I recently watched a film with a very significant, romantic scene. During the scene, the male protagonist seductively asked his female partner about her desires. It was her secret, but she slowly bent to his will and confessed in a barely audible voice: “We actually don’t have a clue what we really want.” My years of experience on the subject of “what women want” moved me to agree. Be they Persian princesses, pretty Russian brides, or 21st century soccer moms, It is my firm opinion that women have absolutely no clue what they want in intimate relationships.
Well, that’s not exactly true. Allow me to clarify. Most women have certain expectations of men and these may be pretty consistent across different cultures. These days, a man must be both a bread winner and a lover. A man who is one or the other has already lost half the battle. But when a women gets a man with both of these traits does she finally becomes satisfied? Yes she does…for a while.
The female mind is highly complex. In my experience, a woman who finds a man she desires feels compelled to test him….again and again and again. She will want to measure and gauge his strengths, especially against her own. And he better pass those tests if he knows what’s good for him. Weakness is not viewed as manly, and it doesn’t lend itself well to long term relationships. Ironically though, a man who is out of touch with his emotions may give the impression that he lacks sensitivity and he may get dumped as well.
Many men—including myself—have often wondered what went wrong when a relationship suddenly starts to go south. Despite the perfect mixture of chivalry and toughness, the connection begins to weaken, communication begin to lessen, and one day we wake up alone. An overwhelming number of psychological studies show trust and communication are key ingredients for a relationships last. In the past I thought women enjoyed that type of knightly behavior—men with honor, men who lived by a code. But the reality of singleness suggests otherwise.
Over the years I’ve also contemplated the role committment plays in intimate relationships. All of the research suggests women prefer men who do not have committment issues. They favor men who are in it for the long haul—men who have the characteristics of both a good husband and a good father. I know I take my relationship very seriously and invest a lot of time and effort into making it work. But somehow at the end of the day, it just doesn’t.
Of course, I am aware that some women may simply enjoy the act of toying with men. They may flirt without any intention of taking events further, date men for financial gain, or tease workmates and male supervisors who live in constant dread of a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Women are a mystery. When I’m assertive they accuse me of being too rough, when I’m sensitive they complain that I’m not manly enough. I have no idea what they want and I’m sure they don’t know what they want either. Perhaps I’ll ask my supermodel best friend Malcolm for some relationship advice. For some strange reason, all my ex-girlfriends seemed to enjoy talking with him.