They Do Exist.

What A Man Wants From A Woman

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Dan Bode. He lives in Sacramento, California and blogs at Thoughts of Dan. It’s beautiful, and challenging. This is also the last week of posts from men, so if you’d like to share your story on learning to set boundaries, go ahead and submit it for the upcoming month! – Lauren

What men want from women will always be a much debated topic, as will what women want from men –  but we can still talk about it.

One thing I believe is almost universally true is this: You can easily overwhelm us, and we fear being overwhelmed.

Our society has taught us all that we each have certain roles and limitations within a relationship with a member of the opposite sex.  Men are supposed to be strong, solid and relatively unemotional – and women are supposed to need protection, love and understanding.

Society screwed us all up pretty well there.

When men display emotion it is viewed as a weakness, and for women to display strength is offensive.  These are changing, but still widely held viewpoints if you sit back and observe how it is actually played out in daily life.

On top of all this we add the dimension of Love, and the myriad definitions of it that each of us has, and everything gets mixed up!

I’m a single man of 51.  My wife died a few months ago, and I am discovering completely different aspects of love that I never would have imagined before.  I didn’t want that relationship to end so I still had the desire for love when she died.

First of all, let’s get something straight right now: being single does not mean you are incomplete.  Being single does not mean we are a bunch of “half-persons” running around searching for our other half so we can be “whole.”  God made us complete in Himself so we don’t have to be in a “relationship” to be a finished product.  That being said we have to acknowledge that God made us to be social beings, and “in relationship” with other people.

Being successful in a relationship requires what we have been trained to minimize: Commitment.

When we enter a relationship, we most often approach it from a dating standpoint. Which means we’ve put the romantic aspect on it from the start before we even really know anything about the other person.  We put our best face forward, and don’t let the other person see who we really are until we figure they like us enough that they’ll be ok with our faults.

What we should do is let the relationship start as a friendship and be honest about who we are.  Instead, we risk a greater sense of rejection when you discover the person you think you have fallen in love with doesn’t like who you truly are after all. Or your own disappointment when you find out that honestly? You can’t stand him.

We are all taught to treat relationships as temporary.  Like clothes you try on to see if they fit just right, and then toss on the floor of the dressing room when they don’t conform to our ideal.  We have to understand that we cannot enter into a relationship with the intention of “changing him/her.”  The only ones who can change a person are God and themselves.  Anyone else who tries will be met with abject failure.

This is the opposite of what we are called to do in a relationship.  Love and relationship are all about one thing: commitment to the person as you know them to be.

Men as a general rule have learned to be afraid of commitment.  The rate of fatherless children is higher now than it has ever been, so the example men have grown up with is one absent of any male commitment at all.  This isn’t an excuse at all; it’s just the way it is.

As much as men might fear a committed relationship, we also realize at some level that this commitment is well worth it.

Love, as God created it, is meant to endure. My wife died, but our love did not. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul says that “Love never fails.”  He’s right.

Love doesn’t fail – we do.

We insist on putting human limitations on the gifts of God and insist that we can’t maintain the standards He has set.  The truth is that love endures our human limitations.

Love, as God created it, is not meant to meet my own needs.  It would not survive any conflict if it was.  Love and forgiveness go hand in hand so that we can each forgive the truths that we try so desperately to hide from each other.

Maybe this is stuff I just wish I could tell my younger self, I don’t know.  But it is what I know now, and what I will live by and teach with every opportunity that comes my way.

So as a man, what would I like to see in a woman?

Someone who sees herself as valued already, and isn’t afraid of being honest about who she is.

Someone who isn’t afraid to insist on being treated fairly, and treat him fairly in turn.

Someone who will allow a man to show his emotions without fear, because the comforting circle of the arms of a woman who loves him is a powerful thing – whether he will ever admit it or not.

Love requires Forgiveness. 

When we participate in romance we are living out our fantasies of being in love with our perfect match – but since no one is perfect we have to apply Grace to cover the others faults and fall in love again with this person who, while not nearly perfect, is indeed our perfect match. 

What does a man really want?

He wants a beautiful woman, but not the beautiful woman you might think.

If you as a woman wish to see beauty then go and take off the makeup. Look in the mirror.  This is the face of beauty, but you must learn to see it in yourself.  See yourself without the blinders of this world’s definition.  See yourself as God intended you to beAct as though you are as beautiful as anyone else around you.  The man who recognizes that beauty in you is the one who knows what he wants and will strive to meet your needs with what he has to offer you.  (There is a caveat to this whole argument: many men in today’s society are completely blind to true beauty, but you’re better off ignoring them.  That man will only cause you pain.)

Wait.

As hard as it is, please be patient with us.

You will find each other when you are supposed to.

Because in the end, what a man wants isn’t nearly as important as who you are meant to be.


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27 Responses

  1. This was a beautiful post. Thank you.
    As a newly boyfriend-less person, it's really hard for me to NOT think that I have lost half of me. Thank you for the reminder that I am whole and that I am enough. :)

    March 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

  2. //Love and forgiveness go hand in hand so that we can each forgive the truths that we try so desperately to hide from each other.//

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I'm in a class for women at my church and we have been learning these very same things. Hearing them from an older man helps solidify it as truth in my heart. What you wrote was beautiful, moving, and so very healing. I hope that every woman soaks up these truths and know them to be not only evident but relevant and real.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

  3. Great post! Thank you for your honesty, and condolences for your loss.

    Love the comments on beauty.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  4. Anna Kaye

    Wow! What an impactful and amazing post. Thank you so much.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

  5. Lauren

    I love this post. it's insightful, honest, and encouraging all rolled into one :)

    March 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

  6. Sarah

    Love this!! Thank you for sharing!!

    March 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm

  7. Because in the end, what a man wants isn’t nearly as important as who you are meant to be.

    thank you Dan, thank you for taking the time to write this. I needed it.

    March 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  8. bornsirius

    Interestingly enough, I disagree with some of this. I don't think relationships must necessarily start as friendships. I think it can be helpful in the long run, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary. I think it depends on the framework of the people entering the relationship. If both of them don't feel as if the relationship is an end-all be-all, but are committed to being completely honest about who they are, and are willing to accept the other person as is (which does NOT mean put up with… two different things) I think that a relationship can be great and committed in a dating sense, without starting with a friendship.
    That being said, I personally have an easier time of it when I'm friends with someone, even on a low level, first.

    March 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    • This makes perfect sense to me. I kinda agree with you. I know that when my husband and I met/started talking, we talked "as friends" for about a month but there was obviously romantic interest. (That being said, we talked daily for 3 or 4 months before meeting in person so there was zero physical relationship until we'd had MONTHS of 'friendship' which was awesommmeee)

      The line between friendship and romance can get blurred pretty easily, since hopefully romance includes friendship. But it's dangerous when genuine friendship is absent. I guess what the author was probably getting at was that it helps to guarantee that romance includes friendship if there is friendship first – even if it is only for a few weeks or months.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      • I think what I am trying to say really is that the friendship aspect ties in with the honesty part of the "courtship" phase of a relationship. In the course of being honest about who you are with another person you begin to see some parts of that person that you may not like. We make decisions on whether we can accept those parts of someone in what I call a "friendship" relationship. When we romanticize the relationship right from the beginning we tend to ignore the things we don't like that would normally be a deal breaker. When we find someone we are interested in we automatically highlight all the best things we know about them right away, because we want a list of reasons to pursue that relationship. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but it's something that could lead us into an unhappy, or just plain wrong, relationship.

        March 28, 2012 at 1:10 am

        • Dan Bode

          I was a Marriage, Family and Child counselor for a while (something I'll probably go back to) and I saw this happen SO many times! So many couples came into my office wondering who this person was they were in a relationship with because they were suddenly different than they were when the relaitonship was new. The fact was that they weren't different – they just never bothered to know each other honestly at the beginning of the relaionship. Endurance and commitment will only occur in an honest relationship when you have made a conscious decision to accept the faults you find later on. You make your commtment to the person you know also knowing that your knowledge of the other person will always be incomplete.

          March 28, 2012 at 1:11 am

          • YES. Love this. A lot. My husband & I have been told that one of the greatest mistakes we can make is to think that we fully know everything about one another. The depth of a person is just about unfathomable, and we always change. Commitment is SO important because it allows us to become more fully ourselves with the guarantee that our companion will be there with us no matter what.

            March 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm

          • DanBode

            Amen! And, believe me, there are a LOT of "no matter whats"
            .

            March 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm

  9. "Someone who will allow a man to show his emotions without fear, because the comforting circle of the arms of a woman who loves him is a powerful thing – whether he will ever admit it or not."

    So true–and very well said! Ironically, if he's man enough, he will admit that truth.

    March 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    • Amen! Pushing 43 myself – and longing for that temporal home….

      September 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

  10. abellez

    i read this after reading 'they're never going to like me' and they both speak to some of exactly what i've been struggling with recently. this all made sense and it's stuff i've been told//thought about before but also ended me back at a question this whole thought process makes me wonder::so what happens when a girl isn't very sold on her value pre-guy. then is it her problem? if she did would the 'right' guys notice her? does that make sense?? i know the thinking is a little twisted and irrational and over analyzing..but how do you answer it?

    March 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    • Chris

      A great thing about Lauren's blog is that it teaches women (and the men who are smart enough to read it) the true basis for a woman's value. Be sold on your value because God is…so much so that he died to be with you. When you begin to believe that down to your soul and act accordingly then you will attractive to the right kind of guys. You know, the kind of guys who will be willing to talk to you on the phone for months with zero physical relationship just for the privilege of getting to know the real you.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    • DanBode

      I don't think it's a question of "it's her problem". It's a matter of who we focus on to get our definition of "value". If we define our own value based on the needs and desires of another person then our view of ourselves varies with that persons mood. We need to learn to see ourselves as Christ sees us. He sees us as we were originally created. Because we are forgiven He sees us as perfect as the day we were formed. His standard remains unchanged. You always were, and remain, beautiful. There is no one who has the authority or ability to change that. There are no "right guys". There is the guy God calls you into relationship with. Both of you will have the ability to be total jerks to each other, and you will both learn to love each other anyway. There's nothing irrational about your questions at all!

      March 28, 2012 at 2:50 am

      • Elisha

        Totally agree!!

        January 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

  11. 'Love doesn't fail– we do.'

    Yep, just starting weeping. Thank you, for this.

    <3

    March 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm

  12. Wife

    "If you as a woman wish to see beauty then go and take off the makeup. Look in the mirror. This is the face of beauty…"

    Nice.

    April 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

  13. Jennifer Harman

    Wow. Really all I can say. How I needed this today! Going through some intense relationship things (finalization of my divorce this last Thursday after him leaving 2 1/2 years ago) and trying to navigate "dating" as a Christian woman of almost 37 years with 2 kids and a boatload of baggage, which He is healing me from in record time, once I gave it all up to Him. Thank you for the reminder of my worth; God speaking through you to me. Thank you for these wonderful observations and the reminder that there are some "Men of Valor" out there :) Blessings.
    ~Jennifer

    April 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

  14. Molly

    Wow. Thank you.

    August 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm

  15. 587777 133234extremely great post, i certainly adore this outstanding web site, keep on it 521687

    August 6, 2013 at 3:50 am

  16. FireMyst

    Here's a man's blog telling what some men are looking for. It's a fun read too:
    http://blogs.davelozinski.com/datingandrelationsh

    _

    August 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

  17. Joy

    Earn extra income today with no stress. http://monthlyjob.pw/?id=Bjoygirl

    October 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

  18. Elisha

    Great post!!!

    January 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm

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