Ah, the eternal question: What do women really want? (Hint: It's not a vacuum cleaner or thigh master.) Here are twelve things we actually do care about. Feel free to take notes!
1. Henry Kissinger had it wrong -- power can be sexy, but the greatest aphrodisiac is attentiveness.
2. Women notice the way men treat their mothers. Is there a basic respect in the way you relate to her, or do you trivialize her existence and point of view? We automatically feel a certain sympathy for this woman who has loved you through thick and thin, especially since if we wind up together, we too may have to change your diapers someday.
3. "Cute" is for babies and bunnies. Tell us we are beautiful like you mean it -- and good things will follow.
4. We're constantly listening to our friends and our own internal dialogue on the tiresome subjects of calories, dieting and self-improvement. We love that you seem to recognize curves are curves, not fat.
5. "Would you like to have dinner Saturday?" is sexier than, "We should hang out some time." Ask us out on a proper date and show us you are capable of commitment -- if only to a meal.
6. Regardless of how we scream in protest, we enjoy it when you lift us up in your arms, or over your shoulder, and carry us off to bed. Assuming we know and really like you, that is. (Note: if you try this at home, be sure you can handle our weight. Hernias aren't sexy.)
7. Hell hath no fury like a woman compared unfavorably to another. The correct answer is, "Oh, I find you much prettier than Angelina Jolie."
8. We all want to have a wonderful story for our kids someday about how mommy and daddy met ('online' just doesn't have the romance of 'in a coffee shop on Lexington Avenue one rainy afternoon'). Confidence is a quality we admire. So go ahead and approach us at the bakery, the bowling alley, or the bookstore. As long as you recognize the difference between a 'yes' and a 'no,' we won't fault you for trying.
9. On some level, your woman believes that you are her prince, she is your princess, and there are no other significant characters in this beautiful love story. So quit staring at the waitress in the leather miniskirt.
10. Some of us don't like the idea of huge weddings, either.
11. Cry if you need to. We realize that Superman only exists in movies and comics. And even he cried in that scene where he turned back time to save Lois Lane.
12. Guys from Freud to Woody Allen have asked what we want. Granted, we can be complicated. Many of us really love our freedom. But sometimes nothing beats the feeling of your arms around us. (And we sure don't want to hang those shelves by ourselves.)