong when she is weak
      2. A cheerleader when she is strong
      3. Kind when she’s hurt
      4. Dependent when she feels supportive
      5. Spontaneous when she feels bland
      6. Solid when the world is uncertain
      7. Complimentary when she is independent
      8. Passionate when she feels stable
      9. Gruff when she feels girly
      10. Flirty when she wants to show off

      That’s my take.

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      Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male Permalink Reply by Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male 21 hours ago
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      Wow! Thanks Topher!
      You have taken the discussion to the next level…you have aptly described the duality involved in human relations. It will be interesting to see if others go to this level and/or their reactions to your list. I will definitely be sharing your list with my main blog in the coming days if you don’t mind.

      The list you provided really speaks to the social-emotional skills boys need to develop along the way to have any chance at successful relationships!
      Thanks!
      Dr. Rod

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      Topher White Permalink Reply by Topher White 21 hours ago
      Feel free, just include attribution. Thanks.

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      Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male Permalink Reply by Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male 18 hours ago
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      You got it 🙂 I just like to check with people first.

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      Nick Healy Permalink Reply by Nick Healy 21 hours ago
      What do Women REALLY want from a Man?

      They want us to get off the friggen computer and listen to them. They are all different and all have different wants. The question should be “what does your woman want?” And the answer is, “listen to her and find out”.

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      Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male Permalink Reply by Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male 18 hours ago
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      Hi Nick,
      Yes the computer can challenge relationships 😉 Your suggestion is noted though I am cautioned by the number of men who struggle in communication and to be a good communicator you need to be an even better listener….so yes I agree with you and would add that it takes a lot of work to understand the nuances of communication. Thanks!
      Dr. Rod

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      ACJohn Permalink Reply by ACJohn 20 hours ago
      Repost of my reply to your Blog on the main page:

      First a generalization; in most relationships you need the masculine and feminine. This dynamic plays out in the majority of healthy couples.

      The masculine: takes the lead, protects, provides, is the ravisher and know what they want and asks for it…

      The feminine: follows, is protected, receives, is the ravishee…

      Before someone gets their panties in a wad, this has nothing to do with feminism in the outside world. It is about a one on one relationship. And yes the female could play the masculine part if that is their authentic self. She would then need a more feminine male in a heterosexual couple. To help make my point look at homosexual couples: gay men have a top and a bottom. Lesbians’ usually have a more masculine partner; you do not often see 2 bull dykes together…

      So let’s say have a masculine male and a feminine female, the majority of couples. Now what do these woman want in this situation? It is not what they say: “I want a Nice guy who listens and will cuddle all night.” That my friend is BS, because the nice guy will fail the tests of his masculinity that she gives to see if he meets the above masculine characteristics that they need to feel the feminine characteristics. (The masculine is not an uncompromising domineering jerk. He is what I call an Alpha-Gentleman)

      The true masculine never has conversations like this with his partner:

      Her: “What do you want for dinner?”
      Him “I don’t know whatever you want babygirl”

      Her: “What do you want to do tonight?
      Him: “Lets go see that new Hugh Grant movie I hear it’s a real tear jerker?”

      Enough of these and you will lose her respect, and find yourself watching as the “badboy” drives her away on his motorcycle.

      Conversation as it should be in my opinion, and yes I talk like to this to my wife:

      Me: I will be home at 7, be ready I want to go to the Irish pub for corned beef and cabbage, then we will catch Sherlock Holmes at 8:15, When we get home I want you naked and in bed so I can make your eyes roll back in your skull. (Note: foreplay does not have to start when the panties hit the floor, it can start with statements like this early in the day)

      Her: “baby your killing me, but I don’t want to go to the Irish pub, I don’t like their menu.

      Me; What do you want?
      Her: I feel like chicken
      Me: By the end of the night your gonna feel something. How about the Japanese joint. I can go for … and you can have the chicken you like…

      A healthy compromise and the masculine wants and needs clearly stated.

      I am rambling but hopefully I made my point. Suggested reading: Glover, No More Mr Nice Guy, and Deida The way Of the Superior Man.

      Now I have to go service the wench,

      John

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      Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male Permalink Reply by Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male 18 hours ago
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      Hi John,
      Thanks for reposting here so that I could reply. I shared your sentiment with my fiance and she was amused and agreed with you. Your points may sound like they come from a “tough” guy, but I think that they are sound in the premise for the differences between men and women. Your approach speaks to the need of both genders to communicate their needs effectively. I hope that readers of your comments see the complexity and thought put in and avoid placing you in a “box.” We may have different ways of presenting our thoughts, but I welcome your insight and respect your vantage point. Thanks for the suggested reading..I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for making me think!
      Dr. Rod

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      ACJohn Permalink Reply by ACJohn 18 hours ago
      Bottom line when my wife dies she will know she was loved, and it takes a tough guy to handle the emotional bucket of crazy a woman can often display.

      She shows you two pair of shoes one red, one black and asks which one should I wear? An Alpha-Gentlemen picks one, “Black baby.” Guess what? Five minutes later you see her wearing a blue pair. Some guys make the mistake of saying something like “Why did you ask me to pick a pair in the first place…” then a BS arguement happens. A real Alpha-Gentlemen smiles on the inside at the crazy, hugs her and says “baby that dress looks awesome, and it is gonna look even better when it hits the floor when we get home tonight.” Then he gives her ass little smack to get her out the door.

      John

  2. Here is an exchange with a reader named Luis about Part 2:
    Replies to This Discussion

    Luis says…
    There is a joke that I find to have a great degree of truth in it: “Women get married thinking they can change the man, but they can’t, and men get married thinking the woman is perfect the way she is and hoping she never changes, but then she changes.”

    This is because of the mixed signals. In the dating stage women (and this is a generalization) will do everything to please the man, and they tend to not be very assertive. The man will ask what is wrong, and she will respond “nothing”. When we very well know that a lot of the times there is something wrong but being guys we just let it go at that. This is because we are more used to dealing with men problems in that if a guy has an issue and we ask “he whats wrong man?” we know to leave it alone. If a guy wants to discuss a problem, he doesn’t need to be coaxed into talking he will just talk, if he doesnt want to talk there is very little one can do to make him talk. So we learn to leave well well enough alone. And we bring this into our relationships with women. Women in the other hand, when they have a problem and want to talk about it, are looking for empathy, and they tend to want to be coaxed into talking because they don’t want to seem like a bother. Guys we don’t care if we’re a bother to our guy friends we just talk when we want to and don’t when we don’t.

    My advise and this may seem risky for some men, is to venture a little into the friend zone, although I know this proposition can be a little intimidating. What I mean is that early in the relationship when you have something bothering you even if it’s one of those trivial things that you would usually keep bottled up inside, tell your girlfriend not in a nagging way but in as a matter of fact way, so she sees that you are comfortable telling your problems to her and she won’t have to put up a front for you, and will feel comfortable with you. If you have a friend relationship with a girl in addition to having a romantic one, you will know exactly what you’re getting into and if it is something you want or not.

    Hi Luis,
    Great comments and I love the joke at the start…very, sadly true. I think that your suggestion at the end will really hit a chord with a lot of people. I know that for me, I feared sharing my concerns when I was younger..but after a few relationship pitfalls I told myself that I would never hold back because of fear. I started taking on the mantra that I need to let the chips fall where they may. I needed to be honest with myself, considerate of my partner and hope for the best in terms of her response. Thanks Luis!
    Dr. Rod

  3. Julie

    I love the picture in the part 1 post “what women are looking at” and “what is looking at them”. I do think that many women (myself included in the past) don’t know what they really want and are open to be influenced by the media and their friends, who tell them what they SHOULD want. This can lead women to actually looking for the wrong men. I was always looking for the “impressive” men when in reality, the men who are less “impressive” are often the best husbands. My advice to women; look for the man who cares for everyone, even those who are not “lovely”, because then he will care for you…

  4. Pingback: What Women AND Men Want! « The Normal Male by Dr. Rod

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