why does a woman want a man

How men attract women is a much more difficult question than vice-versa because women are both more selective and also more individualistic in what they want. How Many Criteria Count? Men are evaluated as aesthetically less pleasing than women in research using male and female raters of pictures. This suggests that physical appeal was not selected so strongly for men as for women in our evolutionary past (1). Even if sexy appearance is less important for men, it still matters a lot. In many cases, women react more strongly to negative traits than to positive ones. Some are turned off by baldness, some reject short men, and others are most put off by a protruding stomach (2). Reading between the lines, most women are attracted to strong, healthy, physically fit specimens who project
and are more likely to succeed in surviving, reproducing, and prospering in any society. Physical attractiveness is more critical early in a relationshipвpresumably because it colors so muchвand women who are interested in a short-term relationship are likely to have their fling with someone who is above average in physical appeal. Once a man passes the first screen of physical attractiveness, a woman is likely to pay more attention to characteristics, and general suitability for a relationship. Idiosyncrasy Rules The key traits of kindness and are important to men as well as women in their search for a mate and this makes sense considering that any relationship is a partnership that functions best if each takes account of the interests of the other. Even so, many skilled womanizers are far from being nice people. Instead they are successful sales people who succeed mainly by telling their mark what she wants to hear. Needless to say, this strategy has a limited shelf life and torrid romances often precede equally heated split-ups. Whereas most men may fall for a stereotypically attractive woman, women are more idiosyncratic in their tastes, possibly because they take so many criteria into account.


Some are wowed by bookish college professor types. Others are drawn to the physical of a football player. Many gravitate to successful artists and musicians. Most women avoid unemployed drunks and seek out partners who have at least good prospects for being gainfully employed. They use an economic filter for selecting a mateвeven today in (3). This makes sense because getting united with success is a better recipe for the future than getting hitched to failure. Even given the economic pickiness of most women, some set much more stringent criteria than others and it helps if they have high mate value themselves. For instance, Marilyn Monroe targeted men at the top of the tree from baseball legend Joe DiMaggio to President John F. Kennedy (2). In general, though women are drawn to people who are from similar backgrounds in terms of, and and researchers find that married couples are remarkably similar in about every trait one can measure, from intelligence to relative height for (2). What's a Guy to Do? When women want to attract a mate, they lavish a lot of attention on their appearance, buying new clothes and working hard on grooming and makeup. In contrast, men expend on their appearance, although any effort to appear healthy and physically fit is well spent. Clothing is important also, and although men spend considerably less than women on apparel, they spend substantially more if they are actively as opposed to being married. One reason that dress is important for men is that it projects social status and women who reject a man in a Burger King uniform might be willing to go out with someone in medical scrubs. The quality of non-work clothing also conveys an impression about where a person shops and their disposable income.


Women are attracted to other signs of high social status, from elite diction to driving an expensive car, or dining at a posh restaurant (3). Perhaps for this reason, many still prefer if the man pays the expenses of a date. In our society, this is a sign of having disposable income and being generous enough to dispose of it. Even in societies that did not use money, men were expected to bring gifts when they courted. This practice bears analogy with the nuptial gifts of birds and insects where the female is lulled into a sense of security by getting a morsel to eat. The act of generosity is invariably by the male. This fits in with Bateman's Principle according to which males are more eager to mate and therefore must do something to win over the female. So men can bring gifts, including gifts of food. Special Guest Post by Dr. Valerie Golden Mate poaching is a robust phenomenon, and it is here to stay. When single women see a moderately attractive male, they are more interested in him if they believe he is already in a relationship! In fact, one sizable study found 90 percent of single women were interested in a man who they believed was taken, while a mere 59 percent wanted him when told he was single. Take Lisa, a young, attractive, smart, successful woman from a major metropolitan area. She professed to want and kids, desperately. So why did she waste precious time with Adam, a married father of two who never had any real intention of leaving his wife? And when they first met, was she really scanning the room for tall, dark, and handsome, or was she actually looking for married with romance sans responsibility? Is it because a man who is already taken is more experienced? Is he seen as able to commit? Is he more desirable because another woman has pre-screened him (while still single men are unknown commodities)?


For some, the food on someone elseБs plate always looks tastier. If someone else wants him, he must be worth wanting. There is no simple answer. Remember, too, that some traditional types may want happily-ever-afters of emotional availability and financial security, while others may be after less than the full enchilada of marriage and children. Counterintuitive as it may seem, she might want more than a one-night stand but less than a full-fledged full-time beau thatБs hers and hers alone. ItБs counterintuitive because, letБs face it: if heБs cheating with you, honesty and trust canБt be topping your list. Nor can respect, availability, spending holidays and family time together, or being his first priority. So why do it? Because for some single women, a relationship with a man who is married gives you breathing room. You are not accountable to him if you want to see a male friend or past lover. Plus, sneaking around has its thrills. The itself may be more lusty because itБs clandestine. Having sex in the married coupleБs bed, for example, becomes a daring thrill, full of lust and passion, in a way not possible otherwise. Likewise, unprotected sex. The need to be secretive, sneak around undiscovered, grabbing quick sexual encounters on the fly, can be a huge turn-on in comparison to a dinner date with a single man who calls on Wednesday night for Friday. Especially for rule-breakers, itБs just more fun being naughty. And bawdy. Some women may have decided never to trust a man. The logic goes something like this: if he has a wife at home and is cheating with me, I know heБs not me. And the sex is great because itБs new, adventurous, no strings attached, etc. ThereБs also the super-competitive woman who craves the, seeing mate poaching as the mother lode of wins to boost her.


The hotter her rival, the hotter she is, the more she feels superior to the wife in terms of having the goods that men want. For these women, feeling superior has less to do with the man in question and how desirable he is, and more to do with being more powerful than and superior to the other woman. LetБs not forget the purely carnal aspect. As long as itБs illicit and forbidden, sparks fly. If he were to actually leave his wife or partner to make this relationship permanent, brace yourself for a nosedive. For starters, he cheated on her withб you, so how could you ever know he wouldnБt treat you the same way? And the sex might quickly become hum-drum once heБs available. б What about tactics? How do they do it? Mate poachers, whether they want commitment or just sex, have a range of tactics, from dissing the current partner (e. g. , БYou deserve someone better. someone like me. Б) to showcasing desirable qualities that the current mate lacks (e. g. , БSheБs cold and unfeeling; I, however, am warm, vivacious, and loving. Б) Still others engage in Бbait-and-switchБ tactics, initially offering sex with no strings attached, only to expect down the road that her man will become so attached that he canБt bear to live without her. We may not like the tactics, but sometimes they work and successfully (e. g. ,б б Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt seem to have stood the test of time, at least as far as we can see). So what can the wife do? Take these insights and understandings home. Maybe even start an affair with the husband you have. You just might discover a competitive streak you never knew you had. б Stephanie Newman, Ph. D. , is the author ofб Mad Men on the Couch: Analyzing the Minds of the Men and Women of the Hit TV Show, which can be purchased from,б , and. б

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