What Women Love About Men

October 29, 2012 by Shawn Smith

What women like.Imagine a young man working at the seafood counter of a grocery store. Before he wraps a fresh fish that someone has just purchased, he pretends that it is dancing on the counter, singing “I like the night life, baby!”

This young man, a coworker back in the days when I took any available job to get through college, was perpetually in pursuit of women. He was not stacked or gorgeous, and he certainly was not rich or he wouldn’t have been working with me. Yet he was very successful at attracting women. He relied on his ability to make them laugh.

That’s where the dancing fish came in. I remember the young lady who bought it. She laughed, and it’s quite possible that my friend got her phone number that day. A sense of humor seems to be something that women value in a man.

What else do women like?

Back in May, I posted an unscientific, online survey asking men and women for their thoughts on the opposite sex. The research is part of my 2014 book, The Woman’s Guide to How Men Think: Love, Commitment, and the Male Mind.

I asked questions such as What are the most frustrating things about men? and What do you like most about women? In Gratitude to all the men and women who have generously participated so far, here are a few of the comments I have received.

We’ll do this in two posts. This one contains some of the thoughts women expressed about men. In the next post, I’ll tell you what the men had to say. These sentiments are not necessarily my own. I just picked what I thought was representative and interesting.

First, the Complaints

Before we get to what women like about men, let’s start with some of the frustrations that women shared. One of the most common complaints concerns what one woman described as “The silence! The damned silence!” Here are a few of their thoughts on men who won’t talk:

“There’s nothing more frustrating and painful than to feel a need to communicate with someone I love and yet not feel welcome to approach him.”

“I wish I understood why he retreats and clams up if I’m upset. That is when I need him the most. But he just hides, like he’s riding out a hurricane. It makes me feel so alone. Unloved.”

“We aren’t mind readers. If men don’t communicate exactly what’s going on, we will jump to conclusions. It shouldn’t be our fault when the man gets angry about this… Men will never truly understand how much lack of communication hurts us.”

“Most of the time, pushing your buttons is the only way you’ll respond. And how hard is it to simply tell a woman she is pretty or bring her flowers? Little things go a long way.”

A close cousin to silence, many women reported that male stoicism is frustrating and hurts a relationship.

“At times I feel that if there is anger expressed (whether he is angry at me or something else), at least there’s still something going on in the relationship, but if he just retreats, it feels like there is NO relationship at all. Me feeling empty.”

“Why it is preferable to shut down rather than try to communicate and reconnect if there is an issue? Why do men hold in thoughts that are actually very important and could be useful to share?”

“Men ignore problems until it’s too late. By ‘too late’ I mean they wait until there is no love or affection left to rebuild on.”

“…I blame our society for forcing young boys to ignore their emotions, so we [women] did it to ourselves. How many times have we said to our boys, ‘Be a tough guy. Tough guys don’t cry. Be strong’ when what we should really be saying is, ‘that must’ve been scary/hurtful/hard.’”

“I’d like him to know I’m not presenting a trap when I inquire how he’s feeling. I don’t want to judge or mock, I WANT TO HELP. I want to understand him, and I want him to understand me.”

Several women also reported that there is an upside to male silence and stoicism. There may even be some advantages.

“I have recently learned that emotional intimacy or open communication does NOT mean sharing every thought, feeling or experience I had that day.”

“The fact that men don’t need to talk is also a plus. It is nice to just be together and not discuss much.”

“Many times I want to hash out a problem without a lot of emotion, and, in general, men are better at intellectual focus on an issue.”

“The positive flip side of men not being as verbose as women is that they are more likely to be direct and to the point. They are not as likely to be manipulative or passive-aggressive. Their moods are generally more stable.”

Women expressed various and sundry other frustrations:

“Most seem to be extremist (for lack of a better word). Whether it be clean or dirty, cuddly or cold shouldered, open about emotions/feeling or completely shut about anything having to deal with anything to the point of convincing themselves ’they don’t care’, a workaholic or lazy… I think you get the picture.”

“I wish men understood how important conversation is for maintaining and deepening an emotional connection. They seem to think that most conversation has no function unless it’s conveying concise information toward a specific goal. They don’t seem to understand the part about how paying attention, even to things like chatting about each other’s days, deepens bonding.”

“Their desire to solve things overshadows all communication attempts even when they know that’s what women want or need.”

“Why do they get comfortable and stop trying to impress their women? All the things she fell in love with in the beginning come to an end, making her wonder if it was all an act.”

And there were a few things women just didn’t understand:

“For the life of me, I will never really understand the American/western “man hug.” Is that back-smacking and general lack of other bodily contact really just so people don’t think you’re gay? Or is there some sort of competitiveness to it? Like, the person who smacks harder is really the dominant one, or trying to be?”

“I wish I understood what’s going on in his head when he withdraws. It’s so hard to see he’s in pain, to know he’s in pain, and to also know he’d damn near rather eat glass than admit it.”

Now the Good Stuff

Don’t let all those complaints and frustrations mislead you. Overwhelmingly, the women who participated in the survey appear to like men. Here are a few of their favorite things:

“I like the serene and effortlessly sexy way they carry themselves when they feel like they’re in control… Here are some examples: carrying a big load of groceries into the house, checking the oil of the car, arranging his fantasy football league, killing a creepy bug in the basement, opening a jar for me, or driving a stick shift. When he’s in this relaxed state of control, all I can do is melt and admire.”

“What do I like most about men? Their simplicity ….sex and food.”

“They tend to be less catty than females, and often present themselves in a way closer to that which they really are.”

“The way their hugs feel, so strong and protective.”

“Once they have made up their minds, they usually stick with it.”

“They can be so cute and funny when they really want to be!”

“They’re easy going and uncomplicated.”

“…Their boyishness. The sense of humor and play that some men have is by far what I like most.”

“Men are easy going and don’t sweat the small stuff.”

“Humor. Protectiveness. Strength.”

“I like that men are usually more forthright about their thoughts. I like that men can disagree with each other and that doesn’t seriously endanger their relationships. I like how men are more free to express their sense of humor. I like more than anything else, the combination of power (with the inherent potential to destroy) coupled with the man’s choice for tenderness.”

“Their confidence, strength, and tendency to be easy-going.”

“I actually love that men are ‘doers’: that they want to help you fix your problems and offer solutions. If I want to just bitch about something, I tell them that upfront, but otherwise it’s nice to have some fresh perspective about what to do.”

“I LOVE that men don’t gossip like women, and they tend not to make all sorts of generally baseless judgments about everyone and their business. You wouldn’t believe how much women can tear people down about all kinds of trivial stuff.”

“I envy many of the abilities that seem innate to men; the ability to not internalize, they often seem to have better control of their emotions, forgive quicker and easier.”

“I like that men are logical thinkers. That their world is usually black and white. I like that they are daredevils at times and over-protective at other times.”

“Their sense of humor, their masculinity and strength.”

“Their straightforwardness. Their focus on problem-solving.”

“They seem to forgive and move on very easily.”

“Their bodies.”

“…and a nice butt doesn’t hurt!”

“Men don’t understand how very much we need them. It is so in vogue nowadays to act like we are so independent, and have no need of men in our lives. But it simply isn’t true. We are lonely without you.”

A few women also offered up some good advice for men:

“I wish men understood that what they call ‘nagging’ would simply disappear if they manned up and did their fair share around the house.”

“I wish men did not feel they are so responsible for our happiness.”

“Reassurance and a few words go a lot further than being quiet and thinking you are doing the right thing.”

“We [women] have intuition, and it can be right.”

“Hey men – your penises are a perfect size and just fine the way they are!”

“Most women do not see vulnerability as weakness and appreciate open communication.”

Next, the Men Speak. No, Seriously. They Told Me Things.

We’ll hear from the guys in the next post, so be sure to check back. Here’s an appetizer to hold you over.

“I understand everything about women, except all those weird things they do.”

The anonymous survey is still open if you wish to weigh in. I’m especially interested in hearing from more of the guys out there (men, go here). Your contribution may find its way into the book!

Again, many thanks to those all the participants.

(What men love about women is here.)


24 thoughts on “What Women Love About Men”

  1. Hey ladies: Know why we clam up about what’s bothering us? Because when we tell you, you (1) Get EXTREMELY defensive, and (2) Don’t do anything to correct the deficiency we’ve identified. I’ve never had the least difficulty disclosing when something’s bothering me. But for all the good it did, I might as well have remained silent.

  2. “Why do they get comfortable and stop trying to impress their women? All the things she fell in love with in the beginning come to an end, making her wonder if it was all an act.”

    So, it is not just my husband. When we dated, we used to do really sexy stuff like play Trivial Pursuit, but then after we got married, he said he doesn’t actually enjoy games like that, so he won’t play any more. What kind of shit is that?! You know, I never really have enjoyed shaving my armpits….

  3. When men are at work (especially in the blue collar culture),they act like their true selves. They kid around with each other, tell dirty jokes and are able to get down and dirty and rugged without being self-conscious or worrying about getting into “trouble” by the women in their lives. In some of my lines of industry, I’ve been able to witness men under these circumstances and it’s during those times that I am the most attracted to men. I like their true sides and I believe most women in our culture try to mold men into their what their own expectations are. I say, let men be their manly selves and everything else will fall into place.
    And us women also need to stop being so “grossed-out” by things men say and do. After all, when we were little girls, we were gross and silly too!

  4. Ok, let me see if I’ve got this right. What women don’t like about men is that they’re not like women. What women like about men is that they’re men.

    Maybe if women stopped judging men by their own standards they’d be a lot happier. Maybe if they had his babies too, I hear that there’s some new research that suggests that for men having a baby changes their hormonal and psychological makeup to something that probably matches their hopes about men better than non-fathers. Maybe the Iron Shrink has some information on this.

  5. w.w.wygart – Yeah, I seem to remember coming across that research, but it’s been a while. I’ll see if I can scrounge it up.

  6. I love that men are so easy to please in a relationship. Most men will go a mile for just a little bit of appreciation and a bit of ‘off the hook’ time. When I ask my hubby what I can do for him he says “just iron my shirts…I hate ironing my shirts”, he does so much around the house it makes me feel guilty, but he is so thankful that I iron his shirts. Whenever I bring up the uneven distribution of labour in our house he says “well, you iron my shirts”. See what I mean? So easy! He also loves it when I rave about his cooking (it is very good), and that seems to be enough for him to want to keep doing it. To pay him back I let him have the big TV to watch sport on the weekends and the odd Saturday or Sunday trip to the pub with his mates for a few drinks (but he still drives and doesn’t stay out for hours and hours on end and doesn’t come home wiped out). He’s so easy to please! That’s what I love about men; easy pleased most of the time, a little bit goes a long way.

  7. We can’t generalise that all men are manly though. I think the trick is society allowing men to be whoever they choose to be and reassuring them that it’s okay and that they are still attractive even though they may not be particularly masculine. Confidence is the key to finding your mate and we need to encourage men to embrace who they are and to not have to live up to some unnecessary and largely unattainable ideal of masculinity.

  8. “For the life of me, I will never really understand the American/western “man hug.” Is that back-smacking and general lack of other bodily contact really just so people don’t think you’re gay? Or is there some sort of competitiveness to it? Like, the person who smacks harder is really the dominant one, or trying to be?”

    The “bro hug” has nothing to do with anything you just said. We arent trying to one-up each other, or prove we arent gay. It’s just a hug. Its our way of saying “good to see you man, take it easy”, or “I know that feeling man, yea women can be tough sometimes”. Its a sign that you and another guy are close, are pals, can rely on one another. Guys who “bro hug” arent in any way trying to compete with one another, its actually quite the opposite.

  9. You girls just couldn’t resist it, could you? You just had to go on and on and on and on and on about all the things you hate about us men before you finally felt CLEANSED enough to deign to acknowledge what you like about us.

    How would you like it if your husband or boyfriend listed all the things he can’t stand about you before finally telling all the things he loves about you in front of everyone? Oh, you don’t like that, do you? Well, how do you think that makes US feel?

    Thanks a lot, ladies.

  10. “A close cousin to silence, many women reported that male stoicism is frustrating and hurts a relationship.”

    You are damned right! What do, you expect when man tries to be nice and and caring and you end up calling him a wimp, yellow, a low life, stupid, ignorant, not a real man, and basically no good for women. A lot real men get rejected by lots of women and these women do not know the long term damage they do. It is amazing these men did not commit suicide.

  11. Then help us change the laws so that men aren’t penalized at work for just being ourselves. Women say they are lonely. Thank feminists and misandry for your loneliness.

  12. We are lonely without you

    I see the MGTOW’s are gaining success.

    Why it is preferable to shut down rather than try to communicate and reconnect if there is an issue? Why do men hold in thoughts that are actually very important and could be useful to share?

    Share? So you can use it to attack us later? Besides why give information to the enemy?

    I’d like him to know I’m not presenting a trap when I inquire how he’s feeling. I don’t want to judge or mock, I WANT TO HELP. I want to understand him, and I want him to understand me.”

    You just overloaded my bullshit detector. Now you owe me a new bullshit detector.

  13. I am gonna be quite honest when I say this, but I really don’t believe anything that the women you polled are saying when it comes to what they like about men. Women complain that we aren’t communicating when we decide it’s best to not talk about what’s bugging us, and then complain that we are too emotional and weak when we decide to be more open. We aren’t open and don’t like to talk about our problems because we don’t want to seem like we are weak and too emotional and don’t want to turn off the girl we are with. I’ve always thought women HATED emotional men. Women also seem to complain very often about men and their masculinity, saying that male masculinity is somehow degrading and a threat to women, and also complaining about everything they hate about masculinity. Women will complain when they think you’re being overbearing when you’re showing them your affection, and complain that you don’t love them when you are busy or focusing on your work or studies and get pissed off about that. Women also don’t like it when we finally snap and tell them what’s been bothering us for the past three months and they hate it when we are aggressive, either in the bed or when we are involved in something we like or need to do. If women can find something about their man to complain about, they will definitely complain about it (which might explain why so many couples are unhappy in their marriages in our modern society).

    To put it in a few words: you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. I don’t think you can win if you’re a man when it comes to understanding women and making them happy.

  14. Completely agreed! Men in the workplace have become more and more afraid of women and being themselves around them because so many women get offended and complain when a man decides to joke around with other guys and be a goof in the office. There are so many women who hate it when a guy acts like himself.

    The laws need to be changed so that men aren’t afraid to be themselves.

  15. YOU NAILED IT! I absolutely agree! Women claim they’re more lonely without us in their lives, but I think women are so full of shit and they’re lying to us to bring us back to the plantation.

    So you ladies are lonely without us? That’s nice. It doesn’t change the fact that we are MGTOWs and we think that you are only saying that so you can get us in a trap where you can use and exploit us. You ladies can say you are lonely without men all you want, but we know that you also claim you don’t NEED us and don’t WANT us to be around. So we’ll be happily hanging out with the guys and doing manly stuff while you try to bait us back into slavery. Some stupid men may take the bait, but most of us are smart enough to know your tricks and lies so we can avoid being trapped.

    #MGTOW #MenDontNeedWomen

  16. Look, it’s very simple: Most marriages happen because the woman pressured the man into proposing, yet women initiate most divorces. You don’t know what the hell you want, and you’re crazy. End of story.

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