Seeking a Significant Other??
By the time we are grownups most of us know how to go about finding a dentist, a carpet cleaner, a tarot card reader, maybe even a professional hit man (cheaper than a divorce…).
But many of us struggle to find a mate, or even a date.
We typically make one of three common mistakes when starting out on a new relationship:
- We want to believe that we are in a particular kind of relationship, sometimes against all available evidence to the contrary;
- We don’t really know what kind of relationship the Object of Our Attention believes they are in and we don’t ask them;
- We want to immediately replace the person or the relationship that we have just lost ( a trillion dollar insurance industry is built around this concept).
Before you hurtle forward into something new, it is best to look backwards at the results, or the wreckage, of your previous relationship efforts. OK not great, but don’t be discouraged.
What kind of relationship are you looking for this time- and why?
Relationships can be grouped for ease of categorization into a few common categories – but you don’t need to restrict yourself to just one category when all are potentially available.
There are many grown-ups who want to get laid but whose life situation doesn’t permit something time consuming, or maybe even public.
As Woody Allen said “Sex without love is a meaningless experience but as meaningless experiences go, it’s pretty dammed good”.
A ‘casual relationship’ or a bit of a fling as gran might have said. This is a non-exclusive relationship in which you don’t enmesh your families and close social circles. You’re also not emotionally bound up with each other, just getting dating practice in.
A loving relationship, or ‘romance’. This is a longer term pairing with some level of assumed continuity. It is more likely to be exclusive(although not necessarily- you might need to check your ‘s expectations!) and there is a degree of sharing social circles. Feelings are more likely to get hurt if it runs its course and there is breakup.
A relationship of mutual convenience. Frankly all relationships are a convenience of some kind or another, but this kind is more admittedly so with endless variations.
Each ‘possibility’works in a different way depending on who’s in the relationship and what they are looking for. While individuals certainly vary considerably in what they are looking for in a date or a mate, it is generally accepted that men’s and women’s preferences are apparently hard-wired and aligned to their gender.
What Do Women Look For in a Relationship?
“I cook. I swallow swords. I mend my own socks. I never eat garlic or onions. What more could you ask of a man?”
Vincent Price in Laura
If you listen in on men’s conversations about women you will eventually hear the long-standing lament, “You never know what they really want!” Too true. It would seem that women are notoriously impossible to please about a host of silly little things. But we’ll let you into a secret. If you get a woman’s Big Wants right, most of her Little Wants evaporate! So, what does a woman really want? Generalizations are sometimes dangerous but most women want:
• A man who can express affection without always steering it onto a pathway to sex. Give a woman plenty of cuddles, kisses and caresses outside the bedroom and she’ll be much more likely to want you, and to initiate sex.
• A man who can make her smile. We don’t suggest that you regale her with “…did you hear the one about…?”. A woman wants a man with a positive, upbeat sense of humor about life.
• A man who is reliable. By ‘reliable’ we don’t necessarily mean ‘predictable’. Reliable means making and keeping commitments, no matter how simple they are. Reliability includes truthfulness. Most women will deal with truth. Deceit and doubt can turn her into a demon. Truthfulness and reliability will earn her respect.
• A man who is romantic, which also means he is a wonderful lover. (Yes, the two are intimately connected in most women’s psyches.) Almost all men underrate a woman’s need for romance. Never underestimate the power of compliments, flowers, candlelit dinners and little acts of attention to really please a woman
What Do Men Look For In A Relationship?
How can we possibly use sex to get what we want? Sex is what we want.
Dr Frasier Crane
If you listen in on women’s conversations about men you will eventually hear the long-standing lament, “All they ever want is one thing!” Too true. The collective experience of so many women can’t be totally wrong on this point. It would seem that men are notoriously easy to please. There’s an old adage shared among mature women, “Men are like floor tiles, lay ’em right and you can walk all over ‘em.” But we’ll let you in on a secret. Men want much more than that, although if you look after his Big Wants, most of his Little Wants are easy to fulfil. So, what does a man really want?
• A woman who desires him. It is important for a man to be with a woman who wants him, regardless of the frequency of their lovemaking. In most men it is such a primal need that if he feels he is not desired, he consciously or unconsciously grieves the loss of that part of himself that defines him as a man.
• A woman who respects him. A man wants a woman to admire him for his better qualities, and accept his lesser qualities without constant carping. He knows how to earn the respect of his boss, his friends, and his community. He craves the respect of his woman, too, and he often has no idea how to get it. (Perhaps women should take a leaf out of the handbook of hostage negotiators – always treat your man with respect and he will live up to his better side.)
• A woman who is a nurturer: attentive, perceptive and supportive. Even strong men sometimes need gentle caring – but not in a mother-mimicking kind of way. Many women (especially women with children) don’t know how to give their man TLC without treating him like a child.
• A woman who takes care of her appearance. Yes, he really will love you just the way nature made you (fat, thin, tall, short, double chin, crow’s feet and all) but he does want a woman who makes an effort with her appearance. Reason? He wants other men to notice you when you’re out together and envy him.
Mature men have learned (often the hard way) that they really can’t have a permanent sex siren, gourmet cook, devoted helpmate and adoring handmaiden all in one woman. Not even in four women. Sensible men know that if they want someone to watch the game with, someone to sit in a bar in comfortable silence, someone who doesn’t care they haven’t showered and have a two-day growth, then they’ll get that from their men friends. A grown-up man will be happy to be with a woman who meets his basic needs. Most grown-up men know that the secret to a happy relationship is give and take. In his youth, the more a woman gave the more he took. In maturity, the more she openly appreciates what he gives her, the more he will give in return.
Having given consideration to what you want, as a relationship right now, AND in a relationship for now and potentially the future, you are better prepared to get your needs met. Isn’t this what most of us want with a Significant Other??