Connection doesn’t happen by accident.
Oscar Wilde once remarked:
Women are meant to be loved, not understood.
While a charming sentiment, I do believe that valuable life experiences help to teach us, as men, important lessons about women that shape our interactions and relationships with them through the years. Not just as intimate partners, but as friends, family members, and colleagues.
Here are twenty pieces of knowledge I have accumulated along my journey, I hope they bring you the same enlightenment they’ve brought to me.
1: Her biology makes her a better communicator than you.
As men, we would much rather that a woman come out and tell us what she wants and how she feels. No matter how well we can read her, there will naturally still be things that we miss and kick ourselves about later.
But, men and women naturally communicate differently. According to “The Female Brain” (must-read book), women are biologically predisposed to have a heightened ability to read facial expressions and body language.
They can also anticipate danger and pain earlier on than men can.
That doesn’t mean we can’t put in the effort to learn the nuances, though. The more openly we communicate, the less room there is for confusion or mixed signals.
I literally communicate for a living, and I still find myself tongue-tied trying to convey my thoughts and feelings to Ann sometimes. Nobody is perfect, and recognizing our areas of improvement is the first step towards actually improving them.
2: She wants to be able to be strong without you being threatened.
There are many strong, confident women in the world who take on leadership roles at work and other areas of their life, but subsequently feel that this intimidates men who immediately shy away from them.
We need to understand that being with a strong woman does not emasculate us. If anything, it gives us a teammate in life who we can face challenges alongside as an equal teammate. She wants you to accept, embrace, and love this integral part of her identity.
3: Cheating starts WAY before sex happens.
There are a lot of men out there who will walk the tightrope of cheating under the perception that if they don’t actually sleep with someone or make intentional physical contact, “it doesn’t really count.”
They call it “Micro-Cheating” and it’s bullshit.
Cheating starts the second you begin to delete text messages or save “Susie” in your phone as “Steve.”
Emotional cheating is sometimes even worse than physical, and women know this.
4: She still wants you to “be the man,” no matter how much she makes.
In the age of equality, many men assume that women no longer want chivalry or romance. That they no longer want to be taken to dinner or have doors opened for them because “they can do it themselves.”
Just because a woman may be in charge from 9–5 on Monday through Friday, doesn’t mean she wants the same responsibilities in a relationship. At the end of the day, many women still appreciate a man who is the man, and will make plans for them on date night. A man who still romances her. A man who is chivalrous and respectful. A man who understands that a woman can be independent and should still be treated as a lady.
5: Better communication makes for stronger connections.
When Ann and I started talking a year and a half ago, we spoke constantly. We texted all day, video chatted at night, and checked in via phone when something important was happening.
We’ve not stopped since.
It was an expression of interest through dedicated time communicating with someone. We broached every topic, held nothing back, committed to complete honesty…and it made all the difference in the world.
6: Consistency is key, as the saying goes.
I have heard too many stories about men who are Prince Charming for the first month or two of the relationship until there is a commitment, and then they turn into a completely different person. [Hint: They did not actually change, they just finally stopped putting up a facade].
Romance and courtship should not be reserved for the ‘honeymoon phase’ of a relationship. They should not fade over time, but increase as she becomes a bigger and more important part of your life.
7: If she asks you a specific question, she probably already knows the answer.
Some men see this as her ‘trapping’ him into…*gasp*…telling the truth. What she’s likely actually doing is giving you a chance to be honest and tell the truth before it’s too late. There is a big difference between those two perceptions.
8: She will find out if you’re lying.
Lying to a woman is like using a credit card. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but you’re still going to have to pay for it eventually.
Lying doesn’t just make her doubt the things you say in the future, it’ll also make her doubt everything you’ve already said in the past. Getting caught in even one lie can put your entire relationship in jeopardy. Is it really worth the risk?
9: Intimacy is more emotional than it is physical.
Men and women experience intimacy differently, and (generally speaking) women build attraction in proportion to their emotional connection with you, whereas men are much more visual.
As men, if we put in the time and effort to communicate and connect on a deeper level, the physical fulfillment and satisfaction in a relationship will be much more enjoyable than simply treating it as a physical act.
10: She wants to feel desired.
It’s not just a matter of calling her beautiful. It is a matter of making her feel beautiful. To feel sexy. To feel desired — not just from what you say, but by what you don’t say. The way you touch her, the way you look at her, the way you subtly rest your hand on the small of her back when introducing her to someone or when you lay your hand on her knee when you’re driving. The small things that make her feel close to you both physically and emotionally. That connection will go farther than compliments ever will.
11: If she talks to you about her problems, she’s probably not looking for a solution.
This is a difficult one for us men because our natural tendency is to try to connect the dots and find a solution to a problem. We are “fixers.” This is not what a woman wants if she begins to vent to you (unless she specifically asks).
What she really wants is for you to listen, make an effort to understand, and provide her with the support she needs to find the solution on her own.
12: The small things are actually the big things.
It may seem trivial to remember someone’s favorite candy, the date she got her puppy, or the way she likes her coffee, but at the end of the day those are the small nuances about a person that make them unique. Putting in the effort to remember these small things shows that you value her as an individual.
Plus, showing her that she can trust you with the small things makes her more likely to trust you with the big things.
13: She’s been disappointed (a lot) by men in the past.
If you’re getting to know someone and she seems skeptical about your intentions, try not to take it personally. The reality is that most of our relationships (both as men and women) have disappointed us at some point along the way.
Hence, why someone is currently single.
This is not the time to become frustrated and storm off. If you genuinely care for this person and want to show her you’re serious — you will put in the time and effort (two recurring themes) to do it.
14: If she has children, it’s more about them than it is her.
The fact of the matter is this: Mama bear will do whatever it takes to protect her cubs.
When she meets a man that she’s considering as a potential partner, it’s a far different thought process than a childless woman will have.
Is this man a good role model? Can he be a positive male figure in their lives? Will he show them what healthy love looks like in how he loves me?
Will he embrace and accept them?
It’s less about the things you do for her as a partner, and more about how she sees you interact with her kid(s).
This will be a huge adjustment for any man who’s used to simply wooing a woman (believe me), but if you’re ready to take on the challenge, the love returned to you will be magnified.
Ann was the first woman I had seriously dated who has children and now we are engaged.
15: Quality time outweighs material gifts.
Any man can spend money on her, take her to a fancy restaurant, or buy her a new purse as an apology. What NOT every man is willing to do, is learn about her interest, desires, wants, needs, likes and dislikes, and spend real valuable time just being by her side.
That’s what sets you apart in the long run — real effort.
Not just throwing money at things or trying to buy her love, but understanding that it must be earned and then it must be kept.
16: Wear cologne.
Why aren’t more men doing this?
The human brain remembers scent more than any other sensory experience.
Smelling good is never a bad idea.
17: She wants (needs) to feel safe with you.
I believe that one of the best compliments a woman can give to a man is that she feels safe with him. Protected. Secure. That she can sleep soundly next to you at night.
A woman understands that it doesn’t matter how attractive, funny, or appealing you are — if she doesn’t feel emotionally comfortable, nothing else matters.
That’s the important part — it’s not just about physical safety — but emotional safety. Feeling safe opening up, sharing her secrets, hearing your secrets — and having no judgment. That’s what reveals peoples’ true selves to each other and how you build a real connection.
18: She wants you to be secure in yourself.
Before Ann and I met, she was a successful entrepreneur with two businesses, raising two kids by herself, and doing it all in stride.
Anyone who’s ever been a parent and/or an entrepreneur knows that both are full time jobs in themselves. Let alone doing both at once.
Imagine if I were insecure or unsure of myself trying to court/woo/win over/impress a woman like that…
At one point in my life, this would have been the case, which is why timing is so important as well.
In order to step up and merge your life with someone else’s well constructed life requires you to be on the same level or at least of the same mindset that is able to create it.
Otherwise, you’ll be left frustrated, wanting, or maybe even — left behind.
Let me also say this doesn’t provide an excuse for someone to disregard the feelings of their partner in a relationship. I have hundreds of articles about why mutual affection and appreciation is so important.
19: She wants you to be reliable.
Reliability, how boring. Reliability is the reason you buy a Toyota Corolla, not excitement (sorry, Toyota). It’s not glamorous or sexy or particularly interesting — but you know what? When you walk outside in the morning and turn the key you know that sucker is going to start up without hesitation no matter how much it has been through.
A great romantic partner is someone you can count on without having to worry about it. You know they are going to be there for you when you need them. You know they are going to stand behind you when you need support, beside you when you need a teammate, and in front of you when you need protection. You don’t have to wonder if they are going to do what they said they are going to do or if they are going to flake out on you last minute, because they are reliable.
I took a little jab at Toyota there but a friend of mine purchased a very expensive British car recently, and had a ton of reliability issues with it. Guess what he did?
Traded in for a car manufactured by Honda.
Take a wild guess of what the top priority for the next car was?
You guessed it — reliability, because no matter how fantastic other qualities are, they’re all useless if the thing itself doesn’t work, or isn’t there.
20: She just wants to be loved and accepted.
Honestly, we have just accepted the narrative that women are some incredibly complicated foreign creatures that nobody in the world has ever been able to decode.
We’re from Mars and they’re from Venus, after all.
I believe that as unique human beings, though, we are all complicated in our own ways, regardless of gender.
In the long run, women just want to be cared for, listened to, respected, and sometimes…just loved.
The same as anyone else.