Now before you get upset and think that guys are getting an unfair advantage grade-wise in relationships, stop and check it out. We're talking alliteration, no need for arbitration so read on and then give your adjudication. (There, now you've got three new $10 words to throw around. You're welcome.)
It's a competitive world out there with everyone vying for the same jobs, romantic partners and career opportunities. Add that to the daily stresses and personal histories that bring down a man's sense of worth, he needs to feel he's a person of value who's making a difference. And that translates into validation for his doing the right things while still being mortal. Inside every man is a desire to be a super hero who saves the day.
Whether they have a glamorous job or not, tend to shy away from the lime-light or not, or are just one of the average good citizens, men want to know that others (especially their romantic partner) think highly of them. More than outright "love", many men say they want to feel respected and admired. If he has the esteem of his love interest, a man typically feels cared about and fulfilled.
I've been asking men to tell me their order of The Five Love Languages since I heard about it in 2007. The number of men I've talked to about this is now in the high hundreds. I would easily say that 98% of the straight men I spoke with placed Physical Touch as their #1 or #2 need. And it makes sense. In most areas of their life the only two times men touch people are either as a sign of trust (and help) or as an act of distrust (usually in the form of some kind of violence), this is seldom the same kind of casual touching that women often experience.
But men want to be touched beyond their sexual needs; they're just usually wanting it from a special someone and in their own specific way. In this I mean in ways that support whatever masculine view they have of themselves and how that translates into letting them feel cared about. There is definitely no one way about this and no correct way. The best way to find out what kind of affection a man needs, is to ask.
When men feel they are accepted for who they are, they are more receptive to giving to others what they want from them- be that attention, emotional support or assistance. Generosity often flows when their opinions are validated, their humor is appreciated and their unique qualities are recognized and valued.
Despite huge strides in the past few decades to narrow the gap between male/ females education and income levels, many women still feel like it's a man's world. Women have proven themselves worthy adversaries in every scientific, intellectual and academic field that they entered and now they're breaking records with entrepreneurship, company leadership and financial savvy. But this is still not the norm. And many women struggle to feel they get the advice, opportunities and backing they would get if they were a guy. By having a man who admires her strengths and helps her overcome her weaknesses, a woman is far more likely to achieve her goals and have a strong desire to return the favor for her sweetheart.
In order for a woman to feel loved, she needs to feel nurtured. And that means her man standing in her corner and offering the support, attention and enthusiasm he would show his favorite sport player. He needs to help her have the confidence to tackle whatever comes her way and deal with it with every bit of ingenuity and competency they both know she is capable of. If behind every successful man is a supportive woman, behind every successful woman should be a supportive man.
Between juggling a career, furthering their education and creating (and then raising) a family, a woman wears many hats. Throw in a mix of monthly hormone fluctuation and all the pressure women have to cram themselves into cookie cutter body types and personality norms, women need their man to understand that while sometimes they want snappy solutions, they often just want to feel heard and understood. Since the connection between both sides of a woman's brain is stronger than in men's, the two sides talk to each other more. This often means that women need to vocalize more in their daily lives as well. A patient, good listening man is a prize indeed.
Women usually find that their jobs are perceived differently by men who tend to be more analytical and utilitarian. But men need to realize that all of this juggling is very exhausting to women and both physically and emotionally draining. Of the women I've spoken to about The Five Love Languages, I would say 75% of straight women put Acts of Service and/or Words of Affirmation in their top 2 needs. A man who validates a woman's daily actions of selflessness and offers help to lighten her load will find her more likely to remain loving, loyal and affectionate to him.
Women and men don't always interpret closeness the same way. Never-the-less it can be agreed that a sense of trust, a feeling of emotional intimacy and a desire for the other's physical presence are some of the primary things that keep couples longing for each other. Women don't just want to be cuddled. Physical attention is only interpreted as romantic and fulfilling when it's accompanied by the sense that their partner really understands them, relates to them and values them.When they feel that their efforts are appreciated and their partner really wants to know the woman, she opens herself up to him and looks for ways to show how much that means to her.
Unity is the key. Open communication, good listening, validating of feelings and offering compassion are the ways to keep the spark alive and her at his side through thick and thin.