What does a man want in a woman? It’s been an unanswered question for centuries mostly because men aren’t stupid enough to try to answer it.
But I am.
Recently, Catherine Frank wrote about the traits a woman seeks in a man. It’s a good list that made a lot of readers think (and comment!).
I do believe God has someone out there in mind for everyone, but unfortunately God doesn’t give us an exact roadmap to find “The One.” We all need help sometimes, so here’s some thoughts on very important things a man wants in a woman.
- Honesty.This is the most important trait any man is looking for in a woman. I knew a guy in college who was absolutely bonkers about a girl. She really was wonderful in many ways. One night, after they’d been dating a few weeks, they walked into a party together and someone asked her an innocent question. She casually, yet believably, lied. Her response wasn’t even about something particularly important, but it was still a lie. My buddy didn’t think about it much in the moment, but later it bothered him to no end. Certainly the lie was bad enough, but he was concerned by the ease with which she lied. In future conversations he couldn’t forget how easily she’d lied and for no reason. It destroyed their relationship.
If a woman is dishonest with a man, it’ll eat us up and then we’ll become unbearable. Honesty is the basic building block for every other facet of your relationship. If you don’t have honesty, you don’t have a relationship. You’re simply managing the other person.
- No Half Anniversaries Please.Men hardly know what to do with our actual anniversary, not that we remember them anyway. The greatest thing that 21st century men have going for them is that we can just put the dates of our anniversary, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day into our phones and when we check to see where we’re supposed to be the next morning, we see that we better get to the florist right quick.
But what do we do with half anniversaries? There’s no half anniversary app to remind us and there’s no established protocol for such half-special days. My wife and I have an actual anniversary. I can’t tell you what it is off the top of my head, but we have one.
Then one day she comes and kisses me and tells me that it is the anniversary of our first date. What? Is that a thing? I don’t remember it being a thing before. There’s no card for that. I thought flowers were a little over the top. Chocolate was too holiday-ish. So I settled on rubbing her feet while we watched television. She seemed to like it. Win.
In reality, half anniversaries and actual holidays scare men to no end. We don’t know what to do with them. We would love if women would not think too much about what we do on those days of the year, but focus on what we do the other 364 days of the year. Like all the times we went out to start your car early so that it was warm by the time you came out. Or when we painted the room “Carolina Blue” because you didn’t like “Deep Sky Blue” anymore. We don’t even see the difference, but we do it because we love you.
Real love is not about Valentine’s Day or anniversaries. It’s about a lifetime of random Tuesdays.
- A Fair Fighter.This one sounds weird, right? Look, in any relationship you’re going to havedisagreements—sometimes big ones—and passions can run pretty high. Most important in a fight is to have a spouse who isn’t out to win the argument at all costs.
We also have to avoid arguing past each other. Very often, men want to argue logic and women tend to argue with more emotion. So we’re often at an impasse. But if there’s one thing men can’t stand it’s making a woman cry. We often run a quick cost/benefit analysis to decide whether to continue the fight once the tears start. Very often the man will just apologize to end it, but it’s not really over. We think we’re right and sometimes feel as if we were manipulated into surrender. Now, a man will likely not keep that specific argument going, but the resentment will still be there. It will rear its ugly head in an argument over the remote control or about leaving cabinet doors slightly ajar. And we’ll look like crazy people.
- Men Want Women Who Get Freaked Out by Bugs.Don’t kill bugs. We like doing it. The more skeeved out by the little critters women are, the happier we are. We get very little opportunity to display our manliness anymore since carrying swords became unfashionable (and probably even illegal in some states.) So killing bugs is something we can do to save you. And we like saving you. Let’s face it, the Empire isn’t going to kidnap you and force us to break into the Death Star to free you from their evil clutches. So right now all we’ve got is saving you from the hairy 30-odd-legged creature on the living room ceiling. We’ll take it. So scream away ladies. Scream away.
- Accept That We’re Men.Men are desperate for a woman who accepts that men are different than women. Very, very different. Sometimes silence is just our default setting. Don’t be upset when we don’t talk through our feelings. Don’t be upset when you ask us what we’re thinking about and we say nothing because guess what; we were probably actually thinking about nothing. We’re capable of that. And we’re good at it.
Men desperately want a woman who will accept them and not try to change them. God created us as man and woman. Different. Don’t try to undo God.
- A Woman Who Cares About Her Appearance.OK, let’s get this out of the way. Men are often accused of being superficial and visual. That’s because it’s sort of true. Men do appreciate a woman’s looks. But here’s the thing: we find the vast majority of women attractive. I’m not kidding, the vast majority. So yeah, we care about looks but we pretty much think you’re all great. It’s true. We want a woman who cares about how she looks…but not too much. Concern about one’s appearance can sometimes tip over into superficiality, however. It’s a fine line but hey, nobody said it’s easy being a woman.
- Please Say What You Mean.Men would love to find a woman who doesn’t ask a question when they’re actually trying to tell us something. My wife and I were driving home one night and she asked me if I was in the mood for ice cream. I wasn’t. And kept on driving.
Here’s the thing, every guy reading this doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with what just happened. Every girl knows exactly what came next. I pulled up to our house and started walking in and could tell she was upset. I asked what was wrong and she wanted to know why I didn’t ask her if she wanted ice cream.
“Do you want ice cream?” I asked, thinking this could be a quick fix. I thought if she wanted ice cream I’d just hop back into the car and go get her some. No problem.
But she tells me it’s not about the ice cream. She tells me it’s that I didn’t ask her if she wanted ice cream. She says it’s about communication, and love, and thinking about the other’s feelings, and wanting to do nice things for each other. She explains this to me for about 10 minutes. When she finally takes a breath I ask, “So do you want me to go get you ice cream?”
She stared at me as if I just won the crazy contest. She sighed and walked sadly back into the house. You know what I did? I went and got her ice cream. She said it didn’t help, but she was too busy munching it down to continue our conversation.
- Respect.I always tell my son that when you’re looking for a wife, look to see how she treats her parents because that’s likely how she’ll eventually treat you. Now, my son is nine years old and horrified at the thought of girls so he doesn’t listen very closely but someday, I assume, he’ll come looking for my sage advice. Until then I’ll just write my advice to complete strangers, like you