Summary: The Man’s Guide to Women By John Gottman
Summary: The Man’s Guide to Women By John Gottman

Summary: The Man’s Guide to Women By John Gottman

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What Do Women Really Want?

WHAT WOMEN WANT MOST: TRUSTWORTHINESS. number one thing women want from you is trustworthiness. You demonstrate trustworthiness by being who you say you are and doing what you say you are going to do. You show up and you show up as yourself.

THE SECRET OF TRUSTWORTHINESS: ATTUNEMENT. Women need to feel emotionally connected and emotionally safe. This happens through attunement. When a woman wants to connect with you, especially when she’s upset about something, you A-TT-U-N-E: You Attend to her, you physically Turn Toward her, you seek to Understand her by asking questions, you Nondefensively Listen, and you Empathize by accepting and affirming her emotions.

DON’T BEAT YOUR CHEST. Women also need to feel physically safe with you. A Hero never uses his size or his voice to intimidate a woman or make a point. A lack of physical safety is a deal breaker with women.

TRUSTWORTHINESS = LESS FIGHTING AND MORE SEX. When a woman feels emotionally connected to you and when you demonstrate your trustworthiness, the result is less fighting and more sex. Win-Win-WIN.


A Mind of Her Own

RHYTHMICITY. Understand the effect of hormones on the day-to-day emotional state of a woman. Know that these influences are different in every woman and will change in a woman as she goes through different stages of her life. Her sex drive and what she needs from you will also change depending on where she is in her cycle. Ask questions to find out what she needs.

FEAR. Women experience fear differently than men. Women are more easily fear conditioned, meaning that if you both go through a fearful experience, she will be twice as likely to feel fear again in a similar situation. Offering comfort to a woman when she is afraid can immediately shut down her brain’s fear response. That is, of course, assuming she’s happy with you. If she’s unhappy with you, your comfort may not be effective.


Read My Hips

Women are attracted to confidence and high status. Become the best “you” possible and exhibit the nonverbal behaviors that indicate social dominance, such as space maximization, male-to-male touching, relaxation, and looking into her eyes and smiling. Avoid fidgeting, poor posture, folding your arms across your chest, or crossing your legs at the knee.

Women control whether men approach them by exhibiting a series of nonverbal cues and indicators. Learn the signs that indicate she’s interested.

  • She repeatedly glances at you and looks away.
  • She leans toward you while talking.
  • She points in your direction with her leg, foot, or shoulders.
  • She plays with or tosses her hair.
  • She fidgets with a piece of jewelry (like an earring) or strokes the stem of her glass.


First Impressions

Ask open-ended questions.

Be authentic, but try to speak in your lowest register if your natural voice sounds a bit like Mickey Mouse on helium.

Create safety in conversations by being a good listener.

Put the woman at the center of any conversation or date.

Look into her eyes and match her gestures in a natural and easy way.

Briefly touch her forearm when you ask her to dance, ask for her number, or ask her on a date.

Be creative when planning your first date. Think of something adventurous, playful, or exciting to do.

Be a gentleman—open doors, pull out her chair.

Be protective and confident


Making Your Move

Pheromones are chemical signals that lead to attraction and a sense of well-being when you are with someone who just “smells right.”

A woman’s sense of smell is much more acute than a man’s, and your pheromones will smell right to some women and not to others. It’s not personal.

You do have control over your non-pheromone-related smell. Practice good hygiene accordingly.

A bad first kiss is a relationship killer.

A woman will remember a first kiss more than she will remember losing her virginity and other big life moments. Make that kiss one worth remembering.

Kissing releases a flood of feel-good hormones.

You can learn to give a great first kiss


Is She More Than a Hookup?

Oxytocin can cloud your judgment and lower your fear response. It is the bonding hormone that gets released during orgasm and from affection. That’s why platonic sex is an oxymoron.

Limerence is that first stage of attraction or love during which you obsessively think about the other person, can’t sleep, feel highly sensual, and are high on love. The cascade of hormones flooding your body during limerence can cause you to ignore the warning signs or red flags in any potential relationship.

You can be attracted to someone because of your hormones or because of imprinting from your first 18 months. Ask yourself why you might be drawn to a particular woman, and stay aware of your conscious and unconscious motivations.

A woman is more than a hookup if you feel a connection in body, mind, and heart. If there’s no physical connection or chemistry at first, there never will be.


Image Is Everything

A woman is exposed to hundreds of ads a day that tell her what her body is supposed to look like. Women rarely measure up to the ideal standard of beauty portrayed by the fashion and entertainment industries. Let her know she is beautiful exactly as she is.

A woman’s relationship with her body is fragile, and even one “joke” or mean comment about her weight, size, or attractiveness can cut deeply. Heroes never criticize a woman’s body.

Men can’t reverse the constant societal pressures to be thin and beautiful, but men can make any woman feel beautiful.

Compliment her. Show her you adore and desire her just as she is. If a woman has a poor body image or believes you don’t find her attractive, she will not be comfortable with you sexually.


Her Body Is a Wonderland

woman’s mind is her most powerful erogenous zone. She needs to feel physically and emotionally safe and connected with you in order to feel aroused and experience pleasure.

The sexual anatomy of a woman is complex. Explore what feels good to her and help her show you what gives her pleasure.

Find the clitoris, and if you can’t find it, ask for directions. A woman has various spots—G-spot, A-spot, U-spot—that may be highly charged and erotic for her if touched and stroked the right way. Explore the spots that feel good to her, but don’t pressure her to feel pleasure in any particular spot. Every woman—and every woman’s body—is different.

The erogenous zones of a woman are not limited to her genitals. (The same is true for men.) Any part of her body can be a source of extreme pleasure with the right touch. The skin, neck, ears, lips, shoulders, breasts, back, and thighs of a woman can all be erotic. Her pleasure will increase your pleasure.


Becoming Her Best Ever

Forget everything you ever learned from watching porn. Long before you get into bed together, you can begin to make love to your partner by building anticipation and creating a sense of possibility and inevitability. Text, flirt, suggest, and build passion before you even touch.

Most men have a pretty familiar routine—kiss the lips, touch the breasts, touch the clitoris (maybe) or vagina, and insert the penis. A skillful lover doesn’t follow any set routine. You can make love to every inch of her with your words, lips, tongue, and hands. A Hero doesn’t just focus on her breasts and genitals.

Oral sex is a must for pleasing and satisfying a woman. If you don’t like it—get over it.

Most women need clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. Become best buddies with her clitoris.

A Hero also makes love to a woman by holding her after the sex is over. This is a great source of pleasure for women. Making this one last heroic effort (even when you want to go to sleep) will go a long way toward making you her best ever.


Learn to Fight Like a Girl

Men and women both get angry with the same frequency, but differ in how they manage their anger. Women get angry because of powerlessness, injustice, or the irresponsibility of others. Men get more physiologically aroused during conflict than women do. This makes men less able to handle conflict with humor, empathy, and understanding.

Men are evolutionarily wired to be hypervigilant, aggressive, and to go on the attack if they are being threatened. You can learn to downregulate your anger by remembering to breathe, counting to 10, and taking a break.

If your partner is criticizing you, she is in pain. Your job is to find out the source of her pain by asking three questions:

1.What do you need?

2.What are you concerned about?

3.What are you feeling?


Why Does It Take So Long To Buy a Pair of Shoes?

Shopping is in a woman’s DNA. Women have had to be good foragers since the dawn of time. Lives depended on it. Most, but not all, women love to shop. It is an expression of their creativity and a positive and social experience for them. Women make about 85 percent of the buying decisions for the household.

Shopping requires a keen memory, and women have better memories than men. Men shop the way their ancestors hunted—get in, make the kill, get out. Women connect and create relationships around their shopping.

Research shows that the degree to which a woman is clothes-conscious is a long-term predictor of marital success. Don’t complain if she spends a lot of time shopping for shoes—specifically high heels.


Best Friends Forever

Women are more socially connected than men. Female humans and primates form social groups to ensure their survival and the survival of their offspring. Women tend and befriend when experiencing stress, and this releases oxytocin and reduces their stress response.

The more friends a woman has, the more health benefits she experiences. Women who are socially isolated have a 66 percent increased risk of dying prematurely from any cause.

Men typically turn to their wives or partners for their social support, but women typically turn to their female friends. A hallmark of domestic violence is a man feeling threatened by a woman’s friends and attempting to control or limit a woman’s social contacts, or to isolate her socially.

Think of your partner’s female friends as supporting you in supporting your partner. Encourage your partner to join a women’s group or seek out friends if she feels she is lacking in female friendships.

You live longer if you are married or have a long-term partner. She lives longer if she has female friends. You live longer if she lives longer. Encourage her female friendships.

Women have a huge capacity for friendship and a need to connect with others, as well as an unlimited capacity for love.


Is She the One?

Men want commitment just as much as women do. Most men know when a woman is “the one.” There has to be an inherent rightness for a woman to be the one—she has to smell right, feel right, taste right, and look right.

There are three stages of love, and the stages are very selective. You can’t just fall in love with anyone, and you can’t make it work with everyone.

  1. Stage one (limerence) usually lasts a few months and is not the time to decide if a woman is the one.
  2. Stage two is about trust and knowing if you’ll be there for each other.
  3. The third stage of love is about loyalty and commitment.

Married men live longer, make more money, and are healthier than men who choose to live with a woman but stay unmarried.

You don’t need to have similar likes and dislikes to work as a couple, but you do need to be compatible in how you handle conflict and express emotions and affection. You will know she’s the one if she makes you feel like you are your best self, and you feel more alive, adventurous, joyful, and loved when you are with her.

Finding the one and making a commitment are about doing what it takes to make a relationship last.


Mother Nature

If you want to truly understand a woman, you have to understand and support her role as a mother. She has a biological drive to bond with her child and ensure her child’s survival. This isn’t about her not loving you or you not being as important to her.

As a woman becomes a mother, she needs you more than ever, and your support during this transition is critical to the health of your relationship.

Men play a critical role in a child’s development—dad’s playtime with a baby or child leads to the child having a higher IQ, becoming a more empathic adult, and having happier and healthier relationships later in life. You matter a lot.

Whether you are the biological father or the father by marriage or choice, you are important to the health and well-being of your child or children. If you are feeling left out after a new baby is born, talk to your partner about it.

It’s up to you to ensure that the demands and workload of having a family are shared and equal. See family life as a great adventure and your relationship will thrive. You can keep the romance, flirtation, play, and adventure alive (and the conflict down) by sharing the workload and becoming her equal partner in the home, family, and relationship. Nurture your friendship and continue to attune.

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