When I say "what women want in a relationship", I am not talking about sex or sexuality specifically. No, in this case, I am approaching the topic at a higher level ... from a "big picture" viewpoint. Even though women today think they know what they want in a relationship, most women actually pursue or wind up with someone who does not quite fit into their ideal mold. This can work either for or against you, as a midlife bachelor, I suppose. I mean - how many of you are truly an ideal representation of every woman's dream? Do you think that women say to themselves, "What I want is a chubby, balding, midlife bachelor with a great sense of humor." I can guarantee you that they do not! [Well - maybe a 70-year old widow might think that way, but in general you must face up to the reality that most of us are not every woman's dream.].
In terms of what women think they want in a relationship - you will get a different answer from every single woman. Chances are that the type of women you attract will somehow be drawn automatically to your personality type. What the hell does that mean, you ask? Well you may have heard women say that they always wind up with a particular type of guy ... that is what I mean. For example, some women are perpetually drawn into abusive relationships. I have this friend named, "Mike" - a different Mike than the Mike I have written so much about. This other Mike is a body builder who has an attitude about him like the world owes him everything. Although Mike is somewhat of a hustler, he seems to always have a lot of cash - and he is the type to spend it freely on expensive cars, and also expensive gifts (especially jewelry) for his wife or girlfriend. Of all the guys I have known throughout my life, Mike has been more verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive toward his women ... yet they always stay with him ... they always love him. I'm sure part of them sticking around has to do with Mike's ability to smooth-talk his way through most anything. I used to enjoy how he would tell me about him becoming a born-again Christian - after every time he was arrested, or did anything really, really bad. He always sounded so sincere and believable ... he always knew exactly what someone wanted to hear. That said, Mike always had the hottest women ... and most of them were a lot younger than him. My point here is that Mike's women were all of a certain type. They were easily impressed with material items, and also were vulnerable to manipulation. If you were to have asked any of these women what they wanted in a relationship (before they were involved with Mike), I'm reasonably sure they would have responded with something like, "I want a guy with a lot of money who is really good-looking, and treats me nice." That response is probably a fairly common first-try answer from young women in their twenties. To be fair, most of Mike's women were not exactly rocket scientists in terms of intelligence - it took most of them quite some time to see through him.
What we just learned was that women in their twenties are more likely to pursue men based on material things such as money and good looks. What about women in their thirties, in their forties, etc.? I believe that as women mature, they begin to recognize that non-material things have some significant level of importance. [Otherwise, I would never have been able to get a date.] I'm not saying that the material preferences go away - but I am saying that more of a balance seems to apply between material and non-material. What are these non-material things that women want in a man, or in a relationship? Again, you will get a different answer from each woman - and the answers will vary according to the age group ... but I think women want a relationship with a man who will make her feel secure with herself, and with the relationship. I think women want to be complimented (but not over-complimented). I believe they want someone who can be both their best friend and their lover. And I believe they want someone who (in general) will put her needs ahead of his own. All of that was fairly abstract, I know - I meant it to be. It's not possible to give you a laundry list of what all women want - since each woman is different, and women of different age groups think differently. My point here is to give you things to think about - more of a reference so that you can perhaps figuratively put yourself into the shoes of a woman, and possibly guess at what might be important to her ... which could help guide your own behavior, if you are the attentive-type.
Now I'm going to throw a big wrench into what I've already said on the subject of what women want in a relationship by telling you that women can be creatures of incredible change. What I mean here is that sometimes women can do a total 180 on you - all of a sudden, literally EVERYTHING can be different than it was yesterday. One day, you can find yourself IN, and several days later - everything you do and say is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG ... and then suddenly you are back out on the streets as a single man, as a midlife bachelor! If you believe that the changing nature of women is part of what makes them beautiful, then you are more kind than most of us (certainly more kind than me). Me - I pride myself on being consistent and stable ... so I've always been unforgiving when it comes to this "sudden change syndrome" that some women exhibit. If you find yourself a victim of this sudden change syndrome, your best bet is write off the relationship as quickly as possible, and move on.
I can at least partially illustrate "sudden change syndrome" through one of my female friends, Pauline. Pauline is thirty-two years old and going through a divorce from her second husband with whom she has two children. Pauline was living the American dream - her husband was a firefighter who was nice-looking and very physically-fit. They owned a nice home, and nice cars. Their small children are adorable, and well-behaved. But Pauline decided that none of that was good enough for her - that she needed something more. So she had an affair with an old high school sweetheart ... and (to make a long story short) she got busted, and her world came crashing down around her. Her husband went into a deep depression, and even attempted suicide. [Midlife bachelor note here - no woman or relationship is worth suicide. Better to pick up the pieces, and move forward than to do something self-destructive.] Anyway, Pauline recently moved from the beautiful house they were forced to sell, and into an apartment. Was the hot sex with an old flame really worth it to Pauline? I'm not sure how she would answer - it probably would depend on WHEN you asked her this question. If you asked her right after the affair was discovered, my bet is that she would have said,"no". If you asked her today (after the deep depression and suicide attempt by her husband), I'm guessing that she would tell you that her marriage would never have worked - and so the affair was a symptom of a marriage in the process of falling apart. In fairness to Pauline, I do not know her husband at all - and I do not know what their relationship was really like or how it changed over the years they were married. I've only known Pauline for maybe a year or so (since the drama was beginning to unfold). I guess I'm saying that it is possible that Pauline is completely justified - but in my mind, it is bad policy to cheat on anyone (especially a spouse).
Okay - let me sum up what we have learned here in this VERY BRIEF overview of what this midlife bachelor thinks that most women want in a relationship.
1) What is important to a woman in a relationship varies with the age of the woman
- Younger women are more materialistic than older women
2) Women are usually drawn to a particular type of man
3) Women's wants and desires in terms of a relationship can change dramatically in what appears to be a very short amount of time
The fact is - none of us men can ever truly hope to understand women or predict them. We as midlife bachelors can only be who we are, and roll with the punches when necessary. Life would be boring without all of the drama that women create, right? You will find that being single in your midlife years is one big roller coaster - full of ups and downs. Don't fixate on any setbacks - view everything that happens as an OPPORTUNITY. If she dumps you, you now have the opportunity to go find someone new and fresh. If she's whacked, then give her the boot - and move on without hesitation. If she is pretty close to what you want overall, but requires some minor tweaks - then invest by working with her on her challenges. Just keep your eyes wide open at all times, and continually re-evaluate your situation.
This whole section, entitled "Some Fundamental Truths about Women and Midlife Dating Today", was large, and contained a huge amount of great information for you the midlife bachelor (or possibly the midlife bachelor-to-be?). Its purpose was to allow you to put your arms around the scope of the challenges of midlife bachelorhood ... and I hope that I have accomplished this. Life is a learning process, so I'll not state that what I've described thus far is all that there is. No - learning about women and dating in midlife is an evolutionary process ... so there is definitely more to come. The best I can do is to pass along what I know here - so that it can serve as a foundation of knowledge for men like us. Some of you more experienced midlife bachelors might even read some of the stories that I've related about my life or my friends, and characterize them as "mild" or "nothing compared to the bullshit that I've gone through". And to those I say you're probably right! While I have dated many women, I have not dated a lot of extremely psychotic women - so I know there are some pretty good true-to-life horror stories out there. In order to increase our own collective knowledge base, there is also our Midlife Dating Forum - where men (and women) talk about many different issues we all face while trying to date at midlife. If you have not seen our Midlife Dating Forum, just click on the banner below, or follow this link to the Midlife Dating Forum
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