What Women Really Want in a Man

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, For the Guys, Relationships by Debra Fileta76 Comments

I saw an ad that read:

“Men, let’s be real men”. 

The ad proceeded to promote a new testosterone pill.  If consumed, this pill promised to boost manliness- increased sex drive, muscles, and masculinity.

The most frightening thing about this ad is that it speaks some truth- in the sense that our society has managed to reduce manhood to sex drive and muscles. 

I don’t know about you, ladies, but that is so ridiculously far from my definition of masculinity.  The truth is women are looking for so much more in a man than strong muscles and libido.   Far more than cars, athletic ability and all the other meaningless things our society uses to define manhood- there are some things that actually define the measure of a man.

So men, go ahead and ditch the weights, the hot rods, and the testosterone pills, because if you’re really trying to catch a fine woman- here’s what they’re looking for:

Honesty:  More than any other trait, women are looking for a man who is open and honest.  The thing about honesty is that it’s a sign of security.  What you see is what you get and there is absolutely nothing to hide.  Men, it’s time to stop pretending and start being real.  Real with your strengths, your weaknesses, your struggles.  Real with your hopes, your dreams, and your fears.  Real with who you actually are; not who you want to be.  A man who has nothing to hide becomes the safe place in which a woman can hide her heart (Tweet it!).  Now that’s straight-up manly.

Purity:  We live in a society that has fooled us into thinking that women have no control over their emotions, and men have no control over their eyes.  I’m a firm believer that this is a lie straight from the pit of hell.  It sickens me to interact with women who expect their men to fall prey to lust, cheating, and adultery…as if that’s just part of being a man.  There is no doubt that we live in a world full of sexual temptation and struggles, but it is also true that we serve a God who gives us victory over our entire being- our minds, hearts, and bodies.  True masculinity comes when a man has enough honor and respect for the woman in his life to say no to temptations.  True masculinity comes from a man who knows his weaknesses, but sets himself up to succeed (Tweet it!).  True masculinity is found in a man who says no to the expectations of this world, and lives for a higher calling.  May God help us as women to recognize these kinds of men.

Strength:  There is nothing better than a man who exudes strength.  Not the muscle-rippling kind of strength, but strength of mind, heart, and spirit.  A strength that comes from a man who knows what he believes and stands firm for what’s right.  A strength in recognizing right from wrong, and confessing when he has given into the latter.  A strength that is confident enough to do right, choose right, and be right.  In this day of compromise, women are looking for a man who is strong enough to stand his ground- holding on to his values, his beliefs, and most importantly, His God.

Compassion:  You can always recognize a real man by taking a look at his heart.  Does his heart move for the things that move God’s heart?  Is he broken by the pain in his life?  Is he moved by the sins he’s working to overcome?  Is he affected when things are not as they should be in life, in situations, in relationships?  A real man is one who allows his heart to be moved, and then allows his actions to follow his heart.  A man who strives for healing, restoration, and resolution.  A man who strives to right the wrongs around him- and the wrongs within him.  We are looking for men of compassion, tenderness, and love- because therein we will always find the heart of Jesus.

Humility:  What raises a man up more than any other earthly thing is his ability to humble himself.  A real man doesn’t need to talk up who he is, because his life does that for him (Tweet it!).  He can put away the talk, because a man of humility is focused so much more on his walk.  He is quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry- because he’s put away his “rights” for the right to be selfless, loving, and full of grace.  The greatest example of humility is found in the manliest man- Jesus: a man who laid down his rights, and made himself nothing in order to be an example of undying love and affection to the bride who won his heart.  Real men seek to do the same.

I don’t know about you, ladies, but this is exactly the kind of man who I allowed to win my heart.  While I can safely say that he’s nowhere near perfect, he is a man who strives to uphold honesty, purity, strength, compassion, and humility in his life and in our marriage.  It’s time to expect more from our men, and then, to wait patiently until you see these qualities at work in his life.  Don’t you dare settle for less .

Men, it’s time to say no to the lies that are being poured into your brains.  You are worth far more than that.  Your masculinity is defined by so much more than you think- and that is what is truly attractive in our eyes.

May God continue to work in the lives of our men- that by His grace they would strive to carry the traits that reflect nothing less than the heart of Jesus. 

Now that, my friends, is what I call a manly man. 

This post updated and revised from  2013*

For more on becoming the right person and meeting the right spouse, pick up True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life

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!

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76 Comments on "What Women Really Want in a Man"

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Nate
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Good, attainable standards all of us can strive to live towards.

anonymous
Guest

I’m wondering how and why God has anything to do with this? Are we incapable of being good people if we don’t accept the idea of a greater power? Ludicrous.

Cris
Guest
Well. God is love and love is of God. Not the love we know, not the love that fails over and over because it’s conditional! The Agape love that has no limits or conditions. It’s the Agape love of God that cast out all fear and it’s so strong that it covers a multitude of sin that we commit against each other. This kind of love is a gift and when you experience everything about you changes and that is why we can hope to find the kind of man we really want. There are men who know and understand… Read more »
U.P.Singh Advocate high court Allahabad u.p.india
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U.P.Singh Advocate high court Allahabad u.p.india

love is not physical relation,it’s spiritual,when two bodies attached by means two souls are commiting to meet in heaven,,,,,,,,,,,,I interested to make an loving world,in which would survive each and every contrudiction,it is my pure view about this wo,rld,

SB
Guest

Thanks for the article. It’s really encouraging to hear that it’s not just me having unrealistic expectations, and be reminded to not settle for less! So often I hear friends and family (Christians and non-Christian) telling me to lower my expectations if I want to meet someone, but I think I’d rather be alone.

Rasa
Guest
I posted this article on my Facebook wall and encouraged my friends to comment. One guy has commented so far and he writes the following: “If it is what women are looking for in men, then the question is “why am I still single?” Speaking of cars, I once talked with my friend/colleague and according to her, girls don’t care for expensive cars, but the fact that a guy can afford to drive one, indicates that he is capable of managing his finances and that he is reliable.” He also commented on the other article about what men want in… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

I agree that these standards are what truly make a ‘man’ into a real man. But it’s been my experience that a lot of women aren’t even looking for this. I’ve seen countless girls within the church go straight after the muscular, testosterone-driven dudes who can barely articulate the Gospel. I appreciate the standards this article sets for us guys, but I’d like to see the women of the church hold to these standards, not just talk about them.

anonymous
Guest
Unfortunately, the purity standard is NOT what most American women are looking for in a man. Its been my experience that women have a pre-selection mentality; whereby “if other women don’t want you, why should I?” They’ve been conditioned by society to think that way. Even girls in church. Most women don’t want chaste men because they are perceived as having no social value (which is not manly in their eyes) and are thus ignored. High Status men have value and that’s why they are highly sought after by women. Masculinity means being sexually desirable to women, otherwise you’re not… Read more »
Isaac
Guest

This is precisely what we all need. I pray God grant you more wisdom and undestanding. May the grace and anointing of the Holy Spirit not run dry over you. I also pray the Lord strengthen your home, family and ministry in Jesus name. This article will always be a blessing for generations yet unborn!

Anonymous
Guest

This article really encourages me on different levels. Found out last week that the lady I have a crush on has a taste for men who have a “bad” side to them basically not showing the qualities in the article above. She consideres me just “a good friend” cause I don’t fall into that type she likes

Caryne
Guest
I am a woman of destiny and woman of God. I personally will not date a guy who is not God fearing. That’s right off the bat. And for the others honest, strength, purity..def a plus. I think our women just need to be guided and encouraged. I used to be the girl who will love blindly and overlook certain qualities/virtues but I know better now. That’s why I won’t lower my standards for no reason. I serve a God who rewards those who serve him. I know he will move nations for my divinely appointed to find me. I’m… Read more »
Tamara Weber
Guest
Hey Debra, you are such a wonderful person full of wisdom, love and realness, and I can so connect with you, with all the things you say about the true love, about real and true women and men. It makes me so emotional to read all you writings because they are mirroring my soul and heart, my beliefs and desires. I have to admit I have never been religious, though I have always felt a special spirit (you can call it God) within myself who helped and guided me in any life situation. How many times I have heard from… Read more »
Greg
Guest
As others have already shared, I’d like to believe this list is what women really want in a man, but in truth, it’s only what a handful of godly women want…and most of those are older generations who were actually raised to recognize the character traits you listed. Many younger (even godly) women I’ve known have turned up their virtual nose because I didn’t have one or more things not on your list. There’s a great deal of unrealistic expectations and (frankly, quite snotty) inconsistencies that they have exuded in their search for the “man they want”. I certainly don’t… Read more »
Vic
Guest
I’m 32. Been in your shoes. Married once before and just out of “could have been great” relationship. The problem is, as men, we also chose the women who have unrealistic expectations. There are plenty of super religious faithful women in our churches but we skip over them because we want some of that superficial but important stuff too. For example, I’ve had several good godly women seek me out and I know many of them are great, could fall in love, be faithful, lovely and so on. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am not attracted to… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
As a man, I really appreciate this article. This nails down what men truly want. But you see, there is a problem. I have brought into the lie that all women want is money so they do not have to work. As an educator, I will never earn that six figure salary that popular culture tells us we must have. Unfortunately, I have even seen in churches. I do believe that unlike a comment on this blog that GOD does care about our needs of companionship, otherwise he would not have given Adam Eve and said that Man is not… Read more »
Becy
Guest

Boy did I enjoy reading this Debra! 🙂 nice job.

lisajm
Guest

This is right on. Im a 41 year old single woman, and these are exactly the characteristics any woman who loves God would be looking for in a man, thanks!

Cody
Guest

Fantastic points made regarding positive traits, however the emphasis on God completely undermined the importance of the overall message. While religious beliefs are often valuable, mentioning God marginalized a lot of people, and left the message of deaf ears. The article seemed more like an attempt to proselytize…

Tiara M.
Guest
Hi Debra! This article was amazing and so true. To the men who have had bad experiences with Christian women, most times if she is a firm believer of God and has an intimate relationship with Him, and she puts you in the friend zone or overlooks you it doesn’t mean that she is superficial or likes the bad boys. I know for me when a guy approaches me talking about wanting to get to know me and I politely decline it’s because God is telling me no. It may not mean that those guys are bad, but it means… Read more »
Bill
Guest

Out of curiosity, who do you choose to be with? Not the ideal, but based on your past relationships, what is the kind of guy you tend to be attracted to?

Loving the Journey
Guest
Wow …great article and the feedback is nothing short of awesome …lots of transparency. Personally it is my belief that chemistry and attraction are still so important. I wish I could just pick a wonderful Godly man …but maybe I dont need one 😉 jk So I’m keeping busy with Gods work for me and it is a great joy! Maybe someday Gods best guy for me will come my way :). I wish all of you that are waiting much love, peace, and happiness in your journey …theres so much beauty in the journey Xoxo.
Daniel
Guest
I believe our society and technology confuse men concerning meaningful intimate relationships between men and women. Marriage is paramount in God’s economy…He uses Himself and His Church as a metaphor. A covenant! Jesus had multiple encounters with women. As men, we would be wise to read up and follow His lead. He completely understood women whereas most of us need to learn. This article made me want to be a better man, thank you Debra. I once read “Marriage involves two sinners learning how to forgive each other for the rest of their lives. Genuine love and God’s word is… Read more »
Matt M
Guest
As I agree with what you are writing about in the article, and agree that muscles and testosterone shouldn’t be the driving force in being a man that a ‘godly’ woman should desire for (for a relationship that lasts), I would like to play the ‘devil’s advocate’ on this one, so to speak. Although there are many extremes for reasoning behind the testosterone and muscle guys, I’d say that there is a healthy place within it. As a man that loves nutrition and fitness, I find that someone that actually eats well and exercises regularly shows that they know how… Read more »
Deb
Guest
These are all very important, and I agree, the main things I look for. But I do see a lot of tendency on both sides to put way more emphasis on the superficial rather than what will matter most in the long run, and frankly I think that’s a huge detriment that has contributed to so much chaos in the dating world. I can’t tell you how many guys I hear talk about no one going out with them when the only girls they ask out are the 9s, and how many girls complain they never get asked out when… Read more »
Deb
Guest

Also while I agree with the commenters who said nutrition and fitness are important, I would also add it’s wise to leave room for people being in their journey of getting healthier, yet not quite fully there, as opposed to looking solely at the ones who have already arrived. To me it matters more that a guy is trying to take care of himself and putting the effort in, than whether or not he’s there all the way.

Matt M
Guest

I agree with you there, Deb (as I was one of the ones that posted on health and fitness importance). 🙂

Greg
Guest
Interesting article, Debra. I know I myself need to work on many things in my life to become a better man. However, I haven’t seen much that you’ve written which acknowledges that women need to also work on themselves to attract these better men to them. If all you do is say, “Men, you need to be honest, pure, strong of mind and spirit, etc. in order to win our attraction”, but don’t say how you women can conversely be more modest, feminine, kind, and industrious for these men who you look for, then these good men, including me (who… Read more »
Gen
Guest

Love your article- it’s SO TRUE.
Ive also read your book and totally love it, I agree with everything you wrote in it.
Your articles are great!! Keep sending them our way. God is using you greatly in a world that needs to be reminded of how God wants us to live/wait for who HE has for us to spend our lives with, not settle for what the world says we should have.
God Bless your ministry!!!

Richie Choice
Guest

I enjoyed this article and the comments…. the comments are so encouraging and challenging. I am not defined by my level of testosterone and my muscle aka 6 pack.

Vince Ortega
Guest

I enjoyed reading your article. Very good information i really believe TV and social media 24/7 puts out the wrong message out about what type of characteristic he/she should have. Your article is Right on; Thanks.

Todd S
Guest
Debra, I just read this piece and it is everything that my girlfriend has been telling me for the past seven years, of course I have not heeded her words and this has led to my downfall. Now if I could just get it right, I might actually get and deserve her true love that she has shown me. I have put her through a lot the past seven years and she has shown me through all that she is willing to let me fail in so many ways, because she believes in me, now if I just had the… Read more »
Greg
Guest

Hi Debra,
Fair enough. I did see your article on what men want in women. I am glad that you try to be balanced in what you write. I’ll let you know any other suggestions if I think of them.
Greg

Asoro Uvieoghene
Guest

There are girls out there who want chaste guys but they seem to be no where near us. I agree that due to the influence of the media many girls are drawn to bad guys. But girls that know who they are and what is best for them love practical Christian guys and i am glad to say i am one of them. Thanks so much Debra! This is an excellent post.

Matthew Cieply
Guest
I read all this, and a lot of the comments. This truly is inspiring to me. I am a young gentleman but I believe in the great lord. This whole article just blows me away. I have been trying to find articles like this and this one is by far the best I have read and seen. I’m probably not the most attractive person. But I do have a gentle touch and very kind heart. Debra I truly am going to keep being who I am. As that one saying goes don’t dress for the job you have dress for… Read more »
Gamaliel Colon Sr.
Guest
Debra Fileta, I read your article and I agree with you and your stand. I personally am surprised by how many men still looking for “the woman of their dreams” and their mentality of measuring up to another standard then that which we are told to follow which is Jesus’ standards and what the Bible tells us to hold on to. Being single I have been told over and over again that I am too picky. If I am doing my best to seek God and be the best for him why would I settle for anything from him that… Read more »
Kyle Paxton
Guest

Hello, I just simply wanted to say I appreciate the article. I think I’ll print it out and hang it on my wall! I find it’s easy for me to slip into the mindset of the world’s idea of masculinity. It was great to read this as a guy to check myself and desire what you spoke of. It is also encouraging to know that there are ladies out there who may simply like me for who I am. Same for any guy. Thank you for your words and insight. I pray the best.

Simon Rohn
Guest

Thanks for this 🙂 have been finding difficult to get a date. the problem is too much false information across the web. i have decided not to read anything about masculinity, and just believe in myself and do my own thing..

Thanks for this Debra.

Matthew Mueller
Guest
Great reminder of what truly masculine strength is about; honesty, purity, compassionate, moral-strength and humility. Personally Jesus Christ is the ultimate role model for men to focus on and follow his examples of a real man compared to the spiritually anemic and morally bankrupt image portrayed in the media and television. People inside and outside the church can and will let you down including your own fathers. For me and other men it is what we do in our relationship with Jesus Christ that really matters. Follow His examples of relationships and love or trade them in for a graven… Read more »
Abel
Guest

This post is really enlightening and enriching. Thank you for sharing and being a blessing to us all.

I signed up for this blog last week. The articles have really blessed my life.

Terryzane
Guest

I agree with all the above you written. Im looking for an Esther. … or Ruth. or Mary.
I am one Galatians 5:20 – 27 man. Also luke 6:38, also 1 John 5:4. Im not perfect, not good looking or live in Egypt ..The world. But I do have enough wisdom not to be in places I should not be to look for My Date.
In Jesus name..Amen

terryzane
Guest

I am one..Galatians 5:20-27 man. I live under the authority of The Lord Himself. So as for a wife..Im interested in a Esther. or Ruth. or Mary. She needs to be hyper and ready to enjoy life and fun.
I am a marriage counselor, I know what to ask and look for in a real woman. AMEN
Terryzane

jojo
Guest

@Vic. I could identify you because I am like that! Good message and praying you found the missing rib.

@Debra, Thanks for reinforcing god’s love and standards to counter lies. I love reading comments cos it speaks what others have experienced in real life across continents. Do you have Facebook page?

Dave
Guest

Thank you for posting this. I really needed to be reminded of this.

Peter
Guest
Love this! Going to read the companion article next, already found your book for my nook! I have a special, lady friend, for whom it would be my deepest honor to love and protect both in this lifetime and well into eternity: not that She necessarily needs protection, but more so she knows there’ll always be someone willing to be her rock when the storms rage around her. Christ is more than enough for each of us, but if I could count myself among those on whom she leans whenever she feels the least bit uncomfortable (or even just because)…I… Read more »
milinda
Guest

wowww this is so so superb and awesome tanks a million times Debra,I was introduced to this site not up to a week but guess what my perspective, ideologies has changing, may the Lord uplift you

Anison Eric J.P.
Guest
Your Comment * lnfact, l lack words ! I don’t know what to say ! I just stumbled to your page while searching the internet for a way out . And seeing you being a woman is more astonishing! But, it tells me that, there are still reminants in the house of God! I’m confused and Frustrated in what the experience is like here in Nigeria! I love Jesus . But , l was forced to go to the internet to search for solutions b4 l stumbled to your page . l told a Pastor that l came to the… Read more »
Batphink Reynolds
Guest
Debra what a wonderful article. After being cheated on over the years by 11 separate women(no word of a lie) I have never married. I have done a lot of therapy and introspection.I do realize that my last relationship was ruined by my severe depression as a result of the infidelity I have suffered but with the help of modern antidepressants and counseling I am much improved and functioning quite well with a return to who I used to be .People keep saying I have run into the wrong type of women,I don’t think it realistic at eleven times but… Read more »
Anison Eric J.P
Guest

Mmmh, mama, keep prayiny for us! For most of us here possess these qualities and are still trusting God, let me not say that the Christian women are not available here!

Mitch
Guest
A man’s list is as follows: 1. Is She hot? 2. Seriously, bro. How hot is she? A woman’s (partial) list is as follows: 1. Does he have a good job? 2. Where does he live? 3. What kind of a car does he drive? 4. He needs to confident without being too arrogant 5. He needs to be funny but not, like, goofy funny 6. He needs to be tall but not too tall or, like, weird tall 7. He should be spontaneous but only when I’m expecting it 8. Handsome is a plus and handsome with good hair… Read more »
Groundhog dayagain
Guest

I know a woman who had a list of 14 things that she was looking for in a man.Last time I knew,her wait was 18 years and counting.

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