What men really want to hear from women

Certain key phrases tell a guy you’re genuinely interested in getting to know him.

In general, men are in awe of women’s date-night conversation skills — which are, hands down, far superior to their own. Even so, though, you ladies do still insert your stiletto’d foot in your mouth every once in awhile — or, conversely, miss prime opportunities to make a remark that would raise your stock in our eyes. Curious about whether you’ve got the right choice phrases in your back pocket and avoiding the bad ones? Check out this list of things guys love (and hate) to hear on a date!

Five things men love to hear on a date:

1. “Then what happened?”

It’s only human for a man to want to think that his life is reasonably interesting. And while interrupting him, changing the subject, or acting bored are well-known nails in the conversational coffin, it’s not enough to just sit there, smile and say “uh-huh” every few seconds. Actively egg him on with comments like, “You’re kidding! What happened next?” or “Go on…” That way, he’ll know you’re genuinely interested versus just being polite.

2. “That’s pretty impressive.”

Maybe he placed in a local triathlon recently or got a promotion at work, or he figured out how to fix his air conditioner by himself. Whatever he’s done, if he’s mentioning it on a date, he’s most likely proud of it — and if you feed his ego by applauding his efforts, you’ll make him feel like a king.

3. “Thank you.”

No doubt about it, manners matter — and are sorely lacking in today’s less formal dating scene. Tap into your inner Emily Post, and it’s sure to make you stand out. So, thank him when he tells you that you look pretty tonight. Thank him for paying for dinner. Thank him for walking you to your car. It’s such a small thing, but it’ll make a huge difference to him.

4. “What do you do when you’re not at work?”

Although a man’s job might be of primary importance, he also has other things in his life that he values. Does he juggle? Work on his car? Play an instrument? With a little probing, a woman can hit upon hidden passions — and convey that she’s interested in getting a complete picture of him as a person and not just what he does to earn his paycheck.

5. “I’d like to get your opinion on something.”

It’s the damsel-in-distress call, and it’s pure catnip for men… and that’s because we love feeling useful, and seeking our advice definitely fits the bill in that regard. So whether you need tips on buying a digital camera or how to handle a tricky situation with your boss, he’ll be glad to help you. (He will be less eager, however, to comment on shopping, knitting or his dating past…but you already knew that.)

Needs of marriage and family living

Needs of marriage and family living have to be considered in relation to the times in which they are observed. They are determined by cultural attitudes as well as by world events. They often reflect the conflict between former established family patterns geared to an earlier economy and the needs of today's rapidly changing social scene. The transition from an established, to a new and as yet untried, value system constitutes one of the most important challenges that marriage faces today.

In this century, revolutionary discoveries and global interaction have had a terrific impact on our lives. The social aspects of the business cycle, which used to concern us so much, seem almost trivial when compared to two world wars, the cold war, the draft, and prodigious advances in science and technology. Modern technology has invaded not only the factory but also the home, and many skills required of husbands and wives are quite different from those learned in their parental homes. Furthermore, the division of labor between men and women is no longer so clearly marked. It is much more blurred, workwise and homewise.

Urbanization in all its forms has been another important factor in changing family life. Tremendous progress in communication and transportation has taken place. This has had its impact not only at the level of world diplomacy but in terms of a teen-ager's "date." We have become an urban-industrial people, the majority living in cities, many of us in small apartshy; ments. We are highly mobile. Our families are smaller -- not only in terms of fewer children but, although there are proportionately more oldsters, there are fewer grandparents living with us.

It would be comforting to think of marriage as a haven to which one could retreat from the strain and conflict of daily living. But contemporary marriage is not a thing apart. It is a way of life within which we must cope with the uncertainties and complexities of the Atomic Age.

Specifically, changes in age of marriage, size of completed family, and length of life have greatly affected patterns of family formation and have introduced complicated problems of personal as well as family development.

There has also been an increase in life expectancy, a remarkable achievement of the medical and related sciences. The marriage of persons who today marry in their twenties is statistically capable of lasting forty-one years. Two generations ago, because of later marriage, more children and earlier death, there was a fifty-fifty chance that one spouse would die at least two years before the last of five children married. Today when one's two or three children leave home for college, career, or marriage, one-third of one's married life (fourteen years on the average) is still ahead.

Sexually, too, women have come into their own. No longer is sex for women a taboo subject, or an experience to be only "dutifully" accepted. Today, women have begun to realize their capacity to enjoy sex and respond to it under circumstances of their own choice. The potential for enrichment of the marital relationship is great; but it is not without its problems in a society where there is still a considerable lag between conventional patterns of conduct and the newer and more flexible attitudes.

Importance of Relationship in Counseling

The relationship between counselor and client, or therapist and patient, is coming to be recognized in this country as central in the counseling or therapeutic process. Different schools or systems of therapy and counseling may evaluate it differently, but all recognize its importance and some deem it basic in the results obtained.

The relationship between counselor and client should not be confused with such concepts as transference or rapport. Thus the term "transference," as used in Freudian technique, refers to displacement of the libido from its infantile love-objects (usually one's parents) to the psychoanalyst in the course of psychoanalytic treatment. This redirection of desires and feelings which are usually retained in the unconscious, may be positive, if they are warm, friendly, and affectionate, or negative if they are unfriendly or hostile.

"Rapport" is a more general term referring to the positive, co-operative association of two persons which makes possible a confidential, sympathetic, understanding, and helpful process in counseling and therapy. "Relationship" as used here refers to the interaction between counselor and counselee which becomes a motivating force in the changes and growth which take place in the counseling procedure.

In marriage counseling there is a multidimensional "relationship," that is, the relationship of the counselor to the marriage partners, individually and collectively, and, where necessary, to the children and the family as a "unity of interacting personalities," as well as to the new and developing relationship between the spouses to each other and to the family as a whole. The counselor needs to keep this manyfaceted relationship constantly in mind in order to stimulate its development to its fullest potentialities and to utilize it for the growth of the personalities involved.

Psychotherapy and Counseling

Counseling, in this sense, is also closely related to psychotherapy. Psychotherapy may be considered the more generally inclusive in terms of personality reorganization; marriage counseling, the more specific procedure in its focus on the interpersonal relations between men and women concerned in the marriage. We shall approach the more specialized interest of this chapter -marriage counseling -- through a brief discussion of the more general aspects of psychotherapy and counseling.

There are as many conceptions and definitions of psychotherapy as there are schools -- one might almost say, individual psychotherapists. A recent and "comprehensive" definition of psychotherapy has it as "a form of treatment for problems of an emotional nature in which a trained person deliberately establishes a professional relationship with a patient with the object of removing, modifying, or retarding existing symptoms, of mediating disturbed patterns of behavior, and of promoting positive personality growth and development." According to Wolberg, there are three major types of psychotherapy: supportive psychotherapy, insight therapy with re-educative goals, insight therapy with reconstructive goals.

Regardless of what one may think of the suitability and applicability of the varying methods and techniques of therapists from different schools of thought to their goals and objectives, several things become clear. First, that the different types of psychotherapy are not necessarily mutually exclusive as to either goals or methods; second, that whereas the goals and objectives are relatively few, the theoretical framework, the methods, techniques, and procedures are many and in some instances substantially different from each other; and third, that in a field where there are such wide divergencies of practice there is room for, and in fact bound to develop, a wide variety of schools of thought aiming at the crystallization and formulation of philosophies. These schools of thought will furnish a so-called theoretical basis for practice and will confer upon the practitioner the sanction of authoritativeness because of belonging or adhering to the particular school or system.

Some thoughtful therapists are both puzzled and challenged by the divergent or diametrically different schools and theories of human behavior and motivation underlying psychotherapy, especially when all the schools claim success in treating maladjustment. They can only conclude that none of the schools has the whole truth and that the dynamic elements responsible for the success claimed by all the schools may be the features common to all of them. Hence they proceed to select out what appear to them to be those elements which are common to all psychotherapeutic situations. In spite of criticism, eclecticism is not without merit or justification.

Two of these elements seem to be of special importance to marriage counseling and deserve discussion at this point. They are the "relationship" between the counselor and counselee, and the counselor's concept of "personality."

Marriage Counseling

Counseling is a generic term and much of what will be said here about marriage counseling will apply in equal measure to other forms of counseling. All counseling aims, at least theoretically, at developing insight into the nature of the problem and the causes or factors which produced it; and endeavors to give the counselee support, encouragement, reassurance, and new perspectives so that he may look upon himself as but one of many who face or have faced similar problems which can be solved under favorable circumstances. To some extent also all types of counseling use similar means to achieve their ends even though they may be quite different in their fundamental and basic theoretical approaches. At one time or another every counselor is called upon to give advice, information, and guidance.

Some will use these devices only as a last resort. Others will utilize these methods more freely because they feel that the counselee wants, needs, and is entitled to more direct and immediate help. They believe, moreover, that unless the counselee does get such help he will become discouraged and will discontinue the counseling. The damage to the counselee from discontinuance when he needs counseling, they feel, is bound to be much more injurious than giving such direct help.