21 Things Women Want in a Man


I asked a group of 1367 Sassy Midlife Women what they wanted most in a man. These are their top 21 answers in order of popularity.

It is interesting to note what is NOT on this list — there is nothing about height, or weight, or job, or age, or bank account. Penis size did come up, but was quickly countered with the belief that technique was more important. If you are a man, be encouraged. There is nothing on this list outside your control.

And that is good, good news for all of us.

1. Respect

Respect means recognizing our own worth—and the worth of others. When we respect our partner, we are able to rise above pettiness, jealousy and cruelty. When we respect ourselves, we are able to transcend insecurity, defensiveness and fear. And respecting both ourselves and our partners enables us to build strong, lasting and mutually supportive relationships.

★ What Respect Really Means in a Relationship by Two of Us

2. Attention

There’s a seldom-discussed trick to building relationships that last. They’re called “bids” and they’re a couple’s secret weapon against waning love. One of the most crucial ways to connect and be present in a relationship is by meeting your partner’s “bids” for attention.

★ The Crucial Piece To Building Relationships That Last by Chelli Pumphrey

3. Honesty

Honesty is telling the truth in a way that your partner will hear it and benefit from it. We all want to hear how great we are, of course, but we can also benefit from making some slight adjustments in how we do things. This is where a little honesty from someone you love and trust will help you make the small changes that can make your world a better place.

★ Honesty Can Make or Break a Relationship by Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.

★ Download your 17-page guide:
How to Write an Online Dating Profile ~ The Entire Series 

4. Communication

Relationships exist between two emotional human beings who bring their own past experiences, history, and expectations into it. Two different people also have different levels of skill when it comes to communication. But better communication, because it is a skill, can also be learned.

★ 9 Steps to Better Communication Today by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

5. Good Hygiene / Smells Good

Hygiene matters. Women pay attention to details and expect the men they are dating to have at least basic hygiene and grooming skills. Looking your best is masculine and very important. Fortunately, taking care of basic hygiene isn’t rocket science, nor time-consuming.

★10 Basic Hygiene And Grooming Changes Every Guy Should Make Right Now by David Bennet

6. Passion

If a nap (watching TV, being on Facebook, chatting with friends) sounds better than making love… here are 6 strategies to  immediately apply to get the enthusiasm and closeness back pronto.

★ Keeping the Romance Alive: 6 Passion-Boosting Tips For Your Flaccid Relationship by Sheri Meyers

7. Acceptance

Radical acceptance means loving someone fully for who he or she really is — flaws, short-comings, weaknesses, warts, and all. It signifies loving someone without judgment. It is love filled with empathy and compassion.

★ Is ‘Radical Acceptance’ the Key to a Lasting Relationship? by Andrea Miller

8. Love

Love is such a big word that means so much in a relationship. Sometimes it’s better shown in pictures than in words…

★ Love is in the little things by Korean artist “Puuung”

9.  Trust

Most of us have felt like our trust has been compromised at some point in our lives. Needless to say, these experiences can be very painful. Perhaps we’re still scared to trust again. We think to ourselves, “Who can I trust? And how do I know I can trust them?”

But trust is one of those things that we can’t just skip over. It’s a crucial ingredient in our relationships; some call it the foundation. Without it, it’s really difficult to settle in and just love.

★ How To Trust (Especially When You’ve Been Hurt) by Shelly Bullard

10. Large Cock Knowing How to Use What You’ve Got

Penis size and penetration aren’t the keys to a woman’s orgasm: guess what is?

★ Why Penis Size Doesn’t Matter One Bit in Getting Most Women Off by Duana Welch, Ph.D

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11. Friendship

Finding a partner who is “first and foremost a friend” is the most important factor to maintaining a lasting relationship, researchers say.

★ Friendship is key to longevity and sexual satisfaction in relationships by Jody Phan

12. Intimacy

All those ups and downs are leading to something. Could it be love?

★ The 5 Stages Of Intimacy (And Why You Need To Know Where YOU Are) by Zoe Hicks

13. Loyalty

There are plenty of things in life that you have absolutely no control over – your decisions, thankfully, are not included in that list. If you want to be loyal then just be loyal. It’s the only reason you need.

★ 8 Ways To Stay Faithful To Someone You Love In The Hook-Up Culture by Paul Hudson

14. Creativity

Emotional creativity involves relating to your own negative emotional reactions (i.e. anger, fear, irritability, dread, contempt, insecurity, disappointment, etc.) as raw material with which to build and create. Once you take this perspective, you will no longer see yourself as a passive victim of your own negative emotions.

★ Relationships Require Emotional Creativity by Chris Kingman

15. Confidence

While every person certainly has his or her own preferences regarding physical type, dress, and other external factors, some people simply present a magnetism and confidence that cuts across individual preferences and allows them to charm everyone in the room.

★ Scientifically Proven Ways to Be More Attractive by Lisa Fritscher

16. Laughter

Study after study has shown that laughing is good for the soul. But now we know something else: sharing giggles with a romantic partner keeps the lovey-dovey feelings going, according to a study published in the journal Personal Relationships.

★ Couples Who Do This Together Are Happier by Tanya Basu

17. Reciprocation

Most of us do not consciously think about reciprocity in our intimate relationships. When we do, we might say, “Of course it is important.” Like the Golden Rule, we recognize it as a valuable principle to live by.

Reciprocity is not something that can be exact, of course, because what one person can do, another person cannot. Reciprocity and cooperation are so valuable precisely because we do have various strengths and weaknesses.

★ Relationships and the Importance of Reciprocity by Anne Ream

18. Security

A man’s unconditional acceptance of a woman means that there is no judgment and criticism. She can communicate honestly, be herself, and feel emotionally safe. There are also physical and financial factors that can appeal to a woman’s sense of safety. Sometimes a woman will trade one of these comforts for another in her relationship.

★ Emotional Security by Pathway to Happiness

19. Able to Look After Himself

A man who is able to use the oven, the dishwasher, the washing machine and an iron.

★ Start Foreplay by Doing Chores by Wendy Strgar


20. Connection

“Intimacy is not purely physical, It’s the act of connecting with someone so deeply, you feel like you see into their soul.” ~Unknown

How to Feel Close and Connected in Your Relationship Again by Heidi Paavilainen

21. Space

One of the things that people often don’t understand about relationships is that everybody needs their space at one point or another. In fact, by not making room for having some “me” time, you’re actually hurting your relationship. So let’s talk a little about just how you can have space in your relationship without sacrificing intimacy.

★ Getting Space In A Relationship by Dr Nerdlove

Which characteristic women want in a man is most important to you?


About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

8 thoughts on “21 Things Women Want in a Man

  1. I must take issue with # 10
    The prime area of stimulation in a woman is NOT her clitoris.—I do wish you’d stop perpetuating this myth.
    OK—so it takes a bit of skill to get beyond that, but a woman’s G spot is between her ears.

    It’s not necessary to touch or penetrate. An aware lover can make a woman pop off with mere words—or even a look– at the right moment.
    Over and over, just on command when the lady in question reaches that point where she wants to be controlled in that way.

    It’s important to reach the sweet depths and heights of emotion. clit contact whether by hand or tongue is (ultimately) mechanical.
    She wants/deserves more than that from a thoughtful lover. So guys—take your time and get inside her head instead of the other place.

    1. As you’re not a woman, I’m not entirely sure you’re the expert on this subject. I love to hear from one of your girlfriends who has experienced this hands free miracle.

      1. lol
        I can do no more than give you my word as an English gentleman that mindfucking works. My name for it is wordweaving, though words aren’t always necessary.

        Current gf (of 14 years) seems to keep coming back for more, She adores the sensation of being orgasmically controlled without being touched, though sometimes she likes to be tied down….though that’s not necessary either.

        Which is about as far as I can go with this. I accept that in cold print it might sound ridiculous.

  2. Wow. Great list, Katie. I agree with ALL of them. #18 is so important. I have it now but not in past relationships so I know what it’s like to be missing it.

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