What Men Want In A Woman

Women's Dating

What Men Want in a Woman: 7 Qualities from Real Guys (Feb. 2024)

Rachel Dack

Written by: Rachel Dack

Rachel Dack

Rachel Dack is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) and relationship coach specializing in individual and couples psychotherapy. Rachel's areas of expertise include relationships, dating, mindfulness, anxiety, depression and self-esteem.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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What do men want in a woman? You could spend your life in think tanks, therapy sessions, and dating seminars searching for the answer, but now you don’t have to.

We did some digging and found 7 qualities that men want in a woman — all based on scientific research and what real guys have actually said. Click the links below to learn more about why men desire each characteristic.

  1. Intelligence
  2. A Sense of Humor
  3. Kindness
  4. Ability to Show Mutual Attraction
  5. Dependability
  6. Emotional Stability
  7. Responsiveness

Need a date? Our experts recommend starting with Match.com.

As you read, think about if and how you possess each characteristic and consider how you could strengthen them. Use this article as a guide to both connect with your dream guy and bring out the best version of yourself.

1. Intelligence

According to a national online survey by Hart Research, 72% of men value intelligence in a wife. Naturally, men want to avoid dull conversations and are drawn to intelligent women who can partake in stimulating, interesting activities.

More recently, the definition of intelligence has been broadened to include seven types of intelligence (this is really good news!) that we all possess in varying degrees. Whether you are creative, analytic, intuitive, witty, clever, practical, or insightful, you are intelligent. You may be more interpersonal (the ability to relate well to others) than logical or mathematical or more visual than verbal.

How to Show Intelligence: Highlight Your Unique “Smarts”

By cultivating curiosity and focusing on your intellectual strengths, you can expand your knowledge and abilities while also attracting smart, capable, and all-around awesome people to you. Instead of asking yourself “Am I smart?” ask yourself “How am I smart?” And pursue the things that make you feel in your element and confident.

You can impress a guy with your unique smarts by suggesting dates that show off your natural strengths — maybe you’re really good at problem-solving in escape rooms or maybe you shine at Harry Potter or Grey’s Anatomy trivia nights.

Also, let him teach you a thing or two by pushing yourself to try new things on dates that bring out his intelligence. Trade in a bar for a museum, a movie for horseback riding, or a concert for mini golf, depending on your “intelligence” as a couple.

2. A Sense of Humor

Men are attracted to women who appreciate their sense of humor and laugh at their jokes. According to a study by the University of Miami, men prefer women who will laugh at their jokes over women who will make them laugh.

You don’t necessarily have to be quick with your quips to get a guy falling for you. Instead, let him know you think he’s funny, and he’ll feel on top of the world.

How to Have a Sense of Humor: Use Laughter as a Flirting Strategy

Whether he is naturally funny or using humor as a tactic to approach or impress you, laugh if you find him funny. This works for both of you because he will find you sexier if you laugh and you can use laughter as a flirting and intimacy-building strategy.

3. Kindness

Science has shown kindness and generosity are the two most essential ingredients for long-term relationships.

Extending kindness to yourself and others positively benefits your mental health and relationships. Practicing kindness has been scientifically proven to ignite positive side effects. Not only does it deepen connections, but it is contagious and known to create a ripple effect.

It might be a tad predictable that kindness appeals to men, but did you know men are more sexually drawn to kind women? A University of Rochester study found men are more attracted to kind and attentive women and these traits can deepen sexual desire.

How to Be Kind: Listen and Show Appreciation

Treat your date or partner with kindness by smiling, listening, giving genuine compliments, saying thank you, and showing appreciation.

When planning dates, be considerate of his time, money, and location by not assuming he should always pay or make plans closer to your home. While he might want to pursue you, treat you, and take you out, he still expects you to be grateful, kind, helpful, and willing to compromise. He will value kind actions that surpass the basic etiquette of being polite and superficially nice — he will look for kindness that is ingrained in who you are and the partner you will be.

Also, be aware of your dating behaviors, especially during insecure moments. Sometimes behaviors used to protect your heart appear cold or unkind and prove to be huge roadblocks to love.

4. Ability to Demonstrate Mutual Attraction

To turn casual dating into an exclusive relationship, both partners must be interested in each other. For the relationship to be sustained over time, mutual attraction and love must exist.

It’s no wonder the University of Iowa also found both men and women rank mutual attraction and love first out of other characteristics.

Love is complex and difficult to describe. You might find that you question if you really know what love is or if you will recognize it if it is right in front of you. The experience of love is unique from person to person, yet loving relationships encompass similar qualities, such as respect, self-sacrifice, compromise, intimacy, affection, compassion, safety, and connection.

How to Show Mutual Attraction and Love: Give Him Visual and Physical Cues

Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more! Be intentional in your interactions and refuse to play games. While you might not be ready to explicitly tell him you like him, give him signs so he is not left wondering.

Enjoy your instant or growing chemistry by making eye contact, flirting, and touching him. Give him your full attention when you are together and invest in getting to know him. Build on your foundation at an appropriate place and let love grow naturally while discovering ways to show him love and affection.

5. Dependability

A man may take out or hook up with a woman who is unreliable, but this woman will most likely not turn into his girlfriend or wife.

Commitment-minded men are looking for women who are trustworthy, reliable, available, and dependable, according to the same University of Iowa study referenced above, which found “dependable character” is an essential quality men look for in women.

How to Be Dependable: Keep Communication Open

If you tend to cancel date after date and expect him to stick around, think again. He might give you another chance, but he will be evaluating if he should give you the benefit of the doubt and how reliable you actually are.

If you do need to cancel, communicate why and give him as much notice as possible. If you really want to meet him or reschedule, tell him.

The bottom line is a man values a woman who will consistently show up and be there for him. He wants to know you want to get to know the real him and will stick around because you adore the man he is (and not just his looks, money, or status).

6. Emotional Stability

Dependability is a quality that men rank high

in what they want in a woman, as shown in a 2008 study by the University of Iowa. Men value women who are resilient during stresses, failures, and challenges and who display a steady temperament and consistent character.

Emotionally stable women are reliable, rise above pettiness and drama, and have consistent emotional reactions. They don’t throw tantrums when life does not go their way, and they don’t text him “it’s over” or show up at his workplace if he doesn’t respond after 30 minutes.

They are not passive aggressive or insecure; instead they understand that he has a life and other passions, commitments, and interests outside of the relationship.

Your emotional stability is a must because he is bound to find your emotional outbursts or unstable, fragile behavior as an exhausting, frustrating, and confusing roller coaster. Unfortunately, he will worry that he can’t trust you or depend on you if you don’t appear emotionally stable.

How to Be Emotionally Stable: Use Coping Skills to Manage Your Emotions

First and foremost, gain awareness on how your mood affects others and determine what triggers your highs and lows. No one wants to feel as though they are walking on eggshells around you or going to make you upset. In fact, that would crush his heart.

Take care of yourself, use coping skills to better manage your emotions, and seek professional help if you find you tend to cry uncontrollably, easily experience fluctuates in mood, or feel that your emotions are out of control.

7. Responsiveness

Researchers from the University of Rochester, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya in Israel found men perceive responsive women as more feminine and attractive.

Healthy relationships and partnerships involve give and take and mutual understanding, so it is no surprise that men can’t resist women who are available, responsive, and supportive.

How to Be Responsive: Try to Understand His Feelings Without Judgment

While the study found being responsive is not necessarily important during a first meeting, being responsive and attentive during the dating process allows your bond to grow.

You can develop your ability to be responsive by paying attention to what your date or partner says, validating his emotions and words, as well as trying to better understand his feelings and perspective. When he speaks, really tune into what he is saying without judgment or distraction to deepen your connection and increase intimacy.

Men Like Women Who Laugh, Love & Live to the Fullest

Trying to be someone you are not never ends well and does not breed genuine connection. Your best bet is to be your authentic and imperfect self while continuing to improve as a person and partner.

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