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Of Men and Women

Recently I have proudly (insert now sheepishly) declared that I think men are pretty simple to care for. That I have it all figured out….. my analysis is that they have these basic needs:

  1. Respect
  2. Safety to be vulnerable- to get off his white horse and be loved and accepted in that
  3. Good sex
  4. Good food
  5. Time together having fun without the kids
  6. Meaningful conversation

Says the single woman.

I’ve shared my theory with several men and most nod and agree and I’ve even gotten a few “that’s so true” replies. So perhaps I’m close.

But in a conversation with a date recently, I was challenged to give a similarly easy analysis of what women’s needs boiled down to. He brought up safety and protection, but I unfortunately launched in to a much more complicated explanation. I’m really glad he asked the question….I have done so much thinking on it. What an insightful and aware man he is to even ask and want to know.

I realize I have a sometimes unhealthy view of women, including myself. Sometimes I am in awe of how strong and resilient women are, admire the mystery of myself and other women, but often I laughingly say we must be a pain in the ass to figure out in that mystery. The day to day complexities of hormones, emotions and the thoughts and conversation that wind and interweave like an intricate spiderweb,  (that is sometimes in a hurricane). I have to admit that underneath that laughter there is a bit of a disdain for those aspects in me…. what so often feels like a spin of a thousand tops that must be impossibly difficult to navigate and figure out, let alone delight in.

So in all of this, I look inward once again, as well as to God for the answers. And here are a few thoughts before I give my list. First, I am reminded yet again that the secret space we all (men and women) crave to have filled must be given to God; that the longing of our hearts will always be short of fully met if God’s heart and love isn’t first in there for us. He should set the stage for love; He is perfect love and can only meet us where we truly want to be. I do believe there has to be a connection between two people that is strong, undeniable and almost unexplainable. But there has to be more than that to last. When there is that connection present, and both partners are looking to God to meet those secret places and then making their offering of love (albeit imperfectly) in an attempt to reflect Christ’s love to each other, it’s then I think we are on the right track.

This is my list pertaining to women’s needs; I’ve given a brief explanation of each that I didn’t do for the men’s list, because, well….. refer to the part about the complexities of women. And actually I’m writing this mostly based on my needs and self-analysis, but after so many conversations with other women, I think it is somewhat across the board.  By all means we could dive in to both lists and discuss each one and ways to fulfill them for days, but this is just an introductory post. I’d welcome and love dialog to help me (and you) grow in understanding.

  1. Safety and protection- to be able to be vulnerable on every level and to feel safe in that, and know there is a much needed strength backing me up
  2. To feel delighted in and pursued
  3. Time playing and laughing together
  4. Spiritual commitment and pursuit of growth in life
  5. Communication- to feel heard and have him share his needs, wants and desires
  6. Shared life goals

As I’ve written, I realize more and more that it all boils down to the same simple thing. We are created by God for a good purpose. We as men and women are wired in our own beautiful ways for a reason, and we want to be known and met in that…. The way each individual wants and needs to be met will look different; and that’s what I think the beauty and lure of relationship is. To have a love that is mutually committed to reflecting the way God already pursues and loves us, yet walking it out here on earth. To know that we are seen, accepted and loved for our good and despite our flaws, just as He loves us endlessly.





About Erika Barrett

Endlessly curious and a strange mix of too simple and way too complicated, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers, celebrate resourcefulness and finding simplicity in life. I am a certifying LifeCoach, specializing in helping others find a way forward towards crafting a life of joyful purpose. I'm also Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be outside, adventuring and exploring, laughing, playing in the water and hugging those around me. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is too short to be so serious, yet there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

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