What Women Want

It's the age old question; what do women really look for in a man? The short answer?  Perfection. Of course that all depends on the individual woman and what she sees as perfection; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The trouble is that most women are extraordinarily difficult to please. In our heart of hearts we know that in reality finding the ‘perfect’ man is an unachievable feat but that doesn't stop us wishing. When a woman is on the hunt for her man, it’s the combination of the constant search for perfection, the possibility of someone better around the corner and the frequent formation of mental checklists and ‘must haves’ that make her desired outcome virtually impossible.

If you ask a girl straight off the bat what they look for in a man, they’ll probably hesitate and reply coyly “Oh, I’m not sure really…umm…” False.  All false. We just don’t want to seem like a psychotic bitch if we respond to your question immediately with no room for hesitation or a breath. Prompt her some more and she may be confident enough to relay a whole string of ‘must have's’ without feeling querulous.  That being said some women have no problem at all in conveying their demands. Take for example my friend’s response:

“I’d like him smart, tall- but not too tall, confident- but not arrogant, good-looking …obviously, fashionable, ambitious, spontaneous, loyal- but not like a dog- but he has to be a pet lover, romantic, trustworthy, successful, kind, humorous, thoughtful, giving, loving, sensitive-but not a Kleenex lover, reliable, attentive, sexually experienced- but not a player, and mentally stable at the least.”  Verbatim.  Seriously.

I asked another friend of mine the exact same question and her eyes flickered as she replied matter-of-factly, “I want someone like a prince from a Disney film.”  Again, a direct quote. It just goes to show that women’s wishes know no limits when it comes to this topic; their attitudes remain irrevocable.  It’s as if women are predisposed to covet the unobtainable.  I mean, what man do you know is like a Disney prince? If you do know of one, is he single? No? Exactly. If a Prince Charming was on the market he would be snapped up quicker than you can say Cindarella.

Following my friend’s unfathomably quixotic response, I was spurred on to conduct some further research. I actually took the liberty of going to my local shopping centre and seeing if female strangers would be equally as open with me about what they look for in a man, or if in fact these opinions were solely ascribed to my friends. Within 5 minutes this was the list of answers:

It’s double sided.

The most virtuous responses were “long eyelashes”, “intelligence” and “a good posture”. The crueller demands were “a big willy”, “no bodily malfunctions” and “no beastly back hair”. As I read through the list chuckling at my findings I realised that for every prerequisite there was also a negative, a “mustn’t have”. For all my enthusiasm on the topic of what women want, I’d neglected to uncover what women don’t want; no dirty nails, no impotence, and no monobrows.

I really do feel sorry for men, the requirement checklist is endless, contradictory and different for every woman. It’s no wonder they’re at a loss when it comes to this topic, which is probably the same reason why so many websites have specifically been created to aid them in getting a girl. During my research (and partly for added humour) I came across websites like: www.sosuave.com, www.artofapproaching.com and www.getgirls.com. I’ll leave their webpage content to your imagination. The more self-help material I skim read, the more I sympathised with men. I mean it’s all well and good to feign an air of confidence, clip your nails and be good at DIY to bag a girl’s attention, but with a 101 list of ever changing requirements it truly is impossible to tick every box.

From personal experience and talking with girlfriends, I believe there are two occasions when the ‘list’ goes out the window. The first is when a woman gets older. When she is younger, a woman is naturally more optimistic and opportunistic; her demands are far more developed because she deems herself more worthy of being with ‘the perfect man’. As women grow older, they become less choosy, more accepting of the opposite sex and some (not all) believe that they are less entitled to the perfect guy. Their outlook is simply more realistic. The second instance when the ‘list’ goes out the window is when a woman meets the ‘right’ guy. This throws a spanner in the works and negates everything I've just said because surely the ‘right’ guy is someone that ticks their every box. Wrong. When a woman meets the right guy, he is usually the complete antithesis of what they were initially looking for. He may not have bulging muscles with an equally bulging wallet and downstairs package, but she won’t care because he ticks the most important box of all, the “je ne sais quoi”, the box of intangible quality.

So even if a woman has a mental checklist of the ultimate man whom she pines after, she will eventually succumb to one particular guy because of an indescribable reason, forget appearances and bank balances. What women really want is the right man to come along so they can shred their mental checklist and be happy with a man that’s far less than perfect but whom they love all the same. It makes them feel less neurotic.