In her quest to find out what was responsible for sustained desire in relationships and marriages, the famed relationship therapist Esther Perel did research across 22 countries. 

The more she enquired, the more she realized that a certain group of answers always reemerged: Most people desired their partners the most… “When they’re on stage, when they’re passionate about something, when they are radiant, doing something they are good at,” etc. 

Perel’s research reveals an interesting thing about human psychology. 

Here’s the thing: The word desire is often associated with a physical appeal. And while this might still be the case for most men, for the majority of women, desire doesn’t work the same way. Your physical appeal can only go so far. 

If you want to make a woman desire you, there are a few things you need to pay more attention to than how you look. The words of Noam Schpancer, a professor of psychology at Otterbein College, will form the basis as we proceed. In his words,

“Many women seek and place a premium on a sense of intimacy and emotional closenesss with their sexual partners.”


1. Understanding Responsive Desire 

According to Dianne Grande, a clinical psychologist, for the most part, intimacy happens differently for men and women. A man can easily move from desire to intimacy. But for women, this isn’t the case. As Grande wrote in Psychology Today, 

“The majority of men experience desire as the first step towards intimacy… However, for the majority of women, the first step is arousal, followed by desire.”

Arousing a woman is easy. What’s not easy is moving from arousal to desire. 

Think about it: 

What most dating and relationship coaches teach is how to arouse a woman. Playing mind games will help you arouse her, but it cannot make her desire you for long. 

When a woman sees a cute guy and likes him, that’s arousal. This is why she can go on a date with that same guy and never want to see him again. Why? 

The guy succeeded in getting her attention, but he couldn’t get her to desire him. To get a woman to desire you, you have to move from responsive desire to conscious desire. 


Interesting: How To Make A Girl Chase You (Psychology)


2. Conscious Desire 

Imagine the following scenario: 

Cynthia meets Collins on Tinder. Cynthia feels lucky because Collins seemed like a pretty decent, good-looking guy (judging from his profile picture and their short chat).

Without wasting time they decided to set a date and time to meet. 

Cynthia is excited.

On the day of the date, she dresses up nice and sweet, ready to meet Mr. Handsome. And when Collins showed up, he didn’t disappoint at all. He looked even better. He was tall, had perfect teeth, and had perfect hair. 

But immediately they introduced themselves and started talking, Collins couldn’t stop talking about himself. He’ll talk about something funny he did and laugh loudly, without even paying attention to how Cynthia responded to the joke. 

Now Cynthia has moved from anticipation and excitement to being turned off. 

3. How to Trigger Desire

After you’ve captured a woman’s attention, the next thing is the most important: Making her desire you. But how do you move from mere arousal to desire? Well, as Dianne Grande further wrote, 

“Before a woman’s arousal shifts to a sense of desire, she must make a determination that she is safe.”

Safety, either physically or emotionally, is the most important thing. 

Safety doesn’t have to do with defending her against harmful predators. That’s for the caveman. The question is, can she feel safe with you? 

Let’s take Collins–our handsome guy–for instance: His self-obsession says a lot more about him than you might think. For the woman, it translates into: 

  • He is needy
  • He is self-obsessed
  • He will not pay attention to my needs
  • He’s going to make a lot of self-centered decisions
  • If he cares so much about himself, will he stick around if I got pregnant
  • He’s going to place his physical needs above everyone else’s… 

You get the point. 


Also read: 4 Weird Things That Will Make A Girl Want You More


4. The Importance of Emotional Safety 

In her book, Love Sense, the best-selling author Dr. Sue Johnson, explained that the emotional safety provided by the one we love gives us the kind of secure attachment we all crave in another person. 

Furthermore, when we can emotionally depend on someone, we can deeply and fully explore the world, our deepest fantasies, and our sexuality with them. As social creatures, our need for this sort of connection is innate, and we can’t fight it. As Dr. Sue wrote in her book

“The first and formost instinct of human is neither sex no aggression. It is to seek contact and comforting connection.”

When we find love and trust in one person, we’ve found something rare, and we have no choice but to crave that person. This is the foundation for building desire in a woman. 

5. Desire Needs Space 

Let’s get back to Esther Perel’s research. 

Desire, like any other precious thing, needs to be actively worked on. As Esther Perel found in her elaborate research, desire get’s intensified when we see the person we love in their element. 

When you’re in an audience looking at your partner performing on stage, it gives you a different kind of feeling. Why? 

You’re observing and admiring him (or her) with the crowd. Even though the person on stage is already yours, you can, along with everyone else, desire them anew. 

Just like fire needs air to grow stronger, desire also needs space to grow stronger. You don’t want to suffocate your woman. 

In ancient times, the men indeliberately achieved this by going away to war. 

But for you today, this might translate into getting hobbies, or doing anything that you can dedicate your time to. This will not just take you away from her, whatever you achieve with this extra thing will only add to your value in her eyes and aid your personal growth. It’s a win-win-win. 

Remember, desire isn’t determined by the amount of time you spend together. It’s determined by the quality of the time. 


Related: Why Girls Like Bad Boys, According to Psychologists


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