While I am only speaking for myself and not all men, I have a feeling that at least some—if not most—of this will be pretty universal.
A woman who cares about me enough to pay attention in the way I outline below is where I want to be. I’m just another human being wanting to know that I am safe, that I am appreciated and loved for who I am, that I am welcome and wanted on this planet to share my gifts and give my own love.
1. Get to know me.
One of the most beautiful gifts I have discovered that I am able to give another is my full presence. To listen and observe and show them that I see them, really see them and appreciate who they are and what they bring forward. To give this kind of attention to a woman can be like watching a flower blossom in real time.
There is no experience I have ever had that is quite like being truly seen and heard in the moment. I want to give that and I want to receive it. If you wish to be memorable to me, if you want to inspire my unending devotion, then get to know me—see me, hear me and let me know you see me.
I am certain you would be surprised by the levels of depth and tenderness that we men can contain within us and sometimes hide from the world because we aren’t yet sure how it will be received.
2. Enjoy the way I move.
As a man one of the biggest sources of joy for me is in using my body to get stuff done somehow. Whether it’s chopping wood, carrying stuff around, playing sports, martial arts, rock climbing, running through the forest or some other activity, I feel the most alive when my body is being used.
Move with me, watch me and enjoy me. Let me know you like it. Tell me I’m sexy when I move and you will stir my passions into a frenzy. As a woman I know you are probably pretty used to people admiring and complementing you for your physicality. As a man I am a lot less used to it and it can really mean a lot to me.
3. Tell me how I impact you.
If you have butterflies in your stomach when you are with me, if your heart beats a little faster when I say or do something, if kissing me turns you on—then tell me. Tell me how you feel when you are with me and I will feel closer to you, so much closer. I want to know that I mean something and that me being in the world changes your experience of it.
I can remember every single time a woman has shared this with me, it means that much.
4. Follow me into my cave.
There are going to be times when the world overwhelms me, when I feel incapable, when something hurts and my natural instinct is to withdraw and be alone.
I’m told as a man that I have to do it on my own, that I have to be strong and confident and never show my weaknesses. So in times of difficulty I will retreat, and if you really care about me then don’t leave me alone. Come and see me, call me, check in on me and ask if I am okay.
Don’t be surprised if I don’t want to talk. Don’t think that means I want you to go away though. Just be there for me. Maybe all I need is to be held and to know that you wont leave me if I can’t do it all. We all need to be held sometimes. And if you stay with me, if you show me that it’s okay for me to be vulnerable I might open up and tell you.
This is not going to be an easy thing to do, so please be patient. You will probably be rewarded with my undying loyalty. We men never forget those who are there for us in times of difficulty.
5. Talk about “stuff” with me sometimes.
As men and women we perceive the world differently, and that difference is a beautiful thing.
Your world is more feeling based, subtle and dynamic, prone to rapid changes in a way that boggles me at times. I’m doing my best to follow you, learn about you and enjoy the unique way you are.
And sometimes I want to talk about “stuff” with you. Depending on who I am is going to determine what that stuff is—it may be extreme sports, martial arts or the latest spiritual philosophy I have been studying, yet I want to talk about the details of it.
Indulge me! Ask questions and maybe even debate about it with me. I will probably get really excited in a way that might be confusing to you. This is a part of me as a man and I want to share it with you as much as I do everything else. Even better is to tell me you enjoy it when I talk about this stuff.
(Although be careful: saying this will be a signal for me to do more of it!)