This is part two of three things I wish men knew about women. If you missed part 1, it’s HERE…
The men I coach often feel that their partners don’t really need them.
And if truth be told, they probably don’t. Well at least not for survival. There’s a Piggly Wiggly or a Safeway right down the road, in almost all American communities.
But what men miss is that one of our most important needs is one we rarely talk about, directly. And that’s the need for safety.
We’re the more fragile sex, contrary to how we act. On the dark streets of any city, a woman is potential prey. Hell, she can be prey at work or at the doctor’s office. And trust me, she knows this — all the time. On any given day, a woman might think about someone harming her or her kids, several times.
Men miss that we were brought up with constant warnings for our safety — to protect us from pedophiles, rapists and killers. We weren’t allowed to walk at night or to be alone with a boy, lest we be harmed. Essentially, we learned to look over our shoulders and to sense what lurks in the dark. And all that leaves us with a nervous system poised for danger.
You should also know that our need for safety reaches beyond men and what men can do to us, to everyday life and everyday occurrences. Your female partner might double check the gas stove before leaving the house. She might keep food and flares in her car in case the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. She might have a contingency plan for the whole family, in case of fire or natural disaster. It’s our feminine nature to seek out danger and avoid it!
This doesn’t mean we’re racked with fear or cowering in a corner. On the contrary.
Being cautious is simply ingrained in how we live. I was walking in the woods with a girlfriend the other day, and when we paused for water, I noticed her scanning the trees. “Did you see someone,” I whispered, feeling immediate fear. “No, just making sure,” she said.
We do these kinds of things, automatically, and see them as completely normal — while men are unaware of what is behind these behaviors.
Sensitizing yourself to this orientation in women makes you feel safer to us. I can’t tell you how many times a guy walked up behind me at night and scared me. If he had been more sensitive to me, as a woman, and my fears, he might have crossed the street and avoided startling me.
The good news is: You are likely safe for your woman, or for women, more than you know. When you do what you say you will do, you provide safety. A man of his word is not likely to cause harm.
When you think about your partner’s safety or your kids safety, concerning bicycles, crossing streets or making sure weapons are stored properly in the house, we feel safe. Whenever you do some of the heavy lifting of looking out for dangers, it’s a relief!
When you care about what we need or how we feel, that also provides us with a certain kind of safety — as does plainly knowing what makes us feel safe.
Bottom line is that: our asking you to slow down, or to throw the dead-bolt, or to bring that extra blanket to the concert, is not designed to make your life harder, nor is it happening because we are “crazy” or paranoid. It’s our nature and design to seek out danger and avoid it.