07 February 2009

What these women want

It's been a girl fest latey, and we've been discussing relationships a lot. Men often complain they don't know what women want. This is what we, my mates and I, have to say.

We're in our early thirties-late forties and are, respectively, the ones who are happily married, the ones who are happily together, the one who is so happily together she's doesn't seem to get it anymore, the one who is happily not looking for together right now; the one who is unhappy bcs she keeps breaking up and falling right back into it; the one who can only do flings and has a little black book, the one who cannot do flings at all bcs she always becomes emotionally involved, the one who thought she could cope with flings and is unexpectedly smitten, the one who had a fling turn into an actual love relationship, the one who doesn't even want flings bcs she is perfectly happy alone with her child; the one who says she doesn't want a relationship bcs she was hurt too much but secretely harbours hope, the one who says she does but is visibly too jaded and out of faith; and the one who is waiting for her boyfriend to move out of his ex's flat. We don't always agree abt the details but we know what we want from our men and, for most of us, this is it:
  1. We want our men to understand that sometimes we have Bad Hair Days, Bad Bum Days, and we need an extra ego booster - extra bcs we want our men to think us beautiful and sexy anyway, and to fancy us like bloody hell, and to show us that they fancy us like bloody hell.
  2. We want our men to understand that sometimes we want them to devour us, we want to merge with them, become one amidst a charm of hummingbirds, but partnership doesn't mean parasitism. We are fiercely independent too, and it is healthy that we meet our mates alone sometimes, that we actually want to, healthy to not always be joined at the hip.
  3. We want our men to not be intimidated by our strong personalities, intelligence or need for a life beyond them, this isn't a geisha drive-thru; in fact, we want men who'll thrive on it.
  4. We want our men to say 'No', and stand up to us. Please stand up to us, we need our men to be men we can respect.
  5. We want our men to be intelligent and cultured, we want to be able to chat with them for hours abt big things and small things, to always want to chat with them; our men may sometimes be aggravating but they're never dull.
  6. We want our men to not be put off by our tears, bcs we sometimes cry and it won't always make sense, they can't always fix it - and it IS alright, we just need them to hold us and pull us onto their laps and cuddle for a bit.
  7. We want men who are manly, bcs if someone's going to be girly in a relationship it'd better be the girl. We respect men who can cry, men who can show pain and sadness, men who can be vulnerable without pulling away - and we want those men as well - but little whiners make us shudder.
  8. The Porties among us want our men to not ever - EVER - read Paulo Coelho/be too esoteric bcs we, as a whole, have found out that that here equals absolutely, staggeringly, unbelievably mindfucked.
  9. The Porties among us want our men to keep their bleeding mouths shut regarding past relationships/sexual encounters for the most part. It is not included in our cultural mating rituals, it is no one's business, and we firmly believe there should be only two in bed, not dozens.
  10. We want our men to be able to discuss everyting with us, including their exes , we want them to be able to vent if they're still ruminating, if it was traumatic, if they're still finding their footing again - but no ad nauseam obsessing though.
  11. We want our men to make us laugh and giggle, we want to be able to be silly together.
  12. We want our men to make us laugh in bed, sex must never be a power struggle or a source of grief. One of us had a boyfriend with always half-mast erections actually tell her The others were tighter. [And we stil want to kill the limp little fucker.] We want men who will tell us how they like it, show us how they like it, show it when they like it. No need to wake up the neighbourhood really but they must never just lie there like a log. This isn't assisted masturbation, and a huge chunk of our pleasure is enjoying theirs.
  13. We also want our men to be able to listen to what we actually like without being emasculated. One of us once heard back I know what I'm doing!, prompting her to snarl back in frustration If you did I'd have had an orgasm long ago!
  14. We want our men to not be selfish, we want to be part of their lives, not a hobby. We will happily and yet with a certain ammount of self-sacrifice accommodate exes, children, pets, relatives - we certainly expect the same. If their backs are spasming so badly that they can barely move, let alone drive the 40 minutes to be with us, we will be furious when we find out they spent that very evening jumping up and down at the corner cafe watching the football match with their mates [and that's part of the reason the one of us who keeps trying to break up keeps trying to break up].
  15. We want our men to not be threatened by our mates who are men. Our mates who are men are honorary girls and they've long accepted the fact that, to us, they don't really have a penis. One of us was accused by her boyfriend of coming out of the garage with her mate while wiping and smacking her lips. [Knowing that people expect from others what they themselves would do, all of us are so disgusted we can barely look at him.]
  16. We want our men to like our mates who are girls. The one of us whose boyfriend has yet to move out was out looking at flats with him and they were discussing the space they needed (she has two pets and a tiny flat and they intend to mostly stay at his place) when he said And I probably should get an extra room for *insert her best friend's name here*. It was adorable and profoundly right, we're super loyal - but we also want our men to know that our mates are good for them, and very often we have not started a fight or nagged bcs during a dissection session they told us to not be daft and brought us to reason. Our mates know more abt our men than our men are comfortable with but they reign us in, and our men should kiss their feet.
  17. We don't want our men to move in with us right away. In fact, were they to offer [one of us experienced this on the 2nd day], it'd cause a stampede for the hills. But we need to feel that we can build a future together, that it is indeed a partnership, not a protracted affair.
  18. We want our men to be emotionally available. We know that being wanted is a turn on and during those tentative early days we reply to them when we feel like it, bcs we do feel like it, and we want our messages to be clear. If they want us, they should let us know as it happens - not by Wednesday at the earliest so we don't think them too eager. Interest begets interest, and waiting in trepidation for them to deign to move their King doesn't do much for our self-esteem. It makes us feel rejected and ugly and by now we know better than that. We're not playahs and we don't do games.
  19. We want our men to be emotionally honest. We want them to ring when they said they would, to show up when they said they would, to do what they said they would (we also want the rest of the world to behave this way, btw), and to NEVER make promises they cannot keep. We want our men to know we are trying out best to be lucid and not create expectations, but if they create them for us and not follow through we will be FUCKING PISSED OFF. The one of us looking for flats was in tears today bcs the ex is emotionally blackmailing the boyfriend, begging him to stay, asking what has she ever done to him that he wants to leave her, and he is ravaged with guilt.
  20. We want our men to know we certainly are not like that, WTF?! A man who stays with us stays with us fully, completely, all of him. We want our men to know we can have understanding and patience but there's only so much time we will wait for a proper outcome. We can't say when we will say Enough!, but we know we will say it soon enough. And then our mates will help us cry it out and cry it out we will, but we never beg.
  21. We also want our men to know that we don't like ambiguity. We don't like to remain in a limbo while they sort out their sorry lives. We'll survive the Nos, it's the eternal Maybes/Eventuallies that make our sanity disintegrate. Pain is harsh but prolonged pain is impossible to bear. Our men made a decision? We want them to fucking own it already.
  22. We want our men to have the courage to tell us they stopped wanting to be with us the moment they stop wanting to be with us. A man who no longer wants us we no longer want, even as we still do. We live by blunt truths.
  23. We want our men to know that if they were brave enough to end it when it needed to be ended we may spin from the pain but we will feel respected; we will forever respect them in turn.
  24. We want our men to be absolutely decent human beings, there's nothing better than being able to trust someone. We don't like bad boys and their drama and anxiety-inducing ways at all. It's a home, not a misfits' retreat.
  25. We want our men to protect us from the Big Bad Wolf. We can be fierce and stand on our own feet, we carve our own way, but we need a cave to retreat to. Our men are it, or they're not our men.
  26. We want our men to be good fathers, and we'll forever be judging their capabilities/potential on that. Husbands/boyfriends don't last forever, we're acutely aware of that (and yet we all pray ours will) but fatherhood does. The sort of men they are matters not only to us but to the children we'll hopefully have with them. And if we can't dream of having children with them, whichever way they come, then there's no point.
  27. We want our men to understand that our pets are family, and untouchable, and we are and forever will be animal daft. One of us had to once point out to a fling that it could never go beyond that and state his dislike of animals as one of the reasons (there were more); he replied But if I made you choose btwn your pets and me you'd choose me, right? - and to this we collectively say 1) No one makes us choose anything and 2) Oh, honey...
  28. We want our men to realise that our evergrowing piles of clothes, books, shoes and bags make us better persons.
  29. We want our men to leave the toilet seat down.
This is what we want from our men, and it is not too much to ask, we know it isn't. And we know it bcs we would never ask for what we ourselves aren't more than willing to give.

22 furballs:

Kristin said...

Amen to that!

Anonymous said...


treppenwitz said...

I may print out the lot in order to be a better husband to my wife. But I have to say that "We don't like bad boys and their drama and anxiety-inducing ways at all" is total shit.

You may not believe it, but on occasion guys get together and discuss failed relationships and stuff that has us baffled about the fairer sex. And number one on the list of things most 20-30 something guys don't understand is why most girls will - given a choice - pick an abusive bad boy over a supportive, respectful good boy every day of the week. The prevailing theory is that you girls find them exciting and edgy and that the part of you that is at the center of your maternal instinct sees them as projects that you can fix... lost boys you can redeem. I personally have had only two such experiences in my past, but both hurt like hell at the time and I remember them like they were yesterday. In one case the girl came to her senses and called me to help extricate her from a seriously physically abusive situation a few months after she'd chosen him over me. I helped her get her stuff out of his place, but when she asked me if there was still a chance for 'us', I dropped her and her crap off at her parent's house and told her that 'there is no us... you killed 'us' when you chose an abusive badboy over safe, predictable me. You don't get to come home to me after you've gone off to the amusement park looking for thrills'.

Holy crap, I didn't see that coming! Where the hell was that bottled up all this time?!

Lioness said...

Kristin and K., well, YES.

Treppy, wow, you're a girl at heart! I suppose incomprehensible pains are just below the surface at all times.

I thought people would understand that what I'm talking abt is me and my closest mates, we're painfully aware of the fact that we are oddities, but we won't compromise. I've changed the title, hope it helps. I think one of the lessons that are hardest for us to learn is that you cannot indeed change anyone. We do a lot of magical thinking, somehow, eventually, things will change, he'll see the light, it will be all right. Some men are absolute mindfucks that are hard to abandon for all sorts of reason. In my most acute case, bcs I've really never fallen for that sort, it was bcs I am fond of control and if your boyfriend is mental you don't obviously have any, and relinquishing your stubborness is hard. But we, as a group, are sometimes caught in the Bad Boy web, sometimes out of naivité, sometimes out of misguided hope, sometimes pure ignorance (you'd think we led shetered lives) - but we are not into them as an archetype, we do LOATHE them. It'd be interesting to know how often that has happened to your mates. I believe we all have relationship patterns and keep encountering the same person over and over again till we sort them out - if ever. You know the one who always fall for unavailable men, the one who always finds the alcohollic in the bunch, the one who unfailingly digs up the man who says he will and never does. Maybe that's part of it? I don't know - WE are not like that, and it causes us as much perplexity as you.

treppenwitz said...

Lioness... You and your best mates may just be the exception to the rule. But it is one of life's great cruelties to us non-bad boys that for much of our formative years and well into our 20s we had hear about what girls really want in a guy... only to watch them opt for some hoodlum with a nice car (or bike), a drug/alcohol problem and a nasty temper.

But don't mind my rant. Your list is a Rosetta stone for a lot of us... even if one or two bits aren't universally accurate. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Johnny, yes yes yes. YES! I recognize some of our conversations in this and you have summed it up all so beautifully! As you well know having pulled the plug on one not so long ago I am feeling an especially strong AMEN SISTER to 3, 4, 10, 17, 25, 26. [And 13? Mwah ha ha ha ha ha.]

This should be one of those posts that makes its way round the world.



José said...


É mesmo de quem não conhece a metade masculina da humanidade!

Os primeiros 28, com uma coisita ou outra, vá lá, são passáveis.
Agora o 29!!!!... e não querem exigir a Lua, já agora?!?!?!?!

Tsss, tsss, tsss...

Lioness said...

Yeah, well.

T., a lot of women mistake mental issues for intensity? That's all I can offer, but then I live in a permanent state of world-perplexity.

José, tão mais linda que fica a casa de banho, com a tampa da sanita levantada. É sempre uma mais-valia, nós gostamos muito, sim. Força!

José said...

já a vi ironizar melhor...

E sim, é uma mais-valia, sim senhora!
Qualquer homem o dirá e explicará...

Seja como for: até acredito na força redentora do amor e julgo possível que um homem - um exemplar daqueles sapiens - consiga atingir o nirvana dos primeiros 28 requisitos.
Já o último... sinceramente não acredito. Está nos genes.

Anonymous said...

I say yes to pretty much all of this except #5. There comes a point in a marriage where TOO MUCH talking has occured and if the other party would just SHUT UP for a moment, the first party would be ever so grateful. Not that I don't love the man and I'm so glad he's not the close-mouthed sort. HOWEVER. Not EVERYTHING begs discussion. Can't we just...not talk about stuff for a while?


(Lest you think my marriage is in terrible trouble, I want to reassure you it's not. Sarge just likes to talk about every available option re: the baby and whatever his current activity is. Drives. me. BATTY.)

Lioness said...

José, é um desconsolo!

Flicka, you married a girl! A chatty girl! That's why most men are loath to dissect and yap away, Sarge took it all! I didn't mean that we have to forever be talking and sharing things, I meant that we want to know we can talk about anything, that we want to discuss things with them, not always turn to our mates first or fin d that we have nothing to say to that man, see what I mean? Bcs constant yappiness would drive me batty a bit as well, I need my own refuelling time - and NO, I'd never think that your marriage is in trouble just because of that, you silly!

Anonymous said...

Yes, totally reasonable requirements. But, um...ain't gonna happen. Not even close.

Maybe you and your mates ought to try women?

Lioness said...

Oof, what a disconsolate world you live in, Anonymous. I'm sorry.

Nancy said...

You know... Anony Mous seems to live a terrible life. No name of their own, no joy, no...well, identity.


Lioness said...

Yes, it's a bit sad really. Oh well.

D said...

Women who actually think this (rather than just write it and pretend that Sex in the City has anything to do with reality) are hopeless and clueless.
I hear this crap from women all the time. I have two sisters who claim to want men like you described. And when they find them, they get bored to tears. Real quick.

What makes women think they know what type of man they want, when they don't know themselves?

Or is it just a silly hobby, that men take for serious when women know all long it's just so much blah?

Lioness said...

Danny, honestly, I'm February-pissy so replying to this comment right now may not be the best idea but I AM February-pissy so I will. You, my friend, can be an absolute git at times. We are not hopeless or clueless, naff off, we simply know what we want and guess why? It's exactly because we know ourselves. And kindly don't blame us for your sisters' proclivities, we don't have much time for those either.

Naomi said...

Danny, with all due respect, you're being a moron. Please don't generalize on the basis of your immediate circle. (I say this with fond memories of hanging out in Lisbon - great to have met you!)


Anonymous said...

I liked some of this and will be adding it to my own list. I like how women can like and dislike alot of the same things. I know that I may not be looking for everything on your list but think it's great you know what you want.

I miss you. Working on the Monastery right now and keep thinking about how much fun it was being in Lisbon.

D said...

You can be as pissy as you like, it does not change what is true.
Silly lists like this have been in existence for ages, and their level of realism has not improved over time.
My 'experience' is not limited to my sisters, they're just two examples of about 3 billion available ones.

Men could come up with equally laughable, unrealistic and moreover filled-with-undesirable-traits lists, and you'd all be appropriately offended.

So you've summed up what you think you want. Now do something difficult but actually worthwhile, and try and determine what you really want.
gl with that. lol.

Lioness said...

This would be so much less inane if you could actually read.

kirkjerk said...

Hey there --

I think a while back I tried email but it mighta gotten lost, and/or appropriately recognized as small potatoes in a life as full of wonders good and bad as yours.. but could I repost this and/or excerpts? It's a great bit of writing (well, natch) and I'd like to see it both on loveblender.com and maybe a reference on my personal site...