According to Psychology Today, men actually have a more romantic outlook on love than women do. I know, it’s hard to fathom because the majority of romance novels and romantic comedies are geared towards female audiences. There is even a slang “chick-flick” reference when it comes to romantic comedies. However, there are statistics to back the higher romantic ideals of men. The Romantic Beliefs Scale asks people to rate the extent of agreement regarding statements about love. Based on the results, men typically outscore women on this measure. In fact, men are more likely to believe in “love at first sight”.

If you find that surprising, you’ll may be even more surprised by the simplicity of things every woman wants from the man she loves. These things are not at all cinematic or overly sensational.

To Know She’s Loved and Appreciated

I think it’s fair to say, everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated. Sometimes we take our partner for granted and assume that they know how we feel. However, verbal recognition of love and appreciation will go a long way. Tell the woman in your life how much you love her and how appreciative you are for the things she does. Every day make it a point to see your partner and let them know that you “see” them.

It’s super basic but being recognized can change a person’s mood and outlook on life. A woman will thrive if she knows that she is enough.

Real Conversation

Oftentimes, women feel like they must oversee everything. Whether its cooking dinner, tending to the children, being the best at work, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, planning get-togethers, and giving everyone attention. Each day take the time to have a real conversation with your partner. Instead of asking about their day, ask how they are feeling. Check in and see if there are ways you can help your partner feel less stressed out. Talk about life and not just about the mountain of to-dos. Your partner will appreciate your effort.

Patience and Forgiveness

Let’s address the monthly elephant in the room. Yes, women have hormonal fluctuation that impact their mood and cause discomfort. Men, there is no need to state the obvious. Instead, practice understanding and forgiveness. Be patient. Your partner is going to be grumpy and experience mood swings. The reality is…she can’t help it!

There will also be times when women forget to do things, that they normally remember. Guess what? Women are human beings and make mistakes. And, this is totally 100 percent okay! Grant grace to your partner and be flexible. Instead of pointing out these mishaps, try to see how you can pitch in. It’s not necessary to point out every mistake or flaw.

Affection and Acts of Kindness

Women appreciate affection and acts of kindness. These acts do not need to be on a grandiose level. (I know that’s not what the Hallmark movies are insinuating.) Make it a point, each day, to give your partner a hug or kiss. Research shows that couples who frequently express affection are more likely to stay together for the long haul. There will be seasons when your partner doesn’t feel pretty or isn’t confident with her body; however, if you display affection and kindness, her insecurities are less likely to stay in place.

Share Responsibilities

Every woman wants a man that is willing to take responsibility for the responsibilities at hand. Do not get stuck in the societal roles our culture has dictated throughout the years. Try to make sure you’re putting forth the effort to share household responsibilities – picking up kids, cooking dinner, cleaning the bathrooms, doing laundry. Your partner shouldn’t feel like daily responsibilities, that benefit everyone, are solely hers. Be proactive and don’t wait until she gets frustrated or overwhelmed.

Self-Care is a Necessity

Recently, our society has made greater strides at prioritizing self-care. However, people still deem self-care as a luxury versus a necessity. Women tend to take on the bulk of household duties – maternal instincts are a real thing. Encourage your partner to take time for themselves. Whether this is a quiet time to read, a solo coffee date, or a nap, make sure self-care is taken. Even if you are just joking, refrain from witty remarks that poke fun at the time of self-care. Society does enough shaming; your partner doesn’t need to hear remarks from you.

Listen

Listening isn’t just hearing what someone is saying. Listening is hearing what someone is saying, understanding how they feel and making a conscious effort to help. When your partner is speaking to you, turn off any distractions and look her in the eyes. Women want to be understood and appreciate when their partner can recall (or reference) a conversation. Even if you don’t think the topic of discussion is important, take the time to listen to what she is really saying and ask questions.

Have you ever been in a situation where your partner says she told you something or references a conversation, and you legit cannot remember? Take the time to be present in your every day and put in the effort to listen.

Relationships are hard. The notion that men and women have fundamentally different personalities and orientations towards relationships has plagued our society. The truth is men and women are much more alike than they think. The differences, in most areas, are relatively small and there is much more variation between individual people than there is between genders. Allowing gender differences to be the primary explanation between partners is actually exaggerating the truth.

Just like women, men need to take the time to really know the woman in their life. While the list above is full of important things to consider, each is weighted differently depending on the woman. One woman may appreciate affection more than another. It’s important for men to know and understand the list but be willing to put forth the effort into their own relationship. Nothing is simple but a healthy relationship with the woman you love will be worth the hard work.

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