Ally vs. Enemy:
Understanding The Emotional Needs of Men
By Frank Kermit
The best way I know how to teach people about the emotional needs of men is to break it down to absolute fundamentals. If people can understand those, then people can understand the emotional motivations behind the choices men make in who men choose to have sex with, date and make long term commitments too.
A woman can only play one of two roles in a man's life. She is either his ally or she is his enemy. She cannot be both. In every action a woman takes, and in everything a woman says, a man will judge her on an emotional level that he may not necessarily be conscious of in deciding if he should have her in his life, have sex with her and/or make a commitment to her. If a woman addresses a man's emotional needs he will feel that she is his ally, and potentially feel enough of a bonding trust to commit to her. When a woman violates the emotional needs of a man, he feels he might have her as an enemy in his life, but he may still continue to have sex with her pending how bad a violation of his other emotional needs, though he has already emotionally decided he will never commit to her.
One of the ways that the emotional needs of men and women differ is in the way men and women categorize each other. Women can only feel that she can play one of two roles in a man's life. She is either his mother or his lover. A conflict occurs when a woman feels like a man's mother (at which point she loses any sense of being attracted to him), and the man feels she is his ally because she acts like his mother (which does not negate his sexual desires and in fact, he may interpret her mothering him as a sign of her being romantically interested in him). The more I learn to understand couples and relationships, the more I really do experience moments when I am in awe that anyone ever gets together anymore when there are absolutely no outside factors involved like family pressure, cultural expectations or just needy desperation. Sigh.
One of the main differences between men and women is how their emotional needs relate to sex. For women, the act of sex can be an efficient means of addressing her particular and individual emotional needs profile. For men, sex IS an emotional need. Sex will not address a variety of a man's emotional needs; sex only address the one need: his emotional need for sex. This is a key reason why when men and women attempt to enter into "friends-with-benefits" types of relationships, it is usually the woman who will start to develop more feelings of attachment than men. During continual sexual activity, women are having multiple emotional needs met during their sexual session, and that triggers feelings of deeper attraction and loving attachment. Men get the sex, and the emotional balance that men experience from sexual intercourse, but do not necessarily get any of their other emotional needs met during sex, depending on the context of their sexual activity.
Most men will have certain emotional needs in common such as his need to have his reputation protected, his need for recharge time, his need for femininity, his masculine-identity, and finding a woman he can trust as his secret keeper who will put their relationship ahead of all other people. However each man has an individual emotional needs profile that defines which emotional needs are more important and less important to him. The key to gain his commitment will be found in assessing his emotional needs, and being able to address his most important ones to the degree he emotionally responds too.