In our culture we have many myths about dating and love. I encounter the manifestation of mythology every day with my clients, both male and female. Regrettably, it’s the acceptance of these untruths that keep too many folks stuck in unhappy unions and make singles deathly afraid of dating. I feel strongly that part of my job as a therapist and writer is to be an educator, and part of the education I offer my clients and readers (and frankly, anyone who will listen to me) is to completely dispel these harmful tales. And I’m in a great position to take on the title of “senior myth buster” because in my line of work I regularly see that they are simply obtuse fables and nothing more.
Myth: Women thinking that men only care about sex in a relationship.
Truth: Good sex is a great part of any healthy relationship. I know just as many women who also love sex and enjoy being coupled so they can have lots of it. Men want many things in a relationship (as do we!) and sex is undeniably one of them. But that doesn’t mean they “only want sex.”
Here are the top five things that men desire in a relationship:
One of Rodney Dangerfield’s most famous (and funny) lines is, “I don’t get no respect!” Many men lament to me that they feel disrespected by their wives and girlfriends. Men truly want to be looked up to, and our culture rewards men who are revered. Consider showing more respect to the men in your life who earn it. We all yearn to feel valued by those we care about.
To be treated with kindness
If I had a dollar for every man who said to me, “I just want my wife to be nice to me!” I’d be a rich woman! Our men folk really want us to be nice and patient with them. Women desire this too – so let’s put our best foot forward for the sake of our relationships.
To see that you’re interested in his world
Undoubtedly there are Mars/Venus aspects to heterosexual relationships, and that is part of hetero life. But in order to make your man feel loved, show some interest in what he finds important. OK, you may not love sports in general or golf in particular. His “water cooler” stories may cause you to stifle a yawn. But do try to put up a good front and act like you actually care. Who knows, you may find that you essentially have more in common than you originally thought!
To be accepted for who they are
Let’s face it, gals – we can be super critical sometimes! I certainly remember the first time I took my husband shopping with the hopes of changing his wardrobe. I hear stories all the time of women telling men, “Why aren’t you funnier? Smarter? Harder working?” We all want to be loved for who we are. So next time you feel a complaint coming, remember that life can be cruel and we should be part of his support system. Keep this in mind and don’t try to change them.
The desire for fidelity from a partner is a universal concept and we all deserve to ask for this in a monogamous, committed relationship. I’ve seen too much heartbreak over partners being unfaithful. And isn’t it nice to know that men actually value monogamy!