What Men Really Need in a Lasting Relationship
Yes, it’s true. Men are visually driven. A man is not going to approach a woman he does not find attractive initially. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder – unless you are Cindy Crawford or Jessica Alba – you get what I’m saying.
As an on-going disclaimer, I write about the practical elements of relationship success backed by research for the majority of folks, not the exceptions.
Back to what I was saying: generally men will pursue women with lust. If a man finds you physically attractive, he will sleep with you given the chance. It’s that simple. A man’s willingness to sleep with you has absolutely no correlation with his desire for a lasting relationship with you. Men do not think like that. During this phase of hunting and pursuing his prize (you), some end up falling in love and in relationships. Does this sound very unromantic? Perhaps, but it’s real.
The thing is this, ladies: initial attraction gets you to date # 1. He found you attractive enough on that first date. What makes the relationship last has very little to do with physical attraction or his perceived level of attractiveness for you. It comes down to how you make him feel emotionally.
Here are three elements men need in order to stay in a lasting and fulfilling relationship:
1. Men need to feel needed by you. We talked about this in an earlier blog (https://www.artofdatingnyc.com/blog-why-you-might-be-single/). Smart and successful women who are self sufficient and independent are great in the boardroom. However, these qualities may backfire in an intimate relationship. If you don’t allow opportunities for your man to feel needed, this is going to be a problem. And by problem I mean, eventually, he will leave for someone who may be less attractive than you but who has a better way of expressing that he is needed. It’s not hard: get him to open that jar of pickles even if you can. Get him to hang that framed photo for you. Get my drift?
Have you ever walked down the street and judged a couple and thought, “Gosh, why is he, a handsome, successful-looking guy with that semi-attractive girl?” Now, you know. It’s because she makes him feel good, emotionally.
2. Men need to be respected. If you don’t respect your man the whole relationship will fall apart. If you can’t look up to him, rely on him to fix problems, or you think he doesn’t know what he’s doing, or that he is not smart enough or successful enough or hard working enough, this is going to be a problem. Respect is paramount to men’s perceived value in relationships. Does this resonate? If you’re constantly criticizing him and making him feel like he’s not good enough for you, then why are you with him?
Let’s revisit the topic of being with someone as he is and not for his perceived potential. Yes, we should all strive to evolve and grow. However, this should happen on our own time. You cannot make someone grow, learn and change. See him for who he is at the beginning because that will not change. For example, don’t date someone who is figuring out his career and then six months down the line wonder why he’s not ambitious.
3. Men need to feel appreciated. Appreciating your man for the simple things goes a long way. I don’t mean celebrating the milestone events like when he makes reservations in advance at a restaurant you have wanted to try for months or when he surprises you with a lovely necklace just because (although these gestures are nice). I mean appreciating him for the simple things he does every day. Whatever his idea of making an effort on behalf of the relationship is, that’s what you focus on. For example, if you’re married and have kids and both of you work long hours and have very little down time, but he says to you, “Honey, why don’t you go out with the girls on Saturday, you deserve a night off, I’ll watch the kids;” or he picks up your favorite bottle of Malbec because he knows you had a tough day at work; or he gives you a foot massage just because; or he lets you choose the romantic comedy movie even knows he cringes at the thought.
I’m a huge advocate of practicing gratitude in my every day not just in relationships but also in life. Studies have shown that it is impossible to hold thoughts of gratitude and fear in the same mental space; or gratitude and worry; or gratitude and sadness; or gratitude and loneliness. Start practicing gratitude every day.
As a dating coach for smart, successful and interesting women, one of the assignments I give them is to start a gratitude journal. At the end of your day, jot down three simple things for which you are grateful. Over time, practicing gratitude and focusing on the positive will elevate your mindset, perspective of the world and energy.
Bottom-line: Sure, men appreciate you taking care of yourself, going to the gym and dressing nicely on dates. What takes you the distance though is making him feel good, emotionally.
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