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12 Things Men Look For In A Woman (And Definitely Want In A Wife)

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So, you want to step inside the mind of a man and discover what he really wants in a woman.

You want to know what he looks for when he is weighing up whether a woman is girlfriend potential…

…or even wife potential.

It’s true that what a man wants in a relationship is not unlike what a woman wants, but there are often subtle differences too.

If you’re ready to find out the qualities most guys like in a girl, keep reading.

1. She is compassionate.

It’s true that most men struggle to show their softer emotions, especially in public.

That’s why they long for a woman who grants them permission to be vulnerable by showing compassion and understanding.

They need to know that when they feel sad or low, their woman will not only accept these emotions, but provide an open and loving environment in which to express them.

They are looking for a safe space in which to be emotionally intimate, because they probably don’t have another one.

This can mean hugging him, listening to him, or telling him that it’s okay to cry.

He may have gotten this from his mother when he was a child, but chances are this part of the mother-son relationship faded during puberty and never really came back.

And whilst you shouldn’t try to adopt the mother role in your relationship, compassion and understanding is something that he will really value.

2. She is accepting.

Men want to feel that they can be their true selves, even if that doesn’t always align with the image of the perfect man.

Society places a lot of expectations on a man – to be manly, driven, loud, competitive… but men are not always like that.

So they want to find a woman without preconceived notions of what a man should be.

They want to feel accepted for who they are, not for who someone else wants them to be.

And this includes the flaws that every man (and woman for that matter) has.

This ties in with the previous point in that a man wants to feel accepted when he is strong as well as in moments of ‘weakness.’

3. She is appreciative.

Men want to feel useful to women. They want to feel needed.

It’s part of their ancestral heritage as tribal hunters who provided for their families.

They want a woman who will show her appreciation for the things they do so that they, indeed, feel useful and needed.

A little thank you or a metaphorical pat on the back to affirm a man for doing something good goes a long way.

But it’s important not to negate the impact of such thanks by berating him for the things he doesn’t do – or the things he does differently to how you’d like them to be done.

This only serves to make a man feel useless instead of useful.

And when a man feels useless and unappreciated, he probably won’t stick around too long.

Find ways to discuss things without pointing the finger of blame. Yes, be assertive when it is required, but try not to nag.

4. She is supportive.

When a man has a goal, dream, or ambition, he wants to know that the woman in his life backs him.

He wants to know that you are willing to listen to his ideas and be positive about them.

And, yes, this will sometimes mean letting him make mistakes. But that’s part of life.

Of course, if a decision will impact your life in a major way, you do have a say in the matter. We’re not suggesting that you allow him carte blanche to do what he likes.

But a man will feel more empowered to be himself and express himself if he knows that you are there to support him.

After all, behind every great man, there is an even greater woman.

And support doesn’t stop at the positive. It extends to when a man is struggling or facing an obstacle.

Then, too, you have to be there for him, partly to comfort and partly to offer practical help if you can.

If you want to know how to be a good girlfriend, providing reassuring support is one of the best places to start.

5. She is independent.

It’s very common for a woman to want to stay close to their man and for a man to need a bit of space.

When a woman tries to keep close at all times, a man might feel suffocated and see the woman as clingy or needy.

That’s why a man really appreciates a woman who has her own life so that he has some time to himself.

You’ve probably heard the term “cave time” when referring to a man going off and doing the things he wants to do.

A man would like you to have the equivalent where you grant yourself the freedom of spending time alone or with friends or family.

This helps him feel like he has independence too.

He had a life before he met you and he wants to know that he still has some of that life, even if he doesn’t have all of it.

It also helps him to feel less pressure to be your only source of love and happiness. After all, that’s quite the burden to carry.

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6. She is peace-seeking.

It is largely true that women are more prone than men to engage in and perpetuate drama.

It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that men prefer a woman who is capable of keeping the peace more than she breaks it.

This doesn’t only apply to the relationship, but to her wider life too.

If conflict is rife amongst her and her friends, colleagues, or family, that tension and ill-feeling will spill over into the relationship.

A woman who can keep her cool when others around her are losing theirs, a woman who can mediate arguments and bring people back together, a woman who doesn’t fly off the handle at the smallest thing…

…that’s a woman a man is going to want to know.

We’re not suggesting that you never stand your ground or maintain firm boundaries – you don’t have to be a doormat to keep the peace.

But knowing how to let go of grudges, see the best in people, and prioritize inner peace over the need to be right can all help a relationship run smoothly.

7. She can communicate her needs and wants.

Some women lack assertiveness and struggle to say what they need or want from their man.

This can lead to her needs not being met and her eventual resentment of her partner.

After all, men are not mind readers. And, sadly, men are not great at reading between the lines either.

Men prefer overt messages to subtle clues.

Which is why a man wants a woman who can communicate her wishes clearly.

It just makes things a whole lot easier and can reduce the chances of confusion and/or the woman feeling unloved.

When channels of communication are open, both parties feel more able to express themselves, more heard, and more positive about the interactions they have.

8. She is decisive.

Speaking of needs and wants, a man is ideally looking for a woman who actually knows what hers are.

Women are often painted as indecisive creatures who don’t really know what they want.

And whilst this won’t be true of all women, it is true of many.

But by being indecisive (or insisting that you “don’t mind”), you inadvertently put that decision in the hands of the man in your life.

All of a sudden, the man is responsible for deciding what you do at the weekends, what movie you see, what restaurant you go to.

You may think that this allows them to do whatever makes them happy, whereas all it actually does it make them worry that they need to choose something you’ll be happy with.

Whilst neither person should make the decisions all of the time, the work of choosing between various options should be shared.

So if you have an opinion about a decision, don’t be afraid to voice it.

9. She is affectionate.

Men crave affection almost as much as women, and it really helps win a man’s heart if a woman is happy to be the one to show it.

You’d be amazed at how much it can mean to a man for you to put your arms around him and pull him in close.

You could take his hand whilst walking, stroke his neck whilst sitting beside him on the couch, or kiss him unexpectedly.

Men sometimes feel uncomfortable doing these things themselves – and, yes, that’s a fault of theirs that they could address – so they like it when a woman instigates it.

Over time, a man will get better at it, but they need a little helping hand at first – literally on occasion.

10. She is authentic.

There’s something very attractive about a woman who doesn’t feel the need to wear a mask or hide parts of herself away.

A woman who has the self-confidence to just be herself and accept that some people might not like her.

She knows that there will be people who do like her and that those people will like the real her.

For a man, this authenticity is refreshing. When a woman has this sort of confidence, she doesn’t keep the man guessing as to who she really is.

She lays her cards on the table for him to take it or leave it.

This doesn’t mean that you have to reveal too much too soon – after all, a bit of mystery can be a good thing in the early days of dating.

What it does mean is that what he can see is real and you aren’t afraid for him to see it.

11. She is respectful.

Respect goes both ways, and whilst much has been written about men respecting women, a man will expect the same respect back.

This goes for how she talks to him, how she behaves toward him, and the respect she shows him even when he is not there.

When a man and woman show each other the same high level of respect, they will feel equal, as part of a team.

When respect is shown, it tells the recipient that they deserve to be respected and this affirmation is as important to a man as it is to a woman.

12. She has similar values.

A person’s values are the foundation onto which they build their lives.

And so it goes without saying that a man will look for a woman who shares many of the same values as him.

After all, it’s difficult to build a life together if you each have separate foundations. The structure just won’t be sound.

These values might encompass things like your political worldview, your stance on religion and the role it plays, and your belief when it comes to human rights.

When you have similar values and views, it helps to create a harmonious relationship and gets rid of some of the common sources of conflicts.

You may be reading this and thinking that many of these qualities apply to what a woman wants in a man too.

And you’d be right.

Many of the things a man finds appealing in a woman are the same things a woman finds attractive in a man.

Hopefully, though, by reading this list, you have come to see the nuanced differences in why these things are important.

And there should be at least a few things which really do apply more directly to what a man is looking for in a woman, so you can work on these things.

About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.