Attention — 01 February 2005
A few good ways to please your man

Every man has his own special ways in which he prefers to be pleased. Yet, there are several types of behaviors that appeal to most men. You may want to ask the gentleman in your life whether these ways are to his liking.

1. The appreciative woman.

Nothing is more pleasing to any person than being appreciated. Men, who receive much of their esteem from what they do, find appreciations as confirmation of their worth.

Part of a man’s identity is also tied to being his woman’s provider and protector. Men often work hard to provide for their women (whether or not their women are wage earners as well), and want to get the appropriate acknowledgement for their efforts. Many men state that they would never work this hard if they were single.

Aside from their outside work, men also provide for their mates in many other ways; they haul, repair, manage, advise, and care for their female partners, as well as protect their women from harm and provide physical and emotional safety.

An appreciative woman regularly states her gratitude for all of the above.

2. The adoring-nurturing woman.

Women who continue to adore and admire their men beyond the early stage of the relationship are extremely pleasing to their mates. The self-esteem of the man stays intact and continues to be supported by the gestures and words of his woman in love.

Very often this adoration also extends to activities of nurturing and care. The man feels valued and cherished by having his practical and physical needs met with love and enthusiasm.

Recent British research found that men with challenging jobs preferred to have old-fashioned wives rather than career equals. John Schwartz of the New York Times put it this way: “Men would rather marry their secretaries than their bosses.” Regardless of the man’s marriage choice, an attentive adoring woman is highly valued.

3. The non-critical woman.

According to marriage researcher John Gottman, criticism is one of the four most damaging behaviors in relationships. Men may rate criticism as the most offensive of the four (criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling.)

Criticizing a man’s behavior is often taken as devaluing his being, which is unacceptable. No person likes to be criticized. However, women aim to please and may take it as guidelines for more pleasing future conduct and thus may tolerate it better.

Men talk with dread of “being in trouble” when the woman says “I need to talk to you”. They expect a reprimand and already feel defensive (“what did I do now?”) prior to any discussion. Since men have been primarily raised by women they tend to feel disempowered, expecting to be reprimanded by their wives, as they were by their mothers.

Men also prefer to avoid discussions because many feel less gifted than their women in verbal discourse.

A non-critical wife is an individual who has learned to voice her needs positively. For example, “I would appreciate it if you would do this”, rather than “why can’t you ever do what I ask?” The former is respectful and more likely to be honored.

4. The happy woman.

Having a positive and pleased disposition is a blessing. Men often appreciate seeing their women in a good mood for three main reasons. First, men feel competent as partners, providers and protectors when their women are satisfied with life. Secondly, when the woman is happy the chances for criticism and discord are diminished. Being around a cheerful mate helps the man feel able and safe. Thirdly, Men are often at a loss of dealing with tears, intense emotions and negative verbal exchanges. They feel more at peace when their partners are content.

5. A sexually responsive woman.

Another measure of the man’s desirability, appeal and competency is derived from his sexual life. If a man is with a woman who enjoys him sexually, he feels potent, manly and loved. Being physically received by a woman with openness and desire, allows the man to feel accepted, safe and physically satisfied. Not uncommonly a man’s need for sex is motivated by psychological need for validation in addition to the joy of the physical pleasure. A sexually active and responsive woman is the good lover who is most appreciated by her man.

The dilemma here is that women are inclined to behave in all these ways when they feel loved, appreciated, respected and cherished. Men, therefore need to earn their women’s loving ways to be graced by them.

Since mutual love is an earned state of being, both partners need to make the effort to treat each other with appreciation and attentiveness.

If you are a woman who wants to please her man consider the following:

• Make every effort to thank and appreciate him for whatever he does, even if the activity is part of his designated task.
• Appreciate the hard work he does for you and the family.
• Tell him how much you admire him and sing his praises to others.
• Be nurturing, in a non-subservient way. See your care giving tasks as chosen acts of love.
• Never criticize the man. If you are displeased with certain actions, state what would please you and reward the change.
• Avoid sarcasm, jokes, or pointing out his errors, especially in front of others. Minimize his mistakes by labeling them normal and human thus protecting his self-esteem.
• Find ways to appreciate and enjoy your life so that you have a pleasant disposition.
• Tell him what helps you maintain your sexual availability and enthusiasm.

If you can be an appreciative, adoring, nurturing, happy and sexually receptive woman to your man, it is likely that he will know how lucky he is and will respond in kind.

January 30, 2005

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About Author

Offra Gerstein, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California for over 25 years, and specializes in relationship issues for couples and individuals for improved quality of life. Her work includes: mate selection, marriage, long term relationships, gay and lesbian couples, work relationships, parenting issues, family interactions, friendships, and conflict resolutions. Offra has lectured extensively to various groups, conducted support groups for several organizations, and has been writing a weekly column "Relationship Matters" for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 2001.

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