What do women really want?

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The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is “What does a woman want?”
—Sigmund Freud

Trying to understand women is like trying to smell the colour nine.
—Will Ferrell

STEPHEN HAWKING, the legendary astrophysicist and a man who has solved some of the most complex mysteries of the universe, was asked what it is he thinks about most. His answer was not very surprising. Which scientific puzzle confounds the genius of Hawking? “Women,” he said. “They are a complete mystery.”

If Hawking, Freud, and Ferrell, two of the greatest scientists and one of the funniest comics of our time, can’t understand women, what hope is there for the average guy? How is he to muddle through the perplexing universe that is Woman? The first thing you need to know in order to unravel this mystery is simple: All women are unique.

That’s right, every last one of them is special. Ultimately, the goal is not to become the world’s greatest lover, or boyfriend, or husband, but to become the world’s greatest lover, boyfriend, or husband of your particular partner. In short, listen to your partner. Her truth is really the only truth that matters. Yet this article will help you accelerate the learning curve, because it also reveals that women possess aspects in common in how they play, work, dream, and love, and those are the secrets I want to share with you. The second thing you need to know is that it is not as complicated as you think.

Imagine you are a tourist in a foreign land, and this book is your guided tour of the heart and mind—and, oh yeah, body—of that sovereign state. Like when visiting any foreign land, you want to be prepared—read the travel advisories, pack the right equipment, study the language, and learn as much as you can about the culture, the history, and the customs. Total immersion. You also want to learn the laws of the land; you should know what constitutes a crime and what the penalties are. No one wants to end up in prison in a foreign country. The Land of Women is no exception.

The One Thing All Women Look for in a Man
What is the number one thing that women are looking for in a man? Six-pack abs? Six-figure bank account? A tall, handsome man riding a white horse? No, no, and no. The number one thing women look for is simply this: trustworthiness. That’s right, trustworthiness.
Trustworthiness isn’t just about whether or not you are a player or, if you’re in a long-term relationship, whether or not you’ve ever been unfaithful. Although those things are fundamental and important to trustworthiness, they are not enough.
What trustworthiness looks like in dating and marriage is this: You are who you say you are and you do what you say you are going to do. It’s about reliability, accountability, and showing up just as you are. Being trustworthy is not just about safeguarding a woman’s body or her children. It’s about safeguarding her heart, as well.

The Two Major Complaints That Women Have
The first complaint is: “He is never there for me.” The second complaint is: “There isn’t enough intimacy and connection.” These women feel alone even when they are in a relationship. In many ways, these are related complaints. These women cannot trust their men to be there for them when they need them. Most of the time, this is about being there for them emotionally: listening to them, caring for them, and safeguarding their hearts.

A Tune-Up
Women want men who are there for them when they need them. They want men who are interested in them and who care about them. Woman need to feel respected, heard, and connected.
So where can you buy a can of attunement? You can’t. But you can learn it. It’s not complex. It’s not rocket science. And it has a handy acronym, so the next time you’re with a woman you can think: Just A-TT-U-N-E.

ATTEND

Give your undivided attention when it’s needed. This means that if a woman wants to talk to you, turn off the game, put away your cell phone, and show by your actions that you care about her and about what she is saying. Even if it is the minutiae of her day or something that seems unimportant to you, it is important to her and is a request for connection. If you are on a date, direct your attention to the woman you are with. No scanning the room, no checking out other women, no texting your buddies during dinner. Attention equals affection. Attention ultimately is how you express love.

TURN TOWARD
This is not a metaphor or a new age expression. Physically. Turn. Toward. Your. Partner. Women equate intimacy with conversation that is face-to-face and eyeball-to-eyeball. Unless you and your woman are about to take down a buffalo, turn toward her while you talk.

UNDERSTAND
No matter what she is saying, the goal is understanding. And how you get to understanding is by asking questions. If the woman in your life is complaining about her best friend, don’t offer a solution, don’t try to distract her, don’t think of how you can “fix” the problem, don’t make jokes, and don’t minimize the problem. Ask questions about what she is feeling and what it all means to her. This part of attuning is not about saying “I understand”; it’s about showing genuine interest and attempting to understand why this is important to her. Whether she is complaining about her mother, frustrated with her boss, or pissed off at you—let understanding be your goal.

NONDEFENSIVELY LISTEN

If you are paying attention, turning toward her, and seeking understanding, you are well on your way down the path of nondefensive listening. This is especially important if what a woman is talking about or is upset about is you. Don’t react. No one likes to be criticized or feel like they are under attack. But the tricky thing is, if you counterattack, make excuses, justify, or argue, you are only going to be criticized more. Don’t interrupt and don’t forget that any feeling is fact to the person feeling it. Whether or not you agree with her reactions or how she sees reality, her feelings are real to her in that moment.

EMPATHIZE
For those of you thinking you’ve already covered this with the whole “understanding” thing, think again. Understanding is an intellectual pursuit, while empathy is an emotional pursuit. Try to feel how a woman is feeling, even it seems illogical to you. Try to put yourself in her shoes and then think.
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