See if this pulls up a familiar image in your mind: a dutiful husband is pulling “purse duty” just outside the changing rooms as his wife tries on new clothes at the mall when, suddenly, his wife emerges and proclaims that nothing “looks right.”
And how many guys have been dressed, sitting on the couch ready to go, while their woman is in the bathroom working on her tenth hair style?
Now, I know what you might be thinking: guys are just lucky they don’t have to be so high-maintenance! Of course, we don’t change our hairstyle a hundred times or worry about that extra ten pounds just for vanity’s sake. After interviews and surveys with thousands of women for our book For Men Only, Jeff and I learned that we can show the guys out there that many of these puzzling or even exasperating behaviors are just signals of a deep need that women have for their man to find them beautiful. We are trying to feel beautiful — and are trying to catch – and keep – the attention of our man.
Jeff and I have a teen daughter, and when she was a little girl, she would often twirl around in her costume dress, asking Jeff if he thought she was pretty. It obviously meant so much to her when he told her that she was beautiful – inside and out. Well, our research for the book showed us that that little girl still exists inside every woman, and she is still asking the most important man in her life, “Am I beautiful?”
In fact, 90 percent of the women we surveyed said that hearing their man say they were beautiful made their day, and a very large percentage of women said they actually need to hear it.
That research showed Jeff just how much hearing those words meant not only to our daughter, but to me, too. He confessed to me that he felt he was guilty of saying them all too infrequently, but it was honestly because he didn’t realize I needed to hear them. He thought I already knew how he felt! Our research served as a wake-up call for Jeff to learn that no matter how successful women are, or how confident they look on the outside, on the inside they long to hear that they still wow their man.
Since we live in a culture that tells women they have to have the body of Angelina Jolie in order to be beautiful, many of us as women doubt that our man could really enjoy our individuality if we don’t look like a supermodel. In our eyes, our little flaws look like enormous imperfections that he couldn’t possibly love. So getting that affirmation from our man is even more important.
The good news is that it only takes a moment to let your wife know she still makes you catch your breath. So, guys, the next time your wife looks radiant…say so!
And for goodness sake, the next time she is taking forever to get ready in the bathroom, don’t get annoyed! Feel honored that she wants to look her best for you, and thank her.