Learn More About My New Book, Love Life

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Attracting A Man Who Lives Up To Your High Standards

Stephen Hussey

(Photo: Brandon Warren)

Enter Stephen

If you can’t find a great man, can you make one?

It’s an ancient question, a recurring puzzle among women who are frustrated at wasting time on guys who turn out to be lazy, selfish, or unfaithful.

Now I know you don’t want to be dragging your guy along on a leash like a dog who has to be trained into good behaviour (or maybe you do, in which case, many enjoyable age-restricted websites are available).

But what if you could influence a guy to be his best self around you?

What if you could shortcut all that frustration and wasted time and energy, and quickly find a guy who lives up to your standards so you don’t feel let down later on?

This isn’t about changing a man’s personality.

It’s about being the kind of woman who inspires a guy to reach his highest potential, and knowing the smart way to communicate your standards so that he knows what is expected of him if he wants to be with you.

About 80% of that battle is choosing the right guy in the first place. The other 20% depends on how you act once you have him in your life.

So here are 10 quick points to help you get the best out of him:

1. Forget ‘opposites attract’

Choose guys who already want the kind of life you want.

It sounds obvious but too many people spend entire relationships bemoaning the fact that their partner doesn’t want to join them on an adventuring trip in the jungles of Machu Picchu, or cook with them on weekends, or spend an afternoon wandering art galleries in Paris.

You don’t have to love everything in the same measure, but you do need to be able to see yourself at least indulging in each others hobbies and passions to build a life together.

When people say ‘opposites attract’ they either have no clue what they are talking about, or what they mean to say is that great couple have differences that are complementary, rather than clashing.

Maybe he’s the quiet, thoughtful guy at the party and you’re more socially gregarious, which you both like in each other. Maybe he’s strong-willed and assertive, while you’re more nurturing and gentle, and you’re both attracted to these traits in the other.

But what you can’t have are opposing values.

If you care about loyalty, warmth, and closeness, whereas he is secretive, cold and distant, that’s a clash of values and bound to erupt in arguments later on.

Start with mutual values and you have a guy who at least you know wants the same standards as you do, even if he doesn’t fulfil them all yet!

2. Listen to what a guy tells you early on

I’ve had relationships that if I were truly honest about, I knew were incompatible within the first couple of weeks of being together (sometimes even the first date).

Like Don Draper says in Mad Men: “People are always telling you who they are”.

Pay attention and ask the right questions to elicit whether a guy is worth investing time in:

  • If you need a guy who stimulates his mind and loves learning, ask him: “What books have you read lately?”
  • If you need a guy who loves adventure, ask him: “Where’s somewhere you’d love to see most in the world?”
  • If you need a guy who values family, ask him if he’s going home for Christmas to see them and how often he spends times with them.

All of a guy’s answers are going to give you hints about what he finds important, and how he likes to spend his time.

3. Don’t give him your demands too early

I gave the example a few weeks ago of the woman who freaks a guy out on the first date by unloading all of her idealistic dreams about love and her desire for a soulmate.

This scares guys because it sounds like you’re building a role for him that he hasn’t decided he wants to fulfill yet.

It’s like telling a prospective applicant for a job that he should expect to sacrifice his life for his work, shouldn’t expect to be home until 10pm every day and ought to be prepared to forgo holidays to complete big projects, before he even knows what the job is!

People are only willing to live up to standards for things they already want. Which is why you INVEST first, then TEST. Then you invest a little more, then test a little more.

4. INDIRECTLY talk about the behaviour you expect from others

You want to communicate that you need him to treat you well, but without sounding like you’re giving a job interview.

The easiest way to do this is indirectly. For example, you could demonstrate a standard for neatness by saying, “I have to keep things tidy. I don’t get why people would have a nice house and not look after it. That’s always seemed crazy.”

This is much better than asking: “Are you tidy? I can’t stand guys who aren’t tidy!” because now you’re not making it about him. You’re calling other people crazy for being messy and disorganised, which makes him realise, “If I want to be with this girl, I need to get my shit together”.

5. Call him out when he’s a jerk

Don’t be afraid to break rapport when a guy does something with which you disagree.

One of the worst traits people can have is when they are overly agreeable and apologise for everything a guy does simply because they are attracted to him.

In recent behavioural studies, it has been repeatedly shown that all of us are more likely to show good behaviour and act morally if those around us expect us to behave in these ways.

If you show a guy immediately when he acts that you won’t stand for disloyalty, unkindness, or him taking you for granted, it makes his brain notice “Ah, this is the standard I have to reach”.

Now the test for you is to see if he strives to reach this bar you’ve set, or if he simply doesn’t care. If it’s the latter, you don’t need to invest emotionally in this guy any further.

6. Give him a second chance

If a guy does apologise for breaking your code, give him a second chance to be better.

Sometimes a guy just needs a quiet conversation with himself to realise that he was being a jerk, after which he’ll come around and want to be better next time.

So it goes: Step 1 – Break rapport (i.e. tell him he was wrong), Step 2 – Communicate the standard, Step 3 – Give him a second chance to live up to that standard.

Unless of course, he violates one of those standards so crucial that to even transgress once makes it worth you ditching him immediately, without contact or explanation. I can’t say what this standard is for you, but you’ll know it when it happens.

7. Educate him in the art of turning you on

This technique is a little sneaky and dangerous. Sneaky because it harnesses a guy’s strongest desire (to turn you on) and dangerous because it really works.

Simply do this: Tell a guy that either:

(a) You find something sexy

(b) Something turns you on

e.g. “I find it really sexy when a guy makes me feel protected and safe.”

“I find it really sexy when a guy behaves like a gentleman and has good manners”

Or, as an extra sneaky one (careful, this actually works!): “For some reason it really turns me on when I watch you doing the washing up. Can you take your shirt off and do it next time?”

If you tell a guy something is sexy to you or turns you on, whether it’s him wearing that jumper, watching him vaccuum, or having him give you a back massage, he’ll note it in his brain and remember it forever.

This is unlimited power here. Be careful.

The reason this works is because guys really do secretly live to please the women they love.

But what doesn’t work is when a guy feels like everything he does isn’t good enough for you. He wants to know that him going that extra mile makes you see him as more sexy, more of the man that you’re attracted to.

8. Always give positive reinforcement and tell him what you need

Men don’t often know when they get it right, which is why you have to tell them!

Mr. Right will want to spend his life fulfilling your needs, but he has to know what they are first.

It’s easy to take for granted the generous or kind things our partner does well, but the better you are at praising his best attributes, the more you’re going to see them amplified.

One great phrase for this is “I love it when you do (x)”

So, for example, “I love it when we help each other with work problems. You always know how to calm me down when I’m stressed. It really makes it feel like we’re a great team”.

If you kiss him and tell him how special he is whenever he does something you love, it’s like giving him the cheat code to make him feel adored at any moment.

This works even if it’s as small as him making you a cup of coffee and you telling him how much you appreciate it and how you love spending the morning with him.

Praise is severely underrated and depressingly underused. A recent article in The Atlantic showed that one of the two essential traits to a long-term relationship is generosity. Be generous with your praise and he’ll know exactly how to be the man you want.

9. Make it about your happiness, not his failure

Many guys react badly to nagging. It causes them to get defensive, become ignorant or retreat into a shell because they feel like a failure.

If you call him names like “lazy” or “hopeless”, he’ll feel like you’ve given him a label that he can’t change and won’t feel motivated to be any better. You’ll just make him feel like a failure.

What’s better is if you frame the conversation in terms of your own needs, and being happy together: e.g. “Babe, it would make me feel so happy if we could be organised this year and plan our holidays together. I’m so looking forward to having some fun trips with you. Can we take an hour to do this tomorrow?”

It’s much easier for him to see the benefit of taking an hour or two in the evening to make you happy than it is for him to hear that he’s useless for not having done it yet.

10. Show you expect the best in every area of your life

Remember, people are always showing you who they are.

And you can show a guy who you are through the way you act in every area of your life. If you show you are assertive, expect a lot, don’t take bullshit and only surround yourself with great people, he’s going to realise that he has to step up to be a part of the world you’ve created for yourself.

If you want your guy to get healthier, show him you’re committed to looking after yourself. Ask him to join a gym with you so you can both get healthy, or go for runs together and cook healthy meals with him. The more you make it a joint activity, the more he’s going to subconsciously embed your standard and stick to it.

To attract extraordinary you have to be extraordinary. Extraordinary doesn’t mean having-it-all or being perfect, it just means living in accordance with the values and behaviours of someone who expects the best in her life.

This works much better than teasing him about his failure to be tidy or calling him names when his waistline expands.


Ok, that’s it for the primer on getting a guy to meet your standards.

Follow the above, and you’ll have the tools for attracting a guy who shares your values, and who strives to please you and fulfill your needs.

Lest I be accused of ambiguity in any way, I have an obligation to say something that might sound patronising and obvious, but just for the record: You can’t change who a guy is. A guy can change himself, but not because you want him to. But what you can do is influence a guy to want be his best self around you.

Men can reach their highest potential or be the most mediocre version of themselves depending on what inspires them.

So once more, this post is not about turning a bad boy into a heroic model of manhood.

Nor does this guarantee that a guy is going to become the right man for you. It simply gives you the best chance of finding that guy, and let’s you find out what kind of man he is so that you can decide whether to invest more in the relationship.

Postscript: Are Your Standards Too High?

One thing I haven’t covered in this post though is how to know if your standards are too high, or too low.

Luckily, I have a talented and moderately handsome brother who has already filled this gap for me!

Check out Matt’s video below in which he outlines three key questions to ask yourself when assessing your own standards for the men in your world:

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *

If you’re ready to FINALLY stop giving up, love the journey, and get the unshakeable confidence you deserve, come and join us for 3 life-changing days at MHVirtualRetreat.com.  (Don’t miss out! Retreat begins March 19-21st – claim your spot here)

(EARLY BIRD SPECIAL OFFER – book your spot before April 30th and get 25% off + special exclusive bonuses! Grab your 25% off ticket here)


Free Guide

Copy & Paste These
"9 Texts No Man Can Resist"

50 Replies to “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Attracting A Man Who Lives Up To Your High Standards”

  • Stephen, the article is perfect. And I love how the article ties in with the video, it’s a nice “unique pairing” ;) where the video asks important questions and Stephen tells us the “how”. Stephen is a How To guru.

    Matt has cute bracelets.

  • Love how your sense of humor comes through ❤️ – very charming. This helped me a lot, actually. One and seven were my favorites. I like your discussion on opposites and bringing in core values to clarify. I also like your discussion on standards. Sometimes I make assumptions – I sent a screen shot of one to bf and found out we will explore galleries in Paris and jungles in Macchu Pichu. He said “with you.” ❤️ thanks

  • Mr. Stephen Hussey, this is a brilliant, insightful article. Smart, intelligent minds are so sexy! In my life, I’ve found all ten quick tips to be true. For example with #7 above, I told my husband, “I find it sexy when you do the dishes, vacuum, and help around the house because then I have more time and energy for sex.” It’s true for us professional/career women/mothers!

  • Commenting on the blog for the first time!

    I’ve been following Matthew and Steven’s brilliant advice for a while and I haven’t been anymore thankful for your inspiring and useful tips! I started meeting more guys online, ended up knowing 10+ new guys last week and now being asked out by 4 of them. It’s crazy – just like how Matt quoted many women’s response.

    I agree that maintain and communicating standards is the MOST important thing in a relationship. Wish I had known it earlier because I lowered my standard in my previous relationship and everything went south with it. So glad I know it now!

  • Question, A guys says this all the time , and closes with he will never find his soul mate, “I’ve had relationships that if I were truly honest about, I knew were incompatible within the first couple of weeks of being together (sometimes even the first date).” Is he looking for some thing specfic that relates to his past, or is his assessment true to himself he cannot bend it…

  • When it comes to trust; it could be anything really.
    Well in this scenario I found out boyfriend didn’t trust me and told his friend if I were to text his friend, to not reply.
    My boyfriend hated that I went into his phone and saw this.

    Now I don’t care if my boyfriend looks in my phone because I have nothing to hide, but my boyfriend says his phone is personal and therefore doesn’t want me to touch t because I should trust him.

    Yet, although he couldn’t trust me not texting his friend, even tho I don’t know why i would need to in the first place.

    But he soon said it’s because he went out without telling me(the whole trust thing) but then he still didn’t trust me.

    -we have been together 11 months and (now) he’s asking that we make a pact right now about trusting each other.

    I am so conflicted because i thought I established trust from the start?

  • What are your thoughts on a female approaching a guy who’s social media profile seems to be viewed in your eyes as not only attractive by looks but what they say or post versus a dating website. Especially if it’s positive words or a lifestyle that fits yours as well. Especially if your not the type of female to want to go out and be in the bar scene and interact in that sort of way like I see many people doing. I hesitate on this one because as a female I get many inbox messages from men I just don’t feel has similar ideas or values in life as I do or are sending messages just saying your beautiful or whatever.Shouldn’t women take that step forward sometimes and say something to a man who they know is probably a very desired man as well with confidence that they can date a guy who they seem interested in. What can a female say that is different from what some other girls probably send them that would stand out from the rest. Need a mans perspective on that one. It’s hard to filter out the men who are the players. Advice is awesome

  • Hi Matt, I’m Sarah. I’m one of your biggest moroccan fans, and I absolutely adore your article as I adore all your other articles and videos.
    Although I have a question that is directly related to having high or low standards, and that’s been tormenting me for quite a few months now. I don’t want to get into the details of it, but it’s just that I have an opportunity in front me to begin a relationship. I’m 24 years old, and he’s a 41 year old divorcee with two kids (7 and 9 year olds maybe). This guy seems to be really awsome, to the extent that he could be my dream guy. But honestly, I don’t wanna dive in and give it all a shot when I actually feel like I’m not step-mom material. Because I do realize that kids should come first. The problem is I want a family of my own, I don’t want to be the other woman. I want my first child to be my soulmate’s first child too, as cheesy as it sounds. Plus, I feel that I’m too young to be dealing with this whole situation. I’m not judging him nor am I judging his past, I’m just thinking that this whole situation is not for me. But why do I feel bad for not giving him a chance? Pleeease tell me what you think Matt, am I missing an opportunity here? Or should I just live my youth, and look up for other opportunities?

    1. Stephen I’m so sorry, I feel embarrassed this is your post and I was talking to Matthew. Please do help me if you have any advice.

  • You mention that men don’t respond well to nagging. Could you explain the difference between nagging and : explaining your needs,asking for help, insisting someone hold up their end, ect.?

    I am married, so I have already gotten him and brought him home, I just have to live with him now.

  • I find it difficult to choose someone who’s not going to hurt me. And, I feel like it’s unfair for me if I let myself be vulnerable again. It’s true that whenever I’m starting to like someone and I feel the danger or potential rejection, I don’t pursue. I want that feeling of security and happiness. Then, each will inspire to grow and become better person. Each is proud for their partner’s triumph not because of their attained possession but because you see them grow and it makes them happy as a person. You want to feel that your existence in their life matters to them. I want that feeling of joy inside.

  • How about you create a sort of speed date video where you address several “what not to do” scenarios with a few gals then show us the appropriate date decorum with each. By the way, you are too cute Matthew ;)

  • Hi!i have been following matthew and also stephen for a while now,i bought a couple of programs but this is the first time i am commenting. Firstly I want to thank you guys for reassuring me that i am right doing what i do: I have an abusive and manipulative mother that keeps telling me that i am not good enough for a relationship and criticized everything i did with men. But ever since i found out your blog, i felt better because i naturally do with men what you advice to do. My story now: i am 28 yo and i was dating a 37 yo. He has a bad reputation, but i decided to give him a chance because he was nothing but a gentleman to me. Until we slept together: he waited for me,because i need some connection to really enojoy sex, but after we slept together a couple of times, he started stringing me along. so I asked him out with a few days of advance, because I wanted to see whether he was stringing me along or wanted to see if I was investing too ( until that, he was the one asking me out.i showed interest and i complimented him a lot, it just didn’t happen that i asked him out): basically i tested him. He stood me up and told me that couldn’t come at the very last minute and because i wrote him,plus he didn’t even apologise. I calmly answered that i understood that he had been busy with work, and i had a super busy week too but if i had to tell him i couldn’t make it,i wuold have found 10 seconds to write a text,or at least i would have apologised and that clearly we had different standard of respect. he read and never answered back,i haven’t been hearing from him for 2 weeks now, so it’s safe to say he ghosted me. I knew from the very beginning that I was right, but a few days ago i found myself drowning in self doubt, asking myself if i had been too harsh,or if i should have ignored all of it,if i pushed him away because i was being too demanding. Then i found this script, and i felt relieved: all point 5 was fresh air. I did this part right: i explained what he did wrong and the treatment i demand and i would have given him a second chance if he asked for one, but he didn’t. So thanks, you are shutting up every doubt that i had and for giving me some hints on what i can improve.
    ps my psychologist says that the guilt that i felt is related to control: if i am the one wrong and everything’s going bad, i still have a sort of control. On the other hand, if i am right, and still goes bad, i have no control or power over it. I wanted to share it with all the people here because she is right and maybe someone is doing the same and needs to reflect on this like i needed to: I have no power over someone else’s decisions, and thinking it’s my fault just to make me feel like i have a little of control is pointless and time wasting.
    I am still hurt, but at the end of the day, i had fun with him, i enjoyed his company and having sex with him (no regrets!if he was just after sex, his loss not mine) and he showed me pretty early on that he is not the person i want to spend my life with, so i didn’t waste any time. I just wanted to give this positive perspective from someone still hurt but healing <3

  • Hi Stephen, this is great post! Thank you so much! Keep up with the videos and posts they are so great and intelligent! Have a wonderful relaxed weekend! Xxx

  • Hi,
    I want to thank you for the the article it is helpful. I was just wondering how to approach a situation or if I’m in the wrong to just be told that I am. My boyfriend and I celebrated our one year a few weeks ago, he took me out to dinner and we went to see a show. When we got back I thought it would be a good time to give him his gift (it wasn’t anything fantastic but I put a lot of time and effort into it), and he said “oh you shouldn’t have, I didn’t get you anything”And at the time I said it’s fine. But I’ll be honest it’s kind of bugging me and I don’t know how to bring it up now that I’ve said it’s fine. I’m not a material person he could have drawn me something and I would have been happy. Am I wrong in being upset about this?

  • I’ve struggled to let go of a relationship that didnt serve me. In the end it was this negative energy and mean behavior that I didn’t value.

    I value kindness, authenticity, resilience snd fun. But I want to get specific here because I love stephens post. When we have a guy that has some potential and they bring negativity or cross a standard. It a bit of nuance to call them on it. Ive practiced this but I feel I could still learn a good deal.

    Id love to be fluid with it.
    When I see that negativity I think your outer voice betrays your inner voice. I immediately think opportunity to show my standards.

    When you say negative things about and to other people you must have low
    confidence and a negative inner voice.

    I dont want to be a part of that .But I also want to invest and test in the beginning.

    After I broke free and let those relationships fall away that really did not warrant further investment all the work I had done gave me this freedom to be passionate and kind, authentic with people.

    The daily progress of getting stronger every day made it possible to get to where I am now. Its this 1percent shifts every day. Then one day I decisively let this person go .

    Something magical happened, in letting go my spirit soared -after I was able to express and feel my sadness despair and grief that this didnt fulfill the potential it had. The trick is not minding that it hurts – got those matches out.

    But then I was so free the action gave me clarity. I would never again allow someone to treat me that way. But here the part that relates tothis post .

    After I let this person go I didnt stop there, I got rid of every negative person on my team . I hired instead for humility and kindness . For enthusiasm and mutuality. Because thats my core.

    But I suddenly had clarity on holding my standards at least from were I was. I knew what I was looking for in all my relationships its like the action of holding standards and letting go even when it hurts reinforced it every time it got easier.

    Now I want to learn more about the nuance of holding my standards while inspiring the people around me to be there best.

    What I want most is real authenticity .
    I know to have that I need to bring it to.

    When holding my standards I often feel that while ive made progress (lots) its still a bit forced and has a harsh edge to it .

    My true self is compassionate kind and wise.

    What are your thoughts on how to being more nuance in ? I like what you had to say here about indirectly expressing standards.

    But I feel there is even more to it .

1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All-Time POPULAR Posts