Friday, July 2, 2010

What Men Want?

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I was reading a blog post recently written by a fellow blogger and friend Mehak aptly titled, “What Women Want”. You can check out the post @ sempiscribbles. Now after reading the post, she mentioned that she wished someone would tell her “What Men Want” and so for her benefit and all those females out there wondering about what drives the Alpha Male, how he thinks, how his mind functions and more importantly “What he wants” from his better half, I am writing this post.

Now before progressing let me put out a disclaimer that I am not an expert in psychiatry or relationships. These views, deductions, opinions and analysis is strictly my own, based on my experience as a man, relationships I have shared with my fellow comrades and whatever little I have been able to understand and construe about the fairer sex. Above all, this is not a comprehensive study or representative of all men. I can however safely state that man is a simple creature, so most of what I lay out should be applicable to most men. If your man does not display any of the needs I am about to discuss, celebrate his uniqueness and don’t look at me! Go figure him out for yourself! Now that the fine print has been established, without further ado I will progress towards dismantling the male psyche.

What do men really want?

1) Respect: The most important thing in a man’s life is what the people in his life think about him. Not any Tom, Dick or Harry walking on the street, but the people he loves, the people who are integral to his existence and the people he looks up to. The most important person in a man’s life is his partner, and no matter how attracted he may be to her, and no matter how good she may be otherwise, if she treats him like dirt in front of his buddies or family, out the door she will go. It’s an instant turn-off. Most men will definitely think of a long term relationship with a woman who respects them and boost their huge (sometimes overstated) ego. It’s one of his primal needs, to feel like he is in control; his opinions matter and his decisions are respected. Centuries of being the perennial breadwinner and patriarch can't be wiped away by 20 years of women liberation. Now I am not saying women need to blindly follow their man and confirm to all he does and says, but if you show a man you value him and whatever he brings to the table, be sure you will leave a lasting impression and should you choose to pursue him, you’ve already breached his first line of defense.

2) Loyalty: Now many women will say, the term "Loyal Men" should be universally accepted as an oxymoron. But little do they know, men are more loyal than they would like you to believe. For the record, loyalty has nothing to do with gender. I know as many women who are guilty of disloyalty as men. Men by instinct tend to fend off even the mention of any long term commitment in a relationship. But even he knows his bachelor days are numbered and he needs to establish his own identity in society. So, if your man is the initiator and starts talking about commitment and even marriage, he is already swimming against the tide. You can safely conclude that 9 out of 10 times, such a man will be loyal and therefore would naturally expect the same from his partner.

3) Sex: Now this may sound cliched, but men want consistent, frequent and passionate sex (OK maybe passionate doesn’t apply to all men, but the other two are bang on!). It’s a common and popular fact that men think of sex every seven seconds. Now that does sound a bit exaggerated to me, but men do think about sex a lot and intermittently throughout the day. I can't really explain why this is, all I can say is, it's just the way we've been wired. Men and women think of sex in completely different ways. A woman wants to be loved, and a man, well he wants his woman to be this lusty animal cum goddess in bed. If you don’t believe me, just look at the top 2 highest subscribed men magazines in the world – Playboy and Penthouse. Men do look at sex objectively, but that has a long and debatable social backlog which I might probably take up in another post. Now that does not mean that they are sex crazy animals who want to “Do it” at the drop of a hat. The ones who do are probably inclined towards sex more because other components of their life have left them wanting. Sex is an emotionally and physically profound experience, and men are easily corrupted by its charm. Anyways, coming back to my point, men need a healthy dose of sex on a regular basis, the periodicity and need of which declines with time and his physical state. A woman who can understand how a man perceives sex, and gives him what he wants in the bedroom, gets whatever she wants outside of it. It’s really very simple, a woman who makes the right moves in bed, gets a lot more from her man than one who is frigid and uses sex to manipulate him (FYI: yeah we see through it!).

4) Love: Like every other living being on this planet, man too wants LOVE. He wants it from his parents, his family and most importantly from his partner. Every boy during his teens thinks he will find his soul mate and be with her forever. I know that sounds romanticized, but it’s true. It’s only as he grows older and adapts to this harsh masculine world that his perspective changes. He learns not to trust his own feelings and not to express his emotions. Men are treated more harshly than you would think, they are taught by parents, peers and our success obsessed social system that they are in constant competition with their male counterparts. This can leave them frustrated, isolated, stressed out and alone. They deviate towards inconsequential relationships and even Porn to find solace, or just feel intimate and close. These also become easier ways for them to find validation. They are also influenced by constant reaffirmation that women are attracted to money and power. So men feel if they can achieve great heights in their career, their chances of acquiring the girl of their dreams will be a whole lot easier. They perceive love as a weakness and to an extent a commodity, something that can be acquired or bought. Now I don’t want to turn men into victims, but I think we need to seriously introspect how our society grooms and nurtures men to understand why they stray away from Love. Men in their hearts crave for love and you will notice that men will try and hang on to the woman they love and resist breaking off a relationship if they feel they have found their Miss Right.

5) Femininity: Lingering on the subject of women, Men want women to retain their femininity. That’s the entire allurement and charm of a woman. They want her to be gentle and kind, as these qualities reflect how good a mother she will be. That is an attraction in itself, coz somewhere inside that machismo exterior they are still little boys looking for TLC. Now I am not saying they need mothering but it's a side of a woman that appeals to men. Men will not tell you, but most of them like it when you do all your womanly deeds, take long showers, wear great perfume, take forever to get ready, in short do everything that signifies you as a lady. They’ll complain, but they will love you for it.

6) Support and Security: The world can be a mean place. Pressure from the boss, pressure from the family, from children, everybody expecting them to answer to their every call and need. It can get a bit overwhelming. Although men will not open up about it, it would hurt their ego too much, but just like women they need to feel safe too. They need to know that someone has their back and in case they ever fall, someone will be there to catch them. They need that emotional and psychological support to get through tough times. Many women criticize men for their behavior, career and will make it their duty to alter them and mold them, like they are some sort of nuclear waste land. This is a grave mistake. Men are easy to manipulate, but they see their partner as their most important support system. If they get the same nagging from their partner as they do from their boss, I think we all know who they are going to choose? Women who don’t give men that support and are too quick to criticize, are definitely not doing their chances any good.

7) Thrill/Excitement: Men like women who are adventurous, exciting and reasonably unpredictable. Most reasons people give when they end long terms relationships or marriages, is the excitement from their lives began to fade. This is also the primary reason for extra-marital affairs. Men are perpetually looking for excitement. Ever heard of the term, “The Thrill is in the Chase”, well I am sure a man would have coined that. Women tend to forget this fundamental rule, and in all fairness, so do men. Since it is still a patriarchal society, it is easier for men to look elsewhere which more often than not leads to regret and disastrous consequences. But they still do it again and again. So if the temptation was at home, we wouldn’t face this problem in the first place. Men love women who tease and challenge them. Keep your man enamored and he will never leave you.

8) Space: Now this is something that is a requisite for every healthy relationship. A man can’t spend every living moment with his woman. He needs time for other things, like sports, hobbies, hanging out with his buddies. If a woman becomes too possessive and restricts his freedom and choices, he will run out that door faster than she can wink. Give a man his space, I'm sure you want your man to miss you! How can he do that, if you are there all the time? Think about it!

9) Constructive dialog: Men don’t like arguments (especially ones that go on intermittently), and they don’t like women who argue. Women seem to have perfected the art of arguing, leading to men losing most arguments and feeling frustrated and trapped. Men like to talk, they like constructive dialog and they like it when a woman is open to their side of the story before jumping to conclusions and accusing them. But men and women have different mannerisms when it comes to communicating. Women listen intently and with affirmation, men on the other hand, like to listen to the entire conversation without interrupting. Women tend to believe that their man is not listening to them, but actually they are. That's probably where the trigger of an argument lies. Good communication is vital in any relationship, don’t set the wrong precedent by being argumentative and aggressive. Your man will never open up to you, and that most likely will doom your relationship before it even begins.

10) Happiness and a Home: Most importantly, Men want happiness and joy! They find it in anything and everything they do. They are after all little brats stuck in an over sized body. Don’t take that away from them, let that brat thrive with a little discretion and you should be good. Not only will he be a great partner, but a great friend and a great father. Man after all doesn't want to end up alone. He wants a home, he has this picture of his perfect life framed in his head and he will do whatever he can to make it come true. Be a part of that dream and he will give wings to your dreams as well. Men can be considerate, if you give them a chance, they are not all bad :)