170186833Wouldn’t it be great if we all came with an operating manual? It would make dating and relationships so much less confusing. I have my private clients write their own personal operating manual. It consists of her relationship plan – her must-haves, her must-not-haves, her communication style, and what makes her happy in life. She doesn’t literally hand that book out to the men she dates. That would be weird. It’s just for her, to give her clarity on her relationship standards and how she wants to be treated in relationships. It helps her identify the right men and walk away from the wrong ones.

There are some recurring themes in these operating manuals. Turns out that most women want similar things from the men in their lives. Married or single, I thought men might benefit from knowing what most women want in relationships. (Note: I said MOST because I realize we’re all unique, and some will disagree with a few of these points.) I once watched a YouTube video of a teenage girl telling men what women want, which inspired me to write this post for more mature men. If you agree with these tips, please pass them on to any men you know. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if men and women understood how to make each other happier?

11 Things a Man Can Do to Make a Woman Happy

1. Be confident, not arrogant. Women love a confident man, but arrogance is a turnoff. We don’t expect you to be confident all the time. In fact, we also love your vulnerability and willingness to share your feelings. But when you believe in your self-worth, it’s very sexy. 

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up and be able to laugh at yourself. Life can throw a lot of punches, especially at this age. When you can laugh at the crazy times, we love that. 

3. Follow through. Do what you say you’ll do. False promises are a sign of poor character. We don’t want your empty words. We want to know that you mean what you say. Integrity is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship. 

4. The little things matter. We notice pretty much everything you do. Opening a door, being kind to the waiter, we notice it all. Keep up with the little things, and when we have an argument, the positives will help us forget the negatives. 

5. Tease lightly. Most women think it’s cute and flirty when you poke a little fun at us, but if you overdo it, you will piss us off. And if you do go too far with the teasing, apologize. A sincere apology can wipe away most mistakes.

6. Don’t cheat. Women always know when you’re cheating. So, either you want to be in a relationship with us or you don’t. If there’s a problem, talk to us about it. Be open to couples therapy if we both value the relationship. Just don’t cheat. 

7. Have some style. Most women love clothes. We also love it when you dress well. Take the time to dress with some style, and we’ll appreciate you for it. (If you’re clueless, let us take you shopping. It could be a great date night, and the clothes you buy will turn us on!)

8. Don’t ask if we’re good in bed. It’s not classy to ask us about our sexual expertise or speak about your “equipment” and how we’ll be pleased with what we find down there. Ew. Romance us. We like that. Don’t objectify a woman. Get to know her mind, spirit, and body, and we’ll more readily trust your intentions. When you truly see and hear us, when we feel appreciated and cherished, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you find between the sheets. 

9. Take responsibility. Admit when you’re wrong. Don’t say, “you’re too sensitive” or “you’re too critical” if we are angry at you. If you’ve done something wrong, be willing to discuss it. We don’t expect you to never make mistakes, and we’re going to make them, too. A mature couple talks about those mistakes and takes responsibility for the emotions we feel. 

10. Listen and understand. Most women like to talk – a lot. We talk about our feelings, our friends, our day. All we want is for you to listen to us. Please don’t roll your eyes or interrupt. Please don’t offer your advice if we don’t ask for it. Just listen. And try to understand us. We want to be understood. In return, we’ll listen to you with the same respect. 

11. We want to be cared for. The bad boy may be alluring to some women, but ultimately we want a good man. We want to be cared for, cherished, and loved. If you do the dishes for us, don’t do it just so you can get laid. Do it because you want to make us happy and support us. We know the difference. 

These 11 tips are general. They’re based on coaching conversations with hundreds of single women and reading many articles and books on healthy relationships. The main point is if we understand each other better, we will have healthier, happier, longer lasting relationships. Don’t you agree?

Please share your thoughts. What do you want or need from a man in a relationship?

Tired of feeling devalued or misunderstood by the men you date? You might be making these 3 common mistakes. Click here to discover how to attract the love you deserve.

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Sandy (and two other fabulous dating coaches) will be in Boston to help YOU find the perfect guy online at BA50′s “Better Dating After 50″ Event on December 7. To find out more, click here!

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