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By Andrea Madison

How many men out there would love to be a fly on the wall among a room full of women spilling their guts about the way they feel about men? It would definitely be a treat and could probably help men understand exactly what it is that women have on their minds. It's true that women don't understand men, who are as much of a mystery as women.

Before trying to completely uncover all the secrets between both sexes, I gathered a group of 15 women at the AskMen.com headquarters, ranging between the ages of 20 to 40, to hear what they had to say about the enigma that we commonly refer to as "the male". These women ranged from being single, married and divorced. They covered the whole professional spectrum: some were students, managers, secretaries, and even corporate executives.

If only walls had ears; that's why I'm filling you in on what I heard and took note of. Men beware! You put a bunch of women together in an open forum and any man would be too intimidated to enter the room, and with just cause. Yes, it was female bonding at its finest -- I said female bonding, not female bondage!

Building Bridges
In light of the fact that I have received loads of e-mails pleading for answers to the burning question, "What do women want?", I had to come to the rescue of the poor souls who haven't got a clue as to what it is that women yearn for. I hope this helps bridge the gap that lies between Venus and Mars.

This is the first of a series of open forums with the aim of creating a liberating environment for women to vent about what they love, hate or simply say what they feel. Watch out boys! Here it is.

Sincerely Yours
A group of 15 women gathered in a room with nothing but the question "What Do Women Want?" When asked the question, there were many character traits that were mentioned. These should come to no surprise to most men, since they pretty much want the same thing from women. Sincerity and honesty ranked high and were the most requested character traits desired in men. "I don't want anymore bull from men. No more 'it's not you it's me' crap. I want the truth. I want the guy to be open and honest about his feelings with me," explained Sarah*.

Sarah wasn't the only one to say that she is tired of men who are too scared to disclose their true feelings to their partners. "If the guy doesn't have the guts to be honest, he should go somewhere else and lay his lame excuses on his friends," exclaimed Justine.

Communication is Key
Along the same lines of honesty and openness comes the aspect of communication. Although men seem to think that women can't bear to hear the truth about some things, women would rather have their partner tell them what is on his mind rather than save it for a rainy day or as backup ammunition for when they get into a fight.

6 out of the 15 women said that they don't want a man who is indifferent; they want him to show some more emotion when something is bothering him or when he is happy. "How else can we know how he feels if all he does is stare like a blank slate when asked a question? You are allowed to express most emotions," explained Stephanie

Mind games anyone?
Although most women admit to playing games with their men, they wish men would not be so inclined to play a game of mind-chess with them all the time. It's true that dating can be considered a game in itself, but women want men to have enough guts to tell them that they are interested and would like to see them more often.

Now, although brutal honesty and openness is what women want, we know that too much of anything is not good. Thus this does not apply when a woman asks if she looks fat or if your ex-girlfriend was prettier than she is. This also means that when at a bar, it is recommended not to tell a woman that you are deeply attracted to her and you want to spend the night with her. Don't show this to her by rubbing your hands all over her behind as she dances either. Some eye contact, a smile and starting a conversation is enough to let her know that you're interested. If still confused, check out my last article on how to approach women.

Wax On, Wax Off
11 out of 15 women mentioned this one: men want their women to remain fit and hair-free (everywhere!), a double standard that must be respected. If we are visiting the esthetician every four weeks to get waxed, spackled and plucked, the least a man can do is treat his body the same way, which means to not give up grooming just because he has a girlfriend. If you are one of those rare men who doesn't complain about how a woman should look, you are exempt from this one and can do whatever you want to your body! Alright, let's move on.

Honorable Mentions
The following were mentioned in the seminar as well:

  • Some lovin'- Women want to be cuddled every now and then. We don't need affection 24/7, but kind words and sporadic displays of emotions and then are appreciated and keep women surprised and on their toes.

  • Respect- A one-night stand with a woman is great, if it is understood that it is nothing more than a casual tryst. Mutual communication and making sure the two of you are on the same wavelength is important before riding the wave.

  • A man who knows what a woman wants- Diane loves men who seem to care about what she wants.

  • Recognize bad moods- But don't blame everything on the menstrual cycle, not everything can be dismissed as hormonal chaos. Sometimes, there actually is a problem.

  • Spontaneity- This ranked high as something that women want. Monica wishes that more men knew how to surprise her and keep her guessing. Take her out on a boat ride, plan a picnic date rather than simply going to a restaurant for lunch.

    Although this open forum was aimed at trying to unveil the mysteries of women, it's important to remember that the whole fun of getting to know someone is trying to uncover what that person wants for yourself. It's obvious that every person is different, has had different experiences and therefore wants different things. By getting to know somebody, you learn exactly what they want and desire, and hopefully provide them with just that -- provided it's a reasonable desire!

    So get to know your woman and if you can't figure her out, remember that the whole fun is that she keeps you guessing and coming back for more. If you knew, what would be the fun of dating? The important thing is to tell her what you want rather than complain to your friends over beer and chips. You'd be pleasantly surprised to know that the two of you may want the same things.

    Stay tuned for upcoming articles with the results to this series of open forums, where women discuss the eternal battle of the sexes. Until then, don't do anything I wouldn't do!