Men Don't Want Your Body

They don't. Sorry. You can take that push-up bra back to the store now. It’s just a pretty bow on an empty box without what I’m about to tell you...Men don’t want your body. They don’t want affection. They don’t even want things.

Before any of this, men want RESPECT.

If you are under the impression that maintaining a relationship simply requires getting a man to “love” you, please pour yourself some wine while you prepare for utter failure. Then you may think, as long as you can invest enough time into him so he’s at least “infatuated” with you, love will easily come next, right? Nope. More wine. For women, our most precious commodities are love, affection, time. It’s how we fall. For men, these are devastatingly different.

Men’s emotional toolbox is not the same as ours and we should honestly know this by now. Yet, for either gender when dating or amidst any type of meaningful relationship, the main commodity-for-trade is the self, being comprised of many parts:

Love (your ability to connect and trust)
Values (the reflection of what you most deeply care about)
Emotions (the manifestations of your heart)
Behavior (how you display these)

These are all crucial parts of ourselves that we absolutely cannot change if we are being truly authentic. Taking a step back, it really is a wonder that we meet and are compatible with anyone else at all.

Regardless of how it may seem, the road to “respect” is usually quite long ...
Infatuation is quickly-built and quite often disposable. Love is a combination of infatuation, time,
and ease. What lies beneath this may or may not be an actual friendship, hopefully so. Most people believe that respect is a natural byproduct of love, but it’s not. Love is bestowed, while respect is earned. Huge difference. Also; love takes longer to lose, while respect can be lost in an instant, therefore making it exceptionally precious. Someone may have your “love” without ever having earned it. Respect has an innate number of byproducts, and every single one of them is positive.

There’s a reason that even the Bible calls a man to love his wife, and for a wife to respect her husband. God already knew the innate emotional weaknesses of each gender and called on them to reinforce one another (Ephesians 5:33). A true relationship demands both love and respect simultaneously. Women love more easily than men because men need to be able to respect us before bestowing their affection. Additionally, with love or infatuation, you’re only able to handle conflict with however much affection you have for the person at that given moment (which if you’re upset, probably isn’t very much). Simply? You’re limited. Ever heard, “I love you but I don’t like you right now” in the midst of an argument? Because without respect, you still maintain the ability to be selfish, unfaithful, arrogant, and even manipulative to your partner. Men will take excerpts from something like this and expand upon them just like we do.

Woman – “If he doesn’t show affection in small ways, it means he doesn’t love me at all.”
Man – “If she doesn’t validate me in small things, it means she doesn’t trust me at all.”
Just ask them...
In a select male-only study done by Decision Analysts, Inc. in 2004, one of the questions asked was: “In the middle of a conflict with your wife, you are most likely to feel:
a) A lack of respect or b) A lack of love?”

Do not be surprised when I tell you that 81.5% of men chose their answer as A.

Respect = instant validation, and what could be more important than letting a person know they matter? With true respect for an individual, your “rock bottom” is at least that of fidelity and genuine friendship because, after all, that person is someone whose opinion matters, whose validation you find necessary, and whom you are able to fully trust because they have earned that.

So you might be asking, “How exactly do I do this?” ... Well here’s a start:
1. Trust his word.
This means anything from him telling you that yes, he actually did remember to pickup that stuff on the way home, to larger life decisions you two will make together ... either way, you trust him.
2. Have confidence in him.
Men like to figure things out for themselves. While women often can’t stand the process of arriving at a conclusion, men love this. Allow him to. You don’t always have the answer and neither does he. Before you assume, ASK!
3. Communicate.
I firmly believe THIS is the “make or break” of ANY relationship. Similar to everything else, if you cannot communicate well over small issues, Lord help you when things really hit the fan. Authentic and natural communication is easiest when both people are friends first. As women, our words have the natural ability to either tear down or build up whoever we are speaking to. Bear this in mind when you use them because they will have a direct effect on what kind of reaction you are going to receive. Remember... It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!
4. Show him.
Men crave reinforcement just as much as we do, only in different ways. As much as it is his job to protect and sustain your heart within the relationship, it is yours to reaffirm his strengths. Partnership can mean equality in different ways; most basically, that your strengths should mirror his weaknesses, and his weaknesses should mirror your strengths.

Now go forth and have healthy, loving, communicative, and respectful relationships ;)