What Men Really Want in a Woman

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, For the Ladies, Relationships by Debra Fileta77 Comments

My last article about What Women Really Want in a Man, quickly climbed its way to the top of my most popular posts.   It’s exciting to see the response to this article, because it’s proof that there are men out there who are really striving to be the best they can be, and women who are holding out for them.

But  because relationships are’t one-sided, they’re not the best they can be unless both parties are striving toward health, holiness, and healing in their lives.  I think sometimes it’s easy for women to see the deficits and needs in the men around them, while never fully acknowledging the need for growth in their own lives.

What it comes down to is this: just like women are not satisfied in defining a real man by his muscle mass and sex drive, real men are shifting their perception of what they are looking for in a woman.  I see a new generation of men rising up, who in their maturity and discernment understand that boobs, bikinis, and sex appeal have little to do in the equation of a healthy and meaningful marriage.

Here are the qualities that these real men are looking for in their  brides-to-be: 

Realness:  It’s sometimes hard to believe that being “real” is attractive to a man.  I think it’s easy for us women to look at the billboards and magazines that fill our minds with airbrushed beauty and enhanced bodies and think that being real makes you less than the others.  But I’ve found that real men are attracted to a woman who reveals her natural self.   My husband has always told me that I’m most beautiful when I am most like me: before the makeup, the hair, and the fashion have taken away from my natural self.  I hear that same thing from men time and time again.  There is something about the beauty of a real woman that far exceeds the plastic Barbie version of ourselves that we women so much strive for and believe in.

But men are not simply looking for a woman who is real with her appearance, but real with who she is.  When it comes to attracting a real man, there is no need to pretend.  They’re not looking for a woman who pretends to be into sports, cars, sex, or anything else she thinks her man wants.  They are looking for a woman to be fully herself…personality, quirks, deficits and all.  Ladies, these are the things that make you unique and set you apart from every other woman.  Embrace your real self, and let it shine.

Confidence:  There is something about a confident woman that exudes beauty and attraction to a man.  A woman who is confident knows who she is and what she believes, and holds on to that in her interactions with others.  She believes in herself, and knows that she is valuable standing alone.  She’s not defined by her relationship status, her physical appearance, or her sex appeal.  She doesn’t buy into the lies that her value is dependent on what she does- but rather, who she is.  Because a woman of confidence is aware that her value is rooted in nothing else but who she is in Christ, there is no need to flirt around or flaunt her stuff (Tweet it!).

Flirting and flaunting will most definitely attract a certain type of man to your side, but you’ll have to keep flirting and keep flaunting your entire life in order to keep his interest.  I don’t know about you ladies, but that kind of relationship dynamic is far too much work and emotional baggage for my liking.  There’s no need for skimpy outfits and cleavage when you’re on the hunt for a real man- because real man will be attracted to you because of who you are- not what you have to offer him…and just continuing to be yourself will be all you need to do to keep him there.  That’s what healthy relationships are meant to be.

Beauty:  Most men will tell you that it’s important for them to be attracted to their significant other.  The problem with this is that sometimes we as women misinterpret this to think that the way to a man’s heart is by achieving super-model status.  We beat ourselves up emotionally, physically, and mentally trying to fit into a mold that we were never meant to fill.  From what I understand- to a real man, beauty is defined as so much more than physical appearance.  I’ve met tons of men who are completely turned off by women who are gorgeous on the outside, but hollow on the inside.

Real men are looking for a woman who displays true beauty, a beauty that cannot be enhanced, made up, or airbrushed.  They are looking for a woman who resonates with the beauty of kindness, compassion, humor, strength, love, joy, and gentleness.  Believe it or not, real men are more interested in the size of a woman’s heart and mind than the size of her waist.  It’s ironic then, that our society pressures women into keeping their focus on the external- the things that matter very little at the end of every relationship.  Unlike physical beauty, true beauty cannot be fabricated…and it’s the only thing that will draw and keep the heart of a real man.  A quote I read says it best, “A real man is not looking for the most beautiful woman in the world, but for the woman who will make his world the most beautiful”.

Passion: Let me clarify- there is a huge difference between a passionate woman, and an dramatic woman.  The first is the kind that men flock to, the latter is the type they run away from…and never look back.  If there is one thing that I hear again and again from men, is that women need to be less emotionally-driven.  Men, as much as I hate to admit it, I think you’re onto something here.  Emotions are such a valuable part of human beings, for men and women alike.  But I think a huge problem arises within the tendency for women to let their emotions take the lead.  It’s important for us as women to be driven by what we know and balanced by what we feel.  Feelings should never lead the way.

But now that we’ve discussed what passion isn’t, here’s what it is- being a passionate woman means allowing your heart and life to be driven by things that are meaningful, invested in things that are good, and living a life that is purposeful.  It means being a woman whose life is not defined by nail salons, tanning beds, and clothing boutiques- but one who lives for so much more.  It means having goals, believing in dreams, and holding on to your values.  It means being defined and propelled by justice, mercy, forgiveness, charity and grace.  It means striving for healing in your own life and in the world around you.  Living a life of passion is important, because that passion will seep into every part of your life- relationships included.

It’s time to redefine the qualities that we as women think we need to have to impress a man.  It’s time to say no to the draw of sex appeal and begin to believe that true admiration from men to women comes only when we begin to respect ourselves.  Real men are looking for real women who will reflect to them the qualities of a loving God- a God who has made us to be confident, passionate, genuine – and oh, so beautiful in every way.  May we as women strive to reflect Him in all that we do.

Real men, come and get it…

True Love Dates, is the book that world-renown #1 New York Times best-selling authors and relationship experts Drs. Les & Leslie Parrot have claimed to be exactly what “your love life needs”. Learn more, or pick up a copy for yourself by clicking the image below. 

Because healthy relationships are not “found” — they’re made. 

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Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!


  1. I think this is a great article. I would say that these qualities are what I would look for in men too (except instead of beauty I would seek handsomeness and masculinity). A friend of mine commented on this topic on my Facebook wall:

    “Interesting from what sources she got this?! The article is interesting and in general I can agree … BUT … once again I come upon the “right” answers. I don’t believe that for “real men” woman’s appearance (beauty) isn’t at the top of priorities. It is indeed! It’s a well proven fact that men love with their eyes. Alright, it’s not right that the appearance is the most important because that is what teens look for, but to say that it isn’t important is not true.
    Many girls, especially Christian girls emphasize the HEART and forget to take care of themselves. Caring about you is essential.

    From a guys, my personal, perspective, I can say that the visual (appearance) is important. If I like the girl, then I am interested in getting to know her better. The same is with cars, excuse my comparison, but it gets the point across … If I like the car visually, I keep looking at the interior, mileage etc. … and price. Therefore there are some makes that I would never buy (at least not for a long-term use). We each have our unique taste.”

    I kind of agree with him. Some things catch your eye and then you are interested in further exploration. I also agree that taking care of you is important. If I don’t take care the way I look (hair, nails – simple hygiene, not fake nails, top model hair …), don’t exercise, take care of my body odor, clothes … then no wonder no one doesn’t notice my heart. Everything in moderation and not making appearance an idol! 🙂 Looks, heart and godliness all that goes hand in hand.

    1. Author

      I love that you posted these articles for people to give their opinions! A lot of interesting thoughts shared here, thank you so much for the input and broad spectrum of opinions. Very insightful!

    2. It’s true men value, to a degree, how attractive someone is on the outside, but I think it’s also true that men value the effort someone puts into taking care of themselves. I get this idea from Shaunti Feldhahn’s book “For Women Only” (yes, I read the book for women, haha). She writes about what she found out from polling lots of men on this very topic. She found (and I must agree) men are not only attracted to appearance, but they are also attracted to how much effort is made by someone to take care of themselves and to look attractive. For instance, a woman could have minimal make up on, but she has learned how to apply it subtly to bring out her features. She could buy all of her clothes from a Goodwill store, but if she’s creative, she can make just about anything look good. She might also not have hair like a model, but she takes care of her hair and is creative in styling it. She may not be a size 2, but she exercises in some way and eats moderately healthy. These things amount to the level of care and effort she puts into looking nice and appearing healthy, which can go much farther in attracting a guy than having the perfect face or body. Personally, I don’t want a woman who is “flawless” on the outside. I want a woman who values her body enough to take care of it, whatever that looks like.

      1. Josh that’s a great answer and I agree.
        I wish there were more men with your mindset. *smile*
        Are you single?

  2. Realness, Confidence, Beauty and Passion are all excellent qualities for Women and Men to have. Regarding Beauty, I agree that most men do not want someone who is hollow on the inside, however, I believe that there may be a disconnect in many women who do not want to appear immature and over-sexy, but as a result, are not willing to take good physical care of themselves, becoming satisfied with being overweight. IMO, being physically fit does not have to be flashy or gawdy, rather it shows that the person has a great deal of discipline and maturity, which in itself is very appealing. I wish that the women (and many men) in our churches would understand that. I believe that God wants us to not only take care of ourselves spiritually, but physically, as well.

    1. Author

      I agree, there is a fine line between being aware of beauty, yet not being consumed by it. It’s something men and women should both be striving for, in being the best they can be physically as well as spiritually and emotionally. Thanks for giving thought to that perspective.

    2. Just keep in mind that there are many reasons that someone might be overweight, and it doesn’t always mean that person is undisciplined. And being thin doesn’t necessarily make someone morally superior, either.

        1. But all the pictures of people on this website are thin and attractive like mainstream media

  3. If you haven’t already, do you think you could maybe write a post that identifies and outlines the good, the bad, and the ugly of “sex appeal,” “sexuality,” and “(fixation on) purity?” What did God intend here in a healthy marriage? What didn’t He intend? How is the Church doing in light of His intentions?


    1. Author

      I think this is an amazing idea for an article, Frank…..thanks! I’ll get working on it.

  4. I love it, thank you Debra!

    A gentleman just called me that!..
    I really liked him, and we are trying to form a relationship.
    And I want him to like me as much as I liked him, maybe you can give me some more input about being passionate and what else makes a man crazy about a good woman. And a difference between passionate and a sensual woman. Advice.” Anyone?,,.

    Thank you and God bless!

  5. Love is friendship….
    love is life…….
    i think love is everything of human life.

  6. Realness & confidence … i love that part 🙂
    somehow we got it in our minds that being so shy and thinking that we are not good enough is the same as being humble, but it is just beating ourselves up over not being perfect. i am glad that i got through that phase .

  7. I just picked up your book and have read the first chapter and love it. I’m amazed at how much I agree with your point of view, especially since you are a woman. It’s not one of those after the-the-fact realizations, rather these are observations that I have previously written down which are eerily uncanny in their likeness. That includes the qualities you’ve listed here. However, I will say that most men I know probably don’t consciously look for these qualities in women, and to be honest it might be rare to find men that do. It wasn’t until I had a healthy view of myself and outlook on relationships that I began to realize I wanted these things. It takes a woman with a healthy view of self to possess these qualities and perhaps a healthy man to desire them. Both breeds are rare but worth the effort in seeking out.

  8. This is, like pretty much everything of yours that I read, dead on right. Thank you!

    What I would add, for your readers, regards the order in which you listed these qualities. A real woman (who’s found her identity in Jesus) will be confident, beautiful and passionate. What men and women need to understand is that no one quality of a woman will make up for what she lacks in another area. These are all aspects of a whole, complete, fully-realized woman; the whole woman is far greater than the sum of the parts. I know such a woman, my favorite, who is irresistible & never fails to amaze me.

    I would say to men that, as with my favorite, the work that such a woman puts into her appearance will in fact enhance her beauty, not because it makes her more Barbie-like, but because it reflects her heart, and thus the care she has for herself & for the man she wants to bless.

    To the man who used the car analogy I say, as one who suffered from pornography from a very young age, that a whole, healed man may take notice of appearance, but it will not hold him because it does not satisfy his real needs. What a man receives visually is sexual (see Every Man’s Battle), but can be all-too-easily separated from the completeness of loving a woman. This is the legacy of porn (and even advertising) in a visually over-stimulated culture.

    It’s too simple to say that love is blind to the fact that your woman isn’t Barbie because the man also must be healed, whole & holy to recognize that this is what a man really wants. I lived the incomplete part, even in my first marriage (we were both believers, but in need of healing), and we suffered. The complete woman will satisfy the complete man completely. No detail will be missed. This is the glory of God for the (complete) union of man & woman. The man that God with purpose & delight has made me yearns for the woman described here, and I could see that the one He brought into my life, in His grace & favor, is just such a one.

    Seek first the Kingdom of God…

  9. Being completely honest about it, the things I value and find most attractive about a woman are:

    Modesty, sincerity, feminine, soft-spoken, quiet, good listener, respectful, responsible, sensual, loving, heart for God and ministry, attractive voice, slender, attractive walk, careful with words, attentive, caring.

    1. Sender?
      Why does she have to be slender?
      You are throwing away your chances of ever having a decent wife if “”slender”” is part of what you look for in a woman.

  10. I think what man really really wants in a woman… Someone who is thankful everyday that she had him and stop nagging trying to change the man…

  11. I appreciate the quote “A real man is not looking for the most beautiful woman in the world, but for the woman who will make his world the most beautiful” let me rephrase I love this quote. As a man who lives close to the beach and loves to swim the sexy lure of women is everywhere in SoCal but deep down this is not what is meaningful or lasting. Personally what attracks me most to a woman is her kind smile, personality, health, healthy communication with others and her love and passion for God and others. However, a religious spirit is a huge turn off! If Boobs, Bikinis and a fit body are all you have to offer a man that is called a fling. I apologize if that offends you. As a single man what perks my interest and puts you on the radar is a confident woman and that will keep you there longer that Barbie Botox!

    Debra Fileta as a single father of three beautiful daughters what books or magazines do you have for preteen and adolescent girls about relationships, love and dating. I feel the responsibility to counter the shallow mainstream messages they see on TV, social media and hear in music about how they should look and pretend to be. It seems like once they hit the teenage years they start to discard discernment and absorb the more toxic views of womanhood in mainstream

    1. Author

      I totally agree, Matthew! And how wise of you to be looking out for your daughter’s emotional and psychological/relational health already!! If you haven’t yet, I would suggest you get them a copy of my book, True Love Dates. I wrote it for 18+, but it can definitely be absorbed by mature teens 15 and older. It will give them a really good framework to understand who they are, and what kind of relationship is best for them. Check it out for yourself, first, and let me know what you think! I really believe in the message, and I believe God is using it to change lives in big ways. Here’s the link for you: http://amzn.to/1a4NWWK

      Blessings as you become and achieve all God’s best!

    2. Hello Mr. Mueller,
      I’d also recommend any book by Dannah Gresh, specifically “Secret Keeper” (which talks about Modesty); and Chad Eastham’s book “The Truth About Guys” is appropriate for high school girls as well.

  12. Confidence, intelligence, no drama, think positively, compassionate, family oriented. No money priority involve in love. Be real about life.

  13. Oh my gosh your blog is so refreshingly beautiful truly a breathe of fresh air!! Such a beautiful spirit just by your words. Gods blessings.

  14. That is such great info! Though it does seem to be a fact that men are first attracted to our appearance as they are extremely visual. That would be the only part missing, that being healthy and put together / taking care of ourselves seems to be an outward thing that drives men’s interest as well. But beyond that is everything else so important in the article. Thank you!

  15. some one who is trustworthy and does not take someomone for granted would be the best and not to be nagging alot coz it also destroys everything

    1. yes you are right alvin but if men would help by putting a stop to that that makes some women nag and complain it also shows they respect thier woman not only men that deserves respect.

  16. Love is a beautiful thing,we don’t need to rush just because we want to be loved by someone,be yourself you are specially made by God,no one has the right to make you feel inferior or you can be loved,dont forget time heals all wound.

  17. everything said here is true but what about men that finds all these qualities in a woman,being beautiful loving caring soft tender humble loyal etc but later they will end up breaking the heart of that lady,what should be done to such men? this men we know are very complicated some don’t even know what they want

  18. Honestly I want a girl who I can share my heart with. So tired of eyes glossing over when I talk to a girl.

  19. your article is great,unique and teaching.I once asked my self how to choose my woman,i never got exited by ladies who put up with makeups and so..so thanks to you now i have found the reasons that my subcouncious mind didnt reveal.

  20. Hi Debra’

    I needed your opinion regarding a guy I am in process of getting to know…Who seems to be a nice guy believes in God however has a strong sexual appetite. That while talking with him over the telephone whats to take the conversation there…Should I cut him off now or what…I believe that would have me not entertain such a conversation. I pray that this can be turn around redirected. Because have great interesting talks..Now it going the other way…Thinking to myself where is my BoAZ GOD?

    1. Author

      I agree with you, Renee….trust your gut. A relationship that starts with sex (in any form), usually gets stuck there.

    2. Hi Renee,
      Yes Debra is truely being used by God and it is so beautiful to read :-). Now Renee Im single to and find myself asking God that same question (were is my Boaz Lord) lol you are not alone. Just hold on , dont give up cause God has for you is for you! And nothing is imposssible with Him, He is truely faithful to his promise to us we are his Beloved daughters and he did not make us to be alone.

      In His Love,
      Well Kept Woman

    3. Run. Sounds like this man is trying to lure you into phone sex. A godly man would never do that. The “great interesting talks” are his way of getting you to lower your guard. Firmly tell him that you really don’t want to talk about sex and see what happens. I hope I am wrong, but I fear he will disappear. In that case, you dodged a bullet.

  21. I was completely absorbed into this, until I was in the Confidence section and you brought religion into it (which has NOTHING to do with Confidence). I stopped reading inmediately and can no longer take your article seriously.

    1. Author

      Sorry to hear it’s so difficult for you to see past it, Renee. I hope that one day you are challenged to learn from even things you disagree with. There’s a lot of truth out there, and sometimes it’s in between the lines of things or people we don’t agree with 100%. As for me, I can’t hide talking about “religion”, because ultimately, God has shaped every part of my experience with love and relationships. I pray the same for you someday. Blessings to you!

  22. That’s really amazing …. being genuine is always the first priority for both of the genders…many women just destruct their self up for the sake of men interest that’s a huge mistake of them….we no need to forcefully draw people in our life instead of it if we respect our self enough to make wise decisions for a better life ….higher. self-esteem is the thing which can make us realize that how we actually matter for us and how important our life is….

  23. Breathtakingly accurate. Extremely impressed. I shared and suggestednthat any female searching for a real man should take heed. Very nice. Will be following your articles from now on.

  24. Breathtakingly accurate. Shared. I will be following you work from this article forward.

    1. Author

      So happy you thought so, Travis….thank you!! Looking forward to you following along!

  25. This maybe a little off the topic here but my question is when you feel like your marriage is over although that is the last thing you want but your husband makes it very clear that he has heavy feelings for another woman,has been entertained by this woman on many occasions actually as a mistress but will not dare admit it to you neither one of them will be honest with you even when you know it would be the most heartbreaking hurtful news it would also still be the truth & at this point that’s all I want now.Im tired of the lies the cheating,the half as$ knowing that everything I want with the man I love more than anyone wants those things with someone else but yet still can stand in my face and tell me he loves me but he wants to be happy.Moral of my story my husband and I have been together for over 14 years we have a family but for the last past atleast 4-5 years he has been living a double life which he has everyone fooled thinking Im crazy & he is the perfect husband the Christian husband at that I jus cant keep living this lie,he has lied to me & our kids he has cheated for years without me having a clue he has become not only physically abusive but mentally & emotionally abusive as well.I have so much more to tell as proof and just knowing & feeling that the love he once had for me is gone and now given to a woman that has known he was a married man the entire time.I love my husband but I want someone to love me back & only me no lies & deceit.I cant get all this out of my mind or heart it is the worst feeling I have ever had it physically make my stomach ill like never before & honestly I think it would make this heartache ease away a little more less painfully day by day if only these two sinners would respect me enough to be completely honest in everyway from day 1 til now.I know in my heart I have felt it for so long and he knows I know he does feel guilty but its to late his love is with someone else.I can never forgive him nor would I want to make it work its not real its a show for his Christian family & church,mainly its wrong in my eyes in Gods eyes and in our hearts.Please keep me in your prayers help me with my anger and all this bitterness.

  26. Well the real problem now is that there are so many women that have a Career today that are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy picky, narcissists, and so very money hungry as well. Most of these women will only want the best of all and will never settle for less since it is always about them all the time unfortunately. So finding real love for many of us Good men is very difficult nowadays for us since it is very difficult for a woman to Accept us for who we really are since many of us men Don’t make the kind of a salary that many of these women are making now. If i ever should meet a woman that makes less than i do which would be no big deal for me at all especially if we happen to be very compatible and love one another which does really count as a plus. The very sad thing is that so many women today have no personality at all and they have a very bad attitude problem since many of them really think that they’re God’s gift to men which their really not at all. The good old fashioned women of years ago were the best of all since they had a very good personality which most of them did back then which made it much Easier in those days finding love the way that our Family Members had it since many of them are still together now as i speak.

  27. I know this was back in 2014 ,but I read this today and you hit the nail on the head. This is so very refreshing to hear a Man speak this way I know its only because of the Love of God inside you, so beautiful so awsome.
    I am single and have a friend that I to see and love me as God does Agopy ,love that never fails 🙂

    Have a blessed New Year,
    Well Kept Woman

  28. Typo – I have a friend how is a wonderful guy as we get to know each other more I realized I like him more then just a friend and I would Love it if he saw and loved me the way God does with Agopy love. He would make great husband and I a great wife.

  29. Now Debra, If you and other similar minded women would speak out against radical Godless feminism, men would feel like a male-female relationship would be worthwhile.

  30. Hi Ms. Debra my name is Betty. Please help me find a man who is a God fearing and honest. Surely i will care and love him very much. I had have a very sad experirnced from my ex husband. Am a loving and caring person but my husband has another family now since am far away to work for my family.

    Thank you in advance


  31. Hi Dave, your words were so frank and awesome. But don’t generalize all women coz maybe some of them is just around you aNd waiting..

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