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5 romantic needs of a woman

Well, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. If you haven’t made your plans yet, it’s likely not going to be a good night for you, Mr. Casanova. So, just to help you a little, here are 5 things that every woman needs when it comes to being romanced by her husband. But, before you read the rest of this post, take out a sheet of paper and take a pre-read quiz. No cheating. What do YOU think the 5 romantic needs of a woman are? … Got ’em? OK, now check your answers with what I’ve come up with below.

Men and Women are different. Duh

I’m sure it comes as no shock, but men and women think of romance differently.

When asked to describe the purpose of romance, a woman will use words such as friendship, relationship, endearment, and tenderness. Given the same question, a man will answer with one of the shortest words in the English language — sex. For him, physical oneness and affirmation of his manhood equal romance.

Can two people with such different perspectives have their expectations met? Absolutely! But creating adventurous romance requires planning and enthusiastic effort. The relationship has to be a top priority. One reason so many marriage beds are frozen over or boring is that couples just don’t have time for romance and sex. Too many husbands and wives try to work sex inbetween the evening news and the Top 10 list on the Late Show With David Letterman.  To them, love in marriage is spelled S  E  X.

Let’s face it. Many of our activities and other important things get the best of our resources and energy. Jobs get our best. Children get our best. Church work gets our best. But are we saving any of our best for romance in marriage?

When we had children at home, Barbara and I worked hard to save some of our best for each other. Our children learned over the years that Mom and Dad often like to have quiet evenings alone. When the children were younger, we occasionally turned the kitchen into a famous big-time restaurant called the Rainey Rainbow Room and let each child order a special meal from a special menu. Barbara and I served as chef and waiter, and the kids had a great time learning a little bit about how to eat out.

Later in the evening, they knew they were to go to their rooms and stay there, not coming out for anything except bathroom runs. At 8 p.m., Barbara and I turned our bedroom into our own romantic cafe, complete with a small table, candles, and flowers (when I remembered to pick them up). There we would eat, talk, and relax. As we communicated, we were reminded of what attracted us to each other, and romance had an opportunity to ignite. We didn’t have to worry about a babysitter and didn’t have to leave the house to get away alone.

To make anything like this work, you must schedule it and then take the time to follow through. If I have learned anything in marriage, it is that romance, our relationship, and sex take time. And they deserve our best.

I have spent the better part of my marriage learning and adjusting the following summary of a woman’s romantic needs. The list was developed through much observation and conversation with Barbara and other women. I also have learned a great amount from the best book ever written on romance, passion, and sex — the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. Obviously, a woman has more than five romantic needs, but I consider these to be the top five:

Romantic Need #1: To be spiritually ministered to by her man

Are you surprised that something to do with candy and flowers isn’t number one? A woman wants a man eager to be her protector, someone who cares not just about her security and physical needs but also (and even more importantly) about her spirituality, the well-being of her very soul.

A husband can be a spiritual protector and advocate for his wife by praying with and for her daily, putting his arms around her, and saying, “I want to ask God to bless you. I want to take any needs you have in your life right now to the Lord. And I’m going to pray for you throughout this day.” A wise husband takes the lead in sharing Scripture and eagerly initiating conversation on spiritual issues.

A husband can contribute to his wife’s spiritual well-being by giving her some time to pursue her spiritual growth. For example, he might watch their child while she attends an evening Bible study.  Marriage romance begins in the soul.

I suggest that every young husband who wants to better understand his wife and his job description should read The Christian Husband, a book by my friend and colleague Bob Lepine.

Romantic Need #2: To feel safe and secure with her husband

A woman needs to feel her husband’s covenantal commitment to stay married and to love her and accept her. Then she feels safe to give him the gift of who she is in the marriage relationship. The Shulammite woman, who was the object of Solomon’s passion, said, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song 6:3). She obviously had a strong sense of contentment and security.

A wife needs to know that romantic intimacy is just between her and her husband, that he will not share any personal details with his friends. She should not feel pressured or fearful, experiencing the love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).

Romantic Need #3: To share intimate conversation

According to something I read recently, the typical couple spends only four minutes a day in meaningful conversation with each other. A lot of us husbands don’t realize that for our wives to consider us romantic, we first of all have to be a great friend and a conversationalist.  Conversation is a large part of love in marriage.

Grunts and one-word answers to questions just don’t cut it! Too many women don’t feel that their husbands really need them, and bare-bones conversation confirms their sense of low personal value. Many men who were accomplished at romantic, deep conversation during courtship seem to lose this talent later. You can rediscover the groove! Make a commitment to learn to make intimate conversation a priority with your wife. You need to talk and fill her in on the details of your life — not just facts, but feelings.

When a husband sincerely shows his desire for conversation and a deepening relationship — emotional intimacy — he will find that his wife is much more interested in sexual intimacy. Her dreams, hopes, desires, and disappointments then are not divorced from the marriage bed but are a part of it.

Romantic Need #4: To receive a tender touch and hear gentle words

Before marriage, two people in love can hardly keep their hands off each other because they find the touch of their beloved thrilling. What happens after the wedding? Some couples married for a while would find a firm handshake a wildly intimate encounter. This should not be the case in a marriage. There is great power in tender touch, even if it’s just a long, full-body hug or a lingering kiss. Or the touch may be a gentle caress of her face that has no motive to make sexual demands but communicates, “I love you, Sweetheart, and I care for you tenderly.”

Gentle words have similar power. I have made a partial list of some things that I think any husband could use in complimenting and praising his wife: charm; femininity; faithfulness to God, you, your children; hard work; beauty; personality; her love, including her receptivity and responsiveness to you as a man; her advice and counsel; character; desirability; friendship — and that’s just a start. What wife won’t respond to a husband who praises her regularly with gentle words for all these qualities?

Romantic Need #5: To be pursued and set apart by her man

A wife wants a husband who will sweep her off her feet, carry her away to the castle, and say, “Let’s spend time together.” Focused attention is like precious gold in a relationship.

One time Barbara and I had a little unresolved argument over a weekend. A couple of days later we went on our customary weekly date. We finally had the time and environment to fully discuss and resolve our differences. What it took was several hours away from phones, papers and bills, and the needs of our children. Your wife craves this focused attention from you.

A great lover

One of my favorite stories is of an interview with one of Hollywood’s biggest male stars, a man known for his prowess with the opposite sex. At one point he was asked, “What makes a great lover?”

“Two things,” he replied. “First of all, it is a man who can satisfy one woman over a lifetime. And it is a man who can be satisfied with one woman for a lifetime.”

That was a great answer! To build a strong marriage where you and your wife are experiencing oneness, you must be committed to satisfying her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. I hope you both enjoy a lifetime of satisfaction!  Here’s to keeping your marriage romance alive, and a lifetime of love in your marriage.

Taken from Starting Your Marriage Right © 2000 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.


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  1. February 13, 2013    

    Thanks for sharing this. A guy can never get an overdose of information on how to be a good husband and romantic partner. Doing it right requires constant attention and practice.

  2. Ed's Gravatar Ed
    February 18, 2013    

    Fantastic post! This kind of information is simply awesome for single men like myself who want to get marriage right the first time.

  3. February 21, 2013    

    Mr. Rainey, this is a great encouragement to me as a husband.

    A question about the quote. I have seen you use that quote about the Hollywood star before but never seen his name. Who is the Hollywood star? It’s a great quote that would perhaps have even greater impact if he was named.

    • MenSteppingUp's Gravatar MenSteppingUp
      February 21, 2013    

      Keith (this is not Mr. Rainey) the full quote is “A great lover is someone who can satisfy one woman her entire lifetime and be satisfied with one woman his entire lifetime. It is not someone who goes from woman to woman; any dog can do that.”
      – Ricardo Montalban

      He was a popular actor for a long time from the 40’s until his death in 2009 but he is arguably most remembered for a show called, Fantasy Island.

      • February 23, 2013    

        MSU, thank you. As I search the web, still, I cannot find the quote. Does anybody have the source for it? If it’s apocryphal, that’s fine, but if I’m going to use it in my ministry, I would like to give it proper citation or state plainly that it’s a fiction but with a very good message.

  4. Pepe's Gravatar Pepe
    March 12, 2013    

    So true. Married 33 years …rejected and neglected while my husband invested in his career and majored in pleasing other women. Then 6 years ago I discovered photos of children …and an email that revealed his adultery partner of 14 years….He is still here …told her from the first he would never leave me …it was their ‘arrangement ‘ . All the while I homeschooled our three children and raised them in the word. We were moved from place to place as his climb up the ladder brought him more money , more status and more arrogance .
    Today he continues to try to build up his lost finances due to the expense of the the adultery and having given nearly all our money and savings to this woman . He focuses upon the two children they had while our two daughters who are in their twenties and have kept their virtue in tact await God’s provision for them .

    My husband always told me that he did not want to learn how to be a husband from study of the Word and soon he rejected his faith when involved with the office culture.

    He did not want the responsibility of the influence a father has on his children and would not believe that he still did influence them; We would do our bible time on Saturday and he would go out the door to play golf and now I realize stop off for sex with his adulteress. From our son’s standpoint his father gave the impression that when a man gets older he can be successful and free to ignore the Bible and the Lord . That the Lord and the word are for women and children.

    What a fine legacy he has now . He is depressed as he tries to parent the children of the OW but without any contact with her. She neglects them in favor of going on with her life no matter if they are sick or hungry . He has to tend to these things from taking time from work and our family to stop off with food even as he has made sure she has support for them over the amount state required. He bought her a house and a new car ..while moving our family into lesser and run down conditions.

    He has always driven fancy cars ..spent money on entertainment for his co workers while I tried to steward our finances without realizing what he was doing . I trusted him and honored him according to the Word of GOD ..I am not sorry for I have walked after the Lord . What is harmful is that he and his behavior …though he felt invisible and entitled to his private life that he said he lived in compartmentalizing has left him with a terrible legacy that he now is depressed over but still refuses to admit he must learn from anyone .

    Had he invested himself in loving his wife, and spending time with our children instead of going to the OW ‘s home after work …he would have realized the work and sacrifice involved in training up children. I guess from the distance that he was viewing the results of the time I spent with teaching and training our children he thought is was easy.

    She visited our home for a office Christmas party and saw the school room and heard my testimony and then went out and started the campaign to be a ‘single mom by choice’ as she told my husband …He now realizes that this was only a way for her to insure herself an income. She was not unable to work ..she made 6 figures at the time …but with having children by my husband she knew he would step up financially.

    Since D Day he has had to realize that she was only using him and did a long con on him …as she was the one who approached him and solicited him in a restaurant when he was away from our family being transferred ahead of us . By the time we moved to be with him he and she were already committing adultery .

    His life has been one big regret now as he realizes the work it takes and consistency of a home life that we had that he cannot insure those other children.

    I cannot involve myself with them because the OW is unstable …

    My husband is sorry for what he has done to all of us but is now neglecting working on our marriage in favor of work and those children….it is as if they became the other woman …infidelity in this case is simply my husband did not want to learn how to be a married man …he married me after a courtship where in we discussed all matters ..there was no surprises in what to expect ..then once married he decided he wanted to live like a single man with a wife …cake and eat it too …He has done so much damage to all …

    The Lord is faithful and I trust in Him but my life is nothing like it was supposed to be.

    Tough times come but you do not expect the man you marry to be someone capable of such a terrible thing and to then tell you that he did not think it was going to be too bad.

    He even thought that if he was discovered that OUR daughters would be able to help raise those children! How self centered can a man be!

    I will stay married yet he is not concerned about changing …does not want any affection from me and does not extend any to me …it has been a long dry marriage indeed. He says he wants to die and he knows where he is going …to hell!

    NO amount of sharing more of the Word seems to be helping at all …I pray and am in sorrow for the wonderful opportunities God gave to our family that my husband has worked against so ardently . My husband was a tremendous student with a full ride at a prestigious university , a talented athlete and handsome enough to be offered modeling jobs….pursued by others… charming ..feigned humility,,,,and popular…but his devotion to God and me and our family was nothing to stop him from doing whatever he felt like doing

    The OW was a self proclaimed socialist, feminist, did not expect marriage ….it seems the only thing that drove her was to destroy our family . She has raised those children in pagan religions. The oldest recently told him that she hate Christians….so they are being raised in the pattern of their mother.

    I appreciate this site and the men who take their lives and influence seriously in terms of how they effect their wives and children . I never thought my life would be anything other than one that would encourage others to love the Lord as I believed marriage in Christ could do ….I believe Christ will work despite the lack of love my husband has had for us all …but it is sad for all to have had this situation that was so unnecessary.

    Thank you for your prayers and listening to my story here.

  1. Emotional Needs, Secular vs. Churchian Boldness | Feminism is Empathological on June 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm

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