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…
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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 Life, 21 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!