What Men Want

As President of The Berlack Method, I’ve participated as either a facilitator or panelist for many forums and community events on relationships.  Some of the most memorable ones occurred with all-female audiences and all-male panelists.  No matter what questions were asked, invariably, the one ladies wanted answered most of all was: “What do men want?”

Now, no man in his right mind would ever say he represents all men and can tell ladies what men want.  We can only give our perspectives based on our individual desires, experiences, etc.  Even though we male panelists were smart enough and experienced enough to solve the issue and proclaim to all ladies the answer (sarcasm inserted), the issue keeps coming up for me in my discussions with women.

So I thought about it.  And I remembered that years ago, I wrote exactly what I wanted in an online dating profile. (Yes, I went there…WHAT)?!?  I was able to dig it up, and here’s what I wrote:

I’m looking for a woman who can flow with me in any situation. She has no problem with going to the theater to catch a play with me on Thursday, checking out the new jazz lounge on Friday, then settling down on the couch with me on Sunday for some football. She’s a nurturer by nature, and sees cooking as her way of expressing her love. She can’t go a day without laughing, and can joke with me about Austin Powers right after discussing the war in Iraq. She can stand up for herself with anyone, but does NOT sweat the small stuff. She is keenly aware of (and comfortable with) her femininity and sexuality, but her wit is her weapon of choice. She’s the type of woman who speaks pleasantly to the cleaning lady at the hotel, all the while giving me that side glance that says: “Wait ’til we get alone in that room!”

I look back at that description years later and think, “yeah, that’s still it.”  So there’s a few things I’d like to point out to the ladies:

First, notice that there’s nothing said about financial status.  I’ve heard a lot of women say that they come across men who are intimidated by their success.  My retort: those are males you’re meeting, not men.  There’s a difference.  21st Century men have evolved enough to understand that our economy generally demands two incomes in the household, and whoever makes the most is just detail.

Second, the woman described above is one who can wear many hats and go from one situation to another with her man seamlessly.  In my opinion, most women do this naturally.  It just seems to be their nature.  Of course, I’m speaking anecdotally, but women I know are masters at bringing home the bacon AND frying it up in the pan.  Believe it or not, most men really appreciate that in their women.  (See note above about males vs. men).

Third, the most important word in my description above is…wait for it…nurturing.  I don’t care what anyone tells you, I can say unequivocally that every man I’ve ever met (including me) wants to be nurtured!  I describe what I mean by that by mentioning how she sees cooking.  It’s not a chore to endure.  It’s not something to delegate (although men of the house, in our times, must know how to cook as well).  What’s most important is how she feels about cooking.  It represents opportunity.  And love.  Men will tell their boys in the middle of happy hour with dancing girls all around: “Uh, dude, I gotta get home, baby’s cooking my favorite tonight!” if their women are tearing it up in the kitchen.

Obviously, this is just my take, and this is a rather simplified answer.  However, there are some challenges that I think women should be mindful of.

Challenge #1: gender roles.  My description above doesn’t account for this issue, but I have written about how changing gender roles have impacted our relationships.  To wit:

Men are tired of opening doors for one lady and receiving thanks and smiles in return, then opening doors for another lady and getting cussed out because “I don’t need no man to open doors for me.”

That is NOT some story or anecdote to be debated, that is REAL, with REAL men telling it!

The issue is that men and women aren’t “seeing” each other because we’ve gotten gender roles TWISTED. In Grandpa’s day, the good news was that there was NO debate about roles – the men brought home the bacon and protected and secured their families. The bad news was that that meant that the women STAYED HOME and took care of nurturing the family and keeping home together.

Now ladies, since you’ve ventured out into what used to be commonly accepted as the man’s world, which you have EVERY RIGHT to do, then you must understand that the challenge is to do so while still honoring your man and his position as the leader of the family. And frankly, there are women out there who aren’t good at that at all. And men, to help the ladies out, we must step our game up!

Honestly, both men and women have a lot of work to do.  But this is about what men want, so I’ll address the ladies: bringing home the bacon and frying it up is all good, but you still must know that what makes men tick has never changed.  If you don’t treat your man like a MAN, then you’ll always wind up with something less.  While you marinate on that, let me bring up the next challenge, which is related:

Challenge #2 (ladies): your tongue.  Every woman I’ve spoken to about this acknowledged that intuitively they knew that their tongues were their greatest weapons against men.  I know women who are tenth-degree Black Belts in “tongue lashing.”  They can cut a man (or woman) down to size just by unleashing that devilish organ.  And they often do so, unfortunately, without thinking about it.  Ladies, if you want to know what  men feel about your use of the tongue as a weapon, check out this Proverb:

“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” – Proverbs 25:24

I just can’t put it any better than that.

So to summarize, men in general want different things depending on their individual tastes.  But we ALL want to be nurtured to some degree and we all want you to remember that we’re still the hunters and village leaders our club-bearing forefathers were.  As a last piece of advice:

Men: MAN UP!!  Women: LADY DOWN: there are leaders coming through.  And if that statement hurt a little bit inside, then maybe you have some self-examination to do.

Ladies?  Gentlemen?  Your thoughts?

Sound Off!

Broadcast Your Inner Champion

7 Responses to "What Men Want"

  • Steve,

    You summed it up very nicely. I am ready to take a step back and look at relationship as a whole through a new set of eyes. I appreciate your candor and would like to hear more. Women chat among each other often to figure out this thing called relationship. How much better would we all be if we attended or participated in the co-ed panels that Steve spoke about in his text? Counseling is not a bad word.

    Thank you for your opinion Steve.


    • steveberlack says:

      Thank you CB for your feedback. All I could do was be honest! So you know “Building Personal Relationships” is one of the workshops of The Berlack Method. Let me know if you’d like to set one up.

  • steveberlack says:

    Thank you for your feedback CB. All I could do was be honest! So you know, “Building Personal Relationships” is one of the workshops of The Berlack Method.

    Let me know if you’d like to book it. :-)

  • Nelson says:

    Another really good article, Steve. What men want…well, inaddition to what you said, men want a woman that has a positive outlook and not one that is coy, throw out lines, hide things, tell lies and skulk around. We also would like for her to have a cheery disposition and, as you said, not be a quarrelsome woman.

    And, your comments about men being hunters reminds me of the bachelor party I gave my brother many years ago. I had a large banner across the room and on the banner I had the words…THE HUNTER HAS BEEN CAPTURED BY THE GAME….

  • Darleana says:

    Hello Steve, I enjoyed reading this. It was interesting. The best advice that I can give anyone is the advice that I give myself and that is to be yourself and enjoy life to the fullest. People who are happy with themselves are a pleasure to be around. Nice article.

  • Great feedback Nelson! I love the banner! LOL.

    Thanks Darleana. That’s great advice. :-)

  • Denise Bolds says:

    Very good article! I can really relate to this.

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