I decided to do my research on “The Gender Differences inPerceptions of What Intimacy is and how oneself defines it.
“My purpose is to determine how each gender feels aboutintimacy and how they come to terms with identifying when they and or how theyrealize that their feeling is real and determine that their feeling is mutualwith each other in a relationship. In reading article in reference to thistopic I came across this piece of research which stated: Effectivecommunication is the most important aspect in maintaining a healthy relationship.However, most complications in relationships arise from miscommunication justas often, or more so, than from lack of communication. Relationships canbenefit greatly from a multicultural understanding between men and women. Drury(1999) showed the link between healthy relationships and communication levelsand provides an overview for various ways to maintain romantic relationships,concerning indirect communication, relational dialectics, and relationalrepair. Research by Duncombe and Marsden (1993) explored the gender differencesin emotional behavior and assert that, “many women express unhappinessprimarily with what they perceive as men’s unwillingness or incapacity to ‘do’the emotional intimacy which appears to them necessary to sustain close heterosexualcouple relationships.” Emotional expressivity is one facet of communication andthis research will further explore its effects on relationships.
Women feelintimacy and closeness when they talk, touch, and share their thoughts andfeelings with a loved one. They are usually more interested in intimacy than insex of and for itself. … Therefore, women want to take their time with arelationship. (2014)An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationshipthat involves physical and/or emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy ischaracterized by friendship, platonic love, romantic love, or sexual activity.
… Humans have a general desire to belong and to love, which is usuallysatisfied within an intimate relationship. I read an interestingarticle about a young woman that stated, “Don’t Push Me So Hard For Sex” WomenWant Time Before Sex. The article read as such: One young woman told me thatshe has to have time before sex to get to know and trust a man. She has to seehim in different situations, with different people, and talk to him for hoursbefore she will “allow” herself to even consider sex.
She continued,”One guy I dated pushed so hard for sex, that I gave in before I wasready. But that made sex basically unsatisfying. Even though chemistry wasthere at first, I lost interest sexually. Once I decided he wasn’t a goodlover, I was ready to move on.
We never gave real love a chance. “Another womenagreed that time is necessary to feel a real desire for sex. She said, “Ifa man pushes me to sex too quickly, the relationship rarely gets much furtherthan a few trips to bed. Then they (men) are hurt and can’t understand why Idon’t stay in love with them.
They don’t get it-I never was in love with them. Mostwomen agree that men who push for sex before the woman is ready had better bereally good in bed. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen. (Harry Croft,MD,2014).For whateverreason, women are a diverse group in terms of what produces pleasurable sex. Itis a rare man that can be a good lover to a woman without a certain amount ofexperience with that particular woman.
Women can forgive fumbling, partial ornon-existent erections, and premature ejaculations when they are in love. Theycan even call up a certain acting ability in the name of love. But when lovehas not been given the time it takes to grow for the woman, she often labelsthe man a poor lover and the relationship is stillborn in the bedroom.Some women learn tolook at sexual-timing incompatibilities with humor. One lady said, “I usedto resent being pushed for sex. Now I get amused at all these guys and their groping.
Most of them end up providing me with a few funny stories to tell mygirlfriends. I certainly don’t fall in love with them, but I don’t get mad atthem anymore either.”And still othersavoid sex. These women feel if they put themselves in the position to get whatthey want: affection, touching, and cuddling, they will have to do battle notto have sex.So some women dowithout desired affection, particularly in the beginning of a relationship, toavoid pressure to have sex.Our society teachesfemales that “nice girls don’t.” When society has taught this lessonfor years, it is hard to suddenly feel sexual, even when hormones start ragingin adolescence.And, probablybecause of the lessons of their youth, women reach their sexual peak in theirmid-to-late thirties or even later, rather than when teen-age hormones firstkick-in (Harry Croft, MD,2014).
Both men and womenvalue friendship throughout their lives; but research suggests that there arecertain gender differences in heterosexual friendship patterns from childhoodthrough adulthood (Johnson et al., 2007; Zarbatany et al., 2007). It’s believed that couplesregardless of what type of relationship you’re in, if there are heart to hearttalks and there is mutual understanding of the relationship being shared thatthe intimacy part will be equal regardless of the gender. And as discussed inmany articles and journals stated that men will rush into sex where womenmerely want to get to know one another before engaging in sex.
Do men fearrelationships more than women? The truth is that it’s hard to tell. Measuringfear of intimacy among men and women in a research sense is tricky, but one study(Thelen et al., 2000) attempted it and found that men scored higher on aFear-of-Intimacy Scale. To women who have known men terrified of relationships,this research will come as no surprise. Thelen, M.; Vander Wal, J.; Thomas, A.;Harmon, R.
Gender Differences Among Dating Couples. Behavior Modification,April 2000, 24 (2), 223-240. Most women are looking for a long-termrelationship, where men will choose to have multiple sex partners withoutcommitting. These are considered friends with benefits, which most likely willnot end in a long-term relationship. Men’s procrastination tends to bread upmost of their realationships until they become older in age and mature.
Womenalso tend to be ready to settle down earlier than most men. For one reasonis because women tend to worry about their internal time clock. Meaning gettingmarried and bearing children before menopause. The key seems to be havingmutual understanding and open conversation of each other’s feelings can prolongan intimate relationship.
7 Things All Men Need In A Relationship1. Praise And ApprovalMen have infamously tender egos.We need frequent reassuranceabout ourselves, our career paths, our efficacy as partners, our sexualprowess, and our attractiveness (among other things).
I have countless male clients telling me every month thattheir partners rarely let them know what they like about them.While it may betrue that men need relatively less frequent verbal praise than their femalecounterparts, this isn’t the kind of gesture that requires keeping score. Whynot just have more of a good thing?So ladies, let your praise loose. Tell your man exactly whatyou find attractive about him. Let him know what physical features of his areyour favourites. Tell him how attractive you find it when he says something acertain way, when he accomplishes something, or when he takes you on a date.Your praise won’t make him cocky; it will help him feel loved. And (bonus) themore you praise his positives, the more you will see them.
2. RespectMen feel respect as love. If he feels like you disapprove ofhim, his career, or the things that he believes to be integral to who he is asa person, he will have a hard time trusting and loving you.The thought process behind that being “If she doesn’t respectwho I am at my core, then how can she really want what is best for me?” If aman’s partner doesn’t respect his path or mission in life, then he will find itvery difficult to feel other than an anxious need to distance himself from her.3. A Sense Of Sexual ConnectionMen and women both connect through sex and communication,but generally, women connect better through communication and men connectbetter through sex. Does this mean that men need to have sex with theirintimate partners every day in order to feel connected? Not necessarily.
Men,more often than not, connect through indicators of sexual access just as muchas they do through sex. Allow me to explain… Often, a man will initiate sex just to make sure that youare still sexually available to him. So, to my man-loving readers out there, ifhe reaches across the bed for you, even showing the willingness to embrace him,to kiss him deeply, and to romantically engage him could be enough to make himfeel loved (not that the follow through isn’t enjoyable).
This lack of awareness around women needing to connectthrough words and men needing to connect through sex can sometimes turn into anunfortunate and rapid downward spiral. She doesn’t feel like opening sexuallyuntil she feels connected to him, but he finds it difficult to communicate withher because they haven’t been physical with each other in days.Talk with your partner and ask what specifically helps themfeel the most loved so you can avoid these unintentional standoffs. YoungCouple In Loving Embrace4. Emotional IntimacyFrom a very young age, men are taught to avoid appearingweak at all costs.
Perceived “weakness” includes things like complaining,divulging fears or concerns, and expressing self-doubt or worry. A man’spartner is his safe space to fall. He can expose the cracks in his armour andallow his partner to help him heal. Just as women need to slowly open upsexually within a relationship, men open up over time emotionally. He needs tomake sure that when he first cries in front of you, you won’t be repelled orhandle it poorly. If you push him away or are unable to be nurturing when heneeds it the most, he will no longer trust you with his emotions. He willremove himself somewhat from the relationship. In this instance, both partnerslose- he goes on silently suffering and believing that he is flawed in hisimperfection, and she is held at arm’s length emotionally.
5. SpaceAuthor Deborah Tannen has written brilliantly on themasculine and feminine divide between independence and intimacy (masculinebeing primarily drawn towards independence and the feminine toward intimacy). Withinall of my relationships and the vast majority of my clients, I consistently seethat it is the feminine-associated female partner that wants more time spenttogether and the masculine-associated male partner wanting more time apart.There is no perfect balance to be found here. This will always be a balancingact of closeness and separateness.But rest assured, suffocating a man (either by failing toallow him free time or with overly jealous behaviour) is the fastest way to enda relationship.
Men need breathing room in a relationship. We need time for ourhobbies, time with our friends, and time to toil away on our projects to feelfulfilled. Traditionally, when women (or the feminine associated partner)needed to solve a problem, they would go further into the tribe – connectingwith close friends and family and discussing their issues. Conversely, when menhave a problem to solve, they would leave the tribe to be alone with theirthoughts. So let him roam.
Let him breathe. Leave him to his own devices. A manwill be that much happier for you to receive him when he returns, knowing thatyou trust both him and the strength of your bond enough to let him have hisspace.6. Physical TouchMen need frequent non-sexual touch as well as a sense ofsexual access.If a man’s partner comes up behind him and touches his neckand hair in a loving way while he sits absorbed in a task, he could feel justas loved as if they had just had penetrative sex (even more so, depending onhis mood). This touch is interpreted as physical love- the message of whichregistering as “I love you, and I want you to feel happy all the time. Knowthat I’m always here for you and I care for you deeply.
“7. SecurityMen and women are both attracted to certainty in arelationship. The more a man feels like his partner is in it for the long haul,the more ready and able he is to be able to open up to her (assuming he isequally invested in her).But security goes deeper than just the fact that you won’tleave him. The security that he feels ties back in to several of these points.He feels secure in knowing that you approve of him and where he is in hiscareer. He feels secure and loved when you touch him non-sexually throughoutthe day.
He feels secure when he is allowed to have his guys’ nights away fromyou and you don’t feel the need to call or text him every half hour to checkin.And he feels secure with a partner who takes steps to lovehim in the way that he most needs.What Men Want In A Relationship So how do you stack up in your relationship? If you are a man reading this, do you feel like all of yourneeds are being met? Could you ask for your partner to do somethingdifferently? (Maybe send her this article?) If you are someone who is in a relationship with a man andyou are reading this, how could you love him more fully? Which of these can youincorporate more of into your relationship?Let this article (and the female equivalent) be the catalystthat gets this conversation started between the two of you. Even if you don’tagree with every point made, let these articles begin a dialogue about both ofyour needs in your relationship.
The overwhelming response to this article on the female sidehad several mentions of the word blame. Defensive and angered cries shot outaround the interwebz (“It’s not all men’s fault!”).This isn’t about blame, or fault-finding, or anybody doinganything wrong. This is about loving people in the best way that they couldpossibly be loved and opening up a dialogue about emotional needs inrelationships. (Jordan Gray, 2013) Ps. Want to see what women need in a relationship? 7 Things All Women Need In A Relationship.1.
To Feel LovedWhen women feel loved, they relax and open to us. Thearguments dissipate, the sex is abundant, and their nurturing feminine energyflows throughout our lives.Not feeling loved is the subtext of every argumentthat you and your partner have. If she is unhappy that you are going out withyour friends, or she’s upset about her day at work, or she is only respondingto you with brief snippets of sentences, then the cause is most likely her notfeeling loved enough.Learn to see through her words, actions, and moods and seewhat the real root of it is. 2.
To Feel SafeThere is a war being waged on women’s self-esteem,sexuality, and safety from a very young age. Because of the barrage ofdisempowering messages being sent to women regarding their sexuality, womenneed to have a safe space where they feel that they can trust their partners.She wants to trust your strength. She wants to feel like youcan handle whatever she shows you.
She wants to feel like you will not judge her if she asksfor something risqué. She wants to know you won’t collapse in defeat if shetells you to do it “This way” instead. By creating a safe space for your womanto open up to you emotionally and sexually, you will be giving her a verypowerful gift- you allow her to grow within your relationship and undo oldemotional damage.3. To Feel SeenWomen want to feel seen. She wants to feel you hearing her,and being aware of her emotional state. She doesn’t necessarily want you to beaffected by her emotional state, but she does want you to be witness to it.
Ifshe is sitting across the room from you and you aren’t picking up on the factthat she is suffering emotionally and on the verge of tears, she will begin totrust you less. She will think, “If he can’t see that I am hurting now, howlong will it take him to figure it out? Will I be suffering for days or weeksbefore he is aware of it or cares enough to help me through this? I guess Ihave to rely on myself for my own emotional support. “Life can seem extremelylonely, even within a relationship. You have to constantly show your partnerthat at least one person will be witness to her and her journey through life.(Hint: that person is you.) women need in a relationship4. To Be Allowed To Be Nurturing Just as masculine energy has the need to protect, feminineenergy has the desire to nurture.Women want to see the cracks in our armour.
They want to seethat we trust them enough to open up to them. They want to be able to help usthrough our sadness. An integrated, evolved man who has a balanced masculineenergy as well as his own sliver of feminine would welcome his woman’snurturing. If you are a guy reading this, have you ever held open a door for awoman because it’s the polite thing to do (but more just because she’s a personand it wasn’t even a gender-based act) and she chews your ear off for it? “Ohwhat? I can’t open the door for myself because I’m a woman?! You sexist pig!”That is an example of a wounded, unbalanced woman who doesn’t want to accepthelp from a masculine source. This is exactly how it feels to your partner whenyou push her away when you feel the most vulnerable. “I don’t need to lay myhead down on your chest and tell you about my feelings because I don’t haveany!” That is a lie. It’s a lie that serves your purpose of not letting yourpartner in. This lack of vulnerability and authenticity is what is making youand your partner suffer.
So let her in. She wants to love you.Men mess up their relationships in these three specific ways. 5. To Feel Sexually DesiredWhat’s a major difference between your relationship to yourpartner and your relationship to everyone else in your life? You have sex withyour partner. Women need to feel sexually desired. They want to make sure thatyou see and appreciate them as a feminine, sexual being.
Praise her body. Feel her and grab her appreciatively.Remind her that you see her as a sexual being and you will both benefit.6. To Be AppreciatedThe feminine in all people responds primarily to praise andappreciation.
Remind your partner that you love her. Tell her that youappreciate what she brings to your life. Show her how much she means to you. Thefastest way to run your relationship into the ground is by ignoring yourpartner and taking her for granted. Appreciation is the opposite of thosethings. Appreciation is the embodying this mindset: “I am aware of what youbring to my life, and I want you to be sure that I am aware of it as well.” Sotell her what you appreciate, and tell her often.7.
To Feel Like She Can Count On YouLife gets pretty messy sometimes. When life’s unavoidabledifficulties arise, do you fall apart under pressure or are you able to bendand not break? Women want to know that we can handle ourselves when lifehappens. They want to know that we won’t run and hide when they get a bit ‘tooemotional’ for our liking. They want to know that they can count on us. Whenyou tell your partner you’ll do something, and then you don’t do it, it hurtsher. She loses a piece of trust in you that has to be earned back. Evenseemingly small things break that trust like you saying that you will wash thedishes shortly after dinner, but washing them the next morning instead.When enough small transgressions like this are sprinkledthroughout your relationship, she will distrust you.
Do what you say you willdo, be who you say you are, and be consistent in your actions. (JordanGray,2013) What Do Women Need In A Relationship?(1) Women want partners that care.(2) Women don’t want perfect partners; they want men who arestriving to be their best selves.(3) She doesn’t necessarily want someone who has every stepof his life pre-planned, but she wants someone with drive and with goals.(4) She doesn’t necessarily want someone who cries every day,but she does want someone who has the courage to cry in front of her when heneeds to.(5) She doesn’t necessarily want someone who stays intherapy for his entire life, but she does want someone who has the courage toface his own emotional demons.So put in the work. End the stalemate.
Decide that you wantto be in the kind of relationship that most people don’t have and you want toput in the effort necessary to become that kind of man The women of the worldare waiting for us. And they want us to step up just as badly as we want themto open up. I wrote this article in 2013 and my beliefshave shifted a lot since I wrote it. The biggest difference is that you maynotice that none of the above seven things are unique to being female and/orfeminine desires or needs. All seven things mentioned above are human needs.
Think about that when you read any listicle separating men and women intodichotomous monoliths. Men are people… women are people… and there is a lotmore that we have in common than that which we might not overlap in asfrequently.