What Women Want In Relationships

John Gray

Sigmund Freud famously asked the question, “What do women want?” but he never found a definitive answer. I offer some help to an answer in my book, Beyond Mars and Venus.

As relationships continue to evolve and change, the needs and wants of women change with them. Thousands of years ago, a woman would depend on a man to provide her physical needs, such as food and shelter, for her and her children’s survival. Today women can certainly take care of themselves, but the echoes of evolution remain.

The most important thing a woman wants from a man is still safety, however today it is emotional safety than physical safety.

In the past men protected women from physical danger; today women need men to create emotional safety so that they can express themselves and their feelings authentically. This gives women what they want and helps them, ultimately, find happiness in a relationship. As adults, we are all responsible for our own happiness, but we can certainly help each other in that process by acting with love.

Without this insight, men often complain they don’t know what women want. What he says or does one day works great; the next day, it doesn’t. This is because with each change in a woman’s hormonal cycle, her needs in a relationship change as well.

Understanding a woman’s different hormonal changes during her menstrual phases is important for both women and men. It gives women new power to motivate a man to provide the romance, good communication, and help she needs to find happiness and ultimately get what she wants – the safety to express her authentic self.

Looking at a woman’s hormonal changes during her monthly menstrual cycle reveals the best times of the month for a man and a woman to apply different hormone-stimulating behaviors that lower her stress. I separate these changes into three phrases in my book, Beyond Mars and Venus.

You Time

This phase happens in the first five days after a woman’s period. During this time, she has the greatest power to restore hormonal balance and lower her stress. Her body begins naturally making testosterone and her estrogen levels are rising. Her needs and fulfillment at work are more important than her personal needs at home. She expresses more of her male qualities and engages more in work bonding with the support of her female side for the benefit of others.

During You Time, it is important for a man to provide the safety and support for her to freely express herself to help her feel happiness, appreciation, and fulfillment.

We Time

Beginning on the six day until about the tenth day after her period, around the time of ovulation, a woman has a need to engage in more pair bonding. Her oxytocin levels are increasing, which lowers her testosterone (if it is too high) and increases her estrogen. Her estrogen level naturally peaks in this phase, doubling in comparison to any other time in her cycle. Her oxytocin will also rise to its highest level, depending on the support she receives.

This five-day window is when a man’s romantic overtures and efforts have the biggest impact. His affection, touch, romantic actions, good communication, and compassion can make the biggest impact and have a lasting effect during the rest of the month. She might need just a three-second hug or she might need a ten-minute Venus Talk or to plan a romantic date.

She is also very vulnerable and needs his emotional and caring support the most at this time. This is the time when he can her hero. If she does not get that support during the five days of We Time, then for the next eighteen days she will feel something is missing in her relationship and either want more or feel a growing sense of resentment. However, when her We Time needs are met during this five-day window of time, then she doesn’t need pair bonding as much during the rest of her cycle.

Me Time

Me Time happens a couple of days after the full moon until five days after the new moon, about eighteen days in all. During this phase of her hormonal cycle, a woman is engaging in either social bonding or self-nurturing activities. Whether she’s spending Me Time on her own or with others, she is expressing her male and female qualities. She is doing what she wants, without sacrifice.

These activities - social bonding and self-nurturing - increase her progesterone, which in turn lowers her estrogen level if it is too high. If her testosterone levels have been depleted during You Time, she will need more self-nurturing activities during Me Time. Like a man’s cave time, self-nurturing activities, besides increasing progesterone, help a woman restore testosterone, which will increase her libido and energy.

If her estrogen levels go too high during We Time because she is giving more than she is getting back, social bonding during Me Time can increase her progesterone enough to lower her estrogen. This surge of progesterone will calm her mind, lower her stress, and increase her positive feelings.

If she is stressed, then too much pair bonding will have the opposite effect from the one she wants. Because oxytocin increases her estrogen, too much pair bonding can actually suppress her progesterone at the very time when her body needs more of it.

The key for a man to be able to give a woman what she wants is to understand her need to shift from We Time to Me Time. I encourage all men (and women) to read my book, Beyond Mars and Venus, for more insight on this important relationship skill.

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