Yesterday I wrote a post called the “Three Best Gifts A Man Can Give to A Woman.” It raised much debate from both male and female friends and readers. The issue was that the 3A’s – Attention, Appreciation and Affection – might also be the best gifts a woman could give to a man. And I couldn’t help but wonder: Does gender really play a role in this? Or are these simply fundamental human needs essential to create, sustain, and grow a rich and lasting relationship, for both men and women?
What I realized is this: That men may not voice their need for attention, appreciation and affection as vocally as women. But they need them just as much, and sometimes even more. What they would call attention, appreciation and affection, however, may be expressed in different ways. And generally men seem to have a higher need for freedom and alone time than women do.
Attention: Jaime Foxx said it well, “Most men want the admiration of women – their smiles, their attention, their interest. That's why we beat our chests; that's why we play basketball and football. We want to know how you feel about us.” Men need attention to know that they are admired and valued, that they are making a contribution in our lives, and that they make us happy.
Appreciation: Since a man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears, perhaps the gestures of appreciation take a more visual context. For example, a sensual evening with candles and a sexy dress, etc. – something you can never have too much of. I think we should deposit as much appreciation into our relationship bank accounts as possible. It will help on rainy PMS days.
Affection: Men may want to play the role and act like a man, and hence not admit that they need affection as much as women do. But even the toughest men can be softened by a woman’s touch. Give him as much affection as you can.
Freedom: Of course we all need freedom and space outside the relationship. But men seem to have a stronger need for this. They really need “guy time,” testosterone versus estrogen. Time with the guys, beer and football seem to be the rituals for most American males.
Wind Down Time: At the end of a long day, we women like to talk over what we’ve experienced, to solve problems and unwind. Most men prefer to have some quiet time or do something different to unwind their day. So give your man some time to decompress when he gets home from a long day at work.
Note: While I am certainly not an expert about men – because I am not one? – the above came from my personal experience, observation, and conversations with men. If you have some insights, please leave a comment and share it.
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