WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY RESEARCH
Last week was officially the final week of the What Men Really Want series (it’s all on YouTube on its own YouTube channel by the way if you missed some and also on my website blog section under that name. Here’s the link for you to tune in). Phew, that was a lot of learning, some of it tough to hear and some of it seemingly unfair sounding. As much as the “What Men Really Want” project was informative for my viewers, it was also a journey and eye-opener for me. So why did I do it? What was my intention and what did I want to achieve with putting this information out there?
Well, part of it began with my frustration at the dating world out there at the moment. We currently live in a swiping generation, where even online dating is out of date, and where there always seems to be something better around the corner. Many of the female clients that came to me complained over and over about how difficult it is to find that man that wanted what they wanted. Yet, the men that I worked with and spoke to had the same complaint about the women out there. So what was going wrong? If we were supposed to be such a liberated and equal generation, why was there constantly miscommunication between men and women? I wanted to get to the crux of the issue and so I approached it as I normally do: with learning. In other words, I began reading what I could find on the subject but pretty soon even that was not enough, especially as the many different books offered had conflicting messages. After speaking to a few male friends and colleagues who voiced their own frustrations, and randomly interviewing men I met at bars and other social venues, I decided that it was time that women learned about what their male counterparts wanted directly from the source, so I decided to make my not very scientific research a bit more formulated and actually record the answers that men gave me.
What transpired from the video series wasn’t information that was completely surprising necessarily, but rather it was the consistency of the information phrased by different men on one and the same thing over and over again, that revealed aspects that possibly we as women miss the overarching importance of.
- Men are visual creatures first; but it is not that which will win his commitment and true love. We heard men repeat over and over again what they secretly want and even the extent to which it is important: a slim (though slightly curvy), attractive woman who is kind, caring and selfless yet also mysterious, self-confident and creative. Yes it’s a lot to ask for, but they believe that they deserve it and at least begin with that ideal in mind. As much as I always knew that men were visual creatures, I must say that even I was surprised by the extent of the importance of the visual as a first step towards them looking for the other elements that they wanted in order to feel that the woman was worth committing to. In order to commit, these quality men expected to find the full package in return. There is a bright side, however, even to this, a silver lining we can say, or even two. One of them is the parallel that many men made between the woman being fit and being healthy. As much as I tried to get an exact definition of what consisted of “slim”, different men had different ideas on the topic. The majority preferred that “average built” woman to one who was too skinny or too fat. So there is something about the average figure that they related to health and fitness. This is good as it means that health is part of the main driver. The other bright side is that youthfulness and vitality didn’t seem to have as much to do with actual age than with a mind-set and way of being. That certainly comes as a relief to me, as I’m fully aware of the fact that we all get older, chronologically, whether we want to or not. The idea is to look after ourselves as much as we can and remain healthy at any age.
I think the other bright side of this is that men don’t have a specific type that they all have in mind. They just have a quasy image of a woman that looks after herself, both in looking after her body, how she puts herself together, and her looks overall. So they like the idea of her looking good and trying but also want to see the natural her. It means that once he chooses you initially and has decided that he’s attracted to you, it means that he likes what he sees. So he’ll be looking for your personality to shine through after that. This means that though you should make an effort looks-wise, and of course look after your health, you also need to accept yourself as whom you are. Remember that all the men interviewed mentioned that they wanted a woman who was attractive, but they all defined this “attractive” in slightly different ways. So the basic learning point is do what you can to look after yourself (more for your own well-being and happiness with how you look than to attract a man) and look after your health, while also accepting yourself as you are. We all come in different shapes and sizes and the idea is to love ourselves first and the love from others will come as a natural extension.
- Open up to a relationship and to love and accept your vulnerability.Interestingly enough, interviewing men on what they really want, served to reveal what women really need to do – and that is to stop worrying so much about how to catch a man or how to “get a guy” and start finding that love and acceptance that they want to get from a man within themselves. Once you begin to love yourself and to accept yourself as you genuinely are, something amazing begins to happen: you begin to naturally blossom and to want totake care and look after yourself better. Having that ideal relationship that we all dream of begins with opening up to relationships in general. Finding true love and acceptance from another individual begins always with truly loving and accepting ourselves first. It comes from being kind on ourselves and on others, with giving ourselves a chance and cutting us some slack while also giving people a chance. Friendship begins with a smile; a relationship too. Being cold and distant, even if just out of shyness or fear of being bruised, is what keeps that ideal relationship far away. Allowing yourself to feel and accepting vulnerability is the first step towards love. Love can’t live where the heart is covered up or hidden or where fear of rejection screams louder than the willingness to take a risk. Therefore, the more open we become to love, the more love we can potentially allow ourselves to feel. Men have a fear of rejection just like we women do. That became clear too during the interviews. So our smile and welcoming eye contact sets him at ease and makes us seem more approachable and likeable: all first steps to him actually approaching and liking us.
Having the opportunity to listen to so many great men who are just as eager to find love as we women are has been amazing. It became more and more clear to me that much of the issues have to do with a basic miscommunication between the two sexes. Never before have I felt as confident in the importance of this mission of helping love to grow and improve as I do now. Planting love and helping women to find love – which is also helping them to find happiness – seems, especially in these troubling political times, to be a very important mission indeed.
- The woman who is self-aware and who is confident within her own skin is the one who shines with a natural light of attraction. The feminist movement has taken us women to an incredible level where we could not be without it. It has helped us understand that we can play many roles and that there isn’t one right or wrong way that works for everyone. Nothing is set in stone. This is amazing as we can be who we are and be beautiful even if we are not exactly the ideal of beauty that some beauty magazines want us to buy into. Each of us is unique and special in our own right and it is in the acceptance of ourselves that we find the confidence and positive self-awareness that makes us amazing. The “What Men Really Want” series revealed that it is the woman who is self-aware and who sheds a light of freshness with her positive attitude and her openness that is really the special one that shines in a crowd of negativity. What we have to keep in mind above all else is that we control our own reality and that we can create the life that we want for ourselves. When we approach life from that angle and see the beauty of it and how lucky we are to live within it, we come across very differently than when we look for what’s wrong with every situation. Optimism, hope, self-belief, and self-confidence are, hence, very attractive qualities that give the women who possess them a distinct advantage.
The point of this research into what quality men really want might have come across initially as trying to change women into one kind of prototype into some ideal version of what men were asking for. But, in fact, the purpose was exactly the opposite. It was designed to start an honest dialogue and create an environment in which the truth can be said and heard in order to empower women to realise that they probably already had that ideal woman within themselves all along, but just that they needed to uncover her further to demonstrate the truth of their own irresistibility. Empowering one gender does not in any way degrade the other. Hence allowing men to share their side of the miscommunication and to air their frustration was meant to help women to understand that actually both sexes want similar things in the end: to be loved, to be understood, to be respected or cherished, and to be admired as they are. Women and men naturally live together, are constantly in the relationships with each other (work, school, social, private, etc). Basically all areas of our lives are touched by the interaction between men and woman. Hence, both need to listen to each other.
Many of you wrote and contacted me to tell me how much you were enjoying the series and to ask me if any of the men who participated are single (some of them still are by the way) and to thank me for the key points in each newsletter that clarified and simplified what the men had said that week (you can find the original newsletters on my blog with the key points if you missed any or want to read them again here)
If you’ve enjoyed this series, please share it with your friends and invite them to join my workshop on Tuesdays for the next few weeks at 8pm that is based on much of what was learned from the interviews and from my other research and modelling. You can now sign up for half the price of the initial workshop for the last few weeks and we’ll send you the recordings of the first two for free. So sign up today before while we still have space, just click here