Forget grand romantic gestures, this is what women really want from men

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For this week’s blog, I started writing an article about how men can be more romantic.

It’s something men ask me about A LOT in therapy. I know that men really want to find ways of pleasing their lovers and creating deeper connections. Sometimes, they just struggle to know how.

There are many suggestions I have for being more romantic.

For example:

  • Buying flowers for no reason
  • Organising a surprise weekend away
  • Running a bath with candles or rose petals, and then giving her a slow, sensual, whole-body massage (with no strings attached)

But there’s something I’ve found women want more than those kind of romantic gestures.

It’s something that touches us deeper, makes us fall wildly in love and helps us open our hearts fully.

I constantly hear women asking for this. One of the most beautiful and rewarding moments in therapy for me, is seeing people burst into tears of joy when they get this from their lover.

What we really want is your vulnerability.

Being vulnerable doesn’t mean constantly crying as many of my male clients fear. It doesn’t mean that we don’t still want you to fix things for us, open the car door for us (one of my personal favourites) or be a source of strength for us.

Vulnerability is simply being honest about your emotions and allowing us to see all of you. It’s having the courage to voice the fear underneath the anger, the unworthiness we all feel at some point, or the hurt that is there under briskness.

Vulnerability requires an openness and honesty that is deeply intimate and transformative for relationships.

Being vulnerable takes a certain level of self awareness that we can’t help but find attractive. It requires you to look at yourself, know yourself, and be willing to sit in whatever emotion is arising for you. It’s only with vulnerability that we can be truly honest and truly seen.

It’s vulnerability that allows the love that is already there to show itself fully and deeply. Vulnerability is what allows us to connect.

When there is a lack of vulnerability, it can feel to us like a wall, a hardness that feels cold, or sometimes arrogance. That doesn’t feel good to us.

Ultimately, we want to be close and connected to you and we can only do that when you are willing to let that wall down; when you show us your softness and let us in.

When you’re vulnerable, we actually feel safe.

We know that we can put down our own defences too. Because when you’re sensitive to your own emotions, we know we can trust you to be sensitive with ours.

It shows us that you’re human and we can be in equal, loving relationship with you.

Your vulnerability opens our hearts.

Vulnerability isn’t a weakness. We know men have been taught their whole life that it is, but actually it requires a strength that we deeply admire, respect and love. Vulnerability takes courage – incredible courage, over and over again.

Seeing you put down your defences, and speak from a place deep within is romantic and intimate in a way that gestures never can be. That’s what will sustain our relationship in the long term.

We want to love you; truly we do.

Allow yourself to be seen.

Let us in. Let us see you so we can love you.

It’s not just you of course.

We all benefit from learning to be vulnerable.

By acknowledging our emotions, and the parts of us we feel shame around, we bring them into the light and we open to the possibility of deep and loving connection with another human being.




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