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What Is a Woman Looking For in a Man?

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What is a heterosexual woman really looking for in a man? This is a question that has answers as diverse, complex and plentiful as women themselves. Since women are as different and unique as men are, there is no simple, black and white answer to this question.

However, from personal experience, reading and talking with other women, I can venture to say a bit on the subject without making it overly simplistic.

1. Warmth. Yes, that's right, good old fashioned warmth. Notice this is different from our modern obsession with piping hot, scalding hot, burning hot. Hot may be exciting but, like a great dose of sugar, it can also leave you feeling lower and colder than you did before. Plus it cools down naturally anyway. Warmth, however, is different. Warmth simmers, lasts, comforts, and maintains itself even in trying circumstances. Warmth consoles and eases stress and is a relaxing massage that can turn into something, well, hotter.

2. Listening Skills. Of course women know that men don't listen to them the way their girlfriends does and they don't expect that. However, a good nod of acknowledgement, an insight here and there, retaining the information from a conversation had several weeks ago - these things are like little gems of love for women and they make us feel seen, heard, and real. Feeling real to a man turns us on.

3. Humor. Not only his jokes and his ability to laugh, but his ability and genuine desire to laugh at OUR jokes. This is not strictly a male domain as is constantly portrayed in the media.... we love for men to find us funny and it, too, lightens our mood, gets us into the playful state of mind and relaxes us.

4.Niceness. While many of us are seriously attracted to the "bad boy" stereotype, it is not usually long lasting. We like a little nasty with our nice but the overall push is toward trust, compassion, and consistency. These qualities when combined with the others cause us to begin letting down our guard, er, hair...

5. Strength. This is often characterized as muscles, and yes, these are quite pleasant. Real strength, though, is an ability to stay relatively emotionally balanced in the face of extreme stress or challenges. This means not freaking out in traffic or when the kids break things accidentally and handling an argument or disagreement with maturity. This kind of emotional strength, from everything I see in my girlfriends, hear and read about is one of the sexiest and most underrated qualities we love in men.


6. He Gets Me. Women, like men, can be shallow and inconsiderate when it comes to choosing a partner. Rather than looking for someone perfect - look for someone perfect FOR YOU. This means he gets it and gets you. He enjoys things about you that others may not even notice. He realizes that your quirks are part and parcel of who you are. He sees the way you carry your bags, try to open the car door and talk on the phone all at the same time and he laughs to himself as he slides a bag from your shoulder. He doesn't try to fix you or change you because he appreciates you as you are, for yourself.

Add a Comment3 Comments

I couldn't agree with you more. I have felt the same things - especially now that I'm 40 and looking toward aging gracefully... I absolutely want someone to accept me as I am more than ever and also want to be able to have the same ability to just experience the joys of loving someone without him being a "certain way." The kids, if you have them, also become the focus and you really need that stability and consistency in your relationship to give them what they need.

Thanks for your great insights!

September 3, 2009 - 3:56am

Great insights! I also think that what you look for in a man can change as you get older. In my early twentys I wanted someone to party with and have fun. The 'bad boy' image was very attractive in my teens. :) However, once I was in my late twentys I was looking more for my life long partner and being warm and good to me was much more important.

September 3, 2009 - 1:45am

I always relish your comments because your insights are fantastic. I agree with you, I think it's a misconception promoted and reinforced by the media that we really want someone to be sort of aloof and quasi-abusive toward us. Over that.

"Hot" is last year! I love this!

Take care,

September 2, 2009 - 3:41pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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