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What Men Really Want from Women When Dating

By Andrea McGinty March 12, 2023 Dating

If you’ve dated a single day in your life, you’ve probably wondered about the answer to this question. What do men want?

With over 25 years of experience working with both men and women, I can share some good news. What both sexes want from dating is a bit similar – and then a whole lot different!

As 50% of my clients are male, let me share some of what I hear on a daily basis from men on the characteristics they are looking for in a woman. While most of what they said is common sense, some of their feedback may be a bit of an eye opener.

Taking Control

This starts with the online dating process. Men love when the woman reaches out with a message, not a heart or like. This continues in the dating process. A frequent comment men make is, “She relies on me to do all the date planning and I’d love to hear her ideas too.” Yep, this is 2023, not 1965.

Control does not mean a domineering or bossy attitude, but it’s important that you know your own mind and can take the initiative about half of the time. After all, this is what equality means, right?

A Positive and Confident Attitude

I cannot stress this one enough! Men find confidence extremely sexy, and a positive attitude shines through immediately on a date.


Jon, 63, had a date with a pretty 64-year-old woman this week. At lunch, he asked about her day. You know the first words out of her mouth? “The traffic was lousy getting here and the rain ruined my hair.” Do you really think a second date would happen? I didn’t think so.

No Mind Games

Mind games equal manipulation, and no one – man or woman – wants to be manipulated.

One client was frustrated with a woman who, after a great first date, and his text on the next day, waited for four days to respond. She may have thought playing hard to get would bring results, but she was very wrong.

Another client, after a great date with an interesting woman, received a cryptic message from her, saying there were several things she’d like to talk to him about next week when she got back from a vacation. He’d lost all interest at this point.

A Healthy Mind and Body

Many say 60 is the new 50 as many of us have taken great care of ourselves, eating well, exercising, self-care – so different from our parents/grandparents era. With this in mind, men are looking for women who take care of themselves and try to be as healthy as possible.

An Intelligent Mind

Yes, men like an attractive woman. But guess what? An interesting conversationalist, well-read, up on current events and an open mind to discuss different topics is just as enticing.

Empathetic and Kind-Hearted

This is the opposite of a catty woman. (Almost used another word but you know what I mean!). Little acts of kindness such as to the wait staff, talking positively of others, volunteering, etc. show character, consideration and graciousness.


Yep, a man likes a sense of adventure in a woman – a willingness to try new things, travel to new places, meet new people and explore life together. “I’ve never done that before and have no interest” is the kiss of death.

The Way She Presents

First impressions are crucial! After all, you are going on a first date to meet someone you might end up liking. A stylish outfit, nails done, hair freshly blown out, pretty jewelry – all are immediately noticed. The most crucial of all: your smile and a sparkle in your eyes. Now, that’s a big turn-on. It shows you are happy to be there with him.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What do you want from men when it comes to dating? What do you think about this list of things men want from women? Which part of it rings true? Have you been at fault with one or more of the items on this list?

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Why was Jon’s date described as pretty when there was no adjective given for his appearence! That’s sexist.


His date seemed a bit frazzled upon arrival, and he had no empathy. A 5 second off handed comment was too much for him to accommodate.
Yet there are special names for women who would be so dismissive of another’s fleeting lack of composure.


Unfortunately men say they want someone with all these attributes but ultimately it’s all about a woman’s looks (superficial) for them to ask you out on a date in the first place.


Is this surprising to us women?
And what are the men bringing to the table?
I think most of us know we are expected to be well groomed, exciting, pleasant and cheerful, plus doing all the social events/cooking/cleaning/parties. Men still want a trophy on their arm and a drudge in the home. Most women I know are also the provider, primary parent/grandparent, maintenance person, and financial planner.
Women have made great strides in the last 50 years. Men, not so much.


Generalizing much? 🙄


Until women get equal pay for equal work I say she’s not generalizing. As long as men have that monetary advantage over our heads neither of us can break these behaviors. It is what it is. The question is… if you want to play the dating game go for it. Just be real about it. Count me out!


I don’t agree that waiting 4 hours to respond to a text is a mind game (unless it’s every time). I’ll respond as soon as I see a message, but I refuse to let my phone put me at everyone’s beck and call, and often leave it behind when I’m spending time with family or friends, or engaging in more adventurous hobbies. Nor would I expect a well-adjusted man who’s only met me a few times to be glued to his phone watching for my texts.
It’s nice when the timing is right and we do get immediate responses, but it doesn’t mean anyone is playing games if that occasionally doesn’t happen.


It was actually 4 DAYS which is notable (and questionable) over only 4 HOURS. lol


Very interesting article! I have male friends who initially wanted to date but not me and I’m the one who organizes everything I have turned them onto life basically I schedule hikes biking music movies dinners everything I do and I’m just getting tired of it all I’d like the man to step up to the plate and organize something. How about a delivery of flowers to say thanks to me for the years of friendship and me making all the effort and organizing to show their gratitude — I should start a social business. I’m done with on line dating will meet someone likely when I want to invest in a relationship again.

The Author

Andrea McGinty is the founder of It’s Just Lunch dating service. She sold it and founded 33000Dates.com so she could help singles navigating online dating. In the 2020s, she knows the best way to meet people is through online dating using a professional coach and specializes in singles in their 50s-70s!

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