What do men want in a woman? It may seem like a loaded question, but really the answer is quite simple. While every guy has his own preferences when it comes to the physical–some like blondes, some like brunettes; some like petite, some like curvy–there are several fundamental qualities that all men crave in a woman.
The media might lead you to believe that getting a man is all about the physical: what you wear, how you do your makeup, the right push-up bra, the right scent. These things will certainly help you attract a man, but will do little to keep him interested and invested.
This is what it takes to be a man’s ultimate dream girl:
1. Appreciates Him
Men are starved for appreciation. No man is going to come right out and say it, so you’re really going to have to take my word for it. In relationships, women mostly want to feel loved and understood. What men want most is to be appreciated and respected. Rather than focusing on what your man isn’t doing, try to hone in on the good things he is doing (there have to be some).
There is no greater feeling to a man that that of being truly seen and appreciated for who he is by the woman he cares about. The trouble is a lot of women can’t see past the things he isn’t doing right. And what’s worse is a lot of women will harp on a man over these things, which makes him less inclined to do the things she wants. Instead, it makes him feel like a failure and he will shut down as a result.
If you can genuinely appreciate the little things he does, he will go out of his way to do the big things as well.
It goes without saying that an ideal woman is one who respects herself. She also genuinely respects her man.
In addition to being appreciated, men have an enormous need to feel respected. This is true of all humans, but usually this desire burns stronger in men. What I mean by respect, is she understands who he is and what he needs and gives him space to express himself without making demands on him and prioritizing herself over him.
Respect means accepting he needs certain things, even if they are in opposition to what you want or need. For example, when men get stressed or feel unbalanced, they usually like to retreat into their “cave” to sort things out. They don’t necessarily like talking through the problem and would rather work it out on their own and then come back into the relationship re-charged.
So let’s say your guy is having a hard time and needs some time alone, but you really want him to be open and honest with you and want him to share his feelings. Respecting him entails putting what’s best for him above what you want. In this case, it would be giving him the space to work through his issues even though you would prefer that he talk to you about it, because that’s what’s going to be most beneficial for him.
3. Encourages Him to Meet her Needs Without Being Needy
While some of your previous relationships may have proven otherwise, the truth is men are natural givers. Yes, that’s right. They want to give, they want to provide, and they want to make you happy. What they don’t want is to be bossed around and told what to do.
When a woman tells a man what to do, she is essentially emasculating him by taking away the very thing that makes him feel significant: his ability to provide. When you boss him around, he feels like a failure for not being able to do his job. Rather than wanting to do more for you, he feels defeated and retreats.
MORE: Why Men Withdraw
I’m not saying you should just let him do what he wants and not say a peep. There is a right way to encourage a guy to meet your fundamental needs (when I say needs, I mean universal needs we have as humans, like the desire to bond, connect, and support each other, not texting every hour on the hour), but it has to be done in a way that empowers him, not in a way that makes him feel like a failure.
If you appreciate your man and are able to see him for who he is and love him for being that person, flaws and all, you are empowering him. When a woman is in a good place emotionally, she can empower her man effortlessly because it comes naturally to her. She brings out the best in him because she is coming from a place of love, not a place of control. She doesn’t need him to validate her sense of self or be the one to heal her from her painful past. She is with him because she wants to be, not because she has some agenda.
Men want to feel manly and significant. They want to provide for you, it’s just their nature to be that way. However, a man will only want to give to a woman who can happily receive what he has to offer, not one who is going to make unnecessary demands in order to feel good about herself and secure in the relationship. A women who tries to get this assurance from the outside will always be unsatisfied and there is nothing more unappealing to a man than an unhappy woman.
4. Accepts Him for Who He Is and Brings Out His Best.
A lot of the time, women get caught up in turning a guy into what they want him to be rather than accepting him as he is and encouraging him become his best self.
Men can sense when a woman is trying to change or control them and it isn’t motivating, it’s crippling and defeating. It makes him feel like a failure and as a result, he’ll go in the opposite direction. In any relationship, it’s imperative to accept the other person for who they are, this includes the good and the bad. The worst thing you can do is try and turn him into what you need him to be. It may sound crazy, but women do this all the time!
Maybe you’re trying to get him to be more emotionally supportive, more sensitive, more affectionate. I mean, all these things are great, but what you need to ask yourself is if you’re trying to get him to be that way because it would be good for him or because it would be good for you? Now there’s the million dollar question…
An ideal woman accepts him as he is and since she is so accepting and appreciative, he becomes a better man, a better boyfriend, completely on his own. She brings her best self to the table and knows by doing this, she will bring out his best self.
5. Confident and Secure in Herself
This is perhaps the most essential trait of all. In fact, if you can master this, doing everything else on this list will be easy and effortless.
There is nothing sexier or more appealing to a man than a woman who is thoroughly confident within herself and truly loves her life. Period.
Train yourself to see the good in who you are and what you have to offer. Learn to realize that any man would be beyond lucky to land you and see yourself as the ultimate prize. Even if you don’t actually feel this way yet, say it to yourself anyway. Thoughts have a way of becoming reality and eventually it will sink it.