By Mary DeMaio

It can be difficult navigating the dating circuit and everyone runs into relationship problems. While women need to understand the characteristics they are looking for in a man, men need to learn how to deal with women. The new self-help book by the certified counselor, teacher, and preacher A.R. Bernard dives into the qualities that make for a happy and satisfying relationship. His book, Four Things Women Want From A Man gives readers relationship advice on how to identify and develop the traits of maturity, decisiveness, consistency, and strength, to help couples relate to each other and enrich their connection. In this exclusive author interview, Bernard talks about his observations and the secrets to developing closeness and honesty between a man and woman. 

Author Shares Best Relationship Advice On What Women Want From Men

Can you tell us briefly, what are the four things women want from a man? Is any one of the four qualities you mention more important than the other? Or are they equally significant?

I have been married to the same woman for 44 years. My wife is the one I give a lot of credit to for teaching me over the years. This book is really my journey coming to understand these four qualities and living them out. The four things begin with maturity. Maturity does not come with age; it begins with the acceptance of responsibilities. When a man is willing to accept responsibility for his words, thoughts, motives, actions, and attitudes is when that man begins to mature and depart from the insecurities that keep him adolescent. Maturity is the foundation to the next three things.

The next is decisiveness. Men need to be decisive. It is a women’s prerogative to change her mind. He needs to be able to make decisions quickly and constantly. In order to do that, he has to have a set of values and principles to guide his thinking and decision-making process. In the book, I talk about what values are, what they mean and why they are so important. Women look for decisiveness in a man, they respect that.

Next is consistency. Doing the same thing continuously. Doing the right thing, as well as being consistent in actions and words. It is important to make sure that values and actions are in agreement and line up. This gives women stability and a sense of security and safety.

Strength is the last one. Quite often this is misunderstood. By strength, I don’t mean this macho attitude, illustrated by the caveman dragging the women by her hair with the club over his shoulder. When a man is strong, it means he is secure in himself and has the courage to live out his convictions. His strength allows him to be gentle and kind. Scripture says a man’s kindness is what makes him attractive.

These four qualities are an integrated system. You can’t have one without the other, but I will stress that maturity is the foundation upon which they are built. Maturity has to do with integrity. Integrity is the cornerstone of character. Honesty is the core of integrity and every relationship is built on trust.

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We know our readers will be curious, why didn’t you develop the four qualities that men want in a woman? If you did, what would they be?

I have to start with the women first. Like I said, it is a book written to women for men. It is getting to the men indirectly. There will be a follow-up book that talks about what men want in women. When it comes to women, men have two critical concerns. Number one: They don’t want to feel controlled by a woman. It is a woman’s nature to be supportive and assist the man. The second thing is men are concerned about being inadequate or incompetent in any way in that relationship. If I am going to talk about what men look for in a woman it would be around those two concerns that men have in their relationship with a woman.

Our visitors are always looking for advice on how to make the most of their personal lives. What advice would you give to a woman who can’t find someone with all of these four qualities?

Once she reads the book, it is more than just four words. It is really giving her an understanding not only about men but about herself. How she is wired as a woman and why she looks for the things that she looks for. I think in understanding herself it will empower her to better relate to a man.

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How would you guide someone who is having a difficult time finding a partner? What is the best way to confirm compatibility?

I would say that there is hope presented in this book. There is no one size fits all in relationships, but these principles are universal, eternal and they work. Once she understands this relationship advice she can know how to apply them to the relationship that she chooses to get involved with. I don’t talk about it in this book, but there is a process to relationships and we are in a world where we want instant gratification, microwave relationships, and microwave spirituality. True valuable things require a process and we must move through that process to protect ourselves and to strengthen what we are looking to build or establish.

Relationships begin with an introduction. That is where we are introduced, but then we must spend time getting acquainted. So it moves from introduction to acquaintanceship. During the acquaintanceship process, we get to know each other, our values, what’s compatible with each other, what the differences are, what our views are on relationships, family and money and all the other things that come into play. The next step, if we choose to move forward with the relationship, is to build a friendship that is about trust, transparency, and vulnerability. This all has to happen before we even think about moving to the next level called intimacy. Process is critical and too often we want to move from introduction to intimacy and that is why relationships fail.

Four Things Women Want From A Man is available now on Amazon. For more on A.R. Bernard visit his website and check out his twitter @ARBernard