You might be surprised at how familiar these 5 things are.
Most men see women as being completely different from them and therefore almost impossible to understand - much less please.
It's this great divide in understanding that keeps many men from having the relationship they really want with their woman (and their woman really wants with them) - a great one!
In an effort to help relationships everywhere, I'm going to let you in on the biggest secret we women seem to have. I'm going to tell you exactly what we want from a man. (Well, at least what most of us want.)
- A man she can be proud of and respects
You being comfortable and confident in your own skin and in any situation is important to her. She will be showing you off to her family and friends and you definitely want that to go well. (Note: confident and cocky are two very different things.)
You must have ambition. Not necessarily ambition to rule the world, but ambition to do something important because that shows commitment, discipline, a strong work ethic, and an ability to dream.
She will always be proud of a man who is well-groomed. That doesn't mean you've got to look like you just walked out of GQ, but it does mean you take care of your hygiene, wear clean clothes and take care of your health. (I wish this went without saying...)
Being a strong man who is also compassionate and kind always commands respect. Strong isn't necessarily measured by muscles, it's also measured by character, intelligence and integrity.
Finally, she will respect a man who is loved and respected by his family and friends. If his friends and family don't admire him, why should she?
- A man who respects her
You can show her respect by doing polite things like saying "thank you" and apologizing immediately on your own when you're wrong.
She will also know you respect her by your honesty (but not brutal honesty - remember the kindness and compassion stuff from above), your loyalty and treating her as your equal.
Finally, she'll know you respect her when you allow her to be her - even when it's not all pretty or nice - without trying to fix her (unless, of course, she asks you to). Sometimes this means giving her time and space to take care of herself. And sometimes this means she will need you to forgive her immediately.
- A man she feels connected to
For most women this connection is emotional and needs to be explicitly stated. So it's important that you be emotionally available and vulnerable with her by sharing your fears and concerns. (Don't worry, you'll still be her Superman even if you have a concern or two every once in a while.)
You can also foster the connection by being fully present with her when you're having a conversation. So, put down the phone, step away from the keyboard, listen to what she has to say and engage with her.
Another way to build connection with her is to purposely grow together by working toward common goals or dreams. She'll love it when you support her, challenge and motivate her to go for what she wants out of her life too.
Finally, she'll feel close to you when she feels consistency and security in the relationship and when she knows you've got her back because you've got compatible values.
- A man she could fall in love with again and again
So how to do this? Well, never stop dating her, so you keep the romance alive. Make it your goal to get her to smile and feel loved at least once a day.
Spark her sensuality and sexuality. Go at her pace (at least sometimes) and not immediately for the home run each time you get to bat.
Let her know she's the perfect woman for you. Praise her beauty - what shows on the outside as well as what's on the inside.
Be interesting and engaging. Make her curious about you, what you're thinking and what you're doing. And keep things new and exciting - ruts are not your friend here.
- A man who is a man and not a man-child
This probably goes without saying, but she wants to be your woman and not your mommy. So by all means take full responsibility for your emotions without blaming her. And hold up your end of making your lives work - take the initiative and do what needs to be done without being asked or expecting praise.
You know, when you really look at this list, it is pretty much what most men want from the woman in their life too.
Maybe the divide in understanding each other isn't quite as great as we think at first if we remember that we're all humans who basically want the same thing from a partner: someone you're proud of, someone who respects you, someone you feel connected to, someone you could fall in love with again and again and someone who is an adult (but can still have fun).
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach. I work with clients helping them get out of their post-divorce funks so they can go on to find love again, just like I did. And, if you're ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.
This article originally appeared on Wingman.