One of the most widely read female writers, Jane Austen had said, “Do not be in a hurry, the right man will come at last.” And boy, was she right! Welcome to the new age, where women don’t shy away from calling the shots in every aspect of life, relationships included. Gone are those days when women bent over backwards to please ‘the man’. The mantra today seems to be ‘Accept me the way I am or off I go.’
It’s an irony of sorts that today most men are happy to settle down with a woman who is just ‘good enough’, while women continue their tireless hunt for Mr Right. The biological clock and social conventions are no longer the primary reason to get into a relationship. There are essential factors to consider.
What women want
“Women are looking for much more than strong, rippling muscles and libido in a man. It is not always about cars, athletic abilities and such things our society uses to define manhood. At the end of the day, you can only fall in love with a man who has virtues,” claims Debra K, a relationship and marriage counsellor.
She elaborates that honesty is one of the most priced traits as it is a sign of security. Women appreciate men who are real with their strengths and struggles. They appreciate someone who knows his weaknesses, yet sets himself up to succeed.
Also, intelligence is definitely on top of the list. Almost every woman wants her man to be a good conversationalist with a great sense of humour. Good looks alone is hardly enough; the grey matter also counts.
Many believe that the newfound confidence to scrutinise every man comes from the financial independence women enjoy today. It doesn’t have to be the man’s duty to provide for the family anymore. Many women earn more than their male counterparts and are more than happy to flaunt it too!
All or none
The modern woman looking for true love doesn’t have the stomach for philanderers anymore. If a man breaks her trust, she has the courage to walk out of the relationship, without paying heed to the social pressures. If unconditional love means being a doormat, she is not keen to venture into such territories.
“She puts her foot down when she is being taken for granted. She does not want love at any cost...Either she gets the guy of her dreams or is better off without any. But the fact is that whenever you feel you deserve the best, you often get it sooner or later,” remarks Anannya Maity, a content writer.
Women are patient these days and don’t just get floored by any Tom, Dick or Harry who claims to love them. Laxmi Rawat, who works with a fast food restaurant, avers, “Emotions like understanding and caring are some things that drive every woman towards solid commitment in a relationship. She loves the occasional or impulsive gifts and likes to be constantly reassured of being loved. She wants her emotional needs to be understood and met. If a man can’t understand what a woman wants, then she finds it difficult to connect with him.”
Small acts like holding her hand while walking down the road, or a peck on the cheek tell her that you are happy to be seen with her. Remembering things that are important to her – like her birthday, relationship anniversary – and planning something truly special for the occasion makes the lady see that you mean business. It’s a delight to be with a man who isn’t afraid to express his emotions, someone who takes the effort to know your likes and dislikes, and sets the ball rolling for a wonderful relationship.
In an interview, Bipasha Basu had opined, “Many men are confident, but few are confident enough to have a confident woman in their lives.” Many men continue to feel threatened by their partners’ achievements. Call it social conditioning, ego, or insecurity, a majority of men are yet to come to terms with the changing dynamics in man-woman relationships today.
But the modern woman wants her man to be proud of her success and respect her goals. Nobody likes to be ridiculed or rebuked for daring to dream. Also, no woman needs a man constantly breathing down her neck. She doesn’t fancy being given unsolicited advice when she is perfectly capable of handling things on her own.
Those who love their independence – men and women – don’t take too kindly to people threatening their sense of self. If you push someone to be something they are not, you are asking for trouble.
Women have been compromising for a long time. It’s about time we get our due. Since we invest a lot of time and effort into our relationships, we expect nothing but the best out of them.
There’s no real formula as to how to win over a new-age woman’s heart, because every woman wants different things from a relationship. However, there are some common things on almost every woman’s wishlist: someone who can love her the way she is, someone who can make her feel safe and comfortable in her shoes, someone who can protect her when needed and stand by her through thick and thin. That’s not too much to ask for.