We began this anonymous* survey in high hopes. (We meaning myself and Verily Gentlemen Speak contributor Isaac Huss.)
The plan was to poll several men from all walks of life and ask them what they thought we, women, wanted in our manly partners. We had our facepalms ready, with set plans to laugh hardily at their answers as they would inevitably describe (young) Arnold Schwarzenegger and bad boys on motorcycles. Even Isaac, who co-wrote this with me, was a bit taken aback by his fellow men's insightfulness. Prior to this, he wasn't too keen on the article idea: "I feel like guys' answers would be rather mundane, talking about job, height, etc."
Mundane they were not. Oblivious they were not. Perfectly accurate? OK, maybe not always, but far closer than we imagined. Which, of course, begs the question: Men, if you know these things about us, why aren't more men sweeping us off their feet? (“Don’t make me answer that,” Isaac says.)
Without further ado, these are the types of things guys think we're looking for, along with some thoughts from Isaac and myself.
*All names are pseudonyms.
"Confidence. Because I've seen a lot of women take a pass on amazing guys, but guys who just are insecure. Also, I've seen a lot of women go for guys who are losers, but confident losers." –Demitri
"I think the most important attribute during the first couple dates is confidence. With high confidence a guy may seem more friendly, smart, funny, and that he can stick up for himself." –William
"The most important attribute is that he's comfortable with himself—that he's confident and strong—as this is a fundamental condition for intimacy and communication, or in other words, a relationship." –Luke
Maria: Confidence is totally critical because it means a guy is OK in his own skin—allowing him to be ready for a real connection. But it's often misunderstood, as true confidence does not look like bravado.
Isaac: Can confirm. Also, confident losers are the worst.
02. Career & Work Ethic
"Work ethic as it relates to financial stability. An ability to put others need's above their own." –David
"Career. It is the most externally available and obvious attribute and can say a lot about the guy. A man who has his career in line, or at least has a defined vision and plan for it, is likely to have other areas of his life squared away. You can tell a lot about a man by how he sees himself with respect to his labor." –Bryan
"Women love ... a guy who is handy (fix or build things)...and a guy with proven ability to hold a job and provide." –Tom
"If he makes big money, that's a huge plus." –Tyler
Maria: OK, so we want a guy who is capable of buying us a nice dinner, sure. But, I think what's more attractive to women is a guy who really loves his job. A guy who is energized by what he's doing with his life is so attractive! Sure, a nice car is a plus, but not a prerequisite.
Isaac: I will say this: In my experience, women are always much happier to go out on a date with a guy when they find out he’s got “M.D.” after his name or if he’s similarly well-established in a great profession. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. (The allure of hassle-free prescriptions is indeed enticing.)
"Well, women love a sense of humor." –Tom
"Women want a guy with a sense of humor. Not necessarily someone who is always making jokes, but I think knowing that the guy can be lighthearted about the right things is always viewed positively and seems to be a highly desired trait." –Bryan
"Humor." –Mike (a man of few words)
Maria: They got this one. At least with me, making me laugh is the quickest way to get my attention.
Isaac: Of course, we know you like a man who makes you laugh. But that’s not all. You do realize y’all laugh extra loudly when you like the guy, right? We’re on to you, ladies.
04. Good Heart & Emotional Availability
"She's probably asking: Is this guy a good match for me emotionally, professionally, spiritually? Will he support and complement my values, goals, and aspirations? Basically, will he love me, for me?" –Matthew
"In my opinion, women feel safe around a man of character even if he does not have the obvious physical size and strength. It's about heart, and women can easily pick up on when a man has heart." –Kyle
"They want a man to have or develop emotional intelligence." –Anthony
"He needs to be emotionally responsive—able to do romance." –Tyler
Maria: Akin to confidence, but different. If a guy isn't capable of being warm and emotionally open, it's a very tough road that most women won't wanna trek.
Isaac: “A good man is hard to find,” as the saying goes. But I’ve also seen good men be left behind because they had trouble bonding emotionally.
05. Respect & Honesty
"I think women, whether they would put it this way or not, are looking for virtuous men: men of integrity, courage, men who can make commitments, and men who keep their word. These things add up to a man who can love her, practically (by providing financially) and by his capacity for true friendship." –Demitri
"Women are looking for a man with integrity, who is authentic, that is: is respectful of all women all the time everywhere (not just his date, when on a date). Women pick up on how you treat others, and they see that, and that's what builds their trust." –Xavier
Maria: Yep, without these traits, you basically have a Jane Austen villain on your hands.
Isaac: While virtue and integrity don’t jump out at you on a dating profile, it’s very easy for women to spot a flake—and there’s no shortage of them. As a result, a man who shows interest from the get-go and doesn’t play games is a hot commodity.
"Being handsome doesn't hurt . . . being athletic and/or physically fit enough to defend her." –Anthony
"On a first date? Probably looks—handsome face, athletic build, a put-together look wins the day." –Xavier
Maria: I find it interesting that while looks were mentioned, guys didn't weigh it heavily. I think if roles were reversed, women would think guys rank looks extremely high.
Isaac: When it comes to first impressions, most guys do assume physical attractiveness is pretty important. But we also know there are many more mysterious things happening in the mind and heart of a woman—some of which we understand and plenty more that we don't.
So all in all, these guys exhibited an impressive understanding of what women want in a man—but they don't necessarily know everything. Is there anything you think they missed?