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I’m far from being a relationship expert. Usually when I write something on romance, I get a lot of feedback from one or two ladies. Or, as I did this time, I go to Facebook and ask 1,800 people their thoughts on the subject at hand. So I went to the big FB and asked, “Ladies, give me 10 ideas on what women want from men,” and I got 41 responses.

Some replies to the “What women want from men” question were so thorough, I literally could just copy and paste them below and call them an article. Alas, I’m a slightly harder worker than that. I’ve read through the responses multiple times, and below I highlight the most recurrent themes I heard from women.

1. Appreciation. Women “surveyed” counted thoughtfulness and appreciation as definitions of romance—instead of grand gestures or gifts. It’s really remembering the small details that matters the most.

More than half the responses to the question were tied directly to appreciation. As I pondered this, I asked myself, “Why would most of these women feel so strongly about this same point?”

I’m can’t say for sure—I am drawing my own conclusion here. I assume that it came up frequently because many women don’t feel appreciated. Maybe some women are getting appreciated and don’t appreciate their man for it. Maybe some aren’t getting the acknowledgement and affection they should. I can’t speak to that. Here’s what I can say: Women want to be acknowledged, cherished and recognized more.

2. Spontaneity. More than one lady mentioned that what women want from men is spontaneity. Dancing. Affection. Kissing. Thoughtful gestures. Just out of the blue. Making moments on the fly. Off the cuff.

Which is funny. Do you know how hard this can be once you’re in a routine? Spontaneity, in a way, takes less than spontaneous effort and planning. So if what women want from men is what seems to be spontaneity, it’s going to actually take some thought, work and preparation on our part!

Here’s what I like to keep note of in the my little yellow iPhone notepad about a girlfriend:

  • Random stuff she mentions that she likes
  • Random date ideas she threw out there
  • Gifts she mentions she’d like to receive
  • Whenever she tells me how she liked something that I did

Oftentimes, after having typed it out, it’s much easier for me to remember when I run across that gift at a store or when I want to give her some “spontaneous” affection. Just take note to remember what she likes, then “randomly” pull out that thing and do it on the fly.

3. Safety/protection. Many men are familiar with this being what women want from men. But how do we specifically do that, beyond owning a shotgun, an ADT fortified house, big muscles and a six-figure job (to top it off with financial security)? Well, that’s not exactly what the women were saying they were looking for from their man.

Here’s a thought that expresses it so well from Ashley:

What do women want from men? A partner. My favorite thing about Brent is protection. He is, unconditionally, on my team … even when I don’t deserve it.

I happen to know Brent, and he’s a pretty strong dude. He also owns a business and brings home some decent bacon. But Ashley doesn’t point to any of that. When talking about protection, she says she finds it in his being unconditionally on her side, even when she feels undeserving.

And that’s what true security is: emotional security and consistency. You may not have big muscles, a 10th-degree black belt or a high-paying job to offer someone, but you can offer emotional wholeness and support to your woman on a consistent basis.

Here’s the deal: Many ladies are either judging other women or judging themselves compared to them. What brings security is letting your woman know consistently that she’s the apple of your eye. She’s the only woman you’ve got eyes for, and you don’t want to be with anyone else in the world. So when she’s worried about someone’s opinion of her at the office or at school or wherever, she’s gonna trip a little bit less because she knows that your opinion of her is so strong.

4. Be protective, not possessive. You’re doing things right to be protective. But women don’t want to smothered. And they don’t want a man to be so jealous for them he doesn’t trust them.

5. Affirmation. Give 100 percent attention during conversations. The worst ever is when a man is multitasking while his lady is talking to him. Just stop texting, typing, etc., for 1 minute to look her in the eye and listen. It shows her that her words are valuable, she is valuable and is worth your time. 

What women want from men is more than just compliments and attention. Women want to be affirmed as the whole package. That’s being attentive, listening and affirming her thoughts and what she’s voicing. That means showing her you’re listening and paying attention. Giving her compliments and an affirming touch only tops it off for the better.

6. Keep your word. Gotta listen, whatever the mood.

If she’s had any sort of dating life, you can count on her having gone out with some guys that have let her down. Women surprisingly put up with a lot of stuff us guys do. But one of the things they should never have to put up with is us not keeping our word. This is chief among what women want from men—someone they can rely on and can trust.

So bury the excuses, and don’t promise something you can’t fulfill. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.

7. Listening and understanding. From my futile experience, women don’t seem to want men to try to figure everything out. They want us to live in an understanding way toward them—even when we don’t understand.

What will it take? A listening ear and a patient heart. Show your lady you care with an attentive ear and a demonstration that you’re taking your best stab at understanding (by giving her the time needed) even when you don’t “get it.”

8. Flirt. Flirting is keeping things alive even in the midst of dull moments and tasks. Clearing up your woman’s plate (doing the dishes, cleaning the house, whatever) is going to allow her to focus on your “spontaneous” affection. Flirt with her and make her feel like your new girlfriend, even if you’ve been together for 20 years.

What Women Want From Men 

A woman’s list could include these thoughts. Then change midday. And the list could then change again. As men, we’re not supposed to be in a guessing game of what women want from men. Be yourself. Focus on improving that self. Take note of these thoughts from women, and grow in those areas. Be the best man you can be, and treat women well. If you’re a good listener and you’re attentive, I’m confident you’ll win your gal’s heart, and keep winning it over and over again.

Ladies and gents, please add your thoughts in the comments on what women want from men.

For the original article, visit fearlessmen.com.

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