The more time I’ve spent around men, the more I’ve noticed a common thread—many of them are worried about being judged by the women they want to date. This isn’t new territory for most women—I’ve been a part of more date analysis sessions than I care to count, wondering just why that guy isn’t calling back. But I think that while men might worry about some of these things, they don’t always talk about it like I do with my girlfriends. To relieve some of that anxiety, I teamed up with some women I know to dispel the idea that prospective dates are looking for an excuse to write them off.
Who hasn’t seen a picture of a vehicle in a dating profile, often by itself? Slightly more subtle is the selfie from inside the car, which might be a quick attempt to put something up, or a statement about vehicle ownership.
I have news for you guys—I talked with many women about this and none of them care what your car looks like. Sure, it’s nice if it’s clean inside and runs, but as long as it gets us where we need to go, we aren’t going to judge you based on it. Swap out the picture of your mustang for one that shows us a nice smile.
In fact, this category can easily extend to other types of possessions, including how big your paycheck is. You don’t have to have the nicest apartment or house, it’s okay if you’re not wearing brand names, your TV doesn’t have to be giant. Stuff isn’t the be-all, end-all for many women, they are more interested in who you are, rather than what you have.
Strength and “Manliness”
This is one way that traditional male and female roles have really messed us up. Most women want a man who is capable of reflecting on his feelings and doesn’t mind showing his sensitive side.
The women I talked to didn’t care if a guy could catch a big fish, be the best at sports, or how much they could bench press. Their muscles weren’t the defining feature of what they were looking for in a man.
If a guy enjoys sports, or going to the gym, or any other stereotypically “manly” pursuits, more power to him, but it isn’t going to be a deal-breaker if he doesn’t.
You might actually unwittingly turn off a potential date, one friend of mine said that she doesn’t like it when a man drives in a risky way, or acts aggressively in an attempt to “protect” her. It doesn’t make her feel safe, only that he might be volatile.
One of the first things people mentioned when I asked what guys thought women judged them on was hair. Do I have enough? Is it a good color? Do I have too much or is it in the wrong place?
Every woman is attracted to different things, of course. It’s impossible to say that all women like beards or bald heads, but the truth is, most of the women I talked to were more interested in getting to know who people are than writing them off based on appearance alone. Obviously you want to look your best, but don’t assume that you’re not okay the way you are.
(It’s worth noting here that many of my friends mentioned penis size here—spoiler alert, most women aren’t judging you on that).
Here are a few words from my friends on what they do look for in a man:
“I’d love to have a man say, “I’ve never tried this before! Let’s try a sport together!” than show off. Oh, and being funny? Not important to me. I’m funny. As long as you have a sense of humor at all so we can laugh together, that’s what matters. We don’t have to be laughing at *your* clever jokes—that’s why comedians exist.”
“Looks are far less important than a man’s genuine kind demeanor, sense of humor, and humble attitude. Physical attraction and chemistry is created when a good personality and mutual interests combine with sex appeal.”
“It’s the willingness to see their own mistakes and then being willing to start again that is very attractive.”
“It’s nice if they have a steady job that pay the bills. Far more valuable, though, are men who do their share around the house and really spend time with their wife and children.”
“I have no evolutionary instinct that tells me to be with a strong or tough guy. At all. I just want someone who treats other people well and is nice to me.”
So take a sigh of relief guys, it’s probably not nearly as bad as you think. Just be yourself, honestly. Someone is going to love that.
Cara Strickland writes about food and drink, mental health, faith and being single from her home in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys hot tea, good wine, and deep conversations. She will always want to play with your dog. Connect with her on Twitter @anxiouscook.