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     Volume 4 Issue 65 | September 30, 2005|

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Straight Talk

What Women Need to
Know About



A while ago I wrote an article about "What women want (and don't want) in a man". This prompted many of my male relatives and friends rounding on me and asking me why I did not write one about what men want (and don't want) in a woman. Having toyed with the idea for a while, I was prompted into action by an email attachment sent to me by a friend. It was about rules made for women by men. Not only was the attachment amusing, it actually hit the nail on the head about some perceptions men have about women. This seemed to be a sign for me to take that step and finally write this article! However, I hasten to add that most of the following is based on personal observation, speculation and harassment of people I know to get their perspective.

I think it is probably wise to steer clear of the 'tall or short', 'slim or curvaceous' argument and therefore I am not going to get into the physical attributes that a man wants in a woman. However, it is probably best to get the less delicate topics out of the way. In the same way that women like men to maintain a certain standard of personal hygiene, so too do men. Once again body odour and bad breath is an absolute "no no". There really is nothing more off putting than someone who has bad personal hygiene. I am glad to see that at least on this point both genders are in full agreement.

What men want in a woman is someone who will stand by them through thick and thin, someone they can trust and is faithful. They want someone who is aware of their shortcomings and faults but will be ready to accept them with these flaws nevertheless. We women like to talk about everything and analyse and dissect conversations, events and situations but men do not have a burning desire to carry out a post mortem on everything. Therefore they want a woman who is understanding and patient and will wait until they are ready to express their thoughts or emotions without feeling pressurised or nagged. Another characteristic that most men (like women) would like in the opposite sex, is a sense of humour (i.e. will laugh at their jokes regardless of how inane they may be). They want a woman to be able to look after herself but also someone who would not be opposed to being looked after. In the matter of love and relationships men tend to be less expressive than the fairer sex and feel that once they have told you how they feel about you there is no need to articulate their affection at every instance. This is not because all men are insensitive or emotionally challenged, but simply that they don't feel the need for re-affirmation of feelings as often as women do.

So far, ladies, we seem to be more or less on the same wavelength as a vast majority of the male population. But sadly this is where we start to diverge in our points of view. Let us take for example, the question of make up and clothes. We (women) feel that men actually notice when we have make-up on and are aware that we spend a needless amount of time choosing what to wear. That is one of the many misconceptions we live with -- they really don't have a clue. Unless you are wearing make up so garish in its application that it shocks

them into making a comment along the lines of, "oh, are you wearing makeup?" Asking them whether your lipstick matches your clothes is as futile as asking them the meaning of life! According to the attachment, "ALL men see in only 16 colours, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a colour." As far as they are concerned you could just as well have rubbed beetroot on your lips instead of your beloved Mac lipstick and they would be none the wiser. Basically they appreciate it when we look good but don't want to be burdened with the intricacies of our wardrobe or make up box. They will also be oblivious to the fact that you went through agony to perfect the shape of your eyebrows and blow dried your hair to achieve cat walk sleekness but will notice any other facial hair you may have. Sadly facial hair on women is not appealing to men in the slightest. Even those men who appreciate beauty au natural in the opposite sex wouldn't mind their partners popping down to the local beauty salon for a quick removal of unwanted facial hairs.

There seems to exist, a myth out there that all women love to shop till they drop. I say myth as otherwise I would have to question my own gender identity because on this point, I am afraid have to defect to the other side and join my male counterparts on their view that shopping can be excessively tedious if done on a regular basis and for a prolonged period of time! They will be very happy for you to go shopping as long as you do not consider it a team sport and expect them to tag along every time (unless you are interested in buying electronic gadgets of course). I must add here that there are many men out there who enjoy shopping as much as the next person but to a certain extent they are an exception to the rule.

Another tip from the email attachment that I found extremely amusing but totally accurate was that as far as men are concerned, "Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work!" You just have to spit it out and say what it is that you want. When I first got married my husband used to joke with me and say that speaking in code was absolutely pointless. If there is something you want them to do or say, then there is no point beating about the bush because you will be fighting a losing battle. Given a choice they would like things to be typed and printed in bold on an A4 sheet of paper!

Well I hope that I have been able to clear up some misconceptions that women have about men. For my male readers (if there are any!) I apologise if I have missed the mark completely regarding what men want and don't want in a woman. In which case I think I'll blame it on the friends I hassled for their views!


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