This is not a new topic or thought. There have been conversations about this for years; Women meet for a girls’ night out and drink wine or coffee and lament to each other about the lack of “good black men.” But is it only in the black community that women are feeling emotionally abandoned? No, I don’t think it is. I’ve spoken with lots of my black sisters, but I’ve also spoken with white and Latina women who say they’ve often met men who just didn’t “get them.”
While I do believe that there are some cultural differences between the races, I believe that there is a common thread that all women share: the need to be loved, understood and appreciated by our men. We all know that women are usually more emotional than men, right? So what does this mean, exactly? Do women need our souls caressed before our bodies are? For the most part, I think the answer is yes. For us, the foundation of intimacy should be laid down long before we lay with a man. For most women, when we meet a man who we are interested in, we simply want to know that we mean more to him than that glorious honey pot between our legs. We want him to make love to our mind and our souls. It’s really not that complicated. And yet the idea of finding a man who “gets us” seems so illusive and the task seems daunting and frustrating.
The general consensus was resoundingly clear, as you will see from the comments of some of the women I spoke with: Men, if you make the effort to show us love outside of the bedroom, you will get more than you could have ever imagined from us. Here is just a sample of what women from various races and walks of life had to say about what women need and what we want:
“I’ve told my boyfriend that I need him to listen to me when I’m frustrated about something that has happened to me. I need him to really hear me and pay attention. Don’t brush me off and discount what I’m saying and blame my emotions on ‘that time of the month’ ” – Ana, 35 (Philadelphia, PA)
“Don’t judge a book by the cover. Getting to know what’s in between a woman’s ears can save you a lot of trouble while you’re trying to get or stay in between her legs. Approach each woman with a sense of wonder and curiosity. You don’t know it all.” – Veronica, 49 (Davenport, IA)
“Women need attention – we’re designed for it. We need more than bedroom attention. We women are emotional beings and need to know that you care about us. If you care, call and say so because it makes us feel wanted. If we care for you and you say you care for us, when we don’t hear from you, it makes us second guess ourselves and you. It feels like a “hit and run.” – Georgia, 56 (Fernandina Beach, FL)
“Women are emotional. We need consistency with everything. Continue to date us AFTER you’ve won our hearts.” – Melissa, 24 (Orlando, FL)
“Be who you say you are. Actions always speak louder than words so even if you are lying, the truth will surface eventually. I want to be treated the way I deserve, and the way I would treat you. It can’t be one sided with women doing all the giving. I’d rather be alone until the right man finds me.” – Janelle, 30 (Atlanta, GA)
“What I want and need is someone who has my back and doesn’t just want my front! I’m tired of being in relationships alone – where I’m the only one who is doing the work. I’m exhausted!” – Candy, 50 (Los Angeles, CA)
“In my culture, the men are so machisimo! That can be nice sometimes, but the draw back is that sometimes there’s not enough tenderness and touching. I want to be touched, not just my body, but my mind. Feels like a no win situation – you get one, but not the other! I need both.” – Ivalisa, 44 (Brooklyn, NY)
“I want men to understand that women need to feel vital to them. I don’t want to be an after thought. I want to be important to someone who realizes my value and my worth. I’m smart and talented and would share everything I have with the right man, but I want to know that I’m important to him. Most men don’t seem to understand that it’s the little things that really matter to us.” Jennifer, 41 (Gary, IN)
“I’m not looking or a long term live-in relationship anymore. At my age, I want peace in my life. Sex is not important to me at this point, it’s more about companionship. Having someone to listen to me and we can enjoy each other’s company is more important. I want someone who enjoys some of the things that I do, plays, jazz music and church. I’m a Christian, so my religion and my family are very important to me and so is a man with a sense of humor! Men don’t realize that there’s always a good woman in their life who they’ve passed up. God sends everyone someone special – I think a lot of men miss that.” Theodora, 74 (New York, NY)
“Men need to know that we’re complicated, independent and self sufficient. Don’t be intimated by our success and education because we still need your attention. Don’t always offer up a solution when we’re frustrated about a situation. Sometimes we just need you to listen.” – Arayna, 36 (Fernandina Beach, FL)
“We need your time! If you want to be with us, then make the time and create the opportunities. We know that work is essential and important to you, but you can’t neglect us and keep us on the back burner and expect us to respond to you in a positive and loving way. Get your priorities in order.” – Lisa, 35 (Boston, MA)
“If it’s me who you want to be with, then say so and show me. I’m not going to run and chase after you. At my age, I’m not about to compare myself with other women and I’m not going to compete with anyone. If I’m it, then speak up or keep it moving.” – Vanessa, 58 (Washington, DC)
Time, attention, consistency and love – those seem to be the common denominators among women everywhere. Women are talking – men, are you listening?