What Men Want – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Turtleneck
After posting a few simple “tips” for dating divorced women, the feedback was generally – well, what do men want? So, I reached out to some of my favorite single (or recently single) guy friends (35-55) for some intel. I had to leave a few out due to the “adult nature” of the answers, but for the most part, here is the unedited male perspective.
Bringing Sexy Back
• Interested is sexy, needy is not sexy.
• Girls with jobs are sexy, even if they are a supermodel.
• Successful is sexy (this isn’t about a dollar number income, but just being good at something, dedicated to it, and yes, it has to be more than just being a good mother).
• Intelligence, confidence and style are sexy. Game playing and insecurity are ugly traits.
• Lonely needy girls? There is nothing worse.
• Men can smell desperation a mile away.
• Dirty talk during sex is encouraged, but show some judgment.
• Be yourself, unless you don’t smile and laugh. If that’s the case, fake it. There is nothing sexier than a woman in a sweater and jeans. If your best feature is the top, go tight there; if best feature is bottom, go tight there. If best feature is both areas, it must be a smile/laugh problem.
• Turtlenecks are not sexy… high heels are.
• The Turtle Neck is The most worthless and sexy-less (is that a word?) piece of “come hither” clothing ever invented. (Editors note – this was the first sentence to a long diatribe on the evils of turtlenecks. Who knew?!)
• We don’t need an uber athlete-but someone in shape. We want someone who you we can be proud to be with, and someone that basically we want to attack.
• We like a social drinker, but a drunk is a problem no one wants.
Talking and Stalking
• Be responsive. If he makes the effort to reach out to you, and you like him or want to get to know him, follow up in a timely manner. He knows you’re sometimes busy, but don’t leave him hanging.
• If you like him let him know; If you don’t like him let him know…. A quick no is better than strung out no.
• Be accessible by phone. If all you do is text and email him, he will assume you’re not really interested.
• Don’t over read into emails or texts.
• Don’t over think everything. Women think 47 layers into consciousness. Men are pretty cut and dry – its basically one layer.
• If I want to call you, I am going to call you. I’m not going to wait 2 days after a date to do so. If you read into that, or you wait to call me back, you are missing the point.
• Reaching out to me once after I have NOT responded twice is fine…more the 2x means she is pushing…and that doesn’t look confident…she should just wait ….obviously, she has put her interest ‘out there’ and if I’m ‘with it’ interested, I’ll get back to her.
Baggage (families and friends)
• Most single Dads will only move forward with women who like kids–you don’t have to be the new mom, or have your own kids, but if you aren’t about kids – they ultimately may not commit.
• Don’t talk shit about your ex in the beginning – even if he deserves it.
• A woman’s relationship with her family defines what is ‘normal’ to her. Beware women who have bench marked ‘normal’ off batshit crazy families future often looks like the past.
• Girls without girlfriends make men nervous…We want a woman who does interesting things and knows interesting people.
• Women all have at least a few girl friends that consistently fill their heads with needless insecurity and unwarranted anxiety. The best women to date are the ones who can shrug that stuff off quickly and move on.
• A women who has no friends, hobbies or outside interests will grow to resent yours
He Thinks / She Thinks
• We are good at many things – reading your mind is not one of them. If we seem a little slow on the uptake please throw us a bone every now and then and give us a little direction.
• ‘Vendettas’ do not become a lady. In overall attractiveness impact terms, each individual active vendetta is the equivalent of 10 pounds of cellulite. Active vendettas that are still grinding on after 10 years count for 25 pounds each.
• Sanity is a rare thing in the modern world. Beware women who categorically refuse to engage in therapy, as needed. A woman who refuses to medicate herself over time will obligate everyone else around her to medicate in some fashion just to get through the day.
• It’s ok for you to initiate and ask him out sometimes!
• When he asks you out with a specific plan but you think something else might be fun, don’t be afraid to politely express a different preference – he is flexible.
• If you like him, show it. It is a huge turn-on to get a call or note saying I was thinking of you and made a reservation, or bought tickets, or rented a movie and want you to come for dinner (warning: the latter is a sex invitation, so plan accordingly).
• Being busy is fine – give me two days or so to make other plans. If you blow me off I will put my energy elsewhere.
• If this is the divorced or older crowd, set realistic expectations with time: life is complicated with jobs, kids, etc.
Obviously, these are just a few POV’s and a less than scientific study, but it provides a little glimpse into the male psyche. What did I learn? Turtlenecks, Neediness, and being a lush is bad. Jobs, high heels, and girlfriends are sexy. Communicate, but don’t stalk him. Be honest, and don’t play games.
Divorced or never married, male or female, generally I think we all want the same thing. (We don’t like turtlenecks either, Deiter). My personal perspective is that when men or women find the right person (or even the right now person), it isn’t a drunken text or a sweater that’s going to make or break the deal. So be yourself, and you may be surprised to find someone who likes you just the way you are, batshit crazy family and all.