What Do Women Want in a Relationship?

What women really want

Mel Gibson, to modern pop culture knowledge (okay, so 90’s isn’t SO modern, but hey, it’s my article, so I say it’s modern) coined the phrase, What Women Want, and now I am going to de-bunk some of the myths perpetuated in this movie, as well as in the minds of many men across the globe.

What is it, exactly, that women want from a relationship?

Mel had a few insights that are helpful during the information gathering stage of a relationship, so let’s start there. When a woman is first contemplating a relationship with a certain man, one of the first things she is looking for is laughter and a positive attitude. No woman wants to be around a “negative Ned” and so men need to be keenly aware of how they speak about other people, their day, and life in general.

Always keep her smiling at the very least, even better is keep her in stitches laughing. I believe Mel was trying to be woman’s best friend, which of course, any real, self-actualized woman will tell you, isn’t really what she wants in her mate. Don’t get me wrong, women do want a mate who is a very good friend-one they can share hopes, dreams, desires, failures, and fantasies with-but not necessarily one that they will share every thought feeling or emotion with, if that makes sense. We tend to save that type of candor for our best gal pals. Women want their mate to be someone they can confide in; be open, honest, without fear of being judged, and also someone that is open to new thoughts, ideas, and experiences (and I am not just talking about in the bedroom).

Women want a real man-someone who can love and even admire the strength of a 21st century business owning, board meeting attending, still get the kids to the orthodontist on time, woman of today, AND can rip her open in mere moments to reveal the impish little girl waiting patiently to emerge and play! We want a man who will be strong, be honest without being hurtful, be loyal-even if they do not agree with what we are saying, they still support us.

My own personal experience

When I was thrust back into the dating pool after almost 12 years, I found myself completely drowning in a sea of wanna be yes-men, too weak for my own good (never mind their own) and unable or unwilling to be truly honest with themselves and definitely not with a potential mate. I will give you a scenario….I was on one of the popular online dating sites, checking out who was in my geographic area, around my age, and looking for the same thing-potential for a relationship, not just FWB. So I am chatting with a few viable candidates, and within a few sentences or at most a few conversations, they disappear. I immediately go into research mode and I have to figure out what it is that is causing these supposed potential mates to go from hot to not in under 6 seconds, and the unrelenting fact was, they SAID they wanted a relationship, but what they really wanted was to hide behind a computer screen, be perfect in someone’s eyes, and never let that veil be pierced by reality.

It was really hard for me to see this in my own interactions, but when I started talking with women, it became abundantly clear. Now, that is NOT to say that EVERY man who says they want a relationship is this type, but it does speak volumes as to why so many men (and to be fair, women, too) are on these dating sites for years without ever really having a true relationship.


I think all women want a man that is confident without being arrogant, honest without being hurtful, strong (not just able to pick up a couch and move it, but truly emotionally strong), has good values and morals, will break them open and bring out their inner child, and above all else, will make her laugh every moment of every day, and always reminding her how valued she is.

Terra Bruns is a relationship expert specializing in romantic relationships and assisting couples with the dynamics that make for an amazing marriage. She is a Strategic Interventionist which means she helps people fix things in a very short amount of time.

More by Terra Bruns