Let's Digress

What Women Want in a Man

Dear Adam,

I’m a long-time reader of your blog and a first-time emailer. Huge fan. Love the squirrel logo.

So, I am a single guy and I was watching You’ve Got Mail the other night at 3 am, which is what inspired me to email you. I know you’re probably thinking, “Wow, that’s a girly movie and really pathetic that he was watching it at 3 am.” Well, you’re correct.

As I was watching it, I couldn’t help but realize that I need to find myself a woman like Kathleen (the character played by Meg Ryan). It seems to me that women nowadays want to dress like hipsters and behave like Katniss or Tris or Bella from that one emotional vampire movie series starring the guy from Water for Elephants. But I don’t want any of those dime-a-dozen, entitled, organically vegan women; I need a Kathleen in my life.

My predicament is this: I have about as much game with the ladies as Stevie Wonder would have while playing Mario Cart. What can I do to attract a Kathleen kind of woman?


Joe Not-A-Fox

Hey, Joe.

Thanks for the kind words. That sounds like a pretty tough situation you’re in. Let me start by saying that you shouldn’t rag on Stevie like that. No one has much success with Mario Cart; video games just weren’t meant to involve that much physical activity.

Great movie! Classic Tom Hanks. I, too, was once in a situation like yours. Except that I was searching for a woman like Margaret from The Proposal. I didn’t find a Margaret, more like an Amy Schumer, but less abrasive and an all-around better person. But let me tell you, if I can find a woman to put up with me, you can, too. Don’t take just my word for it; most of my family and friends will tell you the same thing. *awkward sad-but-true laughter*

Anyway, since most of my lists are about what men want in women and how women should behave to attract the appropriate men, I decided to run this up the figurative ladder to procure more helpful information for you. I showed your letter to my girlfriend.

She gave me an 8-point list of what women look for in men to pass along to you. However, given that she is, in fact, a woman, the list was incredibly vague and not very helpful. And I’m pretty sure she included a shopping list in it too…I swear, why can’t women just buy their own pancake mix? They’re the ones who spend most of their time in the kitchen anyway… But I digress.

So, I have attached her list, along with my interpretation of what she probably meant by the odd and vague things she listed.

I hope this helps!



(Who says “cheers?” I mean really, who actually says that? Now I sound even more pretentious than I normally do.)

  1. Personality—Needs to have a sense of humor.

Women want a man who has an excellent personality. They don’t want to be romantically involved with a fellow who has the personality of a chalupa. Actually, on second thought, depending on where it’s purchased from, a chalupa might pack a substantial personality, especially during its exit from the body. A personality so vibrant one can practically taste it…

So, I guess women are attracted to mildly unhealthy and unpredictable personalities. That would certainly explain why they go for the “bad boys” from time to time. Or maybe she meant that if you lack an adequate personality, buy the lady you romantically fancy a chalupa?

I might need to ask for more clarification on this one later. 

2) Nice teeth—Who wants to kiss a nasty mouth?

It is a fact that poor oral hygiene and subpar teeth conditions are one of the main reasons why both men and women get rejected for dates. After all dude, women are fundamentally shallow and are especially fond of pretty things (case-in-point: that Magic Mike movie). If your mouth doesn’t look gorgeous naturally, go to a dentist, have them rip those crooked muskrat teeth out, and put in some dental implants or dentures.

Why continue to have something natural when artificially-enhanced aesthetics are readily available, look so much better, and have practically no risks associated with the procedure to have them done? Exactly.

You do you, but do a better, more pleasant-looking you while changing everything about yourself without changing a thing.

[Also, let the record reflect that oral hygiene isn’t male-gender specific; women should be concerned about the condition of their incisors as well.]

3) Personally fit—Daaannngg dat body doe!

Remember that thing I mentioned back in #2 about women being fundamentally shallow and being especially fond of pretty things? Well, this is the same thing, but instead of your mouth, it’s for the rest of you.

In their defense, we all like pretty things, and that’s okay. You have to be physically attracted to the person you’re romantically involved with. It just doesn’t work otherwise.

Interestingly enough, when women behave shallowly and treat men like sexual objects, complete with coos and grunts and crude vernaculars, it isn’t nearly as frowned upon as it is when the roles are reversed.

My overly opinionated opinion aside, I think this one means that you should avoid being morbidly obese and unhealthy. Do you know who says, “Big is beautiful, don’t judge me!”  and “You can’t tell me how to live my life! Quit discriminating against me because I’m a little heavy!”? Morbidly obese people who don’t want to face the reality that they’re unhealthy and want an excuse to stay in their plus-sized bubble and not take responsibility for themselves.

So, stay healthy and go to the gym once and a while. It’s good for you. My brother is a personal trainer, and he says that we all could use some “gym therapy.” Really, if you want a personal trainer and you’re in the south-central area of Indiana, I could totally give you his info for a training sesh. 

4) Morals and ethics—Duh.

All women want a man who is morally and ethically sound. Well, maybe not all women, but certainly the ones worth becoming romantically involved with do. Oh! Which also means that not all women are worth dating. Really, a lot of women aren’t even worth the time of day. Some even just want a man for casual purposes and arm candy. Not all women are perfect princesses like they’ve bene told their entire entitled life.

Yes, I really did just say that. Feel free to read it again and burn it into your memory. Some women need to be kicked to the metaphorical curb of Romance Avenue because they just aren’t compatible for romantic relationships due to character deficits, entitlement, dysfunctional behavior, non-upstanding morals, etc.

Part of the “sound morals” thing means having high enough standards to be content with not entertaining the possibility of becoming romantically involved with most women. Sometimes you have to not pursue.

Remember that “birds of a feather flock together” phrase your grandma always told you about? It’s accurate. Especially when pertaining to morals and whatnot. If you have high morals and expectations for how someone ought to conduct themselves, you will slowly but surely start to associate and attract people (people in general, not just women) who are of the same moral caliber. They might find you, you might find them, but most likely it’ll involve a heavy amount of just not hanging out with certain people and weeding certain people out of your inner circle.    

5) Must have goals—Who likes dating a guy who has nothing to strive for?

I really wish she would have been more specific about what kind of goals she meant with this one.

Women are not interested in men who lack goals and ambition. I mean real goals and legitimate ambitions. They aren’t interested in guys who have trivial goals, like improving their Mario Cart lap time or getting to the next seller level in a multi-level marketing plan. But the multi-level marketing example is more of an ethical issue than it is a legitimate goal to have. Speaking of, anyone want to buy some stuff from me and join as a seller below me so I can get some bonus money and make it to the Ultra-Zirconia Overlord level? Just kidding.

The multi-level marketing thing is also an entitlement issue. Really, women probably aren’t interested in men that are involved in it, period. Or at least they shouldn’t be. Fortunately for those of us reading this, that is a different list to be written.

In short, get a real job, do well in it, and earn money in a more practical way, like the way Dave Ramsey talks about. By the way, in one of his podcasts, he said that maybe 1 in 1000 people involved in a multi-level marketing plan will succeed, and that’s because they’re focused on a personnel turn around and not focused on the product.

6) Must be fun—Although introverting is relaxing and comforting and all, you can’t be a turtle for your whole life. Spontaneous…oh yeah!

In defense of my fellow introverts, we can be spontaneous and introverting is loads of fun! Just ask any introvert.

But I can see where women might want a traditionally spontaneous, extroverted man in their life. Some women just aren’t into reading books and binge watching Doctor Who on Netflix.

In Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, she includes on the front page a Manifesto for Introverts; a 10-point list of tips and pointers for introverts. I think #4 applies to this: Sometimes it helps to be a pretend extrovert. There will always be time to be quiet later. So, be spontaneous and extra outgoing from time to time in a non-creepy way. Go outside. Maybe even take her to the gym with you! Women love it when men act all manly and stuff. Even the feministic ones like it, they just may not realize it yet.

7) No smoking, drugs, or excessive alcohol use.

Not smoking and not doing drugs are pretty obvious deal breakers, and if the woman you would like to be interested in you wants drugs or smoking to be a quality of yours, drop her like third-period algebra. I don’t mean to literally drop her, as in violence, unless she surprises you with being a drug dealer and is about ready to shoot you or something. If that’s the case, then drop the hammer on that broad and call the police once you’re a safe distance away.

Alcohol use. So, alcohol is okay. Even for good Christian people, alcohol is biblically kosher within moderation. The problem is excessive alcohol use (also a different blog for a different time). Women will most likely not be interested in men if they drink excessively like college students. It is also financially irresponsible.

Getting hammered frequently, if at all, is immature and implies deeper character issues. That’s not just male-specific either; women who get plastered also have character and maturity issues. But for our purposes here, women don’t want no man who gets sloshed frequently. 

Reasonable alcohol. Or just stick to milkshakes. Women love milkshakes. Avoid the 2-straws-1-shake thing, though. You need your own milkshake, too. Unless you don’t have enough money to buy two because you get drunk frequently. Then just wait for half-price happy hour!

8) A man who is independent. Still living with mommy? Oh heck no!

Remember that scene from Independence Day with Will Smith when he climbs out of the space ship after doing that impressive flying thing and saving the world? That is not the kind of independence women look for in a man. Though I suppose looking like Will Smith (see #3 about being fit) and having a space ship wouldn’t hurt anything.

I’m also pretty confident that living with any guardian-type adult relative would be a deal breaker and contradict the independence thing. Unless your mom is handicapped or something and needs to live with you (not to be confused with you living with her), then that might be an acceptable exception. However, if that is that case, then you might have bigger things to worry about instead of trying to find a romantic partner.

If you lack traditional masculine qualities (large muscles, impressive beard, deep voice, immaculate jaw line), then you can easily make up for it with independence, financial responsibility, stable employment, and a debt-free life. Women go all mushy hearted for that stuff.

In conclusion: Wrapping it all up.

1) Don’t be a chalupa.

2) Get those muskrat teeth fixed.

3) Get more healthy and avoid morbid obesity.

4) Don’t associate with some people.

5) Have some goals and quit that ethically questionable multi-level marketing scheme.

6) Be spontaneous, but not creepy.

7) Don’t date a drug dealer.

8) Become as close to Will Smith as you can be, without fundamentally changing yourself. Which means moving out from your parent’s house.

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