vintageThis was just delightful from Sir Guy over at What Women Never Hear, “Providing a woman with emotional security makes a man a keeper. Supporting, confirming, and promoting his significance makes her a keeper.”

That’s it in a perfect nutshell. In our crazy, upside down world that denies gender differences, that is heavily influenced by feminism, those can be the two of the most difficult things to explain.  I try to speak of women’s need for emotional security all the time, recently in my “Safety,safety,safety” post.

Often if you talk to men or read their blogs about what women want you will hear something like “power, wealth, status, sexual prowess, and six-pack abs.” Speak to them about emotional security, safety, emotional cover, protection, and they’re kind of like, “Huh? what’s all that?” It’s just not a very male way of perceiving the world. They tend to not speak quite the same language and emotional security is seldom on their radar. I call it “safety.” Sir Guy called it “emotional security.” Same idea.

Conversely, many women don’t realize that what men often fear the most is their own insignificance. Sometimes men can appear very confident, self-assured on the outside, so I think it can throw us off. I was actually quite surprised when I discovered that many men often worry about what their role in a relationship is, that they need to know they matter, they are important, irreplaceable even. Needed. Valued. Depended on.

Sex does a lot of things in marriage, builds intimacy, trust, loyalty, but again another important aspect to it is that it helps to affirm men’s significance in the relationship. That can be hard for some women to understand.. While sexuality is important for everyone, women tend to get our sense of validation and significance from….. emotional security, once again. Men are more likely to seek relationship, connection, significance, with sex.

Both of these ideas make perfect sense in a biological context. Women build nests and have babies, we seek safety, protection, and provision. Our significance is pretty much already established by virtue of being female. What we need more than significance is emotional safety, nurturing so we can get the job done, reminders that we are emotionally protected and cared for.

Men however, tend to provide the protection, provision, and security that women need in order to have children, and they often risk their lives in the process. They go war, keep predators at bay, and fight off bad guys. Their very lives are often on the line, so to be significant is important. No one wants their life to have been in vain, their death to not matter. When it comes to children too, there is a huge inequality there. Until paternity tests, men did not know if their genes had been passed on, if the children she had were actually his. A need for significance cuts deep.

These are of course, rigid gender stereotypes, stemming mostly from biology. I’m sure there are many variations and individual quirks. I’m sure that women have felt insignificant before, rendered invisible, and I’m sure there are probably men who have needed emotional safety.

Just the same, it’s an excellent recipe. “Providing a woman with emotional security makes a man a keeper. Supporting, confirming, and promoting his significance makes her a keeper.”

sleeping beauty