Men are a mystery, an alien species, and generally total pains in the ass, right? Problem is, none of those attitudes will get you a date with one, much less a relationship. But these 8 attributes sure will:
1. Brains: Contrary to popular opinion, most men aren’t looking for a dumb blonde (or brunette or redhead, what have you). A ditz is good for a date or two, sure, but only a girl with some smarts will hold a guy’s attention for any real length of time. Now, don’t fret. You don’t have to be a grade-A genius or anything, but you do have to display a modicum of intelligence in some area or other. Fortunately, you don’t have to be born with brains to be perceived as smart. Reading the paper or taking an adult-ed class will do just fine.
2. Tenderness: Try, try, try as they might, men just can’t get enough tenderness in their lives. That’s probably because they can’t find enough of it. Most women are too busy bossing their men around to notice that the little boy inside that machismo exterior needs a little TLC. So please, don’t make them beg for it, because they probably won’t. It threatens their ego too much, and most men would rather just toss you to the curb than let you see them that vulnerable and—gulp!—needy. Remember, a man’s heart is a fragile thing (which is why they erect such armor around it). You have the power to crush their little hearts in the palm of your hand, so tread carefully and don’t abuse that power you wield.
3. Self-Care: Yes, in addition to taking care of them, men also need to know that you take care of yourself. No matter how much he teases you about it, make no mistake—a woman who cares about how she looks, and goes out of her way to keep herself looking sharp, is a turn-on like no other. You don’t have to be a supermodel to make a guy hot, you just have treat yourself like you think the cameras are always rolling. And while at times it may seem like a burden and a chore, the reward is the pride he wears on his face as he strides into a room with you on his arm.
4. Loyalty: Faithfulness, trustworthiness, devotion, reliability—call it what you will, but the bottom line is the same. A man doesn’t want a woman whose affections he has to question all the time. His world is already full of chaos and uncertainty enough as it is. He wants you to be the one thing he can count on—his anchor in an otherwise torrential storm. If you don’t think you can offer this to the man you’re with, then do him a favor—let him down easy so he can find someone else who can. Because he’ll never be happy if he’s always out of his mind questioning your affections.
5. Mystery: Now if it seems like this is the total antithesis of the previous trait, well…it is. Yeah, men are a walking paradox. What can I say? But if you can find some way to juxtapose the fact that he knows he can count on you with the fact that you’ll always be a puzzle he’ll be trying to solve, then you have got him hooked. A little bit of mystery in a woman is stimulating and seductive. Men like to solve problems, and if you’re the problem, all the better. Just understand, your devotion to him is not what you want him to be wondering about. Pick something else. I don’t know what. But I have faith that you’ll figure something out.
6. Challenge: Along the same lines, a man likes a woman who’s a bit of a challenge. That’s why women are taught to “play hard to get” (emphasis on “play”). A man needs to feel like he had to overcome some hurdle to win you. That’s why easy girls who throw themselves at men aren’t really good for more than a cheap one night stand. Men are competitive by nature. It’s in their DNA. And whether they admit it or not, there is truth in the concept that most men have the world handed to them on a platter. That’s why, to feel good about themselves, a man needs to seek out challenges and prove himself—not to the world or his mother or anyone else, but to himself. If you can be that challenge he conquers then you’ve got him eating out of the palm of your hand.
7. Sex Appeal: Speaking of eating out of the palm of your hand, men are dogs—it’s true. And sorry girls, but there’s no way around it. Not a man alive can go even a full minute without his mind straying to sex at least once. Which is why a woman who’s afraid of her own sexuality is about as appealing to a man as a wet paper sack. Don’t mistake me—you don’t have to be putting out all the time in order to emanate sex appeal. You just have to know that you are woman and let him hear you roar. In other words, don’t shy away from the fact that you turn him on. Embrace it. Exploit it. Instead of protesting so much about men exploiting women for sex, exploit his sexual appetite first. Call it a preemptive strike. Let him know you notice how much you turn him on and don’t make him feel ashamed of it. Rather encourage it. Elicit it. Don’t be a slut, but do act like you play one on TV.
8. Femininity: Similarly, males—at least straight males—are attracted to females. Don’t get me wrong—a tomboyishness is an attractive trait, no doubt, but not if it’s all the time. Masculinity in a woman is hot like a spice. But femininity in a woman is a man’s meat and potatoes. Any man who wants his woman to be more masculine than him is probably at least a little bit gay. But most men want a girl who’s a girl, because she embodies those qualities that he can’t get away with exhibiting himself. In addition, a man likes to feel like a man, and if a woman is more man than he, it threatens his own masculinity. So while it’s okay—and even kind of sexy—to be comfortable with your masculine side, don’t live there. Be a woman. Be his woman. And let him be your man.