What *Really* Matters To Men

This is the eleventh piece to be published on the Get The Guy blog from my brother Stephen. Steve helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.

Today’s piece dispels the myth that looks are all that matters, and provides a comprehensive breakdown of what a High Value Woman is. This is the key to getting guys to put you in the ‘Girlfriend Category’ and to have them chasing you for commitment. Enjoy!

Enter Stephen

It’s no secret that men place women into categories. Or maybe it is (in which case, sorry guys!).

When we identify these categories we see what separates the woman who only gets attention for one night from the woman who is constantly batting away marriage proposals.

To begin with, let’s look at two common stereotypes about men and women.

Male stereotype: Men are dogs. They will overlook any personality flaw in a woman if she has a pretty face and the body of a Victoria’s Secret model.

Female stereotype: Women are superficial. They are seduced by money and power and will compromise on any other desired qualities if they can pin down a man who has both.

Both of these stereotypes exist for a reason. The male stereotype exists because it’s plain to see that attractive women can receive a ton of attention for their looks.

And here’s the false conclusion most people draw from this: Men just want a pretty face.

The problem with this conclusion though is that it confuses attention with attraction. Pretty women will always get attention from a certain percentage of guys. Just like rich and powerful guys will always get attention from a certain percentage of women.

But we have to see this for what it is: Initial attention.

Why Initial Attention Is Only The Beginning

Initial attention is like having a great résumé for a job.

It catches someone’s eye and distinguishes you from other people. But only for a short window. If you screw up the interview or turn out to be useless on the job (not a euphemism, promise!), then the résumé won’t help.

It’s the same with visual attraction. All it does (on its own) is turn heads.

There are many things we can all do to improve our visual attraction. The beauty industry likes to make this seem like a labyrinth of complexity, but really it comes down to: working out regularly, eating well, taking care of our skin, grooming well, dressing to compliment our best assets, being fashionable and coordinated, having good posture and a warm smile. These things are all under our control. But though we can improve them it’s a big mistake to make looks our sole obsession.

Even if you put all this work into your looks and become the most radiant, sexy woman in the room and he’s totally into your type – all that does on it’s own is trigger a basic male response in his head: I would have sex with her.

She has physical attraction, which means this: as long as she doesn’t do something horrific in his presence, like murder a fellow human being in cold blood, or tell him to “call me maybe” when they exchange numbers, he’s going to want to sleep with her.

But even with visual attraction, there’s no guarantee a guy will even approach in the first place.

Most guys never approach women. They only approach if the risk seems low i.e. if she seems open, warm, fun, approachable and friendly. Guys rarely approach the most attractive girl in the place; they approach the girl who is attractive AND approachable.

One woman could look like Scarlett Johansson, but if he’s scared of getting a cocktail thrown in his face he could be in the room with her for ten hours and never strike up a conversation.

The Three Boxes, Or: What Keeps Him For Longer Than One Night

All this is to make an obvious point: Looks aren’t everything. They are something, but we tend to over-assume their importance. Like the impressive résumé, the most they do is open a door.

Yet it’s so bizarre how we assume people with good looks must have breezy love lives and just fall into relationships. Good looks just help with one part of the process, and even then they don’t guarantee much more than a few sleazy come-ons at a bar.

When a woman is just physically attractive and nothing else, a guy places that woman into the Sex Category, or what we can call Box No. 1.

There are three boxes guys place women in, the order of which is as follows:

Box No. 1: Girl I would sleep with (Sex Category)

Box No. 2: Girl I would casually date/have sex with and introduce to my friends (Casual Dating Category).

Box No. 3: Girl I would have long-term relationship with and introduce to my family (Girlfriend/Marriage Category).

Box No. 1 is usually visual and based on lust. It doesn’t mean a girl has to be the hottest woman he’s ever seen by any stretch of the imagination – it just means he has to feel some base tug of sexual chemistry.

Box No. 2 is the woman for whom he feels attraction, but she will also possess a few other key qualities that make her fun for more than one night, such as being:

  • Good company
  • Fun to hang out with
  • Easy or intelligent conversation
  • Able to charm his friends
  • Not embarrassing/nasty/bitchy in public
  • Good natured and has a sense of humour

Box No. 3 has far greater criteria, and requires a man to see evidence of specific high value traits, such as:

  • A strong sense of purpose and direction in life
  • Independence and interests/pursuits that give her fulfillment
  • A commitment to growth and ability to improve
  • Looking after her health and treating her body with respect
  • Strong standards for how she should be treated that she sticks to
  • A feeling of self-worth and internal validation
  • Sexual confidence and ability to be adventurous in bed
  • Ability to turn him on emotionally and sexually
  • Absence of neediness
  • Willingness to love him for who he is and encourage him
  • A lifestyle that she loves living and good relationships with people around her
  • Absence of drama

These are just some of the major traits that men are unconsciously seeking out when they begin dating someone. The more high value traits a woman shows, the quicker he puts her straight into the Girlfriend Category. This is why some guys claim they ‘just know’ that a girl is a keeper – because early on they see evidence that the girl they are dating is high value and thus irreplaceable (providing he’s in the right time in his life for a commitment of course).

All of this might seem obvious. It’s obvious that people are more choosy about who they have relationships with compared to potential sex partners.

But people forget this obvious truth.

Moreover, the broader purpose of this piece is to highlight that everyone struggles with different parts of the process when it comes to dating.

Just because someone is physically appealing, it doesn’t mean that they have the high value traits that make a guy want to call them for a second and third date, or get into a relationship with them (and the same goes for men).

Equally, just because someone is high value and would make an incredible partner does not mean that they are good at getting that initial attention in the first ten minutes. To go back to our job analogy earlier – it’s as though they are perfect for the role but don’t know how to write an eye-catching résumé that shows their qualities early on, leaving them overlooked for the wrong reasons.

Everyone has their own weaknesses. Take a look through the qualities mentioned in this piece and identify one or two areas that you think are your weakest areas. There is huge power in identifying what we need to work on, or else we stumble blind for months or years working on the wrong things.

And remember – most of the time our dating life isn’t a total disaster. Most of us are getting it mostly right in most areas. Sometimes just fixing one missing link in the chain can bring the whole thing together.

What links do you need to tighten up? Let me know in the comments below. If I notice a pattern in the responses I’ll direct a future article to that specific topic.


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Photo credit: André Benedix

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221 Replies to “What *Really* Matters To Men”

  • Hi,

    I’m from South Africa and would like to get hold of Matthew’s book. Have you guys launched the book in SA yet or is there an online version that I can “pay and download”?

    Kind Regards,

    1. There are versions on iTunes if you can access US or UK iTunes stores, or perhaps the Kindle version from the Amazon US usually works in other countries. Hope you can get a copy – or better yet, hope we get a South Africa release soon! x

  • Hey Stephen, the links I’d need to tighten up are these : A feeling of self-worth and internal validation. I know it’s a relatively common problem but I am determined to work on it this year!

    1. Great to hear Isabelle. Hopefully some of the content on our Youtube or in the book can help you develop this further – keep working on it and remember to keep taking action and improving in every area of your life, as this will only increase your self-worth. All best, Stephen x

  • I have basically the same qualifiers. The difference being if there are no box 2 qualities apparent, sex is not happening.

    1. Yea, perhaps that where men and differ Anne ;)

      Seriously though, I think just because a man thinks a woman is sexually attractive doesn’t mean he would definitely actually have sex with her e.g. if he found her incredibly difficult, needy, horrible or annoying, or especially if she is too ‘easy’, which mean generally don’t trust.

  • I am a gregarious person and do improv comedy for fun. I’ve always been more of “one of the guys” and get along better with them than women. W/o trying to sound conceited, not looking feminine/beautiful is not my problem; I’m not just a tomboy who needs a makeover & etiquette class. I’m really good at meeting men, going through a series of making/breaking rapport to build tension, getting asked out, and going on 1st & 2nd dates. I have trouble with moving from dating someone casually to more seriously. I have a hard time transitioning from being JUST flirtatious/mysterious/playful teasing to then incorporating being more “real” with someone. It’s like a cat after a dangling string; I feel like I, the string, have to keep dangling (being fun, enticing, & just out of reach) b/c he’ll lose interest as soon as he gets me and sees that I’m really just a string.

    1. This a great problem you identify Liz – This is why in Matt’s book he talks about the importance of having both Perceived Challenge and Perceived Value. Perceived Challenge is just dangling the string in front of the cat – Perceived Value is about showing a guy you’re irreplaceable – which involves all of those 3rd box qualities and showing you can meet his needs on a long-term basis, as well as having internal validation and a lifestyle that he wants to be a part of. Check out some of Matt’s videos where he talks about Hard-to-Get for more on this issue.

      Thanks, Stephen x

  • My initial problem is getting out and meeting more guys in the first place can`t meet anyone if I am not getting out there enough!

    1. That’s true of many people Beth – Start saying yes to more opportunities and meet people everywhere. Converse with everyone just to warm up your social muscles and you’ll find it easier in any social situation.

      Take care,

      Steve x

  • @stephenhhussey when you say” Guys rarely approach the most attractive girl in the place; they approach the girl who is attractive AND approachable.” But if I am an introvert or, if I have a personality that comes across too strong that guys percieve I am intimidating, does that require me to change myself? Coz, that would mean I’m not really being me.

    1. Hi Naur,

      I don’t think that changing ourselves means we are betraying our true nature or being inauthentic at all. In fact, it can be the exact opposite. As a former very shy introvert, I can say that when I was very shy I actually felt less authentic than I do nowadays, where I feel I am better able to express my personality and tell people howI really feel, instead of hiding behind my insecurities and fears of being judged.

      Or to use your other example, someone coming across too strong and being intimidating might be because they are trying to hard to be aggressive and dominant instead of being vulnerable and showing the warmer side of their personality that they are afraid to bring out.

      I think we have to be very careful not to instantly view change as a betrayal of our personality. Personally, I have changed many times over the last 5 years for the better, usually by some mix of naturally becoming more mature, and in many instances through concerted effort to get rid of certain traits I didn’t like about myself and the way I related to people that I wanted to improve. I feel much more authentic and confident now. I believe even introverts like relating to people (we are all social creatures after all) and often they are just naturally worse at bringing out what they feel inside – they happen to also have other qualities that extroverts naturally lack and have to work (concentration, ability to be alone, patience and industriousness). I don’t think you have to always be one or the other.

      Really great question – raises a lot of fascinating issues about authenticity!

      Take care, Steve x

  • I’m certainly not a woman with an athletic figure, but I do have a small concern that GetTheGuy does not stress ENOUGH the importance of sport (bodycare? is that a word? meh). I often read and hear you guys talk about women should extend their personality values and not only looks matter, and yes that is true, but I think from the immense amount we see this message it can give us an excuse for not doing the necessary work-out.

    Women often think beauty hides in make-up cases, on cloth hangers, and in worst case scenarios chirurgical clinics. What men really want is a lightness and freshness in her figure, face, nails ect. as a sign of health, fertility, and respect to herself. Of course looks are not the only component to KEEP a guy, but an initial step to grabbing ones attention. I often come across, when men (even those who are older and “would know better”) are around beautiful, but stupid women, accrediting it to her as a “little flaw” of hers. “She is just lighthearted and an easy going person” i.e forgiving her the low values in her intelligence, because they could just fall to their knees and bow to this “goddess”. The span of overlooking and forgiving things is much wider to women who are well… average-looking, but inside intelligent, fun, humorous, sexy, witty, caring, a good friend and an amazing lover i.e us. Beautiful people act as the cat from Shrek with huge sparkling eyes, being adored. And if you would stand beside a woman like that, you’d surely have a hard time attracting the man you want if his eye caught hers.

    Now I’m not talking about women who are used to having an overly-voluptuous figure and are happy with it. I’m talking from the perspective, who stress over every extra pound growing, because we feel our libido sinking. We reminisce the feeling of sexiness and the little smirk that used to play on our lips, when passing a guy who checked us out, in the ideal bodies we USED to have. It slowly diminishes the fatter we get. We start to lose confidence, and think “yea I’m overweight now and every other woman is superior to me, but i’ll go to the gym and work my way out of this… sometime later”. And as we walk through the streets, we keep our eyes low to the floor, ashamed and in the conscience of “I’m too unattractive right now anyway, no one notices a fatty like me and if he does he obviously must have some kind of issues”. We come home and read an article like this and believe the only thing that we actually have to work on is our core-confidence, which results in us stuffing those sportshoes even deeper down the closet. AN EXCUSE. It takes weeks if not months of hard work to gain this life-loving drive again. Sadly, humans tend to want everything now and fast, and again start losing motivation, when they don’t see immediate results. So it turns into a cycle of again walking around moaning, declining parties and social hang-outs, chances to meeting new people, because one doesn’t feel fit enough. The obliviousness increases up to wearing jogging pants 24/7, walking out with an un-showered head and smothered make-up and the radius distance keeps expanding, since we excuse ourself with “later, later, not now”.

    So Matt and Stephen, I completely stand behind your philosophies on inner beauty and core-confidence. I just think you should include a larger motivational aspect to a woman’s attractiveness through physical beauty. It is an important aspect which does NOT replace your theories, but accompanies them.

    And for all the ladies, who read my comment. TRUST ME. From even a couple of work-outs your game will be back on again and you will want to increase everyone’s desire for you, implicating all the tips and tricks the GetTheGuy team give us, because in first place you started loving yourself.

    1. by the way, yes, i did see you’ve included the points “Looking after her health and treating her body with respect” and working on “Sexual confidence” as a link we have to work on. I’m just suggesting an expansion on this topic to motivate the roars in us ;)

    2. Hi Kikolja,

      I think this comment is AMAZING. And the way you express it is excellent and so true. I couldn’t agree with you more: When you lose momentum and fall behind on working out/eating well and things get worse, you can easily drag down every other part of your life. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your confidence is just to start improving your looks and eating right, going to the gym, and suddenly you come back to life. I am HUGE believer in the importance of this so you are preaching to the choir.

      In a way this article is partly an attempt to redress this balance and explain ways we can improve our looks as I mention. After all, guys are attracted to fit and healthy women because it shows they care, have self-respect, discipline, and of course visually we are mostly attracted to fitness in the opposite sex.

      The reason why many of our articles on the GTG blog focus less on looks is for two reasons: (1) there are a thousand other sources all over the place that talk about losing weight, fitness, looking great, skincare, fashion etc. – so that area of advice is well-catered for already!, (2) Our point is that we tend to get OBSESSED with looks as a society, often to the detriment of understanding the complexity of long-term attraction (this happens to men as well who become fixated on the delusional idea that if they just have six-pack abs and big arms, they will be able to get any woman they want).

      That all being said, what you’re saying is 100% correct. Your looks, fitness and confidence are all inter-related and affect each other when it comes to attraction.

      I really appreciate you making this point. Hope you comment again! Stephen x

      1. Oh hi Stephen! Didn’t see you standing here (haha). THANK YOU for the huge compliment on my writing. Means a lot to me! Now, I don’t know if you’d agree with me on this one (because it’s a little harsh), but I’ve seen a youtuber say once: “Ladies, if you are whining to us ‘I feel so fat. Do I look fat in this?’, you probably are.” A hard-on rebuttal to all the drama we impose on you men. There is always space to grow and improve oneself in any way and in every point listed. That basically summarizes a chunk of the whole essay I wrote before. And to both sexes, it is really not about clothes or the size of your biceps, it’s about projecting a glow of warmth and presence. I think the two above stereotypes are out there for a reason, they’re just phrased in a really concentrated form. I can’t blame men for “being dogs and looking only on physical appearance”. The way I can’t blame women for going for men with money, because at its core, what we search in men IS confidence (not only in conversing with us but with a general outlook on life), it gives us a feeling of stability and security. Money is a consequence that comes along. We are not some mercantile bitches. Girls get together with 20-year-old young boys for example, who do not have a vast amount of money at this age yet, but they cast a promising future in her eyes through his behavior and gallantry. It’s an instinctive reaction we respond to with admiration.

        Nicole x

  • You know Stephen, I honestly don’t know. I have a lot of trouble with number 1. It takes a lot of effort for me. I can succeed with it but I only like to do it when I want to. Which is not every day. I look decent but I can’t say I look at my best every single day. I also don’t smile enough. I don’t always want to. And faking it doesn’t always make it.

    But the real issue is No. 3. And to be extremely honest, I don’t know what on the list is holding me up. It’s a long list! I am independent but maybe I don’t *seem* that way, maybe? The only way I seem to show in in a way a man gets it is by not caring about the man altogether. But I know that’s not really the way.

    When does a high-value woman realize she’s done all she can and leave it at that? Or continue on with the changes she’s working on? I’m starting to feel that way. True confidence is realizing everything isn’t always about you, nor always in your control. I know that’s not what this article is about, but I remember Matt saying that on a DVD once. It bears repeating. Sometimes you’re doing all you can and it really isn’t solely up to you anymore. That’s part of dating.

    1. I think it’s interesting you talk about how we might have some of the Box 3 traits but be bad at communicating them i.e. your tactic you mention for showing your independence is to show a guy you don’t care – which often drives them away because it makes them feel unwanted or turns them off. What we need is to develop what is known as CONGRUENCE – which means a match between what you feel inside and what you communicate to someone else. So being confident and positive is not enough if people can’t see that quality, we have to communicate it in the way we behave, the way we get excited and show people what makes us passionate. I think it helps to take the focus off of your internal life and just focus on communicating and connecting – i.e. aim to be great company and make others feel good in your presence – make people laugh and be the social centre of the group – you’ll start to become more attractive to others and be less internally focused on whether you are getting it right or not. This helps you be more spontaneous and playful, instead of concerned with how others are reacting to you.

      High value is doing things for yourself – not because you are trying to get the right reaction out of other people – it’s doing things because they are your standard for greatness i.e. being a great conversationalist, being charming and fun, being successful and having great relationships with people.

      That’s a long rambling answer, but your comment sparked off some tangential thoughts on this subject. Thanks for sharing your thoughts x

      1. “So being confident and positive is not enough if people can’t see that quality.”

        I think this is an important point, though I truly don’t understand it. Why do other people have to see everything? I do great things for myself but when I do them, I don’t meet a lot of men. Can’t seem to do both at once. It’s interesting that I think I’m much more fun and positive when I’m not actually trying to engage with men and just focus on myself. Of course, that’s when they probably are most attracted to me, and that’s when I am interested in them the least.

        “This helps you be more spontaneous and playful, instead of concerned with how others are reacting to you.”

        One side effect of reading the book and participating in Matt’s programs is his voice is always in my head now. I used to be spontaneous and playful but it didn’t attract people the right way.

        I was out the other night and had a grand time. I was myself and fun and spontaneous and had the attention of two attractive men. It was great! I didn’t think about any of this stuff. But neither asked for my number. I didn’t offer and at the time I was fine leaving and going on my way. I felt so great and independent. I didn’t care that they didn’t ask. I didn’t ask. I was just happy in the moment.

        But then I decided that I liked one of them (this happens many times, way, way after I meet someone) and felt sad that he hadn’t asked for my number. And I was fatigued which is why I left the event a bit early.

        In the moment, it’s really is fun, I have to be honest. :-) But later, I don’t know, I just wonder why nothing ever gets anywhere. In the moment, everything seems fine. But even if they get the number, still no call. I’ve gone out so much since reading Get The Guy last year. I’ve experienced this scenario times x countless events.

        What can I say? I get tired. The guys don’t sense it when I’m ‘on’ but I sure feel the cumulative effect over the last several months when I get home.

        Thanks for your responses to our comments. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for just having a space to vent and share and knowing for sure someone is listening.


  • I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, seriously, and I’m starting to give up because I’m feeling frustrated and used.
    During my whole life, I’ve always met guys who seem to want me just for one day. All the people I know say I’m beautiful, I’m intelligent, I’m funny and an understanding person.
    I like to improve myself everyday, I read, I’m into arts (I am an actress), I like sports (I love football), I like fashion… I don’t know, I really see myself like a good match, not a shallow person, but with all this happening I’m starting to see myself like a waste.
    The point is I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Literally.
    I’ve never had a boyfriend or something similar. I’m almost 23 and I feel really frustrated (I know I’m young, but all my friends are also and they do or did have boyfriends!) and trust me, I’m not the kind of desperate woman who is seeking desperately for a man, I just wait, I try to meet people when the opportunity comes.

    So… what is wrong with me? Maybe I’m always in the wrong place and the wrong time?

    1. Hello C,

      I’m an actress too and have always been “one of the boys” and was never really viewed as girlfriend material (well, i was with a few guys, but not the ones i wanted).

      I honestly believe that if you truly happy within yourself and enjoy being single/ enjoying your life. The best guys become attracted to you. Men love passionate, happy, driven women!

      I was single for 3 and half year by choice because i was happy single, had amazing friends, loving job, holidays and i wasn’t going to settle unless they were amazing. I dated a few guys but most of them i seen more as friends, the rest players.

      And then i meet my boyfriend Dan last year and he is honestly one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

      The best advice i can possibly give you is go out with friends, join new classes, gain new experiences, date different types of men and work on being happy just being by yourself (true inner confidence). Once you don’t feel the need to have a man in your life. The best ones will show up unexpectedly and date them and find one who truly loves you for you (Don’t worry, it will happen).

      Best of luck to you and i wish you happiness :)

      Love Zara

    2. Here’s just one suggestion – You might need to either be more challenging and create sexual tension – by being more than ‘just nice’ or ‘just nice and intelligent’ – guys love women who tease and create a sense of excitement in conversation, like there is always more to come. It could be that guys find you have lots of good qualities, but don’t feel that essential sense of connection or chemistry that drives him to pursue you. Matt talks about techniques for this more in his book – but I’ll try and direct a future article towards this issue – thanks for bringing it up.

      Most of all, have an attitude of excitement, positivity, curiosity – don’t let that frustration get to you or it will infect your conversations with men and you could risk coming off as the ‘Frustrated Best Friend’ woman. Sounds like you have a huge amount going for you at a young age, so keep that up!

      All the best, Steve x

  • Isn’t part of being put into category 2? Shouldn’t a High value woman that you want to be around and develop a relationship with be easy to talk to and fun to be around? She should be all of those things with that casual relationship category PLUS have all of the qualities of a keeper. That’s what makes great relationships that will go the distance in my opinion…

    1. Yes, perhaps I should have made that clearer in the article. The boxes stack on top of each other, you need Box 3 PLUS the other two to be a keeper.

      Thanks Loni! x

  • Huh… well I GUESS Box 2.
    But honestly, I think it’s more of a “not meeting enough guys” problem.
    I recently noticed that every guy I was ever interested in, who I actually talked to for more than a minute, ended up at least making out with me. I’ve also had a lot of people wanting a more intimate relationship than I wanted. So that part is obviously not the issue.
    Yet here I am, almost 21, and I’ve never had a boyfriend in my life. And actually, there was only ever one guy whom I deemed “worthy” of a relationship, who I would have wanted as a partner – but he wasn’t interested in anything more than “friendship plus”.
    So…. meeting more boyfriend material is the problem here, I guess.

    1. Definitely meeting more of the right guys is a massively important part of the whole thing – many people wonder why they don’t meet many great guys, and it’s usually because they hardly meet any guys at all. They purely restrict their opportunities to guys they meet through their social circle – which means that rarely does someone come along who they have actually chosen.

      21 is very young – I wouldn’t be concerned about not having had a boyfriend at this stage in your life. There’s a lot to do at that age!

      Thanks Diana,

      Steve x

  • If Box 3 is most important, I’m not sure why I’m still single after investing so much time in meeting men every week for the past 3.5 months because I feel like I have all those qualities. Seeking validation externally was my weakest points for years and I’ve been working on that intensively for a few years now. I feel like I’m at the point where I have a strong sense of who I am now for a healthy relationship and want to continue growing. I never had trouble with initial attraction (except online dating) and that part has only become easier ever since I started working on my weak points of self worth and internal validation.

    Aside from studying what attracts men, I started having stronger standards. Having higher standards for how I want to be treated has kept me dateless for several months. All the men I’ve met over this time want to put such in little effort and I see it before they ask me out, as they put little effort into keeping in touch or getting around to asking me out. And they don’t feel inspired to invest more even when I use my feminine powers that may persuade them. So I end up letting them go early on.

    After experiencing this for a few months, I can see why women often break their standards and say “to hell with it, take me! take me!” since it hasn’t gotten me more dates, it gets me less! When my standards were lower in 2012, yet still higher than the past, I was having fun and accepting dates all over the place but none of the guys were anyone I wanted to be in a relationship with. And if I’m honest with myself, I wasn’t in a high enough place of feeling worth of one.

    Either way, these aren’t the results I want but at least it feels encouraging knowing I’m doing a lot of this “right” from reading your post. Thank you, Stephen.

    1. Hi, Jodi, I am familiar with your case as it is almost like mine… I have asked myself what I did wrong lots of times and the only difference (only one, but a big one) between me and some girls, friends of mine, who usually all the guys want to have serious relationship with is that I am too independent while they are dependents and/or even a little stupid in certain ways. Maybe I am depressed, I know, but I’ve written that here before: I am not willing to change or play like I’m stupid… If you are (willing to play, of course – we can notice you are inteligent as hell), maybe you could do a test and see how many guys will totally fall in love with you. You probably are scaring guys for being too inteligente (Matthew has said several times that girls too independent are not attractive to guys because they need to feel we need them). I hope it helps somehow!! :)

      1. Hi Marina,

        Thank you for your insightful reply. Yes men often aren’t attracted to women who are “independent” in the sense they won’t let them do chivalrous deeds for us. But most men like smart women as long as she still lets him provide and protect. I embrace the feminine part of myself by letting men do things for me and whenever they offer help, I say yes most of the time. You might be onto something with the test you propose but there has always been this part of me where I am unable to pretend to like someone if I don’t. It feels like I’m leading the guy on

        I think my intuition has just gotten sharper from being exposed to so many scenarios with men. Besides in the past, I would ignore it and make decisions purely based on logic, not feelings/intuation. I have a feeling I will “just know” when I find a good match the same way I “just knew” that my new apartment was right for me. Intuition is overlooked in out culture and I’m finding it to be one of my strongest feminine points :-)

  • This is brilliant!

    I have areas I have to work on, and yes, that makes me weak in my eyes. But knowing them and having the ability to work on them is a great way to look at it.

    1. Thanks Irene, but why does knowing you have to work on things make you weak? I think it makes you strong, honest, and shows you’re able to be self-critical. Nothing wrong with that.

      Thanks, Stephen x

  • Love all of your posts Matthew and Stephen. I think the one thing that probably hasn’t been brought up yet though is how these can apply to someone with a physical disability. I’m not in a wheelchair but I have a very clear limp and other physical difficulties so my definition of “health” and “focusing on being healthy” are automatically different and there’s a whole new set of issues I have to address with guys because of it. All the other points you made here are great and very applicable to anyone.

    1. Hi Jackie,

      I think the same rules apply if you have a physical disability – men love the same qualities in all women – taking care of ourselves, the right attitude, being loving and having a great infectious energy – of course health is a relative concept as you say, but ‘health’ as I mean it here is more about looking after yourself and not being complacent about your body/well-being or grooming – men like to see effort and that a woman cares about her appearance, which is more important than having what society deems as ‘perfect’ looks/abilities. I am certainly not one to pretend that disabilities of all kinds do not present challenges and difficulties – but ‘physical perfection’ in every area is not necessary for attraction or for what really turns guys on and gets women noticed, or even approached.

      Thanks for commenting! Stephen x

  • The first three bullets in categories three id like to think I have the rest of the qualities in the rest of the catergories including the ones remaining in category 3

    Great article eye opener and a nice way to put into words And answers many if my questions of why don’t guys approach me

  • *I apologize in advance for my long response.* :)

    In fact, I truly enjoy reading articles by you, Steve, and watching videos by you, Matt. You guys are amazing! You honestly even seem like one to me sometimes. However, I often realize that your posts are actually targeted on women who seek to get more attention from men and don’t know how, or women who wish to get out from the “casual sex/dating” category and be placed in the “girlfriend material” box instead. None of these is actually my issue, yet I feel like I want and need to change something about my love life.

    I dearly hope not to sound like I’m boasting now, I’ll share this with you just for the sake of showing you another example of what some women might be struggling with. So the truth is, I have never suffered from the lack of men’s attention, nor men’s desire to commit and be in a relationship with me. Right on the contrary, it has always been me who was kind of reluctant to start something more serious. But I’ll get back to that later on. So it seems like guys have always been into me no matter where I go. Especially in the last four years I have travelled a lot and lived in different parts of Europe. I met mostly foreigners and I really noticed that foreign guys have this special liking for Eastern European girls – I come from Prague, Czech Republic and people say it’s noticeable at first sight. Nevertheless, my story applies to Czech guys, too, although for them I naturally cannot have this aura of “exoticness”. So it appears, guys find me both attractive AND approachable because they often come up to me and strike up a conversation or at least conjure a warm smile when we walk past each other. I was told many times that the reason to approach me was not only that they found me very attractive but also as I’m mostly smiling and in a good mood they had a feeling I must be a nice person so no high risk of getting fiercely refused. And it’s true, I do reject men, yet with nice words and a smile on my face. The paradox is that over the years, I have always heard from various corners that men just want sex and they ditch you after they get what they want – to get laid. But to my great surprise, this has never happened to me. Not in any single case. On the other hand, the boys/men gradually fell in love and it was always me who said goodbye after few weeks or months.

    As a result, I’m 26 now, being chased by men all the time but I still haven’t had a relationship longer than few months. Apparently, the problem is neither my looks nor my personality because apart from compliments on my blue eyes, long soft hair, smooth skin, warm smile, fit body and so forth, I often hear that guys appreciate my positive outlook on life, friendly attitude, curiousness, vast general knowledge, interest in arts, music and history, mastery of several languages, kindness, elegant way of dressing, fondness for cooking and eating, gentle movement, urge to help people around me, belief in human goodness, I was even told my two master degrees make me more attractive in guys’ eyes, or the way I laugh/giggle or brush my teeth. (I do admit I look silly because I love dancing while cleaning my teeth since I was a kid and I sometimes make funny faces on myself in the mirror, just for the fun of it). I was also told that my passion for everything I do and kinkiness in bed are qualities that men really appreciate. Such things just always make me happy to hear because it shows that guys are not just wild sex-haunting beasts but they also have a sensitive and perceptive part, they appreciate your personality traits and your skills and simply how they feel around you. The truth is that most of the men I have been with and heard these compliments from were guys who were confident, very independent and not looking for a committment, exceptionally intelligent and/or attractive and I knew there was always a line of women longing for them. Surprisingly, these guys changed their mind and wanted to commit, move to my city to be closer to me or host me in their place and help me find a job there. I’m not a big fan of white lies so I’m trying to be honest with myself and admit that they might have gone nuts to get me simply because I was a challenge for them. This life-enjoying girl from far away who they wanted to “tame”. And yes, guys love to be challenged and feel like they have to fight for something. I heard several times that I was the woman of their dreams and they could imagine marrying me one day and having a family. But I know that such things are easier said than done so I didn’t take it as serious as I would take it if a man said this to me after a couple of years in a relationship.

    To keep it to my point, my question is: What if a woman already has the men’s attention, already is being seen as a girlfriend/future-marriage material but still cannot find the balance in her love life? I know that thanks to being single pretty much throughout my entire life I had a chance to focus on myself, find out what makes me happy, go to college, travel and learn 6 languages, make amazing friends from all around the world and just do what I wanted to do without having to explain anything to anyone. But although I enjoy being free like a bird I hope to meet one day a man I would love and who would love me as well. I might seem very independent and it’s true that I DON’T NEED a man; but I LONG FOR a man in my life, I love many things about men, I love the male energy, passion and physical and mental power, I usually become very feminine in men’s arms and I love the feeling of being “his”. However, so far I haven’t felt the REAL and COMPLEX desire to submit to him. I might feel it physically but not spiritually, and vice versa. I haven’t felt love for a man, only things like admiration, affection or strong attraction. Those smart and attractive men usually lacked the proverbial “heart of gold” in my view so I couldn’t truly trust them and fall for them, and those sweet warm-hearted men whose souls I deeply connected with didn’t make me see them masculine enough and seek to be their “lady”. And feeling feminine with a guy is what I immensely enjoy and need.

    I console myself that once the “right” guy appears, we’ll connect and everything will be different and balanced and perfect! Maybe I’m just too foolish but so far it has been fun to dream of it at least… And well, since I do believe that dreams come true …

    1. Hi Jitka – I really appreciate you sharing this issue. I think it’s a serious one that women face, that often sounds like bragging but can more come down to the fact that you never seem to find a guy who is quite the perfect fit. I think on one level the perfect balance of masculinity and sensitivity is hard to strike for many guys, and this makes those guys rare by definition. That being said, it could also be the case that you’re definition of perfect or traits that guys have to show are very high, and that you need to communicate your needs better to men so that he can be more of the kind of man you like. Some men have amazing potential to be strong and masculine, or sensitive, but they need to be encouraged that bringing out this side is ok – positive reinforcement works really well here – tell a guy how much it turns you on when he takes care of you or when he is strong for you. People can be 80-90% perfect but have potential to grow into our version of 100% perfection when they understand the things we need. Warning: This isn’t true of all guys – they must show a willingness to grow and a desire to understand and care about what you want.

      A final issue might be that you aren’t good at trusting the strong, masculine men you meet, and tend to push them away or accuse them of being untrustworthy which makes them less inclined to want to impress you. If you are showing guys early on that you have trust issues they generally get worse and worse, as guys resent being treated as objects of suspicion, and hate feeling like a woman has unresolved baggage and negative thoughts that she brings to the relationship.

      These are just different suggestions, hope you find them useful.

      Thanks! Steve x

      1. Hi Steve

        I really liked your response to Jitka. I am not as young, attractive and desirable as she is looks and personality wise, I have other qualities in common with her. I do not have men chasing after me but I do get some interest occasionally. I have the same problem she does, though-I do find anyone I meet attractive enough.

        Now I know you would have many suggestions about expanding my social life and becoming more attractive since I am quite introverted, not too social and not beautiful and fit in order to increase my options. While that will certainly help (I have read Get The Guy), my question is really about the guys that DO come into my life. For some reason I don’t find most guys all that attractive. When I do, I get turned off really easily. Some of the things that bother me are-

        1) when a guy who is interested in me flirts with other women and I am made to feel just one of his many conquests. Now, this is not because of jealousy or that I believe I own a guy or some such thing. I understand that dating is about getting to know each other and until an explicit commitment has been made both parties are free to date others. I am happy to give space to others and like my own. My problem lies more with not feeling special. At a primal level, for me to progress further in dating, I need to feel that a guy has special romantic interest in me. Somehow I am repulsed by flirts or a guy who dates multiple women. I do not see that as a challenge and find it off putting. I would rather exit the competition altogether.

        What I want most is for a guy to signal clear direct exclusive romantic interest and if things don’t work out he is free to move on just as I am. I am biased towards serial as opposed to simultaneous. Of course he is free to keep his options open but somehow I can’t digest being the second (or later) option or an afterthought.

        2) I have a hard time forgiving guys for their goof ups–which, needless to say happen a lot. Not that I am perfect but guys are often not finely tuned to others and can be insensitive or inappropriate without meaning to. A pet peeve is when a guy starts showing off (without appreciating my qualities) or gives unsolicited advice. I also get put off by bossy, overbearing or controlling men. Overtime these annoyances, which happen frequently, really poison interactions and things cannot go further no matter how attractive the guy is in other ways.

        3) I have a problem with passive guys or those who (seemingly) expect me to chase them. I am traditional in terms of courtship. I like the man to ask me out and initiate. I am not lazy and willing to play my part and reciprocate. I do not wish to use men nor am I afraid of asking anyone out. But someone, a big part of attraction for me is masculinity and it really matters that a guy demonstrate that through his pursuit. I cannot get turned on otherwise. Passivity kills the attraction. I love to feel feminine and girly and would really like a man to pursue me. I really hate hints, mixed messages, wishy washy behavior, all talk no action, flirting without any action or a sense of casual carelessness about relationships and weakness or purpose and character.

        But you see the problem is that almost all guys I know/meet/see have some of these traits and I tend to write them off rather soon. Given that I don’t have a lot of options to be begin with, this is a problem. Even if I did meet more men, many of them will have these traits.

        You mentioned that perhaps our expectations/standards are too high or we women need to help these guys rise to their potential through encouragement.

        How, exactly?

        What should I do?
        How do I know which guy is worth encouraging?
        How do I get over these annoyances without killing attraction entirely?
        How do I communicate my needs and give guys a chance to show their qualities?
        How do I trust the masculine guys?

        Thanks in advance, your advice is always great and useful.

  • So, the guy im seeing has just signed up to a dating website. Does that men he isn’t into me??
    How do I approach him??

    1. It depends how long you have been seeing him. If you both are definitely exclusive, it’s obviously not ok and you should feel fine about confronting him about it.

      I’m guessing by your phrasing though that you’re still in “sort-of dating” category but not in a relationship. In which case, it’s now up to you whether you want to date other people or if you want to let him go entirely since he won’t be with you exclusively.

      I would ask him about it, but be very non-emotional, non-dramatic and calm when you ask him about it. Tell him either that (a) if he wants to see other people, that’s ok but you it’s not something you can do right now – then just back off, be very friendly and see what he does. It will tell you what he’s really looking for i.e. he’ll either worry about losing you and tell you he wants to be with you, or he won’t make an effort at all in which case he isn’t looking for exclusivity.

      Or, tell him it’s ok (again, calmly), but that it also means you’ll be seeing other people, and is he ok with that. Then let yourself be much more casual with how you date him. You don’t need to cut him out of your life by any means, and you can still have loads of fun when you see each other – but spend less time with him and invest less emotion in him i.e. don’t drop plans for him or make special time to be together. Do things more on your terms. He needs to feel like he has to invest more if you he wants more of you. You never want it to look like you’re happy to just be hanging around waiting for him while he dates other girls – he needs to feel a slight loss now he’s dating other people. This is the high value response – no game-playing or drama – just you knowing what you’re worth. Just be friendly and cool – but show you have strong standards.

      Matt’s book goes into this in more detail in the “Keep the Guy” section, so grab a kindle copy (cheaper and easier to search) if you want to look it up.

      Hope that helps, thanks Cass!

      Steve x

  • Stephen, I will love it if you could develop on your next article the idea of “turning on a man emotionally”. I think it has to do with having a connection but it will be nice to read about it, specially cause I like your style, it is funny and illustrative. ;)

  • You are right about beauty and how much we should realise it is not the overriding way to find a lasting relationship. Even the women who model for Victoria’s Secret or have been on the cover of Sports Illustrated have far bigger things going on in their relationships. A shared look, culture, of determination, ambition, self confidence. Whether you are large, small, round, disabled if you feel self confident and not racked with insecurity ( and follow some healthy grooming as you wrote) you will have a warm smile and approachability men will find very attractive. It sounds like an awful cliche, it’s really more about looking healthy as beauty is so subjective.
    You’re list of High Trait characteristics contains two very hard aspects to maintain when we fall hard for a man. Excessive neediness and being dramatic. No-one likes to admit to these but when we really want someone, all the coolness goes out the window, all the drive and ambition we have to be so high value kicks in and we have to try to rein it in. Also when setting and maintaining standards it’s easy to start of in a cool, measured way. But becoming dramatic can creep in and ruin what you were trying to put across.
    Great, very candid article Stephen, thank you for the men’s perspective ; )
    Kathryn X

    1. You’re totally right – health, grooming and taking of yourself can be much more powerful than natural beauty. That’s why guys are so impressed and turned on by girls with fit bodies who go to the gym and do yoga, eat well etc.

      Also, what you say about women compromising their value when they fall for someone is also true for men. It’s usually because (a) the effects of romantic love are so intoxicating and powerful, and (b) we easily forget that it is precisely these values that made us attractive in the first place, and once we are with someone we start taking it for granted and stop trying so hard. This is why HIGH VALUE is NOT A TACTIC. It’s a way of being all the time – being independent, driven, keeping up work and relationships and having a good energy where we don’t rely on someone else for our sense of self worth – these are all traits we need all the time, not just when we are trying to attract someone. Remember, a guy doesn’t want to take over your life – he wants to a part of the amazing life you have already built.

      Thanks so much Kathryn,

      Steve x

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