We have to be careful how we ask that age-old question if we really want an answer. The reason for this is that it might not actually be the right question. It really depends what we want to know. The problem with the question “What do women want?” is that it is very general and unspecific. It does not tie things down to “when”, “where” and “from whom”.
In order to be empowered around an issue we need to make our questions clear and specific. Keeping an important question too general keeps the focus too general and this is disempowering. If we ask vague, general questions the answers which we get back are likely to be vague and general too.
It is usually men who ask this question. So another way of putting it, from the angle of male/female relationships, would be: “What do women want from men?”, or something along those lines.
What do women want from men?
Our question is not a lot more specific and we have something a bit juicier to be getting on with. However, it is still fairly general as different kinds of women are going to want different things. It all depends on the type of guy the woman is interested in and that may depend on simply wanting something different to what she is already getting.If she has been meeting boring guys she might want someone a little bit wilder. If she has met too many of the wilder type she might want someone a bit more settled.
Also presumably women want different things at different times. It depends on her age, her expectations and whether she is ready to settle down or not. Also, emotionally well-balanced and healthy women are going to be have different expectations than emotionally unhealthy women. If a guy is asking the question because he wants a better relationships with healthy women then the question gets a bit more focused still and becomes maybe something like; “What do healthy women want from men?”.
What do healthy women want from men?
Now we are really starting to get somewhere. One have often heard my female friends complain about male behaviour, particularly the behavior of the type of male who leaves women feeling ‘used’.
Yet, if often if the woman then meets a really nice guy, she finds that she goes off him pretty quickly. Especially after the initial flush of excitement is over. The problem with guys who are too nice is that the are too feminine in their nature. It takes voltage to create sexual attraction and it takes polarity to create voltage. If a guy diminishes his maleness he makes it harder for a women to feel attraction other than friendship.
A guy developing his softer side has to be careful not to overdo it or he will be cutting himself off from his inner male core and take away just about any chance he has of being sexually attractive to women. Robert Bly one said that if a man tries to learn about his inner female from women, “he goes numb from neck to navel”. Instead a guy has to learn the male version of the softer qualities and not try and copy how women use those softer qualities.
Even Male Blaggards have their inner struggles too. A friend of mine was somewhat of a typical Male Blaggard type with a string of short-term girlfriends. One day I was joking with him about how some of other guys envied him as he seemed so great at attracting lots of really lovely women. He paused for a moment and looked down at his feet. Then he looked up again and told me how it was for him. He told me that he was horrified to have recently become aware that virtually all the women he had ever been involved with had been abused at some time in their lives. He said he now knew that how he related to them was just more of the same abuse that they were used to, and that was why they were attracted to him.
Well, that was a shock. I had known this guy for years and had sometimes wished that I had what he had. He made it plain that there was nothing for which I should envy him. He even implied that he envied the way I managed to be friends with women, as that was something he never felt able to do! He slept with them, but never felt close to them. This was all very poignant, as he had “pulled” some women that I particularly fancied. Obviously his behavior is not what healthy women really want either.
It is also important to remember that, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.” and that the only way a guy stuck in the Male Blaggard role really settles down is when he meets a women who can outgun him by being even more of a blaggard than him. It is better that he becomes self aware, steps out of the pattern and looks to create healthier relationships.
What do women want?
So, we are back to our first question “What do women want?”. I can’t speak for women, so best to ask them. However, for one thing I think they probably want Healthy Men….