What Women Want is one of my favorite movies, one of a handful I’d watch more than once. (It also happens to be another of those “womanizing cad turns faithful husband material” movies). I suspend my disbelief to enjoy Mel Gibson’s comically bumbling charm. He plays a man about town who thinks he knows women until he discovers what they’re really thinking.
So what do women want? Sammy Adebiyi broached this topic, (What Every Woman Wants) and honestly, I had a hard time coming up with a good answer. (Though I did come up with an answer for his companion topic, What Every Man Wants. Go figure. Maybe I spend more time thinking about the latter).
So I won’t attempt a definitive list now, but here’s one thing: A woman wants to be wanted. She wants a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. No wishy washy, mamby pamby.
A woman wants a man who is willing to put his love out on the line, to take the risk, to bet it all. Because he knows she’s worth it. Knows, not thinks. Old fashioned, maybe, but I think it’s how we’re hard wired.
Chick flicks can tell you a lot about what women want. (Hey, that’s why we like them, guys). In Jerry Maguire, (not a chick flick, but this is what makes the romance satisfying to the chicks watching this movie) Dorothy admits, “I love him! I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is.” Jerry and Dorothy have a relationship, but no definite life together, (an all too common predicament, unfortunately), and now she needs to move to get a job.
Jerry hates to see her go, but what can he do, short of offering her a life with him? In a moment of desperation, he blurts out something about marriage. It’s only a “what if,” but his out loud speculation takes on a life of its own, and they end up tying the knot.
Eventually Dorothy realizes Jerry’s heart’s not really in it. Dorothy sums it up when she breaks it off, “I’ve got this great guy. And he loves my kid. And he sure does like me a lot. And I can’t live like that. It’s not the way I’m built.”
It’s not the way any woman is built. At least it shouldn’t be, ladies. (I’m not advocating divorce, but it’s something to think about before you say “I do.”)
Jerry feels bad. He sputters, tears up, and hangs his head. But in the end, he doesn’t do a thing except walk away.
In Message in a Bottle, Theresa and Garrett have had their lovers’ holiday — bonfires on the beach, sailing under the moonlight, the whole nine yards. (Again, lives entwined, but nothing you can hang your hat on). Now she’s going back to her world half way across the continent. “I don’t want to lose you,” he says.
“Then don’t,” Theresa answers. This movie is a little heavy on the sap, but at this point I want to stand up and cheer.
This is it guys. Drop the victim mentality. If you lose her, it’s because you let it happen. If you have a woman in your life that you don’t want to lose, stand up like a man and fight for her. Don’t just watch her walk away. Do whatever it takes to win her heart all over again, no matter how hard it looks.
Later when Jerry’s business success rings hollow in his empty heart, he realizes what’s missing. He runs to get back what he let slip away. “I’m not letting you get rid of me,” he says to Dorothy. “Our little company had a good night tonight … but it wasn’t complete, it wasn’t nearly close to being in the same vicinity as complete, because I couldn’t share it with you. I couldn’t hear your voice, or laugh about it with you. I missed my wife. … I love you. You complete me.”
These are the words every woman wants to hear, what she needs to hear. What she needs to know. And by the way, I didn’t have to backtrack the DVD to write down these lines. Other people — probably women — have already done this, and I found them online. These words resonate in every woman’s heart.
Actually, it echoes every human heart. When we walked away from God, he didn’t just hang his head and lament the loss. Christ came and loved us back to himself. He loved us with wild abandon, extreme to the point of death. And his love made us love him back. Maybe this is what it means to love your wife as Christ loved the Church.
Every woman wants to be attracted to her man. And there’s nothing more attractive than being loved and wanted.
What would be on your list of What Women Want?