In the famous movie with the same title, Nick Marshall (played by Mel Gibson) gains an extraordinary power that allows him to hear women’s thoughts without them saying it. This makes him, for the first time in the history of man, able to know what they want and how they think. That made him loved by all women in his life (female office colleagues, his daughter & the woman he was falling in love with); as for those women, there is finally a man who understands them.
The movie is a great romantic comedy with this original twist that builds on the long-unsolved mystery between men & women and how men can know what women really want. Now, I will not dare to claim that I am Nick Marshall from the movie, so I cannot read women’s minds, nor do I still know what they want. I wrote this post to my fellow men in a humble attempt to share some ideas on how to have a happy life with their ladies by understanding what most women want, which will ultimately make them joyful, happy & content in relationships. So if you are a lady, you don’t have to read this, but you can share it with your man if you like. Ok, guys, let’s start with The Rules of Engagement here before I go any further, and while reading them, please do take the time to understand them well and allow them to sink in. You have to make sure you are honest with yourself about them to move forward. However, please keep in mind that this is merely my personal view on how to have a happy relationship with your lady. But if you are in a damaged relationship or at a breaking point and need saving, I recommend you not act too proud and seek professional help. That is, of course, if you want to save your relationship.
- You & your spouse must have a genuine passion and love towards each other & your relationship. Sounds too obvious? Guess again, as many couples are still together just because it is their comfort zone or because of the kids. Yet, each partner has a separate parallel life. If one of the spouses wants the relationship to last while the other loses hope or interest or is just indifferent, then this will NOT work, but they might stay together for years while each is in their world, and no one wants to be responsible for wrecking the boat. In such cases, you will see them together out of habit but not for loving each other or wanting to be together. Love, respect & trust are three mandatory core values in a relationship from both sides, without compromising any core value.
- Relationships are living and breathing beings. Hence, it requires nonstop and constant nourishing from both sides and never taking each other or the relationship for granted. Remember that great things in life are not easy; instead, they need continuous effort and work, so you must nourish your relationship with love and respect to keep healthy and never take it for granted.
“There is no love in marriage, there is love in people, and people put it into their marriage.” When you think about this statement by Dr. Stephen Covey, you realize this simple truth, yet mostly overlooked, that we created the relationship and not the other way around. It is all about our expectations from our marriage or relationship, as we sometimes assume certain things that are not true. When they fail, we blame it on the partner, society, or any other external factor, such as the marriage institution. You see, relationships at first are like a big empty tanker with a water faucet in the middle. If you pour enough love and respect into this tanker, the level of water/(love & respect) will get higher than the faucet level, so when you open the faucet, it will pour love and respect out.
On the other hand, if you pour negative emotions, soon enough, it will pour negativity. In all cases, both spouses need to pay attention to how long they were pouring love into the tanker/relationship and how long it takes to reach and pass the faucet level.
Case in point: a couple has been together for two years now, and the man is not expressive, so he doesn’t share his feelings with his wife, and he doesn’t tell her that he loves or that he misses her enough. Maybe once or twice a month at best. She finally confronts him about her not feeling loved, and they argue. He would say, “You know I love you; why else would I have married you?” and she would say that she needs reassurance; she wants to hear the words and feel them from him. He finally gives up and says it more often to get her off his back. However, after a week, he thinks that although he expresses his love to her, she is not giving him anything in return, as if she is not appreciating what he is doing. So what went wrong? Well, he was not patient enough to fill the tank; hence, the amount of love he was pouring into the relationship did not reach the faucet level yet. He needs to give it more time; he will eventually see her reaction once that tank is full enough. In another scenario, you both argue. She says, “you don’t love me anymore,” or ” when was the last time you said you loved me or you got me something you never did” and such statements will make your head boil, especially if you know that is not true and just last month you got her a gift on her birthday, and you told you her you loved her. So how can she be so insensitive and pretend that you never did?? well, she does not deny that at all; you see, when she says anything with the words “never,” she usually means during that day or the past few days while the dispute or the argument was taking place. Once you realize this simple different way of thinking, you will not be offended by such statements, and you will be able to focus on the issue and solve it. What does that mean? You must understand that she needs to feel your love constantly. She might know you love her, but she will start to worry and question it without reassuring her that you love her regularly.
Don’t try to reason this with your male brain, as you will not be able to comprehend it. Remember that women don’t see (or analyze) things the way we do, which does not mean they are neither as bright nor as logical. On the contrary, they are more intuitive and sharper than us and have their female intuition, while we, in comparison, are much too primitive in our thinking abilities. A saying goes like this “women will not tell you what they want, but they will reserve the right to be upset if you don’t give them what they want,” and it is mostly true. If they just stated their needs clearly, life would be much easier. But then again, where is the fun in that? Nothing of great value in life comes easy; if you love her, she is worth all the hard work. But here is a good hint, no matter who your spouse is or what you think she wants or not, or how different she is vs. other women, one way or another, she has six basic emotional needs(2) that psychology tells us they all need:
- Caring. You have to show that you genuinely care.
- Understanding. Even if you don’t understand some things she says or does, showing her that you trust her opinion and judgment is a good sign of understanding.
- Respect. No matter what happens, never disrespect her or hurt/abuse her physically, verbally, or emotionally. As Islam teaches us in many ways in Quran or Hadeeth to never hurt or disrespect them and to always be kind and gentle to them. She must feel safe with you, which is crucial for her to trust you.
- Devotion. If you really love her, you must show her how devoted you are to her and that she is your number one priority.
- Validation. You have to prove to her that you love her, and she has to trust your love and that you have her back and will be with her at all times, for better or worse.
- Reassurance. This goes back to the point early of constantly showing her your love.
If you love her, you would want to make her happy; therefore, the above will come naturally to you. Remember, you can’t fake these emotions, and you have to be genuine, or she will know (remember the female intuition ability?); trust me, she will, and you will be in so much trouble then. Are any ladies reading still? I thought I asked you not to. Well, if you are, we also have emotional needs, thank you very much, and we would like them to be addressed. The most important is acceptance, so please stop trying to change your man. You loved him the way he is, so don’t say, “I will work on changing him later,” and if you must, assuming its a terrible habit, then at least do it in a way that makes your man feel/think that he did the changes on his own. In all cases, here are our six emotional needs:
- Trust. One of the fundamental core values that both ways.
- Acceptance. Don’t force your man to change; we are not kids (well, sometimes we are, but you know what I mean).
- Appreciation. Show us that you appreciate what we do for you.
- Admiration. We, too, want to feel special by our ladies.
- Approval. We want to feel that you approve of what we do; believe it or not, we care about what you think.
- Acknowledgment. It’s really simple and straightforward.
How to show her you love her? Imagine you fall in love with a Chinese lady who does not speak your language, so no matter how often you tell her that you love her, she will not know what you are saying, and if asked, she will say he does not say he loves me. There are five main areas where one can express love to his spouse, and you need to know if all five mean love to her and what their value in her life is in the right order. The five love languages(4) are:
- Words of Affirmation. Simply put, by expressing love verbally
- Quality Time. Spending time together while paying attention to her and talking with her
- Receiving Gifts. Getting her gifts
- Acts of Services. Helping her with anything she might need
- Physical Touch. Holding her, hugging her, kissing her, and in any other physical form
Now, some women only care for one of those languages, or two, while others have them all in their languages of love, but with different levels of importance. For example, you could be an emotional guy who always tells his wife that he loves her, but for you, receiving gifts is not essential and doesn’t necessarily reflect love. At the same time, she could have “receiving gifts” as her most important language and “words of affirmation” as her third. So she will always feel that you don’t love her because you miss that language and are not getting her gifts. Or she sees “acts of service” as an important sign of love; while she is not a touchy-feely lady, she would love it if you helped her around the house, but she would be indifferent to all the physical gestures of love from you. Hence, you need to know your own love languages and hers and share them so you know each other’s love buttons. So what are you waiting for? Take the test and ask her to take it as well. Always remember that women have strong attention to detail, so the more you show you pay attention to the little things, the more you will surprise her. She would prefer continuous little gifts or gestures of love every day vs. one big gift once a year. Also, every nice act you do to her to show love will get you one point, regardless of what it is or how much it costs. A bouquet of her favorite flowers equals one point, a new expensive watch equals one point, and so on.
10 Simple Rules To Follow: (3)
- Accept the differences and embrace what you have in common. It’s all about complementing & completing each other rather than being two of the same.
- Allow space for your spouse to be herself. Do you remember what attracted you to her in the first place? What was unique about her? What turned you on?
- Be the first to say you are sorry. Regardless of whose fault it was, it’s all about being sorry for reaching an ego argument of who is right and who is wrong to claim power or set who is boss. It should always be about being constructive, maintaining a healthy relationship, not pointing the blame finger, and showing who the boss is.
- Go the extra step to please her, and always be nice. Why wouldn’t you? After all, your spouse deserves it, and you love her. Again, remember why you fell for her in the first place.
- Respect each other’s privacy. Never intrude, ever. If something bothers you or if you have reasons to be jealous, discuss it openly. Honesty and openness are crucial traits at all times. Prophet Mohammed PBUH said, “if you have suspicions, ask but never pry.”
- Know when to listen and when to talk. She often just wants to be heard, but she is not looking for any solutions, so don’t offer any; just be a good listener.
- Make sure your lovemaking is making love. It’s not about sex; it’s about love; sex is one of many ways (an important one, I must say) to express that love, so keep on expressing it all the time.
- Have a passion for your life together, and ensure you have the same goals. Passion in anything in life is the fuel that keeps our engines running and energy levels up. Your spouse’s happiness should always be your goal and vice versa; with that simple formula, you will both be happy. In addition, of course, you both have to be heading to the same destination; otherwise, you are not on the same journey together, and then you are bound to go your separate ways.
- My spouse is my best friend. That’s the ideal level we should aim to have, anytime and all the time, for as long as we are together.
- Keep talking. Talk about anything and everything. Solve your differences and disagreements by talking to solve the issue, not to win the argument. It does not matter who is correct; it matters what is suitable for the relationship. If you are not talking much, then something is wrong, so fix it.
Ok, so that was it. Sounds like a lot of work? Actually, it is, but if you love her, she is worth all the effort. So make sure you invest all this with the right lady, with your soul mate. Of course, keep in mind that it’s a two-way road, so it’s not like she has nothing to do or no effort to put in; she has to do the same from her side, too; in most cases, though she is doing it already, that is a whole different topic for a completely different article. Some might say this is all lovely but not practical in our culture or way of life; try at least some, and see how it goes. You will be amazed at the outcome. Some might say, but I don’t have the time; I know we all have 24 hours a day and are busy with lots of priorities, but it’s just a matter of managing your time and priorities. Case in point, Prophet Mohammed PBUH is known in our culture as a role model husband, yet he was simultaneously leading a nation, the armies and the building of a new civilization.
So how is all this linked to the title “How to Win Her Heart”? You will be amazed at the outcome, and trust me, as she will make your life heaven, and you will be the happiest man alive. If you don’t believe me try it yourself. Personally, based on all of the above, and if I love a woman so profoundly and if I see her as my soul mate, and the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with & grow old with, then I would:
- Make her feel and know I love her always, with or without reason.
- Tell her I love her every day, and I would mean it.
- Know her favorite things (i.e., flowers, color, food dishes, music & artists, etc.), and I would get her those things randomly when she least expects them.
- Know all the details of her clothes sizes (dress, shoes, shirts, jeans, ring, lingerie, etc.), so I can buy her gifts without having to ask for the size & ruin the element of surprise.
- Make sure to celebrate our special days (i.e., birthdays, anniversaries, valentines, etc.) so that I have more reasons to celebrate having her in my life and show her how much I love and appreciate her. As long as you celebrate having her in your life, that is the point.
But that is just me; you can use some of the above or create your list based on what you know about her. One last word, remember all the effort & energy you used to have at the beginning of the relationship or during your engagement period? And how you used to want to show her that you love her all the time? And how fun was that? Just imagine that all your life with her is an engagement period, and keep having fun. P.S. ladies, you are not off the hook, as it takes two to tango, so my next post might be addressed to you.
(1) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Marriages – Stephen Covey
(2) Men are from Mars & Women are from Venus – John Gray
(3) Rule of Life – Richard Templar
(4) The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman