Another important dynamic of healthy relationships is that when we focus on meeting the needs of the other person, our needs will usually be met as well. It is the law of reciprocation. A person whose needs have been met is free to concentrate on meeting the needs of another.
The Five Needs of the Male and Female
There are five basic needs of males and females that highlight the differences between the two genders. How well we are able to love our partners depends to a large degree on understanding these needs and recognizing the differences.
The first basic need of a male is sexual fulfillment. Males are driven by this need. This drive is God-given and is so prominent in the male because he is the progenitor of the human family; he carries the seed. That’s why men are always ready for sex. Their sex drive is not cyclical. Of course, sexual expression by males or females is sinful and inap- propriate outside the context of a marriage relationship. What is an unmarried mature male supposed to do about his sex drive? The same God who created that drive also provides, for those who seek it, the grace and ability to control that drive until they can fulfill it appropriately in marriage.
The number one need of a female is affection. Unlike a male, a female doesn’t need sex. She can certainly enjoy sex if it’s with her husband and accompanied by a lot of affection. A woman cannot function properly without affection. The male in the relationship needs to make sure her affection needs are met.
Affection means that he physically and verbally expresses his love, his care, and his support for her with both physical and non-physical activi- ties: hugs, kisses, flowers, cards, gifts, extending common courtesies, showing little daily acts of thoughtfulness, and so forth.
The second most basic need of a male is recreational companionship. A man needs the woman in his life to be involved in his recreation. Most women do not recognize the importance of this need in a man’s life. Find out what he likes to do and join him in it. Even if you do not like it your- self, at least take enough of an interest to have him teach or explain it to you. If he likes sports, watch games with him. If he likes to jog, go jog- ging with him. If he likes to listen to or perform music, take an interest in it with him. Remember, the key is meeting his needs, not yours.
A female’s second greatest need is for communication and conver- sation. She wants—she needs—the man in her life to talk to her. Many men have a problem with this. Some have the mistaken notion that a real man is the silent type. A silent man is emotional starvation for a woman. She thrives on conversation. Usually, the end result or “bot- tom line” of conversation is not as important to her as is the process itself. So, men, talk to her. Listen to her. Take time to share with her, not just superficially but at the feeling level. The time invested will pay abundant dividends in a strong and healthy relationship.
The third basic need of a male in a relationship is an attractive woman. This is because men are stimulated visually; that’s the way they are wired. Being “attractive” goes far beyond basic subjective opinions of beauty. An attractive woman is one who takes care of herself and seeks to dress and wear her hair and carry herself in such a way as to appeal to the man in her life, to enhance those aspects of herself that attracted him initially.
A woman’s third basic need is for honesty and openness. Those two words make many men very nervous because they don’t like to talk openly. Being open and honest means being willing to share candidly to the fullest degree that is appropriate for the level of the relationship. Husbands and wives, for example, would normally share at a deeper and more intimate level than would a man and woman who were merely dating. Here’s a tip, guys: The more open and honest you are with her, the more she will trust you and be drawn to you, because she interprets openness as love.
The last two needs of the male and female apply more to married couples with established households than to unmarried couples, although the principles apply equally in all cases. Unmarried couples need to adapt these principles to fit their particular situations.
The fourth basic need of a male is domestic support. A man needs a haven, a safe refuge where he can come at the end of a day and find peace and serenity. In short, he needs a supportive home environment. Males are wired by God to be providers for the home. Remember that males are givers. When a man goes out and battles with life all day to support his family, the last thing he needs is to come home to family bat- tles. With more and more women in the workforce now, this issue of domestic support is even more important—for both husband and wife. There are troubles enough in the “daily grind” without upheaval at home to add to the mix. Both husband and wife need to be sensitive to the issue of domestic support.
A female’s fourth basic need is financial support. This may not be a major issue for a wife who works outside the home, but it is crucial for a wife who has chosen to stay at home, particularly if she is caring for children. These needs are interconnected. If the husband needs the domestic support of a comfortable home, the wife needs money to help make it that way. She needs to feel secure that the financial needs of her family are taken care of.
Finally, a male needs admiration and respect. The problem is that so many men, by the way they act and the way they treat the women in their lives, don’t deserve admiration and respect. However, that does not change the fact that they need them. Men are wired with the need to know that the women they care about admire and respect them. They also bear the responsibility to behave in an admirable and respectable manner.
A woman needs family commitment. In other words, a wife needs to know that her husband is committed to their home and marriage, that he puts her ahead of any other women and puts their children ahead of any other children. She needs to know that he will be home at night and that he will give first priority to his family when making decisions on the commitment of his time.
No matter who we are, male, female, married or single, the greatest thing we can do to love our partner in any relationship is seek to under- stand his or her unique needs and then commit ourselves to meeting those needs. There are too many self-seeking and self-serving relation- ships in the world where people are interested only in what they can get, not what they can give.
Remember that agape—true love—gives by nature. When we commit ourselves to meet the needs of another we are expressing love in its truest and purest form, a love that gives with no demand or expectation of return, a love that reflects the very heart of the God from whom it came and who is Himself love.
1. Just as the spirit “man” came forth from God, so the female came forth from the male. Just as the spirit “man” was created to receive and respond to God’s love, so the female was made to receive and respond to the male’s love.
2. God gives to man, male gives to female; man receives from God, and female receives from male.
3. Just as God created man (not male) to receive from Him on the spiritual level, He made the female to receive from the male on the physical level.
4. Males are givers by nature and females are receivers by nature, and this is true in every arena of life and relationships.
5. Whenever a product or a relationship breaks down, it is a princi- ple problem: Some need or other is not being met.
6. Love is making a commitment to meet the needs of another per- son.
7. The first basic need of a male is sexual fulfillment; for a female, affection.
8. The second most basic need of a male is recreational companion- ship; for a female, communication and conversation.
9. The third basic need of a male in a relationship is an attractive woman; for a woman, honesty and openness.
10. The fourth basic need of a male is domestic support; for a female, financial support.
11. The fifth basic need of a male is admiration and respect; for a woman, family commitment.