Is it beauty, booty and brains? Ready, willing and able? Sexy, sweet and hard to get? What is the magic combination of ingredients men look for in a woman?

Certainly all of the stereotypical traits are on most men’s wish lists, but once you break through the initial barrier and get his attention, everything changes (well, kind of). Men may start out with the shallowest of aspirations and intentions, but we tend to zero in on a woman of depth and substance.

Let’s take a look at some of the attributes men look for in a woman. Actually, it might be more correct to say “the attributes that catch men’s attention, even when they’re not looking.”

Let’s start with the obvious and then follow the yellow brick road into the elements that become more important as a relationship develops.

1. Attractiveness.

Notice, I didn’t say “beauty.” Every woman has the ability to attract a man. Good looks will help get a man’s attention, but “a look” that distinguishes her from other women and adds some mystery or intrigue is even more important.

It might be the way her incisor and canine teeth overlap on the upper-right side of her mouth, her red hair and green eyes, a pink streak in her hair, her quirky fashion style, her long silky legs, or the roundness of her bottom when she’s walking away that attracts him.

2. Happiness.

Women always say they want a man with “humor.” For men, it is her constant smile, infectious laugh and endearing warmth that make her irresistible.

A smile can multiply a woman’s beauty by a factor of 10, make her eyes sparkle and even make her appear 20 pounds lighter.

A man will forgive a lot of flaws if he can get close to a woman who he perceives to be content with her own life, which means she won’t become a parasite or throw a bushel of plagues into his.

3. Femininity.

During the attraction stage, in particular, men tend to look for a girly girl, as she won’t intimidate him the way a professional man eater will. He will be more secure in his male role and feel more masculine and competent, making it safe for him to proceed.

Of course, her flowing hair, luxurious skin and tender eyes will bring him closer for other reasons, as dictated by nature. If she takes his arm, touches his face, holds his hand and puts her head on his shoulder, he will be feeling very good about himself and very comfortable with this girl.

4. Too good for him.

A man loves a challenge, even though he fears and hates rejection. If a woman is a bit hard to get (or hard to get naked), a man will pursue her, perceive her as extremely valuable and appreciate every advance she allows even more.

He wants to earn his woman, and he wants to perceive her as a prize other men were not worthy of. Men will never fully understand why nature’s most beautiful and perfect creatures give them the time of day, so when they struggle to capture a good one, they want to do everything they can to hold on to her.


Wizzy wig? Computer geeks use the term, meaning “What you see is what you get.” A man wants a woman who will be the same after he becomes her boyfriend as she was when they were first dating.

This may come as a shock to some of you, but some women are real sweethearts while a man is courting them, but as soon as he commits, her inner bitch comes out in full bloom. Bummer. It’s even worse when she waits until marriage to release the beast.

6. Independent.

Once the sexual attraction has simmered down to a slow boil, a man is more likely to hang on to a woman who can take care of herself.

He doesn’t want to be her daddy and her bank account, and he doesn’t want to be the center that her life revolves around 100 percent of the time. He might make her a complete woman, but she needs to have a life that makes her a complete human being even without him.

She needs to have friends, family and a career that stimulate and fulfill her in some ways, and he needs to have enough independence to enjoy some time with the guys and on his own as well.

7. Brains.

She can still be a girly girl in a lot of ways, but once the sexual activity becomes a natural part of their relationship, a man wants to see the other dimensions his woman has to offer.

If she is a competent professional at work, he can handle that now without being intimidated because he knows where she will be sleeping at night. He wants to be able to carry on adult conversations with her, discuss major purchases like cars and a house and maybe even talk about the news in an intelligent way.

A successful relationship consists of equal partners, not a pilot and a flight attendant.

8. Tolerant and reasonable.

Henry Higgins bemoaned in a “My Fair Lady” song, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”

A man does not want a commitment that makes him feel like he has been roped and hogtied in some kind of relationship rodeo from hell. That, in fact, is the basis for most men’s fear of commitment.

Men want a relationship that enhances and expands their life, not one that limits it. Sometimes he really does need to work late when he’s climbing the ladder to success.

Sometimes that Sunday morning tee time with the guys is more important than hearing the same sermon for the hundredth time. Sometimes he feels like he deserves the Lexus SUV instead of the Dodge minivan.

He needs a woman’s trust and respect, given freely and genuinely. And no nagging, please.

9. Sexual passion.

Every man wants a woman who loves the smell, feel and taste of sex. She doesn’t have to be fully invested and responsive in the early days, as it takes time to let it all go for the one you love, to learn the nuances that stimulate each other and to respond in the right way at the right time.

If she’s too good too soon, she might seem like a professional rider and he is just providing the saddle. But lovemaking has to get synchronized, with new and creative changes.

The woman needs to totally abandon herself to this act of love, as her response and climax is essential to a man’s fulfillment and self-image. If he cannot conquer and satisfy his woman in bed, he will never feel like a complete man.

10. A saint and a sinner.

Outside of the bedroom, a man expects his woman to be a vision of propriety, purity and honor. She may be or become the mother of his children and a role model for good family morals and values.

She may become part of his family, spending holidays with his parents and siblings, so she needs to be a good sister and daughter. And, yes, it helps if she can be a great cook in the kitchen, hostess in the living room, cleaning lady in the bathroom and nymphomaniac in the bedroom.

The other “split image” a woman has to pull off is to be a cowgirl sweetheart in blue jeans and a princess when she glams up.

For better or worse, this is the script nature has written for men to follow. It’s not a personality shortcoming if he wants to have sex with you — it’s natural law.

The good news is the natural law for women is complementary to a man’s desires and needs in most ways, though progress and civilization have modified some things.

When women fight the rules of nature that created the eternal caveman and men reject the conventions of civilization that brought us the modern woman, life becomes a constant battle.

This insight into the desires and expectations of men will help you to succeed at the game of love, if you are willing to simply accept the things that are carved in stone and be satisfied with changing the things you can.

Men want you and they want to please you. All you have to do is follow the yellow brick road!

Author's Bio: 

Hi, I'm Cynthia Price, dating expert and writer. I tackle all dating topics, from gay and lesbian dating to first date ideas to online profiles. For more dating tips, advice, how-to's, and Q &A's, check out