If you are sad and lonely, that doesnít necessarily mean that you are not part of a couple. Sometimes the loneliest people are those who are trapped in unsatisfactory relationships, isolated by the façade of marriage that prevents others from getting close to them.

So if you are a married man who is confused about how to please your partner, or if you are a single male embarking on a new relationship, letís dispel a few myths and dissect all those pre-conceived ideas that men have about what women really want in a partner.

Contrary to popular belief, the size of a manís tackle is irrelevant. Because men donít have breasts, they appear to be attracted and fascinated by shapely mammaries, so thereby falsely believe that because women donít have, you know, one of "those" between their legs, that they are similarly spellbound by mammoth proportions. Aside from the eye-watering factor of thinking, "How on earth am I going to be able to accommodate THAT?", an appendage that resembles an overweight lugworm doesnít exactly have the same sensual and artistic appeal of undulating mounds of soft, warm and inviting breasts. That is, unless your birth canal has the dimensions of the Channel Tunnel.

Men still have the distant, unconscious memory of being nurtured and comforted within the haven of their mothersí succulent chests, whereas the first sight of those dangly, damp-ended bits bobbing around between a manís thighs could be quite alarming to a young child. They could certainly never hold the same allure as the milk-producing organs attached to the front of a womanís body.

Besides, it appears that the more well-endowed a chap is, the more likely he is to engage in that favorite male pastime of re-arranging his (allegedly "trapped") meat and two veg at regular, two-minute intervals throughout the day. And if thereís one thing that is repugnant to a woman, itís a man who looks as though he is, in some perverted fashion, playing with himself in public. Thatís on a par with guys who blatantly ram forefingers into their facial orifices whilst sitting in the middle of a traffic jam and then remove the glutinous find from the end of their digits with their mouths, somehow believing that their windowed tin boxes make them invisible and consequently protected from prying eyes.

What about looks then? Do all women want carbon copies of Brad Pitt, George Clooney or some other celebrity hunk who probably spends more time in the bathroom each morning than they do? Do we want one of those oiled up musclemen, with an over-inflated chest (and ego to match) and grotesque, Incredible Hulk thighs that look as though theyíre super-glued together from the crotch to the knees? In short, no.

Alright, so maybe from a sexual, one-night stand point of view, the idea of a brief liaison with some spectacular looking hero, with an equally impressive physique might seem briefly attractive to some. But from a long-term, nurturing, fulfilling and secure point of view? No way.

Great relationships are formed not purely on sexual attraction and external image, but through companionship, affection, trust and mutual respect. Now that may come as a shock to many men, most of whom judge women on their exterior but, thankfully, the fairer sex are not that shallow. After all, if a woman chooses you as her partner based on looks and lust alone, youíre in deep trouble when everything decides to head southwards and remain there. And when the thingamajig that already hangs in a southerly direction fails to rise to the occasion, well, you know that it is only a matter of time before the next virile young stud lures your superficial other half into his den.

OK, so maybe everyone has certain traits that they find attractive, like blond hair, a pert bum or beautiful eyes, but these are not the characteristics that make a woman fall in love with you as a person. And, more importantly, remain in love with you.

When I was sixteen, I recall going out with a guy called Trevor, who looked like the leftover from an Italian orgy. I knew of many people who thought he was gorgeous, himself included, but after spending half of each date waiting for him to complete his preparation ritual and the other half listening to him talking about himself, he was ceremoniously dumped. Not only did he wear more hairspray than I did, but he spent most of the evening checking his appearance in the pub mirror, shop windows and any other reflective surface in the vicinity. In fact, I believe he only ever gazed intently into my eyes in order to admire his reflection. Oh, and he also wore higher heels than I did, which Iím sure contributed to an embarrassing bounce when he walked, equivalent to having a spring lodged up his arse. Consequently, I developed motion sickness if I tried to look at him whilst we were en-route to any pub that contained a suitably large mirror, in which he could narcissistically drool over himself. He just believed I was lovesick.

The next myth is that you have to be in some prestigious occupation earning vast sums of money in order to have pulling power. Again, there is the superficial attraction of the promise of a sophisticated lifestyle and a large, expensive rock attached to the third finger of your left hand. However, without all the other elements that sustain a successful relationship, no amount of money will entrap the woman of your dreams. And if it does, the chances are she already has plans to seek a substantial alimony settlement a few years down the line.

So, if you have any doubt about the true intentions of your woman, make sure you protect your assets by making her sign a pre-marital agreement before you agree to let her drag you down the aisle. And that agreement doesnít include the clause, "Having sex as and when it suits the husband."

So then, what DO women look for in a potential partner?

There are a number of attributes that compete for first place on the list of priorities. Humor, Affection, UNDERSTANDING, Romance, Respect, UNDERSTANDING, Kindness, Thoughtfulness, UNDERSTANDING, Generosity, Fidelity and UNDERSTANDING are just a few of them. Not asking a lot is it? So, letís dissect some of these, one at a time.

Humor. There is nothing more sexy than a man who can make you laugh, who can laugh with you rather than at you and who also laughs at your own witty repartee. And any man who has the ability to laugh at himself and his own shortcomings is definitely great partner material.

I learned the hard way when I married the first time around to what I thought was, "the strong, silent type". My somber-faced, tight-lipped ex turned out to be silent because he was weak, afraid of expressing his feelings, afraid of appearing vulnerable and afraid of being made to look stupid. Funny thing is, everyone was laughing at him behind his back. If anyone dared, heaven forbid, to ridicule him directly, he would sulk like a baby and put that person on his derision hit list.

The other advantage of being hitched up to a man with a great sense of humor is that when the going gets tough, the ability to laugh helps enormously in carrying you through troubled times. Naturally, as with everything, there is a limit. The extreme is a man who canít take anything seriously and who grins like a psychopath at everything. You know, the sadistic type who laughs when you tell him that your hamster has passed away and sympathetically quips, "Whatís white and brown and lies on its back? A dead hamster! Snort! Guffaw!". This can be infinitely more irritating as someone who has no sense of humor at all. Think Jim Carrey and youíll know what I mean.

Thoughtfulness. Now apart from the obvious aspects, like considering her needs before you book tickets for that soccer match with your mates, phoning your beloved at the exact time that you say youíre going to phone or just phoning to tell her that you love her, being thoughtful includes NOT saying certain things at certain times. When she is feeling rather snappy and irritable, for example, the worst thing you can say is, "Do you think you could be going through the Menopause?" (when sheís only 29), or "It must be THAT time of the month again", (when she had a hysterectomy five years previously).

Fidelity. Now, the importance of this one cannot be stressed enough. Not only does it mean keeping your hands and genitalia to yourself and sharing them exclusively with your treasured one, but also your eyes and your mind.

You never look over her shoulder in a bar to see if anyone more interesting has walked through the door, you donít use your wing mirrors to admire another womanís breasts or posterior and you certainly donít say, "Corrr! Sheís a bit of alright", when you see someone marginally attractive on the TV. This could never be perceived as complimentary to your other half, even if she closely resembles the object of your misdirected gaze.

And if she ever dares to venture down that avenue of enquiring about your partiality to certain female celebrities, the answer always has to be, "Well, I used to fancy (name someone who has similar attributes to your partner), but since Iíve met you, the only person Iím in lust and love with is you darling, scrumptious, wumptious, sweet pudding pie..."

In addition to the above mentioned qualities, women love men who can cook and clean, who are not afraid to cry, who remember to put the toilet seat down, who regularly tell them that theyíre gorgeous and sexy and who bring them flowers and chocolates unexpectedly (and not just following a major argument).

Once you have ensnared your prey, you will have many more obstacles to overcome and the longer you know a woman, the more complicated it can become.

Why? I hear you ask. Those veterans amongst you will undoubtedly know the answer to this one already, but I shall enlighten you anyway.

Women are complex creatures. They scream for equality, yet complain that chivalry is dead. They want financial independence, yet still expect the man to pay in restaurants. They complain about having to work twice as hard to attain recognition and climb the career ladder, yet still want the freedom to stay at home and raise a family. They want social independence, yet give their men grief when they want to go off and do their own thing.

Itís no wonder that men are confused. There are so many peculiar little rituals that women perform that completely evade menís comprehension.

Why do women always have to talk for hours on the Ďphone to a girlfriend whom theyíll be seeing later the same day? I could explain this one very clearly, but I wouldnít wish to remove the mystery for you.

Why do they bother asking you whether their bum looks big in a particular dress, when they know full well that there is only one acceptable reply to that question. And, that if the reply is anything other than a straight, "No", your week is already ruined. Of course, even when you do say "No", she will interpret that as a "Yes, but I donít want to hurt your feelings or ruin my chances of a bit of nookie later."

There will be many times when you are bound to be in a no-win situation. Take the thoughtfulness aspect, for example. If you telephone her to let her know that you will be late home from work, she will assume that you are having an affair. If you donít phone to let her know, she will assume that you are having an affair. If you make an effort to get home on time and consequently miss out on that promotion, sex will be off the menu. Again.

When a woman makes it obvious that you have committed a sin by leaving clues, such as your dinner in the bin, for example, the answer to, "Whatís the matter my love?" will always be a frosty, "Nothing". Yet if you incur her wrath by not asking what the problem is, you are likely to end up with a very important appendage no longer being attached to your body.

However, understanding the strange little ways of the female species, means that you at least know when to open your mouth and when, at all costs, to keep it closed, bringing you one step closer to attaining and maintaining a successful and satisfying liaison.

Oh, and women are a lot more perceptive than you give them credit for. We all know that men are basically driven by testosterone, which has only one destination. Sexual desire. So when a man brings a woman flowers or says, "I love you", what he really means is, "I want sex." When he takes his date to a fancy restaurant, we know that whilst he pretends to hang on her every word across the Chateau Neuf du Pâpe, heís really thinking, "When can we leave because I want sex?" (Or, "Iíd prefer some Chateau Soixante-Neuf")

In fact, everything nice that a man does has an ulterior motive. And that motive is always linked to their most basic need.

So, even when you have the humor, the thoughtfulness, the generosity, the UNDERSTANDING, the affection and all those other charismatic virtues mentioned earlier, the woman still knows that at the end of the day, everything a man does is a prelude to carnal pleasures.

One more thing. Women are always right.



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