by Leandie Buys
In the past I have written about what men want from women and what they don’t want … but what exactly turns women off? …
What makes a woman think twice about a relationship, and what behaviour can have her partner sleeping on the couch for the rest of the week?
In my practice, I encourage both partners to air their views. To speak truthfully about what they want and don’t want in their relationship. I mostly write about the most common complaints that I hear in my practice. But today, I can also write from personal experience …
Rebuilding the trust, passion and intimacy in the relationship starts with being honest about who you are and what you want. This includes the expectations that you have for your partner.
Not only are these some of the most common complaints that I hear from patients, but I can back them up from my own experience. That’s not to say that every woman in the whole world will feel the same – we all have our preferences – but here are some of the most common things that women DON’T want in a relationship…
Tell me in the comments below if you agree? And if you think I’ve left out anything important?
1. Don’t assume you know what she wants
Men and women communicate differently. Sometimes a woman will just want to ‘vent’ about a certain issue while she works through it in her own time. She will tell her partner about the issue – which could be anything from a confrontation with her boss, to a dilemma over which colour nail polish to wear – but she will not be expecting a solution.
So often, men will try to ‘help’ the situation by offering a solution. This only leads to the woman getting upset and frustrated because “he’s not listening!”
This is just a lack of understanding of the situation. Men need to ask their partners whether they need help to find a solution, or whether they just want to chat about the issue. That way, they can both be on the same page.
2. Don’t just listen … try to hear what she is actually saying
This goes hand-in-hand with #1… Couples often speak ‘past’ each other. They say things while the other person is distracted, or is not really engaged in the conversation, and then they get frustrated when they aren’t being heard. We all live busy lives, and we all have a lot to think about. Women are usually better at multi-tasking than men, and we assume that since we can prepare dinner and watch a soapie and have a conversation at the same time, our partners can too.
But there are certain times when we need our partners to listen AND to hear what we have said. In my practice, men often tell me that their partners just ‘go on and on’ and they eventually tune out. The women will respond and say that they have to ‘go on and on’ because ‘he never listens the first time!’
I tell my patients that if they need to communicate something important, they need to make sure that their partner is engaged. Sit them down, look them in the eye. Make sure that there are no distractions like cell phones or TV screens around. Communicate directly – don’t try to make the conversation ‘pretty’. State the facts, and then state what you want your partner to do about them. For example:
“I have to go to a meeting at 2pm tomorrow, I need you to pick up the kids from school and drop them off at sports practice…”
If you really want to make sure your partner has heard you, ask him to clarify what you said.
3. Don’t say anything about her weight
This is a very touchy subject. We all expect our partners to love us no matter what … and it can be very hurtful when someone we love criticises the way we look. No one wants to hear “you DO look fat in those jeans”.
Believe me, a woman KNOWS when she’s put on weight. She KNOWS that she doesn’t look like she used to … the last thing she needs is her partner reminding her about it. She is bombarded with negative messages about her body every day.
If you are concerned about your partner’s health, then take a different, more supportive approach to the situation. Suggest that you start exercising together, maybe join a sports club. Offer to make dinner on the days when she’s so busy at work that she has to buy take-aways. Ask if there is any way you can help decrease her stress, and help boost her energy.
Added weight is just a symptom, it’s not THE problem … try to find a healthy, more balanced lifestyle solution together.
SEE MORE: www.all4women.co.za
4. Don’t complain about her ‘nagging’ – DO something
If your partner asked you to fix the leaking tap in the bathroom three weeks ago, and she’s still asking you to fix it – that’s NOT nagging. She will eventually get so frustrated with your procrastination that she will call a plumber to have it fixed instead.
This often leads to an argument between couples – she says she wants something done, he says he will do it, she says “in what century”… you know what I’m talking about!
In my practice, I tell women to write down a list of items that they would like done, and next to each item their partner can write down a date that they will be done by. This way, the woman does not have to ‘nag’ her partner and the man is clear about expectations.
5. Don’t forget to give her compliments
Men in long-term relationships often forget how to compliment their partners. When you’re dating, you take the time to notice every little detail – what she likes to eat, the clothes she wears, and how she does her hair.
Over time, these things become ‘normal’ and less noticeable. Men assume that their partners KNOW that they are loved. Or KNOW that they look good in that dress. Or KNOW that their hair looks great.
But men should never stop giving compliments, and making an effort to notice their partner. We all have busy lives, and sometimes it’s difficult to remember every detail about your partner’s day. So if she mentions that she’s going to the hair dresser, put a reminder in your phone. That way, you will remember to compliment her when you see her again.
It’s not just about how she looks. Women also love to be encouraged by the people they love. Don’t forget to tell her how much you love her, what a great mom she is, or congratulate her on her promotion at work. Make it clear how much you value her, don’t just assume she knows.
6. Don’t stare at other women!
It is normal to notice a pretty woman … but it is very disrespectful and hurtful to stare at another woman in your partner’s company. Not to mention flirting!
Make sure that you always honour the relationship between you and your partner first. Make sure that your behaviour makes her feel loved and secure.
7. Don’t force intimate physical contact
Men often think that it’s playful to grab their partner’s breast or touch her intimately in day-to-day interactions. They might be having a fun conversation at breakfast, and he jokingly grabs her breast, or he might come home from work and think it is ‘romantic’ to grab his partner and force his hand up her skirt. These are all done with the best intention, but are often met with a very cold and irritable response.
In my practice, I explain that men and women experience intimacy in different ways. Men need to be touched from the outside in, while women need to be touched from the inside out.
Men enjoy physical contact, and being touched intimately, while women need to be in the right mental and emotional space to react positively to intimate touch.
So instead of coming home and grabbing her, why not compliment her and ask her what you can do to help get dinner ready? Or how you can help with kids’ homework and getting them ready for bed.
Easing a woman’s stress and emotional responsibility will help lay a foundation for intimate physical touch at a later stage.