Once we live through teenage-hood, and our early 20s, and in some cases, our late 20s, women get easier to understand, I swear. We play less games, we want less drama. In fact, at a certain point, we start knowing exactly what we want in a man, or at least in a relationship.
I can’t speak for women everywhere. But I believe it comes down to four basic needs: purses, shoes, jewelry, and chocolate.
We carry a purse everywhere we go. Its contents support us in our daily life. And just like we need our wallet, our cellphone, Advil or our favorite lip gloss, we want our man there when we need him. We want him to support our career choices, and stand by us through bumps in the road with our family. We need him to kiss our foreheads after a rough day. I don’t want a man who fixes my problems for me. I recognize no good can come of someone else doing your dirty work in life. But don’t leave us in our weakest moments. I know it seems like we have a lot of them, but I swear one day, you will need us back, and it will have been worth carrying us along.
My closet holds 38 pairs of shoes (I just counted). High heels, mini-high heels, seven pairs of boots (including fake Uggs, Wellies, two pairs of the same flat leather boots in different colors, and three pairs of high-heeled boots), running sneakers, hiking boots, ballet flats, and flip-flops. They all serve a purpose, or represent good memories. The best ones, the favorite pairs, I have spent a lot of time with. And just like my favorite pair of shoes, I like to spend quality time with my favorite man. It’s not because I want a monopoly on his free time, or because I don’t have a life of my own. It’s because I love being with him. It’s that simple. I’m safe and comfortable with him, just like my favorite eight-year-old black flip-flops, that have formed to the shape of my feet.
We love jewelry. We especially love jewelry from our man. It’s shiny and pretty, and completes an outfit. It makes us feel special when someone compliments a necklace and we can say it came from “him.” Wearing it reminds us we are loved. And we need to be reminded, often. Reassurance can come in many forms: words, hugs, stolen kisses, a hand on a leg, a note, an email, a good night text message, flowers, and on and on. All the small stuff together matters just as much as the big. The more you remind us we are loved, the easier your life will be. Because when we feel shiny and pretty, just like our jewelry, it’s hard to be in a bad mood.
You love beer. Some of us like beer. You love sports. Some of us like sports. You like chocolate. We love chocolate. Chocolate gets us through the worst times of month, and year. It’s shared with girlfriends, or while watching Dirty Dancing for the 1,00oth time. Life’s sweetness can be found in a good box of chocolates, or in a great round of sex. It often comes across, on TV, or in a group of friends, like sex is something women reward men with. But for most women I know, including myself, we crave sex just as often, or sometimes more often than our men do. Of course the sex we crave is equal sided, and ends sweetly for both parties.
So it’s that simple gents: purses, shoes, jewelry, chocolate…aka support, time, reassurance, (good) sex. I promise, unless the girl is a little cuckoo, you provide our four favorite things, you will have a happy girl on your hands. And what dude doesn’t love a happy girl.
Girlfriends often send me forwards with anecdotes or humorous one-liners about the downfalls of men and relationships. I received the list below from a friend on Thursday. While amusing at times, and true in some cases, I wonder if words like these further divide those of us from Venus and those of us from Mars. My thoughts in blue.
1. Don’t imagine you can change a man – unless he’s in diapers. In my experience, pushing someone to change does not work out well for the person doing the pushing. People can change, including men, but they have to come to the changing on their own.
2. What do you do if your boyfriend walks out? You shut the door. Agreed.
3. If they put a man on the moon – they should be able to put them all up there. I, like most straight women, don’t actually want all men relocated to the moon. I shudder to think of a world with only women.
4. Go for the younger man. You might as well, they never mature anyway. True in some cases, not in others.
5. Men are all the same – they just have different faces, so we can tell them apart. I’ve had three serious boyfriends, with three handsome faces, and three different sets of desires, needs, and goals. They are unique individuals.
6. Best way to get a man to do something is to suggest he is too old for it. I have yet to try this tactic. Intriguing.
7. Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener. No experience here.
8. The children of Israel wandered around the desert for 40 years. Even in Biblical times, men wouldn’t ask for directions. My last boyfriend had no problem asking me for directions. I was not always the best at giving accurate ones.
9. If he asks what sort of books you’re interested in, tell him check books. I’m fairly sure that response would eliminate the possibility of being asked on a second date.
10. Remember a sense of humor does not mean that you tell him jokes, it means that you laugh at his. I have no problem laughing at a man’s jokes, especially if they are in fact funny. But it’s just as much a turn-on if a guy laughs at mine. I would hope smart men know that.