What Do Men Want?

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If you’ve had a few relationships in your life and you’re still at a loss as to what men want, then you probably forgot to raise your antennas or turn on your router.

Men are a mystery. Oh sure, men complain about how women can be such mysterious damsels, saying one thing when they actually mean something else, and how their emotions rule them so that communication becomes difficult. But women – when they’re among themselves – also believe that men are equally mysterious, if not more so.

“I go on and on about how the paint color is so very wrong for the patio and all I get is a ‘uh huh.” Uh-huh what?” 

“The other night I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner, and he says, ‘whatever you can whip up in a snap, hon.’ So I served sole fillets and a cucumber salad, and then he comes to the table and grumbles, ‘can’t we get some real food in this place?’ I don’t know what to do anymore. When I ask for his opinion, he’ll mutter a few words I can barely figure out.” 

We tend to compare men to a mystery novel: the surprise ending always comes later, just when you least expect it. As you flip through the pages, you get a taste of the mystery, but you only have a vague idea of what it really is because the writer has so cleverly manipulated the plot, using layers and layers of meaning before the truth is revealed. The revelation comes only on page 999. Before that, oh boy, prepare yourself for the long haul. Men are like that mystery plot. Wives realize they don’t know who they married, or say comments like “I thought I knew him like the back of my hand.”

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying all men are the same. Those that are a mystery and don’t say outright what they want have cunningly crafted an aura of their own, and it will take an exceptionally smart cookie to see through that aura, crack the code, and unravel the secret.

To Know what Men Want - Know their Soul

Sounds simple enough, right? But the last time we checked, soul-reading is an art that hasn’t been yet honed to perfection. Soul is essence, the core of your being. And when a person has taken detours frequently in life and been derailed repeatedly, his soul becomes a blur. So he himself doesn’t know what kind of person he is. After a series of sad and traumatic life events, his reality could be different from yours and mine. When people are not on the same level playing field, then it becomes difficult to know what they want.

Have you tried asking a teenager - who’s been on drugs for many years and who has never known love and sympathy - what he wants out of life? Try getting a straight answer!

Going back to what men want, it will help to work with a few assumptions about the nature of the male. What makes him tick? What are his hot buttons?

Dr. John Gray who wrote Mars and Venus on a Date (Harper Collins, 1997), said that men are like blowtorches while women are like ovens. If a woman knows this instinctively, she may get less frustrated. Dr. Gray says that men can be strongly attracted to women but then suddenly lose interest. Is it because they did not get what they wanted from their female targets? Did the object of their desire come tumbling down from the pedestal because he thought she was X but turned out to be Y? Gray says, “he is like a blowtorch that can heat up really fast and then turn off in an instant…Women are like ovens. They slowly heat up and slowly cool off.”

Gray zooms in on the real issue: “A woman assumes that if a man is physically attracted to her, he is also interested in pursuing a relationship with her.” They’re two different things. Men may get charmed by an attractive woman. He likes what he sees and will see how far he can go, but he may not necessarily be thinking “relationship.” But women, poor creatures, think he is.

If You Know his Allergies - Half the Mystery is Solved

We’re not talking about his allergies to nuts or heavy perfumes. We’re talking about the intangibles, those pesky irritants in a what-if relationship.

One we’re familiar with is a man’s allergy to commitment. Ladies, if you remember this cardinal rule, you’ll learn not to speak the C word too early in the relationship. That has to come from him. He has to be willing and ready to change his bachelor ways and be prepared to settle down into a kind of domestic life that will make confirmed singles wince with pain. Try restricting his boyhood freedoms and watch what happens. He suddenly turns into an ogre because you didn’t take his wants seriously.

And here’s another: men don’t want stormy, emotional confrontations. Men will flee if you’re in the habit of crying a lot. Forget about that declaration that it arouses their protective instincts. It does, of course, but they tire of it if done repeatedly. A fellow we dated once used to say, “my poor dad got it again. Mom was on her usual R&R and I wanted out of the house fast. Don’t know how my dad could take that, day in and day out.” When we asked him what R&R meant (we thought it meant rest and relaxation), he said “ranting and raving.”

Ladies, listen up: ranting and raving will trigger your man’s desire to run for shelter. When you’re feeling emotional, one good practice is not to argue. Instead, say you’ll discuss the matter once you feel better and more composed. It’s also a good way to avoid saying hurtful things you might regret later.

What Men Want - Four Levels of Attraction

Dr. John Gray’s insights on a male’s four levels of attraction might also help us decipher what men want. Being familiar with the psychology of the male will clue us into our own behavior and teach us how NOT to make his interest wane.

Level one: Physical Attraction
This is the lowest level for a man, regardless of age. Younger men will think of a woman in physical terms, while older, more mature men will also be physically attracted to a woman, especially if they’re on the rebound. Physical attractiveness is important for the male. Women should understand that this is the most preliminary stage of the dating game. They should not think that the next logical step for a man is to propose marriage.

Level two: Emotional Attraction;
Dr. Gray says that when a man begins to feel emotional chemistry, he “feels friendly and affectionate toward a woman not just because he feels physically attracted; but he also wants to be close because he likes her.”

Level three: Mental Attraction
This is the level where a man begins to realize that the woman he’s dating has a kind of character deserving of closer scrutiny. He discovers personality traits that he never noticed before: strength, confidence, ability to handle stress, lack of meanness. This is when he also detects a woman’s degree of maturity and appreciates it.

Level four: Soul Attraction
Dr. Gray says that at this level, a man’s heart opens. Finally! Love’s on its way, and the man thinks, “this could possibly be the one.”

Men Also Want This…

We came across an article in a Canadian newspaper that reported on a survey about what men look for in women. After they come to terms with the physical and emotional attraction, men who are seriously thinking of one particular woman put a lot of priority on fidelity, a notch above good looks and brains.

How’s that for some old-fashioned cocoa?

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