It has long since been a burning question of many men and women.

“What do men want from women? What do women want from men?”

Of course, there is always “trial and error”, but why not get the scoop?! There are certain behaviours that men or women can exhibit which help create a suitable outcome. Many of my clients have given me insight and research has confirmed what works for many.

Men

Men say that they are simple to figure out. However, ask any woman and she can tell you that they definitely are not.  Having said that, men’s needs are really very basic.

1. Praise
As a known fact, men have sensitive egos. Let’s face it- we all like admiration. Men like praise as much as women, yet women tend to fall short in this category. Praise makes you feel good about yourself and we all like to frequently hear someone tell us something they like about us—especially if this someone is our partner. It is reassuring and encourages us to repeat the behavior- whether it is a way of dressing, saying something, or doing something. So Ladies, if you would like your gut to do more of a certain behavior, activity or look, let your praise flow!

2. Respect
Men feel respect as love. If you show disapproval or disrespect to him (his actions, career, or things he believes are an integral part of him), then he will have a difficult time trusting or loving you.

The thought process behind that being, “If she doesn’t respect who I am at my core, then how can she really want what is best for me?” If his partner is not respectful of him and his chosen path, then he is most likely going to be anxious to move away from her.

3. A Sense of Sexual Connection
Suffice to say that men and women connect differently– women more on a verbal communication level and men on a sexual level. Men, more often than not, connect through “indicators of sexuality”, just as much as they do through sex. In other words, men really need to feel that you are still sexually available to them.

The largest conundrum is women’s lack of awareness that women need to connect with words, which is in direct conflict with men needing to connect physically with sex. In order to alleviate the problem, both parties need to have a discussion as to what makes each partner feel loved, in order to avoid the conflict.

4. Emotional Intimacy
From very early on men, are taught to not show their feelings as this could be portrayed as weak. In a relationship, his partner is hoped to be his soft place to fall and open up to. In order to be that person, you need to accept his emotions as he opens up to you with this worries, fears, and sadness. It is all how you initially handle him opening up to you emotionally. If you push him away or are unable to be nurturing when he needs it the most, he will no longer trust you with his emotions. Both partners suffer, as the man tries to distance himself from the relationship and you are held at arm’s length emotionally.

5. Space
There is a brilliant book written by Deborah Tannen about the masculine and feminine divide between independence and intimacy. Men tend towards independence, while women favour intimacy. It is understandable that you would like to spend as much time as possible together. However, that typically leads to one or both in the relationship to feel like he (and yes it is mostly the male) feels as if he is losing his independence and more importantly, his identity.

In a relationship, there needs to be trust and outside interests to allow both parties to retain their identities. Men need time for their hobbies, time with their friends, and time to toil away on their projects in order to feel fulfilled.

So give your man time to roam and let him breathe. A man will be much happier when he is with you, if he knows that you trust him and the bond you both have.

6. Physical Touch
Statistics show that humans are much happier, connected, and emotionally joined through physical touch. Men are no different. While it was stated previously that men need a sense of sexual connection, nonsexual physical touch is equally important. A man can feel equally as loved, if a woman was to loving touch a man on the arm or leg while they are having dinner in a restaurant. This touch demonstrates physical love- saying that “I love you and I want you to feel happy all the time, knowing I am here for you and I care deeply for you.”

7. Security
Both men and women need to feel secure in the relationship and that it will endure. Assuming that the man is equally invested in the relationship, he needs to know that you are there for the long haul before he will open up to you.

Security is two-fold, in that once he feels that you won’t leave him and you approve of him and what he does, it is then that he feels the love that security can bring. Whether it is a nonsexual touch or having a guys’ night away from you, he feels secure in the way that you love him that he needs most.

Women

When it comes to women, you will note that it is really a perception of how a man makes a woman “feel”. Yes, guys, you do play a large part in how a woman feels.

1. To Feel Loved
The root to most women’s problems is that they are not feeling loved. If you can see through the words, actions, and moods to what the root of the problem is you will find out that it largely has to do with feeling unloved. Try to see what has gone on to allow her to feel this way. The real issue is not whether you are having a guys’ night out, but rather that she is feeling that you have not made her feel like she is more important. If she felt that she was your priority, she would not care if you have a night out with your guy friends. She would be waiting for you when you return.

When a woman feels loved, her nurturing energy flows and she is relaxed and open to her partner. The arguments subside and a deeper connection is created.

2. To Feel Safe
From a very young age, women have been conditioned about their self-esteem, sexuality, and safety. She needs you to be her safe place. Because of all of the disempowering messages sent to women regarding their sexuality, women need to have a safe place where they feel they can trust their partners. She wants to trust your strength and that you will not judge her and will be there for her. By creating a safe space for your woman to open up to you emotionally and sexually, you will be giving her a very powerful gift- you allow her to grow within your relationship and undo old emotional damage.

3. To Feel Seen
Women have a need to be seen. She has a need for you to hear her and be aware of her emotional state. While she is not looking for you to “fix” it, she would like you to be cognizant that she is suffering emotionally. She needs you to be there for her to ensure that she is not feeling alone to get through difficult times. If she feels she needs to struggle with her problem on her own, she begins to trust you less and feel that she needs to be her own emotional support.

Life can be extremely lonely, even in a relationship, if you need to go through a tough journey on your own. She needs to know that she has at least her partner as her witness to her and her journey through life.

4. To be Allowed to be Nurturing
As a woman there is a need to be nurturing, just as men have the need to feel protective. Women want to be there for men when they are sad, worried, or afraid. They would like men to be able to open up to them emotionally.

Have you have ever had a woman snap at you for holding the door open for her and then her getting mad at you because she says she can do this on her own? Well, this is exactly how it feels for a woman when you push her away when you are most vulnerable. She wants to love you and for her, part of that is being there when you are having your most challenging times.

5. To Feel Sexually Desired
The biggest difference between your relationship with everyone else and your partner is that you have an intimate sexual relationship with your partner. She wants to know that you find her attractive and sexy. Find ways to let her know that she is desired and that you appreciate and see her as a feminine, sexual being. Remind her of how special she is to you and you will both benefit.

6. To Be Appreciated
The “feminine” characteristic in all humans is the trait of responding to praise and appreciation. Remind your partner often of how much she means to you and how you appreciate what she brings into your life.
The quickest way to see a relationship spiral downward is to ignore your partner and take her for granted. Appreciation is the opposite of that. So tell her what you appreciate and what she brings to your life and tell her often. 

7. To Feel like She can Count on You
Probably, the most encompassing trait that women seek is just knowing she can count on you no matter what. Life throws us all some difficult times and women, in particular, are emotional and need to know that they can count on you being there.

If you say you are going to do something, then it is critical that you follow through and do what you said you would, when you said you would. Otherwise, you risk your partner losing a little trust in you. With enough small transgressions happening, they begin to build and she beings to lose trust in you.

So women, how have you been doing with the men in your relationships? Men, how would you rank how women have been meeting your needs? If either of you has been falling short, then maybe this blog is a good conversational start between both of you.

In short, a win-win situation is achieved when both men and women have their needs met. So go forward and try some changes. See the reaction you get…. you might surprise yourself!  Would love to hear from you! Please email me at info@selectiveprofessionalsnetwork.com.

Inspired by Jordan Gray
“7 Things All Women Need in a Relationship” Web Dec. 9, 2013
“7 Things Men Want in a Relationship”- The Good Men Project Web Sept. 2, 2014