5 Questions for John Gottman, Ph.D

5 Questions for John Gottman, Ph.D

Photo Courtesy of John Gottman, Ph.D

1. Essentially, what do women really want from men?

The number one thing that women want when they are seeking a partner to date is trustworthiness. First, she needs to know that she is safe, that she can rely on you. Trust simply means that one can be sure that in all decisions one’s partner is thinking about what’s good for you as well as what’s good for him or her.

2. After 40 years of relationship research, have the rules of dating changed?

In some ways nothing has changed. Instead of personals ads, we have the Internet, and the big matching sites. There are some secular trends: A segment of young people want to live alone, and are not seeking an intimate relationship at all. Some young people in our country are doing things in friendship groups rather than conducting one-to-one dating.

3. How is commitment good for your health?

It depends on how you define “commitment,” but the data on being married shows that married couples accumulate more wealth, are physically and mentally healthier, recover from illness more quickly, have children who do better in every developmental domain, and live longer (four to 15 years longer) than cohabiting (that is, less committed) couples.

4. In what ways does a man differ from a woman when it comes to conflict?

Women bring up the issues in the relationship 80 percent of the time. Women have better memories than men, especially for conversations. During conflict discussions, women are more critical than men, men are more easily overwhelmed by negative affect (the experience or feeling of emotion) than women are, men stonewall more than women, and men are less likely to accept influence from women than women are from men.

5. What’s your best tip for sex she’ll remember?

The one thing that a woman wants most in sex is to be desired by her man. Every now and then she wants to think that he finds her irresistible.

Researcher and relationship expert John Gottman answers your burning questions about commitment, sex, and more in his new book, The Man’s Guide to Women: Scientifically Proven Secrets from the “Love Lab” About What Women Really Want.

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