Family & Education

The Way to a Woman’s Heart

BY Barbara Danza TIMEFebruary 12, 2020 PRINT

OK, fellas. Here it is! Finally, the black-and-white, definitive guide to the question you guys have been asking for, literally, ages.

What do women want?

I don’t know why we women have always been so secretive about this in the first place. I guess we were hoping you’d figure it out. (We do that a lot.)

Well, no more guessing. You want to know what women want?

They want you to make the reservations.

There! I said it. Oh, and they want you to manage the reservations, too.

So, when you arrive at the restaurant, or you’re checking in at the theater or hotel or whatever it is—take the lead. Don’t make her go over there while you stand in the background, helpless. Give your name, pull out your tickets, sign the form, just—as comedian Sebastian Maniscalco once put it—“handle it.”

They want you to hold the door for them.

Oh, you think that’s too old-fashioned? How’s that been working for ya?

Look, when it comes to the intricacies of behaving like a gentleman, society has lost its way. If you’ve never been taught that, for example, ladies go first—through a doorway, into an elevator, into a life raft—it’s not entirely your fault.

But … now you know. So, figure it out. Make chivalry a habit. You have a great opportunity to stand out among the pack if you get this right.

They want you to notice.

Notice that they’re wearing a new outfit, notice that they cleaned up while you were out, notice that they are working hard at something important to them, notice that they are overwhelmed and could use some help, notice that they are worried, happy, sad, excited, etc. Just notice and say so.

They want you to provide. (Gasp!) It’s true.

Regardless of what year it is and what their career aspirations are, they want you to be able to provide for them and your potential family together.

It should go without saying that women can provide for themselves, but they want the option. Do you know how many mothers wish they could trade their impressive career to stay at home with their children? Not all of them do, but I would bet pretty close to all of them would like the option.

They want you to be strong.

I’m not talking about muscle strength (though that doesn’t hurt). I’m talking about strength of character. Women want men to be solid, upstanding, and able to handle any challenge that comes their way.

They want to feel protected. They want a “rock” to depend on when the going gets tough. They want to know that, no matter what, you’re there and you’re looking out for all the danger that could come this way.

They want you to know what you want.

What gives your life meaning? What is your purpose in the world? What are your core values? It’d be good if you have that sorted out or at least are making progress toward that end.

Women want to support you in your aims, cheer you on, celebrate your successes, comfort you in your failures, and see you aim for your highest potential. Be true to yourself and share your dream with her.

They want you to push them.

I don’t mean literally. Don’t do that. I mean figuratively push them outside of their comfort zone. Together, embrace adventure and take risks.

They want you to make them better.

If you think about it, you probably want them to make you better, too. The natural, complementary relationship between men and women is a beautiful thing to behold. When properly balanced, each challenge and elevate the other.

They want lifetime commitment.

Ultimately, they want marriage and, in marriage, to have zero doubts that the commitment you’ve made is for a lifetime. It’s at the moment of marriage that they literally hand to you their entire lives and trust you fully to honor, cherish, and protect that gift. They want you to be totally reliable and unwavering in your vow of forever.

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Barbara Danza is a mom of two, an MBA, a beach lover, and a kid at heart. Here, diving into the challenges and opportunities of parenting in the modern age. Particularly interested in the many educational options available to families today, the renewed appreciation of simplicity in kids’ lives, the benefits of family travel, and the importance of family life in today’s society.
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