What Do Women Want in a Relationship? Here are 11 Things

what do women want in a relationship?

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

What do women want in a relationship? Nothing and everything and everything in between those things! We are pretty simple, and a lot of times, the problem is that women don’t express to their partner what we want. Also, the partner wants to give these things to the woman, but he just doesn’t know! Let me back up.

It’s no big secret that dating after divorce is challenging, and that meeting someone doesn’t come easily. But I really believe that eventually, every divorced person (the same ones who say “I’m never going to meet anyone,” “No one is going to want me,” and “I’m too old”) falls madly in love at some point. I actually just laugh now when people doubt that they will ever find love again because I’ve seen it happen so many times.

But once you meet someone,  a new issue can arise: disappointment. In other words, what women want in dating often turns out to be very different than what we actually receive. Ever meet a guy (or girl) you fell really hard for who didn’t turn out to be the Prince (or Princess) Charming you imagined? No need for eye rolling. It’s happened to all of us!

Here’s my advice. If you don’t want to be disappointed, TALK to your guy (or girl.) Telling someone what you want and need, i.e. communication, instead of saying nothing and feeling disappointed, or perhaps sad, angry, bitter or resentful is really smart and honest, and lots of times you end up being shocked that the person really had no clue!

So, what do women want in a relationship?

I came up with 11 things women want in dating after divorce:

1. No matter how long we’ve been in the relationship, we want to be asked out on dates.

Everything from a romantic dinner to a casual stay at home movie night! Ask us ahead of time and be specific!


We want to be romanced and we want kissing and we want to know you love us before we sleep with you. Make us feel beautiful and adored. Turn on the charm!


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3. We want you to hold our hand in public.

Not all the time, just sometimes. In other words, we want to be touched (not just in bed.) Scratch our back, put your arm around us. Show affection from time to time.

4. We want you to notice our new sandals or handbag, or our haircut or pedicure, or our smile.

We want you to tell us we look nice when we make the effort.

5. We want you to be interested in our careers.

Ask about our job. Tell us you are proud when we get recognition or do something commendable.

6. Cry in front of us if you need to.

Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability in our arms. We want to be there for you during the times you really, really, really need us. We know it’s hard for you, but we want you to trust us. A good person doesn’t run from a man who cries, she wipes his tears and listens.


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7. We love when you cook us dinner.

I don’t care if it’s spaghetti and jar sauce. The thought counts.

8. LISTEN to us.

Listen to our stupid stories and topics that you don’t particularly care that much about. Listen to things that are important to us and remember things.

9. Be honest with us.

If you want a night out with your friends, just say it. (Any woman who gets irritated by that needs to get a clue.) If something is bothering you about us, just say it. Don’t hold it in and then harbor resentment, just tell us so we can say sorry if we owe you an apology, and so we won’t do it again if it was hurtful.


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10.  Laugh.

Be funny. Be silly. Lighten the mood when things get entirely too serious. Girls LOVE funny guys!!

11. Love us.

Just love us. We are divorced women who are fragile. We have baggage. We have vulnerability and we are insecure sometimes. Make us feel loved. Reassure us that you care for us and that you are committed. Love us physically and emotionally.

I’m not saying that if you ask for these things your guy will do them and that you will live happily ever after, but you have less of a chance of being disappointed, because you’ve communicated what you want. Now you know the guy is aware of it. What he decides to do is then up to him. That is something you don’t have control over.


Like this article? Check out, “9 Signs of a Healthy Relationship”

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    3 Responses to “What Do Women Want in a Relationship? Here are 11 Things”

    1. edie butler

      I like this particular post. I have dated four men since my separation/divorce over the past 4 years past and this is helping me understand why over time, I get disappointed with them. I need to encourage communication and honesty – on my end as well! Communication is key.

    2. jeremy

      I do agree what has been said, but it seems like all girls don’t want to commit. Just want to hold out and play the field


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