There is this age-old claim, or a stereotype of a sort, that women are complicated creatures, making us seem like an ancient mystery, a riddle to be solved. Always complaining how hard it is to understand us, men have been perpetually trying to find that ”magical” formula that’s going to help them discover what do women want in a relationship.

Now, we’re not going to pretend that we aren’t complex creatures, we certainly have our distinctions and our minds operate differently than a man’s mind, but what we want and need is not that complicated or too different than what a man would want.

So, what do women want in a relationship then? Here are seven things that would make us happy with our significant others.

Being respected

We want to be shown that our opinions, interests, wishes, our minds, our choices and people we decide to surround ourselves with are respected. Show us our contributions are valued and be respectful towards our opinions, even when you do not agree with them. If you feel the need to debate our decisions, don’t do it by making us feel lesser, treat us the way you would want to be treated because, inside these conjured up walls of our relationship, we are supposed to be equals.

Feeling wanted

In the age where we are constantly bombarded with covers, movies and runways filled with seemingly perfect female bodies and faces, where we are overpowered with messages of what a ”real” woman should be, how she should look and behave, sexuality included, our self-esteems are being destroyed to shreds. That’s why women are turning to their boyfriends and husbands for reassuring. We are looking for our safe havens in your compliments and praise, so remind us why you fell for us, what is it that you like about our bodies. Body massages, surprise kisses, touching affectionately, in general, is a good way to go. Help us feel attractive, desired and comfortable in our skin.

Being seen

Take time out of your day to pay attention to us, things we might have done, something we worked hard on, mood we might be in, things we like to do. Show us you see how we feel and you care. If we do a good job on something work-related or at home, show us it’s appreciated, comment on it. If we cook something nice, compliment it. Acknowledge things we enjoy and show it by taking us to see a movie with our favorite actor or a getting us a book from that writer we love so much. Show us you participate in our lives and you enjoy it. Little things you remember about us mean a lot.

Being able to trust

Trust is a huge and important part of every relationship. Don’t hide things from us. When you start doing that with little, unimportant things just because you think we’d be angry and make a problem out of it, our natural conclusion will be: ”What else is he hiding?”. Normally, after it, we will always keep thinking you might be lying and hiding even bigger issues and wrongdoings from us. When that doubt becomes constant, that’s where everything will start falling apart.

Being supported

When there’s a new skill we want to learn, the new job we would like to try, ambitions that we have not fulfilled yet, but strive to, we want you to be there for us. We want to know that there is a shoulder to fall back on when things are not going that well, set of arms to catch us if it ends up falling apart and a reassuring voice to tell us you believe in us and not to give up. Remind us that we are strong and courageous enough to deal with obstacles life might throw our way.

Being able to laugh

Women love men with a good sense of humor, men who do not take themselves too seriously and are able to make her smile and feel instantly better if she is feeling down. If you’re not a very funny guy by default, find things that will make you laugh and share them with us, the effort will be appreciated.

Being able to show vulnerability

Now, it is not just us showing it that is desirable, we want and need men to show it too. Forget those stories that tell you real men don’t cry and don’t show emotions. Real, evolved men will face their feelings. Being at such levels of comfort to be able to knock down those walls and show what’s inside, have support while we’re fighting whatever our demons might be is a big step in connecting two people; but men doing it is even more important, because women are generally more comfortable with letting their feelings out. It is a way of showing us you trust us so much to open yourselves up, to let us help you through your sadness. So, let your woman in instead of pushing her away.