In our November Police Life column, Althea took on the topic What a Woman Wants from Her Man with the hope it would educate some of the male readers who may wonder, as well as open channels of communication between men and the women who love them (and wish they wondered a little more).
We know a lot of men opened the article and read it on their own, and we received some nice comments and email from them. Thanks. And a lot of women let us know they opened the article and passed it along to their guys in various manner; emailing it to them, having them sit down in front of the computer and read it, printing it out and leaving it somewhere they would find and read it, printing it out and stapling it to their chests as they dozed... (Just kidding about that last one! In the majority of North American jurisdictions it is unlawful to affix reading material to your significant other in any manner causing the unwanted piercing of the recipient's flesh. It also fosters a retaliatory spirit, rather than one of understanding). We got some nice comments and emails from those guys and gals, too. And again we say, Thanks!
However, men's understanding what a woman wants from her man is only half the equation so, in the interest of promoting ever greater relational happiness for our brothers and sisters in blue (or khaki, or green, or...), this month we approach from the other side and take a look at what a man wants from his woman.
A word of caution in advance: What we offer are guidelines for adaptation by individuals and couples. No two people are exactly the same, nor are any two relationships, and the finer points must fit the specific needs of the couple. A lot of literature along the lines we are presenting can be found that tends to be way too specific (Always set the table with a home-cooked meal, just like his mom used to make - golly, what woman wouldn't want that bit of advice?), slightly demeaning (It is okay if you don't have the physique of a model. You can always get a gym membership and work on those physical flaws! - that always pumps up self-esteem in the ladies!), or filled with frou-frou vagaries (Giving him spiritually transcendent lovemaking will supersede his yearning for physical touch - Ummm, okay. Right. Give that one a shot and see how it flies).
Instead, our guidelines give general rules with the understanding that more specific preferences and practices should be uncovered through by way of open and honest communication, observation, and self-discovery. So here we go...
A man wants the woman in his life to be his best friend
Seems obvious, right? Unfortunately, a lot of couples are lacking in this most crucial facet of their relationship and, without friendship as the foundation upon which everything else is built, the whole of the relationship may sit on shifting sands when adversity hits.
Love is powerful, and vitally important, but not nearly enough. If you are like me, there may be people you truly love from your past - maybe prior lovers, or friends, or mentors - but the flame of friendship has long since fizzled. You wish them well, hope they are enjoying long, healthy, happy, fulfilling lives, but really could not care less about spending more than a moment of face time with them, if that. We move on. And lust is important, too. Lust is underrated, and even a little maligned sometimes, but when you look at your partner, love and friendship aside, I hope you feel a twinge of lust for them. I once heard a speaker - a clinical psychologist and sex researcher - make an excellent point: If the average couple has sex three times per week (and that may be a bit generous), and the average sexual encounter lasts 24 minutes from inception to end (yes, there are people who actually study such things!), then the average couples' weekly lovemaking takes up just slightly more time than is needed to watch an hour-long TV drama and the first segment of the nightly news combined (including commercials).