Monday, May 24, 2010

What Men Want and What Women Want in Relationships

I heard a radio programme, Focus on the Family, where they were discussing the needs of men and women in relationships. I always find such information fascinating because let's admit it, who doesn't want to be a better wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/person? So I thought I'd share it with you and add in my own personal experiences.

Top 3 Needs of a Man from his Woman:

1. Need to be the hero in his woman's life.
Every boy's dream is to be the knight in shining armour, the superman who saves the day, the hero who wins the heart of his beautiful princess. In daily life, men often feel discouraged, unsure or belittled by life's pressures, expectations and people's negative feedback. Because the woman is the most important person in a man's life, the woman plays the most important part in helping him regain his sense of who he is. Women often underestimate their power in their man's life. So if you want your man to be the hero in your life, treat and speak to him like he already is. Respect him because he needs your respect to be the man that you want him to be.

2. Need to have his woman be his greatest team mate (ie. supporter, cheerleader etc).
Every man has his own God-given battle to fight. Whether it be creating the world's finest artistic masterpiece or being the best man he can be as a husband and father. Men often look firstly (and naturally) to their women as their team mate and they desire their woman's support and trust in them to win their individual God-given battle.

3. Need to be desired by his woman and have sexual fulfillment.
Need I say more? Well, actually maybe I should. For women, they create emotional intimacy with their men through intimate sharing and talking. For men, who are generally not talkers, sex is a way of creating emotional intimacy with their woman. (However, where a man does not truly love a woman, sex can be just a vehicle of fulfilling his sexual needs and his heart can be totally isolated from the physical act. So how do you know if he truly loves you? If he's committed to you in marriage, you can be sure that he loves you and is in for the long term. In my opinion, sex is such a powerfully emotionally bonding act that it's meant for an equally powerful commitment in marriage).

Top 2 Needs of a Woman from her Man:

1. Need to feel pursued/cherished/special/desired by her man.
Just like every man's dream is to be a superhero, every woman's dream is to be the beautiful princess. And the top person she wants to get this from is her man. Every woman wants to feel pursued and desired by her man because it indicates that she is worth a lot for him to put all that effort in. Although a woman knows she may not be the most beautiful woman in the world, it's enough if she is the most beautiful woman to her man because then, she is special to an important person in her life.

2. Need to feel protected.
Women in developed countries nowadays have nearly equal opportunities to men to education, work and training. Because of this, women now are as intelligent, capable and independent as their male peers. And they want to be respected as such. However, when it comes to a relationship, women still want to feel protected by their men. Protection can come in the form of physical protection, financial provision, emotional support and spiritual leadership.

My own personal thoughts (through others and my own experience):

Additional Need of a Man from his Woman:

Need to have his Woman happy while she is with him.
I am surprised that it's taken me so long to get this. Men are simple creatures when compared to women (really). Happy woman = happy man. So if she is unhappy in the relationship, he is unhappy too because he somehow feels like he is incapable of making her happy. So women, learn to be happy in your relationship with your man. He needs to know that he brings you happiness in the relationship.

Additional Need of a Woman from her Man:

Need to be continually regarded as beautiful, attractive, adored by her Man and for him to remain faithful.
We all know that we tend to take things for granted after a while. A beautiful view of the mountains will seem common after you have looked at the same view for the 99th time. It's understandable that over time, a man may find his woman not as captivating like when he first saw her. And if she catches him staring at other women (even if he doesn't intend to leave her), she starts feeling even less attractive and insecure. If a woman perceives that her man somehow no longer finds her as attractive, she may start losing faith in his love and believe that there is not much point trying to make herself attractive to her man anymore. She may start focussing on the kids or on other things and less on herself and him. And she does indeed becomes less attractive in reality. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So men, adore her and tell her how beautiful she is and she is more likely to believe it, take care of herself and want to make you happy.

Let me know what you all think.

Monday, May 10, 2010

When you are feeling confused and anxious...

Prayer does wonders.

The Bible says that when we are worried, we should be grateful for what we do have and ask God for what we need and we will be filled with an extraordinary, settling peace(Philippians 4:6-7).

I tried praying this when I felt really confused and anxious recently about my future life partner.

"My strength does not come from me…but it comes from you O God.

I am weak in the area of trusting you with my future boyfriend and husband. How much he will love me, whether he will stay with me, whether he is deserving of me.

I am afraid that I will be betrayed, I am afraid that he may leave me. I am afraid that I may make the painful mistake of falling in love with the wrong person. And finding out too late that he never was truly in love with me.

How can I walk away from these fears? How can I walk ahead and forward in faith?

Because I know that You will protect me Lord. I know that my life is in your Hands.

I too will love whoever you choose for me. I will stay with him, be deserving of him. I will not betray him, I will not leave him. I will not pretend to be in love with him if I am not.

Because you said that in everything we must do unto others as we want done unto us. (Matt 7:12). In Jesus Name, Amen."

And I felt peace. A settling peace. It enabled me to move on from that place of confusion and anxiety, eventhough nothing in my circumstances changed.

I thank God for prayer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How to Win the Girl of your Dreams

Are you secretly in love with a gorgeous girl but don't know how to win her heart? Do you feel that she may be out of your league? Have you tried to do something for her but only received rejection?

Well, here's some secret insight for you into a girl's mind (from a girl herself :) I want to share this as I meet some amazing men who are great guys and have great potential as boyfriends but they somehow seem stuck when it comes to getting the girl of their dreams.

So how do you win that girl?

1. Be confident of yourself

Just like guys can automatically sense when a girl is too needy, girls can also automatically sense when a guy is unsure of himself. Confidence is an attractive quality for girls because it indicates that the man knows what he wants (ie. he knows that he really likes the girl), knows where he is going (and therefore, has a great future ahead of him) and is mature emotionally.

2. Get your act together. Get stable.

I have to be honest. If you don't have any financial stability, or career prospects, or drink and flirt around other girls, a girl will not have a sense of security when she's with you. One of the major things that girls want in a guy is security. In the past, most girls went for guys with muscles (an indication of strength and therefore, physical security). This is still partly true. However, many 20th century girls are smarter than that. They know that it's money that will feed the kids so it's important that you can provide sufficiently.

3. Enhance your emotional intelligence. Speak her love language.

If you haven't read the book about the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman, you should. Every girl has her own love language. Learning how to speak hers will greatly help her to feel loved by you. Briefly, they are: physical touch, words of encouragement, gifts, acts of service and quality time. Girls are no longer just looking for guys who can bring home the bacon, they are also looking for emotional support.

4. Be her friend.

Guys may not really want a girl to act like their best mate but girls really want their guy to be capable of being their best friend. One of the common distinctions between a guy and a girl is how a girl loves to talk much more than a guy. If you're a guy, learning to listen attentively to her (with appropriate supportive comments) will help her to feel that there is intimacy between the two of you. Thereby, greatly increasing her feelings toward you.

5. Be a gentleman.

It still holds true. If you're a gentleman, the girl will be impressed. Hold open doors, help her carry the heavy (and even the light stuff), do the dirty jobs and she'll really appreciate having you around. These areas are where men can do it so much better than a girl can.

6. Think of the small details.

Remember her birthday (if you tend to forget dates, put it in your PDA or mobile phone calendar!), remember her favourite flowers, remember her favourite foods, remember all the small details and she will know how much she means to you (and is therefore, more likely to love you back).

7. Change or improve yourself.

I once heard a quote, "There are 2 things that will change a man, the love of God and the love of a woman." Find out what kind of guy she is after and if there are areas of yourself where you can improve (but remaining true to yourself without sacrificing your integrity), then please do. If she sees your effort in doing so, she will appreciate it, even if you aren't necessarily successful immediately.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, we tend to love the people who we feel loved by. That means that if she feels loved by you, she will more likely than not, love you back. Unfortunately, if you love her but she cannot feel your love, then it's time to change what you are doing. Or focus your efforts on another dream girl.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Avoid this common mistake while you are "in love"

We are used to making decisions in our lives from the smallest mundane ones to the big ones such as whether to buy a house that will mean a 40 year mortgage.

One of the biggest decisions we will ever make in our lives is who we want to marry, as this will influence our future families, living situations and other relationships.

When we make decisions, we tend to use our knowledge, our wisdom from our experiences, our intuition and advice from others.

It is common knowledge that when couples first start dating, they go through an "in love" stage, which is supposed to progress to "real love" (after the sparks fizzle out). Research has shown that the maximum period that a couple will remain "in love" is up to 3 years. My own experience is that the sparks only last 1 year.

But when you're in love, you're often "blindly in love". Are we able to make good decisions then?

When we are "in love", we lose our reasoning faculties and are able to accept things that we normally would not accept. We see only perfection in our object of desire and "blindly" ignore or accept all their faults, without truly realizing its possible impact on us.

My previous experience has taught me never to make a major decision about the relationship while you "in love." The right person will stay around and you will learn how to love the person properly when your mind is finally back with you.

When you finally see the person as imperfect (and even annoying at times), that's when your love will be tested. Loving a truly imperfect person requires humility, faith, sacrifice, maturity and is "real love". (I mentioned in my earlier blog that real love is made up of passion, intimacy and commitment).

So date; wait and then; when you've fallen back out of "in love", start building "real love".

Monday, April 26, 2010

What is Love Made of and Being the Perfect Person

"It's not about finding the perfect person but being the perfect person..."

Too many of us spend our lives looking for THE perfect person. We sometimes think we have found the perfect person for us and when we get closer, we discover the person's weaknesses (or humanity) and we think that we made a mistake. Unhappy married people think this too.

But in reality, there is no such thing as a perfect person just for you. Yes, there are some people who are more compatible for us but humans are evolving beings...we can change according to our environment, our choices, what we spend time doing etc.

I once heard this from a relationship psychologist. Love is made up of 3 elements;
* Passion
* Intimacy
* Commitment.

When we fall in love, the passion element is fulfilled. When we start sharing our lives with the other person, we start creating intimacy. But the final essence of love; commitment, is normally where failed couples are unable to overcome.


To be able to commit to someone for the rest of your life, you have to reach a stage of self-awareness and maturity that enables you to be able to stay faithful and connected to the other person...through hell (as it may be), not just when it feels like heaven.

The good news is that staying committed to someone can be made so much easier if we have developed relationship-building skills. And even more encouraging is that these skills can be learnt. Skills such as communication, negotiation, compromise and sacrifice.

Listen to the words of a wise person "Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, beautiful old people are works of art."

Two old people in a loving, beautiful, caring relationship is truly a work of art. A beautiful work of art such as the Statue of David by Michelangelo cannot be created in a short amount of time, it requires many hours of chipping away at sharp edges, polishing dull surfaces and careful attention of work.

Too many of us are rushing into and out of relationships, trying to find the perfect person. If you have someone's love and hallelujah, you actually love the person back...appreciate your blessing. It's true what they say, "good things take time".

Friday, April 16, 2010

How to Recognize A Relationship Idol Part 1

What comes to your mind when someone mentions an idol? Common answers will probably be religious statues or more probably American Idol.

But have you ever heard of a Relationship Idol?

It may be a new term but I can guarantee that you have done it before, if not once, then many times like I have.

A Relationship Idol is someone you "worship" in a relationship. It could be a friend, a teacher, a boss, an estranged father, your dream guy or dream girl.

Worship is not limited to singing songs, bowing or prostrating with our physical bodies but our hearts also can be worshipping.

You know that you've got a Relationship Idol when a person becomes more important to you than anything else. Without him or her, you feel that you can't be happy; you can't enjoy life; you lose hope of finding someone else; you don't feel secure; there's no purpose for life...everything depends on that person.

I was only a schoolgirl when I had my first Relationship Idol. To me, he was THE GUY. He was serious, quiet, into books (this indicated intelligence to me) and simply...nice. I often saw him sitting by himself in a corner reading and my heart just went "awwwwww...." It didn't matter that I knew almost NOTHING about him and that he hardly ever spoke a word to me. In my mind, I made up my own fantasies about him and for me, he was perfect. But really, he was a Relationship Idol. (Later when I got to know him better, I found out he wasn't that nice, he was not overly intelligent and he only read because he was new at school and didn't have friends yet).

Now, I am sure this is a common school story. But does it change much when we grow up? If we're single and looking for THE SPECIAL PERSON, we're looking for more refined things now such as thoughtfulness, sharing, trustworthiness, loyalty, sense of humour, wisdom and of course for some of you, beauty or good looks.

If we're married, our spouses may still be our Relationship Idols or it could be a mother that has never loved us, a father who never compliments us or a boss that we can never please enough.

Let me be honest with you now...ALL OF US HAVE IDOLS. If you don't think you have one, you may be your own idol (ie. you are a little narcissistic). Just look a little harder, you will find one.

And that's because our hearts DESIRE to have SOMEONE TO WORSHIP. It sprays colour into our lives, fills up us a reason to live.

The problem with a Relationship Idol is that the person we idolize is not perfect. The person can not only be a source of joy, he or she can also be a severe source of pain.

I have had so many Relationship Idols myself and also, counselled many friends about recognizing their Relationship Idols that I can vouch for this.

So what's the solution? Are we doomed if our hearts will always desire to worship someone?

That depends on who you choose as your Relationship Idol. If you choose someone imperfect, you're bound to experience pain. But who can ever be perfect?

For me, I chose God. Simply because I knew no one else who would never lie to me, sell me short, disappoint me, hurt me.

Simple solution but not so simple to follow.

First of all, do you believe that God exists?

Secondly, do you believe that God is perfect? (that is, He is all-caring, all-forgiving, all-knowing, all-loving).

I read this many years before, "God is love." 1 John 4:16.
This does not mean that love in itself is god, but that God is made up of love.

And if you do believe all these things, is there a Relationship Idol in the place of God in your heart? In other words, is there someone in your life that you can't live without and you'd give everything up just to find happiness with this person, even if it means putting God in second place in your life?

If you want to hear a story about one of my own recent "infatuation" Relationship Idols, check out "How to Recognize a Relationship Idol Part 2."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quote for Today

"If you live like everything depended on you, you will burn out. If you live like everything depended on God, you will end up doing nothing." Quote.
God could have saved the world without us, but He chose to do it WITH us. We are His hands, His feet, His body. God would rather do it with us, then on His own. It's our job to find the right balance in dependence on God and acting in faith.