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The ONE Thing Women REALLY Want

The ONE Thing Women REALLY Want

What do women want?

This is question men have been asking themselves for centuries and they still haven’t found the answer. In fact these days it seems men and women have become more separated than ever. Misunderstandings, media reports and television series are making it difficult for men to know how they should behave and if they are doing things right.

Women, on the other hand, now have been given unreasonably high expectations and often find themselves disappointed when they aren’t met. This causes hurt all around, while things could be so easy. When I asked my friends what they looked for in men and what they did not want the answers were simple.

Want: Respectful behaviour, sense of humour.

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Don’t want: Shallowness, sexism.

And one, very, very important thing. Really, if you just remember the following rule, everything else will fall into place by itself. The way to a woman’s heart is not just seeing her, but hearing her.

Talking is key!

Yes, sex is great but what about companionship, friendship, talking? For a relationship to last beyond lust you don’t just need love, but also the will to find common ground beyond the attraction. Taking an interest, giving a little compliment. The feeling of being important to someone who respects and values you often counts more than any gift could ever do. Spend a few nights in talking to each other or watching tv together, really get to know the person you want to be with.

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1. Make her feel wanted.

Nothing says “I care” more than a gesture that shows how much you love her. Something that shows you’d do anything for her now and forever. Not a possessive macho “now you’re mine” thing, but a romantic gallant seductive move. What the gesture should be is up to the woman in question and you’d have to find that out yourself. Yes, you really have to do topic one first.

2. Don’t make assumptions.

Just because you’re dating a woman doesn’t mean you can just assume certain things. You can’t just buy a handbag or a pink vase. Every person has like and dislikes. Maybe she preferred a DVD of her favourite show, tickets to the theatre or even a subscription to Netflix. Know what she wants and your gifts will be treasured – and you’ll be too.

3. Give time.

The best gift is time. If you are in a very busy job relationship time is often the first thing that becomes affected. This causes lots of problems and often leads to the partner feeling abandoned. For some reason these issues always fester and ends in divorce or a break up.

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Don’t let your relationship die like that.If you feel that you seeing your boss more than you see your wife, take an evening of to have dinner with her and ask her if you’re away too much. If she says “yes”, explain what you are doing and why you have to see less of her for the time being. Then set aside two moments during the day where you could possible call or Skype for a catch up.

Setting aside two moments is key: Two chances for you two to speak, for if something comes up first time round. You can also sent each other flirty texts every once in a while to keep things interesting.

4. Honesty.

If you are feeling down, depressed, ill or generally unhappy, if something bad happened tell her. Hiding problems only brings trouble. If there is something on your mind, bring it up at the earliest moment. Don’t wait for the “right” moment, don’t think things will go away by itself. A partnership is about give and take, caring and sharing. She would like to help you, but she can’t when she is unaware that you are hurting.

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Does this approach work? Oh yes, it does. Here is what one of my friends has to say about the open and attentive man she met:

“I fell in love with my husband’s loving, sensitive nature but also the fact we have a very similar sense of humour. We’re both massive geeks so I can feel completely at ease with him in all aspects of my life. Perfecto!”

Isn’t that what we all want?

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Dannii Cohen

PsyD in Psychology, professional counsellor, life coach and self-help expert

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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