What Women Really Want

You just can’t escape it.

Whether you’re doing it or not, you will be bombarded with Valentine’s Day messages, greetings and “what you are doing to celebrate this occasion with your dearly beloved?”

And yes, it is happening tomorrow. And yes, despite protests from PAS about why celebrating this is bad for the people of the Muslim faith and etc., young people will still celebrate it so stop being so naggy will you? If they haven’t realized it yet, the more older people try to “advise” (seen as “nagging”), the more young people WILL NOT follow. After all, weren’t we all young and rebellious once? (The funniest piece I heard was if you must go on a romantic date, have a chaperon! Oh dear god. If a date has a chaperon, it’s not a date. It’s a Jom Heboh Carnival event complete with free balloons!)

Anyway, it’s one thing to look forward to when I was a young thing but it’s totally different thing when I’ve been married for 10 years.

A number of my gal pals who are married don’t think much about celebrating St Valentine’s – I mean, with the kids and all, it’ll be a logistical nightmare just trying to get the kids to the mom-in-law’s and getting a reservation at a romantic restaurant. Plus in Penang, parking can be just as frustrating!

As with most festivities in Malaysia, we love celebrating with food. Be it a CNY reunion dinner or Valentine’s or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, it’s really a fleece party when you decide to join the masses.

It isn’t really romantic when you’re jostling for romance in a restaurant that consists of 30 other couples right?

And men (read husbands, fiance, boyfriends, soon-to-be boyfriends) often get worried that if they don’t do something special for their women, they will not hear the end of it.

So pity them fellas. If they have understanding partners, it’s fine but yes, there are some women who clearly love to be feted and romanced on 14 February. Perhaps they have a reason for this.

But here’s what I think women really want – we want Attention from our mates/spouses/boyfriends more than the bling-bling, the roses, the gifts, the perfume, the gadgets.

We want men to listen to us when we speak. Not the puppy-eyes sort of listening but deep listening.

We want men to know when a woman needs help or a hug and offer what’s appropriate.

We want men to give a hand when the household chores are overwhelming and we just don’t want to spend our Saturdays and Sundays just cleaning or mopping or ironing.

We want men to still hold our hands when we go for a quiet walk or hold our hands when we’re watching a movie in the cinema.

We want men to tell us if our cooking’s good because that represents gratitude and attention and that will make any cook happy.

We want men to surprise us with a kind and gentle word when we’re discouraged and need it most.

Of course it won’t be fair to expect these of our men if we women do not do the same for our men. Most good husbands and boyfriends are humans too – they are sensitive just like us. They deserve praise when they do a good job and they need a hug or even a little time out when they are down. (I found that knowing your spouse’s love language does a great job of fulfilling their needs. If you want to know more, take the love language assessment. While you’re there, you can also assess yourself and what your love language is. I found it quite helpful knowing myself at a deeper level. Actually you can read more about your own love language – there are five – and find out which ones are the ones you identify strongly with.)

Unlike us with our sisterhood (women are mostly relational and we often have a great support system of good gal pals to talk to), men may find it hard to open up to another man. Men may bottle emotions up inside and even have a hard time describing what it is they feel.

So guys, stop thinking in terms of material gifts if you’re really out of ideas. (I said out of ideas, I don’t mean cheap or stingy.)

The best gift you can give to the woman in your life is the gift of Attention because every woman, whether she is 19 or 90, would love feeling special and loved.

Dress up the Attention and shower her with this every day of the year.

That would really make a great Valentine’s.

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