We’re in a messed-up time with the uncovering of allegations and truths of mostly men abusing woman in Hollywood & in the political sphere. This article isn’t talking about these guys. There’s plenty of abusive men who use their power and any advantage they have to sexually abuse anyone they can for their own pleasure. We’re talking about the good men that you’re looking to date.
In my practice I’ve found that guys are neglectful of their wishes in relationships. A lot of what men learn about relationships is about what women want and how men do so much wrong and how men need to do 1 2 3 right away to keep everything going right. These articles sell well when you’re paying for groceries, but aren’t great for relationships.
Men want to be loved too. I know, it’s shocking. And when I’m saying love I’m not saying they just want sex. When working with men in my practice who are trying to work on themselves for their relationship, they’re all silent about the intimacy they want. Here’s my official unofficial list of the intimacy men want, but are afraid to ask for. We’ll get to the fear after the list.
- Hand Holding
Universally, I’ve been told that they (the men in the relationship) want their woman to take and hold their hand every once in a while. It’s not sexual, it’s about connectedness and intimacy. I saw a major consequence in one man’s relationship over this.
Joey had been with his girlfriend for a few years and he hated shopping, with all of his heart. This is a pretty common theme for men. We explored this and we went through the usual reasons of how the places are crowded, he’s bored, it feels like a waste of time, it’s mostly junk. We explored the boredom and Joey said,
“I’m just sick and tired of being a mobile shelf to hold her purse and all her things while she shops. It’s not quality time together, I’m just there as a convenience. If she talked to me and held my hand and interacted with me I’d love to go shopping with her.”
Joey understood that his girlfriend wasn’t treating him badly in any kind of intentional way.
“We’re real too you know…we want the same affection women do.”
Joey is totally right. Don’t you like it when your lover takes your hand and holds it out in public? Men like that too.
Don’t believe the stereotype that guys don’t care about compliments. Even when we act like we don’t care, we care. When our spouse or lover tells us that we look great in something new we’re wearing, that lifts us up. One client summed it up well.
“I was happy she liked what she bought for me and that she said that I looked really good in it.”
I know you’re thinking we’re back to sex. Nope. Good-bye, Hello & Good Night kisses…men thrive on. Give your man an enthusiastic good-bye kiss as you guys are off to do what you have to do during the day, you’ll both start the day off feeling like you matter. It’s hard to feel like you matter if there are no signs and actions that show that you do.
Why are men afraid to share this? We’re afraid we’ll lose the “manly” image you have of us and ultimately lose your love and affection. That’s pretty much it.
We’re filled with these garbage messages that men and woman are from different planets and are so different. Look, there are some differences between men and women. But, men and women have more similarities than differences. We all have hearts, minds, desires and we’re all humans. Why is it so crazy to think that good men and women desire the same types of affection and intimacy? You have been getting your messages from the wrong places if this is shocking.
Make these showings of affection a consistent & constructive part of your relationship which will create affection, intimacy and love. Give Good-bye and Good-Night kisses nightly. Tell him that he’s looking handsome today. Make the first move in bed a few times a month. We teach others how to love us and are taught by others how to love them. But, a lot of us, both men and women, have a hard time saying how we want to be loved. Then, we struggle with learning how to accept that love. So, give him an enthusiastic kiss, sit with him and start a conversation asking him if he feels loved by you and what else would create those affectionate feelings. It starts a conversation for both of you to learn from each other and share with each other more of what you two desire from your relationship.
If you enjoyed this blog, check out my Podcast where Dr. Vilk, my good friend, relationship specialist and co-host, and I talk more about Men and how they want to be loved.