Seeing the best in life's challenges

What I Really, Really Want

on April 21, 2012

I read a great article today that prompted me to put this post together.  It’s a combination of several things I’ve been thinking about anyway.  The subject is: what do we really want out of a relationship, anyway?  What do men really want?  What do women really want?

To get what I’m talking about, you probably want to read the article by Ken Solin first.

Here’s how I frame this issue.  As I’ve written about before, both women and men have yin and yang characteristics.  I like how Lee Carroll refers to these two traits as “mother energy” and “father energy.”  Mother energy is nurturing, compassionate, gentle, forgiving.  Father energy is disciplined, secure, strong, physical.  Each of us, regardless of gender, has our own combination, or balance, of yin and yang, of mother energy and father energy.  So really, it’s a little hard to characterize what all women, or all men, want.

In his book Happiness is a Serious Problem, Dennis Prager talks about women and men both having insatiable desires.  He says women have an insatiable need for emotional intimacy, and men have an insatiable need for physical intimacy.  Prager makes a really good point, but I think it’s a little more complicated than that.  For purposes of this discussion, I‘m going to suggest that yin, or mother energy, craves emotional intimacy, and yang, or father energy, craves physical intimacy.

We all know that women also want physical intimacy, and men also want to feel close emotionally.  But a man who is very yang will be more focused on the physical, just like a woman who is mostly yin will focus on feelings.  In the past, when both women and men were less balanced, more polarized, the old generalizations were more accurate.

(Now, let me get a little Bible reference in here.  I find this really interesting.  I’m talking about Ephesians 5, where Paul tells wives to submit to their husbands.  In the notes in my NIV Bible, it says that submit means “to yield one’s own rights.”  The scripture talks about the body – something that is physical.  Then, the husband is told to love his wife – all about feelings.  Is it just me, or did Paul just allude to this same relationship dance of physical and emotional intimacy, in a way that was appropriate for the times??  Back when men were men, and women were women?)

IF, as I have written about before, we are all coming into greater balance within ourselves in terms of yin and yang, feminine and masculine traits, then it is no longer that simple.  Today, it makes sense that men and women will be looking for both physical and emotional intimacy. So in order to understand what a specific individual wants, one must understand that person’s unique balance of traits.  You have to get to know and understand the other person.

Ken Solin refers to the “empowered” women of today.  As women have become more “equal” what they have really become is more balanced.  Their inner yang/masculine energy has become more prominent, so no wonder we have seen women more inclined toward physical pursuits in terms of relating to men.  By the same token, we have seen men become more balanced as well, more interested in emotional intimacy, and Solin specifically talks about how this can be confusing.  I dare say that physical interaction involves skills that are easier to pick up, compared to the slippery slope of learning how to deal with sharing feelings.  No wonder this is really tough on many guys.

Solin very wisely talks about the difference between just being emotional, and being emotionally honest.  We’re really talking about communicating what you are feeling, which means being honest with yourself and understanding your own feelings first.  In order to have true emotional intimacy, each side must strive to be emotionally honest, AND each side must commit to listen without judgment or defensiveness.  Open communication must occur.

This is no different than physical intimacy, but does anybody ever talk about this?  We give each other feedback about what we like and don’t like, this feels good, that feels better, can you try this, etc.  A good physical relationship involves give and take, responding to feedback, and trying new things.  A physical relationship isn’t so good when one side goes along with something that doesn’t work for them.  A selfish physical partner probably won’t experience physical intimacy with the same partner for very long.

So all the same goes for working on emotional intimacy.  Solin gives very good advice.  I like what he says:

“No one wins when the truth gets beaten up.”




(Maybe the guy’s lock should be his heart, and the woman should have the key on a chain around her neck??  Still this picture made me smile!)



2 responses to “What I Really, Really Want

  1. Clarkral says:

    Great Article. Well stated. Sharing.

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