The list of what women wanted was growing longer and more complicated the more she thought about it. The first rule of thumb, though--and this wasn't a bad thing:
1. What women wanted was always in flux. There was always something more, something new, something different to want. In her twenties, for example, Every Woman wanted to couple, to share, and if she was successful in that department, she wanted, by the time she was forty, to be left alone to watch Comedy Central.
2. She did want to be the right woman for her man, easier said than done, but still, a goal. It was sad if the situation arose that she irritated him, belittled him, or henpecked him. Because she absolutely wanted to honor who he was.
3. She wanted dominion in specific areas but with the knowledge that he she was way off course he would steer her straight without ever bragging about it or even acknowledging his superior navigation abilities.
4. She wanted a respective and attentive and sympathetic audience, a man with advanced listening skills but not so advanced that he seemed like a phony or a girlfriend. His skills were male, his own, and empowering.
5. She wanted genuine appreciation for her creativity, her flexibility, and her generosity. In addition, she wanted her own genuine appreciation for his talents.
6.When it turned out he had very few of the qualities on the wishlist, and if the Serenity Prayer didn't work, that old saw about accepting the things you cannot change, then women wanted the perils of freedom.
Jane Hamilton, Laura Rider's Masterpiece, pg 211-212.