Ten Things Women Want From Men
The following are 10 things you can begin to do (or do more of) immediately in your relationship to increase closeness, harmony, and connection with your partner:
1. Provide empathy, not solutions
When she talks to you about a problem she's having, just listen. Resist the urge to offer advice. This can be extremely difficult for some men, as we naturally seek solutions for problems when we hear them, and of course we wish to help solve problems for the one we love. But, paradoxically, by doing nothing but listening with genuine interest, we're very much doing something!
2. Be more affectionate.
Basic acts of affection like holding hands, touching, hugging and kissing send extremely important and necessary messages of connection and feeling. Even if touch isn't one of your "primary love languages" (I highly recommend reading Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages";), these simple gestures of affection are important to your partner. *And make sure you aren't just doing them before or during sex.
3. Be romantic.
Try not to underestimate the value of small gestures of love that distinguish your relationship with her from others. The element of friendship in a romantic relationship is essential, yes, but so is the romance. It doesn't have to be what we think of as traditional romantic gestures - whatever your partner considers romantic or sexy. Not sure what those are? Ask her.
4. Make love, don't just have sex.
Great sex for your female partner, which is what we want for them, is much more about the emotional connection that exists during, and leading up to, sex. We've all been told this at some point but it's worth repeating. Try slowing down, making eye-contact, and really being present with your partner leading up to, and during, sex.
5. Be neater around the house.
It probably shouldn't be underestimated how much women dislike having to pick up after their boyfriend or husband. Clothes on the floor and dishes laying around are irritants she'll encounter during daily life, and that resentment might build up. Inquire about what she considers an acceptable level of cleanliness and try to accommodate it.
6. Increase foreplay.
Remember that woman often need much more time in foreplay to build up to orgasm, so try being more patient, more unselfish, and more emotionally engaged with her.
7. Be emotionally open.
Many men in our culture are socialized to not express their feelings and are taught that being vulnerable is a bad thing. It is not uncommon for some men to not only not share how they are feeling, but may not even know what they are feeling. Not only is it healthy for you to open up and express emotion, it's essential for closeness and connection with your female partner. Try it and you'll likely find that allowing yourself to be more vulnerable is safer with your partner than you anticipated.
8. Engage in more conversation.
It's easy to get stuck in patterns of discussion about day-to-day occurrences like jobs, kids, household issues, etc. Be willing to make opportunities to break out of that routine and engage your partner in topics like current events or popular culture, or even better something more personal like a notable thought or memory you had that day or something from your childhood. Not sure where to begin? Ask her to tell you something about these types of things, then contribute to the conversation yourself.
9. Be equal partners.
In addition to emotional support, women also need our contributions in the form of shared housework, co-parenting, and whatever responsibilities make up your daily life together. Just make sure you do your part. Not sure if you're pulling your weight? Ask. She'll appreciate it.
10. Find your passion.
Find whatever you feel passionate about and pursue it. It doesn't have to be as huge as, say, a career (though passion for one's career choice is immeasurable). It can be a hobby, a volunteer pursuit, or a sport. Life together with your partner is usually more enjoyable when you're living up to your potential and making yourself happy by doing something you love. In addition, find things you both feel passionate about (besides each other) and make it part of your life together.