What if all singles came with an operating manual? They might consist of your most unique character traits, some pivotal events that have transformed your life, your communication style, and what makes you happy. It would also list your worldview, your lifestyle, and what character traits your ideal partner might have.
You wouldn’t literally hand that book out to the people you date. That would be weird. But the manual would give you clarity on your authentic self, how you want others to see you, what type of partner you’re looking for and how you want to be treated in a relationship. It would help you identify the right-fit partner and walk away from the wrong ones. Most of all, it would give a potential partner a window into makes you happy.
Wouldn’t it be incredible if men and women knew how to make each other happier? As a dating coach who works with women over 40 to help them fall in love with their most aligned partner, I’ve asked hundreds of women what makes them happy in a relationship. This is what I’ve learned…
10 Surefire Ways to Make a Woman Happy
1. Believe in yourself. While women love a confident man, we don’t expect you to be confident all the time. We all have self-doubt, and we love your vulnerability and your willingness to share your fears. But we want you to believe in yourself, because if you don’t, it’s hard for us to take pride in you. This is not a gender thing. Women who believe in and love themselves are more appealing to emotionally healthy men, too.
2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Life can be challenging. Stress is a normal part of life. And when you can navigate through that stress and even come to see a bit of humor in life’s challenges, that’s quite attractive.
3. Follow through. Say what you mean and do what you say you’ll do. No false promises. Don’t tell us you’ll call if you don’t mean it, even if you’re trying not to hurt our feelings. We don’t want your empty words. We want to know that your words are true. Accountability and trust are the cornerstones of a healthy relationship.
4. The little things matter. We notice pretty much everything you do. Opening a door, being kind to the waiter, a sweet good morning text–we notice it all. Keep on doing those little acts of kindness, and if we have an argument, the positives will help us forgive the negatives.
5. Tease…lightly. Most women think it’s flirty and sweet 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 and we tell you, please apologize. A sincere apology is one of the sexiest things a guy can do for a woman.
6. Take care of your appearance. Most women put a lot of effort into their looks. We get expensive haircuts, put on makeup, and buy nice clothes and lingerie to feel good about ourselves and to look good for our guy. We love it when you put effort into your appearance, too. When you put in the energy to dress in your personal style, stay well groomed (and go lightly on the after-shave), we appreciate you for it. And if you’re clueless about fashion, why don’t you let us take you shopping? It would be a fun date night, and those new clothes might just turn us on…
7. Romance us. It’s not classy to ask us about sex on a first date or speak about your “equipment” and how we’ll be pleased with what we find down there. We appreciate a little romance. And when I say romance, I’m not talking about expensive dinners on a yacht. I’m talking about getting to know a woman’s mind and spirit–and then her body. We’ll more readily trust your intentions if we feel seen and heard. When we feel appreciated and cherished, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you find between the sheets.
8. Take responsibility. Occasionally, we do things that hurt one another in relationships. It’s inevitable. When feelings are hurt, we both need to take responsibility for our contribution. So, please take ownership for your share. Don’t say, “you’re too sensitive” or “you’re too critical.” If you’ve done something wrong, be open to discussing it. We’ll do the same. Let’s talk about the issues that come up and take responsibility for the emotions we feel—the highs, the lows, and everything in between.
9. Just listen, no fixing. Most women like to talk…a lot. We talk about our feelings, our friends, our day. Mostly, we talk about that stuff with our girlfriends. But sometimes, we like to share it all with you. We don’t always need a solution. Sometimes, we want you to just listen to us. Please don’t roll your eyes or interrupt. Please don’t offer your advice if we don’t ask for it. We know you want to help, but sometimes, just being a sounding board is enough. In return, we’ll listen to you with the same respect.
10. 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 to get laid. Do it because you want to make us happy and support us. We know the difference, and it means the world to us to have your support. We’ll do the same for you.
I realize that these 10 tips are very general. They don’t apply to all women or all men. They’re based on coaching conversations with hundreds of single women. The key point is if men and women understand each other better, we will have healthier, happier, longer lasting relationships. Wouldn’t that be incredible?
Men: what can a woman do to make you happy? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Photo: Flickr/ Olaf Teuerle