a response to “How to understand women”

In my purposeless state this morning, I came across a post on the wall of a friend on Facebook. It was a reference to an article about an 12 year old boy who felt he had figured out “How to understand women”.


Intrigued, I had a closer look. For a 12 year old, while I was impressed with his willingness to tackle such a potentially difficult and age old subject, I was not so impressed by his penmanship… or his insight for that matter. After the title and question were posed on page one, the entirety of the supporting answer and conclusion were stated on page two. “You can’t!”. Maybe he needs a little healthy guidance.

I personally feel that the person who chose to blog the “perfect wisdom” of this 12 year boy old has missed the point… even if their point is to find humour. Yes… I can see the humour in the statement, but must we always be so sarcastic and cynical? Why not truly ask ourselves and try to understand what is at the heart of the question and even be willing to expand upon it?

First, “how to understand a woman” and then, “how to understand the heart of a woman”

In order to attempt to answer these questions though, they both need to be given one very important consideration and one very important qualification.

First the consideration… the question needs to be considered respectfully.  Why do we feel we need to joke about this? I feel that questions of this nature either emanate from or gravitate toward social stereotypes that needs to die! These are both very worthy and serious questions and need to be considered respectfully!  The second part is the qualification. While respecting both women and the question of understanding them and their hearts, we also need to realize that they’re all so very different. Sure, there are common traits, but those vary because of the woman herself.  Because of her individuality.

I think it is more important to try ask the latter question more than the former one and I also think it’s important not to generalize!

So then, let’s ask the question “how to understand the heart of a woman”? I think this question is important not only for men, but for women as well. What is at the heart of a woman? That’s a simple and complicated question at the same time, because it depends on the woman. It can be a paradox and a conundrum as much as it can be a clearly defined statement.

OK… here goes the bold statement… I’m going to jump into the fiery abyss and try to answer the puzzle that’s seemingly perplexed mankind for millennium…

I truly believe that what lies within the heart of a woman is desire. That can be taken a multitude of ways, but if you’ll permit me, I’ll explain my rather bold and simple statement.

A woman’s desire or heart is no different than that of a man’s. We all long to be understood, valued, cared for and loved. These vary in degree as much the shape of snowflakes and people. Some desires are stronger than others dependent on how we were raised and some are personal or peculiar to the individual. In my circumstance, I believe those desires are placed there by God and shape how we were wired by him. That’s the cool part about God… He makes us all different and yet, He also makes us able to fit into the heart and life of another through our differences. It’s quite beautiful really.

So… back to my bold statement… that desire is at the heart of a woman. Knowing that desire is at the heart of a woman removes a great deal out of the challenge of discovering who she is and how to understand her.  When you seek to know what her desires are, what makes her get out of bed in the morning, what makes her decide whether to spend time preparing her hair and make-up, or to don a hat and put her hair in a ponytail, that will go a long way in making her feel comfortable with sharing her heart with you. You see… at her core, I believe that her desire is to trust. Sure… she also wants to feel that she is valued and loved, but to do those things, she first needs to feel that she can allow herself to trust. To satisfy the yearnings within her heart, she needs to establish trust in order to risk sharing them or even engaging in them if you’re to be a part of them. She needs to know that if she truly reveals herself to you, that she’ll not be betrayed for simply being herself.

If she wants to be a mother, she wants to know that you’ll be there with her. If she wants to be an artist, she wants to know that you’ll support her. If she wants to be a writer, she wants to know you’ll engage with her, to struggle with her to find the truth that she seeks to share (even if it’s fiction). If she wants to be your best friend, she wants to know she can trust you with her heart! She wants to know that you’ll let her be her (without your unsolicited opinion)!

It’s not all that complicated really… it’s all about paying attention and giving her respect. It’s about recognizing and valuing that she has chosen to share her heart with you.  It’s about recognizing and respecting that she has a voice. It’s also about her seeing something in you that has caused her to feel that she wants to share with you what she has to offer. She just needs to know that she’s as safe as she can be when she does. Don’t we all? I don’t necessarily think this desire or need is stronger in woman than it is in men, but I do believe that their willingness and need to be vulnerable and to have it known and recognized is!

There is no enigma wrapped in a puzzle. Women are no more complicated than men are, except that their hormones on occasion can and do betray them because of the wonderful gift that they possess… the wonderful ability to bear children.

To understand a woman, you have to WANT to value and understand what lies within her heart. It’s not too complicated… she’ll let you know, but only if she feels she can trust you. All you have to do to earn that is to act with integrity, pay attention to her and let her know when you’ve heard her. When she senses your understanding, the trust I spoke of will grow. It’s about being willing to respect her heart, her mind and her soul!

So… to the statements made by my 12 year old brother from another mother… Son… you CAN understand a woman, but first, you must be willing to show her respect and to earn her trust! When you do that, she’ll be willing to share the glories of the desires of her heart with you! You’ll also likely find that she’ll also be equally willing to share yours too! When you get to this place, you’ll have a much better chance at understanding her and her heart.

I truly believe that a woman wants nothing more than to feel that she can be truly vulnerable with someone. To be all that she is and to be accepted for it.  Not because of her make-up, not because of her smile, not because of the way she walks or wears her hair, but because of her heart and what she has to offer!  We need to feel attracted and attractive, but once that’s established, we need to feel trust and value. Find that and you’ll be blessed with one of the greatest earthly gifts a man can hope to receive… you may be gifted with the heart of a woman.


2 thoughts on “a response to “How to understand women””

  1. Great post! I definitely agree with you that the question of “how do we understand women” is one that is often joked about, but should be taken more seriously. You’re right that answering this question can be simple and complex at the same time.

    While I do believe the answers to the questions of how to understand women and their hearts can be generalized because most of us have the same sentiment at the root of what we want in dating and relationship, we are very much so individualized women so there won’t always be a one size fits all answer here.

    As far as desire, this definitely deserves attention and I agree that trust and support, among other things, is definitely a desire that majority of women share (whether they are in tune enough with themselves to know this about themselves or not). Great read! I look forward to more!!

    1. Thanks for your comment Dee. It’s hard to take on a question like this because it’s about a group (an entire gender in this case) rather than a specific individual. I wanted to honour both the question and the subject and get specific about what I could… my experience and perspective. In my experience, both direct and virtual (online dating), this is probably the most common thread I’ve found. Of course, this subject has and will continue to be debated for a long time, but what I hoped to do was to identify that there’s something important here that should be considered rather than joked about. Especially when the tender mind of a 12 year old has already been influenced by age old and ridiculous paradigms and stereotypes. As a man who hopes to be respected, I must first be willing to show and model respectfulness. The boy in the story doesn’t need to be chastised for his understanding, but I truly feel he should be called to explain his conclusions. If he is unable to, then it is the responsibility of his community to carefully and respectfully guide him.

      As for me… well… it was snowing outside which kept me from getting my spring yard cleaning started. There’s a paradox for you 🙂 Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s