It's the golden question that has left men puzzled for centuries and women exasperated, wondering why they still can't understand our basic needs.
Books have been written, movies have been made and eventually society's fascination with understanding the difference between men and women has made the answer more complicated than it needs to be.
While it's wise to acknowledge the dissimilarities between the sexes, it doesn't help men understand what women really yearn for.
Most of the time when a new relationship starts, the chemistry and excitement is enough to sustain and grow the love and also unconsciously give us the tools to feed this new flame. However there usually comes a point -- most of the time around the two-year mark, when the once-burning flame starts to diminish due to the absence of the fulfillment of bigger needs, effective communication and unrealistic expectations.
And so the cycle of love ends and starts again with someone new. The only problem is that no one has solved the initial issue which is essentially the core of any relationship. So what do women want exactly? And why is it so hard for men worldwide to figure it out?
Firstly let's replace the word 'want' with the word 'need'; the difference between these two words is that one is essential to building a healthy relationship and the other is just all the added bonuses we would like (for example, six-pack abs or pancake-making skills).
When men understand the difference between what a woman actually needs as opposed to what he thinks she wants, that is when they will start to comprehend the female mind and begin to make progress. So it's time to break it down into seven simple points and solve the age-old mystery.
1. We need to be a priority
This doesn't mean that you have to put us on a pedestal, but putting the woman in your life at the top of your list shows that you value and appreciate her and your relationship. Yes, there will be times when work, friends, sport and life can sometimes take more of your attention, but at the end of the day, if you do not prioritise your relationship and the woman you love, you will lose her. Women need time and attention -- not to feel completed but to feel loved and respected. This is normal. When you choose to put her first, you are communicating to her that you care about her before all other things.
2. We need to be heard
Women talk about 13 thousand more words a day than men, but this doesn't mean that what we have to say is less worthy. When we want to talk about something -- whether it be trivial or serious -- we need to know that you are actually listening to us and what we have to say. Your attentive ear essentially communicates to us that you care about what we are feeling and expressing. Even if you don't respond, it's the act of listening which captures our heart and makes us feel important and respected.
3. We need to feel safe
This isn't so much about your big muscles and ninja skills but rather the feeling of being protected emotionally as well as physically. We need to know that our relationship or marriage can act as a safe haven, that we are free from infidelity, insecurity, abuse and judgement. By loving us unconditionally and taking responsibility for your role as a man and partner, you give us a sense of security and safety that no amount of bodyguards could ever give us.
4. We need to feel appreciated and valued
When a woman feels appreciated and valued, she becomes an unstoppable force of strength, grace and love. Your words and actions are what have the power to transform your relationship and woman into the dream or nightmare you want it to be. Simple acts of acknowledging what she does or simply who she is will make her feel loved and empowered. Positive equals positive guys... let go of the ego and score keeping and start giving your woman some attention and praise.
5. We need to be romanced
This isn't about showering our bed in rose petals or spending your hard-earned cash on diamonds... although we do appreciate those gestures too. Romance for us is all about our man putting some thought into an action. Whether it's picking up her favourite chocolate, writing a little love letter or saying something kind to us in the morning, it all counts. It really is that simple guys -- we aren't after your wallet or unrealistic acts of chivalry, we just want to know we are in your thoughts and that you want to woo us because you don't want to lose us.
6. We need to feel beautiful
You've seen all the pressure the media puts on women and most of you know our general inclination to compare ourselves to others and tear ourselves to pieces. So this is where we need you to step in and remind us of our inner and outer beauty with either some simple words, a look, a smile or an act. When a woman feels beautiful to her man, she feels like she is the most beautiful woman in the world and that is a gift that you can give her in such easy and effortless ways.
7. We need you to talk to us
It's time men take responsibility for communicating. Talking about your feelings and thoughts isn't about being weak and feminine. In fact, it shows you want to improve your relationship and develop it into something healthy and progressive. There is strength that comes with being vulnerable to the right person; women aren't mind readers and if you expect us to just know what the issue is and give you space every time there is a problem, then you are guaranteeing the demise of your relationship. Communicating to us isn't about having to talk as in depth or as much as women do, but rather just giving us an idea of what is in your head and letting us listen.
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