What Women Want

 

I was rewatching What Women Want today. Yes, I know the photo is from Pretty Woman, but it inspires the post a bit more than the Mel Gibson movie.

In fact, in many ways, the character that Richard Gere plays in many of his movies is far more of an ideal for me than Mel Gibson. Not necessarily as Billy Flynn (from Chicago as that character is a stereotypical “player” in business and everywhere else), but many of his characters such as John Clark (Shall We Dance), Ike Graham (Runaway Bride — once he stops being the cynical asshole, of course), Edward Lewis (Pretty Woman, of course) and Zack Mayo (An Officer and a Gentleman).

Thing is, guys, the real problem here is not that it is somehow “impossible” for you to know what the women in your life want.  The real problem is that you are looking for a “universal remote” for all women.

Now, the other reality is that our heteronormative culture (which objectifies women) teaches most males that women are fairly interchangeable.  That somehow we all want the same exact thing, and we’re all cookie-cutter copies of each other.  And sadly, many women buy into this thought as well and attempt to use peer pressure on other women to conform.

There is a saying in psychology, there is no such thing as an average person.” Why?  Because we are all individual and unique.  Personalities come on a spectrum, and while some of us may approach the mean there is no single person that typifies that exact center point.

Now, men, I ask you to think about this deeply.  Look at your guy friends.  Even if they have similar opinions and thoughts, aren’t they pretty damned unique?  Oh, they may fall into some general categories, but they do have differences, don’t they?

Well, if your guy friends have personalities on a spectrum, then why wouldn’t women?

No matter what those professional pickup-artists seem to think, women are just as different from each other as men are.

We’re not “prey” to be hunted down. We’re not all “fainting, delicate flowers” either. A woman with a strong personality is not always a “ball-breaker,” “man-eater,” or “battle-axe.” Not all of us want to change everything about someone we fall for.

So, if you really want to know what a woman wants, you need to actually TALK to her.  You need to get to know her. You have to put some effort into listening to her. That doesn’t mean that every woman you talk to wants a relationship with you, there are women out there just as willing to do a one-night-stand as you are.  But, you need to talk to a woman to figure out if she is that kind of person.

Besides, just as there are crazy-assed men out there who are dangerously jealous, who are actual predators, there are just as many crazy-assed women.  And, yes, some of them are very good at hiding it (just like some men are).  But spending some time talking to the woman does usually give you some idea of whether she’s crazy or not (just like a woman  taking the time to talk to a guy usually gives us a chance to evaluate if he’s a danger to us).

Not every one of us considers the same thing romantic either.  I know women who think roses and chocolate are wonderful, while some other women see it as an unwillingness to actually find out what she likes. Some like jewelry, while others don’t – personally, I infrequently wear jewelry but giving me a $100 Amazon gift card excites me!

Oh, I wouldn’t necessarily turn away the gift of jewelry, but a guy needs to talk to me to know that I can’t stand diamonds (too cold, too impersonal), but love rubies, emeralds, and sapphires (particularly emeralds).  Or, if he really wants to get me flowers – he’d do better to find out I prefer calla lilies (and not just white ones, but black ones, purple-white gradient ones, yellow-red gradient ones, and NOT the pink or fully yellow ones).

Plus, we women enjoy a wide range of male personalities.  Yes, I like the gentlemen that Richard Gere portrays, but that’s only one aspect of a man’s character.  I prefer a decisive man rather than someone who can’t make up his mind. I prefer someone who knows his own mind but is open to discussion – even if we end up not agreeing. I prefer an intelligent man with a witty sense of humor but will walk away from a sarcastic prick.

I tend not to trust charmers.  Why? Because more often than not, they are manipulative and controlling.

So, you want to know what women want?  Take a page from the movie, LISTEN to the woman.

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