What do women want? Blokes, there’s only one thing you need to know.

When we rant (seemingly) irrationally, when we do something that makes you say, “I damned if I do, I’m damned if I don’t”, or when we arch our eyebrow when your response to a confrontation is, “You’re just being complicated” …we are actually being blindingly simple.

I gave a friend some advice on the weekend. His wife had just texted a message that he found cryptic and therefore anger-inducing. He asked me to decipher.

 “Forget trying to understand the exact logic from those words,” I said. “She’s jumped the conversation ahead 15 steps already. 

“All you need to know is that she is feeling you don’t give enough of a shit.”

I’ve gone around in circles on this point with a ridiculous number of friends – both male and female – over the past few months. I’ve gone around in figure eights myself. And I’ve simmered everything down to this potent, highly reductive point:

Women need men to give a shit.

Mostly about the relationship. And to show as such. 

All else is secondary. All else is fixable from there.

I read an article a while back by Matthew Fray who pointed out that men have put humans on the moon, run 3-minute miles, fought wars. Surely, just putting the dishes in the dishwasher, and not leaving them on the sink, is not too much of a stretch. Surely, acknowledging a woman is simply asking you to demonstrably lift your game is not too hard?

I think this is even more critical the older we get. We don’t have time to waste. It’s like show up, fire up, give a shit…or go home. Let’s do this crazy thing…or not at all. 

I think women, post-40, often really want this one simple thing. As I say, I’ve gone to the essentialising edge with this one. But then gender discussions will do that.
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