What Do Men REALLY Want From Women?

What Do Men REALLY Want From Women?

Have you ever dated a guy and thought things were going GREAT between you, only to have him suddenly start being flaky, or stop calling, or vanish all together?

In my work as a dating coach, this is the number one complaint I hear.

You’re seeing a great guy and you THINK you’re getting close, but then he suddenly pulls away and you have NO IDEA what happened.

I can tell you what happened – if you’re ready to turn your love life around forever…

You see, I have a unique perspective – I’ve not only dated hundreds of women (before I became happily married) but I’m a coach for both women and men. And I’ve had countless nice, decent, relationship-oriented guys tell me why it SEEMED like they really liked a woman but then bailed on her.

After one date, after three dates, after three months… Amazingly, the reasons are always the same – and they were the very same reasons I’d pulled away from many surprised, confused women myself…

Here’s one thing that all of my work with smart, strong, successful women has brought to my attention – front and center:

The more you have going for you, the less likely you are to settle for less.

It’s not easy being a smart woman.

The more you have going for you, the less likely you are to settle for less.

I don’t blame you. Having high standards means that dating can be a challenge, and that most men are going to fall short.

If you’re like most women I know, you’ve agonized over this – wondering whether you’re too picky, too demanding, or maybe even unrealistic.

On one hand, you want to be open to all possibilities, on the other, you know what makes you tick – and it sure isn’t settling.

I’m guessing you concluded that the thought of being with the wrong man is far worse than the thought of being alone. No one can argue with that.

Yet the answer still isn’t satisfying. Being alone isn’t quite the life you had in mind, which is why the question still nags at you.

What areas, if any, can you compromise on?

Well, if you’ve ever made a list of must-haves (and, God knows, most relationship experts love to have you make long lists), you’ve probably seen up close just how few men possess all the qualities you’re looking for.

The guy who’s smart… isn’t always funny.

The guy who’s funny… isn’t always successful.

The guy who’s successful… isn’t always emotionally available.

…Since you can ALWAYS find a quality he DOESN’T have, it doesn’t make much sense to rely on such lists.

Literally, NO men will qualify to date you.

The guy who’s emotionally available… isn’t always exciting.

The guy who’s exciting…  isn’t always consistent.

The guy who’s consistent… isn’t always challenging.

And so on.

So, since you can ALWAYS find a quality he DOESN’T have, it doesn’t make much sense to rely on such lists. Literally, NO men will qualify to date you.

This brings up an obvious question, however:

“What about men? What about THEIR lists?”

Great point. After all, men and women dump each other in equal measure.

And if you’re in touch with the dozens of reasons that most men don’t make the cut, what are the reasons that men use to cut you loose?

It’s probably not what you think.

In fact, I think you’d be SURPRISED at what men REALLY want from women.

I first realized there was a big gap in men’s and women’s perceptions when I was writing my first book, “I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book – A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating”.

My friend Jen had sent me a list of over 300 things that men did wrong on first dates. She’d put it together in a few hours over a few glasses of wine with her girlfriends.

Do not drive too fast and act like you do it all the time.

Do not go to the loudest restaurant in town and complain you can’t hear her speak.

Do not order a drink and then tell her she can have one if she wants.

Do not wear a brown belt and black shoes, or vice versa.

Do not mention that any other girl is hot, even if she is hot.

I thought the list was so hysterical, that I included it in the first draft of my book.

Suddenly, the editors were on the phone with a question:

“Funny list, but what about a list for women? What do they do wrong on first dates?”

I was stumped.

In all my years of dating, I never stopped to dissect the behavior of my female dates. It’s not that I was above it; rather, I never even thought about it. I finally cobbled something together with the help of some friends. But it left me thinking:

Why would I choose not to go out with a woman a second time?

Here’s what I came up with:

She wasn’t physically attractive to me.

She wasn’t fun and easygoing.

End of list.

Drinking habits, driving habits, fashion choices – none of them enter the equation.

We men care about two main things:

Are you sexy?

Are you fun to be around?

If you are, we’re coming back for more.

Does this throw you off? I would imagine it does.

Because when you compare the number of factors that determine whether a guy is date-worthy with the number of factors that determine whether you’re date-worthy, it’s night and day. Women have their lengthy checklists. Men ask two questions:

Men are not nearly as concerned with your merits as much as how you make us FEEL.

Do I want to sleep with you?

Do I feel good about myself when I’m spending time with you?

That’s it.

Which means that all of your amazing qualities may not even matter to him at ALL!

You graduated summa cum laude from an Ivy League masters program? Wonderful. Do you freak out if he’s running ten minutes late?

You ran a half-marathon and raised twelve thousand dollars for leukemia? Great. Do you look in his eyes when he tells a story? Do you laugh when he tells a joke?

You made partner in your fifth year and you have a time-share in Vail? Awesome. Will you wake him on Sunday morning with chocolate chip pancakes and morning sex?

All of this is just a long way of stating what every man knows – and most women don’t:

We are not nearly as concerned with your merits as much as how you make us FEEL.

If you’re attractive, it makes us feel confident. It makes us feel like we’ve conquered and won. It makes us feel secure and studly and all those things we rarely feel on our own.

If you’re fun and easygoing, it makes us enjoy our time together. It makes us not crave time with the guys. It makes us want to keep you around forever and ever.

Understand, men DO value intelligence, but they also want from their girlfriend what they CAN’T get from their business associates.

Warmth, affection, nurturing, thoughtfulness. Lightness!

You can’t teach attraction, but you can teach fun. You can teach easy. That’s what I do as a dating coach. Because there are lots of amazing women who have the potential to be great girlfriends but accidentally sabotage themselves.

This is the main premise behind Why He Disappeared.

It’s not that you’re not an amazing catch. It’s that you’ve never fully understood why certain men choose not to stick around. Once you get it, you will have a clearer, easier path to love – and a lifelong ability to understand and connect with men.

It’s not that you’re not an amazing catch.

It’s that you’ve never fully understood why certain men choose not to stick around.

Men can be frustrating; that’s for sure. But neither you nor I can change that. If he’s shallow and fickle and uncommunicative and still thinks he should be dating Angelina Jolie, let him knock himself out. He doesn’t deserve you.

But when you do meet that rare, relationship-oriented, quality guy, how can you be the most self-confident, self-aware, irresistible man magnet around? It all starts with understanding what men are thinking.

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  1. 41


    Since I treat individuals as individuals I don’t understand this “women who treat men like women, then get super frustrated when they don’t act like women!” thing.

  2. 42

    At Evan, I think that was a bit harsh.   I wasn’t upset at the fact that he didn’t speak Spanish on Q.   It was the fact that he was sharing that with my friend and couldn’t share that with me.   I don’t see how that’s being critical.   How would you feel if your wife didn’t give you something you like, but yet was giving it to your guy friend right in front of you.   He spoke Spanish to his family and I would never question that.   This was my friend; someone that he barely knew.   It’s like me cooking his favorite meal for his guy friend, but would make excuses not to do it for him.   I think that’s   just being spiteful; something I could never do!
    And I don’t see how asking to let me know if you’re running late is being critical.   It’s about having consideration for the other person.       

    1. 42.1

      I think you’re right but perhaps it could’ve been in the tone or way you communicated that could’ve been different, who knows.   but basically, guys I’ve dated have   let me know they’ll be late and they won’t be if they’re trying to impress you . this guy sounds inconsiderate.  

    2. 42.2

      Jojo, there’s no need to reason with Evan on the matter. The guy you were dating didn’t like you enough to consider to accommodate your simple request and bring you in on the conversation/entertainment. He singled you out. He may as well have been flirting/being intimate with someone else in front of you. THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS. It’s not even about the Spanish, it’s the principles. But the fact that he couldn’t even speak spanish with you too without you having to request it, says a lot! If you say he already knew how much you enjoy Spanish, yet only spoke it with the other woman/person and didn’t with you, and then he perceived you as being difficult just because of the trivial matter/request and broke up with you? Good riddance!. It’s not the spanish aspect that makes him good riddance, it’s the fact that he couldn’t put up with your little request, someone he is dating, therefore presumably “likes”, regardless of the manner/tone in which you requested, but he could easily do it with someone else IN FRONT of you, then his lack of perception and consideration as to why you were uncomfortable, and then the argument that ensued. Evan will probably still subtly make it seem like you were at fault (being “difficult”) and the cause of the break up. So don’t worry yourself about trying to get Evan to understand something so simple.

      Men (especially men who don’t like a woman enough like in your case) can be delusional and live in a fantasy world whereby there is no friction, no tension, no arguments, no need to hash things out, everything and everyone is “easy” day in day out, everyone/women go along with anything and everything, even their bad and inconsiderate behaviour… AS IF! It’s no wonder men have so much pent up (negative) energy and (negative) emotion because they’d rather take the “easy” way out.

  3. 43

    I’m confused. The beginning of this article talks about a woman’s frustration at having a man she has been seeing become flaky, pull away, or vanish. In his response EMK talks about his reasons for not wanting to go on a SECOND date with a woman, i.e., she wasn’t physically attractive to him and wasn’t fun to be with.  Fair enough. But isn’t there a difference between a FIRST date, and say, the FIFTEENTH date? If you’re dating someone for a few months and he pulls away it’s because he’s suddenly decided that you are not physically attractive and not enough fun? I would tend to think the reasons would be more complex at this stage and have to do just as much with a man’s personal issues as with any deficiencies he finds in the woman.

  4. 44

    Jadafisk #29 and Selena #30: My point exactly. Many guys would not mind that scenario. But women almost universally do. The difference is in our reptilian brains. Women are far more concerned for their safety than men are.
    If you invited us back to your place, we’re not too concerned about you trying to rape us. 😉

  5. 45

    I’m still harping on it, but I am still amazed that “He’s Just Not That Into You” made so much money for basically putting a common sense observation into print.
    Looking at the last few threads I think I can see why.     Evan posted a pretty good thumbnail view of how men operate.     That information can be used by women to adjust how they date men and get more of the success they want out of dating.   Instead, several women posted their subjective opinions about reality, opinions that pleased them and other women congratulated her for “clearing it all up”.
    Women tend to tell other women what they want to hear and what will make them feel better, rather than telling them the truth which can be used to get better results.
    That is why someone can get rich by telling American women the obvious truth, because other women will tell women what they want to hear.

  6. 46

    I’d just be curious as to why he speaking Spanish to the other woman and not to the woman he was with whom he knew enjoyed it. Did you ask him? Did he end up dating the other woman?

  7. 47

    I did want to mention that he had just gotten out of a divorce from his wife who was extremely jealous and who was also cheating on him.   The ironic thing was that he didn’t want the marriage to end, but she did.   I heard a lot of negativity about her and how she’ll get what she deserves.   He seemed so bitter toward her, but   yet wanted to stay in the marriage.

  8. 48

    @jojo #34 – wouldn’t it have been easier to just join the conversation, rather than to just sit there and stew? It sounds like you wanted him to speak to you in Spanish as proof that he cared about you.

  9. 49

    At 47, no he didn’t end up dating her.   And thanks for understanding the ovbious because that’s exactly what I was curious about.
    At 49, I didn’t need him to speak Spanish in order to prove he cared for me;That sounds ridiculous.   When I got in the conversation, he acknowledged me in English.
    Another example was that he suffered high blood presurre and high colesterol.   He didn’t want to take medication for his blood pressure.   He used to drink so much soda and ate a lot of sweets.   I expressed concern about his diet knowing his condition.   We were on the phone and he was at McDonald’s ordering a salad.   He made sure that when he ordered the soda, he put the phone right on his mouth so that I could hear him.   I know he did it on purpose and that upset me.
    I do understand that being critical is a major turn off to a guy.   My point was that if a guy continues to do things that he knows you do not like, what does that say about him?   Can you blame the woman for getting upset?

    1. 49.1

      He sounds very immature, and likely he harbours some sort of bitterness/resentment towards women or women he is intimately engaged with i.e. girlfriend or wife.

      Totally good riddance.

      Being overly critical is a turn off to any one, it’s not man-centric.

      From everything you have *shared*, you aren’t to blame, (keyword – shared) regardless of whether Evan or other commenters understand where you are coming from or not. The man was definitely immature, spiteful, inconsiderate and didn’t like you enough. Dare I say, it sounds like he enjoys trivial/petty drama.

  10. 50

    JoJo, I think the red flag with your boyfriend was the bitterness toward his ex-wife and his willingness to stay in an awful relationship, not the fact that he didn ´t speak Spanish with you!

    1. 50.1

      It wasn’t about the Spanish literally. It was   about the underlying principles and the awkward dynamics of the situation. Total red flag.

      Of course it wasn’t about the Spanish lol!


  11. 51


    I was amazed at He’s Just Not That Into You too. When I read it, I thought, “Well, this has just cleared up men for me. Now I get it.” And I have never had trouble understanding men since. I thought other women would come to the same epiphany. But, listening to women ever since (including on this blog) indicates that people will take a piece of really helpful logic that could significantly improve their lives, and instead of using it to their own benefit, twist it around and try to disprove it because it’s not what they want to hear. It’s like they’d rather be right than be happy.

  12. 52

    Whoa, JoJo. Seems like you read too much into tiny details.

  13. 53

    Hmm… JoJo, sounds like you were trying to act like a mother to that guy. You are not his mother. When he asked “what did I do now?” that was a dead giveaway that he doesn’t like being pushed around.
    “I do understand that being critical is a major turn off to a guy.   My point was that if a guy continues to do things that he knows you do not like, what does that say about him?”
    It depends on what is it that you do not like, the severity of these things, and how long the list of those things is. When my now-ex told me once that he’d ordered “some alcohol online, because it was a good deal” and it later turned out to be five boxes of tequila, I guarantee you I told him what I thought about it. If, on the other hand, he’d ordered a soda, even though I do not like soda and do not keep any in the house… I wouldn’t have even noticed. Pick your battles.

  14. 54

    #50 JoJo

    There’s an important concept that really helped me once I really ‘got it’.   We CANNOT control another human being.

    That dovetails into accepting someone for exactly who they are.

    This really is all on  you I’m sorry to say.  

    1.   Ultimately,  this man is nowhere near ready to be in a relationship, hopefully that was a lesson on not to date a man who is separated or just out of a long relationship/marriage (goes for women too, but we’re talking to a woman).   Sometimes we think we’re ready, but we’re not.

    NOTE:   this man sounded immature anyway, I wouldn’t be able to take that guy for more than hour much less more than 1 date!   Choose wisely!

    2.   You don’t agree or support his lifestyle choices, i.e. eating, but then   you want him to change it to make you happy.    That is your preference and you don’t agree with his choices,  nothing wrong  with that!   The problem is you expect to control another person’s choices on how they want to  live and if they don’t, they aren’t showing you ‘respect’ and how much they care for you.   Huh?   That’s not how it works.   We do NOT control other people, period.  

    1. 54.1

      Hmmmm, you say he sounds immature and that you too wouldn’t have tolerated a guy like him, but somehow you put the fault all on Jojo?


      I’m convinced you lot didn’t read what Jojo said, and the manner in which she expressed herself.

      Jojo’s words – “I expressed concern about his diet knowing his condition.” – this is not control or a matter of agreeing/supporting a person’s lifestyle. This is just someone who cares, reasonably so, for the person they are dating. When we care, we express the care right? But he threw her care in her face by going out of his way to make sure she knows that he was drinking soda or whatever…. that’s bound to emotionally puzzle the concerned person. Because it was strange and spiteful. Something you’d only expect from a child.  

  15. 55

    Well JoJo…sounds like in some ways the guy was “difficult” (the bitterness yet attachment to ex-wife, complaining), not always fun and easy. In short, you didn’t feel good about being with him  and let him go.  You don’t happen to have a   Y chromosome do you? 😉

  16. 56

    I think the point of this thread was lost.       If you are a woman who just started dating a guy who is attracted to you and you would like him to continue asking you out try being company that is fun to keep.
    AKA do the Google background check before you leave for the date and open up your attitude to a good time.

  17. 57

    I don’t think either party was completely at fault with the “JoJo affair”.     If I was in her position I would have felt ignored or left out.     If I was her dude,   I would have felt it was no big deal and would have resented being nagged.   I think it was just a matter of two people not being right for each other.     That is what dating is about, trying people on for size.     To paraphrase the good Dr. Seuss you find what you are looking for by first finding where it is not

  18. 58


    Being company that is fun to keep goes both ways. That’s the point of some of the female  commenters.

  19. 59


    Agreed, well put!   I believe Evan’s original point is that women miss that and focus on the wrong things in regard to what attracts men.   And, let’s be honest, it’s mostly women who come to the first date with a laundry list of interrogation questions!


    True Steve, but in this dating world, especially women have to be saavy.   If he does that something like that at the beginning of a relationship, is it going to get any better?

    What happens often is women get caught up in the emotion of the relationship, often putting a square peg in a round hole, trying to change him, make it work, whatever, then it gets to the point of ‘sunk costs’, and they feel like they are stuck.   They’ve been with this guy so long, they don’t want to be alone, so they stick it out.   He doesn’t cut the strings either, which is the downside of men…so both of them are miserable.

    I have not gone out on a second with a man because he made me wait to get a drink when he had one in front of him and walked in front of me out the door when we left.   Was he a good guy?   Yes   Is he the guy for me?   No   Why would I even start down the path with him?

    K, people, I’m done with this thread!   🙂

  20. 60

    @  Karl #37

    Hehe, if there’s one thing men are good at, it’s reducing complex issues/feelings/situations down to a simple few words. I am amazed at men’s ability to do this. I’ve tried, and failed.

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