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What men Love- Top Ten Turn-Ons
There is a question that keeps getting asked over and over again. It may be phrased in different ways, but the answer that is being sought is always the same "What qualities and attributes do men find most attractive in women?" There have been several best-selling books, countless articles, blog posts, forum discussions and dating columns that have attempted to answer this frequently asked question--yet it continues to be asked over and over again. My mail alone is a great example of the mystery surrounding what men really think and what they want from women and relationships. The following are my list of the top ten qualities and attributes that men seek in the women they date and choose to marry. I have put this list together over years of counseling, coaching, interviewing and getting to know men, their motivations, and their desires. As you read each one over and try it on for size, ask yourself how comfortably it fits on you--and make a note if you believe you may have some work to do.
Let's begin with a few basic truisms
* Men are not only interested in sex. They love touching, hand holding and physical affection that does not always have to lead to sex.
* Men get scared too. They worry about pleasing, performing, being loved for who they are--and being able to protect and care for the women they love.
* If you don't love and respect yourself, you are basically sending him a message that he doesn't have to make an effort to be with you and have you in his life. He will follow your lead. If you insist on honesty, respect and thoughtfulness, and give it in return--you will have the relationship you want, or know it is time to cut your losses and move on.
Now for what men really want
* Men love women who are confident, like themselves and are comfortable with their own bodies.
This is not the same as conceit or self-absorption. Instead, these women don't need constant reassurance that they are not fat, look OK in their clothes, and/or compare favorably with their women friends/acquaintances. They don't need external reassurances to tell them they are worthy, they know it already.
* Men love women who are assertive, not aggressive.
Sometimes there is a line here that gets crossed. Loud, pushy, demanding and intimidating behavior is aggressive and unattractive. Essentially, people who employ this are trying to bully others in complying with their wants and needs. Assertion is gentle, quiet, yet firm. When we are assertive, we clearly state our feelings and ask for what we want, while allowing others to do the same. We are direct, honest and genuine, without passive aggressive behavior--which is just another form of aggression.
* Men love women who are low-maintenance, not drama queens
Whiny, complaining, negative behavior is not attractive. Everybody has problems, challenges, fears and bad days. Drama queens emphasize the negative, often painting themselves as put upon victims. If this is you, get over it. Life can be unfair and challenging for everybody--he does not need to hear about how it is especially true for you. Step back, think of something positive in your life, plan a fun date to let loose and get a break from your responsibilities--and let yourself really be in the fun moment that is available for the two of you.
* Men love women who can be spontaneous and unpredictable, this keeps it interesting.
It's OK to get up on a Saturday morning and throw a few things in a bag, head out the door and drive to an unknown destination, with no real plan in mind. So you may not have the right clothes, or you forget your hairdryer, eye make-up or some other must-have item on your list. You'll wear what you have, let your hair go natural, wear less make-up, and shed some of the trappings and burdens of your everyday life. He will love it--as guys are all about having an adventure with a friend who is digging it as much as him.
* Men love women with a sense of humor, someone who can make them laugh
Don't you love guys who make you laugh? Shared laughter is a sign that we not only see the world in similar ways--but we share an intellectual compatibility that allows us to communicate with few words.
* Men love intelligent, intellectually stimulating women
Have you heard the often repeated myth that men don't like women who "are smarter than they are?" Confident guys who like themselves do not have this issue. Quite the contrary. Men often cite intelligence as a quality they are looking for in a mate. I have worked with many couples over the years who were splitting up because he cited a lack of intellectual stimulation as a reason for wanting to leave the relationship and find a woman he could have this with. Go ahead; challenge him with a good debate, a game of scrabble and/or discuss your different viewpoints or opinions. You both may learn something new.
* Men love women who are strong and independent, yet can be open and vulnerable in their intimate relationship
Men love women who are comfortable being alone, who can stand on their own two feet, who have their own friends and pursuits, and who have their financial and lifestyle acts together. A woman like this brings more to the relationship, and can help inspire and challenge her guy. However, along with this, a guy loves it when his independent partner can be open and vulnerable in her feelings and in her relationship with him.
* Men love women who are adventurous, risk taking, and open to new experiences
One of the things men look for in women has to do with the kinds of relationships they had with their guy friends growing up. They want a best buddy who they can play with. Many guys tend to like physical activity that involves sports and outdoor pursuits. Imagine if a guy loves hiking and camping. How will he be able to fully share this experience with a woman who is focused on staying well dressed, clean and rested, and surrounded by creature comforts? Hiking with overstuffed backpacks or in the wrong clothes could really kill the experience. He will really dig it if she can pack lightly, get into the spirit of roughing it, and go the physical and emotional distance the experience requires. Now, that is fun.
* Men love women who show appreciation and acknowledge their contributions to the relationship
Too often women use phrases like "always and never." They are so focused on what they want from their guy that they don't pay attention to his small acts of helpfulness and caring. When this happens, the man hears about what he forgot to do or fell short in doing. He feels as though he does not have her respect and acknowledgement. Yes, ladies, we are not the only ones who like to hear the good stuff, he needs this too. Nothing is a greater turn on for a man than to be looked up to and admired.
* Men love women who are open, passionate and comfortable with their sexuality, and in showing and accepting love
Women who show enthusiasm and interest are a real turn-on. Let him know how happy you are to see him, make an effort to look good, and put away your negative feelings and the burdens of your day. Show him how attractive you find him by taking the lead once in a while, telling him how sexy he is, and letting him know how much you want him. He will be putty in your hands.
If after reading these, you feel as though the bar is just too high--you are not reading carefully enough. These are not attributes of perfect women. Nor do they require that you be someone you are not. It is OK to have a bad day, decide you are not up for something that feels too challenging at that moment, or to share something less than positive when it must be said. The key is to work on being more open, more genuine, and more expressive of your feelings as you let him see your best, true self. If he is not the right guy for you--your best self is not a good match for his best self. By identifying this early on you will be able to cut your losses and move on the right relationship for you.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
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