It only took a smoky, dimly lit lounge and a few glasses of adult beverages after work for a group of otherwise professionally conservative corporate folks to drop their inhibitions and launch into the mother of all discussions. A discussion about the age old question that seems to always come up when men and women are hanging out together, “what do men really want from women?”
It seems no matter how many times this question gets asked and answered in magazine after magazine, including this month’s Essence, it continues to be one that never fails to strike up a spirited conversation. This time was no different. In true blogger fashion I took the opportunity to jot down a few responses from this diverse group of men. Just to be clear, the men ranged in age from early 30’s to mid 40’s, majority African American with one Caucasian American, and all had different marital statuses including married with children, divorced with children and single without children.
So when asked the question, “what do men really want from women?” here’s what these real men had to say:
- It’s All in the Details – Men like a woman who cares enough to pay attention to the details when it comes to her appearance. Do the best with what you have to work with. Translation…heels, toes and nails done ladies. They went on and on about the appeal of a woman with a mean shoe game and were ready to stage a collective beat down on whoever it was that invented the ballet flat. (Side note: All the women in the group were wearing heels but had a pair of ballet flats in our bags!)
- Break from the Group – Apparently (in my sarcastic voice) a group of more than three of us is intimidating for men to approach. So they suggested we should break from the group during the night to give a guy a fighting chance to get to know us away from our girls.
- Carry-on Sized Baggage – No man wants to pay the price for your past hurts. So ladies, do the work to unpack that baggage and get it down to carry-on size.
- Let Us Know We Matter – A man wants to feel like they matter, like you’re happy to be with “them” in particular. Little gestures like a hand on the knee, rubbing their head, or laughing at their jokes are how we can demonstrate that they matter to us.
- Professional but Keep it Real – This group of men took a page out of rapper Ludacris’s book. They say every man wants a “lady in the street but a …” you finish the rest. They also want a woman they can basically take anywhere, whether its out with friends or to a business function.
- Don’t Try to Fix Us – How many times have we heard this one? Stop trying to “fix” a man. No more projects ladies. They are who they are and while maturity and experiences may prove to change them over time, we should put a period to trying to actively be the catalyst for that change.
- Profess, Protect, Provide – They all unanimously agreed with Steve Harvey’s statement from his “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” best selling book. The statement being that if a man really loves and cares about you, he will profess it outwardly and unabashedly when asked about you, he will do all he can to protect you (including things like taking care of your car, etc.) and he will want and try to provide for you.
As I was writing this article, I had an “a-ha” moment. My “a-ha” moment was this, while all of these answers came from men, the reality is they could have very well come from women too. I don’t know any woman who doesn’t want these same things. A man who cares about the details of his appearance, who is confident enough to break from his gaggle of guys, whose baggage doesn’t crowd his relationship with us, who let’s us know we matter, who can rock a Brooks Brothers suit or a pair of Timberlands, who will let us be who we are without trying to fix us and who will show his love by professing, protecting and providing for us.
So the question becomes, if we all want basically the same thing, why is it so difficult for us to give it to one another? Vyne readers, let us know what you think!