Men often wish they knew how to get to a woman’s heart. How to please her, make her feel special, and most importantly of all, how to keep her happily in his life. In my experience of counselling couples as well as individual females, the problem often boils down to the fact that women are often not very open about what they really want from a man, and keeping quiet seems easier than expressing their true needs.

It’s not that women are poor communicators, as a woman can be very talkative on certain topics. She might indeed wish she could reveal what was going on in her mind, but her hesitance is more about not wanting to show her insecurities to you, and also because she doesn’t want to have to spell out for you what she really hopes to get from you. She somehow hopes that you will work it out for yourself because in her mind, this would indicate that you cared enough about her, and that you were sensitive.

Here are a few key issues that often come up in my experience of seeing women in my counselling practice, that indicate what really bothers them when they either meet a new man, or what is happening in their ongoing relationship with a man.

1. Don’t let the first few dates be disastrous

In the first instance when you meet a special woman, you need to ensure that the first few dates go smoothly. You don’t need to be super-perfect, and it is not clumsiness or a bit of shyness that can turn a woman off. It’s more about behavior you can control or avoid to make sure she feels like you are truly interested in her. You can read this article on the issue of what you must not do on a first date to learn about what can make a woman run versus what will likely impress her.

2. “Is she better than me?”

There is little doubt that men are physically drawn to the opposite sex, and that physical appeal is likely to capture his attention in a variety of situations. However, the next time you are sitting with your special lady at a restaurant or the movies, take a moment to think before you unknowingly find yourself admiring the waitress in front of her, or before you comment on how beautiful you think a certain actress is. Sure, it is not at all realistic to refrain from noticing or commenting on the attractiveness of various other women that enter your life, but do try your best to keep it to a minimum, and make sure the situation is appropriate. Remember that when you go out, your lady has probably put some degree of effort into looking her very best for you, and so you need to make sure that you balance off comments and behaviors towards other women with genuine compliments of appreciation to your lady every now and then. At the end of the day, your lady needs to feel like the most special person in your life. She hates to think your attention is being directed elsewhere.  

3. “How well do you really know me?”

We often hear about the importance of being a good listener and observer when it comes to getting to know our partners, but how well do you really know your partner when it comes to the more trivial things in life? Do you know what salad dressing she prefers? What size shoe does she wear? What color or shade of lipstick does she prefer to wear? When did she last have her hair styled and colored (and was it much different to how it was before)? It’s really not hard to notice and remember the ‘big’ things that happen in life such as when she got a new job, or when a close friend or family member passed away. But a woman feels really touched when her man shows that he has noticed something about her that is less obvious. So every now and then, pay close attention to something quite trivial about your lady, and make a point of drawing reference to it. For example, next winter, buy her a new pair of warm slippers and comment “I know you take a size 7.5, so hopefully these will fit”. Or, buy her a good quality lipstick in the shade she likes and give it to her commenting: “I really like it when you wear this shade”. You can always get help from the shop assistant when making these types of purchases for your woman.       

4. “Take the initiative once in a while – in and out of the bedroom”

Despite what men may think, many women don't enjoy taking control of organizing every activity and appointment. It would be a wonderful gesture if men were to offer to take over a part of their partner's responsibilities. This is a terrific way for a man to show the woman in his life that he really does pay attention and care. So men, cook dinner one night; or let her relax while you do the weekly grocery shopping. Surprise her by doing some mundane household chore that she usually does (eg, the laundry). And if you are not the ‘ironing’ type, come home one day with all of her laundry dry-cleaned and pressed. She won’t know what hit her!

Now, when it comes to the bedroom, some men think that they need to wait for the woman to take initiative. Well, going back to the first point in this article (“Is she better than me”), there is nothing that makes a woman feel more attractive and desirable to you than when you put some effort into planning some special time for intimacy. And do so with style please (eg, soft music and lights down low), and not with “Hey honey, do you want to go for it now while we have a couple of minutes?” Maybe even buy her some beautiful new lingerie! 

5. “I hope your friends like me”

Particularly in the early stages of a relationship, women feel very strongly about being liked and ‘approved of’ by the man’s friends. A woman understands that outside friendships are important, and they understand that at some level, the man may be influenced by what his friends have to say about her. They want these friends to like her for who she is, and not just because she is in a relationship with their friend.

So if the woman in your life is important to you, you can play a big role in what your friends think of her and how they perceive her. After all, much of what they think is going to be driven by what you say, and how happy you seem to be in your relationship. Encourage your friends to make her feel welcome in your social circle, with emphasis on the fact that at the end of the day, she is going to be in your life for as long as you want her to be.

6. “Surprise me once in a while”

There are some women who hate surprises; but most enjoy an unexpected treat every now and then. A surprise makes a woman feel special and that you think about her.

Men might think that women need to be surprised by expensive gifts to feel cherished, but this is simply not true. It's the simple things in life that often make the most impact, and indeed, are felt to be the most romantic. Leave a love note in a place where you know she will find it; make (or purchase) her favorite dessert; perhaps cook dinner for her before serving your surprise desert; fold the laundry that is sitting in the dryer; wash her car and fill it with gasoline; or a thousand other small delights you can think of to personalize your surprise. And when it comes to your anniversary, the most romantic anniversary gift does not need to cost much at all. So whether it is your anniversary, another special occasion like Valentine’s Day, or merely a point in time when you want to spoil her for no particular reason, you can read more about special things to do to surprise your loved one here. Whatever the surprise is, a woman will be very impressed with the man for the thoughtfulness and care he put into the surprise itself.

In conclusion

Men, take heed of these unspoken truths between you and the woman in your life. Although she might never voice her thoughts on any of these issues, you can be sure she is probably thinking about every single one of them. For more information on drawing a woman into your life, you can also read this article on the ultimate cheat sheet to attract women.

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   


Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS