I imagine you, like me, are probably quite curious as to what guys really look for.
So here’s a mix of findings from formal research and anecdotes from men I know and I trust. The ones I would actually want you to go out with!
1. Men are attracted to how you make them feel
The man take: A man wants to feel like a man. A man wants to feel liked and appreciated for who he is. Not for playing a role, for being the provider or for his potential.
What to focus on: Take the time to appreciate small things, pay compliments and boost his confidence. Not in a false, try-hard way, but by actually saying it when you like the way he opened the door for you.
2. Men generally don’t plan too far ahead or look to the future - instead enjoying what’s happening right now
The man take: Men tend not to think three steps ahead in the way us women do. They’re generally much more focused on the here and now. So whilst you may be planning when you can invite him to be your plus one to weddings, he’s still at the stage of enjoying getting to know you.
What to focus on: Try to live in the present too. It’s a good rule for life in general. The minute you start planning ahead, you’ll inadvertently put pressure on you, him and the relationship. You’ll also save disappointments (like thinking you’ll invite him to a party then discovering he’s away that weekend).
3. The more pressure a man feels, the more he’ll back away, even if he likes you
The man take: Maybe it’s a primal instinct against feeling trapped, but the more pressure a guy feels to commit, the more he’ll find excuses not to. When the road ahead seems clear and easy for you to both travel along together, it’s so much more welcoming than feeling like he’s being forced down a narrowing corridor.
What to focus on: Take the pressure off yourself and the relationship, and you’ll naturally take the pressure off him. And the more enjoyable it will be for both of you to get to know each other. He’ll lean in.
4. Men don’t make assumptions
The man take: Men are simply just more ‘straight’ about things. They don’t assume that you’re exclusive because it’s been two months, you’ve slept together or you met each other's friends. They don’t assume you’re not dating other people unless you tell them.
What to focus on: If you need clarity on something, ask. Don’t assume anything unless a guy has specifically told you.
5. Men will happily get physical with someone they feel physically attracted to - regardless of whether they see a potential relationship
The man take: Men, even nice ones, seem to generally “try their luck” if they find someone physically attractive. Even if they know they’ll never want to see her again. Harsh, but apparently true. However, they are prepared to wait for a woman they’re really interested in.
What to focus on: I know it sounds preachy, but I really, really, recommend abstaining until you know where you stand with a guy. For your own sake as well as giving the relationship the best chance.
6. Men like a woman who is confident and in control of herself
The man take: You don’t have to look like a supermodel. You don’t have to have a fabulous career. But an acceptance of who you are, flaws and all, is really attractive (and apparently very sexy). It doesn’t mean you can never cry, but when you do, you know why you’re crying and how he can help you feel better.
What to focus on: Take the time to get to know yourself, accept all parts of you and find ways to fulfill your own needs. If you want a mature relationship, it helps to have your own inner maturity.
7. Men love positivity
The man take: Everyone loves to be around positive people. Think of someone of your favourite people to be around - they’re “feel good” people. Men are exactly the same. There’s nothing very attractive about someone who always focuses on the negative, or is continually whinging.
What to focus on: The more positive you present on the outside, the better you’ll end up feeling on the inside. It’s not that you can’t ever say anything negative but try to keep to the ⅘ principle - four positive things to every negative.
8. Men are straight talkers
The man take: Believe what they say - if they say they’re not looking for something serious, believe them. If they say they like you and want to see you again (and are not trying to get you into bed at the time), trust them and let it flow.
What to focus on: Don’t make assumptions. Don’t twist their words to mean what you want to hear - you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Listen and take in what they have to say.
9. Men bond through doing, whilst women bond through talking
The man take: Men are attracted to a woman who’s up for doing things - whether that’s crazy golf, going for a hike or jumping out of a plane! They bond through shared activities (think of cavemen out hunting together), not through talking. They’re also more likely to talk and open up whilst doing something.
What to focus on: Talking is important for you, so it’s not that you can’t talk! But blend in activities and doing things, and you’ll both open up, have fun and build a bond quicker than just sitting around a dinner table.
10.The thrill of the chase is kind of true
The man take: Men do seem to be attracted to women who are a bit “harder to get”. Not in a mean “you do all the chasing” way. But in an intriguing, “wow, this woman has a really great life and I need to up my game if I want to be a part of it” way. A little mystery, intrigue and suggestion goes a long way. What to focus on: I don’t advocate playing games. But I do advocate keeping your own life and routine in place in the early stages of dating, so your focus is still on you. Your growing relationship becomes sprinkles on the top, rather than the cake. If you carry on living your own life and keeping your own priorities, you’ll naturally be a little bit “harder to get” and seem “higher value”.