By Chelsea Kaplan
Just like renowned thinker Sigmund Freud, many regular single men ponder the question, “What do women want?” — and find themselves dumbfounded. According to Kathy Freston, author of The One: Discovering the Secrets of Soul Mate Love, understanding the female mind isn’t actually that difficult. Need some direction? Here are her suggestions on how to understand — and woo — women.
Q: What is the number-one mistake that men make when trying to impress women?
A: When men feel insecure, they sometimes compensate by acting arrogantly or being grandiose. As much as bragging about your car, house or big bank account might initially get a woman’s attention, it will soon thereafter be a major turn-off. Women like confidence and security, but they know that when those qualities are real, a man doesn’t have to throw them around for show to impress anyone.
Q: What else would you warn men away from doing?
A: Another thing healthy women find unappealing is when a man is too needy, i.e., grabbing for too much of her attention and affection. That kind of behavior communicates that there is not much else going on for him in terms of friendships or intimate relations.
Q: But don’t many women want to be “needed” by men?
A: Sure, but there’s a fine line between “needing” a woman and being “needy.” No self-respecting lady wants to be the man’s “everything” in life! It is simply too much of a burden — and an impossible one to fulfill. If you want to find a loving, well-rounded, happy female partner, you need to be loving, well-rounded, and happy on your own and in your own unique ways as a man.
Q: How much does a man’s physical appearance count in terms of charming a woman?
A: Women value men who take care of themselves, just as men admire the same quality in women. If he eats well, exercises, and takes a little time to think about what he is wearing, it shows he has self-respect and honors the body that was given to him. The subtext of this behavior is: “I like myself enough to present myself well and make sure I have the energy to live life to the fullest.”
Q: OK, what would you say is the one way a man can charm any woman? What’s his best bet on that front?
A: First and foremost, nearly any woman loves an attentive man who values her thoughts, opinions, and feelings. You’ve probably heard it numerous times, but it’s the truth: Women want to feel heard and considered seriously by men. It’s not that a woman is just looking for someone to agree with her; she wants to know that how she approaches life has an impact on him, she she also wants to know that her ideas have been taken in and digested… hence, she matters and makes a difference in his life.
Q: May I play devil’s advocate and ask why then are so many women seemingly charmed by jerks?
A: Often, it’s a function of one’s personal psychology. Much of that kind of attraction has to do with being drawn to what hasn’t yet been worked out from someone’s childhood wounds or painful experiences. People are often attracted to the very thing that will bring up their old issues; it’s the wisdom of the unconscious pushing us to confront the things that need to be addressed and healed in our personal lives. In this case, the old “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse actually does come into play quite a bit.
Q: Interesting! Last question: There are some men that women are just instantly drawn to… what’s their secret?
A: There is nothing more magnetic to love than love itself. When a man loves his life, his friends, and his job, he is incredibly magnetic. Additionally, when he is as nice to the janitor as he is to the CEO of his company, he shows heart… and most women are always drawn to kind men; I believe it’s human nature. Ultimately, a man who is genuinely — and that’s the key: genuinely — attentive, considerate, kind and chivalrous will always be able to captivate a woman.