, “Nowadays, you really can’t expect the woman to play second fiddle to her man. She is bound to have her own views and her own thinking. My man should be open- minded enough to respect me for what I am.”

Affirms software professional Renee Mansata, “I have always been very ambitious. Hence, I really found it very bizarre to be just consumed with household activities after my marriage. I wanted to be mentally stimulated and be on my own. Thankfully, my husband has been open minded enough to look beyond the stereotypes and accept that even a woman can have ambition. He helps me manage the house and kids so that I can pursue my career. The fact that he respects my thinking and is willing to put in an extra effort for me, has brought me more closer to him.” Respect backed by love builds trust, trust builds a strong relationship that can with stand the tests of life and time.

Listening ear: Women want men to listen to them and not necessarily give advice. Many women love to complain about their problems; however, they complain not to receive advice, but merely to sound off. Varsha Malhotra, marketing executive, makes a point when she says, “I find it very de-stressing to talk about each and every incident of the day with my husband. I really appreciate the way he listens to all my cribbing very patiently. That way the thing which burdens my mind, lose their importance and I can move on with life rather than sulking on them.”

A woman will go to the end of the earth to love a man when he truly listens to her and acknowledges her needs. He needs to understand that women need to vent their grievances. Allow her this, and she’ll allow him in her life. He should get involved and provide active listening feedback, be truly interested in what she is saying without worrying about what he’s going to say next. Then watch what happens as his woman opens up to him more.

Women want men to listen to them because they have a need to be heard. And women want their man to express his feelings and trust her with his intimate side. Real listening, with real intimacy, is rare. Real listening is suspending thinking about what to say and being deeply engaged in what she is talking about. Listening requires actively paying attention – shutting off the chattering mind.

Sense of security: “Recently, I had to go in for a surgery,” confides homemaker Aditi Kashyap. “That day and the coming few days, my husband was with me all the time. He took the days off from work and gave me full support, both physically as well as emotionally. I felt so secure! I knew that he would be there for me always, even when I grow old and flabby.” Like her every woman has an innate desire to feel secure with her partner, to know that he will be there in times of needs.

The fact is women need to be loved, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well. When she knows that she can trust her man to be her true friend that she can share all her good times and problems, whatever they be, with him, only then is she truly satiated. For her, consistent, committed positive action is a definition of love.

Sensitive, yet macho: “I want my man to be sensitive to my needs, but he should know how to strike a balance. I wouldn’t want him to be a sissy. He should be able to make it on his own,” asserts interior designer Manasi Joshi. Women love men who exude confidence. A man should show that he cares while at the same time, being strong and decisive. Women love men with a plan. They love men who have ambition; men who know who they are and what they are doing with life. A man who just falls over and wraps himself around his woman’s feet, can’t earn her respect at the end. Udita Chandra, a BPO employee, shares her experience. “Whenever I used to ask my boyfriend about where we were going on our day out, he used to answer, ‘Wherever you want to.’ Initially I liked it, but when it seemed to be his consistent pattern, I started getting irritated. It made me feel that he was incapable of thinking things through for himself.”

Creative: Women like men who are creative. Roses are nice, but then everyone gives them, so wouldn’t it be extra-special to think and do something which she would like? “My husband prepared a special dinner for me on my birthday, of course with the help of a recipe book. I will never forget the effort my domestically untrained husband put in to make me happy. He just made my day!” gushes school teacher Aroona Yadav.

Ultimately the female gaze is now more intense and profound than ever before. Women are looking out for more meaningful relationships and they feel men need to share in the responsibility of building a good relationship. Helping makes each day fun, living on purpose with aspirations, sharing the good times, and taking on the crazy challenges life can present, is what makes relationships worthwhile.

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