If I had just one sentence to describe what men and women really want, it’d be this:
Women need to feel desire. And men need to feel strong.
Allow me to explain.
Women need to feel like they’re number 1. Like you are his absolute everything in this world. This means above (heaven forbid) all other women, his friends, his hobbies, and even his career. Correct me if I’m wrong, but most of the “drama” women raise with their partners boils down to this — they just want to feel desired.
Men are different. We need to feel desired as well — but in a less “external display”, and more “I’m behind you forever and always” kind of way. I’ll give you an example. A typical guy won’t feel upset if you don’t get him anything for Valentine’s Day. He doesn’t crave these displays of affection — as long as he’s certain that your affections are loyal to him. (Insider tip: Most men aren’t fans of huge celebratory gestures ;))
Aww… you really shouldn’t have
But a man feels terrible pain if you try to change him: “Why don’t you go to the gym instead of drinking with your friends?” Or even worse, question his ability: “Why do you always end up getting scolded by your boss?” Why? Because it makes him feel inadequate. Like he’s not man enough. Like a loser. And it’s especially painful when it comes from someone who he expects to be firmly supportive of him.
You may say “But it’s for his own good! I’m just trying to make him better.”
But all he’s thinking is “Why is she not behind me? Am I not man enough?”
I understand that it’s a woman’s nature to want to improve her man. Renowned psychologist Jay Carter writes:
“When a woman loves a man, she says to herself, ‘I could improve him. Once we’re together, things will be different.”
But understand that it’s not your job to change him. You have to accept him for who he is — the good and the bad. And then, when he understands you’re fully behind him — he might start improving himself.
The All-Conquering Male Ego
If you’ve thought to yourself by now, “This male ego thing is really fragile”, then you’re right.
Not many men are going to admit this — but deep inside — all of us are really insecure. We’re secretly worried that we don’t live up to society’s expectation of what it means to be a man. You can see this in naive young boys egging each other on to do stupid dares. And you can see this in angry old men trying to race each other on the highways.
The ultimate insult to a man isn’t “a**hole” or “b**tard“. In fact, men revel in such names. It makes them feel masculine. Instead, the ultimate insult to a man is “chicken“. For better or for worse, society imposes upon us that weak men aren’t really men at all.
It terrifies us. And it makes us have an insatiable need to feel manly. Like the hero at the end of a movie.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are easy things you can do to boost your man’s ego:
- List down things you like about him. And then tell him exactly why you fell for him.
- Tell him that you admire him for his achievements.
- Thank him for being a wonderful partner, husband and father.
- “Serve” him. Cook his favorite food. Or give him a massage.
If you’re not used to being so appreciative, it may feel very awkward. It’ll probably be even more awkward for him — as most people can’t handle appreciation easily.
But I guarantee you — beneath the awkwardness — he will feel really happy. As the great Dale Carnegie taught us:
“Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise, and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime.”
Because the greatest gift a woman can give a man — is to make him feel like a man.
Happy Valentine’s Day in advance! Do you agree that that men need to be given more ego-boosts?
Follow me at mr-stingy.com for more ideas on optimizing time, money and relationships.