What I want from men.

guys and dolls

I asked my friend Tony, “Hey Tony. I know this is a big question, but what do guys really want? I know every man is different. But think broadly. What do guys want from a woman? For her to do or not do? You know?”

He said, “It really depends on the guy. And unfortunately, I’m so far off from most guys that I don’t know how well I can answer that.” And then, he asked me, “What do you want out of a boy? For him to do and not do?”

Here’s what I want.

“I want a boy to be honest, but there’s a difference from being honest and being blunt. To be honest is having your actions align with your words.

I like when boys don’t play games. By which I mean this: If you say something, you should mean it. Don’t say something and then do something else. Don’t act one way and then another. That’s a game to me.

I want men to be unafraid of doing new things or of looking silly.

I want men to understand that for you, it’s just a text, but for most women (NOT ALL, MOST, NOT ALL, MOST, UNDERSTAND?) we dissect texts and take them apart and over-interpret them. Similarly, we worry when you don’t text at all. We think, “What have I done wrong?” I guess my point is that, keep in mind that communcation via any medium is important.

I want men to know that we’re way less complicated than you think we are. We just want to know that we’re valued and that we mean something to you. We’re not asking you to marry us, or commit to us immediately, or try to trap you into a relationship. That’s not what I’m saying. We just want to know that you like us. That you recognize we’re people with feelings like yours. It’s always nice to feel appreciated. We know we can go a little overboard with reading into things and seeing signs that aren’t there. But we do it because we feel like you’re not giving us enough. Maybe that’s because men aren’t trained to show emotion. But we like a little emotion.

I want men to know that we hate games too. We really do!!! We don’t want to have to play them. But when we text you and you don’t text back, we suddenly think, oh, now I have to do the whole, let me just disappear thing so he’ll want me again. It doesn’t even matter that it isn’t logical, and in most cases, isn’t even correct (people are busy! people don’t think texting is as important as you do! And so on!) I think that in the same way men are trained not to show emotion, women are trained to try to trap a man. I don’t feel this way. None of my friends do. This is of an older generation. But we’re still faced with books like, “Why Men Love Bitches” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” and suddenly we panic and think, “Well wait, why ISN’T he into me? HOW DO I CHANGE IT??” That’s why there’s an entire industry based on relationship books.

It all comes down to one thing, and it’s one thing that works for both men and women: be kind, be honest, and don’t be a dick.”

(And be hot and good in bed. If not hot, then at least good.)

Men: what do you want from women?


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30 thoughts on “What I want from men.

  1. Anonymous

    I’m a woman, but here’s my take on it: years ago, I was tasked with coming up with a short list of “requirements”–things that make a man a keeper. I still use it [FHGASC]:

    FUNNY: Make me laugh, and let me make you laugh.
    HONORABLE: Do the right thing. Without question.
    GENEROUS: Not with money, necessarily; have a kind and generous heart.
    AFFECTIONATE: Keep me warm, you know?
    SMART: So I don’t have to dumb down. Ever.
    CLEAN: I added this later–I had thought it was obvious. Personally clean.

    I’ve found that while you might be able to fudge one of these (hard to pick which one!) and still be friends, you can never have a great relationship unless they’re all there. And I think it’s bass for both genders,( although men might have looser standards.) For those who think that’s too many requirements, I think you’re too willing to settle, and why would you do that?

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      “GENEROUS: Not with money, necessarily; have a kind and generous heart.” Word!

      What’s interesting is that when Tony asked me what I wanted from men, instead of giving a list of requirements like I usually would have done, instead I focused on what I wanted in terms of a more human quality. I absolutely have physical preferences and basic requirements like have a job, have a car, and don’t be anti-semitic. But this was the first time I thought about it in a greater sense.

  2. Alexandra

    Ugh, the books you mentioned. UGH. I read them a while ago and believed them wholeheartedly and then didn’t have a relationship for six years LOL. Mostly it’s the “Why Men Love Bitches” book that taught me to try to play games. But playing games didn’t work – games just made me more obsessive and afraid. But dealing with old feelings and shit (via therapy) worked. Finding work and a career path I love worked. Loving and accepting myself worked. And while on the surface, it probably looked like I was playing “hard to get,” I was just living my life. It was on the set of my web series that I met the guy who I’m currently dating, and I couldn’t be happier. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m with you, Almie: Fuck games.

  3. Kalliste

    Wow. I’ve never really had many close female friends and even less as an adult. We never really talked about what we want out of our partners.

    I related with everything you just said, I also don’t play games, well not intentionally and hopefully in the future it won’t be considered something people do to people they like.

    I always thought the over reading and scrutiny of emails, conversational, texts, etc was just me being crazy. I never knew it was just a thing we women, for whatever reason, do. It feels good to know I’m not alone :)

    I also love your comment on honesty. Actions and words alighning is so important.

  4. Matt

    This is a great read!

    Speaking from my point of view, I don’t think we want different things from what you’ve posted, as well as Anonymous. It’s always different with individuals, but mostly I think these are all accepted – here’s what I want most from a woman:

    Honesty/Sincerity – with herself and to me; no coy games and just be herself: no need to drive yourself crazy, thinking you’re crazy if you’re actually crazy; who cares!
    To actually act/be feminine – I swear this is a dying art..

    …and that’s it. Well, those are the two main things; ideally I’d her to be interested in the same hobbies etc. that I like, as well as to be smart (and be a bit of a geek :P) so that I can talk with her for hours, almost teaching each other filling in the blanks of knowledge. Odd right? Meh. But that’s it! Easy!

      1. Matt

        I left it open for personal interpretation, but I will expand a little since you asked (and I’m hoping it isn’t sarcasm :P): I think that recently (say, over the last 10-20 years) women’s attitudes and particularly behaviour has drastically shifted toward not only being more free (which is great), but also toward acting more like their male counterparts. NOW BEFORE I GET SHOT DOWN FOR THAT DAMNING STATEMENT (yes caps is necessary); I know that’s a generalisation, and with little evidence given by myself – but I increasingly see this.

        I’m NOT saying every female has turned this way and that it’s an epidemic, but it’s just a trend I’ve noticed. Whether the reason dates back to before this (60s, anyone?) or if it’s related to equality or even media perception, or a culmination of all of it – I cannot say. So, what kind of things are we talking here? Mostly behaviour. For me, a big turn off is witnessing females talking about their sexual behaviour openly in the public – AND BOASTING ABOUT IT. It’s fucking weird. Where’s the modesty? Where’s the gentle sex I was led to believe in? There’s also always that person (or persons) who talks (or even brags) about all the guys she’s seen / been with..well, who wants to be with a slut? I know I don’t. I know many guys who would use said slut and then dump that the second they’re done. But where’s the girl waiitng for her knight, or true love? Then there’s simply the way many talk, and again, act. This probably comes off slightly ‘censoring’ now, but rest assured that many females are feminine without even knowing it. I daresay the readers here won’t really have any issues with this. And before I get judged; I too believe men (as a general statement again) have degraded somewhat from yesteryear, but this doesn’t mean we all should stop and go down with them!

        Finally, I thought about my original comment afterward and realised I left out loyalty, cleanliness etc. but they’re simply expected, hence why I didn’t mention them.

        1. JouJou

          Whoa…Matt. Slut? Really? That seems like such an ancient word. I agree with you on women acting less “feminine”. Sign O’ the times perhaps…I’ve noticed men are less like well..’men’ these days.

          I don’t feel there is anything wrong with this, but I think both sexes struggle with which way to be in this day and age which then causes confusion.

        2. Almie Rose Post author

          Matt I think what you have to realize though is that our perceptions of what life was like in the ’50s or pre-’60s or whatever, is likely very different from the reality. We see movies and TV shows from an era where women wore girdles and lipstick all the time and didn’t curse and that’s because that’s exactly what the industry wanted to depict. The only reason why you didn’t see sex scenes or hear cursing is because of the censorship board. Do you really think that women didn’t talk about their sex lives until after the ’60s? No way, dude.

          Grace Kelly was the most feminine woman in the world, and she was a huge slut (and my God, I love her for it. I use the term “slut” in an endearing way. I don’t condem her choices to sleep with as many men as she did. Who cares?)

          Television changed. The social landscape changed. The internet came about. And with these changes we got things like “Sex and the City” and websites where women can openly discuss their sensuality and where some men can misinterpret that as all women being sluts. You gotta change your perceptions and your ways of thinking, or you’re going to be disappointed for the rest of your dating life!

          To those of us who watch “Sex and the City” or write about our sex lives (like, um, on this blog) it doesn’t mean that we’re not discriminate about our choices in sex partners or that we don’t have standards and high self esteem.

          And about your notions of the “gentle sex”, not only am I going to mention Grace Kelly again, but on the flip side, it’s like if all women expected all men to be Cary Grant. To have all men dressed in suits and hold open doors for us and pay for exquisite dinners and shopping trips. But Cary Grant had his bro moments like any other guy from any era. We just didn’t see it.

          This is really interesting to talk about. Thank you for opening up this discussion!

        3. Alexandra

          Ok, so while I agree that it’s nice for women to embrace femininity, but I also think it’s important for women to embrace sensuality in the process. I think there’s a difference between a woman who enjoys sex and a woman who is using sex as a tool to please men and elevate herself. The latter is likely a result of a low-esteem, but a woman who enjoys the act of sex and allows herself to be pleasured by a man (or men, in some cases) is going to be ultra feminine IMO. Maybe you perceive the boasting thing as masculine because this particular woman does not seem like she has high standards for herself. I can see that being a turn-off, but TRUST ME, you also do not want a woman who is demure and inhibited in the bedroom!

          I also disagree about any kind of degradation for either sex. I think it’s possible that gender roles are evolving and we become resistant to change as a society. I guarantee that every era has had somebody saying “do you remember when women/men were more like before?” But let’s just face it, I don’t want to go back to a time when women had very few rights, and men may or may not have had rights depending on the color of their skin. Evolution is a good thing.

        4. Sunshine

          I think this is the epitome of double standards and romanticism gone awry.

          First & foremost, I do not want a man that has had multiple partners as much as you do not want a woman who has either but I’m told that it’s okay that men have sex and lots of it. However as a man, you receive different messages.

          The fact remains that the sexual revolution + media have created a hasty society where casual sex is the norm particularly among our generation. And aside from unwanted pregnancies & STDs, I don’t actually find this to be a bad thing. The intolerable opinion in my eyes is the ceremonial obsession with sex. Now, I am not advocating the stereotypical “free love” ideology (though I don’t find that to be a negative thing either). I am simply saying that the mentality that you need a woman to be “pure” sexually in order to be with a human worthy of your affections regardless of whether you adhere to the same principles but will use a girl to “fuck” and then “leave” is not only hypocritical during a time when men & women are supposedly more equal but implies that you (or the men you refer to) suffer from the Madonna-whore complex. And I find that pyschology to be hands down the most repulsive in a man.

          I would like a man that is evolved enough to not implicate me as a slut because I’ve had sex and lots of it. I’d like a man to see through the puritannical bull shit of this society, to understand the strangeness of a world that sells sex but tells women they can’t have it and that men are simply wired for it biologically. I’d like to be with someone who is kind, smart, progressive, & has a good relationship with his mother but is NOT looking for his mother in a mate. I’d like a man to understand that sex in and of itself is just an act and that sex with someone you fall in love with-because of compatibility of interests and personality and physical appearance-is in the moment an act of intimacy because we mean something to each other. And when we decide we mean something to each other, we will establish that we will exclusively have sex with each other because now IT MEANS SOMETHING. Prior to that, we were just searching and having sex while doing that because we’re all animals and animals have sex and sex is pleasurable.

          See how healthy that is? I don’t know if this man exists, but I can tell you that he does not have an ironic moustache. That is certain.

          If only Agent Cooper was real…

          1. Matt

            Ahhh I love these responses – I didn’t think people would reply!

            Haha, wo there Almie! I do not believe it was as ‘nice’ or ‘innocent’ as that at all, for example I read not long ago that older married women would have sexual relationships with younger gentlemen, and although it was all hushed – it was the norm. My point with regard to time is that it seems to have exploded much more recently, hence why I listed those days.

            Yes, Alexandra; I believe you’re certainly on the right tracks with your first paragraph. I too believe women should embrace their sensuality, but it should not become what it appears to be now, or at least turning into; that is a common activity, albeit it one which brings much gossip. It’s beginning to mean less (or lose its specialness) to both genders – this has been a thing for men for some time, however I’ve noticed it reflected within women increasingly. Of course this isn’t a new occurance, as I discussed with Almie above. Besides, it’s no so much the act of discussing it in public (although I would still question this); I was referring more to the MANNER of it. It’s like listening to crude guys now.

            Sunshine seems to have gotten the slightly wrong end of the stick – I do put the standards on myself. I’ve had two serious relationships in my life, and I’m 24. No one night stands. This is through my own choice. You may not believe me as it’s all ‘internet anonymous’ around herec and you can call me want you want, but I see myself as a man of character and ideals. You’ve muddled what I said when talking about guys behaviour – I simply KNOW guys who would do that; MANY of them. It’s how so many women get into such awful situations. But do I agree with it? Fuck no. I question them, but in the end; it’s the females fault for letting standards slip – however this is becoming slightly off topic.

            I would honestly wish for all women to see through the selling of sex in society, and to actually take a morally higher road. Exactly the same with men, but it was women we’re talking about here, and they’re my concern because they are in turn giving men a free pass and encouraging them.

            Oh, and few honest, good men will want to be with you having known you’ve had a lot of sex / sexual partners. Just saying.

            1. Sunshine

              I am not entirely sure what you meant by “wrong end of the stick.” But I’m assuming that you’re assuming that I’ve been personally wronged which I guess would be true, but that comes with the territory when one engages in casual sex, no? Feelings are bound to emerge at some point, and someone is going to be a casualty. Unrequitted love is by no means a novel phenomenon. La dee da…

              But that wasn’t what I was commenting on. My rant wasn’t one of a scorned lover pissed off at men, and I hope you aren’t reducing my argument to “tampon-throwing-feminist”.

              My point was the paradigm with which we view sex in is inherently perverse because we assign it so much value. We base whole identities off of sex. I am simply saying that a healthy view towards sex would be one where we realize that it’s an animalistic impulse. That copulating is an act. It’s the fact that we grant sex SO MUCH POWER.

              1. Sunshine

                Rephrase: I think I understand your reply now.

                In the case that you have had few sexual relations and want a woman with similar traits/standards, I think that is perfectly reasonable. I must inform you though that you may be hard-pressed to find such a lass.

                But I do wish you the best of luck!

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Thanks, Matt! I’m glad you enjoyed the read. Thanks for these thoughtful comments, even if I don’t necessarily agree, they’re greatly appreciated!

  5. zony

    i found that all these “text me enough/don’t play games/have feelings/communicate more” issues just stopped cold when i stopped trying to date people who weren’t that into me (or i wasn’t that into). sure, you’re dating less and you might be getting laid less for a bit, but it’s way way more worthwhile in the end, because you’ll eventually meet someone who is Really Into You and there will be no doubt.

    1. Sunshine

      I couldn’t agree more.

      The only way to enter into a whole & healthy relationship with someone else is when you are in a whole & healthy relationship with yourself. Even though when you’re in your early 20s like myself, it seems like an eternity before either of those manifest. I like to take one day at a time. Have a plan for my day. Have a plan for my future. Focus on bettering myself to the person I want to be and the guy will naturally fall into place. Or I’ll just be a really well-read cat lady with an awesome sex life.

      I know it’s cliche, but it’s true too damn it!

  6. Rick G

    Dear Almie,
    I think your expectations of a guy/man are completely reasonable. I feel the same way about women. The thing with today’s world is we rely on technology too much. Texting and Facebook have messed up a lot of relationships in my opinion.
    The funny thing about texting is we mostly can’t even tell if they got the text. I’ve gotten texts like a day late sometimes. And I’m like, “what the heck?!, now they might think I’m blowing them off, great.”
    I joke to some people and say: ” I’m not a 14 year old Asian schoolgirl, so I don’t Love texting, FB, or tweets. Find me in the real world and I’ll be real with you.”
    I like my privacy, especially when it comes to courting.

    When I get the chance to stand next to her, I get real
    close and whisper in her ear.
    Because the words I have for her are for her alone.
    I slow my heartbeat, become extremely grounded, and speak plainly that she is beautiful.
    Girls/ladies rock!
    Simple, we like you.
    I need very little from women except compatibility.

    Being a little older helps, but I play no games anymore except soccer.
    I never liked to play games. I don’t swim upstream for anyone anymore.

    What I want from a woman?
    That’s it…
    Not all her time, just some.
    We say things today like: “I’m too busy this week.”
    In my world, I make time. Because I make choices as if the world depended on it.
    If I say I’ll see you Tuesday. There is nothing that would stop me from being there.
    That being said, of course I understand if that’s not the day or time.

    But the first word above is: her.
    I would sit in a ditch, anywhere on this planet just to sit next to her.
    Just to sit next to her and hear her breathe.
    I don’t even need some else to “make me laugh”.
    I laugh on the inside. At everything.
    This world is nuts.
    It’s like standing next to a tornado and seeing all the wind and stuff swirling around, the people too. And all I think is: ‘hey, if you step over here, it’s calm’. Sometimes people don’t look up and get out of the rain. Why?
    How knows..
    You should visit my world.
    You’d love it.

    Please don’t get me started on FB.
    I use it, but I don’t love it.
    I love people more.
    Please don’t fuss about your makeup or clothes.
    Please don’t be greedy.
    Please keep things simple.
    And then the fun starts…

    I like your stuff!
    Keep going.
    Thanks for your time people, sorry I tried to keep this brief.

  7. TheAnswer

    You should not care what “men” want.

    Be yourself. The right man will arrive.

    The best filter you can use is the man’s values, rooted not only in words but in actions, over a long time.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Hey! Some good advice at the end there, thanks!

      One thing though: it’s not that I care about what men want; I’m curious too see their side of it.

      1. Matt

        I definitely admire correct spelling, although now it’s harder to see if somebody is well educated / cares enough thanks to autocorrect screwing with everbodies lives! 😛

  8. Simone

    I love this post so much.

    This paragraph especially rings true to me:

    “I want men to know that we’re way less complicated than you think we are. We just want to know that we’re valued and that we mean something to you. We’re not asking you to marry us, or commit to us immediately, or try to trap you into a relationship. That’s not what I’m saying. We just want to know that you like us. That you recognize we’re people with feelings like yours. It’s always nice to feel appreciated. We know we can go a little overboard with reading into things and seeing signs that aren’t there. But we do it because we feel like you’re not giving us enough. Maybe that’s because men aren’t trained to show emotion. But we like a little emotion.”

    I think I’m going to post this on the Skinny Dip page!

  9. Pingback: What I Want From Men - The Gaggle

  10. Alexandria G.

    I agree about the game playing. So many guys (and to be fair, girls) are all about it- and what a waste of time and frustration! We need more genuine gents to emerge from the woodwork – because that’s where they seem to be!

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