Dear men..what women want (no really)

strong_arm_menGuys. Lets talk.

I know you are all unique snowflakes in your own right, and that woman ‘be crazy’ but I think you might benefit from a little insight from the other side of the aisle. No, I am not a Republican, but I am a woman, (unless NPH* is more of your thing), well I represent what you’re looking for.

(NOTE – I said “represent” not “am”. I’m confident not insane.)

And as the nominated representative of the Republic of Women, I need to let you know – that contrary to popular opinion, it’s not about your face, your wallet or your car. It’s not about whether you can gift us with babies and to be honest, we could give two shits about your ability to bench 250. Ask any single woman over 35 what she’s looking for and she’ll say pretty much the same thing. She wants (in no particular order)

  • Honesty
  • Loyalty
  • Kindness
  • Good manners
  • A great smile
  • Conversation
  • A little edge

Sure there are a thousand other attributes that you can add to that list**, but once you strip away the must haves from the nice to haves, the needs from the wants.. we all want the same thing. A good guy. With a little edge.. just to keep us on our toes.

But.. but… but.. yes, I hear you. Women want everything. And why not?  Wishing and optimism is part of life. But what we need, well again, its pretty simple. everything really boils down to 7 things. Non of which pertains to your golden love juice, a $40,000 wedding or removing your balls. No matter what you think. Let me explain.


Of course you’re nodding your head. The last thing you stole was Pop Rox and the last lie was ‘more of a fib’ so you’re honest. But are you really honest?

The dictionary defines honesty as “Marked by or displaying integrity; upright” and “Not deceptive or fraudulent; genuine”  True integrity in everything you do and say honest? Hmmmm. Starting to look a little less easy isn’t it…?

(and don’t start throwing women back at me.. this is about you guys).

If you define honest as ‘not lying’ then yes, all men are honest. All of them. Because men tend to be honest via omission. If you didn’t say it, then you’re not lying…right? You didn’t say that you’re not sleeping around, still dating other women, are sexting your ex.. so you’re not technically lying are you? True. But you’re not being honest. Deception by omission is so commonplace most people don’t even think about it. But women, it’s the cornerstone of why we don’t trust guys further than we throw them. Because we know what you’re not saying is more important than what’s coming out of your mouth.

Now a relationship or dating isn’t a deposition; there are no contracts and no-one is swearing on a bible, but honesty.. living your life without omission or deception.. it’s the holy grail for women. And yes, while it’s as rare as George Clooney in a committed long-term relationship, it doesn’t stop us from wanting it.


This one is easier to define ‘ feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection’, but in women speak its even easier: ‘I trust that you’re in my corner’. We want to know you’re on our side. Sure it has to be earned – we don’t expect you to be in our corner on a first date – but we need to know that we can rely on you… because as women, we’ve always got your back. Its part of that damned maternal/ caring thing in our genes. We can’t help ourselves.  Which means – if you’re on our side – you can’t treat us as ‘the enemy’. We’re not, despite what you think, out to get you.  We just want to know that if our house burns down you’re the one helping rescue the dog, not pouring gas on the flames. Trust, reliability, loyalty.. call it what you will. Its at the top of our list.


I know, you’re suddenly feeling like it would be easier to buy a fancier car than this list…but kindness is key. Kindness is ‘friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature’ ‘Humane; considerate’ ‘generous, tolerant’. Sound a bit wussy for you? Well kindness can be as simple as making someone tea after a bad day. Saying nothing instead of being mean. Accepting that everyone messes up and not carrying the chip forever. Kindness isn’t wussy.. its friggin hard. One of my friends is a moody bitch on occasion but instead of indulging her irrational anger, her husband simply leaves the house, takes the dog and walks to the store to buy her candy. That’s kindness. Its the ability to acknowledge human-ness and not hold imperfection against someone.

Good manners

This shouldn’t need to be said but good manners are really lacking in men these days. And Unfortunately no-one told women that manners were verboten, because we still bizarrely – appreciate them. And yes, this means more than just opening the car door. Its treating servers, waitstaff and everyone you come into contact with respectfully, including us.  Politeness, returning a call, being patient, turning up on time, saying thank you.. we notice. We do. And its sexy. Screw the fancy car and the $200 jeans, we’ll take manners every time.

A great smile

Nuff said really. A great smile is almost always the top of any list that women make on what attracts them to men. Which is weird then you look at most online profiles. So many miserable or ‘Blue Steel’ poses. What gives? A smile shows a lightness of spirit, joy and enthusiasm.  It costs nothing and we’ll remember it a lot longer than whatever you were wearing.


Most women are talked into bed. Ok, some are also drunk into bed, but mostly we’re talked there. And while I’m not the most girlie of women, I, like most women, love to converse. NOTE: converse.. not talk. A conversation is one which goes back and forth, sallies into random tributaries and circles around but it involves two people. It draws out the thoughts and ideas of the other person, it rejoices in connection points and it cannot be understated as the seducer of women. And no, talking about that one time when you got sooo drunk isn’t conversation nor is spending the evening talking about yourself.  That’s a monologue and it says ‘I’m the most interesting person in this conversation’. And if you’re not interested in us and what we’re up to, thinking or feeling.. well..whats the point?

A little edge

The one is harder to define but all women look for it. We want you to be honest, to be loyal and to be kind.. but we also want a little ‘edge’. We don’t want to date a doormat. Milquetoast man is not getting laid. We need to know there is more to you, much more, than what we see. God knows if we’re going to be talking to you for the next 3-6 months (40 years???) there needs to be a suggestion that there is still some mystery. Some depth. A sense of confidence and quiet power. And no, edge does not translate to bad boy behavior or getting a sleeve tattoo.. it’s keeping us slightly guessing. On our toes. Making us want to keep seducing you for as long as we’re together. I guess the simplest explanation is ‘not getting too too comfortable’. And yes, gaining 30lbs and living in sweatpants would be getting too comfortable. That guy.. no edge.

So there you have it, menfolk. Stop reading those ‘Game’ websites or trying to ‘play’ us into bed. What women want isn’t complicated.. its just hard.

But you’re men.. you can handle it.

*Neil Patrick Harris. God of all that is ‘awesome’ and erstwhile friend of Dorothy.

** Being good at sex doesn’t hurt either

6 thoughts on “Dear men..what women want (no really)”

  1. I’m confused. After years of being told and experiencing the “nice-guys-always-finish-last” truism, women are now looking for a nice guy? After years of being myself and having tons of girl friends, but very few true girlfriends (and now 1 ex-wife), my type is now desirable? Everything you describe is the classic “Nice Guy” that so many guys tried to be, for so long, that we gave up because girls didn’t want that, or it wasn’t cool to be with a nice guy.


  2. I like your list Rachael. But in my mind it’s missing one of the most crucially important qualities that a man in a long-term relationship needs to have. I guess the best way to put it would be a man who “takes charge”. By that I mean he 1) has the awareness to realize that something needs to get done, and 2) has the skills and resolve to just go do it without being asked/nagged by you. Having led a shared home with someone for the last 13 years, this has become a higher and higher priority. Something that I never would have realized at age 23 is now forefront at 35. Do you see that the oil needs to be changed on the car? That the Christmas lights are still up in March? That the garbage and recycling are overflowing? Then go take care of it and save me from having to be the nagging b*!ch who has to ask you every time. In my opinion, as much as women want to be empowered in society or the workplace or whatever, they still want a man to take charge and not wait to be told that the house is falling apart around us. We are nurturing by nature, but we want to be taken care of a little bit too.
    At this point nothing would be hotter than if I walked out to my car one morning and discovered that it had been filled with gas, the oil had been changed, the tires inflated, and the washer fluid refilled…all without me ever being told that it was getting done. Throw in the lawn being mowed while I was out, and that man just got himself a lady sex slave.


  3. NOTE that I’ve never had anyone around long enough to actually expect them to take charge.. I think I’d pass out if someone proactively put gas in my car. However even getting a guy to proactively plan a DATE is a challenge…good call and omission noted.


  4. Really cool post.
    It was a great read and I think it will resonate with most women.
    The most qualities that we all cherish from people are the ones that come from the inside. And they’re timeless! 🙂


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