Cracking the Code of “What Women Want”


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It’s not as complicated as it seems.

They say there are 8 wonders of the world, but we all know that the 9th one is the question: What the hell do women actually want?

This article isn’t necessarily here to answer that question, but to help explore if it’s even the right one to ask in the first place.

And hey, we might just answer the question along the way by accident.

Here’s the thing: We are constantly told from a young age that women are complicated and difficult to understand. While this may be true…so are men.

As humans, we have neurological and biological idiosyncrasies that can be confusing even to ourselves. Anyone who’s made a blunder and stopped to ask “why did I even do that?” can understand this.

So, naturally, if we can’t understand ourselves at times, how do we expect to be able to group one entire gender together into a category and understand ALL of them at the same time?

Life doesn’t work that way. PEOPLE don’t work that way.

Yet, we perpetuate the narrative that women are some mystical creatures who require a secret combination to unlock, and nobody knows what the code is.

It reminds me of a story about a small elephant in the circus. The elephant is tied to a stake in the ground when it is a baby, and it cannot pull the stake out.

Then, when it reaches adulthood, it could easily snap the stake out of the ground and walk away. But it doesn’t.


Because it has been conditioned from a young age to think the stake is stronger than its leg, so it doesn’t even try.

Similarly, we are fed a narrative about how complicated women are for so long that we never even stop to examine why we believe this as adults.

In my work, I have spoken to literally thousands of women over the past decade. I’ve coached them, worked with them, worked FOR them, dated them, and been hurt by them.

During this time, I’ve had deep and meaningful conversations with them and have really worked to understand what it is that women want.

So, what conclusion have I reached?

Women really aren’t that complicated.

SO MANY guys out there psych themselves out when it comes to women.

What do I say? How do I act? What questions do I ask? What is she attracted to?

They spend so much time trying to figure out how to communicate that they never actually end up doing it at all. Another opportunity crushed by analysis paralysis.

Maybe if he’d just said hello…

But, I digress.

Herein lies the problem. A manufactured formula that’s supposed to “crack the code” of what women want that people have been trying to uncover since the dawn of time.

But, just like in any other story, we inevitably learn that the supernatural is probably something easily explained.

As with women, the complex list of things they want typically end up being:

  • Respect
  • Communication
  • To be treated as an equal
  • To be listened to
  • To be connected with
  • To be loved and cared for
  • To be valued and cherished
  • To be held when they’re sad
  • To be celebrated when they win
  • To be supported when they lose
  • To be able to count on you as a partner
  • To pursue her goals and dreams
  • To love her family and friends — and be loved in return.

If this sounds eerily like a list of things that YOU also want, that’s because women are just not that goddamn complicated.

They want you to be consistent and authentic. To step up and care. To show her that not all men are the same.

They want someone to finally have the guts to just say what he wants and then be consistent in the pursuit of it.

The most important part.

While I (rightfully) often get heat for categorizing ANY group of people together, allow me to bring this home by saying:

She wants you to put in the effort to learn about her as an individual and make her feel like your number one (because she should be).

There is no answer to the question “what do women want?” because every human being wants something different and unique.

There IS, however, an answer to “What does THIS woman want?”

And as a man who’s interested in her — it’s your job to find out the answer.

The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll be able to have normal conversations with women regardless of what they do, or who they look like.

And, not ironically, this approach will get you further than overthinking and trying to figure it out before you get started.

Say hello. Listen. Be normal.

Continue working on yourself and live a life that sets YOUR soul on fire.

That is attractive. That shows her you can count on yourself and have your own shit together regardless of your relationship status.

If you drop the stereotypes and just approach women like the human beings that they are, there will just be one answer to the question of what she wants:



James Michael Sama is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and personal development coach. Having spent over a decade in unhappy corporate cultures where employees felt undervalued and unmotivated, James branched out to pursue his passion for helping people live more fulfilling lives.

Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on the topic, James has accumulated over 38 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.

James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.


  1. lonstermash on February 12, 2021 at 12:15 am

    Sounds great, and this is exactly what I’ve been doing for almost my entire dating life (24 to 50– I’m 50 now). When I click with someone mutually, it has really worked out very well right away with no game playing, equal effort and enthusiasm on both sides, etc.. Unfortunately, for every mutual connection I’ve had, I’ve probably had about 5 friend zonings with women with whom I actually did like and felt enough of a connection to continue seeing. So my question to you is what is it that THEY wanted? According to them, I was very good looking, very sweet and kind, many times very funny, and, unlike most men they met, really had my shit together. But apparently that was not enough, as they still felt “no chemistry” and or “no romantic connection” after one (sometimes two) date. I think such women ARE indeed very complicated, chasing a rainbow when it comes to men, and I’ve even heard from many women, themselves (because I have a lot of good female friends) that “women are crazy.” One girl I briefly dated even told me, “I don’t know how you men aren’t all gay at this point having to deal with women.”

    • B on February 12, 2021 at 8:43 am

      Bear in mind that the fact a woman is available doesn’t mean she’s available To You. The fact that she isn’t feeling it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with her, it means she’s not interested. Instead of wondering what’s wrong with the ones who aren’t interested, stop assuming that your interest should mean automatic reciprocation and focus your attention on the ones you click with. Sometimes it isn’t about making it work with every woman you date, just about making it work with the right one.

      • lonstermash on February 13, 2021 at 3:37 pm

        Oh, I’m very well aware of that, and I would be the last to disagree, given how many times I have turned down a woman who was interested in me. The only difference with me is that when I don’t like a woman, I know EXACTLY why I don’t like her—-none of this vague “she’s great and has so much of what I’m looking for, but I just didn’t feel any chemistry/romantic connection” stuff that I hear about me. And I in no way am assuming my interest should mean an automatic reciprocation, so please don’t misinterpret what I’m trying to convey. What I am saying, however, is that I think a lot of women (and I have even heard this from female dating coaches I listen to) make the mistake of thinking they have to have mind blowing chemistry on a first date in order to want to continue dating someone, and they will otherwise write him off if they do not, even if he has tons of things she’s looking for on paper (good looks, kind personality, common interests, common lifestyle, shared values, etc). And I, and the dating coaches I have heard, think this is a big mistake on their part, because it is THOSE things (not the mind blowing chemistry right off the bat) that will make a good life partner in the long run. So I think some people (and I’ll say “people” because I’m sure many men do this as well) are chasing a rainbow looking for that perfect person, or maybe they are intimidated by people who don’t need to be fixed or find them unchallenging/boring, so, yeah, in that sense, there might be something for lack of a better term “wrong” with them. And believe me, when I find that rare someone with whom I have a mutual attraction, I DO focus my attention on her. But it frustrates me, none the less, to meet someone who has so much of what I’m looking for and claims that I have so much of what she’s looking for, only to get friend zoned after one date due to lack of chemistry.

  2. WHAT WOMEN WANT – THE BIG LOUD FEMINIST on February 26, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    […] Society has a really messed up view of what women and girls want. Yuck. So I, as a girl, am here today to tell you exactly what is correct. *cheesy pbskids music* Oh- and please note I’m speaking mostly for myself. Not everyone is the same- we all have different opinions and views. ❤ […]

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