According to Allan and Barbara Pease*, there are four basic things that men have always wanted from women
- Basic Services, food, washing, mothering etc
- To be loved and to be number one
- Solitary time without interruption
Whereas they suggest that women say that want the following from men
- Education and Intelligence
They boil this down even further by suggesting that men want services, for example sex and ironing and women want resources – support both emotional and financial.
I also came across this list**. To make a woman, happy a man needs to be:-
- A friend
- A companion
- A lover
- A brother
- A father
- A master
- A chef
- An electrician
- A plumber
- A mechanic
- A carpenter
- A decorator
- A stylist
- A sexologist
- A gynaecologist
- A psychologist
- A pest exterminator
- A psychiatrist
- A healer
- A good listener
- An organizer
- A good father
- Very clean
Without forgetting to:
- Give her compliments regularly
- Go shopping with her
- Be honest
- Be very rich
- Not stress her out
- Not look at other girl
And at the same time, he must also:
- Give her lots of attention
- Give her lots of time, especially time for herself
- Give her lots of space, never worrying about where she goe
But most of all it is very important
- Never forget birthdays, anniversaries, valentine’s day, arrangements she makes
- He should learn not to ask for change when he gives her money for shopping.
- Whatever he gives out becomes rightly hers no matter how big the note is.
And when I showed this to my friend thinking that this was amusing, she added ‘I think their role is also to help you feel good about yourselves’
WOMAN AND RELATIONSHIPS
I am a woman and may be too close to the experience to comment on women and relationships but some thoughts I would like to share are:-
Although the ‘How to make a woman happy’ story is meant as a joke. There is some truth in it. Since the breakdown of the extended family, women are looking more and more to their partners to fulfil all of their emotional needs. In the past their mothers, aunts, sisters, other family members and close friends would have performed this role.
Now women are looking towards their partners to provide this emotional support. In other words men have become much more responsible for their partner’s happiness. The trouble with this is that not only does this place pressure on men to be supportive but as I have previously indicated they are mostly ill equipped to deal with this emotional burden.
It is also easy to make the mistake that an emotionally stoic man is an emotionally competent one. I myself have misinterpreted the situation on two occasions when I mistook emotional disconnection (which is common in my family) as a sign of emotional control.
One of the reasons I believe that men are prepared to look emotionally strong to their partners in the first place is ironically because they do not like to be perceived to be weak. So it is easier to appear to be in emotional control rather than admit that they have no clue about what is going on in their emotional world.
It is then no wonder that when emotions get heated that they feel out of their depth and have no problem solving strategies to rely on to help to work through the issues involved. In fact although this book will provide some of those strategies in later chapters my intention is to approach the problem rather differently.
If we return to the quote from ‘The Truth’ about what constitutes a healthy relationship we will see that it involves two individual adults making a decision to have a relationship that becomes a third entity. It makes the point that they are not overly dependent or independent but interdependent. In this case interdependence is defined as ‘they take care of the majority of their needs and wants on their own but when they can’t they are not afraid to ask their partner for help’*
One of the main purposes of this book is to provide some theoretical background information on how you became who you are and the implications that this has for your emotional life and the type of relationships you will attract. It will then enable you to diagnose your relationship history and make different choices if you decide to do so. So that instead of the deadly repetition of failed relationships you can choose a different ‘fork in the road’.
Someone once said to me that in the absence of the external controls in society that once decided the nature of relationships that it is now up to us ‘to decide what is acceptable to us’. I think that sounds a bit like accepting the ‘lowest common denominator’.
I would go one step further and say that it is up to us to decide what type of relationship we want and to develop ourselves to enable that relationship to become possible.
To come back to the main question I asked at the beginning of the chapter – ‘how to make a woman happy’. The honest answer is that you can’t. Nor can a woman make a man happy. The only person who can choose to be happy is the individual concerned. I suggest that if you want to have a healthy successful relationship, that you start with the relationship that you have with yourself. When you have reconnected with you, it will be far easier to connect with some one who you would like to be in a relationship with.
The next section of the book will help to explain a lot about the mine field which is relationships today. It will provide both men and women with diagnostic tools to enable them to analyse previous and current relationships. It will also provide the tools to become responsible for their own happiness and to bring that joy and sense of completion into their romantic relationships with others.
With thanks to Jo Grant and Stella Pitman for the photos in this blog
* The Mating Game
** Source Unknown
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* source unknown