I don’t know about you but I find men a complete mystery. I have a very good male friend who I consult with when I need a man’s perspective. His answers are almost, always completely different from anything that I might have considered, and it blows me away every time.
So, I decided to get his take on the question: "What are some things women can do to keep their men happy?" I had a sense that it might be totally different from what most women might think.
And guess what? I was right!
First, you should be reminded that the main thing a man loves is external validation that he is all that. So much of how he connects with the world is about what is external vs. internal – how he looks, how he is perceived, how successful the world thinks he is versus what he's thinking and feeling. And this is okay--it's his training and, it’s different from women and that's okay.
Check it out: 5 Things That You Can Do To Keep Your Man Happy – Even if they seem counter-intuitive.
#1 – Let him make you laugh.
Let your man know that he makes you laugh. So laugh, and laugh often. You are giving him the ultimate validation that the woman he loves appreciates him. And the smile that you give him with that laugh will make him weak in the knees, and putty in your hands.
Putty is good, it can change as needed. I'm not talking about manipulation. What I'm saying is that if your man knows that you appreciate him, he'll respond to your needs as well.
#2 – Be thankful when he gives.
Men are at their best when they are giving. It’s in their nature. When they give, they take care of those they love. This is a primal need for them.
Sometimes it's hard for modern men to give because it’s hard for modern women to receive. Often times, when a man does give to a woman, she freezes. Either she ignores the gift, complains that it’s not enough, or responds in a way that implies that she doesn't appreciate, like or doesn’t deserve it.
I had a client whose husband used to buy her jewelry because he knew that she loved it. And she did. Unfortunately, everything he bought her wasn’t to her taste. She would thank him sweetly but then return it for something that she wanted. And every time she did this she hurt him, so much so, that eventually, he stopped buying her jewelry. Now no one's happy. It would have been helpful if she had shared with him what she likes so that when he shopped for her, he would have been able to shop wisely.
So, be open to what your man gives to you, big and small. Be appreciative and gracious. You will be glad you did and he will be happy. Remember giving is a reflection of who he is as your man.
#3 – Don’t be too helpful.
Women are, by nature, caregivers. We long to take care of everyone, often to the point that we stop doing anything for ourselves. Sometimes we get resentful and bitter with our spouses. Men don’t want that! They don’t want us to be TOO helpful.
Don’t get me wrong. Men love having their socks picked up and their laundry done. Men do not like having to buy Christmas presents for the extended family members or wiping down the sink. But they do want to feel like they can take care of themselves. That they are a contributing member of the relationship. So let him do his thing. Encourage him to take care of himself and maybe even take care of you sometimes.
And one more thing, did you know that when you baby your husband too much he starts to look at you as he does his mother? Do you want him to start equating you with his mother? I didn’t think so.
#4 – Be a girl.
I know I know. How can I say that in this modern world? Men and women are equal. Women can do everything that men can do and do some of it even better. We are not soft. We are steel. We aren’t going to act like girls. I get it.
But one thing that we can’t ignore is human nature or social norms. It is in our biology that men are masculine and women feminine--with some overlap of course. We each have standard accompanying traits. Men are physically stronger and more protective. Women are physically softer and more nurturing. And, no matter what the world says, men and women react to each others’ physical strength and softness.
So let yourself be a little girlish, sometimes. Let yourself be soft around your man. Wear dresses. Speak softly. Laugh at his jokes. Make him feel like you need him. Make him feel like a man. After all, the average man has what it means to be masculine and feminine engraved on his brain, so go with it.
#5 – Let him know when he finds your ON button.
What do I mean by that? Here is an example:
My ex-husband and I had a “no power cord” rule for all gift-giving occasions. He could not buy me anything that included a power cord. One year, for Mother’s Day, he took a risk and bought me a garage door opener. I LOVED it. I loved it so much that that night he got lucky.
He was delighted and amazed when he realized that he had the ability to make me so happy that he could flip my switch. From then on he worked diligently to find things that he could do that would activate my ON button. That was a win-win situation for both of us.
So there you have it: My ThingsThat You Can Do To Keep Your Man Happy.
In this crazy world, it seems like keeping our man happy shouldn’t be a priority. I mean, they aren’t children– why can’t they take care of themselves? But the reality is that everybody needs to be taken care of. Sincere efforts need to be made to allow your man to feel loved and cherished and to love and cherish you in return.
Maybe next week I will write about how to keep your woman happy. That might be a little more complicated.