If you’re single, it can often seem like other guys have all the luck. The world seems to be full of couples, and looking at the guy who’s dating someone you wish you were dating, often you’ll wonder — “What does he have that I don’t?”
Some guys will say, “Women always go for jerks, and nice guys finish last,” as a means of dismissing men that women find attractive. And while it may be true that some women are into the stereotypical mysterious bad boy who’s emotionally unavailable and treats them poorly, most women would rather date someone with positive qualities to bring to the relationship.
So if you’re a man interested in dating women and being the best possible partner to them, knowing which qualities women find most attractive can be a crucial step in moving from single to being in a relationship.
You don’t want to waste your time on things most women don’t actually care that much about — like getting a shredded gym body or having tons of money — while neglecting the things that matter most, like listening, being honest and having a good sense of humor.
There’s an old trope that says that it’s difficult to figure out what women want and that women are notoriously hard to please.
You can decide whether that’s a boring stereotype or the cold, hard truth, but all the women we asked about this issue were decisive about what they wanted out of a man, and the same themes cropped up again and again in those conversations.
We distilled these desirable traits down to 10 core qualities that women repeatedly rated as the primary things they look for in a man.
Every single one of us have areas we can improve on, so don’t despair if all these traits sound like a lofty target. All you need to do is make a good faith effort to be a solid partner; improving gradually in all of the above areas.
The plus-side is that the qualities on this list will make you a more well-rounded, well-liked person in general, so it’s not just something to do to improve your chances of landing a date or getting into a relationship — do it for yourself, too, to simply help you become a better man.
So, without further ado, read on for the top 10 qualities women want men to have, and how you can start showing them:
1. Be Humorous
This one is a no-brainer and will come as a surprise to pretty much no-one: women like funny men. Wittiness is a universally-admired trait and women consistently report a good sense of humor as being one of their biggest turn ons. For example, Ellen, 30, says it’s a turn-on when guys “can have a laugh, enjoy making others laugh, and don’t take themselves too seriously.”
However, there’s more to impressing women than being a non-stop joke machine, especially if your repertoire is full of fart jokes and lazy stereotypes. “To put it bluntly, I want witty, intelligent humor, and it doesn’t come naturally to everyone,” says Charlotte, 25. “Witty people are winners: there are few faults or flaws that wit can’t cover, and a witty sense of humor ranks highly for me.”
Part of having a good sense of humor is not always being the joke-cracker, but also appreciating when other people are funny, too, including the woman you’re seeing. “Remember you’re trying to appeal to her sense of humor, not yours,” Charlotte elaborates. “Also, don’t forget that she could be just as funny (or funnier!) than you — don’t compete and don’t repeat the joke, just laugh and appreciate her humor.”
Being able to make your partner laugh also means that serious topics can be handled with a touch of levity. “Things communicated with a sense of wit and humor are much easier to swallow and it’s always very important to be able to be laugh and be silly,” says Miriam, 29.
Humor is an area where it’s important not to try to hard, but you can improve your chances of making your partner laugh by paying close attention to what she finds genuinely funny, and also by noticing when she’s simply throwing a sympathy chuckle in your direction. Avoid falling back on snark and sarcasm constantly — and don’t forget to appreciate her jokes, too.
2. Be A Good Listener
Be A Good Listener
The ability to listen comes up so often as a prized trait for women that it’s amazing more men aren’t tapping into this area. “The obvious thing that is attractive is listening,” says Grace, 30. “As in, guys who listen to what you say and ask open-ended questions to show they are actually engaged, interested and want to know more.”
“It’s attractive if a guy is comfortable listening to someone else speak without interrupting,” Ellen adds. “Especially if they don’t feel the need to strategize solutions for every problem; they’re happy to just listen.” This is one quality which will really make you stand out amongst other men, because, as Ellen says, “I don’t encounter this quality in that many men, to be honest.”
Hannah, 39, echoes the sentiment, and clarifies particular areas to pay attention to: “When they ask about stuff like your family and life before that point, then can recall details about what you said later, it makes you feel like they care, and that all of you might mean something to them.”
So, make sure you’re not just hearing the words being said, but really absorbing them to the point that you can recall them at a later point — she’ll definitely be impressed by this, because it’s a rare quality. You can also practice active listening by allowing her to vent to you without trying to immediately problem-solve or tell her why things aren’t so bad. Practice saying things like “That sucks, babe” and “I’m really sorry that happened” — you’ll be amazed how much she’ll appreciate this.