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What Women Really Want in a Man

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What do women want in a man?

I do feel confident in knowing what most women want.  Of course there are exceptions.

And I know, based on experience, that just by seeing the title of this, many men are going to assume the wrong things and shout them out, without reading the article.

And does what I am saying seem judgmental?  I’m not trying to be, honestly.

It’s just exactly what happened when I surveyed 400 people, men and women, on what women want in a man.  So I am just going off experience here.

So what were my results?  Some of them may surprise you.

What Women Want in a Man Pinterest Image


Why I Decided to Find Out What Women Wanted

Ever have guy friends that are the greatest guys in the world, but can’t seem to get a girlfriend?

That was all around me.  I must have had at least 15-20 guys constantly complaining on their Facebook statuses that women only wanted men that were jerks and don’t want nice guys.

And it got me thinking.  Do women prefer jerks?

It just so happened that I was dating a jerk at the time, but I knew him being a jerk wasn’t what attracted me to him.  And I knew why I wasn’t breaking up with him to go out with the “nice guys”.

It wasn’t because they were nice guys. It wasn’t their looks. It was because they all had something else going on that I wasn’t attracted to.

So I was curious if other women agreed with me.

I was also reallllly bored and thought this would be fun.

My Survey

Around the time I decided to explore this further, I had just finished my Psychology degree, so I was still in research mode.  I saw opportunity everywhere to explore the depths of people’s minds.

So when I decided to do this survey, I had over 800 friends on my Facebook page of people I knew and people I had met all over the world playing Farmville and Frontierville (remember those?  I miss those days). So that makes this about 10 years ago that I did this survey.

I sent each woman a message that explained what I was doing, and asked if they can tell me the top 3 things they look for in the opposite sex.

Then I sent each man a message, explained what I was doing, and asked them to name the top 3 things they THINK women look for in the opposite sex.

Then when answers came in, I put them all in a spreadsheet and counted them out.  I had around 140 men respond and 260 women respond.


What Men Think Women Wanted

I want to point out that when men returned the responses to me, some of them were super bitter with their answers.  Most were self proclaimed nice guys. Many even claimed the women were going to lie in their responses.

I found that part interesting, because why would women lie to another woman about what they want in a man?  And does being a nice guy include being hateful and judgmental towards women?

So what did the men think women wanted?

A majority of men believed: money, confidence, and an asshole attitude is what gets a woman’s attention.

This would be why a majority of them saying that were still single. I assumed they have watched too many movies. If this is what women wanted, we would be flocking by the millions to Beverly Hills to meet men there.

Just saying.

What Women Actually Wanted

The women surveyed had a variety of responses, but a good majority of them said the same thing and here were the top answers.


About 88% of Women Said They Wanted a Man With a Sense of Humor (and a Nice Smile)

Women generally want a man that can make them laugh like no one else can.

They also want a man that is always smiling. There is nothing attractive about a man that never smiles or laughs.

Have you been around people who were never smiling?  You don’t really want to be around them, do you?

It brings you down, so of course you want someone who is smiling and generally happy!  It tends to end an attraction really fast if you immediately see that you are going to constantly have to say “what’s wrong?” to someone and have to take on the job of trying to uplift their mood so it doesn’t bring yours down.  I know it’s not my idea of fun.

I want to be happy.  And I want a partner who I can make happy.  But I don’t want it to be an impossible task.

It is also important that the man have a nice smile.  A man that is always smiling but doesn’t have nice teeth, is not attractive.  It’s just not something you want to kiss if the teeth doesn’t look like you kept up on hygiene.

On the other hand, if a man has a slightly unattractive face, but has a wonderful smile, he is instantly seen as more attractive.  I have witnessed many cases of this being true.

The class clown usually isn’t good looking, but he can make you laugh and has a nice smile, so you instantly want to be around him.  If you look at a guy that is ugly and wondering how he got the hot girlfriend? Is she smiling? It’s because he makes her laugh.


Famous Example

There was a giant media storm with many angry men when Kate Beckinsale and Ariana Grande were dating Pete Davidson.  The comments were very bitter and couldn’t understand why they would date him. And there were thousands of these angry comments.

I don’t agree with what the men were saying about him, but I get it, we all have different ideas on what makes someone good looking.  I am not going to get into too much of a discussion on Pete’s looks, because that is not my point here.

Pete is on the cast of Saturday Night Live, he does stand up, and acts in many comedy movies.

He is a funny guy.  Which means he can make people laugh.  Including women.

Women are instantly more attracted to someone who smiles and can make them laugh.  Pete has the ability to do both.

Which instantly makes him attractive.  So when you see a man that you think isn’t on the same level as the woman he is dating, you just have to look at her and see her smiling and instantly you will know why she is with him.

***Side Note:  I get that Pete is a controversial man, who is not everyone’s cup of tea, however, that is not relevant in this article.


About 80% of Women Said They Want a Man With Confidence

This one, the men were right about.  Most women stated they wanted a man with confidence.

I was lucky that most of the women expanded on this, to say what they meant by this.

They don’t want the cocky kind, but just someone who feels confident in himself and his abilities.  Someone who isn’t afraid to speak up, who isn’t afraid to be himself, someone who was positive about themselves and life, and someone who just seems like he could get the job done, no matter what the job is.

And this is where many of the self proclaimed “nice guys” I knew miss the mark in my experience and opinion.

They were quick to put other men down, quick to be negative (hello- assuming women were going to lie to me?), they didn’t believe in themselves at all, they never seemed to have an opinion on anything, and just agreed with everything everyone else said.  They didn’t seem to believe in themselves at all and seemed like they were too nervous to do anything fun and spontaneous.

If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to believe in you either.  And if you feel the need to be bitter towards others, it doesn’t exactly exude confidence.  It just makes you look insecure.

Now, I am not saying all nice guys are like this, but I am saying the ones I wouldn’t date in the past, this was why.  I didn’t want someone who was down on themselves.  I had wanted someone who was comfortable with themselves and with what they wanted. I didn’t want to feel like I was going to have a full time job lifting someone else up.

And I believe that is what the other women meant by confidence too.

About 70% of Women Said They Want a Man With Nice Eyes

Reading this, you may think you are screwed if you weren’t born with pretty eyes.

However, I was lucky enough that most women added on what they meant by this too, and they all said the same thing.

Basically, they do like pretty eyes, but it is mostly the eyes that seem warm and friendly (kind of goes with the sense of humor thing again), how they can see the way men look at them, etc…

A woman can tell by your eyes how interesting you are, how kind you are, how funny you are, and how much you like them.


Honorable Mentions

Although it didn’t make the top 3, two that came up quite a bit with the women surveyed were intelligence and kindness.  In fact, women over the age of 50 (yes, I broke them into age groups) had kindness in their top 3.

But if you think about it, most of the younger women who said eyes were important, had said they wanted someone with kind eyes, so this may be a universal thing across all age groups.

Very few women (I’m talking like 2 or 3 total) said money, overall attractiveness, and an “asshole attitude” was what attracted them.  It shows that there are a few out there, but it is not the majority like men were thinking.


Why I Made Assumptions

When I posted a note on Facebook 10 years ago, with this same title, of the results, I was immediately bombarded with men commenting (without reading the note) on what they thought women wanted, even though they answered me through messages already.

They were saying things like “I bet they said money.  I bet they all lied and said they like nice guys. Etc…”

Which is why I had the assumption it would happen again.  But I really hope that’s not the case.  And I hope it is comforting to know that you don’t have to stop being a nice guy!


I Married a Nice Guy

I married a nice guy.  A really nice guy.  The kind of nice guy that went out of his way for others without expecting anything in return.  He didn’t drive a nice car.  He didn’t have a good job.

But he was super intelligent.  He was super kind.  He made me laugh so hard I would pee myself.  But most importantly, he had a ton of confidence and was very secure with himself.

He never cared about impressing others.  He did his own thing.  If people made fun of him for something, he would laugh too and make a funny comment, but he would keep on doing what he was doing and wouldn’t change.

If someone questioned him, he would just use a term that I now associate with him “I do what I want”.  I even bought him a t-shirt with that saying.  He was never afraid of looking like a fool in front of people and actually stripped down to a Christmas thong in front of my family on our first Christmas together.

And that, my friends, is confidence.  (You don’t have to strip down, but I’m using that as an example of not being afraid of looking like a fool and being secure with who you are)

So the fact that you are a “nice guy” isn’t what is preventing you from getting the girl.  It is likely because you need to smile more and gain some confidence.

We WANT you to believe in yourself.


Now What?

So women, if you are reading this and agree with what I found in my survey, share this with your male friends!

Men, if you are interested in learning how to be more confident, check out my article 10 Ways to Easily Boost Your Confidence, which my husband helped me write!


Please Note:  This wasn’t a scientifically set up study.  This was just something fun I did when I was bored and a ton of people participated because they were bored too.  My evaluations are my opinion based on my experience and education on social psychology.

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