What do women need in a relationship? If you clicked on this article, this is likely a question that’s circled your mind once or twice before. As our society has progressed from traditional gender norms, the things that women look for in their relationships have changed too.
Of course, all women are different. Most of us have varying ideas of what qualities we want in a long-term partner. But, we all want to avoid being in a relationship where our feelings for each other are constantly changing. That’s why it’s important to always talk to your partner about their expectations and needs.
That being said, there are certain things that women look for in a relationship. Below, we’ve put together a list of what women need in a relationship to help you get started!
What Women Need in a Relationship: 9 Things We Commonly Look For
1. Curiosity and good communication
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: communication is everything. Even good relationships experience disagreements and disputes, but the way you communicate can make or break a coupling.
A big part of communication is curiosity. A woman needs someone who cares about her thoughts, values, passions, desires, and needs. Ask her thoughtful questions that teach you more about how to treat her right. This will not only help you to know what she looks for in a relationship but it’ll also tell you more about who she is as a person.
2. The ability to put both of these skills into practice
While communication and listening skills are key, the next step is putting both of these into practice. When you listen to your partner, you’ll know what kind of food to pick up for them or how to calm them down when they’re stressed out.
When you communicate with your partner, you’ll realize what behavior upsets them and how to act differently in the future. Women tend to be better communicators than men when it comes to reading the room, listening, and feeling empathy, so their male partners might have some catching up to do.
3. Respect — for her and other women
What are women’s needs in a relationship? We can’t answer this fully without talking about respect. Whether a woman subscribes to traditional gender roles or not, you can be sure that she demands respect from her partner. Remember, she wants to be treated as an equal, not as a piece of property that needs “protected” from the big bad world. Often, what women need in a relationship is a partner who knows she’s completely capable of taking care of herself and making her own decisions.
This also translates to respect for the other women in your life. While not all women want a partner who’s super close with his exes, it’s also a pretty big dating red flag if he claims all his exes are “crazy” or talks badly about them. Women generally want to be in a relationship with someone respectful, regardless of any previous disagreements or tensions.
4. Generosity and the ability to be caring
Often, what women need in a relationship is a partner who makes her feel like she’s taken care of. Taking care of the woman in your life doesn’t just mean keeping her safe or buying her dinner. It’s about taking care of the smaller things. Just as she might throw in your clothes with her laundry, you should offer to do the dishes after she makes dinner, for example. It’s not about creating a “tit for tat” situation. It’s about showing generosity and helping each other out with the little things in life.
Another example: Is your girlfriend having a busy week? Offer to pick up groceries for her when you’re doing your weekly shopping. It’s one thing she can cross off her to-do list. Plus, it might mean she’ll be free for more quality time with you!
5. A satisfying and exciting sex life
Yes, women value sex just as much as men. In fact, studies show that women tend to be less satisfied with their monogamous sex lives than men. If you find this is the case, go back to the drawing board. Rediscover how to have good sex and focus on making love to your partner the way you would when you first met. Be slow and deliberate with foreplay and don’t just rush to the finish line. Cherish your partner’s body as if you’re exploring it for the first time. Change things up based on how you’re both feeling.
Even if this isn’t the case, it doesn’t mean that your partner wants the same sexual routine every time. Of course, this topic can be complicated, so when in doubt, talk to your partner about how often they would like to have sex. Sex drive compatibility can make or break some relationships, so you might as well figure out this piece early on.
6. Non-sexual intimacy and affection
That being said, regular non-sexual intimacy has been proven to strengthen relationships. When trying to answer the question of what does a woman look for in a relationship, we need to look beyond sexual intimacy. Often, she wants cuddles, hand-holding, back massages, and all that good stuff. Chances are, you probably do too!
Not only does this non-sexual intimacy feel good, but it also helps a woman to feel desired and connected to their partner. Not to mention, some studies have proven that non-sexual intimacy also leads to more sex. Go figure.
7. Romance sprinkled in
What do women need in a relationship? Well, romance of course! They want to feel the way they did when you first started dating. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to relight that initial spark when you’re both living together and arguing over who took out the trash last time. Relationships do take work, but setting aside time for romance is a key part of that job description.
Women want to feel adored, spoiled, wined, and dined. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but try to make time for date night at least once a week. Plan a romantic evening like you would for a first date. Buy her flowers. Leave her a romantic good morning paragraph before you leave for work in the morning. These little gestures may sound corny — like things taken straight out of a rom-com — but when they come from someone you care about, they can make a woman’s day.
8. Space and understanding
Just as important as date nights and intimacy are, so is space. The healthiest couples have independence from each other. A woman in a relationship still needs her girl-time just like you may need a night out with the boys. She also needs her independence and time for activities or hobbies that she prefers to do alone or with friends.
If you’re not convinced, here’s some food for thought: Couples who spend one or two nights alone per month tend to have twice as much sex as those who don’t. Additionally, experts have found that a great way to reignite sexual passion is to see your partner engage with strangers or excel in a task outside of their relationship. So keep this in mind when thinking about what women need in a relationship and how beneficial a little bit of regular separation can be.
9. To feel loved and cherished
At the end of the day, what women need in a relationship is to feel loved. We can be insecure at times and most of us, unfortunately, regularly hear stories about male partners straying or cheating. All women, regardless of their confidence level, want to know that their partner loves them and can’t get enough of them.
However, how you show that to your partner might depend on how they like to receive love. This is where the different love languages come in. You might think you show love by cuddling your partner every night. But, if her language is acts of service, you might want to show affection by doing the dishes or picking up her dry cleaning.
Focus On the Things That Matter to Her
What women need in a relationship can vary. We’re all different, and that means this list shouldn’t serve as the be-all and end-all. What’s important is that you communicate with your partner. Ask her about the things that are important to her, and work together to build your relationship. It’ll likely take time and effort from both of you, but this is a great way to ensure that your relationship remains happy and long-lasting.