This is a question every man faces in pursuing the woman of his dreams. After all, there is a lot at stake. While some men meet their lifelong partners before they even begin looking, many of us will spend years waiting to meet a woman who lights our soul on fire. And when we meet her, even the most confident among us will experience at least moments of doubt as we wonder what she is looking for and, more importantly, whether or not we’re it.
A quick look around suggests that money, aggression, arrogance, and disrespect are inexplicably at the top of the list. It’s easy to downplay the current standards when it’s simply about your own personal development. After all, you know the truth, and you’ve determined to be a real man rather than the modern world’s poor excuse for one. But everything changes when she enters the picture. You see her blush at the bad-boy skater getting into a fight down the street, and suddenly, you are re-evaluating every decision you’ve made to take the high road. Her best friend is dating an overgrown child, putting up with insults and disrespect whenever you see them, and you wonder if the value she holds in your heart is simply a one-way ticket to that “friend zone” everyone’s always talking about.
You have come at last to the realization that there is a place in every man’s heart only a woman can affirm. You may be the ultimate man’s man, but without a woman you love saying, “Yes, you’re what I’ve been looking for,” even the most confident among us will retain traces of doubt. So what does she want? Is she actually looking for a man?
While there are no cookie-cutter answers when it comes to women, here are a few cookie-cutter answer that make really, really good cookies.
1) She Does Indeed Want A Man, But She Wants An Exciting Man
The key to grasping this concept is differentiating between what excites a woman and what she is looking for in a partner. Typically, these two categories will only partially overlap, and differentiating between the two often results in confusion for guys as we try to figure out what she’s looking for.
For example, every woman wants a man who is willing to fight for her, but whether she realizes it or not, she also wants a man who is secure in himself: a man who doesn’t need to fight in order to be validated. Women want to feel safe, and the propensity for avoiding unnecessary fights is just as important in the equation as a willingness to engage should the situation warrant it. The magic combo is excitement mixed with security. She wants you to be a rock, but not just a rock: a rock that spits fire when the time is right, like a frickin’ volcano.
This concept translates to finances as well. Women are looking for men who can provide for them. But there is nothing exciting about a stable income. Women also want men who are romantic enough to take some risks, or perhaps demonstrate in creative, non-financially devastating ways that love is more important than the next paycheck. Too often, we make the mistake of thinking that the woman of our dreams has no value for our hard work, when in fact, she is simply looking for an element of excitement that demonstrates life with us will be an adventure, not simply a financially stable existence.
The point is, she does want a man, but she wants an exciting man.
2) What Makes Us Manly In Our Eyes Doesn’t Always Translate To Hers
Have you ever wondered why the manliest guy you know doesn’t do very well with the ladies? While sometimes, the guys we see as men’s men are adored by women, this isn’t always the case. The concept we have to grasp is that what makes us manly in our eyes isn’t always what makes us manly in her’s.
Typically, nothing makes me feel more like a man than hoisting up 10 lbs more on my final bench set than I did last week, dropping the game-winning shot in a pickup basketball game, or fixing the mechanical problem I was having with my motorcycle. Stuff like this elevates me in the eyes of my male friends and gives me an adrenaline pump big enough to arm-wrestle gravity. Accomplishments like these are not illegitimate or worthless, but for the most part, they are pretty meaningless to the lady in your life.
Your significant other may love having Mr. Fix-It as her boyfriend, but she isn’t really going to care about how you beat your oil-change record by thirty seconds. She is going to notice, however, when you listen intently enough to remember the side details in a conversation, when she wakes up to a bouquet of roses waiting at her door, or when you drive 30 minutes out of your way just to say, “Hey babe!” on her lunch break. This isn’t the type of stuff you gloat with your friends about. It may not give you an adrenaline pump, but it means the world to her, and leaves her thinking of you as the perfect man.
3) She Wants You To Take Charge But Also Respond To Her Signals
Some guys do this naturally; others will have to learn. Regardless of where one fits on this scale, every man has to achieve this balance. Women want you to lead, but they also want you to adjust your direction based on their feedback.
Unfortunately for us, this feedback is not always verbal. In fact, it rarely is verbal. Women love to communicate through more subtle methods, like facial expressions, hand motions, nondescript noises, mood changes, and other forms of nonverbal communication. Often, this stems from her desire for you to lead; she feels that telling you explicitly what she wants will cheapen the end result. For core areas of relationship, this can actually be very unhealthy and result in significant problems, but for lighter fare, like entertainment, affection, and social interactions, reading her and leading accordingly will make her feel valued, understood, and excited to be with you.
Be confident and assuming, but watch for her response. A woman will rarely fault you for mis-stepping as long as you catch her indications of displeasure and adjust without her having to say anything.
The ideas presented here, while true in the aggregate, are not going to apply universally to every woman. Occasionally, you will find women who prefer to lead, or who actually get excited by stability, or perhaps never find you more attractive than when you’re straining to lift that last rep in the squat rack. The important thing is to be confident in who you are and who you’ve worked hard to become and remember that there are many incredible women out there looking for real men, not cheap impersonations. If stability is the easy part for you, embrace some adventure in your life; you’ll probably enjoy it. And if excitement is the easy part, but you have trouble holding down a job, man-up; your woman deserves a responsible provider, or at minimum, a self-sufficient adult.
Be you, work hard to make “you” even better, and remember that she sees the world a bit differently than you. Alright, enough talk; time to get moving. You’re gonna do great!