What do women REALLY want???


by Kenneth Justice

~Yesterday I received a phone call from a single friend of mine who began complaining about the dating scene, “What do women really want in a man?” he said, “It seems as though they only care about two things; a guy who has a magnetic personality and who earns a ton of money, doesn’t my intelligence count for anything?” he asked?

I tried to explain to him that younger women (and men) definitely might display a tendency toward looking for qualities in a mate that might be on the more ‘superficial’ side….but as we mature we learn that there are more important qualities that matter when it comes to choosing a significant other.

Yet even as I write that last paragraph….I find myself wondering how many of us actually do grow ‘more mature’ in the area of choosing a mate as we get older. After all, we know that 50% of marriages end in divorce, and of the marriages that end up lasting over the long haul; psychologists have actually found that most marriages don’t bring a very high percentage of increased happiness to an individual’s life.  So are we really looking for the right qualities in another person when we date?

What qualities should we be looking for?

If I’m going to be honest with you, I have to admit that ‘money’ pops into my mind when it comes to long term relational happiness. After all, study after study has found that the number one area of conflict in marriages is always connected to money. But if we look at wealthy couples…..they demonstrate the same level of proclivity toward divorce, infidelity and other marital problems….so I guess a spouse who earns a ton of money really doesn’t change things very much….does it?

Often times when I discuss the topic of marriage people will say its a ‘dying institution” and even though my Christian upbringing wants to object to that kind of mindset…..I can’t deny the statistics; divorce, infidelity, low levels of happiness among married people.

But, maybe the problem isn’t that marriage is a dying institution; perhaps the problem is that too many people looked for the wrong qualities in a mate, and maybe there are a lot of people out there that never should have gotten married in the first place.

Perhaps its time we begin telling our children that ‘marriage isn’t for everyone’ and for those people that it is for; maybe we need to realign our philosophy when it comes to qualities we should look for in a mate.

One of the problems with living in the Western World is that we are a very individualistic people. Compared to other cultures we are much more isolated and much more disconnected from each other. While I’m not advocating some type of radical communism, there is much we could learn from countries which are more communal in their social structures. Thus, I often wonder if it isn’t our individualistic attitudes in the West that is contributing to the massive breakdown we see in marriage and intimate relationships; perhaps we are looking to get more out of a relationship than one person could ever give to us.

Since we are social creatures at our core, perhaps the lack of deeper social community has contributed to out-of-whack expectations when it comes to relationships.

Psychologists have determined that a higher level of a specific protein in the female brain has ‘wired’ women to using on average as many as 13,000 more words-per-day than men. Doesn’t this then tell us that women need more than merely ‘one man’ (or one woman) in their life to entirely satisfy their need for communication and intelligent stimulation?

Yet what do we so often see in the dating scene; people who date tend to spend an exorbitant amount of time with each other. Especially amongst younger daters…there is often a tendency to spend a lot of time with each other, often at the expense of their other friendships. However, its having a larger quality social group that could benefit our relationships.

Perhaps the key to successful relationships and marriages; is a successful social community. Maybe when we say, “it takes a village to raise a child”, we should also add, “It takes a village to create a good marriage”.

Then again….perhaps all the coffee I drink has numbed my neural receptors and I’m typing a bunch of nonsense…….which reminds me; I think I’ll have another coffee now,





Categories: relationships

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96 replies

  1. Interesting explanation. I am stuck on the one sentence from your friend….”doesn’t my intelligence count for anything?” To that I have to reply with that is the question that women ask as well. Most of the time men don’t care how smart you are, they just focus on one thing and I know I don’t have to spell that out because your intellectual self can read between the lines. Always love reading your posts.

    • Open up life,

      great point; I’ve had many women tell me that they are damn tired of men looking at them only for their looks and not for their ‘mind’……..

    • happens to me all the time, not that I’m a model or anything, but it does get old. Why I am single now.

    • I too have the similar experience

    • I’m a bit dubious about this. Maybe intelligence/mind is a necessary-but-not-sufficient factor. If someone doesn’t pass muster right away, no follow-up. If they do, it’s just a default, and all the other factors take center stage. I’ve heard lots of people of both sexes dump someone for being “stupid” or “air-headed.” Maybe it’s just that intelligence (by which I suspect most people mean agreement) doesn’t trump the other factors?

    • And, of course, (ahem).. who’s deciding how much intelligence you have here, anyway? ;-}

    • I guess we all believe in our own minds that we are intelligent 😉

    • The question “What do women want?” is retarded, and at risk of getting a bunch of anti-feminist responses, slightly sexist. “What do women want” is not answerable for the simple reason that all women, being individuals, want different things. “What do men want?” the cliché answer is sex and a sandwich. But you know it’s a stupid sexist answer, a question that reduces a bunch of individuals to one homogenous group can only get such an answer.

    • Yes, that is another opinion. Everyone has their own interpretation of things.

    • Yes, and one of the interpretations is necessarily right, the other wrong 😉

  2. That was a really interesting article. Also interesting idea of social support to strengthen a marriage.

  3. I think your posts are great conversation starters and I would love to discuss with you about a great many things. But since I find commenting to be sort of a monologue, I will just stick to the thing that to me is most important. Our society is persuaded away from the real value that is time (and this also means time spent with others) to a monetary value. The statement “time is money” is really an awful mind trap. All we have is time, so in essence human is time. I feel that the younger generation is misleaded but holds great potential. All it takes is knowledge that there are other ways to spend your life, probably much better, and that you are actual free to do so.

    • Vassils,

      I wish I had the money cause then once a month I travel to a different part of the world and announce on my blog; next week I will be having coffee in Greece, come join me! Next month I am having coffee in Rome, come join me! ha ha…..wouldn’t that be nice. I swear, if I could figure out how to monetize being able to do that I’d change my lifestyle in a hurry.

      as to your comment,

      “Our society is persuaded away from the real value that is time”

      agreed; so much of our daily life in the Western World is connected to ‘earning money’. our “time” is spent “making money”…..one of the things I LOVE about latin America is most of the people I run into work alongside their friends and family. Their ‘time spent making money’ is spent with those that they love. It is a different lifestyle.

    • In a global “village” that the game is only money, all lifestyles are endangered by the ones that already have most of the money. The only way to take back your life is to make accumulated money worthless. It is hard as a decision and the initial results devastating, but in the end you get your life and save the planet. Older people left their village only 3 times. To get married, to visit the doctor, to go to war. It is true that the experience of traveling is huge but I wouldn’t change my lifestyle towards this direction . I would rather leave the big city and go out to the country. But even this demands a large ammount of money, to do it properly and not out of despair.

  4. If I thought that money was even a minor consideration in whether or not I was a suitable choice for a partner, I’d run like Hell from whoever was making that judgement
    Equally, I wouldn’t even think about money when choosing a relationship.
    I’ve lived with someone for many years whose ill health makes it impossible for her to work, but this hasn’t given me the tiniest millisecond of doubt that I’d change anything.
    Love is love, is love.

  5. What do women really want? We want good posts, like this one.

  6. Gordon Bennett!! you are a brave man to enter this field of discussion! What do women REALLY want? Well that depends on the woman, the time of day, what her best friend said to her last night, the weather, etc etc. Hells bells,I am a woman, and most of the time I haven’t a clue. That said, I’ve been very happily married for 38 years, and if you asked me to what I attributed the longevity of our marriage I would have to answer one word – conversation.
    My dear husband and I never stop talking to one another. We talk about anything and everything. Feelings, wants, plans, hopes, the kids, the future, politics, the weather, books, music, food, wine (or lack of), his ambitions, my ambitions (yes I know I am over 60 but I still have ambitions), things that please us, things that annoy us…we never stop communicating. I learn new things about him every day and I think he learns new things about me too. It is a wonderful journey we are on together.

    • pardon my naivety but I think I’ve been living under a rock cuz I’ve never heard the expletive ‘Gordon Bennett’ before….I just finished googling it and reading a really long article about the guy, is this a European thing or something?

    • GB is a non-profane exclamation used in Britain to mean ‘Heaven’s above’ but stronger. Now that I think about it I realise that it reveals my age as it is slightly (very???) old fashioned. But most Cockneys would know what it meant and London taxi drivers use the expression all the time! My (adult ) kids use it because they have heard me use it….and so it goes on.

  7. Do not think it is a lot of nonsense. We might be marrying for the wrong reasons these days. As if it has become a status symbol.like a relationship is for youth. Thinking it makes happy. How twisted have our minds become since wealth counts more than a person.

  8. AS much as I love to read – even DIGEST your posts, THIS ONE STRUCK A NERVE.
    I got the hives Kenneth. Big big welts.
    You see, funny that you would even mention “it takes a village”.
    I was in such a social group of friends. The problem? It became more fun and then more fun, all including another friend who I soon learned was an alcoholic. She was one of my dearest friends. What is wrong with the picture? We were all hanging out at a wine shop casually listening to music. One glass, two glass, three glass, floor. Then it was onto another bar.
    End of story, my friend died of alcohol poisoning. The other friends thought it would be great to go the afternoon and evening of her memorial to one of her bars and celebrate because “that is what she did”. I shuddered at the thought. I did not go. I was the only one that did not go. I couldnt bare to disgrace my friend. This was the beginning of my ousting by what was now called …and I kid you not…”THE VILLAGE”. They are married. Tight. Gossipers. And, in being in this group…and yes I was a part at one time, I have to disagree with the social support of marriage. It does not bind a marriage. It does not strenghthen a marriage. It causes more conflict. Flirtations. Women are jealous creatures. Men and women alike love flirting. Soclal interacion is one thing. BUT you add alcohol and YES..I am going to say it…FACEBOOK…with all it’s secretive chats and inboxes…SOCIAL…a village of trouble.

    I will do without. Thank you.
    Good post btw.

    • a lot of good points to ‘digest’ in your comment as well :0) ……so perhaps maybe less alcohol could have improved the situation?

    • I have lived with guilt. Guilt. To answer your question- yes.
      Taking someone out when you know they can not handle alcohol is like throwing a person in front of an on coming tractor trailer speeding at 90 mph. You are as guilty. You are contributing to their weakness. Just as if you poured it down their mouth by your own hand.
      We could have just as easily taken her to each others home and had dinner without the booze. WHICH is what I did in the end. I would not be a part of the bar hopping. She would drive home. IF I didnt get to her keys first. Jeni left behind a daughter….who I might add has no father…due to him not wanting to ever be a part.
      As for what do women want? She wanted stability. Not money. She wanted to be loved. Held. She wanted someone to come home to at night. She wanted someone to repsect her. She wanted to respect someone back. She wanted honesty. She was honest. She wanted someone to accept her flaws.
      I could go on. But, isnt that what we are all looking for…really?

    • Interesting that they should call themselves “the village”, or be referred to as such. To me, the word “clique” comes more to mind.

      As for Facebook, well, it was easy enough to disconnect from schoolmates and such that were drama whoring. But when I trimmed down my contacts to family, and saw that extended family couldn’t lay off the melodramatics, that’s when I nuked my account. I realized the worst of them wouldn’t be in contact with me otherwise. My father and youngest sister still use and love Facebook a lot– but I can count on them to stay in touch, and more importantly, show love.

      Alcohol… that’s another can of worms entirely.

    • That is great that you had the ability to “disconnect” so easily. Most do not.

      That would be a post I would like to Kenneth do…the infidelitys of facebook..to disconnect or not…really???

      Yes, the word clique is bonafide. They like “village” better. Facebook was their “to be seen and heard”. But isnt that what facebook is?

    • Seen and heard, and also backstab and guttersnipe, unfortunately. Worse, I live in an “emerging area” where almost everyone knows no other online presence than Facebook. It seems so… backwards to me.

      Then again, I can barely tolerate Twitter, and I rarely use my account there. I don’t own a mobile device and can’t keep up with that frenetic pace.

      I’d welcome a “pitfalls of social networking” post from Kenneth. It’s not limited to just Facebook, but yeah, it’s probably the most obvious example.

    • I agree. With all of the above.

  9. …only 13,000 more words a day? Seems like more! A cheap joke at my wife’s expense…

  10. I think there’s some real validity in what you’re saying here. A relationship can’t/shouldn’t exist in a vacuum, and I think when it does, it usually implodes. I also think, though, that maybe people look for the wrong thing in marriage (or even just relationship). What if its main purpose was not to “increase happiness” but to provide a deeper and stronger image of God to creation (because the Trinity is in fellowship all the time), and when that is really happening, happiness is a natural byproduct. I think (and this kinda ties in with what you’re saying about it) most of us go into these kinds of relationships looking for what we can get out of them–or EVEN (in probably rarer cases) what we can put into them, but while I think certain things about the marital relationship itself should be exclusive, I also think marriage is meant to be worked outward, for the glory of God and the good of the world–and ultimately for the happiness of the two people who have become one. NOT that I have totally figured out how to do that. It’s just a hunch I have . . .

    • Jenn,

      “What if its main purpose was not to “increase happiness” but to provide a deeper and stronger image of God to creation (because the Trinity is in fellowship all the time), and when that is really happening, happiness is a natural byproduct”

      You’ve given a good description of what many theologians have posited. Ive read books by Sproul, Piper, and others which have laid out what your getting at.

      I’m hesitant to go in that direction though because I fear it over-spiritualizes something that is much more simple; from the Judeo-Christian perspective ‘marriage’ (or simply two people in a relationship) at its core was/is about two things; loneliness and companionship.

    • I realise my hypothesis kind of rules out some other worldviews, and I see where get the loneliness/companionship thing from Judeo-Christian sources, but I think those same sources hint at a deeper reason. The marriage metaphor is used so much in relation to God-and-people, that while I agree companionship can be a part of it, I just don’t think that’s all there is.

    • I wish I had the time to give u a deeper and more proper response because you bring up a great topic and good points…..perhaps some day in the future 🙂

    • Or you could just write a blogpost on it . . . Thanks for your kind words–even if you’re disagreeing with me! 😉

  11. Agreed…although I think this could also be titled “What Does Everyone REALLY Want?”

  12. Thoroughly absorbing as always. I don’t live with my partner and we’re so much better off for it. It’s not for everyone, but as you write, perhaps it’s our choice of other-half that is the problem. It is possible to be there without living in each’s pockets after all. I think it helps not to be too hung up about sex either, but again, that’s easier said than done. Compatibility is a big deal, all too often over-looked.

    • Your comment is great because it is a good example of how different we humans are. Too often society tells us we must all do things the same way, but the truth of the matter is we are all unique, and to borrow the colloquialism “different strokes for different folks”

      Some relationships work better living together, others work better living apart 🙂

    • Thank you very much. It seems like pointing out the obvious sometimes is counter intuitive. But several years down the line without any arguments except the one time – because I fell asleep halfway through a phone call!

      It’s not for everyone – it’s probably for more people than people think though. I certainly wouldn’t consider changing. Neither of us would – and the sex stays like an event. Even without that, we’ve strong emotional health. With a little space, there’s always the opportunity to process stuff before being cramped. Such a tiny thing, but it makes all the difference I think.

  13. Reblogged this on marsenter10ment and commented:
    yep, thats the fact.

  14. “there is often a tendency to spend a lot of time with each other, often at the expense of their other friendships”

    Anyone I’ve met that I’ve struck up a friendship with, and they are in a committed relationship, I watch to see how their partners interact with me, especially if I’m introduced to them. If they are withdrawn, or otherwise don’t seem to reciprocate a somewhat similar level of congeniality, I consider that a red flag. I suspect that the relationship might not be very strong. And over the long term, sometimes that suspicion bears out.

    Now, I don’t mean that I expect to be good (much less close) friends with every significant other (SO) of a friend I have. There are exceptions, and usually it’s because the SO is more introverted and private. But I do expect when I meet a couple, generally, it’s that I meet the couple, as a whole, so to speak, not two individuals– especially if one individual looks eager to be somewhere else than talking to me.

    • A lot of it depends on the personality of the significant other. I’ve met a lot of my friends spouses who were very different from my friends…and they simply didn’t mesh well outside of their close-knit community. Some people simply don’t have the necessary social skills to integrate well when it comes to meeting the friends of their spouse or significant other; it doesn’t mean that they can’t acquire the skills though 🙂

    • Right– that’s more or less the basis of my exceptions. I mean more that I intuitively sense something a little off, more than just social awkwardness.

      A friend of mine from high school has been in a committed relationship longer than my wife and I (so 15 yrs+). When I talk to him– I have to carry the conversation, or there’s nothing to talk about. Talking to her… well, she says less. I’m aware that they are simply more private, although my sister is friends with her… and she gets annoyed that she’s “pulled more into her shell” lately.

      There is a difference, for sure. I guess it’s difficult for me to describe it accurately. It may be more of a hunch or a gut feeling.

  15. This is going to sound like preaching…I’ve been married for 17 years now and I’m only, yes only 39. The secret to finding a partner is finding someone who you are willing to share the rest of your life with. A life that implies children, problems, successes, laughter and tears. I think you answered the question, it’s not about the person but the couple. The life you built and share. Nothing comes easy, it’s a continuous process of give and take, but you have to decide to fight the battle every day. You have to want to make it work.

    Fight might be a strong word when love is involved, but what I mean is fighting for time, because that my friend is the one thing that slips away in a heart beat. and in the end the trivial shit is only that, trivial. I married my best friend, and she remains that until this day. Having a companion, someone to share this journey with is what makes it all worth while.

  16. Great article. I agree – you can’t expect one person to be your whole world and solve all your problems. No individual is up to that task.

  17. I wonder sometimes why some relationships fail and others succeed. And then I ask myself exactly what is “relationship success”? Does it mean two people stayed together even though they really didn’t want to? Does it mean they stay madly in love? Does it mean they settle into a comfortable roommate situation to the exclusion of all others?

    I think some marriages last for all the wrong reasons, just like some divorces. Beyond that, I’m a divorcee who really has no tangible, long term experience to offer to such a discussion as this. I do think you’re right though. You say “individualism”, I call it “selfishness” or “self absorption”. So many people marry for selfish reasons and then when the marriage doesn’t offer them what they were trolling for, they head for the hills and blame the other spouse.

    I saw a beautiful comment on one of your recent posts about relationships that has stuck with me. He said that people who run are cowards and that they miss out on the joy of being a caretaker. Isn’t that what marriage ultimately really is.. or maybe should be? To be a caretaker for another person, a partner, a helper, a friend.

    Sigh. Happy thoughts, even for an old cynic like me.

    • What a great question; “what is relationship success”

      I think the answer is in many ways entirely subjective.

      –) For my fundamentalist Christian friends relationship success has more to do with negatives; Not getting divorced, Not cheating, Not lusting after other women(or men)

      –) for a number of young men I know, relationship success is connected in many ways to the sexual dynamics of the relationship

      –) for a number of young women I know, relationship success is connected to being with a guy that fits their particular lifestyle

      There are many other definitions as well, those r just a couple,

      For me….my definition is ______________ TBA 😉

    • Naturally. 😉

  18. Interesting post , I think the situation is similar around the globe , I mean people are individualistic regardless of any communal culture , it all depends on that person cos these cultural groups are not helping much for mature people …

    • Well I guess wed have to get into deeper specifics because I have noticed some very striking differences when it comes to the dynamics in relationships from one culture to the next

  19. I think if partners are truly supportive of one another, and open-minded to discussion, factors like money and temptation could be overcome.

    I’ve met one man in my whole life that appreciated me for not only what he saw on the outside, but even more for what he saw on the inside. Sadly, I’ve compared all men in my life to him, so needless to say, my relationships have been a struggle.

    I am an INFJ/HSP, which means that in addition to being introverted, I am also highly sensitive emotionally. That doesn’t mean I’m an emotional freak, but that I feel all emotions much stronger than the average person, including positive emotions (love, joy). Most men don’t know how to handle that. I want a deepness that most men just aren’t capable of.

    I wish there were a dating resource that used MBTI assessments to match people up. Maybe I would have found “The One” a long time ago…

    I think if people felt truly comfortable being themselves, and still felt accepted and loved, it would go a long way in long-term, monogamous relationships/marriages.

  20. Interesting post. One thing I’d like to throw out there, is that I see many men go after women for shallow reasons, then get upset when the women are too shallow to want them back. Many of my guy friends have complained about women not liking “nice guys,” yet these guys are not chasing “nice girls” (meaning smart, kind, but not particularly hot), they are just going after women they find physically attractive.

    One of my good friends is a nice guy- -smart, friendly, and makes good money. He is also quite overweight, which is fine except he expects women to all be lean and fit (I’m not even overweight and he has teased me for “eating too much”). He went after a cute girl with all kinds of issues. she is unbelievably self-centered and entitled. Well, my friend apparently didn’t care, in light of her cuteness, and married this woman a few years back. She is making him so miserable, you wouldn’t believe it. They sleep in separate rooms, she calls him names, and he doesn’t want to have children with her because he is afraid of what kind of mom she would be.

    Sometimes I feel sorry for him, but then sometimes I realize the guy brought this misery on himself by caring about a woman’s appearance, and not much else.

    • American, I think we must know the same person! 😉

      I know of a couple people in the exact same type of situation you’ve described

    • That’s true! Thinking about it even more, I remembered another friend who is a good hundred pounds overweight or so… She’s funny, nice to be around, and I’ve known a few guys who asked her out, despite her being a pretty big girl. And she wasn’t interested in any of them because they weren’t cute enough (though they were funny, hardworking, slightly chubby men). So she’s perpetually alone and bitter.

      I guess it really does go both ways! At any rate, only caring about appearance leads to some pretty miserable relationships…

  21. well.i think at this point in time, both sexes are thoroughly dysfunctional

  22. While you bring up good points about community and individualism (so to speak) it’s about how as a society we’ve become very selfish and certainly superficial. Money in of itself isn’t the issue. Example – I had a friend who’s married friend was “cheating” on her husband by spending money on things he never would have approved of. She did this because he’s a bit controlling over money and she felt the need to take rash measures of hiding it from him and then paying the bills herself. This issue has since been resolved, but that issue is more about his behavior that caused her behavior and there’s some mistrust that’s then created then money, though money is the surface issue. I think money contributes to divorces because of that type of thing, not necessarily the amount (though that can be the case for some clearly). As for spending too much time with someone, I do think that as a society we forget that it’s about sharing lives, not becoming one another’s lives. I want to share my life with someone but that someone better know that I like my friends and intend to keep them – that means I will want my space time and again, just as I expect that he do the same. That helps give the couple something to talk about too, keeps the couple functioning. Marriage isn’t the issue. WHY we get married is the issue. Look at your friend you just wrote about. The woman dictated to him about getting married and never took the time to consider why she wanted to marry him. Based on what I read, it wasn’t love, it was a project and when things changed in ways neither of them expected, it’s not been ideal. No relationship will be perfect and there will also need to be TLC to make a relationship work, but being with someone because you WANT to is why to get married, not because you NEED to. There is also a need to be flexible just like in any relationship (friendship or otherwise) as circumstances change, people change, etc. There also needs to be a level of dedication to work at it – that’s the other real big issue. People thing any relationship should just take care of itself – well it doesn’t work like that. Should it be forced? No, but it does need tender loving care.

    • Jen, well I think we agree it’s not the money (or lack therof) that does something evil since money in and of itself is simply paper or coin……what I was getting at in the article is that researchers find the most often cited reason for divorce is connected to money. Whether it was the stress of not having enough money to pay bills, the conflict between the partners when it came to how they managed their money, or other money-related issues.

    • I know and that’s exactly what I’m getting at. 🙂 It’s the “side effects” not money in of itself. And those situations aren’t all the reasons for high divorce rate either. There’s lots of things as to why. I just think it’s not the institution itself that’s suffering, it’s WHY people get married that’s the issue. They are too young and think they know what is involved with love, or are too lazy to work on the relationship, or they marry “projects” and when that’s been “fixed” there’s nothing else to the relationship or they marry strictly because of a pregnancy and there really wasn’t anything to the relationship, etc. That’s my point. I think it’s unfair to say that marriage is the issue. I think how people have changed and view commitment or lack thereof, is the issue, not the institution itself.

  23. I don’t really think anyone really “knows” what they want- I certainly didn’t expect to be in a long term relationship with the man I’m dating; in fact, I spent a good long while avoiding it. But, I do agree with you on (more than one point) the issue of sealing oneself into a vacuum with that person.
    Last year, I think we made the mistake of doing just that- ditching friends for each other, and I think in the end it made me rather selfish, for I seem to have forgotten the most basic elementary school lesson- How to share. With the introduction of college and a long distance open relationship, that’s simply something I need to relearn, and will do so, with time, I hope. Nevertheless, excellent article, as per usual!

    • I tend to see it as a sign of maturation when couples learn how to keep their friends in the midst of having an intimate relationship…..a lot of people never learn how to do this

  24. You summed it up beautifully with:

    “It takes a village to create a good marriage”.

    It brings to mind your last post about social and media pressures and what they can do to a marriage.

    Also, with regards to:

    “perhaps we are looking to get more out of a relationship than one person could ever give to us”

    Have you read “The Inner Loneliness” by Sebastian Moore? I’m still working through it, but so far he uses that relationship angle as a starting point to develop a philosophy of self and Christianity. His stance is that no partner can be fully fulfilling in a relationship because they are limited — they can never know us as we know ourselves, never be fully for us. The only other in a relationship who can be fulfilling in this way is God. Yet he doesn’t eschew relationships, but I haven’t gotten into his reconciliation yet.

    • I havnt read it but it sounds quite similar to other perspectives that I have read and agree with……oddly enough, a lot of people I encounter really believe that one person can fulfill all their relational needs in life

  25. I think you are right on about us being so individualistic. I COULD have stayed in my marriage, but I was losing myself, losing my identity. Five years out, I have found myself, know what I want in life, and am going after it. My marriage was suppressing me. I felt the need to self-actualize, to contribute to the world. I am now in a long-term relationship with someone who encourages me to do these things.

  26. Again another great post, Kenneth. As usual. Amazing how you pick your subjects and how you get so many people think about the same thing for hours!
    What do women really want? Maybe women don’t really know. But do men know?
    Needs change and as you say, people mature. A younger woman will only want to fall in love with a handsome, nice guy and does not care about the man’s situation…and a little further down the road, she will want security and so the guy’s situation starts to be more important. And if you are in a relation the challenge is to coordinate these evolving needs.
    And I guess we would all join you for a coffee in Greece or in Rome to talk further about the subject 🙂

    • Cloud,

      I think a really big part of it is what u pointed out: the fact that people change as they grow older. It’s a tall order to stay together in the midst of changing…..

  27. What do women really want? A good question…one that many women might have difficulty answering unless they have already worked that out for themselves. I think the answer to this question varies from person to person.

    For me, it had to do with core values being the same. Honesty and communication were very important as well. They had to like me for who I was, not what they hoped I’d become. And, to be selfish, I wanted someone who would be crazy about me. I wanted to have that crazy mad love feeling. Not trying to give the guys a hard time, just stating what i wanted. Once I figured this out, the rest just came naturally.

    I think that a man could figure out what he really wanted just as easily. What the heck, it’s worth a try.

    As far as money is concerned…money was very low on the importance of a relationship. I figured people can always create ways to make money, much harder to create the type of personality that I wanted to be with. You either had it or you didn’t.

    • Mrs. P,
      “For me, it had to do with core values being the same”

      good point. its always amazing to me when people date or marry people who have entirely different values….we all know how it is going to end

  28. My mother summed up the recipe for a successful marriage when she said “the rocks in his head have to fit the holes in her head.”

  29. this resonates with me – “Maybe when we say, “it takes a village to raise a child”, we should also add, “It takes a village to create a good marriage”. I think there is some truth to this.

  30. This post is so insightful. It’s sad to see how difficult it can be to make marriages work. I’ve seen shows in which characters who were in their late 30’s had never married and asked each other, “Why aren’t we married? Are we too picky?” It’s an interesting thought. I wonder if sometimes people end up marrying people who in the end really weren’t the best match. Maybe we should be more picky? Or, as you say, maybe we’re not paying attention to the right qualities when choosing someone to be in a relationship with.

    • Rebecca,

      “It’s an interesting thought. I wonder if sometimes people end up marrying people who in the end really weren’t the best match”

      I suspect that happens a lot

    • It definitely seems to. I think a lot of people may have a thought that possibly the person isn’t THE one, but they go into the marriage with high hopes that the problems will be worked out. And this can lead to the high divorce rate.

  31. That line, “It takes a village to create a good marriage” is going to be with me a while. That is so bloody true that it hurts.

    Inherently, I think women are better at finding and maintaining their villages. We just have much different social wiring, which you reference. My husband’s negligible need for and lack of maintenance of friendships confuses me to no end, but if it works for him, who am I to cry foul? I do better with a wide circle of friends, so that’s what I have

    And for the record, there is no one set that does it across the board for “what women want.” True, some want money and looks, some want status, some want a partner with which to raise children, some want someone great in bed. It’s different for every person, which is great. But when men start to ask “What do women want,” it’s generally because they’ve been lusting after the hottie sans emotional intelligence, thinking that she will morph into the person that works for them. Perhaps a better question would be “What do I *really* want in a partner?” and then looking outside the box for the person that fits that bill.

    • ruby,

      ” it’s generally because they’ve been lusting after the hottie sans emotional intelligence, thinking that she will morph into the person that works for them”

      excellent line there :0)

  32. Great arguments. I’m having trouble finding counter arguments (this may be due to my lack of caffeine boost), but if I may add, I think women don’t actually know themselves what they want in a man. We tend to think we know what we want but the reality is, as complicated as we are, we ourselves are very indecisive in this domain.

    Why? I believe this links to the evolution of women’s rights. It hasn’t been too long that our Western society has transitioned between the traditional views of love and marriage to a more a post-modern view. Back then, when the world was a more male-dominated society (not that it isn’t anymore) views were much narrower and rigid, which I guess provided some form of social “guidelines” on the ideal man. Today, women have much more options in every aspect of their lives, and that includes the choice of men. So how do we figure out the ideal man in a flock of endless options? That’s a mystery yet to be solved.

    • Traveling,

      “So how do we figure out the ideal man in a flock of endless options?”

      yea…and if I happen to be the ideal man it sucks that their is only one of me….(just kidding)

      thanks for your great thoughts


  33. I think you hit on the main issue when you spoke about people expecting to get out of a relationship more than can be offered. Perhaps we should instead be focused on what we can put in to the relationship. Marriage works when each person is focused not on themselves, but on the other. Both people are still taken care of, but in a way that allows each to honor their mate and strengthen their relationship. Too many of us have it backwards.

  34. I actually really like this: ‘it takes a whole village to create a good marriage’, what a wonderful and true thought! I know that I got on much better with my husband once we created a mutual circle of friends, and also found supportive people we could could talk to when things weren’t going well; even though we’d ‘blown off steam’ to them about each other’s shortcomings they were still supportive of our relationship..

  35. Safety is a basic human need. In the modern world, women use income as a gauge for how much safety she can be provided by being with a man. In the stone age, this gauge was on how strong and how good a hunter a man was. It may seem very superficial, but it’s really just human nature. And there are definitely women out there who don’t only look at money.

    The other perspective (not that I believe it) is how useful is a person’s intelligence is he cannot convince potential mates that he can provide them with a great life? Obviously I’m not saying that he should outright tell women “I can provide you with everything that you’ll need!”, but he could use his intelligence to figure out how to better convince them of that without needing to earn a ton of money.

    It’s hard to say what qualities are right or wrong to look for in a mate, they’ll vary for every human being. To your single friend and all men out there who are troubled by how to attract potential mates, I have the answer for you and it’s extremely simple:

    Do something for that girl that’s surprising and romantic, and not something that any run of the mill guy would do.

    That’s how easy it is to get to girl to fall for you. For example, get your guitar and go sing for her on her front lawn, even if you’re a terrible singer. What women cannot resist is a man who isn’t afraid to make a fool of himself. Make her laugh with your silliness and she will forever love you.


  1. Day 29: New lot of Posts and Blogs I like!63 days to go! | My journey on becoming full-time designer.
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